I am back to Naming the Child again. From a few recent search commissions that I have undertaken, I have seen again the importance in 19th Century Ireland of the naming of the children, in particular the male children. The continuance of male family names down along the generations is easily the best clue when you are wondering if you have the correct family or not. A few examples will show this.
My own family name of Moloney, goes back over five generations. My Great Great Grandfather was called Michael Moloney in 1785. He called his male children, Jeremiah, Michael, James, John, Thomas, Patrick, Daniel and John again. (As I explained earlier if a child died and it bore a family name, then the next child born would be christened with the same name, which can complicate searches) My Great Grandfather Daniel called his sons, Michael, Jerry, James, Thomas and Daniel. My Grandfather James called his sons Daniel, Michael & Florence (a new name – after his wife’s father). My father was Daniel and he called his one son James, who in turn called my nephews Dónal, Conor (after his wife’s family ) and James. This family over 218 years stuck strictly to Irish traditional naming patterns when naming their sons.
So when Nancy Maloney Rich of Washington contacted me a few weeks ago in an effort to pin point where her Moloney family had originated, none of these Christian names were in her history. She had totally different names like Cornelius, Timothy and Patrick. So we had to look to other parts of Kerry to try and identify a new set of Moloneys. Nancy and her family are coming to North Kerry in two weeks time to continue their search and we wish them well.
Another interesting family, whom I researched recently were the Dalys of mid-Kerry. In a continuous line from 1800, the names of Cornelius, William, Charles and James went down through each generation both directly and through the various branches as each son married. The wives names were the important clues here.
This can make searches very complicated as well as very identifiable. The Kerry way of putting an identity on the various branches, would be the local nickname. My branch of the Moloneys were called the Dan Jims – for obvious reasons. The Daly branches were known by their titles also – the Billy Corneys or the Charlie Norries. Its really very simple, once you know who everyone’s grandparents were and who they married! Who said Irish Genealogy can be difficult?