The importance of Galway being a port can never be understated in its history. The area was dominated by fourteen merchant families known as the Treibheanna na Gaillimhe or the tribes of Galway. These families controlled political, social and commercial life in Galway. The family names today are Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D'Arcy, Deane, Ffont, Ffrench,Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martyn, Morris, and Skerritt. They were of Anglo Normanor Cambro-Norman origin except for D'Arcy/Darcy (O'Dorchaidhe) and Kirwan (O'Ciardhubhain)who were of Irish origin.
In the nineteenth century Galway’s largest import was wine from France, and its main exports were hides and wool. With many inhabited small islands nearby this pre-industrial port was a center of commerce. The nineteenth century also saw greed bring hellish poverty and starvation to many, sending them off to foreign shores.
One hundred and fifty years later the great-grandchildren are coming back to visit, and are discovering a past they never knew. The “new” Ireland they find, is rich in its past while embracing the twenty first century.
The Galway Bay area has been a genetic melting pot for centuries. Connaught men arrived from the north, and Munster men came in from the south, Vikings, English, Scottish linen traders and French wine merchants all have left their genetic mark upon the Irish turf.
The purpose of this project is to help those who have chosen DNA as a way to expand the search for loved ones now long gone to the history books. It is my desire to provide a repository for Galway area DNA.
ERIN GO BRAGH!
Richard Feeney Pease Grant- Administrator