East Galway RootsWest Galway Roots

Exploring East Galway's Past

The East Galway Family History Society had a very successful 2017 Heritage week beginning on Monday 24th August with Monica Hynes’ talk on Merchants, Marriage and Mobility in Woodford, 1850s to 1920s.  She discussed if the custom of inter-related marriages or Endogamy was extant in Woodford within this time period.  She also examined the marriage patterns of three merchant families including the Roche family. 

On Tuesday 25th historian Dr Joe Mannion, vice-chair of Clans of Ireland is photographed at the start of his lecture, Joe discussed the origins and geographical locations of some of the clans and surnames of East Galway during the middle ages.

On Wednesday 23rd, Dr Christy Cunniffe led a very successful, well attended walk of a number of holy wells in Woodford and Ballinakill parishes.  The participants showed great interest and knowledge including a canine buddy.

On Friday 25th, Declan Kelly looked at the backgrounds and lives of the 139 men ordained for service in the Clonfert diocese between 1800 and 1899.  The lecture covered some historical archaeology and one of the most interesting points he highlighted is the fact that out of 139 clergy the graves of only 97 clergy are accounted for.  Declan’s lecture was attended by those from near and far including David and Ayse Burke from Australia who were also researching their family history. 

The event concluded on Saturday 26th with Dr Paul Rondelez announcing details of the Furnace Festival planned for next year as part of heritage week in Woodford 2018.  This festival will bring together groups from different parts of the world to smelt iron from its ore.  This iron ore, as well as the charcoal used as fuel and the materials used to build the furnaces, will be sourced locally.  This will be the first time iron will have been made in the Woodford area in nearly 250 years!


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