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McMANAMAN FAMILY HISTORY

The McMannaman's Clan, a derivation of the McMennamin's, was originally from County Donegal, Ireland. Approximately 300 years ago the tribe was forced to move to County Mayo because of the Cromwellian war. The family settled in the Newport, Westport, Ballycroy, Innisbiggle Island, Achill Island and the Castlebar area of County Mayo.

The McManaman suname originated in the northern county of Donegal in Ulster, where they were learned clerics and at times warriors. With Oliver Cromwell's conquest of Ireland in the 1650's, came the imposition of English culture and the Protestant religion in Ulster. In great upheavals, huge migrations of the Catholic majority moved from Ulster into areas far from the centers of Irish culture. The retreat by those people out of the North and into the barren western county of Mayo populated Mayo with many new surnames. The McManaman’s, likely led by Roger O’Donnell, fled south-westerly to Ballycroy, County Mayo.

It is possible McManamans were on Achill Island from the mid-1650’s, two hundred and twenty years before the first known family members emigrated to the U.S.A. It is not at all clear that our McManaman family came to Achill directly from Donegal, however. It is more probable that they first settled in the nearby area of Mayo called Ballycroy, which is just across Blacksod Bay from Achill. One source has reported the oral tradition that McManamans in fact came to Achill from an earlier settlement in the Ballycroy area where many McManaman’s can still be found. This would comport with the Ballycroy history as well. It is well known that Roger O’Donnell reportedly led many to the Ballycroy area in 1654, and although part of the barony of Erris, the people of Ballycroy Parish have often felt a greater affinity to Achill and Newport than parts of Erris like Bangor and Belmullet. As noted by one author, “[t]his is probably caused by their distinctive origin. About 1654 many Catholics were driven out of Ulster and settled in Ballycroy. Many others settled in the Barony of Burrishoole, with whom the Ballycroy Northerners kept in communication."

Other indications are that the McManamans perhaps lived on Innishbiggle Island before coming to Achill proper. Innishbiggle is situated generally in Blacksod Bay between Achill Island and Ballycroy on the mainland. Certainly, Innishbiggle (Biggle’s Island) had McManamans on it and always maintained only a very small population (67 in 1841 and only 61 in 1851.

It simply is not clear exactly when the McManamans arrived on Achill, and perhaps both scenarios are true. Perhaps the McManaman's came to Mayo in 1654 led by Roger O’Donnell, settling first in the Ballycroy district, and then sometime later they moving from the mainland across to Inishbiggle Island, before moving to farms along the Northeast Coast of Achill in the lowlands surrounded by the loch's (lakes), and close to the sea in the shadow of Slievemore Mountain. All conjecture aside, however, we do know that the McManaman's would have very likely left Ulster and came to the sparsely populated West of Ireland after the 1650's, at some point settling on an Atlantic island known as Achill Island.

Because of the failure of the potato crop, millions had emigrated to England, the United States, Canada, and other parts of the globe.

There are many McMannaman families who eventually settled in the Northumberland County town of Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania. The first to emigrate was John McMannaman who first appeared in the 1830 census records. Exactly what connection he had with my ancestors is hard to determine, however it appears he may have been a sibling of great-great-great-grandfather James McManaman who was born in Castlebar County Mayo in 1800. James McManaman Jr. was born in 1822 to James and Sarah McManaman in Castlebar County Mayo. They also had three other sons, Michael born 1830, Patrick and Daniel, ages unknown, who migrated directly to America in 1850, while James Jr. emigrated to Liverpool England around the same time. Little is know what happened to the parents, but given the Famine in Ireland at that time it is easy to assume they may have succumbed to famine and disease, forcing the children to disperse, presumably to other family members living in America and England.

According to English census records of 1851, James McMannaman,my great-great-grandfather, aged 31 resided at 24 Fairhurst St. Liverpool, England and was employed as dock laborer. On September 24, 1852 he married Ann Flaherty, daughter of Patrick Flaherty of County Kerry, Ireland, in St. Anne's Catholic Chapel, with Rev. William Gillett performing the ceremony.

James and Anne had three sonsThomas McManaman, my great grandfather, Born December 16,1854, (see Ferguson for a listing of his wife and children) Francis born March 1861, and John born August 1864.

It is assumed that James passed away sometime prior to 1870 because his wife Anne, and sons Thomas and Francis emigrated to Northumberland County, and in particular Mount Carmel in 1872. John eventually joined the rest of his family in 1882, also settling in Mount Carmel.

However, there is a definite connection with Michael and Patrick McManaman, siblings of My great-great-great grandfather James Jr. Michael originally went to Liverpool where he met and married his wife Anne in 1858. They had a total of nine children, however only one, a son Michael born 1875, came with them when they immigrated to America in 1877. It is assumed the other children remained in England since there is no record of them. Patrick emigrated in 1850 along with Daniel who was born in 1847.

Daniel eventually married his wife Alice in 1873 and they had five children: James in March 1875; Rose in February 1877; Francis born December 1879; Daniel born March 1882 and Catherine born March 1885. There may have been others born since the 1900 census records show a total of nine children born with only five residing in the house.

There are many other McManaman families residing in Mount Carmel during this period however, it is impossible to connect them to my family tree,. so I will not mention them here.

I welcome any and all comment or additions to this list.