Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: Tar Abhaile, Episode 4

A county-specific surname was the focus of the most recent Tar Abhaile, with members of the Brosnan/Brosnahan sept (or clan, if you will) coming home from all parts of the world. One such person was Gayle Brosnan from Arizona. The name itself is unusual among Irish surnames as it is one of a small amount that are toponymic (derived from a geographical place name), probably derived from Brosna, Co. Kerry.[1]

Her story was most fascinating and charted one of the furthest back emigrations that has been featured on the show. Her ancestor, John Brosnan, emigrated soon after the 1798 rebellion with family stories indicating he had been involved.

To be successful in tracing one's ancestry back to Ireland after an emigration that occurred over 200 years ago is a notable feat. Even though the surname and family stories gave pointed clues to a specific county, untangling all the Brosnan's in Kerry to uncover the correct ancestors still had to be done.

You can read more about the Brosnan gathering and East Kerry Roots Reaching Out by clicking here.

To read a review and watch previous episodes, click: episode 1episode 2episode 3.

[1] MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland. 6th ed. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. p. 28.

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