New book celebrates the history and genealogy of Partry

The village of Partry is the setting of a story which spawns a thousand tales of descendants and diaspora; each with his or her very own destiny, life path and family tree. This rich historical and genealogical study of more than 200 families is brought to life in more than 500 pages and 20 chapters by Peter Hennelly McLoughlin. The book, Partry People of Co Mayo Family Histories 1856 and Beyond is a comprehensive historical record of the people of Partry, Parish of Ballyovey, and will be officially launched in Partry on August 29.

The completed hardback study is the result of more than two decades of research which has taken author, Westport native, Peter Hennelly McLoughlin, to both sides of the Atlantic. “This book has come full circle. It began with research into the people of Tooreen, the homeplace of my mother, but has grown and developed to include all the townlands of Partry. It traces the history of family connections from the earliest records in the 1800s and now I am delighted to say it will be launched in the Monsignor Horan Centre in Partry in the coming weeks thanks to community council chairperson, Sean Bourke,” outlined the author.

“It has been a labour of love which has led me to the National Archives as well as those in places such as Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and Louisville – but this process has also put me in touch with people across the globe with connections to Partry. I feel like I know every single family in this book,” he added.

Partry People of Co Mayo Family Histories 1856 and Beyond focuses on the wider Partry region, taking in the townlands of Aughnish, Ballygarry, Ballinerroun Beg, Ballinerroun Mór, Ballinaslee, Carrowneeragh, Carramoney, Cloonee, Cloonlagheen, Derrada, Derrew, Derrymore, Furnace, Gallagh, Kilfaul, Kilkeeran, Knockleanore, Knocknagool, Portroyal, Newtown, Srah, and of course, Tooreen. The family records for each area are chronicled in alphabetical order; and draw information from rare documents such as letters, ship records, marriage certificates, newspaper reports, naturalisation records, as well as census archives and photographs. The book also features a history of the area, drawing on The Primary Valuation of Tenements or Griffiths Valuation, the Land Acts, and scores of other historical sources. Bound in hardback, the cover artwork was designed by well known local artist Deirdre Walsh. “I had a fantastic experience studying, exploring and delving into history while writing this book. The staff at the National Archives in the National Library were so helpful, as were all those in record centres across the States, and the countless people who have made contact with me through the years. The research element of this project has been truly fascinating and as far as possible, I have endeavoured to create a complete history of the families of the area,” said Peter Hennelly McLoughlin.

Partry People of Co Mayo Family Histories 1856 and Beyond will be officially launched as part of Partry Community Council Heritage Week in the Monsignor Horan Community Centre, Partry on Friday August 29, at 7.30pm. This launch is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. As well as general bookstore release, the study is available to purchase online on www.partrypeople.com

Peter Hennelly McLoughlin is a native of Westport but living in Ballina for many years. A secondary school teacher, the book Partry People of Co. Mayo Family Histories 1856 and Beyond, is a labour of love initially inspired by the history of Tooreen, birthplace of his mother, who now resides in Westport. Peter Hennelly McLoughlin is married to Helena Syron and they have four children. The family has maintained close links with Partry, spending many summers there. The author’s daughter, Elena McLoughlin, is now further extending the familial tie with the parish of Ballyovey, by marrying there later this year.

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