Excerpts from "Families of County Galway, Ireland"




    Edmond Finaghty, a mason in Galway, is found on a list of freemen eligible to vote in 1832.

    The O'Finaghty family is given to have been of some antiquity in Ireland and in Galway.  They were of the same stock as the O'Connors of Silmurray.  The family name is also cited as being centered at Dunamon more anciently, and they held sway on either side of the River Suck in those times.

    Many of the name in Galway have changed the spelling of the name to "Finnerty".


Joyce (Shoye, De Jorse, Joyes, Jorse, Jorz, Joy, Mc)


    The Joyce, or de Jorse, family came from Wales to Galway in the reign of Edward I.  They formed alliances with the O'Flahertys and received large grants of land in the mountainous distirct [sic] Connemarra, in the barony of Ross, and near the borders of Mayo, a large territory still known as Joyce's country.  Here they are 'very numerous to the present day', and many were remarkable for immense strength of body and gigantic stature.

    The earliest of the name in Ireland of which we have record of is one 'Thomas de Jorse', and you will find the name of McThomas used in this line as a result.  He arrived from Wales in 1283 and married into the Thomand O'Brien family, thus helping the family no doubt, to rise in power in the area.

    Of the same family of Joyces in Ireland are said to be: The Joyces of Joyce Grove, Co. Galway, those of Oxford, near Doonamoona in Mayo, those of Woodquay in Galway town, and those of Merview near the town of Galway.

    Several of the name are spoken of by Haridman, including 'Margaret of the Bridges' who was quite wealthy and fortuitous.  Another young Joyce was enslaved by a wealthy Turk, learned the Goldsmith trade, and then returned to Galway and flourished with his new talent.  The families of Woodquey, Merview and Joyes-grove in Galway and of Oxford in Mayo descend from him.

    O'Hart gives information on the family in both 'Irish Pedigree' and 'The Irish...Landed Gentry'.  The Joyce family held Renvyle Castle after the O'Hallorans.  It is given that Grace O'Malley, the pirate queen, made an unsuccessful assault on that castle.

    Several of the name in Galway are noted for their large stature.  Of four sons who had 25 children in the last century, they varied in height from 5'10" to 6'6".  This was far above average.

    The following quote will illustrate: "The Joyces are a magnificent race of men; the biggest, and stoutest, and tallest I have ever seen in Ireland' - Henry D. Ingles (1837).

    The surname of Joyce is found chiefly in the province of Connaught in 19th century Ireland, thus centering the search for the family in Galway and neighboring counties.

    Several are found as mayors of Galway.  By the time of the 1890 birth index Joyce is found in Galway and Mayo, with some 164 births.

    It was recorded in 'Blake Family Records' that a curious relic had been preserved for over 300 years in Joyces Country in Galway.  It was a stone of the shape and size of an egg, and of a polished surface, perhaps a type of crystal.  According to family tradition the stone was dropped by an eagle into the lap of Margaret, daughter of John Joyce and wife of Oliver Oge French, who was Mayo of Galway in 1596.  The relic in 1905 was in possession of Martin B. Joyce, formerly of Tirnakille, now residing in Galway town.

    Arms: Argent, an egale displayed, with two necks, gules, over all Fess Ermine.

    Crest: A demi wolf-rampant, argent, ducally gorged, or.

    Motto: Mors, aut honorabilis vita. (Death or an honourable life.)