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My mother's maiden name is Finnerty and i can trace my family who lived in Halifax West Yorkshire back to a Patrick Finnerty who was from Ballinrobe ,Mayo -he was born in 1847 ( he died in Halifax in 1912 ) -had at least 6 kids with his wife Mary Ann Mulcome including Joseph, Annie,James,Mary Ellen,John William and Margaret

Can anyone help find Patrick and his family -it is of great interest to me some of the family in the UK had their profession described as 'Hawkers ' and seemed to be well known within our justice system here in the UK -i'd love to know the 'back story '

Thanks in advance



Finnerty research

Monday 25th Sep 2023, 02:43PM

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  • Andy,

    The surname "Finnerty) various spellings, was recorded as "Feenaghty", various spellings.

    Subscription site has two entries for the parish of Ballyovey (Partry/Tourmakeady), near Ballinrobe.

    Owen Fenerty baptised August 12th 1849. Father: Patrick and Mother: Lynskey.

    There is an entry for 1851 - Father: Patrick - Mother: Catherine Sheridan.

    No baptism found for the years 1842 to 1852 in County Mayo on Roots for a Patrick Finnerty.

    Civil records for births in Ireland are from January 1st 1864



    Monday 25th Sep 2023, 06:36PM
  • I don't know about your particular family, but the surnames you mentioned may provide an explanation for the family being called "hawkers" in England.   The Irish surname Ó Fionnachta was usually anglicized as Finaghty or Finnerty, and was found mainly in Roscommon, but also in other parts of Connacht.  The Irish surname Mac Siúrtáin was often anglicized as Sheridan or Jordan (although some other names were, too).  Jordan's and Sheridan's are found all over Ireland, but are/were especially numerous in Mayo and nearby counties.  While it's by no means true of everyone named Jordan or Sheridan, those surnames are both found among the "travellers" (known as an lucht siúil in Irish, and sometimes as mincéirí  in their own language, Shelta), who were once called "tinkers" (considered a derogatory term nowadays).  I don't know whether Finnerty was also a common traveller name.  While the travellers lived (and some still live) a gypsy-like life, they were for the most part native Irish people who went on the road centuries ago (there are several theories as to why and how long ago), and are not to be confused with the Romani gypsies, who are of Indian origin.  There are now many Irish travellers in Britain, due to emigration, and several communities of them in the US as well. 

    The travellers were called tinkers, because they went about repairing and trading in metal objects for people (as well as trading horses), and the term "hawkers" used for your relatives might have referred to that.  Many have settled down, but a memory of having once been travellers may endure.  I have some distant Jordan and Sheridan dna matches myself from Mayo and nearby areas who have vague family lore about some ancestors having once been travellers.

    Wikipedia has a good article about the travellers, in case you want to learn more:


    Monday 25th Sep 2023, 08:48PM
  • Thankyou both for giving me your valuable time...amazing..x

    Finnerty research

    Tuesday 26th Sep 2023, 06:32PM

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