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Journal of Irish Families
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Top Irish Roots Cafe Authors, from 1632 - 2011

Currently in Print:
The Four Masters; Geoffrey Keating; John D'Alton; John O'Donovan; John Francis O'Mahony; P.W. Joyce; Owen Connellan; William F.K. Marmion; Rev. George Hill; Richard F. Cronnelly; B. W. DeCourcy; Robert E. Matheson; Michael O'Laughlin; Edward Neafsey; (Rev. Patrick Woulfe absent).

The Four Masters

The Four Masters .
Today we welcome those gentlemen commonly known as the Four Masters, into the Irish roots cafe. (It is said that they were earlier called the Four Friars in the Irish language.) Their fame comes as a result of their work, The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters. These Annals were at one time referred to as the Annals of Donegal, as they were transcribed in County Donegal, Ireland. We are actually graced today by six men who worked on the Annals, so perhaps they should be called the six Masters!. The primary authors were the O'Clerys, who were the hereditary historians to the O'Donnells of Tyrconnel in Donegal.

Those who did the Work
The Annals were collected over the course of many years, primarily by Michael O'Clery. They were put to writing in final form by the Four Masters in the Franciscan monastery in Donegal, starting in 1632. The work was completed on August 10, 1636. Many of the sources they drew from are no longer available to us, making there work a vital one for Irish history. The Franciscans are said to have supplied the food and lodging for the Four Masters. Fergall O'Gara, lord of Moy OGara and Coolavin, is said to have sponsored the project, and it was to him that the Annals were dedicated.The names of the Four Masters are given early as:Brother Michael O'Clery ( a.k.a. Teige) Cucogry (Peregrine) O'Clery of Donegal.Ferfeasa OMulconry (O'Conery) of Co. Roscommon Cucogry O'Duigenan who is given in the testimonials as from County Leitrim.

The following are also given as transcribers or collectors of this work:Conary O'Clery of Donegal, who labored for many months. Maurice OMulconry who labored for one month, of County Roscommon.

Michael O'Clery:
The first of the group we introduce is Michael O'Clery, also known as Teige of the Mountain. He was born around 1575 at Kilbarron Castle overlooking Donegal bay. Michael comes from a long line of Historians. He entered the order of St. Francis as a lay brother, and assumed the name of Michael. (Changing his name from Teige to Michael at that time). Serving at the Irish Franciscan monastery at Louvain, he soon returned to Ireland, under orders from Hugh Ward, the guardian of the monastery at Louvain. He was to collect manuscripts and books to compile a work on the Irish saints in Ireland. Unfortunately Hugh Ward would die before completing that work.

Michael O'Clery spent many years searching out and copying ancient manuscripts for that project, which eventually served to help Rev. John Colgan compile Acta Sanctorum and other work.From the Connellan translation of the Annals, we read that: O'Clery continued his collection for a period of fifteen years, travelled through all parts of Ireland, and got together all the ancient records, civil and ecclesiastical, that could be obtained, and then spent many years in arranging for publication this vast mass of materials Michael O'Clery also compiled Reim Rioghraidhe which listed the Kings of Ireland and their genealogies and Leabhar-Gabhala known as the Book of Conquests. A copy of the later, written in the hand of Cucogry (his cousin and another of the compilers of the Annals), was held by the Royal Irish Academy into modern times. His most well known work was the Annala Rioghachta Eireann or the Annals of Ireland. It is said that he passed from this world in 1643, after writing Sanas an Nuadh in Louvain. That work was a dictionary of obsolete and difficult Irish words.

Cucogry O'Clery:
The second master was Cucogry O'Clery. He was the chief of the O'Clearys of Tirconnell. He compiled a life of Hugh Roe O'Donnell which became incorporated into the Annals. By 1632 this Irish chieftain was exiled into Ballycroy, in the barony of Erris, in County Mayo. The families holdings in Donegal had been lost. The Royal Irish Academy holds a copy of his will from the year 1664. In that document he leaves his books to his sons. John O'Clery, his direct descendant, who settled in Dublin in 1817, was still in possession of many rare manuscripts, written in the hand of his ancestor.

Ferfeasa O'Mulconry:
The third master is Ferfeasa O'Mulconry. He was a historian and antiquarian from County Roscommon, Ireland.Cucogry O'Duignan The fourth master is Cucogry O'Duignan of County Leitrim. He was born around 1590 and it has been said that he entered into the Franciscan Order at Louvain (Leuven). The ODuignans were hereditary historians, and they set up a school at Kilronan by Lough Key, in County Roscommon. Upon the completion of the Annals in 1636, he disappears from our records, but may have returned to the monastery at Louvain with Brother Michael O'Clery.

Conary O'Cleary:
Lesser note is made of another of this distinguished group, Conary O'Cleary. He is somewhat of a mystery. He has not been found as a member of the clergy, but we do know that he devoted himself as a scribe on Irish historical works, including that of the Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters. We could call him, on this occasion, the 5th Master.Maurice O'Maolconery Maurice O'Maolconery assisted during a month and was of County Roscommon.Although Maurice worked but a month, he was noted in the testimonials as one of the collectors and transcribers of the Annals. For our purposes, within the confines of the Irish roots cafe, we have conferred upon him the honorary title of the 6th Master.Translation of the Annals The first half of the Annals were translated from Irish into Latin, by the Rev. Charles O'Conor in 1826. According to noted historian Eugene OCurry, that was a valuable translation, but is given to be very inaccurate.

The first substantial English version of The Annals of the Four Masters (starting at 1171 A.D.) was translated by Owen Connellan in 1846. The Connellan translation included the annals from the 12th to the 17th centuries complete, and it is the only version to have a four colour frontis and include a large folding map showing the location of hundreds of families in Ireland. The map was added by Dr. MacDermott. It lay nearly forgotten for over 150 years, but was finally salvaged and republished in the early 21st century. We are proud to have published this work and made it available to the public once again in a two volume set. The Connellan translation was followed by the publication over several years (1848 - 1851) by a translation of the first and second parts, by the historian John O'Donovan. ODonovans work was originally published as a five book set, and later broken down into 7 smaller volumes. The original 5 volume set is very rare. The later original volumes have bound into them, new title pages for the set to be broken down into 7 books, if so desired! It was thereafter printed in 7 volumes. (see photos elsewhere on this site.)

You may wish to meet with John O'Donovan and Owen Connellan, rival translators of the Annals, here in the Irish Roots Cafe. In modern times the Four Masters are honored in Donegal town. There is a 25 foot monument there, made of stone, celebrating these Masters. The Four Masters and Keatings HistoryReaders Note: The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters provides an excellent timeline for Irish history and for genealogies and special events. It is a transcription of events on a year by year basis. The raw text is for the most part factual. The footnotes are closer to what we think of as historical commentary today. Keatings History of Ireland (O'Mahoney translation), also written in the 17th century, is more of a traditional history, with commentary in the raw text, and in the footnotes. We are pleased to have both Geoffrey Keating and his translator John O'Mahoney are with us today in the Irish Roots Cafe.(This author currently has works available from

Geoffrey Keating, D.D.

Geoffrey Keating, D.D.
Geoffrey Keating (Seathrun Ceitinn), is the author of one of the most often requested histories of Ireland ever written. As a matter of fact, it was the first rare book published by the Irish Genealogical Foundation. A clergyman and poet, he was born in Burgess, Ballyloby, near Cahir, County Tipperary, Ireland around 1569. Some sources give that he studied at Cahir, and other Irish schools in Ireland. It is suggested that he came from a relatively well to do family, and he went to school abroad and obtained the degree of 'Doctor of Divinity' at the University of Bordeaux in France. He came back to Ireland in 1610 and became curate in the parish of Knockraffan. His energies were put into the building of a new church at Tubrid and he began gathering together works to help him write the history of Ireland. Due to the penal laws of the day, he would spend much time secreted in the Glen of Aherlow, to finish this history. In later days he would travel a bout the country using an alias.

Keatings History of Ireland
He completed 'Foras Feasa ar Eirinn' or his 'History of Ireland', written in the gaelic language, by 1634. The use of gaelic was to say the least, not encouraged by the government. Written in the gaelic language of the day, rather than the more classical form, it is hence an interesting study in the language of Ireland. He gathered together all the records he could, and used them. Some of the original works he cited are no longer with us. Much is legend and tradition, which i s actually the great beauty of his work. Some have criticized content, precisely because Keating recorded everything he found. But in retrospect it is one of the best histories we will ever have on Ireland. Eugene O'Curry endorsed it as well. It covers the earliest times, to the coming of the Anglo-Norman invasion.

Master of Languages
Geoffrey Keating used the Irish, Latin and English languages with ease, and is sometimes referred to as the Irish 'Herodotus'. An early translation (1723) of Keatings 'History' by O'Connor is said to be highly defective, and was greatly improved upon by the O'Mahony translation of 1857. The latter is the edition available here at the cafe. (John O'Mahony, the translator, is here today as well.) Two inscriptions remain from the olden days concerning Geoffrey. In the north-east corner of the Tubrid graveyard is the inscription:

"Orate pro animabus Rev. Paetris Eugenii Duhuy, Vicarii de Tubrid, et D. Doctoris Keating, hujuscesac elli fundatorum nec non et pro omnibus aliis, tam sacerdotibus quam laicis, cujus corpora in eodem jacent. A.D. 1644." In the O'Mahony translation of Keatings History, the words are translated thus:
Pray for the souls of the Reverend Father Eugene Duhy, vicar of Tubrid, and the learned Doctor Keating, the founders of this church; and also for those of all others, whether lay or clerical, whose bodies are therein interred. A.D. 1644.

Fading into History
The above inscription would imply that Geoffrey Keating had passed away by 1644 A.D. Some give this graveyard as his final resting place, but we know little of the latter part of his life. There is also a silver chalice inscribed "Dominus Galfridus Keatinge, Sacerd(os) Sacrae Theologiae Doctor me fieri fecit 23 February 1634", that was held at the church in Cappoquin, County Waterford. Among his other works was a elegy on Edmund Butler, Lord Dunboyne, in 1640. Some of his works had not been translated even into modern times.

The O'Mahony Translation
We are pleased to have published the O'Mahony translation of Keatings History of Ireland as a 3 volume set. We are honored with its presence, and pleased to welcome Geoffrey into the Irish Roots Cafe. If you are interested in Geoffrey, then you might like to meet our other 17th century authors, namely, the Four Masters of Irish History. They are here today at the cafe as well.

(This author currently has works available from

John D'Alton

John D'Alton, Esq., Barrister.
John D'Alton was born in 1792 at Bessville, County Westmeath, Ireland. He would spend most of his adult life in Dublin, until his passing at the age of 75 on January 20, 1867. A noted author, his works include 'Essay on the Ancient History etc...of Ireland'; 'History of the County of Dublin', 'Memoirs of the Archbishops of Dublin', 'History of Drogheda', 'The Annals of Boyle' and more. He was also a regular contributor to Gentlemen's Magazine. John attended Trinity College and was called to the Bar in 1813. He was Commissioner of the Loan Fund Board in Dublin in 1835.

King James Irish Army List
In his work 'Illustrations Historical and Genealogical of King James's Irish Army List', John stated that he had often been invited to publish family records from his extensive manuscript collection. His 'King James's Irish Army List' was eventually published as a result. He drew upon his vast library and existing materials on Irish family history to finish this one of a kind work. It stands as a valuable research tool for general Irish family research, as an introduction to these 'wild geese' of Ireland. (This is a list of those who fought on the Irish side, many of whom became 'wild geese', in exile after the war.

The Irish Genealogical Foundation published his 'King James's Irish Army List' in 1997. We are proud to have him among our group of authors at the Irish Roots Cafe'. If you would like to meet our other 19th century authors, we have John O'Donovan, Owen Connellan, John F. O'Mahoney, The Rev. George Hill, and John D'alton here with us today.(This author currently has works available from

John O'Donovan

John O'Donovan.
John was born on July 9, 1809, in County Kilkenny at Attateemore in Ireland. It is given that his father recited the family's genealogical line of descent on his deathbed. It is no wonder that John began the study of Irish in his youth. He is often described as being self taught on the whole, with some early language instruction. Beginning work at the Irish Record Office early, he joined the Ordnance Survey in 1829, and came to work under Dr. Petrie there. (One named 'Petrie' would later design the typeface for O'Donovans 'Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters'). Working on maps, place names and history, his notes were later published in fifty volumes and known as 'The John O'Donovan Archaeological Survey'.

Works in the Irish Language
John's accomplishments are many. He became acquainted with the well known Hardiman who introduced him to several scholars, and went on to help found the Irish Archaeological Society. His well known brother-in-law, Eugene O'Curry, helped in that endeaver as well. John translated many works including 'The Annals of the Four Masters'; 'Tribes and Customs of Hy Many'; and 'The Tribes and Customs of the Hy-Fiachragh'. (The Irish Genealogical Foundation published the latter two volumes). Many are unaware of how his translation of the 'Annals' first appeared in print. The entire work was originally published in five volumes complete, over several years (1848 - 51). As the last volumes of the work came out, the printer inserted printed pages and instructions for breaking the original five volumes into 7 smaller volumes. The Irish Genealogical Foundation holds one of the few original sets in existence today. It has been printed as a seven volume set from that time forward.

A True Master.
His work on the 'Annals' was a masterpiece, and followed the first major English translation of the Annals by Owen Connellan in 1846. Indeed, it is said by many that the 'student surpassed the master' when O'Donovans translation was complete. Among his other publications are 'A Grammar of the Irish Language'; a supplement to 'O'Reilly's Irish Dictionary'; the 'Topographical Poems' written by O'Dubhagain and O'Huidrin, enumerating the principal families and territories of Ireland, and their chiefs in the 14th century; and maps of ancient Ireland. John was admitted to the Bar in 1847, and was professor of Celtic Languages at Queens College in Belfast. Trinity College conferred upon the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws; and the Royal Academy of Science at Berlin elected him an honorary member. He joined the Brehon Law Commission in 1852. Unfortunately for all of us, he passed away of rhuematic fever at the age of 51, on December 9, 1861 in Dublin. His work played an important and inspiring role in the 'celtic revival' of Ireland down to the present day. We welcome John to the Irish Roots Cafe and are honored with his company.

Books with Us Today
We would like to remind you at this time that 'Tribes and Customs of Ui Many' and 'Tribes, Customs and Genealogies of the Ui Fiachrach', two of John O'Donovans works, are available here today. Of course, we have the 'Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters' by Connellan as well. If you would like to meet our other 19th century authors, we have Owen Connellan, John F. O'Mahoney, The Rev. George Hill, and John D'alton here with us today. This author currently has works available from

William F. K. Marmion

William F. K. Marmion.
'Chevalier William F.K. Marmion stems from a prominent. old Irish family. The large statue in Dundalk town square. is dedicated to his 3x great-grandfather, who was executed. for his leadership in the Rising of 1798. Another relative, Dom. Columba Marmion, OSB, was recently beatified by the Pope. A businessman/CEO in the U.S. for over 30 years, he took early retirement in 1992 and returned to Ireland where he focused. on his writing and historical interests, serving for. a period on the board of directors of Clans of Ireland, Ltd. in Dublin.

He has published seven books, and over sixty historical articles in various Irish journals - on history and. genealogy, with a particular interest in the history of orders. of knighthood in Ireland where his researches have received. wide acclaim. Two of these titles are available here today, namely.'Gaelic Titles and Forms of Address' and 'Irish Knighthoods'. Both were published by the Irish Genealogical Foundation. Bill Marmion now resides in Spain (for the weather as he says!). With frequent visits back to Ireland, he continues his researches and was honourary chief of the Marmions from 1989 to 2010. We give a warm welcome to William at the Irish Roots Cafe today,.and are indeed honored with his presence. (This author currently has works available from

John Francis O'Mahony

John Francis O'Mahony.
John O'Mahony was born in Kilbeheny, County Cork in 1816. He attended Trinity College in Dublin for some time and studied Gaelic, Hebrew and Sanscrit. John became involved in the rebellion of 1848 and was forced to moved to France, and coming to the U.S. in 1854. It was here in New York City in 1857, that he published 'The History of Ireland by Geoffrey Keating, translated from the original Gaelic and Copiously Annotated.' (Today published by the Irish Genealogical Foundation).

Irish Republican Brotherhood
John O'Mahonys footnotes in this work are a book worth reading in and of themselves. His lively translation of the text brings a degree of fervor to the reader. The stress of publication brought him near exhaustion, without financial profit, and he was forced to retire to an asylum for a time.. Along with James Stevens he worked to organize the Fenian Brotherhood (the IRB or Irish Republican Brotherhood) beginning in 1860, the purpose of which was to free Ireland from British rule. He served as president of this group which would grow in numbers and strength, particularly after the civil war. There were many discharged from the U. S. Army that were anxious to see service elsewhere in the support of the Fenian cause. He also held the rank of colonel in the 69th Regiment of New York.

Although a great amount of funds passed through his hands for the Fenian cause, he was a true patriot and kept none for himself. He spent his final years in ill health and impoverished and would accept no charity on his behalf. He passed away on February 7, 1877 in New York City. He received a public funeral in Dublin, Ireland, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery.. We are pleased to have published his translation of Keatings 'History of Ireland', and welcome John as the first author/translator to arrive in the Irish Roots Cafe. If you would like to meet our other 19th century authors and historians, we have John O'Donovan, Owen Connellan, The Rev. George Hill, and John D'alton here with us today. (This author currently has works available from

Owen Connellan

Owen Connellan (1800-1869).
A noted Irish antiquarian, Owen was born in County Sligo and became an outstanding translator of works in the Irish language, (including the 'Imtheaht na Tromdhaimhe' the story of the Tain Bo' Cuailgne in the days of St. Ciaran). He was chair of Irish at the University of Belfast by 1845, after having produced the 'Practical Grammar of the Irish Language' in 1844, which favored the style used in the province of Connaught. Among his other works was 'Fonna Seanma', a collection of song books; and he copied the 'Book of Lecan and Ballymote'.. He also served as RIA amanuensis for some 20 years, and was Irish historiographer under the reign of George IV and William IV. In 1846 his Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters became the first ever complete translation into English for the years 1171 - 1616..

First to translate the Annals.
Owen Connellan's translation of the annals into English was an historic event. Never before had this history appeared complete, in English. The dates covered represent the most accurate of the years recorded by the Four Masters, from the 12th to the 17th century. Connellan's translation in 1846 predates the excellent work by John O'Donovan. (These men were contemporaries. O'Donovan came out with his translation several years after the initial appearance, and public acceptance of, the annals by Connellan.) Connellan was contemporary with O'Donovan, and the two had contact over the years, Connellan referring in letters to John O'Donovan as 'my friend'. There was more than a small bit of competition to bring out a translation of the Annals in English. The rivalry between Connellan and O'Donovan would eventually end with two translations, with Connellan publishing first, followed closely by O'Donovan who translated the entire Annals. . Time brings us an improved knowledge of the Gaelic language, and of the prejudices of the day. There is, however, no substitute for the original translation of such a work. All that came after owe some debt to the original effort.

It is hoped that scholars and researchers will be able to avail themselves of the Connellan edition, which has been too long out of print, almost forgotten. The map, color frontis, and text has been directly reproduced from the original. The map, by Philip MacDermott, was the first to locate so many families in Ireland (far more than the crude map of Ortelius ). MacDermott also assisted with the annotations to the text, which are an important part of this history.. The Irish Genealogical Foundation reproduced Connellans translation, complete in two volumes, with the large folding map and color frontis. The translations of the day were left exactly as they first appeared in 1846. (Annala Rioghachta Eireann or The Annals of Ireland, translated from the original Irish of the Four Masters by Owen Connellan.). We are pleased to have Owen with us today, at the Irish Roots Cafe'...If you would like to meet our other 19th century authors, we have John O'Donovan, John F. O'Mahoney, The Rev. George Hill, and John D'alton here with us today. (This author currently has works available from

Edward Neafsey

Edward Neafsey.
As given in the foreward to his book 'Surnames in Ireland', Ed Neafsey came to a concert in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo, Ireland, in 1992. Little did anyone know that it would lead him through a genealogical and historical quest that few have mastered as well as he. Having a natural inclination to explore the origins of his family name, he began by first concentrating on counties Mayo, Donegal and Derry. There he discovered more ancient forms of his gaelic name, such as 'cnaimhsighe' or 'cnaimhseach', denoting mountain heather or bearberry. With the passage of time and language changes, the name became Neafsy or Kneafsey, etc.. and was often translated into English as 'Bonner'. He discovered that 'Cnaimhseach' was a gaelic byname for midwife, and that bearberry had medicinal properties to assist in labour.

First to Map Irish Surnames
This beginning launched into the exploration of hundreds of Irish family names and locations. Due to his unique background, Edward then drew up a location map for each family name. These maps, combined with his historical research, were published in 2002 by the Irish Genealogical Foundation. His book is entitled 'Surnames of Ireland, with 200 maps, including the origins, Locations and History of Irish Families'. It has been described as a work which combines old and new historical resources for the first time, and that is true. His maps make settlement patterns clear, and combined with past history, it provides us with new insight into Irish family history..

Edward Neafsey was born in 1943 in Lancashire, England. His paternal grandfather was born in Knock, County Mayo and his paternal grandmother in Camlough, Co. Armagh. English on his mother's side, Ed read Geography and Economics at the University of Liverpool and Warrington. He worked thereafter in development planning, and since 1982 is in practice on his own account. He is author of numerous articles on planning, and on subjects of Irish interest. We are indeed lucky to count him among our friends here at the Irish Roots Cafe'. (This author currently has works available from

Michael C. O'Laughlin

Michael C. O'Laughlin.
As Mike would put it, 'it's all due to the fact my ancestors were the O'Donoghues of Glenflesk, Co. Kerry, and the O'Loughlins of County Clare, Ireland'. His amazing accomplishments tell us that there has been quite a lot of effort involved as well.

Michael is: The founder of the Irish Genealogical Foundation (1978); The proprietor of the Irish Roots Cafe (2000); The editor of the monthly Journal of Irish Families(1980); and The most published author in his field. He has published, written or edited over 60 books, including works on every county in Ireland; and is the author of 10 hard bound books which remain in print to this day! Hundreds of his articles have been published over the last 25 years.

He personally leads tours to Ireland; and offers courses in Irish Family History. His publications are too numerous to list here. Mikes first hard bound book was 'The Complete Book for Tracing Your Irish Ancestors' published in 1980. His most popular remains 'The Book of Irish Families, great and small'. 'The Irish Book of Arms', another of his hardbound works, displays documented family coats-of-arms and heraldry recorded over several centuries. Recently he has published the classic 'Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters'. The Irish Genealogical Foundation, found on the web at is a good source for all of his work.

His works have helped tens of thousands uncover their roots. Many have gone on to a deeper appreciation of the Irish and Irish-American heritage through his books and monthly publications. It is a journey which he took himself. Michael tells us that he 'could not help but share the experience with others', and that is the tale of all that followed. O'Laughlin is not limited to the printed word. He produced a 6 session audio cassette course in 1984. He now hosts the worlds first Irish family podcast via the internet. Everyone is invited to listen in. It is great to hear him 'in person', at last ! He has also started an Irish DNA project in conjunction with familytreedna. It is not surprising that we find him so involved, as it seems he is always on the cutting edge of family research and genealogy. We thank you for the warm welcome extended to all in search of their Irish heritage, and we always look forward to seeing you at the Irish Roots Cafe!

Rev. George Hill

Rev. George Hill.
The Rev. Hill is given to be a unitarian clergyman from Ballycastle, County Antrim. Serving as long time librarian at Queens University in Belfast, he also authored several noted works. These include 'The Conquest of Ireland; An Historical Account of the Plantation in Ulster at the Commencement of the Seventeenth Century (published by the Irish Genealogical Foundation in 2004). The preface to that work is dated September 18, 1877. The Rev. Hill thanks John P. Prendergast there-in, for his tireless work and advice. The Rev. Hill was also editor of 'The Montgomery Manuscripts' and author of 'An Historical Account of the Macdonnells of Antrim'. His larger work on the Plantation in Ulster has been published here in four separate volumes, as follows:..Irish Chiefs and Clans.Pynnars Special Census of Ireland.Names in the Land Grants.Londonderry Lands and Families.

The Plantation of Settlers in Ulster.
It is to be noted that Hills work, republished by the IGF in 2004, was an objective one - to be contrasted with many other works of the day. When he saw injustice and oppression he spoke of it frankly. The four volume set that we have recently published on the Plantation in Ulster by Hill, provides a great deal of insight on the 'new' Ireland built by the settlements from abroad, and the loss of the old order and way of life.. Our sincere thanks to Rev. Hill for his frank and investigative work on the 'Plantation of settlers' in Ireland from abroad. We welcome him into the Irish Roots Cafe' and hope to learn more about him...If you would like to meet our other 19th century authors, we have John O'Donovan, Owen Connellan, John F. O'Mahoney, and John D'Alton here with us today. (This author currently has works available from

James B. Johnston, M.A., B.D.

James B. Johnston, M.A., B.D.
James is the author of : 'The Scottish Macs, Their Derivation and Origin' (1922); 'The Place Names of Scotland'; 'The Place names of England and Wales'; and 'The Place Names of Stirlingshire'. Jimmy, we wish we knew you better. You were a pioneer in the field, and help start many on the way to a better understanding of Scottish and Scots-Irish names; and place names elsewhere. The Irish Genealogical Foundation published the first of the works noted above. It is a clear, factual and to the point guide to names that started with Mc or Mac in earlier days. We are pleased to have published 'The Scottish Macs' and have it available here today. A warm welcome to author James B. Johnston at the Irish Roots Cafe.(This author currently has works available from

P.W. Joyce

P.W. Joyce LL.D., Trin. Coll., Dub.: M.R.I.A
We are pleased to introduce today, Patrick Weston Joyce (1827-1914). Pat grew up around Glenosheen, in County Limerick, Ireland. That fact was commemorated on a plaque posted on the Kilmallock-Kildorrey road (R512). His love of music was a family trait. His father, Garrett Joyce was a noted musician, and was known as 'The Scholar'. His brother Robert Dwyer Joyce, (1830-1883), contributed several titles to 'The Petrie Collection of Ancient Music' (1855).

The Joyce Brothers.
His brother also composed ballads the likes of 'The Boys of Wexford' and 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley'. Patrick was a collector of Irish music and compiled 'Old Irish Folk Music and Songs' (published in 1909). History, traditions and folklore, always remained a part of his life. In 1903 at Lyre-na-Grena, Leinster-road, in Rathmines, Dublin, Patrick Weston Joyce, Doctor of Laws, wrote 'A Social History of Ancient Ireland' treating of the Government, Military System, and Law; Religion, Learning, and Art; Trades, Industries, and Commerce; Manners, Customs, and Domestic Life, of the Ancient Irish People. (That is a mouthful, but deservedly so. The 2 volume set is a tremendous collection of information.).

At that time, it is noted, he was one of the commissioners for the Publication of the Ancient Laws of Ireland. Researchers will soon become familiar with his works. The Irish Genealogical Foundation published the second edition (1913) of 'A Social History of Ancient Ireland' in 1997. The author wrote that the cause for the book being written was 'to give glory to God, honour to Ireland, and knowledge to those who desire to learn more about the Old Irish People.' Well said, Patrick, well said. We are honoured with your presence here at the Irish Roots Cafe. (This author currently has works available from

Robert E. Matheson, LL., D.

Robert E. Matheson, LL., D.
Sir Robert was Registrar-General for Ireland. Under his supervision was published 'An Analysis of Surnames and Forenames in Ireland for the Guidance of Registration Officers' and the 'Analytical Index to the Irish Marriage Acts' among others. Robert was also a Barrister At Law. He received his Knighthood in 1907, in recognition of public service. We thank him and are glad to have published the 'Birth Index of Ireland' based upon his work...If you would like to meet our other 19th century authors, we have John O'Donovan, Owen Connellan, John F. O'Mahoney, The Rev. George Hill, and John D'alton here with us today. (This author currently has works available from

Richard F. Cronnelly

Richard F. Cronnelly.
A warm Irish welcome here today for Richard F. Cronnelly. He is the author of 'A History of the Clanna-Rory, or Rudricians, Descendants of Roderick the Great, Monarch of Ireland, compiled from the ancient records in the libraries of Trinity College and the Royal Irish Academy, From our Native Annals, The Publications of Several Learned Societies. and Other Reliable Sources'. His work is published today by the Irish Genealogical Foundation. Box 7575, Kansas City, MO 64116.. I read now from the introduction to his work cited above: 'This work is of interest to family researchers and.historians. It is unique in its era, with the early date of its appearance (1864), and in its subject matter of the Clanna Rory. It came into print before the noted 19th century work 'The Genealogical History of the Milesian Families of Ireland'.

Families of the Clanna Rory.
While the current volume by Cronnelly does not have as many names or charts as found in Milesians, it goes more into much more depth for the families of the Clanna Rory. In this, the researcher will find more hope in uncovering his family history. Historians will also find more material to prove or disprove, as the case may be.. Our thanks goes out to members of the Irish Genealogical Foundation who have made the reprinting of these two historical works possible. Those involved with the study of Irish books and family research will appreciate the rare nature of this work published in 19th century Ireland.. The reader will note the imperfections on these pages, which appear exactly as in the original in our possession. Surviving from the 19th to the 21st century, we hope you will allow for the ravages of time. We welcome Mr. Cronnelly to the Cafe and invite you to meet with him and other authors of his era here, including Mr. B.W. DeCourcy, author of 'A History of the Milesian Families of Ireland'. (This author currently has works available from

B. W. DeCourcy

B. W. DeCourcy.
We would like to introduce you to another author here at the Irish Roots Cafe today, Mr. B. W. DeCourcy. Mr. DeCourcy is the author of 'A Genealogical History of the Milesian Families of Ireland', published today by the Irish Genealogical Foundation. Box 7575, Kansas City, MO 64116.. I read now from the introduction to his work, given above: 'The original work by DeCourcy, The Genealogical History of the Milesian Families of Ireland, stands as one of the few works of its kind produced in the 19th century. No other work of the era brought forth more information in such a concise and easily understood format (even when in error). The massive works of O'Hart such as the Landed Gentry, are of the same era, but do not allow the same overview. The latter were bulky and expensive by comparison, and sometimes in error as well! The classic 20th century work of the Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Irish Names and Surnames appears some 40 years after the appearance of Milesian Families. The work of MacLysaght came even decades later. There is a great debt owed to the earlier works upon which the modern works are based.

A Pioneer of Irish Family Research
This book, Milesian Families, doubtlessly woke many an Irishman to exploration of family history and legend, an endeavor continued to this day. It also provides us with a way to correct errors. A groundbreaking work researched one-hundred and twenty years ago will have need of review and updates. The knowledge and use of the gaelic language has changed. The meanings and spelling groupings attributed to many of the Irish names given here are incorrect in the light of current knowledge and translation skills. The spellings used for the old Irish here, are notably different from what you will read most often today. Common sense needs to prevail as well. If a name is listed as arriving in 1620, that does not mean it arrived in Ireland only in 1620. Immigration has been a constant, and families have arrived continuously from the time of Strongbow to the present day. It likely means the author had a reason to give 1620 as a date for at least one family of the name. As with any work of this type, further documentation is needed to prove any individual family history. There are possible leads here for you regarding origins and dates.

The more knowledgeable the reader, the more understandable this book becomes. What can be said for the ancient legends and oldest pedigrees stretching beyond our imagination? They are laid down in this book in short order, and your judgment is required. The closer we come to the 19th century, the more sure the facts will be. Make no mistake about it however, this is a noteworthy and valuable work, if only to double check our current theories. (Note that many updates to this work appear in our Irish Families series and our County Genealogy series.) We welcome Mr. DeCourcy to the Cafe and invite you to meet with him and other authors of his era here, including Mr. Richard Cronnelly, author of 'A History of the Clanna Rory, or Rudricians'...(This author currently has works available from

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