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Darren McGettigan

Darren McGettigan

Darren is an historian, author and genealogist from County Wicklow, Ireland. He provides genealogy services to help you discover your family history in Ireland.

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The Annals of the Four Masters (also often known as the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland), is one of the most important collections of Irish annals, written at the Franciscan house at Bundrowes in south County Donegal in the 1630s. These annals can also be a great genealogical resource as they record the deaths and very often the major events in the lives of thousands of medieval Gaelic Irish chieftains and kings, and often their wives and children and most important followers also.

Friday, 25 March 2011 12:33

The McCabe Galloglass Family

The arrival of well armed mercenaries (gallóglaigh ~ foreign warriors), to Ireland from the Gaelic Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the late medieval period, greatly contributed to the growth in the military power of the major Gaelic Irish chieftains who could afford to hire a galloglass constable with his company of warriors and reward them with grants of land and many other priviledges.

Thursday, 10 February 2011 19:29

Wild Geese of the Tsars

By the 1700s most Irishmen who left the island to serve as soldiers in the armies of continental Europe joined the Irish Brigade in the French Royal army. After the French army the next most popular destinations for Irish mercenaries were the armies of Spain and Austria. From 1750 service in the British army also became popular. However, throughout the eighteenth century a handful of determined and indeed talented Irish soldiers make the long and arduous journey east to join the Russian army and serve the Tsars.

After the Great Famine of the 1840s many Scottish land speculators bought estates in County Donegal where they planned to replicate the harsh experience of the Scottish Highlands where the landlords evicted almost all of their tenants in order to graze more profitable sheep. However, the Donegal Irish proved to be much more resilient and resourceful than their Highland Scottish counterparts and successfully resisted most attempts to clear them off their own land.

The Irish have a long and proud history of serving with distinction in the armies of foreign countries. It began in the early seventeenth century when the exiled Gaelic nobles of Ulster raised many Irish regiments to serve in the Spanish Army of Flanders, and continued with the service of the famous Irish Brigade in the Royal French army in the 1700s.

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