Today I drove down to the TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association) Office in Newton, MA to participate in a networking for those researching in Galway County, Ireland. I was most concerned with researching the Oliver Family of Galway City. The purpose of the networking was so people could get a chance to exchange resources and perhaps find some info for other people

I did not make any major breakthroughs today, but I found lots of good information. Due to the poor record keeping of Irish Catholics, many genealogists spend a lot of time research the surname in a particular area to get information and thats the strategy I started to pursue today. Caryln Cox, who hosted this event, already found stuff for me before the meeting. She bought the Griffith’s valuations maps from 1855 the Claddagh Village in Galway where she found some Olivers.


I noticed that n0.91 is not an actual house, but a huge plot of land. Perhaps he was involved in some sort of tenant on a farm, I will have to find out more about this.

I transcribed the griffith’s valuations for these Olivers:

No. 60 Patrick Oliver, Immediate Lessor: Henry Gratton, House, 10 shillings

n0. 91, Patrick Oliver, Lessor: Henry Gratton, House, 15 shillings

No. 112 John Oliver, Henry Gratton, House, 15 shillings

No. 196, Francis Oliver, Lord Dunsandle, House, 12 shillings

Source:  James R . Reilly, Griffith’s Valuations of Ireland, County Galway, Rahoon Parish, (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co. 2000).

Next we spent some time talking about our research goals and then looked for other sources that Carlyn brought, the one that garnered the most interest were the Galway Roots publications. I found no article on the Olivers, which was unfortunate because an article would have been a goldmine.

I spent some time looking at other books that were provided, the TIARA has a nice little collection of books. In the book Vanishing Galway I found a map of the Claddagh village in Galway before it was demolished in 1930 with the surnames of each house owner, Oliver appears a number of times mostly and pretty close to each other.


Source: Peadar O’Dowd, Vanishing Galway, (Galway: Peadar O’Dowd and RTC Galway, 1987).

I searched in other books, particularly Families of County Galway Ireland , which mentions only one Oliver, Dudley Oliver, who was mentioned as being found in the parish of Addergoole, Union of Tuam, in the Valuation of Tenements in the 19th century.

I also searched for Mannin/Mannion as a Catherine Mannin/Mannion married my 4th great-grandfather, Bartholomew Oliver. They had a lot more information on this surname.On the HyMany familes,  the earliest mention of the family is in 1135 at the battle of Mongarch. The O’Mannin family lived in the  Sodhan, a large territory in the Tiaquin Barony and were also noted living in Menlaugh-Mannin, near Castle Blakeney at Menlough, in the parish of Killascobe.  The family lost all its property in the English Civil War. Mannin/Mannion is a very common name in County Galway. On google books, I found a book on landed gentry of Ireland, and found the Oliver Family of Drogheda.

John Oliver of Drogheda, gent. had

2. Christopher of Droghead, who d. in 1686. He m. Mary, dau. of William Prise of Drogheda, gent. and had:

3. Anna Oliver, b. in 1686

Source: John O’ Hunt, The Irish and Anglo-Irish Gentry: When Cromwell came to Ireland or A Supplement of Irish Pedigrees, vol. 1, (Bowie: Heritage Books, 2001).

Source: Micheal C. O’Loughlin, Families of County Galway Ireland, (Kansas City: Irish Genealogical Foundation, 1998).

I told Carlyn about Capt. Bartholomew Oliver and the St. John Crash off of Cohasset Bay in Cape Cod. She directed me to two TIARA Articles on the Crash. One of them mentions that Captain Oliver, who was never mentioned by first name in records (mostly true) may be of Lettermullen, which I learned was a small island off the coast of Connemarra, County Galway. I also found me another little tidbit, in the book Mayors of Galway City, 1485-2001, mayor Fintin Coogan was welcomed to the city Menlo Park, California after which my ancestor Denis J. Oliver named from Menlo, Ireland.

Source:  Daniel Wadsworth, “A Shipwreck On Our Shores,” TIARA Newsletter Vol. 8 No. 3 (Summer 1991).

William Henry, Role of Honour: The Mayors of Galway City, 1485-2001, (Galway: Galway City Council, 2002), 137.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher