Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: Tar Abhaile, Episode 6

The final episode of the engaging genealogy show Tar Abhaile was on last night (Sunday). This episode had special resonance for me as it dealt with my present and past. County Mayo was featured, where my mother's family come from, and one of the participants was from my new home state, Virginia (and not too far away, at all, from where I live and work!).

This weeks focus was a family reunion for the Feerick sept in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. The name is a great example of how surname research can be so vital. MacLysaght outlines that the name, Mac Phiaraic (a derivative of Peter) in Irish, is very closely identified with Ballinrobe and originated as a branch of the Bermingham's of Dunmore, Co. Galway.[1]

The second half of the show was about Chuck Feerick and his son, Chuck jnr. Chuck snr's great-grandfather, Patrick, left Ireland about 1885. For Chuck, the interest lay in Patrick's parents, John and Cecily Hynes. He wanted to find out more about their lives, including where they were married.

In the show Chuck mentioned that Patrick Feerick was first in Rochester after he emigrated from Ireland. In the image, below, from the 1900 federal census, you will see a possible listing for Patrick (PJ) and his family.[2] 

Possible Feerick family in Rochestser, NY, 1900 US federal census

An often asked question is why emigrants go to certain towns and cities in the US. In this household, there is also an uncle of PJ's, 75 year old James Hamilton. He could have been a relation from a previous generation that came to the U.S. and provided the first link for chain migration.

As an aside, an interesting note is that Mike Feerick is on the advisory board of Ireland Reaching Out. This is the umbrella organization under which many of the research groups featured in the show operate.

To read a review and watch previous episodes, click: episode 1episode 2episode 3, episode 4, episode 5.

[1] MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland. 6th ed. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. 1999. p. 106.
[2] "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 December 2013), P J Feerick, Election District 5 Rochester City Ward 11, Monroe, New York, United States; citing sheet , family 103, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1241075.

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