Genealogy Centres in Mayo
The Professional Genealogical Research Service for County Mayo
So you think you have Mayo ancestry! Well you're in good company: Mary Robinson, Grace Kelly, Mel Gibson and Mrs Richard Nixon are a few of the many international figures whose ancestors came from this beautiful county.
To facilitate the amount of ancestral enquiries and to ensure the highest possible standard of service, capturing vital local knowledge, two Centres were appointed by the Irish Genealogical Project as the official family history research centres for Mayo.
The two centres work closely together, and cater for their respective catchment areas.
Common Mayo Surnames
The more common surnames in the North Mayo include Gallagher, Durkan, McHale, Barrett, McNulty, McNicholas, Brennan, Henry, Doyle, Harkin, Dogherty, Foy, Kelly, Loftus, Gaughan and Lavelle.
In South Mayo common surnames includes Walsh, Burke, Gibbons, Prendergast, Joyce, Murray, Gallagher, Lydon, Heneghan, Murphy, O'Malley, Kelly, Moran, Duffy, O'Connor, Waldron, Farragher.
Famous People with Mayo Roots
The former Irish President Mary Robinson is a native of County Mayo as is former Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey.
American politicans Bill Dwyer, Paul O'Dwyer and Tom Foley as well as Mrs. Pat Nixon wife of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon.
The founder of the Argentian Navy Admiral William Browne and Irish land reformer Michael Davitt.
- Movie/TV Actors
The late Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco had Mayo roots as has Mel Gibson the movie actor, UK television actress Liz Dawn and 'The Quiet Man' John Wayne.
Cardinal James Gibbons, theologian Fr. Andrew Greeley and the 'rosary priest' Fr. Patrick Peyton have Mayo roots.
- The Arts
The famous writer George Moore and the prima donna Margaret Bourke Sheridan were Mayo natives as is the writer Michael Mullin. The writer Oliver Goldsmith had family connections with the county.
Champion boxers 'Gentleman' Jim Corbett and Gene Tunney, the Olympic athlete Martin Sheridan and Irish international soccer star Steve Staunton have their family roots in Mayo.
- Nobel and Lenin prizewinner
Sean McBride was son of Major John McBride of Westport in South Mayo.
The famous Irish genealogist John O'Hart was a native of Crossmolina in North Mayo.
Mayo's main tourist attractions include the Marian Shrine at Knock, Ireland's 'holy mountain' Croagh Patrick, and the Ceide Fields where human habitation can be traced from before the building of the Pyramids of Egypt. Ashford Castle at Cong where 'The Quiet Man' was filmed is well worth a visit as is Westport, said to be Mayo's most attractive town. The county is famous throughout Europe for the quality of its angling, unspoilt beaches and historic ruins which cover a period of over five thousand years.
Emigration from Mayo
Emigrants from Mayo in the early 1700s settled in Jamaica and Monserrat. By the end of the 1700s emigrants were leaving for Australia, America and Canada. Famine emigration was chiefly to New York, Boston, Philadelphia and the north of England.
By the end of the 19th century the US cities of New York, Jersey City, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago received the bulk of Mayo emigrants. There was a tendency for emigrants from Mayo to settle amongst Mayo emigrants already settled in the US and UK. For instance emigrants from the Ballina area of Mayo frequently settled in Scranton, PA, USA and many emigrants from the Louisburgh area of Co. Mayo settled in Clinton, MA, U.S.A. while emigrants from the eastern part of Mayo frequently settled at Bury and Rochdale in England.
Tel: + 353 (0) 96 31809
Fax: + 353 (0) 96 31885
Situated near the town of Crossmolina, on the grounds of Enniscoe Estate which also houses a heritage museum and forge.
Common Surnames in North Mayo
Gallagher, Durkan, McHale, Barrett, McNulty, McNicholas, Brennan, Henry, Doyle, Harkin, Dogherty, Foy, Kelly, Loftus, Gaughan and Lavelle.
The Mayo North Family History Research Centre, offers a full service for the Northern half of County Mayo. Its sponsoring body has been to the fore in establishing the Irish Family History Foundation. The centre deals with a huge volume of enquiries resulting from the mass exodus of people to all corners of the world, especially the USA.
The South Mayo Family Research Centre is located in the Main Street of Ballinrobe town adjacent to the public library.
Common Surnames in South Mayo
Walsh, Burke, Gibbons, Prendergast, Joyce, Murray, Gallagher, Lydon, Heneghan, Murphy, O'Malley, Kelly, Moran, Duffy, O'Connor, Waldron, Farragher.
The South Mayo Family Research Centre offers a Full Service to enquirers. The centre is amongs the busiest of the Irish Family History Foundation's network of centres, because of the high volume of emigration from South Mayo since the time of the Great Famine and the resultant high volume of enquiries.
The main records include:
- Roman Catholic records, the earliest of which date from 1794
- Church of Ireland (Anglician/Episcopalian) records commencing in 1744
- Presbyterian records commencing in 1819
- Methodist Church records which date from 1829
and a variety of other genealogical sources. The total number of records available at the centres amount to well over a staggering 2 million and is increasing all the time!
The South Mayo Family Research Centre
The Mayo North Family Heritage Centre