Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick Surname and Deep Origins
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FTDNA has recently communicated to FTDNA project administrators, via their April 2024 newsletter, some important updates. In consultation with FTDNA, I’ve edited their update, which can be found linked here:

FTDNA April 2024 Newsletter excerpts

Also, I was honoured recently to be appointed to the board of directors of Clans of Ireland (Finte na hÉireann). The appointment came as a direct result of my involvement with our DNA project, which over the past few years has led to a much clearer understanding of our several Fitzpatrick clans. In simple terms, we are helping to further the knowledge that Irish surnames are not the personal property of one single clan or other group. The notion that an Irish surname might be viewed in that manner is a past relic of Norman and English colonisation. One strategy in the colonial suppression of the Irish was to rob individual clans of their identity and culture – and corrupting Irish surnames into one anglicised form was often a key element in that strategy.

The work on decolonising the identities of Fitzpatrick clans has not been solely mine  – not by any stretch. We owe thanks to Matt Fitzpatrick (Fitzpatrick Clan Society Executive, Ó Maol Phádraig Bréifne), Ian Fitzpatrick (former administrator of the DNA project), Dr Esther Fitzpatrick (University of Auckland), and the good folk at the fore of our Clans of Ireland registered Fitzpatrick Clans: Marianne Mielke, Sharon FitzPatrick, Maureen Arthur, and Brian Fitzpatrick (Fitzpatrick of Upper Ossory), Joan Fitzpatrick McShane (Fitzpatrick Clan Society Executive, Mac Giolla Phádraig Laighean), Karen Fitzpatrick Hall (Mac Giolla Phádraig Dál gCais), and Bernard Fitzpatrick (Mac Giolla Phádraig Ulaidh). I am also deeply grateful for the support of Clans of Ireland and its current Cathaoirleach (Chairperson), Gearóid O’Ceallaigh, who acknowledged our work recently, as follows:

"My primary focus will be in trying to get not only our member organisations, but also the interested public, the other cultural pillar organisations and the government departments, North and South, to better understand how surnames and kindred are not necessarily synonymous nor, indeed, related. Therefore, it is vital that the protocols that are in place are rigorously implemented, particularly relating to the use of the member clan names. The registration protocols not only accurately differentiate clans from one another within the Clans of Ireland Register, but it is also crucial in authoritatively identifying those clans that are accurately associated with geographic areas in history.

Therefore, it is not the Fitzpatricks, it is always “Ó Maol Phádraig Bréifne”, Mac Giolla Phádraig Dál gCais" or "Mac Giolla Phádraig Laighean". They are different member organisations and should be treated as such through their correct kindred or clan name. I hope that by seeing this written in our Registry of Clans others will be inspired to register their kindred groups without feeling a sense that ‘we are too small, we were not a great clan like the O’Kelly clan’. The fact is that the O’Kelly Hy Many was a great clan, but the Ó Ceallaigh Dál gCais was a small kindred group and there are a dozen other separate unrelated O'Kelly kindreds. Clans of Ireland is for the great clans and the small kindred groups. I would like to see this message being promulgated through our connection with the public through social media and traditional media (particularly in Ireland). I would also like to see this being brought into the public affairs arena, through trying to influence policy with the departments of heritage both South and North. I cannot stress forcefully enough how important this is and I hope that it will become one of, if not the greatest legacy of Clans of Ireland."

Best regards,

Mike Fitzpatrick

2 May 2024