This research was made possible by a generous grant from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The weddings listed here were covered in the newsletter of the Parish of the Travelling People, 1991-2004. In some cases locations are given for both spouses, in others, none for either partner, or for the wedding itself. Sometimes the wedding venue alone is mentioned; when this is the case, it seems reasonable to assume that it is connected with the bride, so that’s the column I’ve put it in.
All marriages are listed by groom first. Where two weddings are listed for the same date and place, indicating a double event, I have put them in bold green, and include both under both grooms’ surnames (if these are the same, the double wedding is listed only once).
All but seven of the weddings that give locations include at least one spouse associated with the greater Dublin area, and all but one of the exceptions are in towns within an hour’s drive of Dublin city centre, in the neighbouring counties of Kildare, Wicklow and Meath (for more a detailed breakdown of where these places are, see “Surnames from Parish Newsletter”). In practice, the outreach of the Dublin-based Parish of the Travelling People does not appear to cover all of Ireland with equal intensity.
These weddings would not have featured in the newsletter of the Parish of the Travelling People unless at least one of the spouses were Traveller, but surnames not previously associated with Travellers [there are 13 of these, each followed by an *] may well indicate a non-Traveller spouse (see comments at the end).
It is interesting to note that the remaining 50 established Traveller names include all but 8 of the “top 35” noted by the 1963 Commission on Itinerancy survey, with McDonagh and Connors first and second most common in both, but some interesting differences as well. In my opinion, these mostly arise from the fact that the 1963 survey covered the whole of the country, and thus includes relatively localised “provincial” surnames such as Quilligan that don’t crop up as much in the greater Dublin area.
It is impossible not to be struck by the patterns here. Most marriages for each surname involve a small number of other surnames, or partners both bearing the same surname, and these intermarrying groups overlap very little: compare, for example, the surnames of Connors’ spouses with those of the Maughans.
Note: To respect people’s privacy, Dublin locations have been generalised to North, South, West and Central. Where locations given for bride and groom are identical (for example, the same halting site), these are underlined.
Researcher: Dr Sinead Ni Shuinear
* The following names are not noted on ANY existing list of Traveller surnames, including those collected by me 2004-06: Carey [could be misprint for Casey, an established Traveller name]; Cox;Cranny[but one historical source, Sampson 1890 “Tinkers and their Talk” in JGLS vol. 2 no. 4 Oct. 204-21, has “Creenie”); “Gorgon” [almost certainly a misprint as it is not to be found in the Sloinnteoir or Dublin phonebook; perhaps Goggins, a Traveller surname]; Hennessy; Hoey; Keating; Kennedy; McCrea; McGovern; McLoughlin; Mason; and Windrum. To place this in the broader Irish context: Carey, Cox, Cranny/Creaney, Gogan/Goggin/Gordon, Hennessy, Hoey, Keating, Kennedy, Mac Rae, Mac Goveran/Magauran, McLaughlin, Mason and Windham [but not Windrum] are all found in the Sloinnteoir Gaeilge [Ó Droighneáin M. and Ó Murchú M. A., 1995, Coiscéim, Baile Átha Cliath] an English-to-Gaelic index of all surnames (regardless of origin) established in Ireland.
** In these double weddings, the same locality is given for all four spouses.
*** In these double weddings, the same locality is given for both grooms, and a different one for both brides, strongly suggesting that the brides, or grooms, or both, are siblings.
**** Double wedding in which no location is given for the grooms but a single location is given for two brides of the same surname – probably sisters.
***** In this wedding, a bride and groom of one surname marry a groom and bride of another. One bride and groom are listed for one locality, the other for a different one, suggesting a brother and sister marrying a sister and brother.
****** Here two grooms of the same surname and locality marry two brides of different surnames living near each other but not the exact same locality.
****** Here one bride and one groom of the same surname and location, marry a groom and a bride of another surname, one located in Dublin the other in the West of Ireland.