|My grandfather died when my father was
eight years old, and he never talked about his family life. It was a very hard time for
them as it was during the Great Depression. I never asked because I felt it was a
sensitive subject, and grew up finding my kinship with my maternal grandparents.
As I reached my forties I became curious, and fell for the many
genealogy scams, that prey on people who long to know their ancestors. I finally had
enough and went to the library to see if I could find any genealogical information on the
family, and was amazed to find the name Finnerty mentioned many times in ancient records.
Tracing your ancestors back can be a long involved
process, taking 20 to 30 years. I started gathering ancient history while waiting for
answers to inquiries on more recent ancestors, and soon had much of the history of the
Finnerty's from the earliest times to the 1700's.
It occurred to me that this early data applied to all Finnerty's and not just my
immediate family. Based upon that conclusion I decided to publish a family book in two,
maybe three volumes.
My first intention was to consolidate all the data I
could find, and rewrite it in my own words. The old documents are as difficult for the
layman to interpret as the Holy Scriptures. I became concerned that I might leave out, or
misinterpret important data.
The facsimile of the old manuscripts are not protected by
copyright and were intended to be used by families, such as ours to trace our ancestry. In
fact the scribes and scholars who wrote and transcribed the old manuscripts borrowed
freely from each other. I therefore decided to keep what I published intact, along with
the original Celtic, as much as possible.
Your work has not been completely done for you, and you
will have to study this book in order to fully understand your ancestry. I do believe,
however, that most of the old data available on the Finnerty's of Connacht is in this
volume. You may have to study Irish history to understand everything.
I am deeply indebted to all those from whom I borrowed,
namely: John O'Hart (The Line
and Stem of the Irish Nation), John O'Donovan (Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, by the Four
Masters), Thomas Matthews
(The O'Neils of Ulster/Annals of Ulster), John D'Allton (The Annals of Boyle), William M. Hennessy (The Annals of Lough Ce), and John O'Donovan (The Tribes and Customs of HY MANY, O'Kelly's Country).
I would like to thank my clansman John E. (Jack) Finnerty
of the Ohio Finnerty's who provided me with insights from his visits to Ireland, and
pictures of Donamon Castle (Dun of Imghuin) the ancient seat of O' Fionnachta.
I would also like to thank my daughter Julie Ann
Finnerty-Dolan who took care of the great task of publishing this book.
I ask the readers to bear in mind that this document was
researched, written, edited and published in six months time, and the author, regretfully,
has not been to Ireland. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish this book, as the time
for me was right, and I knew, if not done at that time it would never be done.
I hope I will be forgiven as Ireland is now so deep in my
blood that I will soon visit the sites mentioned herein, and if corrections are necessary
they will be made.
Respectfully submitted to my kinsmen and kinswomen.
Richard M. Finnerty, ┴os Criost, Four July