Name Variations

Posted by Seoirse on 8/30/2011 in Genaology

Ferriter Name Spelling Variants Encountered During Research:


Fheirtéaraigh (special case: “aigh” – Family head)



Le Faritor
Le Fereter
Le Furetur


A Few Thoughts on Family History

Posted by Seoirse on 7/30/2011 in Commentary

Creation of the new Ferriter Family website moved me to a review of certain items that I had in hand, for inclusion on the site. A number of these are now posted as blog entries, including the following. None of these observations, speculations, and theories have been altered by the time that has passed between having been written and now…enjoy reading, and comment, please!

Is there a limit to the value of knowledge that one may obtain,  learn, and hold onto, about one’s own family? What value does such information have in the first place? What boundaries does one set upon the idea of “family” itself?

These thoughts are often in mind as I work to find artifacts of information pertaining to the Ferriter family.



The Merriam Webster Dictionary offers these definitions:

1: a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household


2 (a) : a group of persons of common ancestry : clan

   (b) : a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : race


O.K., those things seem to make sense: household, clan, and race. And in what order do we owe allegiance, if at all? Do individuals by nature have some bonds within each of these seemingly related definitions?

Many people are fascinated by histories of battles, of successions of power, of the stories of individual greatness. Often these fascinations couple with the ethnic or political national heritage of the interested reader – a sense of relationship perhaps This is a cut and paste exercise – I have created a Word Document that I can use to put my thoughts down on, then I can cut and paste it onto a gmail, and send it along.

Sometimes I sense that I am almost at some sort of breakthrough point or epiphany with respect to the Ferriter narrative. Without doubt, we have something rare and special here. Not singular in the sense that we are a breed apart, but special in the sense that we can look across the warp and weave of our familial tapestry, as bounded by the Name.

Most families in the West, in and of our culture cannot with much certainty identify the familial homeland, in its entirety, cannot save for in some tenuous or hazy way look back at identifiable branching from a common root, and follow the paths that the several, becoming many, branches have taken in immigrating, and in staying in the home area. Many families can trace their pre-immigrant origins; few families can see the development and motion of the entire tribe.

I am sure that an outside observer might brand me as being obsessed or preoccupied with the patronymic, and with the name-bearing lines of descent. There can be no doubt or reservation with respect to the maternal inputs in the growth and development of what we are, and who we are, in time, or of this moment. That said, the Name bounds us, and provides a consistence to the fabric that we are a part of, that is us.

So, while we are a part of the One Thing – the One Great Family if you like, we are also The Ferriter Family, bounded and identified by the family name, and those that bear it.  Looking at the first paragraph, above, the rare gift that we have in our possession can clearly be seen. Very much unlike most families that exist in the 21st Century, the Ferriters can see with some clarity, the whole group, the entire clan. Everybody is visible, and our ancestors preceding us back across time are thus largely visible also.

So, do I envision some sort of voluminous history, some tale of All Ferriters? The narrative seems much more like a painting of some vast size and complexity, or as a sculpture, again of many colors and parts.  A map with many rivers, valleys, channels, and guiding terrain features.

Perhaps the view is obvious to others, but for me, the more I learn about what we have done and where we have come from - the more tangible and focused becomes the image of a single entity struggling and growing across the generations. I have seen many things, and have heard many stories involving Ferriters doing wild and fantastic things: triathlon competitions at advanced ages Open Ocean rowing, first ever swims in dangerous waters, war fighting, motocross, auto-polo, and dangerous work in deep mines, great scholarship, musical prowess, clever escapes, and more. So very many interesting and extraordinary feats and experiences the list could go on and on.

In each generation, there may be a family, or several closely related families that exhibit some superlative characteristics.  Sometimes more than one such “super-family” may exist at once, and in some cases their surpassing skills may be unrelated, i.e., one may have great scholars, and another may have great athletes.

Throughout history, most cultures and societies have shared the reality that the family – the family as a network of relationships – serves as a trustworthy barrier against vicissitude.  Surely, this time proven approach should hold true yet today.


Historical Notions

Posted by Seoirse on 6/30/2011 in Commentary | Ireland

Creation of the new Ferriter Family website moved me to a review of certain items that I had in hand, for inclusion on the site. A number of these are now posted as blog entries, including the following. None of these observations, speculations, and theories have been altered by the time that has passed between having been written and now…enjoy reading, and comment, please!



Across history, many families have produced successive generations of noteworthy individuals. As western history developed principally as an aristocracy/oligarchy, irrespective of national boundaries, finding sons, grandsons, and great grandsons of prominent individuals successively appearing in historical accounts should not be surprising. Ruling families and ruling classes ensure that this sort of historical succession occurs.

Only much more recently, in the most modern era…during the past 200 years or so, have the individual identities of participants from less well positioned families been discernable…

In the early days of the Norman Incursion….

Following the road to and across Ireland, across centuries of time

The Geraldines, Piaras, Dominick, the Jacobites, Nicholas, sea captain, Nicholas the rope maker, John Stephen, the American pioneers, the Civil War veterans, Litigants, Trainmen,  Muiris and Pardraig  Feiritear and the Land League, Padraig the Manuscript Collector, WWI,  Authors, WWII, Korea, Artists, SEA, on to today…

In Ireland we had perhaps two, then only one settlement area…the far western end of the Corca Dhubhine peninsula…in the New World, first one and then another, for a final total of perhaps a dozen principal areas: New England, (principally Western MA), New York, (the City, and the West), The Midwest (IN, IL, WI and IA), Nebraska, Montana, California, Virginia, Missouri. The most frequent landing area has been Western Massachusetts, sometimes only for a generation or so, then moving on westward.

Today we have….Artists, Lawyers, Soldiers, Sailors, Doctors, Historians, Engineers, Policeman, Businessmen, Educators and more… alongside hardworking men and women in all manner of jobs…

We sometimes live at the cusp of causation; hence we appear in the background of many screenshots of many large events. Here we have a Ferriter at the Battle of the Boyne, here a Ferriter at the Boston Massacre, there a Ferriter at Gettysburg, and another at ………(frww1). Ferriters on Wall Street, walking out of the Chosin Reservoir, on a ship blockading Cuba during the missile crisis,  in the Jungles of Vietnam, at Woodstock, and everywhere that important things are happening this moment.

An eddy, a current, a subsurface tide of energy and ability, flowing just below topical events. More gifted than most families in terms of raw ability, more diverse than most families in how those abilities are distributed…tinged with something akin to greatness.

We know a lot about some of these predecessors,

Which brings cause to wonder…what about those remaining behind in Europe…the non-Irish Ferriters, our unknown cousins. 12th cousins, 14th cousins, 24th cousins and on and on…relations extending from common roots lost in time a thousand, two thousand, or three thousand years ago…where?

Sometimes there seems to be a deep craving for a return, for a salmon-like migration up river, bucking the tides and leaping obstacles. Back across North America, back over the far Atlantic, into Ireland, and across, to Munster, to Kerry, to Corca Dhubhine, to Baile an Fhearitearaigh, and to home…


More about seoirse

George Edmond Ferriter

From a branch of the Ferriter family that made its way to Illinois and Iowa during the middle part of the 19th century, George is a resident of Doylestown in the state of Wisonsin, USA. His was a family group that, while scattered, developed a tradition of keeping the family history alive in a sort of oral tradition. George has had a lifelong interest in Ferriter family history, both the history of the family in Ireland and of the traveling branches. He has written many short blog pieces of Seoirse Feiritear, and has presented at earlier Ferriter events on several topics. In 2015, George will make a presentation on Ferriters who served in the US Civil War. This will focus on the individuals, but also on the larger context of the Irish in this conflict. Extending from a military line, George is a veteran of the US Air Force. George's grandfather John Patrick Ferriter, and his father Charles Arthur Ferriter were career military men as veterans of WWI and WWII respectively. A retired engineer, George currently serves as Village President in Doylestown.