Clan Callaghan The O Callaghan Family of County Cork Revised Edition: Book Review

Disclaimer: I have received a complimentary copy of this book, and others in the past, from Genealogical dot com. However, this has not influenced my opinions of the publications in any way.

In my earlier post today, I mentioned two books on Irish genealogy that I have received from the Genealogical Publishing Company.

The second book is Clan Callaghan The O Callaghan Family of County Cork, Revised Edition 2020 by Joseph F. O Callaghan.

As previously mentioned, I haven’t found even the tiniest bit of Irish ancestry in my family tree, although I’ve visited Ireland several times. It’s a gorgeous country and I would be proud to claim a family branch, or two, or three, for my own.

Back to the task at hand – Mr. O Callaghan’s book isn’t the “typical” family history tome. There are no who begat whos until the tables in the back on page 231.

Table of Contents

List of Subscribers
Patron’s Address
Foreward by Juan O Callaghan Casas
Preface to the Revised Edition
1. Origins: Legend and History
2. The O Callaghans in the Tudor Age
3. The End of the O Callaghan Clan
4. Le Case de Tanistry and Its Aftermath
5. The Confederation of Kilkenny
6. From Cromwell to the Wild Geese
7. The Penal Laws
8. Catholic Emancipation, the Famine, and the Land League
9. The O Callaghan Diaspora
10. Epilogue
Genealogical Tables

What is different about this “family history” is that it leans more towards a scholarly work than a typical genealogy study with lots of source citations in the footnotes.  It also places the Clan O Callaghan in the social and historical contexts of their time, giving the reader an excellent insight as to what Irish life was like in past centuries.

The family history begins in the Middle Ages with background information about the struggles for power, religious influences and the appearance of Irish surnames.

With the dawn of the Tudor years, Ireland began its direct, longstanding opposition to English influence on its soil. By the early 1600s, the Irish were fighting battles in English courts and the clan system of life was drawing to a close. From that time forward, Irish history has been inextricably tied to that of England.

As seen in the chapter titles, the long, difficult saga of Irish life is told through the ensuing centuries, which bring poverty and religious persecution to its people. The Great Famine struck the final blow for many families.

Mr. O Callaghan skillfully shares the O Callaghan life experiences through centuries of Irish turmoil, up until the time when the Irish people leave their homeland em masse in pursuit of a better life elsewhere.

If I were a Callahan (of any spelling), I would certainly want this book on my reference shelf. However, I would recommend this book for anyone with deep Irish roots as the author packs an incredible amount of Irish history into ten chapters. It doesn’t matter whether your name i Callahan, Kelly or Murphy. Your Irish ancestors experienced the same challenges during their lifetimes.

Clan Callaghan The O Callaghan Family of County Cork A History, Revised Edition (2020) by Joseph F. O Callaghan is priced at $39.95 and can be ordered online.



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