Tuesday 27 October 2020

Ancestral connections to County Roscommon?

If you have ancestral connections to County Roscommon, a newly published book is likely to be of interest not just to you but also to your extended family. A Dictionary of Roscommon Biography has been compiled and published by Strokestown native Michael T Lennon, and its 930 pages (yes, 930 pages) includes details of more than 5,000 people.

Click image to find out more

His criteria for inclusion was clear, but not too rigid. To get through the selection process, the individuals had to have been: 

  • born in Roscommon with careers in Roscommon;
  • born in Roscommon with careers outside Roscommon;
  • born outside Roscommon with significant careers in Roscommon;
  • born outside Roscommon of Roscommon parentage and with prominent careers outside Roscommon.

Among those who cut the mustard are representatives from politics, art, sport, religion, law, music, business, journalism and entertainment, and with just a few exceptions, they lived between the early 17th century and New Year 2020.

One of the exceptions is the O'Conor family, the former Kings of Connacht and High Kings of Ireland. While the family can trace its lineage back to the 5th century, the Dictionary tracks the family from the death of Teige O'Conor in 954 to the split into the O'Conor Don and O'Conor Roe septs in 1384, and from there up to the death of Denis Armar O'Conor Don in 2000.

The idea for the book, which took 20 years to compile, sprang from Michael's interest in genealogy and developed when a family history project revealed his links to Ardkeenan, near Drum. No surprises, then, to find the book showcasing genealogies of prominent Roscommon families.

Michael has donated several copies of A Dictionary of Roscommon Biography to libraries in Roscommon and Athlone, but if you'd like a copy of this beautifully-bound tome to adorn your own shelves, you'll find it stocked at Cormican's Office Supplies, Sean Costello Street, Athlone; available for purchase via Rathcroghan.ie (€30 + shipping), or contact the author, now based in Dublin, at mike.t.lennon@gmail.com.