World Families Forums - Leary diaspora

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Author Topic: Leary diaspora  (Read 1618 times)
WP Leary
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« on: March 29, 2007, 05:05:03 AM »

My DNA profile is on the website and, as far as I understand this, indicates common ancestry with USA Learys approximately 250 -300 years ago. As with the patriarchs listed, we have been unable to track down birth certs but the following points might ring a few bells:
Leary (O/Leary) is essentially a surname from the West of County Cork in SW Ireland. Over the years the name spread across Ireland and is common enough everywhere, including Dublin, Waterford and Kerry.  Major emigration took place between 1830 and 1890 to England, Australia, America and South Africa (the last, mainly with the British army of the time). After the Celtic revival of circa 1895+, the name began to revert to O'Leary in Ireland and so the "old emigrants" in USA, Aus etcetra are Leary and the cousins in Ireland O'Leary. Further; Leary is a Catholic/Fenian name but many families became Methodists/ Anglicans etc in order to be assmilated in colonial culture.
My known ancestor (great-grandfather), William Leary enlisted in Naas, county Kildare at the age of 16 in 1837 and was sent to South Africa. he left at least 2  ?younger brothers (Arthur- ? to Aus - and Joshua ? to USA) in Ireland.
I shall post William's descendants later but suffice it to say, he had some 12 children during an exciting period in the border wars of eastern Cape. No doubt his sons tangled with the ancestors of Nelson Mandela! I returned to Ireland in 1988 and my grandson Thomas (b2006) is the first of our family to be born in Ireland itself since about 1830.
In any event, if anyone in USA or Australia knows of a 19th century ancestor Arthur or Joshua Leary, or has knowledge of an origin near County Kildare, I would be interested to hear from them and maybe see their DNA patterns.
WP Leary aka
Dr Perry Leary
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