A Travellerspoint blog

Day 37 The Prodigal son returns

sunny 21 °C
View Following in the Family Footsteps on Neileeann's travel map.

Today was trying to find my roots.

First up was Clara and the home town of Michael Flanagan my GGGF. I can definitely say that he came from Clara. What I can’t say for certain is he came from the Townland of Erry, which is located to the south west of Clara.

There was one record showing a Jonathan Flanagan living in the Townland of Erry in 1826, the year after Michael was sent to Australia and he was the only Flanagan living in this district. So it has to be a strong possibility that he was Michael’s father as John was name of his other son and a name used by Michael and his descendants in the naming of their children.

This same record showed that he had a small plot of land (approximately 2,000m2). Looking at historical maps I had previously identified a likely plot of land in Erry that could be a possibility. So off we trot to find it. The land could be accessed from a walking trail just south of Clara and was located approximately 1.4km in. Like a sign from above, we got to a clearing and the sun was shining, I checked our position and this was where I guessimated.

No other signs from above. But it was a lovely day, the sun was actually shining and there were birds chirping. The property is now lightly forested and not used for farming purposes (although there was a development application for a dwelling nearby). So it was time to ponder on Michael and his life and what it meant for his descendants, before heading back into Clara.

Started our walk around town and we came across “Bunny’s Bar”. Bunny is the name of Lee-ann’s father and next door was “The Burrow” which is the name of the place where South’s supporters sit. So I took it as a sign to go in for a drink. Not long afterwards the locals started coming in, including one Michael Flanagan. Introductions were made and Mick (another family historian) decided to rush back home and get his family research. I don’t believe we were related, but pretty soon we were cousins in arms. So after 2 hours I made my apologies and moved on.

I dropped Lee-ann off in Tullamore and headed off to Liberty. Liberty is the Townland where my GGGM was living prior to emigrating to Australia. However, there are more than one possible Mary Flynn’s and she is one of four possibilities, but one of two strong possibilities. I had information from a historical record that showed exactly where she lived, so I made my way there. There was a car in the garage so I thought I would knock on the door and ask if I could take a photo. Well they were Flynn’s and she was right into family history. That was me gone for the next 3 hours. While Kay could not make a connection, she said I looked like Roy Flynn who lived next door (all three houses where occupied by Flynn’s) some years ago. She did say that in all the oral history, no one had ever mentioned that there was an girl who went to Australia. SO that could help rule out this connection, although she she still remains a strong possibility.

After that I drove back to Clara to take a few more photos of the town before heading out tomorrow. Not a lot to see or do in this town and it is not particularly pretty.

Tomorrow off to Galway.

Posted by Neileeann 08:44 Archived in Ireland

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