The LARKIN CLAN Site
Those who see furthest
are known to stand on the shoulders of their preceding generations. All of us
who can claim kinship with the Larkin's of Galway, have a link going back more
than fifteen hundred years of experience in that fine parcel of land. More than
half of all the Larkin's of Ireland are of Galway stock, and they have a proud
history. Our ancestors made us what we are, and this site is dedicated to
acknowledging the debt we owe them, on behalf of all their descendants all
over the world. If as a by-product of having this site, more of today's
Larkin's find kinship and friendship, then the slight effort involved will have
been well worth it. The Larkin families are the direct descendants of the
warrior princes of the Kingdom of Hy-Many, a Gaelic, Celtic kingdom that
lasted over 1,000 years (450 AD to 1580 AD). Their name Lorcán, from the
Gaelic LORC (fierce), indicates clearly that they were fearsome warriors to
begin with. This is confirmed in many of the early Annals of Ireland,
including the Annals of the Four Masters, the Annals of Connacht, and the
Annals of Clonmacnois. Their association with several monastic settlements
shows that these warriors became stalwarts of the Christian church in Ireland,
endowed several establishments and continued a lengthy clerical tradition
which still survives to this day. In due course, this clerical tradition led
the Larkin families into the search for knowledge, and they became Ollamhs
(Keepers of Ancient Knowledge) to the great O'Madden Clan in medieval times.
This was the state of things at the time of the destruction of the Gaelic
order, and the dispersal of the clans. But tradition dies hard, and old
knowledge was used to sustain a peoples education; even through the hedge
schools of the hard times, right through to the present. The Larkin families
have shared the fortunes and misfortunes of their race; and today can look
back with great pride on their documented achievements stretching back over
1,500 years; and now continuing in every continent. The time has come to
celebrate these achievements, and to re-establish the family ties that bind!
That is why the Gathering of
the Clan has been called; and we will meet again in Portumna in July 2009!
Information is the key. The more people tell us their part of the story, the more complete will the picture be. Some of us are lucky enough to have known our grandparents. The occasional very few may even have known their great-grandparents. Sadly, most of us don't. There is an increasing tendency amongst people to want to know more; to establish their roots; to find out just whose shoulders they stand upon; and to learn of the experiences undergone by their family which has contributed to moulding the people they are today. We are accumulating a large volume of information on Larkin births in County Galway during the 19th century, continuing into the 20th as well. This will be a searchable database, which already contains about 1,200 names. I expect it to grow to several thousand, once we add the information from those presently raising queries. This database is searchable by given name, place of birth or place of residence or by a number of useful criteria. This can be found by following the link from our Useful Links page. So if you know a persons name, date of birth, or a parent or sponsors name; this can be most useful. The list is only made up of Larkin or Larkin spouse names; mostly of those born in the 19th century. This is intended to assist all those seeking Larkin roots in Galway.
We may not all get back to Niall of the Nine Hostages, but we could get a long way there. Many Larkin descendants, whether they bear the name or not, would happily settle for knowing where in Ireland their ancestors were born. Add to that a little local history, and some knowledge of the social conditions at the time, and quite a full picture will emerge. The loss of social records resulting from war damage in Dublin was a serious loss, and will forever hinder research into family trees. However, there are many other clues, especially since baptismal certificates have been regularly kept since the middle of the 19th century. Add to that the family lore that most people have gathered, and the picture become clearer. We intend building a searchable database of all possible Galway Larkin's of the 19th century, using information supplied by visitors to this site. To that will be added the work of certain voluntary groups who are carrying our baptismal search projects in various parishes in County Galway. This must lead to a critical mass of information, which when searched with the appropriate criteria, will yield the desired results. There are some useful bulletin boards dedicated specifically to the Larkin surname. Anyone researching Larkin families would do well to search all the older queries and messages for any references with potential. Perhaps it's worth mentioning the confusion which sometimes arises between the surnames "LARKIN" and "LARKINS". Usually, the LARKIN name is distinctly Irish, with an above 50% chance of being from Galway stock. And usually, LARKINS is of English origin, most often of Northumberland origin. That is not a totally hard & fast rule - it is a generality which is most often the case. However, the change in the name from Ó Lorcáin to Larkin was still in transition for much of the 19th century, and not everybody was aware of the most usual translation of the name. Hence many families whose ancestors were of Galway Ó Lorcáin stock, were admitted to their new countries as LARKINS rather than LARKIN. This is a feature of both the USA and Australia. Of course, sometimes the opposite occurred, and some LARKINS families have become LARKIN today. In any event, it is worth searching both names where there is any degree of uncertainty. The given names within the two different lists are very telling. There are some of these useful search links below. We have also provided hyper-linked logos from various other genealogy sites, which allow you to access them with just a click.
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