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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Friday, January 27, 2012


I  love to spend time at the Duluth down town library. Not only am I surrounded with wonderful books but the walls that do not have books have art from Duluth's past.
Today I picked the book " Irish Family Names Arms, Origins and and Locations by Brian de Breffny to look through. This book was written in 1982.
I know of at least three Irish names in my family line. There is
Daly who was the biological father of my grandmother
Gallaher Gallagher my grandmother's mothers family name from her father side
Riordan my grandmother's mother's family name on her mothers side.

Daly the surname is among the thrity commonst in Ireland; it is most heavily distributed in Munster and then in Leinster with about half the number in that province living in Ulster and in Connacht.  The O'Dalaigh sept had its territory in Co. Westmeath in the barony of Magheradernon which now forms part of the baqrony of Moyashel and Magheradernon.  Branches of the sept established themselves in other parts of the country, notably in Co. Galway, Co. Clare, Co. Cavan and Co. Cork where they flourished and multiplied, accounting for the numerous Daly descendants to be found today - about 15 to 17,000 in Ireland, and many thousands more in Britain, Canada, the United States of America,m and other countries of the Irish diaspora.  There are a few O'Daly families in Ireland who have reassumed the preflix O' as the returns of the Registar of Births in the last century only show this surname in use without its prefix.

Gallagher the O Gallchobhair sept from which Gallagher famies are descended, held a territory in the south east of Co. Donegal in the baronies of Tirhugh and Raphoe with a sept centre at Barrynaglack near Stranorlar.  Although Gallagher and O' Gallagher rank among the twenty most commonest surnames in Ireland, the distribution is still markedly concentrated close to the original territory of the sept.  At the beginning of this century two fifths of all the Gallaghers in Ireland were still to be found in Co. Donegal.  Despite 20th century population movements this pattern is still notable, with a predominace of the name outside the capital, in Co. Donegal and the neighboring Derry, Tyrone and Sligo.

Riordan O'Riordan the O'Riordans are another family to have resumed the use of the prefix O', thus reversing the situation at the end of the last century when Riordans outnumbered O'Riordans.  They are still found mainly in Munster where the O'Riordain sept was located in Co. Tipperary. The townland of ballyreardon in Barrymore barony Co. Cork commemorates the home of a branch of the spet which established itself there.

I think that my great great grandmother Joanna Riordan came from Cork. The maritime county of Cork, in Munster, is bounded by the sea on the south, and the south east. To the east it has land boundries with the counties of Waterford and tipperary, to the North with Limerick, and to the west with Kerry. At the time my ancestors were living in Ireland they were part of the labouring poor. Many  inhabited one room mud built cabins with an unglazed window aperture and a smoke hole instead of a chimney. There diet was equally miserable, often almost only potatoes.

As I look at pictures of Ireland I see beauty, but as I read statements about Ireland in the mid 1800's and how my ancestors lived I do not see beauty. I see a poor group of people who traveled the ocean for a better life. No matter what their struggles were to get here and what happened to them after they got here was still better than what they left as far as living conditions.

Chances my Gallaghers and Dalys came from that same area and their lives were the same as the Riordans.
 On my to do list is to see if I can find out where my Gallaghers and Dalys were living in Ireland before immigrating to the US. When they immigrated and on what ship they came on. .

If you think you may be related to me through these names or any others listed I would love to hear from you. Grace

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