County in Focus - Galway

Tuesday, 12 January, 2021
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As part of our Counties in Focus series, we're taking a look at what Galway has to offer. Scroll down to read about some of the best Chronicles which we have collected from The Tribesmen County, as well as links to where you can learn more about your Galway Ancestry.

County in Focus - Galway

People

The Galway Diaspora has no shortage of interesting characters. Here are some highlights from our database of Galway Ancestors. With Galway being such an artistic city, it's hardly surprising that they are all writers and musicians!

Click on the images below to learn more about the lives of these individuals.

We love to see your Ancestors and read their stories. CLICK HERE to learn how to add your own Galway Ancestors to our Chronicles Database.

Antoine Ó Raifteiri

Anthony Raftery was a blind travelling poet and musician. His work is celebrated at an annual festival in Loughrea called Féile Raifteiri. 

Lady Gregory

Lady Augusta Gregory was a highly important figure in the Gaelic Literary Revival. She regularly hosted writers like W.B. Yeats at her home at Coole Park just outside Gort

Violet Florence Martin

Violet Florence Martin was a Connemara woman who partnered with her cousin Edith Somerville to write the extremely popular book, The Irish R.M. They published under the name Somerville and Ross. 

Joe Éinniú

Joe Heaney from Carna was a world famous Sean Nós singer. His mastery of the traditional singing style allowed him to travel the world on tour. 

 


Buildings

Galway is home to some fascinating historic buildings. Here is just a selection of the examples on our Chronicles database. Did you know that you can connect your Ancestor to a Building? CLICK HERE for an instructional video which explains the process.

Loughrea Workhouse

Loughrea Workhouse is one of ten Union Workhouses located in Galway. All 163 Irish Workhouses are on our Database of Chronicles. Most people in these communities would have had some sort of connection to these institutions, either as inmates, staff, members of the board of guardians, or even having been born in the lying-in hospitals. The other County Galway Workhouses are located in Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway City, Glenamaddy, Gort, Mountbellew, Oughterard, Portumna, and Tuam.

Kylemore Abbey

Built in the late 1800's the picturesque Kylemore Abbey once served as a girls school and is now open to the public for tourism purposes.

Thoor Ballylee

This former home of W.B. Yeats is open to the public during the Summer months. The tower is kept running thanks to the work of a dedicated group of local volunteers. 

Portumna Castle

This magnificent fortified house is the former seat of the Earl of Clanrickarde. The building and surrounding gardens are run by the Office of Public Works and are open to the public during the Summer months. 


 

Events

Galway has seen some very groundbreaking and devastating points in history. The links below will take you to some notable events from the county's past. 

The Battle of Aughrim

On the 22nd of July 1691, East County Galway became the site of the bloodiest battle ever fought on Irish soil. 

First Trans-Atlantic Flight 

On the 14th of June 1919, Alcock and Browne landed their plane in County Galway thus completing the world's first ever non-stop trans-Atlantic flight.


Places to Visit

From its ruggid coastline to its charming islands, to driving or biking the Wild Atlantic Way, Galway has no shortage of places to visit. Here is a snapshot of Heritage Centres and Museums in County Galway.

The Irish Workhouse Centre

Ever wondered what life was really like in an Irish Workhouse? Take a trip to the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna where you can walk the halls of a Workhouse and learn about the lives of the people who passed through those ominous doors. 

Coole Park

The former home of Lady Gregory, this beautiful park and walled garden are a must visit on any trip to Galway. Walk the tranquil pathways that inspired many of Ireland's greatest writers. 


Find out more about your Galway roots

Whatever stage you are at with researching your Galway ancestry, we have the resources to help you find out more about your Tribesmen County Roots. Once you have tracked down your Galway Ancestors, be sure to add them to the IrelandXO Chronicles so that others can read their story. Who knows? You may even find a connection you never knew you had.

We highly suggest checking out our Galway Message Board where our wonderful team of volunteers are waiting to answer your queries and help you to solve your family history mysteries. CLICK HERE to get started.

In the meantime here are some pages that we have put together to help you on your genealogy journey. 

  • If you're not sure where exactly in Galway your Ancestors lived then CLICK HERE for information on how to Find Your Galway Parish.

  • As always, your local library is an incredibly valuable resource. Contact the relevant Galway County Library to see what resources they have.

  • In 1837 the Lewis' Topographical Survey was published. This provides detailed snapshots of life in each Civil Parish just before the Famine. CLICK HERE for more information on the Galway entries.

  • You can find more stories and research relating to Galway in the News section of IrelandXO. You can find this by CLICKING HERE.