French Family Association
The Official Website of the Surname French
Chart #IRED, Walter Ffrench,
Head of the One of the 14 Tribes of Galway
This chart updated by Mara French on 12/23/09. Numbers in brackets [ ] show the source material and refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Send any corrections or additions to this chart to email@example.com. Revisions: 1991, 1997, 2008, 2009.
This is a very extensive ffrench family. There is so much information online about them that I plan to include only a small part here. I am mainly trying to research the connection of the French, ffrench, and de Freyne families born in Ireland.
Galway still shows the remains of French’s Castle, the arms sculptured in stone in the workmanship of the 17th century, and the buildings disposed around a courtyard, in the style usual in Spain, with which country Galway formerly held such close mercantile correspondence. I have photos of these areas in Galway which I’ll post when I find them and convert them from analog to digital (Mara).
Several families of the French tribe in Galway migrated to other areas in Ireland, mostly those second and third sons who received no inheritance. These areas are:
Š Baron Ffrench of Castleffrench, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
Š Lords de Freyne of Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon
Š Frenches of Rahasane Park, Curgarry, Tyrone, Brookledge
Š French of Cloonyquin
Š French of Cuskinny, Co. Cork
Š French of Frenchgrove, Co. Mayo
Š French of Monivea, Co. Galway
The French family of Galway is a distinguished family of one of the 14 ancient “tribes” (or clans) of Galway who ruled the city for centuries. Keep a look out for the French name on businesses and in street names; they’re still a part of everyday life. See specific places below.
Walter Ffrench was the founder of the line of the Galway Tribe families . He was from Wexford, Ireland (see FFA Chart #IREA) and left Wexford by 1425. Walter French was settled in the town of Galway by at least the year 1440, when his name appears on a writ of Henry VI concerning "divers disputes" which "had previously arisen between John, son of Henry Blake, of Galway, and Henry Lynch, William Lynch, William Blake, Walter French" and several others, including "Walter, the son of John Athy". John Athy was Walter French's father-in-law . Walter French was "Sovereign of Galway", a position roughly equivalent to that of mayor, an office that only came into existence after the Charter granted by Richard III in 1485 . He was Sovereign, or Chief Magistrate of Galway from 1444 to 1445 . Walter French married Mary Athy, daughter of John Athy, Sovereign of Galway 1427-28 . Athy is another one of the tribes of Galway. “A” John Athy, b. ca. 1675, immigrated to Charles Co., MD. He was the son of George Athy of Galway. Walter d. before 1453. A descendant (grandson?) of Walter Ffrench was John French, Mayor of Galway, 1538-9, described below.
If, for example, Walter was b. ca. 1410 considering he left Wexford by 1425 and had children by 1440, it seems that John French in the first generation may be his grandson rather than his son, but the records say he was his son.
1.1 John French, b. ca. 1489, Mayor of Galway 1538-9 . Died 1545 . He added the wing to the Church of St. Nicholas, Galway, called "ffrench's Aisle," a great chapel on the north side of the abbey. This compartment corresponds in height with the roof of the nave, but a portion of it and the adjoining transept is occupied by the organ-loft or gallery, erected in the last century, nearly parallel with the pulpit, but, as it must be confessed, with very little display of taste, either in the design, position, or execution. See more on St. Nicholas Church. During the continuance of disputes in Galway, the improvement of the church was carried on without intermission. John French, who was mayor in 1538, made some very considerable additions to it, and, amongst others, erected the spacious wing extending from the north pinnacle to the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. Only the following families had privilege of burial in the church: the Lynches, D’Arcys, Brownes, and Ffrenches. In 1652, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland who landed in Ireland in 1649-1653, the monuments and ornamental works of the abbey were defaced by Cromwell’s soldiery. The superb marble tomb of Sir Peter French, which was richly gilt and adorned with sculptures, was entirely destroyed; parat of the polished marble was converted by governor Stubbers into chimney-pieces, and the remainder sent to England and disposed of at a considerable price . In 1657 all the buildings of the abbey were demolished, except the church in which the courts of justice were held .
John French also built a beautiful side chapel in the Franciscan Abbey in Galway. He also erected the stone building which stood on arches over the river at Galway, called "John ffrench's Chamber." John made a fortune importing salt to Galway from Spain . For this, John bore the distinguishing appellation of Shane ne Sallin . This munificent patron of the church d. 1545.
1.2 Arthur French fitz Geoffrey might be John’s brother because he was Mayor of Galway right after him, from 1539-40. Perhaps their father was Geoffrey French.
Considering that John French was b. in 1489, it seems as though these children would be his grandchildren rather than his own children.
Children of John French, 1.1
2.1* Dominick Ffrench . Dominick Ffrench fitz John is listed in several documents of Galway dated in 1622 .
2.2* Robert (or Robuck) Ffrench, Mayor of Galway, 1582-3, an ancestor of Ffrench of Castleffrench, FFA Chart #IREC.htm . This line founded Castleffrench. He d. 27 Jan. 1598, m. Christina Martyn, daughter of George Martyn (will dated 27 Jan. 1598, proved 1602), leaving issue, two sons, Edmund and Walter .
Children of Dominick Ffrench, 2.1
3.1 Richard Ffrench .
Children of Robert French, 2.2
3.2 Edmund Ffrench . See FFA Chart #IREC.htm. This line founded Castleffrench.
3.3* Walter Ffrench was admitted a law student at the Middle Temple on the 4th May 1582. He was afterwards a great acquisitor of the lands of dissolved Religious Houses, and a litigious person, for his name appears as a litigant in several of the ancient pleadings and Chancery Bills early in the 17th century. By a patent dated 27 Mar 1619, Walter Ffrench was granted the castle and 3 quarters of land of Moyvilly, and the 2 quarters of Levally in Dunkellin barony and the 1 quarter of Fearmore in Tiaquin barony. He m. Honora Browne (one of the 14 tribes of Galway), dau. of Dominick Browne of Barna, by whom he had issue two sons. His Will dated 1st June 1631, was proved P.C. in 1638. By it he devised to his wife “My principal stone houses or castle which I built at Moyvilly in Athenry parish with 2 quarters of land adjoining called Tullagh and Caherperil. In 1594 Walter Ffrench purchased the dwelling house of his grandfather, John Ffrench, from his cousin, Richard Ffrench, son of Dominick Ffrench, eldest son of said John Ffrench .
Children of Walter Ffrench and Honora Browne, 3.3
4.1 Henry Ffrench, inherited in his father’s will of 1638 the lands of the various Religious Houses which he (the testator) had acquired. Henry Ffrench, who was proprietor of Moyvilly in 1641. Moyvilly is in ruins near Lavally, Co. Galway, the former residence of Mr. Lynch, on the way to Frenchfort and then Granmore. He m. Catherine, dau. of Martin Darcy, but died without issue about 1642. He was the last Ffrench of Moyvilly which in 1678 was granted by patent under the Acts of Settlement to one of the Browne family. At the beginning of the 19th century, the name Moyvilla was changed into Mount Hazel. In 1850 Eliza Browne, dau. and heiress of Andrew Browne of Mount Hazel, m. Edward P. McEvoy of Tobertynan, Co. Meath, and their only child, Pauline McEvoy, m. in 1883 George, Duc de Stacoole, the present proprietor of Mount Hazel .
4.2 Patrick Ffrench inherited in his father’s will of 1638 the stone house in Galway purchased from James Faunt, and also the shop and warehouse purchased from Marcus French situated under the dwelling house “of my grandfather, John Ffrench, and all the residue of my said grandfather's house”; and also “all my right and title to the late dwelling house of my father-in-law, Dominick Browne, near Blake's stone .
4.3 James Ffrench .
4.4 John Ffrench .
4.5 Nicholas French married Elizabeth Browne, daughter of Thomas Browne and Annabelle (or Mabel) Browne; Annabelle's father was William Browne, Provost of Athenry in 1420 . The surname Browne is one of the 14 tribes of Galway.
4.6 Mary French married John Browne, son of Thomas Browne and Mabel, daughter of William Browne, Provost of Athenry in 1420 . The surname Browne is one of the 14 tribes of Galway.
On 1 Jan 1764, the common council of Galway was composed of the following members, in part: Geogory French of Aggart., John French of Aggart., Thomas French of Moycullen, Edmund French, vicar, and Robert French.
The first Ffrench of Moyvilly (the Moyvilly & Mounthazel estate) was Walter Ffrench, who was 2nd son of Robert Ffrench, Mayor of Galway 1582-3 (an ancestor of Ffrench of Castleffrench), 3rd son of John Ffrench, Mayor of Galway 1538-9. He was admitted a law student at the Middle Temple on the 4th May 1582. He was afterwards a great acquisitor of the lands of dissolved Religious Houses, and a litigious person, for his name appears as a litigant in several of the ancient pleadings and Chancery Bills early in the 17th century. By a patent dated 27 Mar 1619, Walter Ffrench was granted the castle and 3 quarters of land of Moyvilly, and the 2 quarters of Levally in Dunkellin barony and the 1 quarter of Fearmore in Tiaquin barony. He m. Honora, dau. of Dominick Browne of Barna, by whom he had issue two sons (1) Henry of whom presently; (2) Patrick. His Will dated 1st June 1631, was proved P.C. in 1638. By it he devised to his wife “My principal stone houses or castle which I built at Moyvilly in Athenry parish with 2 quarters of land adjoining called Tullagh and Caherperil; to his son Henry he left the lands of the various Religious Houses which he (the testator) had acquired; and to his 2nd son Patrick the stone house in Galway purchased from James Faunt, and also the shop and warehouse purchased from Marcus French situated under the dwelling house “of my grandfather, John Ffrench, and all the residue of my said grandfather's house”; and also “all my right and title to the late dwelling house of my father-in-law, Dominick Browne, near Blake's stone.” I have found no further record of this Patrick Ffrench .
Walter Ffrench was succeeded by his eldest son, Henry Ffrench, who was proprietor of Moyvilly in 1641. He m. Catherine, dau. of Martin Darcy, but died without issue about 1642. He was the last Ffrench of Moyvilly which in 1678 was granted by patent under the Acts of Settlement to one of the Browne family. At the beginning of the 19th century, the name Moyvilla was changed into Mount Hazel. In 1850 Eliza Browne, dau. and heiress of Andrew Browne of Mount Hazel, m. Edward P. McEvoy of Tobertynan, Co. Meath, and their only child, Pauline McEvoy, m. in 1883 George, Duc de Stacoole, the present proprietor of Mount Hazel .
In 1594 Walter Ffrench purchased the dwelling house of his grandfather, John Ffrench, from his cousin, Richard Ffrench, son of Dominick Ffrench, eldest son of said John Ffrench. Tuam Herald, 21 Jul 1928. Written by Martin Blake .
The Frenches of Galway, one of the largest and most important of the Galway Tribe families. The founder of the line was Walter French, about whom a fair amount is known. Walter French was settled in the town of Galway by at least the year 1440, when his name appears on a writ of Henry VI concerning "divers disputes" which "had previously arisen between John, son of Henry Blake, of Galway, and Henry Lynch, William Lynch, William Blake, Walter French" and several others, including "Walter, the son of John Athy". John Athy was Walter French's father-in-law. Incidentally, this document (No 32) included in the Blake Family Records and dated April 13, 1440 (18 Henry VI) looks very much like being the origin of the claim, shown to be without foundation by Martin J Blake, that Walter French was sent to Galway as a judge by Henry VI in order to settle a dispute between the Blakes and the Athys. Blake includes four other documents containing references to Walter French, the last of which, No 43, dated September 30, 1445, describes him as "Sovereign of Galway", a position roughly equivalent to that of mayor, an office that only came into existence after the Charter granted by Richard III in 1485. Record No 54, dated October 23, 1453, includes the names of James French and John French, two of Walter French's sons, who are listed as witnesses to a deed of grant by William Blake FitzGeoffrey, and his sons, to John FitzWalter Blake, burgess of Athenry. From the absence of further references to Walter French, it would be reasonable to assume that he was dead by this date.
Burke's Irish Landed Families states that Walter French was Sovereign (ie Chief Magistrate) of Galway from 1444 to 1445. Although he is not listed among the Sovereigns included in Corporation Book A, the earliest record of Galway's administrative history, there is a large gap between Edward Lynch, Sovereign from 1434 to 1444, and William Dubh Lynch FitzJames, Sovereign in 1460. However, the documents included in the Blake Family Records not only confirm that he was Sovereign in September 1445, but also that his term of office began in 1444. For it was the practice to elect the Sovereign, as with the mayor after the Charter of 1485 established this position, at Michaelmas, September 29. Record No 43 is dated the September 30, the day after the feast, and Nicholas Skyret (Skerrett), described as Sovereign of Galway, had been elected the previous day. Walter French, although no longer Sovereign, is still given the title as a courtesy.
Walter French married Mary, daughter of John Athy, Sovereign of Galway 1427-28, with issue: Nicholas French married Elizabeth (or Catherine), daughter of Thomas Browne and Annabelle (or Mabel) Browne; Annabelle's father was William Browne, Provost of Athenry in 1420. James French, John French, Mary French married John Browne, son of Thomas Browne and Mabel, daughter of William Browne, Provost of Athenry in 1420 (her brother, Nicholas, married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Browne), with issue, William Browne, who married Mary Athy; their eldest son, John, who died at the Battle of Knockmoy in 1504, married Honoria de Burgo, with issue, Stephen Browne, who married (as his first wife) Eveline, daughter of Geoffrey Lynch, Mayor 1487. Their eldest son, Andrew Blake, was Mayor in 1574; their second son, William Blake, married Anastasia, daughter of Valentine Blake by his wife, Eveline, daughter of Geoffrey French of Mulpit. Julianne French married John Blake (I) of Renvyle, eldest son of Henry Blake the elder (who probably died c1451) by his first wife (name unknown). John Blake probably died some time after 1468 (his will is dated March 18, 1468; his executors were John Blake, the son of William Blake, and Nicholas French. One of the overseers of the will was Robert/Robuck French). • Robert/Robuck French FitzWalter. Above info from http://groups.msn.com/TheAthyFamilyofGalway/thefrenchesofgalway.msnw .
They left fine seats at Castle French, Monivea, Frenchgrove, Rahasane and Tyrone in Galway; as well as several in Mayo & Roscommon as well. Very few of the family left now.
This family is descended from Sir Maximilian Ffrench, the first of the name, whose descendants accompanied their kinsman, William the Conqueror, into England. Their original place of settlement in Ireland, together with many other English and Anglo-Norman adventurers, was County Wexford; from there, over time, they gradually spread throughout the other parts of Ireland.
Two families of the name settled at different periods in Galway, the first, with Walter French, in the reign of Henry VI, about the year 1425. The other, with Henry Begg Ffrench, in the reign of Elizabeth; since which time, they have ranked amongst the most considerable in the Province.
The family of Castle Ffrench, near Ahascragh in County Galway, was raised to the dignity of the Peerage, in the year 1798. The Right Honorable Charles Baron Ffrench, of Castle Ffrench is the present Lord.
The other branches of the French name, are those of Ballinahalla, now of Beagh, Carrorea, Elmhill, Ffrenchgrove, Monivea, Portcarn, Rahasane and Tyrone in County Galway, Ballykeneave and Culliane in County Mayo, and Foxborough, Frenchpark, Port, Rocksavage and Snipehill, in County Roscommon.
The ffrench family were originally one of the fourteen tribes of Galway. Charles Ffrench became Chief Magistrate of Galway in 1444 (I believe this should be Walter Ffrench. Mara). His son became the Mayor of Galway in 1538. His mark is still left as he contributed to the building of a side chapel in the Franciscan Abbey (I’ll supply a photo later. Mara) and he also added a wing to St. Nicholas Church. His son Robuck was elected Mayor of Galway in 1582 and later his son Edmund became Mayor of Galway in 1606. This ffrench family migrated to various towns in Galway and Roscommon, including Castleffrench near Ballinasloe .
Franciscan Abbey, 8 St. Francis St., Galway, founded in 1296 above found here: http://franciscans.ie/content/view/25/33/
Sarge is a descendent and member of the Royal Ffrench Family of Ireland. The family goes back to John LE Ffrench in 1278, who was originally Norman. The name was de Freynes -- from the latin "fraxinus" (ash tree). The ancestor of the Ffrench family went from France to England with William the Conqueror in the person of Theophilus de Franch, then eventually back to Ireland. Ffrench was one of the most prominent Tribes of Galway and settled in County Wexford, Ireland. Ffrench Castle was built in the year 1400 AD and re-built in 1683 after a major battle and fire that took place in Galway. A member of the Ffrench Family became Sovereign of Galway in 1444 (Sovereign = a person exercising supreme authority; i.e., a Monarch) .
In Ireland, even to this day, the family name is spelled "Ffrench" or "ffrench," and there is still a Lord and Lady Ffrench living at Castle Ffrench, at Ballinamore Bridge in County Galway. At the Castle Ffrench are the ruins of the tower which was erected by Joseph Ffrench in 1683. The Dolphin at the top of the Ffrench Family Crest was said to be an affectionate fish and fond of music. It was the crest of the Dauphin or heir to the throne of France, who is said to have taken his title from his Cognisance. The dolphin is said to be an example of charity and kind affection toward our children. The words "Malo Mori Quam Foedari" translate to "I would rather die than be disgraced."
Geoffrey French of Galway, merchant, d. 11 Oct 1528. He was an ancestor of the branch known in the 17th and 18th centuries as French of Tyrone, County Galway. He m. Agnes Skirrett and had at least 4 sons. See Will of Geoffrey French, written in Latin and translated into English. (1450-1528???)
Arthur French, eldest son and principal heir of his father, Geoffrey French. He owned land in Galway from the French line and land in Athenry through inheritance. He was Mayor of Galway 1539-40, right after John French, First Generation above, which might indicate they were brothers. His son, Geoffrey French Fitz-Arthur was living in 1623.
Marcus French, second son of Geoffrey French. He had daughter, Ennes French who m. Nicholas Blake and they had a childless marriage. Marcus was a Bailiff of Galway in 1526 .
Edward French, third son of Geoffrey French.
Christopher French, fourth son of Geoffrey French. (1475-1550???)
Mary French, m. John Mor Bodkin .
In the Name of God, Amen. I Geoffrey Frenche of Galway merchant, of sound mind, though sick in body, make my testament in this manner. In the first place I leave my soul to almighty God, the father son and holy ghost, to blessed Mary virgin and mother, to St Michael the Archangel and to all the Saints and citizens of the celestial court ; and my body to be buried in the monastery of the Friars Minor " de observantia" near Galway, with my predecessors. I leave to my eldest son and principal heir Arthur, the house where I live, with the kitchen and courtyard as far as the kitchen of Marcus Frenche. I leave to said Arthur all the lands belonging to me by hereditary right at Athenry. I leave to said Arthur one large bronze Jar. I leave to said Arthur my book of accounts with all the debts therein contained, and if his brothers help him to recover the aforesaid or any part thereof, then the same to be divided equally between them. I put upon the said Arthur an annual (payment) for the head father, and for the almsdish of blessed Mary at the monastery. I leave to my son Marcus Frenche the house in which he now lives and occupies, together with the buildings and the kitchen annexed thereto ; upon condition that he construct another way to go in and out by way of the great gate. I put upon the said Marcus eightpence — viz., six for the Father, and two for the almsdish. I put upon the said Arthur and Marcus annually my anniversary and that of my ancestors, one year upon the said Arthur, and one year upon the said Marcus, and so from year to year during their lives. I leave to my son Edward all the lands which I bought and acquired in Ire-Connaught called Letterach ; and a large kettle which is called ‘chitill,' after his mother's death. I leave to said Edward my silver bowl which Nicholas Lachnayn of Athenry has in pledge for 13 shillings and 4 pence. I leave to my son Christofor Frenche my bowl which Stephen French has in pledge. I direct that none of my sons shall alienate or mortgage any part of his portion without the previous consent of the eldest and principal heir. I leave to my wife, Agnes Skirrett, the said lands of Letterach in Ire-Connaught during her life, and all my kine, great and sin nil; I leave to said Agnes all my household utensils and vessels, and two silver bowls except that which I have already bequeathed, and after her death to be divided amongst her sons as she may direct. I appoint and constitute my said wife Agnes my true executor to dispense for my soul as shall seemeth her. List of my debts : I owe to Jonock Kyrwan one pipe of wine, to be paid to him in the said town free of all charge and custom duties (?). I owe to the son of O'Duane of Connemara one dish worth 5 ounces and 12 pence. Dated at Galway the 11th day of the month of October, A.D. 1528."
Wednesday, Jul 30, 1997
When I got into Galway, the town was very quiet even though the famous horse races were being held all week -- one of the busiest times in Galway. I guess they partied all night long or the strong rains and winds kept them away. These winds were so strong that I lost my umbrella. It turned inside out and the supporting frame crumbed. I bought a new one for 14 pounds ($20) and this should last -- but probably it'll stop raining. No, I made good use of it. I first wanted to see all the ffrench sites in Galway, and I did. Photos later (I just relocated these other photos in Dec 2009 and will add them soon). These are:
1. French coat of arms (dolphin) carved in stone on the upper floor of the Mechanics Institute on the top of Middle St. by Abbeygate Lane. The imbossed stone was really clear -- this was almost my favorite treasure from the ffrenches in Galway. Look for it on this building (below) between the 2nd and 3rd stories, and check this website: http://galwaymechanicsinstitute.com/
2. Further down on Middle St. across from the church just beyond Buttermilk Lane is the lintel chimney piece used on window lintel, other fragments, and the fireplace fragment with Ffrench arms dated 1590 (inserted upsidedown). All the stoneword is reused from the 16th and 17th century. This stonework was hard to see and I'm still not sure if I was looking at the right thing.
3. 1612 brass fireplace with 3 family arms - Martin-ffrench-Bodkin - impaled on High St. between Main Guard St. and Cross St. at the King's Pub just as you walk into the first room. This is really in excellent shape, about 8' long and very impressive.
4. Franciscan Abbey relief and tombstone. I was really not supposed to go into the courtyard behind the abbey, but one of the sisters let me in. You can see the courtyard through the large locked gates on Newtownsmyth, but you enter the abbey from Franciscan St. Be prepared to see many people praying very intently. The relief was almost directly behind a small portable building used in the constructions site for another area of the courtyard. This was only temporary, but it didn't have to be there when I was there.
5. Place where Sir Peter ffrench and Sir Oliver ffrench had their mansions in 1688 on North Street, now Market Street near Abbeygate St. Upper, now occupied by the Connaught Tribune in a new building of course. In the backyard, closed to the public, are apparently parts from the original old wall of the ffrench mansions along with some carvings.
Then I visited Jeff O'Connell at the Advertiser newsletter, but he was on vacation. He is supposed to have collected much information on the ffrenches. Photos of the above to come. Mara French, 1997
1538-39 John French
1539-40 Arthur French fitz Geoffrey
1565-66 Peter French fitz Valentine
1568-69 Dominick French
1576-77 Peter French fitz John
1579-90 Martin French
1582-83 Robuck French fitz John
1583-84 Nicholas French
1592-93 Valentine French
1596-97 Oliver French
1604-05 Marcus French fitz John
1606-07 Edmond French fitz Robuck
1617-18 Francis French, fitz Peter
1623-24 Marcus French fitz Marcus
1633-34 Patrick French
1650-51 Sir Oliver French
 The Athy Family, website:
 Franciscan Abbey, 8 St. Francis St., Galway, founded in
 Will of Geoffrey French, 1528, website: http://www.archive.org/stream/pt4journ04galwuoft/pt4journ04galwuoft_djvu.txt
 Mechanics Institute, Galway, website:
 Some Former Families of French in County Galway -- pedigrees hitherto unpublished -- family of French of Moyvilly (now Mount Hazel), by Martin J. Blake
 Tuam Herald, 21 Jul 1928. Written by Martin Blake.
 Charles French, firstname.lastname@example.org (email good in 2004)
 Debby Scott, P.O. Box 294, Wheatland, IN 47597, email@example.com
 Sheila, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Colonial Settlers of St. Clement's Bay
1634-1780, St. Mary's Co, MD by Sister Mary Louise Donnelly. James French, s/o
Martin French, was born about 1650 in Galway, Ireland, transported to Maryland
1671. Married Elizabeth Meekin, d/o William Meekin and Margaret Beard. From website:
 Stirnet Researchers Network,
http://www.stirnet.com/main/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=79&startUrl=http://www.stirnet.com/HTML/genie/british/ff/french1.htm (need to subscribe)
 Lynn Howser, Email: email@example.com (good in 2005)
 State Papers in N.M. Record Offices, Dublin and London,
the Bodleian Library, and the British Museum, by Rev. William P. Burke,
Waterford, 1914. Website:
 Email posted by Paul Athey (or Athy – one of the tribes of Galway) on 23 Mar 2004, to Charles French:
I actually have come across several Martin French’s in Galway in the late 1600’s. An Augustinian Friar, Martinus French is mentioned in a document about a miracle of Saint Augustine’s well, dated 23rd June, 1673 (his lineage unknown).
Martin Ffrench and his brother, Dominick Ffrench, were both killed at the Battle of Aughrim, on 12th July, 1691, they were the sons of Edmond Ffrench of Spiddal.
Also a Martin/Martyn Ffrench, was the son of Jaspar Ffrench of “Castle ffrench”. The events effecting the property of the family of the later, in 1671, would support that the family of Jaspar Ffrench has a possible connection.
WALTER FFRENCH was sent to Galway in 1425 by King Henry VI, to be a judge, or mediator in an ongoing dispute between the Athy and Blake families. Most of the Athy family killed in 1440, but Walter Ffrench married Mary Athy, the daughter of John Athy, Sovereign (Chief Magistrate) of Galway. By 1444-5 Walter Ffrench was then Sovereign of Galway. Walter died Bef. 1453, from him descended: 1. Nicholas Ffrench m. Elizabeth Browne 2. ROBUCK FFRENCH, 3. James Ffrench, 4. John Ffrench, 5. Julianne Ffrench 6. Mary Ffrench m. John Browne.
ROBUCK/(ROBERT) FFRENCH, it was from Robuck Ffrench that came several of the main lines of the family; Sligo, Roscommon, Monivea and Rahasane. Robuck and his unknown wife had four sons, 1. Peter French (Bailiff in 1499), 2. Nicholas French (Bailiff in 1500), 3. Stephen Ffrench, (Bailiff in 1511), and 4. EDMUND FFRENCH
EDMUND FFRENCH, Bailiff in 1509, married leaving a son, JOHN FFRENCH
JOHN FFRENCH, b. 1489, Mayor of Galway 1538-9, he was known as “Sean an Salainn” or “John of the salt”, as he made his fortune importing salt to Galway. He added the wing to the Church of St. Nicholas, Galway, called "ffrench's Aisle," and built a beautiful side chapel in the Franciscan Abbey in Galway. He also erected the stone building which stood on arches over the river at Galway, called "John ffrench's Chamber." This munificent patron of the church d. 1545, leaving two sons, 1. Dominick and 2. ROBUCK. The yr. son,
ROBUCK FFRENCH, Mayor of Galway 1582-3, d. 27 Jan. 1598 m. Christina Martyn, daughter of George Martyn (will dated 27 Jan. 1598, proved 1602), leaving issue, two sons, 1. EDMUND and 2 Walter. The elder son,
EDMUND FFRENCH, Mayor of Galway 1606-7, d. about 1618, leaving two sons, 1. Dominick and 2. JOHN. The yr. son,
JOHN FFRENCH, purchased before 1636, the castle and lands of Clogher (now called Castle ffrench) in the Baronies of Kilconnell and Killyan, co. Galway, and d. 1642, leaving a son, JASPER FFRENCH.
JASPER FFRENCH, of Clogher, was deprived of his estate in 1655 by the Cromwellian Commissions, who allotted it to Dr. Gerald Fennell and Ellen his wife, dau. and heir of John O'Meagher, of Clonenikeny, co. Tipperary, on their transplantation into Connaught. In 1671, Jasper ffrench repurchased the estate from Ellen the widow, and got a confirmatory grant in 1677 by patent under the Acts of Settlement (patent dated 18 Aug. enrolled 5 Oct. 1677). He rebuilt the caslte in 1683. (some findings indicate that Jaspar may have married Ellen O’Meagher Fennell to obtain the property) He had two sons, 1. Patrick, m. 1 April, 1676, Barbara, 2nd dau. of Anthony ffrench, of Calla, but d.s.p.v.p. and 2. MARTIN. The yr. son,
MARTIN FFRENCH, of Clogher, m. the dau. of Lynch, of Levally, and was s. by his son, Thomas.
It would be interesting to find if Dr. Fennell had held property in St. Mary’s, that was acquired by the Ffrench family in 1671? This could prove a connection. But there may be other Martin French’s still waiting to be found.
If anyone has an interest in working on the history, lineages and intermarriages of the merchant families, the “Tribes of Galway”, you are welcome to visit/join us at: http://groups.msn.com/TheAthyFamilyofGalway Paul Athey
 Galway and Its Bay, Romantic Ireland, by Milburg Francisco Mansfield and Blanche McManus, 1904,
 Sir John French, an Authentic Biography by Cecil Chisholm, M.A., London, MCMXV
 The History of the Town and County of
the Town of Galway from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, by James Hardiman, 1820. This book has so much about the
French family, that I only scanned it to find any possible immigrants to
America. It is online and easy to search. Website:
Page 280 states that the town of Galway is most advantageously situated for trade with America. It commonly happens that vessels arrive at Galway from New York in 18 to 21 days, and it is well known that more delay, trouble, danger and expense are often incurred by bringing sips round from the West and S. West coast of Ireland to the city of London, than attend the entire voyage from America to Ireland. – dated 1652. The surname Meekin is not found in this book, nor is the state of Maryland.
 National Inventory of Architectural
Heritage. Searchable index of building.
 Full text of "Blake family records, 1600
to 1700; a chronological catalogue with notes, appendices, and the genealogies
of many branches, of the Blake family, together with a brief account of the
fourteen ancient families of tribes of the town of Galway, and a description of
the corporate arms used by that town at different periods; with an index to the
records in the first part. Illustrated with photographs of various original
documents and seals. 2d series", website:
 Nancy Burkhard, firstname.lastname@example.org
 Andy French, email@example.com (email good in 2004).