A Connemara family reunion

Galway Advertiser, Thu, Oct 16, 2008

Jim Fahy

Richard Martin jr decided to leave Ireland for Canada in 1833. The younger son of Colonel Richard ‘Humanity Dick’ Martin, MP, of Ballinahinch, he had expected to inherit some of the family property. However his older brother Thomas — already deeply in debt —broke the entail on the family estates in Connemara, leaving Richard with few prospects. Together with his wife, Emily Kirwan, and their six young children (a seventh would be born in 1834 ), he emigrated, settling at Grand River, Ontario. Richard died aged 80 in 1878, having lived long enough to see his family grow and prosper far more than would have been likely had they remained in Ireland.

The first member of the family to return was Richard and Emily’s grandson, Archer, who made the first of a number of visits to Galway in 1888. He paid to have gates placed at the entrance to Killanin graveyard, and the family chapel within, bearing his name and the date. He visited his Martin cousins at Ross, Edward Martyn at Tullira, and his two remaining grand-aunts in Dublin, all in an effort to compile the family genealogy.

Ever since then, descendants of Richard and Emily have travelled, singly or as a group, to visit their ancestral soil. The latest visit took place at the end of August 2008, when Galway man Adrian Martyn had the pleasure of guiding his cousins around the city and county, showing them places of interest. Within the city, the group visited the site of the Red Earl’s hall on Druid Lane, where their first ancestor in the town had lived in the 1300s; and the site of the theatre in Kirwan’s Lane which Humanity Dick had erected for his first wife in the 1780s, and where she conducted part of her affair with Theobald Wolfe Tone.

The family also visited Killanin graveyard and said prayers in Irish and English at the family chapel.

At Ballinahinch on Sunday they were joined by Mr Martyn’s parents Christy and Noreen, along with Julie and Peter D’Arcy of Lancashire — descendants of the D’Arcys of Moycullen, another of the tribes —Sean and Eileen Martyn of Spiddal, and Sean’s first cousin Patrick Martyn of Rathcarn, Meath. Sean’s branch of the family are the Canadian’s closest Martin relatives still in Connemara. Their homestead at Kinvarra, Camus, was given to their ancestor, Anthony Martyn, by his cousin, Humanity Dick Martin, in the late 1790s; it remains in their possession to this day.

This page was added on 08/11/2014.

Comments about this page

  • here is a useful link on the Martins of Ross,
    Google Books
    A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great …, Volume 2 page 895
    Robert Martin who died in 1700 had two sons
    Jasper Martin and Richard Martin of whom the Ballinahinch Martins are descended from.
    My interest is in Barbara McDonnell (m. James Martin 1726). which is how I found this site.

    By Geraldine Duffy (14/03/2022)
  • Hi Nicholas,

    Thank you for all that information. It throws a new light on the “Martyn’s” of Doon Lodge.

    There are two siblings of Nicholas who are unaccounted for – Robert, born 1841 and Anne Mary, born 1839.

    The Griffith Valuations for Gortacarnaun which were printed in 1855 show “Anne Ashe” in possession of a house and 1 acre 2 roods and 22 perches of land. The house had a valuation of 10 shillings which indicates it was a good quality house for that period. The land had a similar valuation.

    This house and land was within about three hundred yards of Doon Lodge and overlooked the lodge. Could this “Anne Ashe” be the mother of “Anne Ashe Martin?”
    No further information on her.

    A “Henry Ashe” is recorded in Rosscahill East, two miles away. He has a house valued at 12 shillings. No land. This is believed to have been the gate lodge to Ross House.
    BMD records for Ireland did not become compulsory until January 1st 1864. Even so, many people did not comply!

    As you have stated – Many questions remain un-answered.
    The townlands of Doon and Gortacarnaun were the property of Major Richard James Martin who on retirement took up residence in Clareville, Oughterard. He died in 1854 and is buried in the family vault in Killannin cemetery.
    For directions: Follow the N59 from Galway city for 11 miles until you come to a roadside sign indicating “Doon West”. The name “Doon North” is no longer used.

    Best Wishes,


    By Jim Fahy (21/09/2016)
  • Surely!

    Here is what we have compiled on our direct line. Nicholas’s middle name of James and birth year of 1816 was given to me, but I have not personally verified via documentation.

    1816 – Nicholas James Martin (Martyn) born
    1820 – Ann Ashe born
    Oct 22, 1835 – Marriage of Nicholas James to Ann Ashe – Kilcummin Parish by John Wilson
    Apr. 15, 1845 – Nicholas Martin born
    Oct 2, 1866 – Nicholas arrives in Chicago
    1894 – Anne Ashe arrives in Chicago (presumably after the death of her husband)
    1906 – Anne Ashe dies in Chicago
    1912 – Nicholas Martin dies in Chicago

    We found a “Who’s Who” from a 1905 Chicago publication stating “Martin, Nicholas, teas and coffees b. Co. Galway, Connaught, Ireland Apr 15, 1845 s. Nicholas and Ann (Ashe) Martin: ed. common schools in Ireland; came direct from Ireland to Chicago arriving here Oct 2. 1866”

    Also my aunt has an old platter that was passed down with the name Anne Mary on it. We assumed that the Mary was a dropped middle name from Anne Ashe but it could be from Nicholas’s sister b. 1839 (potentially Pamela’s relative).

    I found an online copy of “The Genealogy of the Martins of Ross” through a Mormon database: https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE1169949

    So as far as I can determine, we now have three theories on where the lineage of Nicholas Martyn (1816) could be linked to the Ross line:

    1. Your theory of an undeclared child between Robert Martin and Mary Anne Blakeney.

    2. An undocumented lineage of James Martin of Maghery (son of Robert d. 1700, brother of James and Richard) who married Mary, the eldest daughter of Marcus D’Arcy, esq, of Cloghrane who “as far as can be ascertained left no issue”.

    3. A son of Nicholas (d. 1731) and Margery Browne (daughter of Valentine Browne of Liskellen in County Mayo). It is stated they had had a son James AND SEVERAL OTHER SONS, so there could be a missing line here.

    And the plot thickens!!!

    Thank you very much for the information on Doone Lodge in Doone North! Do you happen to have an address nearby to the photo you took of the lodge?

    I am planning my first trip to Ireland at the end of the year, so I’m trying to compile as much as possible now so I can visit sites and search records when there.

    By Nicholas Martin (16/09/2016)
  • Hi Nicholas,

    Thanks for that up-date.

    For the information of others who may be researching this family, can you post whatever records you have.
    I have not been able to find any records, other than what I have posted in my reply to Pamela Jackson.

    Best Wishes,


    By Jim Fahy (11/09/2016)
  • Jim,

    I am a 5th generation descendant of Nicholas James Martyn and Anne Ashe through their son Nicholas Martin who immigrated to Chicago in 1866.

    Is it really possible that Seymour Clarke in his 1910 book “Martins of Ross Genealogy” left out a son of Robert and Marianne?

    Maybe they are part of another lineage stemming from James Martin of Maghery (who married Mary D’Arcy), brother of Jasper and Richard.

    We know for sure that Anne (Ashe) Martin immigrated to Chicago in 1894, presumably after the passing of Nicholas.

    Is it possible that Pamela Jackson’s Ann Martyn is Nicholas’s older sister?

    So many questions!!!

    By Nicholas K Martin (08/09/2016)
  • Hi Pamela,

    The information you have supplied is a bit sparse on your grandfather.
    The Church of Ireland records for Kilcummin have a marriage between Nicholas Martyn, Doone, Killanane and Anne Ashe, Kilcummin on October 22nd 1835.
    Baptisms: October 1st 1839 – Anne Mary Martin – Doone
    Father: Nicholas Martyn – Farmer – Mother: Anne Martyn

    Robert Martyn: July, 21st 1841 – Doon Lodge
    Nicholas Martin: April 15th 1845 – Doon

    The Outerard Petty Session have a record of Anne Martin of Doon Lodge v. Patrick Heffernan of Tullaghmore (Letterfore DED) in relation to what appears to be a box cart which she claimed to be her property. The case was for hearing on November 11th 1858 and adjourned to November 18th 1858 where it was dismissed. One of the witnesses was a “Nicholas Martin.
    This “Nicholas Martyn” of Doone Lodge is a bit of a mystery. Doone Lodge was at the time of his marriage, the property of Captain Richard James Martin (Later Major of Clareville) and son of Nicholas Martin of Ross.
    The witnesses at the marriage ceremony appear to have been the Church Clerk and the Sexton!

    James Martin of Ross who died in 1872 was married twice. In press reports of the marriage he is shown as only son of Robert Martin.

    Robert Martin’s wife was “Mary Anne Blakeney”. His father was Nicholas.
    The practice of naming the first born: If female: after the father’s mother, if male: after the father’s father.

    Could this “Nicholas Martyn” of Doon Lodge be a son of Robert Martin and Mary Anne Blakeney?

    Farm records for the Ross estate which are held in the National Library in Dublin show the cover of a copy book with the inscription “NICHOLAS MARTIN” Farmer, Doone.

    Credits: Galway Family History West/www.rootsireland.ie

    17 – 06 – 2016

    By jim Fahy (17/06/2016)
  • We have a mystery in our family tree. We are related to Ann Martin/Martyn who married John Mooney. She was supposed to be related to Humanity Dick Martin. Was she an illegitimate child of one of the Martins? Our grandfather always said he was a nephew. Family folklore is strong on this link. We just can’t find who Ann Martin’s parents were. Can you help?

    By Pamela Jackson (16/06/2016)

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