HERLIHY - EARLY HISTORY
The name derives
"Ohlarlatha", meaning literally "underlord". The family was settled in
called Ballyvourney (Baille Bhuirne in Gaelic), until about 1700. This
is a mountainous area of Western Cork, near the border with Kerry;
and it is a valley area in the hills behind Macroom, with the Derry
Nasaggart Mountains to the north. It was rough country that surrounded
them which is probably why they retained the chieftainship long after
the Norman and English invasions - it was easier for those new-comers
leave it alone. Because of the small area they occupied it is likely
all who bear the name are related.
SHRINE OF ST GOBNAIT, BALLYVOURNEY, CO. CORK
convent in Ballvourney, Cork (home of the Herlihy's). My grandfather
Gobinet Connor, obviously named for St Gobnait. St Gobnait is the
saint of beekeepers.There are several prehistoric remains; one is "St
Gobnait's House", the remains of an ancient iron foundry. Another
piece of architecture is a stone carving of Sheela-Na-Gig, the ancient
goddess of fertility. It is above the entrance to
St Gobnait's Church.
The Herlihy's of Ballyvourney were anciently cattle herders and horse riders, with a great love of hunting and fighting; but also of poetry, prophecy and story-telling. They were guardians of the Shrine of St Gobnait (Gobinet). Modern pilgrims still visit the "Tomb of the Three Brothers" who were of the Herlihy "clan". Many became priests and one became Bishop of Ross, circa 1580, dying in the Tower of London.
They were a family of scholarship and poetry, but handy with a sword when necessary - there is mention of a Herlihy accompanying O'Sullivan Bere in his march to Ulster after the Battle of Kinsale, 1601.
Cromwell, after he
King Charles of England, invaded Ireland in 1649 to smash the power of
the Irish chiefs. From that time the Irish lost their lands to
landlords brought from England. Before Cromwell, the family was known
throughout Ireland for its learning. Before the invasion 12,000 acres
in the Ballyvourney are of Cork was owned by ten Herlihy
families. They claimed descent from the
Erainn, the first Celtic peoples to have settled those parts several
thousand years before. After Cromwell, the Colthurst family settled the
area and the Herlihy's began to spread into Co. Kerry and other places
of Co. Cork.
The Herlihy's held festivals of poetry in their homes, particularly at Tigh na Cille ("The House of God's Servants"). Their poems recorded times past and ancestry.
Two famous Herlihy's are James Leo Herlihy (USA) who wrote "Midnight Cowboy" and Dan O'Herlihy, the film actor.
BRIDGE TO KILLORGLIN
LEADING TO THE GAP OF DUNLOE
- is the name of the village
and parish in Co. Kerry from which Timothy
Desmond HERLIHY departed to cross the world to New Zealand. It
is in the
administrative districts (Baronies) of Trughanachny and Dunkerron. It
was also called Castle Conway after an English family of that name who
settled there in the time of Elizabeth I. Other parishes in these
Baronies are Kilcolman, Castleisland and Tralee.
Historically Kerry was occupied by three main family groups - O'Connor (North), Moriarty (Middle), O'Sullivan (South). The area called Desmond was a distinct Earldom within Kerry, which included Killorglin. In Irish it was "Deasun", used firstly as a surname from Norman times and later by those with allegiance to the family, as a Christian name.
Timothy who came to New Zealand had Desmond as a second Christian name, as did his mother, presumably to distinguish them from Herlihy's or Connor's who lived in other parts.
The Fitzgerald family were Earls of Desmond in medieval times. The last of this family was Gerald Fitzgerald, the 15th Earl who was murdered on his retreat among the Kerry Mountains in 1583, after his place of hiding had been betrayed to the English. He had sacked English residences as a direct challenge to Elizabeth's government and consequently named a traitor, and outlawed.
area of mixed farming of corn and stock. It has a well-known salmon
fishery. Puck Fair on August 11-12 is a great annual event, when a puck
is decorated and placed in its main street. Visitors come especially
from overseas to this fair.
A wild puck goat is reputed to have saved Killorglin from invasion by Cromwell, by racing through the town with its herd. Puck Fair is the oldest fair in Ireland and horses, cattle and other stock are still sold on fair day (11 August).
ANCESTRY AND DESCENDANTS
It is impossible to know when our family made their migration from their Ballyvourney homeland to settle near Killorglin, but it was probably sometime between 1700 and 1800. The Herlihy's near Killorglin have a preferred Christian name of Timothy. With that in mind I have obtained details of all of the Herlihy's who lived in the vicinity of Killorglin, who are recorded in "Griffiths Valuations, 1852". This forms a kind of census and all of these families could have been related. I also have the 1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland returns for our Herlihy's.
The Roman Catholic register for Killorglin dates from 1880. Earlier registers were destroyed in the "troubles" of 1922 when the Registry House in Dublin was burned. That has caused difficulties for people with Irish ancestry.
was born circa 1815 is the earliest known ancestor who can be traced
with certainty. He was a farmer at Gortloughra in Killorglin Parish,
probably growing grain and livestock. In 1852 he was leasing land from John
Tuohy. He died before 1875 when Timothy and Gobinet (below) had
taken over the Gortloughra property (probably 1874).
|GORTLOUGHRA (Where the
Family Homestead was)
||GORTLOUGHRA (Ruins of
the Family Homestead)
Shelia (whose grandson is John GLEESON of Shanara, Beaufort, Killorglin).
Patrick, who emigrated - possibly to the USA - no further trace.
TIMOTHY HERLIHY, born circa 1842. Mixed farmer of Killorglin, married Gobinet CONNOR (who was also recorded as Deborah Desmond O'CONNOR). Gobinet (who is Deborah O'Connor on the 1901 Census) describes herself as a farmer and widow, so Timothy must have died between 1890 when Bridget was born and 1901 (probably about 1895). Gobinet appears to have been born about 1840 but I am having no luck in discovering her parents or birth place, though on the 1901 Census she states she was born in Co. Kerry.
The children of
Gobinet (Deborah) above. Seven children did not survive early
On the 1901 Census Deborah says she had 10 children, three now living.
||He was born at Coomsloghane, Killorglin.
His mother's name on the
baptismal certificate is ABEGAIL.He was possibly called
Michael as he was born the day after the Feast of St Michael, the
Archangel. This was a very common practice in Ireland.
From traditional naming patterns the firstborn boy should have been named PATRICK after his father's father. If there was a previous birth then Michael could have been named after his maternal grandfather.
||23 June 1875
at Gortloughra, Killorglin. Mother's name on that baptismal certificate
was Gubby Connor
||4 February 1877
at Gortloughra, Killorglin. Mother's name on baptismal certificate was Debra
Connor. Patrick, a farmer
took over the family farm at Coomcloghane. He married Julia BREEN.
See below for their children. Both he and Julia died when the children
|6 August 1880
||Parents names given as
Timothy HERLIHY and Gabby CONNOR
||Born at Gortloughra. (See
below for more on Timothy).
|Deborah HERLIHY||23 December 1884
||1967 aged 82 years
at Gortloughra, Killorglin. Mother's name on baptismal
certificare was Debra Connor. She
married William LEAHY of Barry's Crossing, Killorglin in 1919.
More on their family below.
||Died before 1901
at Gortloughra, Killorglin.
||Died before 1911
||Born at Gortloughra,
1944 he lived Oldham, Lancashire.
He married Kitty. They had no children. He wrote to me in 1985
that he had lost contact with his New Zealand family.
married a BROSNAN and
lived Bishops Waltham, England. She wrote to me in 1988. I heard from
daughter DEBBIE after 1988. Her mother's sight was failing.
Debbie's brother Chris
made contact in 2003. He is in contact with my cousin Ron and
hope to get more info. from him on the other members of the Brosnan
Timothy married Mary Elizabeth BEATTIE (who was known as NORA). She was born 1895 at Drumhaggart, Parish of Burt, Donegal, Ireland, the daughter of John BEATTIE, labourer and Catherine (nee McNAUGHER). I had a real breakthrough on the McNaugher family when I was contacted by Martin McMenamin whose home is in Derry. He is a cousin, not quite sure how yet, but he has certainly boosted the family tree with his information. See Beattie/McNaugher pages on this site.
Timothy and Nora retired to Waitarere Beach, Levin. Nora moved to 27 Cambridge Flats, Levin after Timothy's death in 1966 and died 1989.
The Children of TIMOTHY HERLIHY and MARY ELIZABETH (NORA) BEATTIE:
Desmond (Des) HERLIHY) Deceased
a Printer in Wellington and Palmerston North. Children.
1947 to 1954 was a shepherd at
Herbertville, Hawke's Bay then "The Run", Wellsford, North Auckland.
Children Timothy and Caroline.
Charles worked for the Railways.
They lived in Mt. Maunganui. She wrote several times and visited.
Tim (son of Terry and Mamie) described her as everyone's favourtie
She was a lovely lady. Gone
MARION "KAY" HERLIHY
Cottle Street, Lower Hutt. After we traced her she made a brief
Coincidentally we were living just a few blocks away in Lower Hutt. Kay
five children to Cliff Devery, four boys and a girl, Colleen. The boys
known. She is buried in the RSA section, Taita Cemetery, Lower Hutt.
| Bruce HERLIHY
December 1884 at St James Roman
Catholic Church, Killorglin by Rev. James Counihan
DEBORAH born 1884 married William LEAHY of Coomcloghane born 1892 on 29 April 1919.
of Coomcloghane, Parish of Killorglin
at St James Roman Catholic Church, Killorglin by the Rev. T. Harrington
BRIDGET (Bridie) LEAHY
||TIMOTHY (THADAEUS) and
Deborah HERLIHY's children.
to me by Tara Foley in 1987. If any of this is incorrect could
you please let me know. Allan (see below) has already put me right on
some omissions and names.
||Living in Killarney (2003)
|Thadaeus (Timothy) LEAHY
||24 June 1921
||26 June 1921, St James Church Parish of
Killorglin, by The Rev. J McGrath
29 April 1950.
|Helen living in England 1987. No
| John (Sean)
||Elizabeth BURKE, died 1995
Esther with her grandmother Deborah in the 1960's. The photo was taken at the Leahy Family home in Gortloughra.
Esther married Allan MULLINS in 1980 and they have four children:
Claire Marie born 1983
John James born 1985
Stephen Francis born 1989
Peter Michael born 1992.
Esther and Allan are now living at the Leahy Family homeplace in Gortloughra. Thank you to both Allan and Esther for much of the above information. Also for the photographs they have sent.
THADAEUS (TIMOTHY) LEAHY'S MORTUARY CARD
(Son of William LEAHY and Deborah HERLIHY)
Mortuary Card for DEBORAH LEAHY (nee Herlihy)
wife of William LEAHY
THE NEW GENERATIONS
|Our son Peter with his son Liam Dacey born 2000
||Peter and Rachel's daughter Sian born 2006
When the family was traced it was difficult for children to trace their natural mothers. It was done by using family history research techniques and enquiring from Herlihy's who could be helpful. I knew my mother's name was likely to be Kathleen, one of the names she gave me. Since then it is possible for adopted children to obtain details provided the mother has not vetoed them. I did and the registration shows no father's name, nor did my mother wish to tell me.
I have met several members of my family which has been great. I have also learnt a great deal of history about the HERLIHY people of Ireland and Ireland itself. I am not finished yet though. It's an on-going saga to try and trace Irish kin, but I'm not giving up. I thought it might be a good idea to set up a web page, because if I waited until I had gone back any further, someone might be tracing me on the other side.
FROM RECORDS OF THE ROYAL HUMANE
SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND
Timothy Herlihy 30, who was working above his mate, jumped from the cutting, skidding down the whole distance and landing 80 yards out in the river, which was flooded at the time and rescued Murphy in a state of unconsciousness. He carried him out, then collapsed himself. Murphy was taken to the hospital with a broken jaw and suffering from severe bruises and shock."
that there is a plaque on the wall of a pub in the Waikari area which I
believe is near Putorino Township, New Zealand. It is a commemoration
event and also the corner where the slip occurred is called "Herlihy's
If anyone can verify this or has more information, I would be very
to receive it.