Saturday, March 17, 2012

Surname Saturday: My Irish Roots

First, let me say I'm sorry I've neglected this blog. I've been meaning to post on here for quite some time now, but I have to admit, I've been a bit lazy. I still have a few Treasure Chest Thursday's that need to be posted, which I'll get around to eventually.

Second, this is my first Surname Saturday and since it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would talk about my Irish roots. My Irish roots happen to come from my paternal grandmother. Her mother is Catherine O'brien, so we'll start with her. Also, I don't know where in Ireland my family is from, but I do know we're from there.


My great grandmother, Catherine O'brien (Lesser; 1898-1993) was born to Henry F. O'brien (1869-1930) and Margaret Gilroy (1875-1932). She was 1 of 7 kids, but 2 died when they were kids; Alice, Lillian, Margaret, Harry, Loretta, and George. Everyone in this family was born in Brooklyn, NY. 

Henry F. O'brien was born in Brooklyn, NY to Henry O'brien (1827-1887) and Alice Mullaly (1837-1910). He was 1 of 4 kids; Martha, Alice, and George. Henry F's father, Henry, was born in Canada and Alice and the kids were born in Brooklyn, NY. 

Henry O'brien was born in Canada to Patrick O'brien (1807-1880) and Bridget Dillon (1807-?). I don't know anything else about Patrick and Bridget nor do I know if Henry had any siblings. I'm not even 100% sure these are his parents, but I believe they are.

O'brien Origins: 

-First found in County Clare.
-Apparently, O'brien's are descended from Brian Boru.
-Motto: The strong hand from above (Lamn laidir an uachtar)


Margaret Gilroy (O'brien; 1875-1932) was born in Brooklyn, NY to Thomas Gilroy (1826-?) and Catherine Coogan (1835-?). I know she had two sisters, Julia and Mary. After that though, everything starts to get funny. I found a lot of census records, including the 1880 census, with a Thomas and Catherine with a bunch of kids, but none had my gg grandmother on it. I did find a 1880 census for MA and she was listed living with a Thomas and Catherine and her siblings, but I doubt that's her because she's born in NY, not MA. Also, I don't know anything about Thomas or Catherine. I'm assuming they were born in Ireland, but they could have been born here in NY.

Gilroy Origins:

-First found in County Clare.
-Apparently, Gilroy's are descended from Irial, the ancient king of Ulster.
-Established in Scotland and Northern Ireland from an early date, is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Giolla Ruaidh".


Alice Mullaly (O'brien; 1837 -1910) was born in Brooklyn, NY to Martin Mullaly (1796-1850) and Winifred Staken (1811-1889). She was 1 of 4 kids; Thomas, Martin, and Catherine. Her siblings were born in NY and her parents were born in Ireland. Other than that, I don't know anything else about them.

Mullaly Origins:

-Of Old Gaelic origin and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Maolalaidh".
-First found in Connacht

Other Irish Surnames:


Bridget Dillon (O'brien; 1807)


Winifred Staken (Mullaly; 1811-189)


Catherine Coogan (Gilroy; 1835)

Have a lovely evening!

PS. This Thursday I will post one of my Treasure Chest Thursday's and next Saturday, I will be talking about my Italian surnames, in honor of St. Joseph's Day (which is this coming Monday). 

No comments:

Post a Comment