Welcome to the Towey Clan Website
Fáilte go dtí an greasain Clann Tuathaigh
The Clan’s objective is to preserve and expand knowledge about the heritage of our Irish ancestors having the Towey surname and its variations. Through research and education, we compiled a central archive of relevant genealogical and historical information of our heritage and to make it freely available to all enquirers. We provide historical information about Ireland and the events that affected our Irish ancestors.
Where is the “Home Area” of the Toweys?
People bearing the Irish surname of Towey trace our ancestry primarily to the vicinity of the town of Ballaghaderreen, in Co. Roscommon. (Ballaghaderreen townlands were in western Co. Mayo before British change in 1898.) Most lived in one of these four parishes – Kilcolman, Castlemore, Kilbeagh, Kilmovee. These parishes were part of the pre-Norman territory known as Sliabh Lugha ruled by the O’Gadhra Dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries. After the Norman invasion in 1170, these parishes became part of the Barony of Costello in the 13th century.
- A chronological digest of above is given at Historical Land Names
- Click 1901 Census with Coach Route Map for townlands where over 70% of Toweys lived at that census.
- Also check 1901 Census Towey Variants All Ireland which lists the Irish census by County where Toweys and name variations lived in 1901.
What is the Origin of the Towey Surname?
Irish Times reports that the first Irish surnames began about 916 AD. By the 1200s many families had acquired true surnames as we would know them today. But when did the “Towey” surname originate and how?
At present, any one answer to this question is controversial, so we have learned to live tentatively with three explanations:
(1) Some of us uphold the tradition that we were originally members of an O’Neill sept which was transplanted from Co. Tyrone by Oliver Cromwell in the mid-17th century.
(2) Other Toweys have been told by our elders that we are descendants of members of the Tuohy family from Co. Cork who fled the warfare in that area during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
(3) We also debate whether it is legitimate to consider ourselves part of Ireland’s Chlann O’Tuathaigh as claimed by some Toweys or are we part of Clann O’Toghdha as identified by others
What are the Clan’s Activities?
Periodic Clan gatherings are held at Ballaghaderreen, Ireland as listed in our Get Togethers menu. Besides discussing family history, we also advise our members who are actively engaged in their own genealogical research. We’ve also initiated a male yDNA project to help male members relate to their Towey heritage when conventional records do not exist. We also invite our female members to participate in mtDNA testing to verify where we share a Maternal ancestry line. Checkout our DNA web page for yDNA and mtDNA testing information.
Join the Clan
Should you have anyone or know of descendants of these families, please join us and be a part of the Towey Clan. We have no membership fees or dues. if you wish to join the Clan or seek further information or even come visit with us at the August 2017 Get Together in Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon, Ireland, please so notify us.