Saturday, August 9, 2014


What are the origins of the surname "Kilroy"?  According to, Kilroy is the anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Giolla Ruaidh".  "Mac" means son of.  "Giolla" means servant or youth and "Ruaidh" means red-haired.  So basically, Mac Giolla Ruaidh means "son of red-haired youth".  Other equivalents of this surname are Mac Elroy, McElree, Gilroy and of course, Kilroy.

According to the "Kilroy Connection" by Hugh McGough, in the 1890 birth records the most people with the surname of Kilroy were found in County Mayo (47) followed by County Roscommons (with 34), County Galway (with 25) and County Cavan (with 19).

I read recently that you can tell which county/counties a person came from in Ireland by their surname.  Well, back to researching my Kilroy ancestors!

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Until the middle of May of this year, the only Kilroy ancestors that I knew about were my 2nd great grandmother Ann Kilroy Chambers and her brother James Kilroy.  It is hard to build a family tree with only 2 people. I had hoped that one day I would find more Kilroys but it seemed like my research methods never yielded me any Kilroy results.  Then I received a message from a fellow member of one of my Irish Facebook groups, asking me if we were related.  I, of course, had zero idea if we were so I did the only thing I could think of -- email my cousin Betsy who has more information than me.  She answered "we probably are" and then sent me information on the Kilroy family.  

We can now trace our Kilroy family back to the patriarch Patrick Kilroy, who lived from 1730 to 1818.  Patrick was married to Honor McLoughlin (who lived from 1730 to 1790).  They had 6 children -- Edward, Peter, Patrick, James and 2 daughters.

James (and a spouse to be named later -- still looking for that information) were the parents of 6 children.  I am noticing a pattern here.  Their children were Patrick, Nora, Bridget, John, Peter and James.  The last child James and his wife Barbara Dever were the parents of my 2nd great grandmother Ann Kilroy Chambers.  

So, now, (thanks to Betsy) instead of 2 lonely Kilroy leaves, I have an actual Kilroy family tree.  I have lots more names for this tree and will talk about some of them in future posts.  

Monday, July 28, 2014


When we were planning our trip to Austria and Germany last fall, I remember my mother-in-law telling my husband that there was a German deli in Carlsbad, California (about a half hour from where we live).  Fast forward to Saturday when I was cleaning out our garage and I started thinking about that German deli.  Of course, why then?  Who knows?  So, I asked my husband about the deli and he remembered there being one but not the name so I did some research online.  I found out the name of it is Tip Top Meats.  Okay, that doesn't sound very German to me but I was assured that it was a German deli.  I looked at the menu online and still wasn't totally impressed but decided we would give it a try yesterday for lunch.

Wow, I certainly have been missing out on some good German food all these years -- right in my own "almost" backyard.  I ordered the cold roast pork sandwich with German potato salad.  I was deciding between having the whole sandwich and the half sandwich and selected the whole sandwich.  Only at this place, does 3 halves make a whole.  It was literally 3 halves of a sandwich.  I don't know why more places don't serve cold pork sandwiches.  Lots of places serve cold roast beef!
As I was sitting there eating my delicious sandwich and the best tasting German potato salad ever and of course a German beer (one needs the full experience), I was transported back to the village of Hohenschwangau (where the Neuschwanstein Castle is located) and to the Jagerhaus Restaurant where I had ordered the Krustenbraten mit kren (cold roasted pork with horseradish).  They served it with sauerkraut and King Ludwig bread.

Of course, back to reality, the amount of food that you are served is enough for two meals and I ordered just the sandwich.  So, guess what I also ate for dinner last night?  We also checked out their little market which has all kinds of fun German food.  Now, I am hoping that we will be able to prepare the food since all the directions are in German but hey, isn't that is what Google Translate is for?

My one regret is that we were so stuffed we didn't even look at the desserts -- my favorite part of any meal.  I am thinking a return trip to Tip Top Meats is definitely in my future!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Twenty thousand people climbed Croagh Patrick today to celebrate the annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage.  The large group of hikers was led by the Archbishop of Tuam.  According to the legend, Saint Patrick climbed this mountain in 441 and fasted for 40 days.  This is also the spot, according to legend, where he drove the snakes out of Ireland.

In 2012, was the first time that I saw Croagh Patrick.  I was standing in the parking lot of the old Islandeady Cemetery and could see it to our west.  Let me give proper thanks to my brother Danny for not only pointing it out at the time but also giving us a brief  history lesson about the mountain and St. Patrick.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


In 2012 when I visited Ireland and more specifically the city of Castlebar, I wasn't sure if any of my ancestors were actually buried in the Old Cemetery in Castlebar so I told my 3 traveling companions to just take photos of any tombstone with the following surnames -- Chambers, Kilroy, Lynch or Feehan.  Later when I looked at the photos they had taken, I think they actually were taking ones of any surname starting with C, K, L or F.  Of course, some times in these old cemeteries you need to take photos of some of these gravestones regardless if the person is related to you or not.  

I love this setting of 3 gravestones in the photo above.  Of course, I love these monument type of gravestones.  Now, that is celebrating some one's life!

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I have often thought that even though my Sherlock ancestors lived in Ireland that I would not be surprised to find out that the Sherlock name had its origins in England.  However, I was more than a bit surprised when my cousin Woody sent me some information on the Sherlocks in antiquity.

According to "The Family of Sherlock" (notes by Rev. Canon French in the Journal of County Kildare Archaeological Society), the Scurlags (later known as the Sherlocks) settled in Gower in Southern Wales in 1099.  The first known member of the family was known as Godinet Scurlag (living in 1155) and it was he who had the Scurlag Castle built in Gower.

William de Scurlag (or Sherlock) received grants of land in Meath where he built a castle in Scurlogstown.  There were 3 branches of the Sherlock family --
1. resided in the Meath and Wexford area
2. resided in Waterford and Cork
3. the family of Sherlockstown in Kildare

I found it interesting that the close similarity of the coat of arms (with only minor differences) is what gives better proof that these 3 branches are related rather than the common surname.

So, my branch of the family was the one that originally located in the Meath area.  Maybe, I need to change the name of my blog to the Home of the Scurlags, to be more historically accurate.   Wonder what my Grandpa Charlie's reaction would be to finding out we came originally from Wales?

Friday, July 18, 2014


Okay, it was more than a little help that I received from several of my "genealogy aficionado" cousins that helped me make some great discoveries in the past few months.  I can now answer or at least partially answer the following questions --

1. Where did the Sherlock name originate?

2. Who are the other Kilroy's besides my 2nd great grandmother Ann Kilroy Chambers?

3. Could we be related to General Michael Kilroy from the Irish Revolution of 1920-1922?

4.  Where does the Kilroy name originate and what does it mean?

5. What is the relationship between Adolph Nebgen and my Nebgen ancestors?

Well those are the questions that come to mind quickly.  I will address each of these questions with their answers in future blog posts.  Stay tuned!