Curtin Clan Gathering poster

Clare History and Genealogy

Curtin Clan Gathering

2:00 p.m. Friday 21 April 2017

Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, County Clare

by Paddy Waldron

WWW version:

YouTube version:

Naming customs in Ireland

The Curtin surname

Edward MacLysaght's The Surnames of Ireland (pp. 71-2):

(Mac) Curtin Formerly Mac Cruitín now Mac Cuirtín (cruitín, hunch-back). An old Thomond sept later found chiefly in Co. Cork. Up to the end of the sixteenth century MacCruttin was the anglicized form. In the `census' of 1659 MacCurtaine and O'Curtaine in Cos. Cork, Kerry and Limerick are treated as synonymous, thus accounting for the use now of the prefix O as well as the more correct Mac.
Seán de Bhulbh's Sloinnte Uile Éireann/All Ireland Surnames (pp. 203):
Curtin: numerous: mainly N Cork-W Limerick. Originally Mac Cruitín of Clare where they were a notable literary family, the Irish is now Mac/Ó Curtáin.

The Curtin DNA project STR results find most Clare Curtins are from haplogroup R1b; SNP results awaited. Those from across the Shannon Estuary are mostly from haplogroup J.

The Clare Roots project at FamilyTreeDNA (of which I am co-administrator) welcomes anyone (male or female) with roots in County Clare.

Curtins in County Clare were hereditary bards (ollamh; poets and genealogists) to the ruling O'Brien family (descended from Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, who ruled from Killaloe until he was killed in 1014 at the Battle of Clontarf)

Curtins in the 1911 census

Some interesting Curtins from County Clare and elsewhere from the 17th century to the present day

Aindrias Mac Cruitín (c.1650–c.1738)
of Moyglass
composed an Address to Donn of Doughmore [now Trump International], an imaginary being, supposed to preside over the fairies of a district in the county Clare, supplicating Donn to take his service, as he is neglected by mortals; and in praising the hospitality of the chief of the fairies, he obliquely censures the parsimony of the gentlemen of the country (T. Crofton Croker)
Manuscripts in Royal Irish Academy, Dublin
Wikipedia; Ricorso;
his cousin and pupil, Aodh Buí Mac Cruitín (1680–1755) 
of Kilmacrehy
part of the Flight of the Wild Geese in 1691
returned to Ireland 1714
published A Brief Discourse in Vindication of the Antiquity of Ireland (Dublin 1717), written in English, first Gaelic history to be published in Ireland
imprisoned either for this or for satiric verses attributed to him
moved to Louvain on his release and there wrote Elements of the Irish Language (Louvain 1728), being the first grammar of Irish in English
issued an English-Irish Dictionary compiled by Conchubhar Ó Beaglaioch  (Paris 1732)
returned to Ireland again at death of Aindrias in 1738 to take up hereditary office of ollamh to the O'Briens
left genealogies to his daughters
collection of poetry published 2012
Wikipedia; Ricorso;
Laurence Curtin d. 12 May 1915 aged 17
Private 9787, 1st Battallion, Royal Munster Fusiliers
Born in Kiltrellig or Kilbaha (map)
Not found in birth records or census returns, so possibly changed his name
Died at Gallipoli
UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
Commemorated by CWGC at Chatby War Mem. Cem. in Egypt and on war memorials in Kilkee and Ennis
Facebook appeal after unveiling of the Ennis memorial in November 2016 failed to find any other records of him
Michael Curtin from Sragh (map map), blacksmith to the Queen of England
"Sragh must be a very comfortable place to live - lots of Curtins and lots of Cushens".
His grandparents were probably Michael Curtin and Nora Cushin who had three children baptised in Doonbeg parish from 1876 to 1879.
Curtins of Sragh in 1901 and 1911
Michael meets the royals
Radio documentary (1981)
Clare Champion's closest Clare connection to the Queen when she visited Ireland in 2011
Other Sragh Curtins went through Ellis Island to Jersey City
Con Curtin, Sliabh Luachra traditional musician
Con Curtin Traditional Music Festival
Ted Curtin, racehorse trainer
from Limerick, died in 2014
trained in Ireland for wealthy Americans like Nelson Bunker Hunt and Franklin Groves
picked out Exceller for USD25,000 in 1974; he won USD1,500,000+ in prizemoney
trained The Bart, later beaten a nose by John Henry in the first Arlington Million in 1981
Gerard Curtin, local historian, west Limerick
In Every Field Had a Name: The Place-names of West Limerick (Sliabh Luachra Historical Society, 2012, p. 2), he writes:
The details on Catholic parish boundaries are taken from research work done by the Limerick Archives and Family Ancestry when they were in operation at The Granary, Michael Street, Limerick. Some of their research may not be seen as correct in a small number of parishes, as in my travels I came across varied opinions of Catholic parish boundaries. In cases it was put forward that people in certain areas were paying church dues to a certain parish or playing football or hurling with another parish. However, where townlands are divided between parishes the whole situation was locally generally confused and it was decided to let the research stand ... the boundaries of the civil parishes and the later Catholic parishes were in almost all cases totally different. [see here for more]
Also author of A Pauper Warren: West Limerick 1845-49 (Sliabh Luachra Books, 2000).
Seán Curtin, photographer
author of sixteen volumes of Limerick: A Stroll Down Memory Lane
Frank Curtin from my FTDNA Family Finder matches
half-identical region:
15 79420887 90122915 17.15 2764
no earliest known ancestors
no ancestral surnames
no family tree
possibly former Curtin Clan Vice Chief and Director?

Free sources for Irish genealogy

Famines in Clare

Clare Roots Society

IGP's County Clare Ireland Genealogy Group

Clare Past Forum

Clare Heritage and Genealogy Centre

Local Studies Centre, Clare County Library

Last but not least ...
Like all libraries, the objective is to put itself out of business by making material available online.
Online resources:
Offline resources:

Look out for Curtin, O'Friel & Co. founded by Michael Curtin on your way to the Local Studies Centre: brass plate window 1 window 2