Peering Through the Curtins in Ireland

My mother’s parents came here from the northern part of County Cork, in the area around Rockchapel. It’s a small village along the River Feale near the borders of Kerry and Limerick; a beautiful spot, though not the sort of place where the tour buses pass through.

Armed with bits and pieces of information, I left an afternoon open to visit Rockchapel during my Ireland trip to see if I could find any distant cousins.

This was complicated.

My grandmother was named Curtin, as was my grandfather. This seemed odd to me, two Curtins marrying — until until I got to Rockchapel, where I learned that anyone not named Curtin is related to a Curtin.

Sunday afternoon at Paddy Molly's.

The quest began at the pub, Paddy Molly’s. Until ten year’s ago it had been called Curtin’s.

It was Sunday afternoon and people came and went as I drank my pint of Guinness, but it was John Curtin — not a direct relation, I don’t think — who suggested I seek out the postmaster, Henry Keogh. “He knows everyone and how they’re all related. There’s a dance today outside town; you can find him there.”

John Curtin gives us directions.

We got back in the car to go find the dance. “Look for the fella playing the bodhrán. That will be Henry.”

Read Part II

6 thoughts on “Peering Through the Curtins in Ireland

  1. Pingback: At the Crossroads
  2. My family the’Lenihan family and my adopted family the Carmody family all came from Rockchapel . My story is like a novel but the point right now is that we all come from Rockchapel including myself . And as you said , it is the most beautiful place not known to many unless you have roots there .I was raised here in the great country of America but a piece of my heart will always be in Rockchapel and I plan to go back in the near future ..

    Peggy Potter

    1. Hi Peggy, I think we may be related. My mother is from the rock . Is Ben Lenihan your uncle? If so my mother would be a first cousin to those Lenihans. We now reside in San Francisco. My mother is also Peggy.

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