French Family Association
The Official Website of the Surname French
Chart #IREH, ffrenches of Monivea Castle,
Co. Galway, Ireland
Last updated by Mara French on 12/22/09. Numbers in brackets [ ] refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Send corrections or additions to Mara French. Revised 1989, 2008.
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 who immigrated to America. With this particular line, one family immigrated to Australia in the 19th century, and one family immigrated to Canada in the 20th century.
1.1* Robert French of Monivea, Co. Galway, 16th century .
Child of Robert French, 1.1
2.1* Patrick Begg Ffrench Fitz-Robert of Monivea, son of Robert Ffrench, referred to as the small-statured, was a wealthy Galway merchant of Norman descent who purchased Monivea, Carraleagh castle and estate in 1609 from John Crosach O’Kelly. He m. Mary Kirwan (one of the 14 Galway tribes), and had 5 sons. He died on the 6th of Feb 1630, his will dated 8th Feb 1618, proved P.C. 1630 . Patrick French was succeeded by his son Robert.
Child of Patrick Begg Ffrench and Mary Kirwan, 2.1
3.1* Robert Ffrench, Esq. of Corendoe and Monyvea (repurchased from the Lords Tremleston), who m. Elizabeth Taylor, dau. of Walter Taylor of Ballymacragh  . They were married in 1672 at Taylor Castle in Ardrahan . They had only one son, Patrick .
3.2 Andrew Ffrench  .
3.3 John Ffrench  .
3.4 Martin Ffrench .
3.5 Katherine Ffrench .
3.6 Austace Ffrench .
3.7* James Ffrench, ancestor of French of Portacarron . He m. Helen Daly and d. in 1760. Their residence was at Portacarron, close to the shore of Lough Corrib. He was succeeded by his son Francis who married Sarah Roche of Rye Hill, County Galway, but they had no children. Francis had a sister Margaret who married John Nolan of Ballinderry, near Tuam, and through this marriage the estate passed to the Nolan family in the early 19th century.
Martin J. Blake wrote in ''The Tuam Herald'' that this family were descended from the Frenchs of Monivea and that they bought their estate in the parish of Kilcummin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, from the persons who had been granted it by the Cromwellian Commissioners. Their residence was at Portacarron, close to the shore of Lough Corrib. James French of Portacarron married Helen Daly and died in 1760. He was succeeded by his son Francis who married Sarah Roche of Rye Hill, county Galway, but they had no children. Francis had a sister Margaret who married John Nolan of Ballinderry, near Tuam, and through this marriage the estate passed to the Nolan family in the early 19th century.
3.8* Marcus Ffrench, of Cahir Dangin , m. Catherine D’arcy, dau. of Anthony D’arcy (one of the 14 tribes of Galway), by Jennet, dau. of Robert Browne (one of the 14 tribes of Galway), and had issue a son, Robert Ffrench, and a dau. Mary Ffrench, who m. in Oct 1656, as his 3rd wife Sir Thomas Blake (one of the 14 tribes of Galway), of Menlough, 4th Bart . The only son, Robert Ffrench, purchased Rahasane on the 10th Feb 1671, from Art Geoghegan, of Castletown, Co. Westmeath, who had been transplanted to Rahasane, Killeely, Co. Galway  in 1657 by the Cromwellian Commissioners. This Robert Ffrench was the founder of the family of Ffrench of Rahasane. He m. Mary Lambert, dau. of John Lambert of Cregclare, by his wife, Redish Lynch (one of the 14 tribes of Galway), and had issue three sons.
Children of Robert Ffrench and Elizabeth Taylor, 3.1
4.1* Patrick Ffrench, b. 1677 , Esq. of Monivae, Co. Galway, M.P. for that county, m. Jane Digby, and had issue . Jane was the 4th dau. of Simon Digby, bishop of Elphin, and had 2 sons as issue . He d. 3 Jun 1744 . This information is very important in the study of the French family because it ties the Frenchpark family in with the Monivea French family, as follows:
Elizabeth Digby, 4th child of Simon Digby, m. Rev. Jeremy Marsh, dean of Kilmore, and treasurer of St. Patrick’s, and had one son, Jeremy Marsh, b. 1712, who m. Jane French, dau. of Patrick French, esq. of Monivae, and Jane Digby. They had one daughter, Arabella-Frances Marsh, who m. in 1732 to Rev. William French of Abbey Boyle, in the county of Roscommon . See FFA Chart IREF for the Frenchpark French family, third generation.
4.2 Evelyn Ffrench  .
4.3 Mary Ffrench  .
Children of James Ffrench and Helen Daly, 3.7
4.4 Francis Ffrench, m. Sarah Roche of Rye Hill, County Galway, but they had no children.
4.5 Margaret Ffrench, m. John Nolan of Ballinderry, near Tuam, and through this marriage the estate passed to the Nolan family in the early 19th century.
Children of Marcus Ffrench and Catherine D’Arcy, 3.8
4.6 Robert Ffrench, purchased Rahasane on the 10th Feb 1671, from Art Geoghegan, of Castletown, Co. Westmeath, who had been transplanted to Rahasane, Killeely, Co. Galway  in 1657 by the Cromwellian Commissioners. This Robert Ffrench was the founder of the family of Ffrench of Rahasane. He m. Mary Lambert, dau. of John Lambert of Cregclare, by his wife, Redish Lynch, and had issue three sons. Lewis records Rahasane as the seat of R.French in 1837. The Landed Estates court sale notice of June 1871 mentions that Rahasane House was built by Robert Joseph Ffrench at a cost of £10,000. Two houses on the 1933 edition of 6" OS Map are called Rahasane. One, in the townland of Rahasane, is described as " in ruins" on the 1933 edition. The second Rahasane House is located in Pollnagerragh townland, at GR474172. There is no trace now of the original house built by R.J. French.
4.7 Mary Ffrench, who m. in Oct 1656, as his 3rd wife Sir Thomas Blake, of Menlough, 4th Bart .
Children of Patrick Ffrench and Jane Digby, 4.1
5.1* Robert Ffrench, M.P., m. in 1746 Nichola Acheson, 2nd dau. of Sir Arthur Acheson and sister of the 1st Viscount Gosford, and had issue . He d. 1778/9 , and his son and heir, Acheson, also passed away in that year. Robert French (quite atypically of his class) changed sides and joined ranks with the Protestant landlords – the English establishment in Ireland. He even espoused the cult of Rationalism, common in France at this time. In 1746 Robert, in order to turn the family fortunes around, turned his attention to the manufacture of linen.
In 1733, the Incorporated Society for the Promotion of English Protestant Schools in Ireland was established to give an industrial education to poor Catholic children and rear them as Protestants. In 1749, Robert French provided land to a schoolmaster of the Incorporated Society to take in and educate poor children and 'to teach the English tongue – ‘for ever'.
In 1788, the condition of these poor Catholic children, wrested from their homes to be schooled, was brought to public attention in a report which said: "There were twenty-two children, most of them two to four years of age, in a very sickly condition, having the itch, scald head, sore eyes, some lay grovelling in the turf ashes."
French had also brought trained linen workers to his estate, mainly Protestant weavers from around Belfast. Monivea became a village of English-speaking Protestants in a Gaelic and Catholic sea. The population of settled Protestant cottiers, however, did not thrive.
5.2 Digby French  of Derrdonnell (dsp) .
5.3 Jane Ffrench, m. Rev. Jeremy Marsh, rector of Athenry . He was b. 1712. They had 4 children: Francis, Robert, Digby, and Jeremy .
5.4 Elizabeth Ffrench, m. Nicholas Bindon  .
5.5 Mary Ffrench m. Persse .
5.6 Letitia Ffrench, died unmarried .