for County Mayo
So you think you have Mayo ancestry! Well you're in good company: Mary Robinson, Grace Kelly, Mel Gibson and Mrs Richard Nixon are a few of the many international figures whose ancestors came from this beautiful county.
County Mayo, which is located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Connacht, had a populaiton at the time of the Great Famine of almost half a million. The haemorrhage of emigration in the past century and a half has reduced the population to a little over one fifth of this figure. But emigration has generated a Mayo Diaspora which has resulted in millions of people world-wide who can trace their ancestry back to County Mayo. In recent years there have been an increasing number of people eager to discover more about their Mayo Roots.
To facilitate the amount of ancestral enquiries and to ensure the highest possible standard of service, capturing vital local knowledge, two Centres were appointed by the Irish Genealogical Project as the official family history research centres for Mayo.
The two centres work closely together, and cater for their respective catchment areas.
Common Mayo Surnames
The more common surnames in the North Mayo include Gallagher, Durkan, McHale, Barrett, McNulty, McNicholas, Brennan, Henry, Doyle, Harkin, Dogherty, Foy, Kelly, Loftus, Gaughan and Lavelle.
Famous People with Mayo Roots
Mayo's main tourist attractions include the Marian Shrine at Knock, Ireland's 'holy mountain' Croagh Patrick, and the Ceide Fields where human habitation can be traced from before the building of the Pyramids of Egypt. Ashford Castle at Cong where 'The Quiet Man' was filmed is well worth a visit as is Westport, said to be Mayo's most attractive town. The county is famous throughout Europe for the quality of its angling, unspoilt beaches and historic ruins which cover a period of over five thousand years.
Emigration from Mayo
Emigrants from Mayo in the early 1700s settled in Jamaica and Monserrat. By the end of the 1700s emigrants were leaving for Australia, America and Canada. Famine emigration was chiefly to New York, Boston, Philadelphia and the north of England.
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