The Irish in America


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Gathering Spotlight: Loughman Family of Tipperary

Gorgeous Tipperary -- from TheGatheringIreland.com

Gorgeous Tipperary — from TheGatheringIreland.com

So, the LOUGHMAN FAMILY is getting together this summer for a gathering, and they are inviting ALL DESCENDANTS OF MICHAEL LOUGHMAN born about 1790 in COUNTY TIPPERARY, IRELAND to join them.

The Loughman Gathering organizers would be thrilled to hear from the American branch of the Loughman family tree. They know you’re out there, so get in touch! Please email them, even if you are unable to attend the reunion this summer. But, really, who could pass up an invitation like this? Read on to learn more about the Loughman Family and their Gathering!

The following appears on The Gathering Ireland website:

 The Loughman Gathering is seeking to reunite the descendants of Michael Loughman (born c.1790) & his son, William Loughman (1828-1899) of Foilmacduff, Hollyford, Co. Tipperary. William married Mary Ryan (1836-1943) who lived to be 107 and was said to remember the night of the “Big Wind”. They had fourteen children in all, a number of whom did not survive beyond infancy, and there were two “double” marriages, i.e. brother and sister married brother and sister with the Harringtons of Milleen, Ailihies in Cork and the Tuohys of Knockroe, Annacarty, Co. Tipperary.

The US branch of the family is well-documented with a large family tree on the internet and reunions have taken place in Butte, Montana but never in Ireland….so now in the year of The Gathering, it is time to invite all the Loughmans worldwide (and all branches of the family: Harringtons, Touhys, Butlers etc.) to come back to Co. Tipperary.

TheGathering_logo_Blue_RWHAT: Loughman Family Gathering

WHEN: Friday, August 23rd – Sunday, August 25th 2013

WHERE: Dundrum House Hotel, Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland

GATHERING IRELAND: Click here for event listing

ORGANIZERS: Dolores O’Shea, Larry Cooney, Liam Loughman

FAMILY TREE: Click here and here

FACEBOOK: Loughman Gathering Page

EMAIL: Loughman2013@outlook.com

TELEPHONE: dial (011) 353 90 9741308 from the USA  

OFFICIAL INVITATION: Click here to view the full agenda and details for the weekend 

For information on The Irish in America’s genealogy and family history tour services, click here. We can help you plan your visit to Ireland around your family gathering. We absolutely love County Tipperary! In 2011 our family had a magical experience staying at Tipperary’s luxurious Lisheen Castle.


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Ireland is a Small Country

Jim takes a moment to reflect on family, genealogy, and Ireland…

Ireland occupies 27,136 square miles of Mother Earth’s surface. As of 2011 about 4,581,269 people inhabit that area. As a comparison Minnesota, where I live in the United States has about 5,200,000 folks spread over about 86,934 square miles. Just how small was illustrated by an encounter I had on a recent trip to the homeland.

One of my goals on that trip was to meet the members of the Loughman/Kelly branch of my McCormack family tree. My grandfather’s youngest sibling Johanna McCormack who was born at Ballyedmond, Queens County (now Co. Laois) in 1874 married James Loughman from Killadooley in 1904. For many years Aunt Johanna, as she was called, corresponded with my aunt Nellie McCormack Marrin in Minneapolis. Johanna’s daughter Catherine Loughman, who would later marry Tom Kelly, continued the correspondence with my Aunt Nellie. As part of my search I had acquired several photos taken of family in Ireland when my cousin Eileen Hamm Garding had visited in the mid 1970’s. I had already identified the people in most of the photos. I was however stumped by a photo in which the only two of seven people pictured that I knew were Eileen and our cousin Kate Loughman Kelly. On my second day in Ireland I met Michael Kelly, Kate and Tom Kelly’s oldest son. The way that meeting came about is a story to be told another day. For our purposes today let it suffice to say that Michael was easily able to identify the other people in the mystery photo.

They were Nan Loughman Wall, Kate’s stepsister, Nan’s son Mick, his wife, and their two daughters. The names are only important because of what happened next.

Regan McCormack, Johnny Delaney, and the cup

Two nights later my family and I were attending a victory celebration in a pub in Clogh. It just so happened that the Hurling team from Clogh/Ballacolla had recently won the County Laois Championship. The reason we were at the party is that another cousin Johnny Delaney was the captain and star of the team.

While enjoying the celebration at the pub I was introduced to a fellow named Mick Wall. The name sounded familiar but I could not place it. I do have about 1700 names in my family tree. After a few minutes it started to come to me. I asked him if his parents were Mick and Madge. Sure enough he was the son of the family in the mystery photo that had just been identified two days earlier. Where but in Ireland could a Yank from St. Paul Minnesota be celebrating with the team captained by a cousin in one of the smallest hamlets in the County run into the son of a man on the mystery photo?


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Grandfather

Years ago I resigned myself to the fact that I would never knew much about my paternal grandfather, Bill McCormack. He died of a massive heart attack in 1957 and so much sadness surrounded this event and its implications, that people rarely spoke of him. I understood why this was so, but at the same time I wanted to know what kind of man was my grandfather. I had a couple of reasons for my curiosity: 1) I never had a grandpa and I felt like I was really missing out, and 2) I loved to ask questions and get to the bottom of things (What, are you writing a book or something? is the question my dad frequently asks me.)

My dad has thoroughly researched the family tree, and several years ago, he learned that his first-generation Irish American father had visited Ireland as a young man in the 1930s. My grandpa’s first cousin Paddy McCormack (of Rathdowney, County Laois) was a boy at the time and recalled the visit. This intrigued me and of course I had a bunch of questions that no one could answer. By default, my imagination took over and I created a dramatic tale surrounding my grandpa’s return to his father’s birthplace in Ireland.

Last month while in Ireland, my dad and I were chatting with Michael Kelly (see previous post). One of the first things out of Michael’s mouth that afternoon was, “The day my mother received word that Bill McCormack had passed away was a sad day indeed…” I had heard such sentiments over the years, but what made this different was what followed.

Michael went on to say that when my grandfather came to Ireland in 1934, his mother (and Bill’s first cousin) Katie Loughman showed my grandfather all around the area and introduced him to neighbors and relatives. Stories of horse races and touring, nights out and singing – it sounded like they had a fabulous time and Katie and Bill became great friends. Katie also corresponded with Bill’s sister Nellie for many years.

I was thrilled to hear Michael tell the stories of my grandfather’s Irish visit. For the first time I could associate joy, humor, and fun with my grandfather – things I always suspected about him, but I was unable to get past the sorrow of his untimely death.

My grandpa Bill McCormack, great-uncles Jimmy Flannery and Jim McCormack, early 1940s

Thanks for the stories, Michael Kelly. I am that much closer to learning about my grandfather.

Next time, guest blogger Jim with his observations on family history and his recent trip to Ireland.