Searching for McAuliffe Family Roots

by Renee on July 29, 2016

wingIt has been an exciting journey, getting to know my birthfather Jack, and many of my McAuliffe relatives. I’ve loved learning about my Irish heritage–St. Patrick’s Day is definitely a high holiday to me! If you’ve been following along here on my blog, you may remember that I am a reunited adoptee, and did not grow up with Jack.  (Yes, I went so far as to make the shamrock a permanent part of my life with a tattoo!) Recently, to celebrate my daughter’s graduation from Boston College, she and I made a trip to England and Ireland. We had a great time in both places, but I especially loved the Emerald Isle. I felt completely drawn to my homeland. I loved the accents and the topography, the architecture and the Wild Atlantic Way. We didn’t have a lot of time, and just touched on a few towns as we made a Southern circle from Dublin; there is so much more to explore there.

High on my list of places to visit was the little town of Newmarket, in County Cork. This is where the McAuliffe coatfamily hails from originally. It’s not a tourist destination, and Ali and I spent a bright sunny morning there, in search of the family herald and traipsing around the cemetery. We were directed by the town butcher to the herald, which is right in front of the tiny town hall. I love the mermaids on the ancient McAuliffe symbol–I have always felt a call to the ocean. Maybe this is one reason why…it’s in my blood! (Like beer!)

tombWe found many McAuliffes in the town cemetery, which was high on a hill overlooking Newmarket. Unfortunately, we missed a July family reunion of McAuliffes from all around the world. Someday Ali and I will have to make it back and visit with these distant relations. Everyone is so warm and friendly. And Jack tells me the phrase “getting corked” comes from those who hail from County Cork… apparently there’s a bit of rowdiness in our roots.cliffs of moher

High on our list of favorite stops, Ali and I loved the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher. The narrow roads leading there took us through tiny towns and traffic jams due to sheep crossing. Meanwhile, I had a quite a core workout driving down “Corkscrew Road” from the powers taverncliffs as we made our way to County Galway. In Galway, we had a wonderful meal at a traditional thatched roof pub, Powers Tavern. The *best* lamb stew I have ever enjoyed, and a pint of course.

We never made it to Northern Ireland, and my homeland continues to beckon. I know I’ll be back. Sláinte!


Aunt Cathy July 29, 2016 at 10:50 am

I felt the same way when I first visited Ireland! One of these days, your elderly old auntie will accompany you to that beautiful island!

Catherine Barclay November 6, 2019 at 9:59 pm

I noticed you went to cork and visited a Mcauliffe grave site. Is that where your family is from?

Renee January 10, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Yes, it is!

Carmel August 22, 2020 at 6:40 am

Hi I just found your blog here while looking for references to my McAuliffe branch. I also visited Newmarket Cemetery but quite a while ago now in 2007. I probably had a bit more time there than you did but covered north south east and west in 4 weeks. I have ancestry in Newmarket, Cork, Ennis and Miltown Malbay Ennistymon areas of Clare and my husband has Northern Ireland in Antrim, Tyrone and also Donegal.

I’m also hoping there will be an opportunity to go again but thankful I did get to see my Scottish ancestral areas around Inverness, Isle of Skye and Black Isle just over 12 months ago. I am in Australia so it is a long flight and a lot of expense to get there although comparitively cheaper than in was in the 1970s when I did a lot of backpacking but had no idea where my ancestors were from.
Now my biggest dream is to get a vaccine for Covid-19 so I can spend time with my son who lives in California. I have not seen him since half way through our trip last year. He met us in London and did the Scottish part of our trip with us. Maybe I had a premonition as he said he would catch train back to London but I said no we don’t know when we will be together again so I want to drive back to the airport and then we can continue our holiday in ancestral areas of southern England. So grateful now that I had made that decision.

I spend most of my time trying to work out where DNA matches join us and that is how I came to find you looking at a DNA match who has McAuliffe ancestry on Beara Peninsula and wondering if they have a link to Newmarket. My starting point in Newmarket is my greatgrandfather James Murphy born c 1861 in Newmarket. His maternal grandparents were James Brennan and Ellen McAuliffe and I am yet to find any DNA matches who descend from this couple other than the ones I already knew of who are in Australia.

Renee September 6, 2020 at 9:33 am

Hi Carmel,
So very interesting! Cheers to family ties! Renee

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