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A recent episode of the BBC TV Series 'Who do You Think you Are' showed the ancestry of the actor Liz Carr and traced one of her ancestors, Bernard Ryan, to the Parish of Killevy (Killeavy) Townland of Aghadavoyle and showed his appearance in Griffiths evaluation.  She discovered an interesting story about his involvment in politics and a murder.   But that programme did not  state that Ryan is a rather rare name in Co. Armagh (and Co. Down), very common of course in the centre west of Ireland.   My own ancestors were Ryans living in or around Newry, border of Co Armagh and Co. Down.  I have tried hard but could trace absolutely no links in all the records that I was able to access indicating that 'my' Ryans came from anywhere else, but I get the feeling that they must have done, perhaps in times for which no records really exist.  I would be interested to hear the views of others on this.

The Liz Carr episode of WDYTYA is described here:



David A.

Saturday 7th November 2020, 02:37PM

Message Board Replies

  • There are 69 people named Ryan in Co Armagh in the 1901 census and 160 in Down. MacLysaght’s surnames of Ireland makes no reference the origins of the name apart from from those in Tipperary. 

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 7th November 2020, 03:44PM
  • Thanks Elwyn.   Perhaps you could help me with a different question -  I am still trying to find out more about the other Irish side of my family, surname Ferrigan, an unusual name.  I joined the Armagh Group and found that under ancestors listed, someone had listed Ferrigan and asked to be in touch with anyone also interested in Ferrigan ancestry - but it is not at all clear (or easy for me to find out) who sent that post, or who posted that ancestor, and how I could respond to him or her indicating that I am also interested and have some information that I could share.  David

    David A.

    Sunday 8th November 2020, 09:25AM
  • David,

    I can see 2 Ferrigan messages:

    The other is the one you posted in 2018.

    If you want to respond to the 2013 post, just put a message in the "post reply" box and send it. The person who posted it appears to live in Canada, but beyond that I can’t tell you any more. If he/she is still using the same e-mail address they should be notified when you put a message on the above link.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 9th November 2020, 11:33AM
  • David there are Ryan's in my tree. Sheeptown near Newry. Early to mid 1800s.
    I've had a DNA match to a guy in Tipperary and his Ryan's go back to same period. There are still a lot of Ryan's in Tipperary area.

    Separately I'd a link to a guys tree on that threw up a Peter Ryan and Sarah McArdle who's parents came from Tipperary but this isn't my line.

    I'm on GEDMATCH if u have a DNA test done itd be interesting to compare. I'm in process of doing s DNA test through

    G. McCartney

    Thursday 12th November 2020, 12:50PM
  • I also have the Ryan tree from Sheeptown going forwards

    G. McCartney

    Thursday 12th November 2020, 12:51PM
  • Hi David A,
    1823 to 1837 the Tithe records show Ryans in Armagh

    Ferrigan are also listed, in County Monaghan and County Leitrim.
    If the Ryans left Ireland you need to work backwards from the Ryan who left Ireland.
    If they stayed then look for a Ryan born from 1958 and work back.
    Or from a Ryan with a correct date of Birth Death or Marriage.
    Always look for the original document.
    Ryan (Mulryan is another spelling) 
    Ferrigan could have been Ferrigano = Italian


    Monday 16th November 2020, 04:10PM