Irish Family History and Genealogy
with curious news and notes from Ireland.

Among Todays Topics at the Hedge School:

1) Family of the Day: Whelan
2) Snows return to Ireland
3) Meryl Streep has roots in which county ?
4) Ireland first electric bike: Video of the week
5) Counties Derry, Donegal and Tyrone: NW Ireland
6) Norman Castle in Wexford falls
7) Books: Surnames of North West Ireland

Listen 7 of my podcast series on the iTunes Irish Provider Page at:

This Weeks Audio Timeline

Todays Topics: 1:00
Notes from Mike: 2:00
One Minute Podcast: 4:00
Book of the Month: 6:30
The Magnificent Seven: 9:30
Irish Name of the Day: 11:30
Sources: 15:30
Websites of the Week: 16:30
Curious News and Notes: 18:30

Total Time: 25:50
My Enhanced Genealogy podcast with photos and links is also free at:

Notes This Week:
What’s happening today at the Irish Roots Cafe

1) Peter Reilly Adams is getting ready for Ireland, and
his current group is set to depart just before St. Pat’s Day.
Safe trip to all. His trips are one of a kind experiences and
always be prepared for the unexpected !

2) We are getting our list of books to publish this year,
and are trying to make up our minds.

3) We are also putting together our final plans for the hedge
school online, with audio files and courses. I think we’ll
start one at a time. Right now, looking for software to offer
the audio files….

One Minute Podcast
Let’s take a listen to one of my 7 podcast series.
Covering Song; Recitation; Travel; History; Irish-America;
or Irish language. ( Full version available on podcast)

Todays Podcast extract is from The Hedgerow History Podcast.
We discuss here some of the earth shattering events for
old and new Irish Families in the 17th century in Ireland.

That century saw an incredible number of families settled in
Ireland from Scotland and England in Ireland, and they took
over the lands that the Irish had owned. If you sided with the
losing Irish army you would lose everything.

Families were exiled and many ordered to the province of
Connaught, primarily County Clare, where it was planned they
would be encircled by families settled from the opposing army,
with their backs to the ocean….see “The Cromwellian Settlement
of Ireland” and the maps in this book, authored by Prendergast.

For all of my Irish podcasts, go to these addresses:

Irish Family History:
Photo Enhanced version:
Irish in America:
Irish Song /recitation:
Irish Video Shorts:
Irish Hedge Row History:
Books of the Month:

1) Surnames of North West Ireland by Mitchell. softcover.
Major Surnames of Gaelic and Planter Origins. (Clearfield)
This book is given to cover Counties Derry, Donegal & Tyrone.

2) Defenders of the Plantation of Ulster 1641-1691.
Muster Roll of the Garrison of Londonderry during the Rebellion
of 1642-1643, and Defenders of Ireland during the Williamite War
of 1689-1691. Softbound. 64 pages. (Clearfield)

2) Families of County Donegal, Ireland. Hardbound.

3) County Donegal Genealogy & Family History Notes. spiral.

4) County Derry (Londonderry) Ireland, genealogy & family history notes

5) County Tyrone, Ireland, genealogy & family history notes.

6) Conquest of Ireland ( 4 book set) The Plantation of Ireland by Hill.
Including volumes on Pynnars Survey of Landowners and Names given
in the Land Grants in Northern Ireland.

Three Things to Remember:
We Have a Podcast, a Blog reader, and a Blog !

The Podcast is my ‘radio’ show, with extra comments.
The Blog reader is a computer that ‘reads’ this blog.
The Blog has additional entries, and written shownotes.
Coming Up:
Rare Seabirds appear in Ireland, on a mission ?

Time to raise our eyes skywards, give thanks, and ask for help !
Here are todays “Magnificent Seven” :

1) Steven Sherlin of Athens, TN, your Annals of Ireland by
the Four Masters, has shipped !

2) Welcome Pearl L. Vaughan of Richmond, Canada, researching:
James McCourt b. 1834 assume only in Co. Tyrone, sailed SS
Chieftan from Londonderry to Philadelphia in 1849 travelled with
sister Catherine b 1832, James later came to Canada, have from
then on

3) Michael Brennan of Brantford, Ont., Canada your Kings
and Queens County genealogy book has shipped !

4) Welcome Mary Rogers of Denver, CO, as a full member.
O’ Sullivan Rodgers Rogers Fagan Herrick Mullins O’Neil Donovan

5) Jeffrey W. Brosnan of Bumpass, VA your Kerry Genealogy
and family history notes, and Families of Co. Kerry have shipped

6) Murray Flotre of Calgary, Canada, welcome as a new member.
My maternal grandmother was a Ryan. Her great grandfather was
Francis Ryan (1783-1856) b. Tipperary and left for Canada in 1835.

7) Cindy McInerney of Lockport, NY, your birth index of Ireland
has shipped.

Check out my online search list at:

Thanks to all of our supporters - without you my
blogs, books, and podcasts would not be possible - !

Irish Family Name of the Day:

Todays family history in honor of :
Kaye Maree Maddick

Related Spellings of the Name

Whalen; Wheelan; Whelane; Whelann; Phelan; Whelehan;
Weelon…. etc..

Varient Spelling Groups: 944, 1719, 1721, 2047, 3133
From The Guide to the Various Spellings of Irish Family Names

History of the Name

The family names of Whelan and Phelan stem from the
same Irish name of O’Faolain. Together, they form one
of the top 50 most numerous surnames in all of Ireland,
with Whelan being the most popular spelling of the two
forms, by a 2 to 1 margin.
Phelan is found mainly in Waterford, Kilkenny, Queens
(Leix), and Tipperary. Whelan is mainly found in Dublin,
Wexford, Waterford, Tipperary and Carlow in the 1890
birth index. Anciently the name is often found in the
province of Ulster.
Of the same descent at O’Bric, the other chief of the
Decies, they are thus cited by Aryan;

“Two gentle chiefs whose names I tell,
Rulle the Desi, I affirm it,
O’Bric the exactor of tributes,
With him the wise and fair O’Felan.
In Moylacha of the fertile slopes,
Rules O’Felan for the benefit of his tribe,
Great is the allotted territory,
Of which O’Felan holds possession.”

A branch of this Decies family of Waterford was settled in
the barony of Iverk in Co. Kilkenny.

copyright 2009, IGF, based in part upon
The Book of Irish Families, great and small

Irish Family Coats of Arms From the Irish Book of Arms
A Brief search in that work shows:

1) Whelan appears in the Irish Book of Arms under an entry
for Phelan, noting the common origins for both names, and
gives the Phelan arms, with a golden stags head as the crest.
Four lozenges are included on the coat of arms itself.

Coming Up Later in this episode:
Wall of Norman Castle Falls after 600 years standing.
The Free Master online index at shows:
Listings for the name 38 times, here are a few examples:

1) The Census of 1659
2) Surnames of Ireland with 200 surname maps
3) Families of County Cork, Ireland
4) ‘Irish Genealogies’ vol. 3 of Keatings History.
5) Michael Whelan in J26 (AIHS)
6) Kings and Queens County Ireland genealogy…. book
7) Co. Wexford genealogy and family history notes ….

You can use this free index to search for your family name:
Remember to leave off the Mac or O when typing your name.

Around the World, in Irish Ways.
The Web Page and Video of the Month.

1) Whelan Genealogy Records. (web page)
Below is a list of the newest databases which contain Whelan
genealogy records. New records are regularly posted to the site
and will appear on this page whenever the surname Whelan is

2) Electric Folding Bike in Limerick, Ireland. ( video ).

3) Mountgarrett Castle before the wall collapse (photo)
Overlooking New Ross, County Wexford.

4) Heavy Snows bog down cars in Ireland

see also my Irish Video Shorts at:

Curious News and Notes, From Ireland today

1) Heavy snows returned to Ireland in the last few
weeks, and reports of up to 9 inches in Newcastle, County
Down, Northern Ireland. Could be the coldest winter in
30 years !

2) Meanwhile Pacific seabirds have flown thousands of miles
off course and arrived in Ireland for the first time ever reported.
A sighting in Oranmore, Co. Galway caused quite a stir.
Perhaps they are building a new air passage route.

3) GoEco in Cappamore, County Limerick, is managed by the
Mannering family, and have made the first electric bicycle made
in Ireland, with speeds up to 40kmh, at a cost of 999 Euro

4) Actress Meryl Streep is thinking of returning to Donegal in search
of her ancestor, Grace Strain, who emigrated in the mid 1800’s.

5) Cast your vote. Brian Meaney a councillor in Co. Clare, of
the green party, has proposed that sheep be used to replace
lawn mowers when cutting the countys green spaces. This would
make things more neat and tidy…..but what about the droppings,
says Nora Kaye, eh ? read all about it:

6) The walls of Mountgarrett Castle by New Ross in Co. Wexford
are falling down it seems and moves are afoot to restore the same.
It has aged quite a bit over the last 600 years, and is given to be
of Norman origins….. oh, the stories it could tell…

…….So end the notes from the Irish Hedge Row today.
The Hedge School has 8 Broadcast series, including :

The History of Ireland
Irish in America
Irish Video Shorts
Irish Song and recitation
Irish Family History and genealogy
Irish Family History photo enhanced with links.
Travel Ireland.

Most available on the iTunes Irish provider page (click below):
Contact Mike

You can reach me on Twitter; Facebook;; and by mail at our U.S. location:

The Irish Roots Cafe
Box 7575
Kansas City, Missouri 64116
Leave a message on my Phone (816) 256-3360

Contact us for speaking engagements,
exhibits, and educational events. Since 1984.
©2010. This information is intended
for personal non-commercial use only.
Please apply for any other usage in writing.

Sponsors Welcome.
Remember to keep the hedge growing -
with your donation, subscription or membership.
- Thank you.

About Your Host
Mike O’Laughlin
Mike descends from the O’Loughlins of Kilfenora, County Clare,
and the O’Donahues of Glenflesk, County Kerry. He also bears
Sullivan, Buckley, Kilmartin, Llewellyn and Kelliher roots.
A one of a kind resource, Mike is the most published author
his field, including books; newsletters; podcasts; and videos.

His books and publications are found at:
Learn More About the Irish Hedge School online at: