Irish Surnames Nova Scotia

Lorna Moloney produces and presents the Genealogy radio show and this airs weekly from wonderful Kilkee at Raidio Corcabaiscinn. Corcabaiscinn is the name for an old tribal region of county Clare. The radio show has over 100 shows podcast and all are available. Lorna is currently running a Family History research week : Clans and Surnames for 2018 and this will take place in Nenagh, County Tipperary May 14-18, 2018,

Irish Surnames in Nova Scotia: Sources and Influences When researching Irish surnames in Nova Scotia, we again became immersed in patterns of movement, emigration and settlement. We quickly found settlers who arrived in the early 17th century from Ireland. Some of these had come from Scotland originally. Some stayed , some moved on. Space and place became as important in the research as the surnames emerged. The numerous wars, the impact of powerful events in Ireland all played a part in how surnames migrated and influenced regions. Our sources were essential to inform and find how patterns overlapped.

Our show airs from Raidio Corcabascinn in beautiful Kilkee, Co. Clare which is dedicated to com

Community radio, educational disadvantage and supporting the community. There is a great team behind the show, Steven Baddy, Mike Curran, Sadhb Smyth, to name just a few. It is produced and presented by Lorna Moloney. Lorna is a professional genealogist and historian. Today's show: Irish surnames in Nova Scotia: Influences and evolution can be heard at https://www.mixcloud.com/raidiocorcabaiscinn/the-genealogy-show-series-7-episode-8-surnames-and-sources-irish-s


Nova Scotia" means "New Scotland" in Latin. It is a province and was first names in the 1621 Royal Charter granting the right to settle lands to Sir William Alexander in 1632. Nova Scotia is one of the four provinces which form Atlantic Canada and the provincial capital is Halifax.

Beginning with King William's War in 1688, six wars took place in Nova Scotia before the British defeated the French

  • King William's War (1688–1697), (William of Orange, same William as in Battle of the Boyne
  • Queen Anne's War (1702–1713), (William of Orange's sister in law'
  • Father Rale's War (1722–1725),
  • King George's War (1744–1748),
  • Father Le Loutre’s War (1749–1755)
  • The Seven Years' War, also called the French and Indian War (1754–1763)
  • Ethnic Origins

According to the 2006 Canadian census, the largest ethnic group in Nova Scotia is Scottish (31.9%), followed by English (31.8%), Irish (21.6%), French (17.9%), German (11.3%), Aboriginal origin (5.3%), Dutch (4.1%), Black Canadians (2.8%), Welsh (1.9%) Italian (1.5%), and Scandinavian (1.4%). 40.9% of respondents identified their ethnicity as "Canadian".

We used Pender's Census to source surname origins and referred to John Grenham's excellent blog on this at https://www.johngrenham.com/blog/2016/06/06/penders-not-a-census-mapped/ We also looked at the source and found the following for the CASEY Surname. CASEY. Why was this important, well because “The Irish have been part of Nova Scotia since Roger Casey arrived in the 1660s, married an Acadian and began the Caissy family.”So immediately to our surnames, CASEY, which Very numerous: all provinces, particularly Munster. Ir. Ó Cathasaigh, generally, and Mac Cathasaigh in parts of Ulster. MacLysaght mentions six different septs of the O'Caseys as well as MacCasey in Oriel. Cathaiseach means "watchful". We fully recommend John Grenham's subscription site which is an annual membership charge. It is a ***** recommendation from us.

We need to move away from the idea that people only emigrated to North America around the time of the Great Famine of the nineteenth century. Many emigrated before then to North America. “The majority coming to Nova Scotia, however, arrived in the mid-1700s or between 1815 and 1845, coming not in large groups but quietly, like the snow on a roof”. The first wave arrived in the late 1750s, a time when Ireland was largely a country of tenant farmers and labourers, with an economy dependent on Great Britain and its protective tariffs. These economic barriers, plus the prospect of land ownership in North America, led many to emigrate, particularly from the northern counties of Derry, Donegal, Tyrone and Antrim." We're definitely giving ***** to the Nova Scotia Genealogy Sources Archives.

It gave us information about where the Irish settled and what they did. There are villages founded by families such as Dempsey, Hayes, Fleming and Sullivan and UNIACHE, this is most interesting and you can visit the Uniacke House, today part of the Nova Scotia Museum complex, but originally the country estate of Richard John Uniacke, a native of County Cork. When you translate UNIACKE, you get the wonderful translation Doinngarde and thus the surname GARDE may have links to this. Particularly associated with Youghal in County Cork. In Ireland as late as 1911, there were pockets of the surname in Killeagh, Dungarvan, Waterford, and even some in County Clare

Hence it is important always to check the 1901 and 1911 census for the surnames so you see if they have moved from points of origin. You can look at these free of charge at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/

There was a fascinating account of the Titanic rescue of the bodies and they were brought to Nova Scotia on the Nova Scotial Genealogy site. See The Titanic. "An the days immediately following the loss of the Titanic, Fatality Reports were created for 328 individuals whose bodies were recovered at the site of the disaster. These files form a unique sub-set within the records of the Medical Examiner for the City of Halifax and Town of Dartmouth (RG 41, Series C, Vols. 75, 76 & 76A) held at the Nova Scotia Archives.The circumstances behind the creation of these records were unique. The bodies were retrieved from the open ocean. Documentation was necessary to record distinguishing physical characteristics of individual bodies and to keep track of personal papers, clothing and other items found on them. The objective was to identify each individual and then ensure that next-of-kin were contacted and the body and/or effects delivered to them. Cable steamer CS Mackay-Bennett searched and recovered 306 bodies from the loss of RMS Titanic" There is a database of the records on the site

Some Surnames supplied by Facebook page Nova Scotia Genealogy :McElroy, Blair, Vance,(meaning marsh) Tucker, Walsh, Mitchel, Lowe, Currie, Lovely, Cody, Murphy, Uniache, Donovan, Farrell, Dempsey, Dill, Purcell, MacNearney, (take out the Mc, you find them as Nearney) O’Meara, (place named after them in Ireland, Toomevara, The Ó Meadhra clan were a sept of the Dal gCais, and the name is most common in the dynasty's homeland of north-east Thomond (nowadays north County Tipperary and adjoining parts of County Clare. The family's home district was centered about Toomevara (unbroken antiquity). Burns, Cole, Crowe, Cox, (Ó Coiligh, Mac Colgan in Cork). How surnames deviate. McKenney, Frizzle, (a shocraigh i Luimneach sa 13 céad agus i gCorcaigh sa 14 céad. Ach is cosúil gur de bhunadh Albanach na daoine sa tuaisceart, mar sé Friseal an sean-leagan ar Frazer, clann mhór Albanach atá líonmhar in Ultaibh (ón bhFreaslainn dóibh ar dtús, is cosúil). Friseal. A prominent Scottish clan whose chief was called Mac Shimidh, hence Mac Kimmie. Woulfe considers they were Normans originating in Friesland and first called Frisell when they appear in Scottish records in 12 cent. Lawrence, MacAleese,(Mac Giolla Íosa (devotee of Jesus). A sept of Derry, also a Scottish name.) Page, (airly numerous: mainly Dublin; Belfast etc. English, from French: boy, attendant.) Kehoe, (Bardic family Mac Eochaidh. A bardic family attached to the O'Byrnes of Wicklow. Elsewhere as Keogh, (Bardic family, Mac Eochaidh. A bardic family attached to the O'Byrnes of Wicklow. Elsewhere as Keogh,) 1659, 12 pockets in 1659 in Penders census in Tulla, County Clare, Doane, (Devane, Duane, Downes: líonmhar sa Mhumhain agus Connachta. Bhí clanna éagsúla i gCorca Laoidhe, Luimneach (mar a bhfuil Downes orthu) agus Conamara. Le claon-aistriú tugadh Kidney orthu i gCorcaigh. Smiths, Connors, Maher, Connolly, Morris, MacNeil, Donahue, O’Halloran, Wright, (Mac an t-Saoir. A very common name in Britain meaning a skilled worker in any trade.) Skerry, Reddan, Brewer, Murphy, Rochford, Keating, McCarthy, Power, Gourley, (Mag Thoirdealbhaigh, from the personal name Toirdealbhach which means either "Thor-like" or "instigator". See also Turley. There is also a Scottish name which may well be represented in Ulster) Skerry, (Donegal and Galway, Moville in Donegal) Deehan, McArdle, Hennebry, Grant, Greene, Malone, Morton (Cotswolds: Moreton-in-the-Marsh.) Flavin, Cork-Waterford, Kerry-W Limerick. Ir. Ó Flaitheamháin. A name identified with E Cork and W Waterford for five centuries.MacNamara, MacSheefrey, McElmon, Dill, (search for Mungo Dill) fascinating set of land records. Steele, Thorpe, Marshall, Heffernan, (Ó h-Ifearnáin, Ifearnán, an early personal name. The sept was located in Owneybeg, E Limerick.)

Signifcance of place, such as knowing that the O’Mearas, original home location is Toomevara, or the Heffernans of Owneybeg,

The history of the place can give you clue on how and where they went. And where you might find them in the annals of the four Masters, CELT website UCC, digital humanities repository. The name "Heffernan", which, as a family surname should, of course,be written "O'Heffernan" or "O'Hiffernan", is the anglicised version of the Irish "Ua h-Ifearnain" in which form the name appears tohave been first mentioned in Irish historical records in connection with the year 1047, when Madadhan Ua h-Ifearnain,Chief of Clan Creccain, was slain by Nial, son of Malachy, the high king, in Brega. (Annals of Ulster, Four Masters, etc.) The name next appears in the Annals against the year 1150, and the reference is now to a different clan, coming of different stock from the Hiffernans of Brega: "AD 1150. An army was led by Turlogh O'Brien to the lake of the O'Gowans, in Machaire-Gaeleang (now Moregallion in Meath) and he plundered Slane. Ua Cearbhaill (O'Carroll) and Ua Ruiarc (O'Rourke) overtook them, and slew some of their people, among whom was the son of Ua h-Ifearnain." To this entry O'Donovan subjoins a note: "Now Heffernan". This family was seated in the territory of Uaithne Cliach, now the barony of Owney, in the north-east of theCounty Limerick." There were, therefore, two families or clans of Hiffernans, coming of different stocks, in Ireland, one in Brega in Meath, the other, a Dalcassian clan from Clare, in Owney, Co. Limerick.

Our NI influences included the wonder Bill MacAfee website ***** to this one. Scots Irish, those born in Scotland, then move to Ireland, we have hearth records in Ireland, what are they, 1660s Hearth Money Rolls. The Hearth Tax was introduced to Ireland in 1662. Arranged by county, parish and, usually, townland, the Hearth Money Rolls list the names of householders who were liable to pay tax at the rate of two shillings on every hearth or fireplace they had. Some people were exempt* from the tax and, of course, others managed to evade paying it. This means that the lists are not a complete record of householders in a townland. The tax was collected over areas known as "Walks" which were based on towns. For example, the "Dunluce Walk" in County Antrim was centred on the town of Dunluce which was just outside the castle. It covered the baronies of Cary, Dunluce and Kilconway in North Antrim as well as the baronies of Coleraine and North East Liberties in County Londonderry.

The original Hearth Money Rolls were destroyed by fire in the Four Courts, Dublin in 1922. However, the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland had made copies of the Rolls and these were lent to PRONI in the mid-1920s for copying. I have used the PRONI type-written copies to compile the Hearth Money databases for Co. Londonderry and North and Mid Antrim. Remember then that these databases are a transcription of a transcription of a transcription of an original source. This clearly must have implications for the spelling of both personal names and townland names in the database. Click here to see a copy of a page from PRONI: T307 relating to the Parish of Artrea in the Barony of Loughinsholin, Co. Derry and a page from the Parish of Ballymoney in the Barony of Dunluce Upper in Co. Antrim. Billmacafees and also records for Tipperary.

Bill MacAfee site. Fabulous ***** site The purpose of this website is to to provide a research tool for anyone interested in researching their ancestors and the localities where they lived within the area of Ulster covered by Co. Londonderry and North Antrim -

The Great Frost - The Irish Famine of 1740–1741 (Irish: Bliain an Áir, meaning the Year of Slaughter) in the Kingdom of Ireland, was estimated to have killed at least 38% of the 1740 population of 2.4 million people, a proportionately greater loss than during the worst years of the Great Famine of 1845–1852. For or a generation prior to 1740, the winters had been quite benign. But the so-called "Great Frost" in the first month of that year began a two-year period. The Great Slaughter meant that by 1740, the Liffey, the Boyne, the Slaney, the Lee, the Foyle and sections of the Shannon had all frozen solid. It resulted in famine and devastation. Professor David Dickson has written extensively on this and his book published in 1998 is a firm recommendation. Phillip Skelton, a curate in Co Monaghan, described the local scene: "Whole parishes are almost desolate, and the dead have been eaten in the fields by dogs for want of people to bury them. Whole thousands in a barony have perished, some of hunger and others of disorders occasioned by an unnatural, putrid and unwholesome diet."Arctic Ireland: The Extraordinary Story of the Great Frost and Forgotten Famine of 1740-41 (David Dickson)

here were others that led to farmers and please note this is an agricultural world having to emigrate. This killed at least 38% of the 1740 population of 2.4 million people, a proportionately greater loss than during the worst years of the Great Famine of 1845–1852.

In 1740 Ireland had a population of 2.4 million people, most of whom depended on grains (oats, wheat, barley and rye) and potatoes as their staple foods. Half their expenses for food went for grain, 35% for animal products and the remainder for potatoes. Some survived only on oatmeal, buttermilk and potatoes. Over a year, daily consumption of potatoes was estimated at 2.7 to 3.2 kg (6 to 7 lb) per person. Diets varied according to village locations and individual income, with many people supplementing these staples with river, lake or sea fish, especially herring, and small game such as wild duck. No relief efforts existed.

Famine of the nineteenth century also resulted in economic crisis and people emigrated in greater numbers. The conditions were heartbreaking, an example in County Clare can be illustrated by this account with this note pinned to this little child's coat. Gentleman There is a little boy named Michael Rice of Lahinch aged about 4 years he is an orphan, his father having died last year and his mother has expired on last Wednesday night, who is now about being buried without a coffin!! unless ye make some provision for such. The child in question is now at the workhouse gate expecting to be admitted if not he will starve. (Robs S. )Constable The Monument, Located across from Palladian Ennistymon Hospital, itself built on the grounds of the local workhouse (Union of Kilmanaheen), it was erected by a combined effort of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), Board of Erin, Board of America and Clare County Council.

The monument was designed by an artist from Co Kerry and depicts an account found in the Minutes of the Meetings of the Boards of Guardians for Ennistymon Union held in the County Archives. The account centered on a note that was pinned to the torn shirt of a barefoot orphan boy who was left at the workhouse door on the freezing cold morning of 25 February 1848. The note read:

Gentlemen, There is a little boy named Michael Rice of Lahinch aged about 4 years. He is an orphan, his father having died last year and his mother has expired on last Wednesday night, who is now about to be buried without a coffin!! Unless ye make some provision for such. The child in question is now at the Workhouse Gate expecting to be admitted, if not it will starve. -- Rob S. Constable''

One side of the memorial depicts a child standing before the workhouse door, while across from that is the head of an anguished mother and two hands clenched in frustration or anger above the sorrowful text of the pleading note.

Excerpt from "An Gorta Mor i gCill Alaidhe" (The Great Famine in Killala) by Patricia Fitzgerald and Olive Kennedy (1996), pp.50-52
  • "One notorious 'coffin ship' was the Elizabeth and Sarah which sailed from Killala, County Mayo in July 1846 (sic). She was a 74 year old barque of 330 tons built on the Tyne for the Tyne/Baltic trade and her Captain was A. Simpson. It is most likely to have been a 'speculative' venture got up by local 'entrepeneurs'. Her passenger list was certified in Killala as 212 but she carried 276 in this journey. There were only 36 berths and 4 of these were taken by the crew. Inadequate water supplies were carried in leaky tanks and no food was provided... a letter of protest was written by one of the passengers to the newspaper "The Montreal Herald"|
  • 'Sir - The sufferings which we have undergone in our late voyage across theAtlantic and our desire to save others from similar treatment, induces usto address this letter to you... Hugh Leighton, Ship Broker of Sligo, Hugh Simpson, his clerk and John Reilly of Belmullet... used every means in their power to induce us to embark at Killala (County Mayo) on board the Elizabeth and Sarah whereof A. Simpson was master...which would sail on the 1st of May for this port (Montreal)... finally on 26th of May we weighed anchor, and bid adieu to our native land. And now, Sir, commences a tale of misery and suffering which we hope to God none of our fellow mortals may ever experience... two quarts of water was all that was allowed to each passenger; nor was bread or oatmeal ever served out to us... After having being out twenty one days, the master informed us that we were on the Banks of Newfoundland; whereupon many of the passengers wasted their provisions believing that they were close to port; we did not reach Newfoundland until twenty four days after this... the mate, Jeremiah Tindel (the Captain being sick and unable to attend to his duties) ran us ashore on the Island of St. Peter (St. Pierre and Miquelon)... We were then in a most deplorable state, living on short allowance and many of us without any; our pittance of water was both gluey and putrid; disease and pestilence broke out amongst us and carried off many of our fellow passengers in its iron grasp... we succeeded in getting off the reef; our Captain... now breathed his last, and several more of the passengers likewise yielded up their souls to Him who had created them. Their bodies were, of course, immediately committed to the deep; but, the mate, as if to add to our miseries, notwithstanding our requests to the contrary, persisted in keeping the body of the Captain. For thirteen long days ... the body lay upon the quarterdeck in a most horrid state of decomposition, thereby engendering the pestilence among us to a fearful extent, insomuch that twenty two souls had by this time perished... On the 72nd day of our departure from Killala, County Mayo, we dropped anchor at Grosse Isle, Quebec, where we were kindly and hospitably treated by Dr. Douglas, the Medical Superintendent, as also by Mr. Cullingford, who was in charge of the sick; here seven more of our fellow passengers died and many still remain in a very precarious state...
  • (Signed on behalf of fellow passengers)John LAVAL, (LAVELL) late of the Parish of Kilmore
  • James JOYCE, late of the Parish of Laumore went to March Township, now part of the City of Ottawa, by 1848) all from County Mayo, Ireland) Quebec, 22nd August 1846'."
  • Great sources from Allan Lewis and thanks for same, www.bytown.net/famineireland.htm
  • ... Allan Lewis, Ottawa, Canada.

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