Barrett Irish History

In 1168-1169, William Barrett of Carew, Pembrokeshire and his four sons joined Richard “Strongbow” Fitzgilbert dc Claire. After initially landing in Ireland in 1169-1170, the Barretts fought under more prominent men (De Cogan, Strongbow) and were successful in battle.   Strongbow was given Lordship of Leinster by King Henry in 1171, after the king of Leinster died and strongbow married his daughter Aofe. Much of what is now County Cork was given to Milo de Cogan, who was Strongbow’s right hand man in the invasion of Leinster.

In the beginning of the 13th century, the local Irish King of Connaught was named Taithleach Mauidhe. He became very upset with the invading Normans from Wales and England, specifically with William ‘Na Mor’ Barrett (very likely the son of the invading William Barrett of Carew, Wales). In 1236, Richard Mòr de Burgo asked for the help of Maurice Fitzgerald to help conquer the local clans in Connaught. Fitzgerald brought an expeditionary force to Connaught, which included Hugh De Lacy, Walter de Ridelesfort, John Cogan, The Birminghams, the Pendergasts, the Fitzgriffins and the Botillers. Also mentioned in the force are the names Staunton, Roche, de Barry, Cusack, Fleming, de Exeter and Barrett. The group first plundered Roscommon and Sligo, then turned southward to meet the Irish forces. These clans were easily defeated. The local clans of O’Connors, O’Flaghertys, O’Brians and the O’Heynes made a last minute alliance to fight the Normans, but after the battle at Silgo, the O’Flahertys and the O’Heynes changed to the Norman side. The group the turned northward again and took Westport via Tuam and Ballinrobe, where they broke up a local tribal clan rally. Felim O’Connor , the leader of the local Irish clans, was captured and brought to Boyle. When this happened, the local clans were crushed and conceded to the Norman invading families. Throughout the invasion, the Normans left the countryside wasted. It was written that “Connaught was without food and clothing in church or territory, without peace, or quiet, or prosperity.” Parishes suffered from war and famine and all of this was accompanied by a season of great rain and bad weather. Richard Mor de Burgo (De Burge) built a castle in Loughrie and then left for England. This allowed for the distribution of Connaught among the Norman invaders. Richard de Burge became overlord of Connaught . The divisions of he lands were:

Richard de Burge: acquired the lands of Loughrea, Leitrim, and Longford

Hugh de lacy: acquired 5 cantred in Mayo

Maurice Fitzgerald: the western half of Conmhaicne Cuile and the baronies of Ross and Silgo. He later purchased two baronies from de Lacy and the eastern half of Conmhaicne Cuile from Roche.

Walter de Ridelesfort: Admekin and Corofin

John de Cogan: South Claregalway

Pendergast: Claremorris and the eastern half of Conmhaicne Cuile, which he sold to Roche, who then sold to Fitzgerald.

Staunton: Carra

Birmingham: Dunmore

Botiller: Burrishoole

O’Kellys: 4 cantreds

The rest of Connaught was divided between Joedan, Nangle, Dillon, Roche, Petit, Carew and BARRETT.

This is the beginning of the Barrett clan in northwestern ireland.

It was recorded that a Barrett was given Bredagh by Robert de Cardew down in Southern Ireland around this time. It was discovered that the Barretts were the principal colonist family in Mayo, followed by the Cusacks.  William de Berg also granted the lands of Tirawley to the Cusack Family, which lead to a dispute over Tirawley by the Barretts and Cusacks in 1282. This was known as the Battle of Kilroe. This incident can be read about at This can also be read about in “The Early History of the County of Mayo” by Hubert Thomas Knox. The invading Welshmen were led by William More Barrett, who had conquered another batch of invading families including the Cusacks, Browns and Moores who had built a fortified castle on their occupied territory at Meelick, near Killala. William More Barrett, who gave it to his kinsman Mac Wattin, speedily took this stronghold. The frustrated Cusack sought the aid of local clans and made an alliance with Tahilly O’Dowd ( a.k.a. Taithleach Mauidhe, the local clan king)out for revenge upon Barrett for the loss of Tirawley. The opposing forces were drawn up at Moyne, where local lore still identifies the pillar stones which marked their respective positions. According to folklore, the two parties were lined up and the leaders met in the middle for a parlay.  During the parlay, an arrow was fired by one of the servants, which in turn began the battle.  During the battle, Tahilly O’Dowd and his friend Tahilly O’Boyle were foremost in bravery and daring, and Cusack and his Irish auxiliaries carried the day. William More Barrett and one of his henchmen, Adam Fleming, were among the fallen and their supporters fled in despair. Many of them sought sanctuary in the nearby Church of Kilroe, but they were pursued by the vengeful victors, surrounded and butchered unmercifully. William Barrett and Adam Fleming were arrested and thrown into Cusack’s dungeon, where they later died. The following year, O’Dowd was murdered by Cusack, who himself died 5 years later leaving Tirawley back in the possession of the remaining Barretts in 1287. The Barretts were also heard from in the famous dispute in the “Welshmen of Tirawley”.  In this dispute,the Barrett family had a steward that went to collect Taxes from the Lynott family. The steward was rumored to have “taken a maid” and the Lynott family killed him and dumped his body in a well near Carncastle. The Barrett family was enraged and gave the Lynott men the choice of loosing their eyes or their manhood. The Lynotts chose their eyes and the Barretts removed them. The Barretts then tested their blindness by making them cross over stepstones at Cloghan an Dallas” The Lynotts then planned revenge for 15 years and trained up a young man (Teoboid Mael Bourke) as their foster son to kill the Barretts. The young man made his stand at the stream of Carnasack, but was killed by the Barretts in the process. The Barretts gave the the true parents (The Bourkes) eighteen quarters of land as recompense. The Barretts, Lynotts and the Bourkes were the main families that settled in the Doolough area of County Mayo in that time. In 1380, the Barrett family had gained control over the area of Erris, which is located in Mayo .

In 1584, much of what is now the county Mayo was split into baronies that were run by Barons. Sir Edmond Barrett was awarded the Baroney of Erris (or Irrus) . Sir Edmond Barrett was knighted by Queen Victoria 1 for his services to the British crown. Later in 1585, Sir Edmund Barrett was recorded as the Barron of Irrus, and was residing in a castle in Doolough. This castle, known as Glencastle, was of own as “The Gates of Erris”. In 1593, Edmond Barrett requested a commission to look into the ownership of Erris. In 1594, he was awarded all of Erris, including Ballycroy and Balleymunnelly. Edmond Barrett was trying to take control of the land in Erris that was recently lost by the macWilliam Bourkes, while still retaining his lands that he obtained in the 1584 Baron Patent. To obtain these new lands, he had to surrender Erris and Tirawley, only to have the given back in a grant. Ov March 9, 1594, the lands were given to Edmond Barrett in C’loonagashel. These granted lands included Inver, Tiraun, Leam, Corraghrie, Toescart, Inishkea, Ballencarn, Ballenglancoe, Dookeeghaun, Balleycroy, Balleymunnelly, Dowkreghan, Doohooma, the half quarter of Carowleccan, Kilbride, and Rathlacan, which was part of the barony of Tirawley.

To the English, Erris was known as “Arrus Dundohmnaill”. The castle stood as a fort between the area of Erris and the rest of Ireland.

Edmond Barrett at one time fought for England in Europe and was wounded during his service. Upon his return to health and to Ireland, the King awarded all of his current lands along with a few new pieces of land in an official Patient.  On March 10, 1605, the Irish Patient Rolls of King James I,record: “To EDMOND BARRETT, esq., commonly called baron of Irrus, was granted, on 10th March, in third year, pursuant to privy seal, no. 69, pa. 208; The entire country, territory, or barony of Irrus; the castle, manor or town of Imver; the towns and castles of Lean and Curraghrie; the town of Toeskart; the island of Iniskea; the towns of Ballincarne, Ballinglanchoe, Dukighan and Balliconnell; the castle and town of Doukrighan; the town of Doughoma, within the barony of Irrus—the half quarter of Corrowlaccan; the town and castle of Kilbride; and the town of Rathlaccan, in the barony of Tireawley, in co. Mayo; with all manors, lordships, castles, messuages, lands, tenements, as in no. 14, pa. 125; which premises were the lawful aud ancient inheritance of the said Edmond Barrett, and his ancestors, as appeareth by inquisition taken at Clanecashell, in co. Mayo, 19th March 1593—to hold to him and his assigns, for life; with remainder, in tail male, to his three sons, William, Richard and Edmund, and their respective heirs male; remainder to the heirs male of his own body ; remainder to Peter, son of Eremon Barrett, of Dowlagh, and his heirs male; remainder to Mathew Barrett, of Dowlagh, and his heirs male; remainder to the crown; to be held, by the 40th part of a knight’s fee, at a rent of 40*. irish; with liberty to hold a weekly Saturday market, at the village of Dowlagh, in co. Maio; with courts of pie-powder, and all tolls, profits and emoluments, at an annual rent of 5*. ster.—and this grant to be valid in law, notwithstanding, inter alia, the statute of 18th Hen. yi., as referred to in no. 91, pa. 66.” Excerpt From: Ireland. Chancery, John Caillard Erck. “ Excerpt From: Ireland. Chancery, John Caillard Erck. “A repertory of the inrolments on the patent rolls of Chancery in Ireland …” d: Edmund Barrett receiving the town and castle of Kilbride and the town of Rathlaccan in the Barrony of Trelawney. At this time, Edmund Barrett was known at the “Barron of Irrus (or Erris). In the 19th and early 20th century, the castle was destroyed and the stones were used for building roads throughout the area. Only three large mounds stand where the once great castle stood.

"The Gates of Erris", the once great Glencastle.
“The Gates of Erris”, the once great Glencastle.

The Way That I Went by Robert Lloyd Praeger (1937), Erris is described as “the wildest, loneliest stretch of land to be found in Ireland” where “your feet never leave the heather, save that twice you cross a road, fenceless, like a narrow white ribbon in a vast brown bog.”

Cliffs on the northwest coast of Erris
Cliffs on the northwest coast of Erris
Carrowmore Lough, Erris
Carrowmore Lough, Erris

but after the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Cromwellian redistribution and the Restoration, much of the barony passed to Sir Robert Viner. Viner was a wealthy London goldsmith who was owed money by King Charles II.   The Barretts of northwest Ireland had their concentration in County Mayo, however the Barretts in the south concentrated in County Cork. The Barretts of Cork had their main holdings originally around Glandore, with a secondary estate at Grenagh north of Blarney. After the invasion of Ireland, Milo De Cogan was given a large portion of Co Cork, Ireland.  De Cogan in turn gave the Barrett’s that served under him a large portion of land. From  the late 12th century to the mid 15th century, the Barretts served under the De Cogans. CastleMore, was built around 1235 by the Knights Templar to protect Mourne Abbey. The De Cogan family later purchased the property after being given permission from the King to hold a weekly market at the property. After losing wealth and power, the De Cogan family sold CastleMore and it was eventually purchased by the Barrett family in the early 1600’s. The castle was damaged by Oliver Cromwell’s forces in 1645 and was later taken over in 1690. John Barrett lost 12,000 acres to the invading forces and “Castle Barrett (previously CastleMore)” was destroyed. Here are the remains of what was once the center of a 12,000 acre empire run commanded by the Barrett Family.

Castle Barrett ruins. Cork, Ireland.
Castle Barrett ruins. Cork, Ireland.

Before Castle Barrett however, the Barretts worked hard to spread their Influence throughout Cork. The Gaelic Resurgence drove them from their west Cork lands in the early 1300s, and they appear to have settled mostly at Grenagh. Here they began to concentrate their numbers and influence to spread throughout Cork again.  In 1317, William Barrett, in consequence with his father Robert working with the king’s armies against “the king’s enemies” was granted two parts of the local land “Grenagh”, and the castle on that land. Around 1360, the Barrett’s overlords (The Cogans) were at war with a local Irish clan called the McCarthy’s and their followers. The Barretts for some reason unknown chose to support the local families instead of their fellow Norman Invading families.  The Cogans had support from the English Crown and in 1363 they re-conquered much of the remaining area of Cork. After these lands were vacated by the Macarthy’s and other local families, the Barretts took this opportunity and prevented the Cogans and occupied the lands themselves or rented them out to some of the lesser known Macarthy supporters. The Barrett chief (Richard Oge) then married Peter de Cogan’s daughter. This allowed the Barretts to seize Carrigrohane castle as their headquarters. This castle remained the Barrett headquarters from approximately 1370 to 1436, when the castle was sold to the Fitzgerald Earl of Desmond. Carrigrohane Castle has fallen into ruin, but this sketch shows how it appeared around 1800.

Carrigrohane Castle circa 1800
Carrigrohane Castle circa 1800
View of River from the top of Carrigrohane Castle
View of River from the top of Carrigrohane Castle
Carrigrohane Castle covered in Ivy
Carrigrohane Castle covered in Ivy
Carrigrohane Castle Front Sketch
Carrigrohane Castle Front Sketch
Carrigrohane Castle Back Sketch
Carrigrohane Castle Back Sketch

The Barretts were also the builders of Ballincollig Castle during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and was the chief castle in the Barrony of Barretts.  From what records show, this SEEMS to be the most notable Barrett stronghold in Cork during the early 1400’s until the purchase of Castle Barrett in the early 1600’s. Ballincollig was also damaged in 1641 by invading forces. You can still see the ruins today, as are pictured below.

Ballincollig Castle and Irish Wolfhound
Ballincollig Castle and Irish Wolfhound
Ballincollig Overhead View
Ballincollig Overhead View
Ballincollig Overhead View (2)
Ballincollig Overhead View (2)

After Coloniel John Barrett raised an army of Infantry for King James’ army in Ireland, his clan suffered genocide by the hands of the Williamite army in the late 1600’s. Many Barretts went into hiding in Ireland for a short time, some went back to England, and many chose to immigrate to America in the early 1700’s during the Great Irish Migration. The Cork Barrett’s heraldic Arms were recorded as “a Barry of ten per pale argent and gules counterchanged” which means a shield split in half with ten rows of alternate red and white. The crest that is recorded for Irish Barretts in general is “a Demi-lion rampant sable ducally crowned per pale argent and gules”. The crest is positioned on the top of a helmet, however for heraldry, it is positioned at the top of the shield. It looks like what is pictured below (However the lion should have a red and white crown. This was the closest that I could find.)

Irish Barrett Arms and Crest
Irish Barrett Arms and Crest

A Castle Barrett, the same arms were used, however a different crest was applied. It was know as “A human heart or. Between two wings conjoined Sa. Semee of Etoiles or.” This means a golden human heart between two black joined wings with golden stars”.  This black and white drawing comes from Fairburns book of crests.

Castle Barrett Crest
Castle Barrett Crest

After the the castle was destroyed in 1690 and the families went their separate ways, the crest was still found in other areas. This shows the survival of the original Castle Barrett family. John Barrett was the mayor of Bolton England in  the late 1800’s. His link in the Mayor’s Chain of Office shows the crest of Castle Barrett with his initials and his personal motto. It is pictured below.

Mayor john Barrett Crest (1888-1890 office). It is clearly a variation of Castle Barrett's crest.
Mayor john Barrett Crest (1888-1890 office). It is clearly a variation of Castle Barrett’s crest.

I have been unable to establish a solid link from Irish Barretts to American families as of yet, but with time and technology I believe it will happen.


72 thoughts on “Barrett Irish History

    1. Robin, sorry for the terribly slow reply. I just noticed the comments section for the blog, and have been trying to catch up to the comments left these past few months! I feel terrible and rude! Anyways, I wrote that blog as notes initially, just so I could have something to check my dates against. It helped me try to piece things together from scraps here and there. I have seen that over in Ireland, there have been papers, essays, and books written about Irish Barretts, but most of which I can not read over the Internet. I will attempt to do more blogs soon!

    1. I am still searching as best I can, the history of my ancestors and still stuck in the U.S. colonial records. I have traced it back to Ward James Barrett born 1763 in Colonial Virginia. His fathers name is John Barrett but at the time of his birth there was numerous John Barrett’s in different locals of US. It will take time but the real handicap is the availability of English/Irish records. My father Paul P. Barrett told me we were Irish/English decent.

      Thank you for your history of the Irish Barrett’s it is very interesting and I will appreciate your sharing any future information on this family.

      1. Herbert,

        I can track my line back to Ward James Barrett as well. I cannot go back further and believe Ward was orphaned as he is listed as a tithe to the Goins family in tax records. I also show him born in 1763 in what became Patrick county Virginia. There were multiple Barrett’s in Patrick County at this time including an elder John Barrett (Not sure if he was Wards father).
        A relative of Ward was killed on the steps of the Patrick county courthouse in 1791 (Francis Barrett killed by John Bowman after a dispute). Ward moved to Buncombe County North Carolina, married Charity Mears and started a family before moving to Cannon County Tennessee where he died in 1854.

        Let me know if you have additional information.


        Jon Barrett

      2. Herbert,

        I can track my line back to Ward James Barrett as well. I cannot go back further and believe Ward was orphaned as he is listed as a tithe to the Goins family in tax records. I also show him born in 1763 in what became Patrick county Virginia. There were multiple Barrett’s in Patrick County at this time including an elder John Barrett (Not sure if he was Wards father).
        A relative of Ward was killed on the steps of the Patrick county courthouse in 1791 (Francis Barrett killed by Peter Bowman after a dispute). Ward moved to Buncombe County North Carolina, married Charity Mears and started a family before moving to Cannon County Tennessee where he died in 1854.

        Let me know if you have additional information.


        Jon Barrett

  1. Hi – My great grandfather was John Barrett who emigrated to America in the mid 1800s and was a cobbler on Cherry St on the lower East side in NYC. We heard my dad’s people was from Cork, Limerick and/or Kerry. My grandfather Charles Barrett at became a literature professor at Manhattan College and was then put thru Fordham Law School by the (probably crooked) Democratic party, being groomed for a judgeship. That didn’t happen because he was also a Customs Inspector who was one of 3 arrested for taking bribes (hey he had 11 kids) for looking the other way while drugs (he claimed he didn’t know it was drugs) were being smuggled in as part of a rackett. I forget the guys name but he was a famous Jewish mobster from the Lower East Side, particularly known for a hit for hire operation called Murder Inc. Cant believe I am blanking. Actually Tony Curtis played this mobster in a movie. We are also supposedly related to the infamous Michael Barrett. We are not nearly as interesting now. Lol. I wish I knew more about my Irish family. My dad was William. I’d love to hear from you.

    1. Hi Eileen, I too am a Barrett. I have heard my family is from the Blarney area of Cork. We have Kerry in the family as well as Waterford and possibly Kilkenney. I too have a relative who was in trouble with Customs… this would be in the mid 1930’s in PA as well as NY. It seems we should talk further! Please contact me at my details below (I hope they copy over….)

      1. Hi Robin, sorry for the delayed response. Life is hectic these days. I don’t know if my grandfather was in trouble in P.A. but definitely was in NY.

      2. My GG Grandfather John Barrett was born in Waterford around 1858?, my Grandfather Patrick Barrett Kilkenny 1884 maybe a link.
        Cheers from Australia
        Dean Barrett

    2. Eileen —

      I enjoyed your post. My great-great grandfather Richard Barrett was 12 years old when he left Mallow, Ireland, arriving in Dover Plains, NY, via Montreal in 1849 with an unmarried uncle, two young cousins and their widowed mother. The men in the family found work in the marble quarries in Dover Plains and many later worked on the railroad, New York Central, which employed my grandfather and a number of uncles and cousins.

      During prohibition, my great uncle Bill Barrett, born in Dover Plains in 1904, was a bootlegger for a time. He’d bring smuggle in Canadian whiskey and sell it in Dutchess and Putnam counties. I’m told he was warned that south of the White Plains Elks Lodge was Dutch Schultz’s territory. He maintained a nearly lifelong connection to Tammany Hall. As you said, we are not that interesting now, either.

      My father also graduated from Fordham in 1940.

      My wife and I live in California and returned from our first trip to Ireland last May, stopping to visit with my father’s 91-year-old sister in Danbury, Conn. She’s still sharp with millions of stories.

      1. Hi Art,
        I perked up when I saw Danbury, CT. I’m from a long line of Barretts from Danbury, the earliest being James Barrett b. 1833, emigrated to Danbury in the 1850’s. Any chance there is a family connection? Do you have the names of that uncle and cousins?

      2. Peter — I just replied to Kathy and noticed your earlier reply about the Danbury Barretts. I can’t recall whether I responded to you. I’ve been away for a few weeks. Our tree is public on Ancestry, which also ran my DNA. I’m still new at this. Are you on Ancestry?

    3. Hello Eileen,

      Not sure if you will get this reply but would love to be able to see if we are related down the line. I’m pretty sure that my family line goes back to the east coast. I think if I’m not mistaken their is a College named after a Barrett.

  2. I am a Barrett too but from the Mayo bunch they also immigrated to America. Do you have any more on what happened to that side of the family. We saw the remains of a Barrett castle there near the town of Crossmolina. We were told it was destroyed in a battle between the Barrett’s and the Burkes.

  3. Hello, I am first generation Irish Canadian. My family has letters from King James . I have seen them when I was young. I have not seen them within twenty years or more. I will ask my Grandmother if I may scan them and send them to you.
    And there is another Barrett castle in Ireland. It was called the castle of the 48 . Hope I could help out and thanks for posting this.

  4. Hi I am descended from the Barretts of Mayo county. Our John Barrett-b. 1827 (son of Patrick & Winnie Barrett) came to America during the potato famine. The story handed down states that John and his brother were shark fishermen in Mayo Co. and during the famine took their fishing boat and came to America, Upon arriving they were so full of sea lice they had to burn everything. We thought this story was a myth but then realized John Barrett was probably raised on the story of St. Brendan that made such a voyage. In America the brothers went separate ways looking for work . Our John ended up in West Virginia but we do not know where the other brother (0r brothers) ended up.

    1. I am sure I speak for all the Barret’s but I thank you for your information. It is very interesting part of our history. I have yet to determine for certain when exactly and where my family originated from, England or Ireland. The closest I can get is a John Barrett who was the father of my gggg grandfather Ward Barrett born in Henry County, Virginia Colony in 1763/. Others have traced a Barrett family who migrated from England in the 15th century and that may well be but some past down family information does not match exactly with theirs. Even so, the history of all the Barrett families is very interesting to me and I look forward to other family members comments.

      1. Hi Herbert,

        My name is Jon Barrett and I too descend from Ward Barrett of Henry County Virginia 1763 birth. I have been struggling to find the father of Ward Barrett and have a few ideas from my research but no proof. Do you have any information on the John Barrett you mentioned? I also know that Ward was a tithe to the Goins family and this has alot of interesting potentail implications as they were a family of mixed race freemen.

        I am very curious about the father of Ward and the relationship to the Goins family.

        Please let me know if you have additional information.


        Jon Barrett

      2. @Herbert and Jon Barrett…..I am a double 5th grandson of John Barrett(1752-1840), a Revolutionary War veteran who was born in Henry County, Virginia and moved to Buncombe County, North Carolina from Halifax County, VA in the 1790’s. He is thought to be the older brother of Miles and Ward Barrett, who were all living in Henry County and later Halifax at the same time. I have seen a number of family trees listing their father as Jonathan Barrett Sr.(1720-1792), who was born in Wales(or England) and was one of the earliest white settlers into Rowan County, NC. My lineage comes down from John Barrett’s younger son, David Barrett(1785-1850), who moved from Buncombe County,NC to Cherokee County,NC in the mid-1840’s,,,,, David’s eldest son, Andrew Barrett(1805-1897) is my GGG grandfather, and his eldest daughter, Sarah Barrett Arrowood(1815-1892) is my double GGG grandmother…and they moved from Cherokee(later Clay) County, NC to Union(later Towns) County, GA. That is where I and 6 generations before me come from! Thomas Barrett

    2. I think we are distantly related. My records show that my David Togher (1800) had a brother Anthony. His daughter Mary Togher married Anthony Walsh. They had a son Patrick who married a Winnifred Cary. Does this sound like the same family? My GGGrandmother Sarah Togher married Henry Barrett. They came to the U.S. as part of the Blacksod Immigration.

      1. Fran,
        I am not too sure on the branch that you mentioned, and the farther that I go back in my family tree there are more and more splits from many brothers and sisters. I will look into the Blacksod Immigration. The farthest That I can confirm on my family tree goes back to South Carolina around 1775. Thanks for the info!

    3. This is interesting to know. I wonder if my family is part of your John Barrett ‘ s or one of his siblings. The Barrett Family that I am from settled in Lincoln county West Virginia. As far as have been able to go back was to my Great Great Grandfather Andrew Barrett.

      1. I would love to see what you have on Andrew. One of my grandfather’s sisters encountered a meter reader by the name of Barrett. As they visited he told of the same story about coming by shark boat to America and the sea lice He asked if they might be related. She was so embarrassed to admit their family had suffered from lice in any form that she said “no”. This was probably family from the other brother there in West Virginia. It is so sad that opportunity to connect was lost.

    4. Hi, just had my DNA results and was surprised to learn I was 20% Irish . Through research I have found my Gx3 Grandmother Honera Barrett born inCounty Mayo Ned married to John Duffy . Then hit a wall can’t find any other information from Ireland. Their Daughter Mary Duffy married Martin Clark from Sligo and then came to America to Crystal Lake Illinois then Iowa. So I can trace my American ancestors back to Honera Barrett from county Mayo. Wish I could find her parents etc.

    5. As am I a descendant of Honora Barrett from Mayo County. Her daughter Mary Duffy lived in Crystal Lake Illinois, USA. Wonder if we are related? Can’t find who Honora’s parents were! If her name shows up in your research I would love to know! Thank You.

  5. Thank you for time in putting this together. The Erris region is definitely on my places to visit and research
    My Gr-Great Grandmother, Ann Nancy Barrett, born in 1839 in Dooyork County Mayo and baptized in Belmullet, married Patrick Kane in 1860 and then emigrated a few years later to Holyoke Massachusetts. Ann’s parents were Michael Barrett and Bridget McCabe.

    Keep up the great work

    1. We called my dad pádaí /paddy as well . Fascinating how the surnames in Ireland are still so strongly associated with their areas.

  6. I traced m roots to Patrick Barrett he was my great great grand father and came to america and settled in the Mass area

    1. Richard lives again! Thanks for all the interesting information. I am sixth generation American Barrett. I am descended from Dominick Barrett of Anson County, NC, He came to America from Cork, Ireland in the 1780’s. He had 11 children and died in 1840. His will left 400 acres and two slaves to each child. My GGGrandfather was William Christian Barrett. He and his brother Calvin came to Texas in 1850. Both were Confederate soldiers. Interestingly I have contact with the slaves that he brought to Texas and freed and they have become Lawyers and such and have done better than the rest of us.

      1. Hey Richard,
        I’m also a direct descendant of Dominick Barrett through William Christian Barrett of what used to be Barrett, Texas now Winfield. My lineage continues through Alonso (Lon) Edward Barrett to Jim W. Barrett (great grand father) to Lewis Barrett then David Barrett my father. Would be interesting to hear back from you! Would be great to find out any sources of info from you on Dominick before Anson County NC.

  7. My great-great-great grandfather, Giles Barrett, arrived in western Kentucky around 1800, via wagon train I have been told. Supposedly he came from northwest Georgia. I have been unable to go back beyond him. If anyone’s research includes Georgia in the 1700 or 1800’s, I would be interested in knowing what you have found regarding Barrett’s- perhaps even South Carolina area. Thanks.

    1. Brad,

      There were a large stronghold of Barretts in Georgia, mainly near Hall county, in the 1800s. Look up JPBarrert and the Barrett DNA Project!

  8. I would love to trace my family’s ancestry and know if they came to America from Ireland and if so which Barrett Clan my family comes from. Thank you for posting all of this information on the Barrett Family.

  9. Hello fellow Barrett’s! I am currently researching Barrett history and have come to a dead end with Thomas Barrett who came from Norfolk England to Braintree, MA. My research suggest that these Barrett’s came from Ireland but there were two Barrett clans. Have any of you found any further information? Thomas Barrett (1607-1668) came to America with his wife Margaret Huntington Barrett 1635-1640. There are several websites showing these two Barrett clans were actually related and others show they were not. I would love to find the truth. Thanks!

    1. To Jessie Barrett Foxx and other Barrett researchers: A good source of likely good information is”Geni” //Thomas of Braintree is one of the Barretts listed. Just punch in “Genie Thomas of Braintree” and you will have your target. You will find practicall all of the Barrett’s migrating from Norfolk England to Maschutes and more. Another “Jon Barrett ” has worked on it and his research indicates I too am related to that Thomas . I am still trying to match up Jon Berretts work with family information handed down. Jonathan, Jon, John and Thomas were names of the same family. Good luck!

    2. Hi,
      Well, we are from the same Barretts. I have traced mine back to Thomas and Margaret as well. Thats where the trail ends. I understand there are 35 different Barrett family crests. I am trying to figure out the correct crest for my family.

      1. Jill! Thanks for your comment! While most of the crests used were similar, it would be tough to find out exactly which was yours. The closest way to find a matching crest is to try a DNA testing kit and see if you match up with another Irish, English, or Welsh person. Then perhaps you can follow one of their genealogies back farther to a branch with a specific crest. Good luck!🍀

  10. My gt gt grandparents came from Glandore, Cork, James and Mary, he was a bookmaker, the family then moved to Wales. My grandfather Francis Dacey immigrated to New Zealand 1900s.Thanks for this informative page

  11. listed Bridget Barret (only one t at the end) married A. Filban either in Ireland or Canada.
    a. Filban died during the civil war. Bridget remarried James Kearney of Detroit, Michigan. My maiden name was Joy Filban and I am travelling to Ireland Oct 4, 2017. Does anyone recognize Bridet as a member of this family in your personal research.

  12. My father was William Barrett (son of Denis Barrett & Agnes Sheehan) Grattan Hill Cork.
    He had an older sister Violet and an older brother Robert plus three younger brothers Patrick Edward and Dennis
    Carole (nee Barrett) Whitfield

  13. My father Patrick Joseph was from youghal county cork. Gaelic was he’s first language and he used Ó Baróid for Barrett .

  14. This is great information. Until reading this, I was never able to make any real familial associations earlier than the arrival of Dominic Barrett in North Carolina from County Cork in the late 1700s. His youngest son, William Christian Barrett shortly after his father’s death then migrated west into East Texas until his 5 year old daughter became ill and died. He then founded the town of Barrett (now Winfield, Texas), and cemetery with the same name. Nearly all of my relatives still live in the general area of Mt. Pleasant, TX. My 3 sons, ranging from 19 years to 15 years are the last descendants of William Christian Barrett. Any information you may have on Dominic Barrett before or after his departure from County Cork around 1780-1799 would be great to see!

    Thanks for your efforts on making all of the information on your site available!

    Scott Barrett

    1. Hello Scott. My GGGrandfather was also William Christian. Then came his son Lon, Richard Burk, my father Newell Austin and myself Richard Merrill. My son Richard Allen Barrett has passed so that ends the male branch of the famly tree.

    2. We think Dominic’s father was Thomas Barrett b. 1850 in Cork, Ireland. No further information at this time. Dominic’s mother brought him to NYC in about 1880 and then migrated to Anson County, NC. My brother, Jack Conrad had six sons so William Christian has many descendants.
      Very nice to know you through this excellent blog and I also thank them for their great efforts.

  15. My grandfather, John Barrett was from Mourne Abbey near Castle Barrett on the main road between Cork and Mallow. He, his sister and mother came to the U.S. and ended up in Pawtucket, RI in 1879. Some of the family remained in Mourne Abbey. They and earlier relatives show in the Catholic parish records for births, marriages and deaths, but I can find no civil records. John, according to family tradition, worked with horses in Ireland and did the same for many years after he came to the U.S., where he drove a bakery wagon. I can find no land ownership or rental records. My guess is that the family lived as semi-transient farm laborers near Mallow but always considered themselves to be from near Mourne Abbey and used that church.

    Ten years ago when I went there and looked at the church records (with a letter of permission from the diocese of Cloyne) I met the parish priest There were only one-or-two families with the name Barrett left in the area and neither of them knew anything of John’s line. So either John’s family was so poor and low-rent that they were not acknowledged as “one of us” or the last of my Barrett relatives have left the area. There are hints in the parish records of out-of-wedlock births with the girls leaving the babies behind and vanishing, which doesn’t suggest “lace curtain” Irish. Reading the previous posts I notice a taste for literature and the law plus a family history of rum running and smuggling in the American Barretts- so I should feel tight at home 🙂

    I’ve had my genes sequenced as has my brother Bart. They are on and Any questions or comments, please drop me a line. Dave Miller, Austin TX, mail (at)

    1. Hello David — I’m curious about whether our DNA matches up? I’ve had mine sequenced via Is there a way we can compare DNA results? There may be a connection. I have 100% established that my ancestors — poor farmers from what I have learned — came from Doneraile near Mallow. By the way, I spent a week there in 2017. I learned a great deal and also found a couple dozen Barretts in the Mallow-area telephone book.

      1. Hello Art, I have my DNA on Ancestry and wonder if we match up. My Barretts were from the Doneraile area as well.

      2. It would seem there’s a good likelihood of our relationship. But then why hasn’t Ancestry confirmed or notified us of a match? Check out our family tree on Ancestry, Barrett-Gallagher Brewster NY. It’s open to the public.

        This link will take you to the page for my great-grandfather, Richard Barrett. If you look there under “other sources” you’ll find his declaration published in a volume of biographical sketches for Putnam and Dutchess Counties NY in the late 1800s. In it, Richard attests that his grandfather, James Barrett, was born and educated in Doneraile.

  16. Try looking to the Barretts of Jamica they bought a portion of the north western part of the osland. this happened around 1650. PATRICK BARRETT

    1. That’s really cool information around the same time frame that a lot of them had their land taken in Ireland. I will be looking into that for sure!

  17. Please help me I am looking for information about John Barrett who married Ellen OConner I have looked every where for information but only know he was born before 1800 and died young about 50 years old I can kind Ellen but not him…Can anyone help me Please Ellen OConnor was married Feb 7 1809 at St. Marys Cork city Cork Ireland Diocese is Cork and Ross..

    1. Our Barrett family tree on Ancestry, which is open for viewing, lists Barretts in Mallow at the time you say John was born. Our tree goes back a generation earlier with Richard Barrett, born circa 1770, and Mary Mannix. I believe They had three sons we can trace. But my late father who did the research in Ireland in the 1970s, believed there was a fourth son, John. He felt strongly enough about it that he memorialized, John, in his original tree that was left to me. My DNA results are on Ancestry, too. I’m trying to find more on Mary Mannix. I’m also looking for Timothy Barrett and Michael Barrett from the Mallow area also born about 1800. Hope this helps.

    2. I should have mentioned that William Barrett, my third-great uncle, is buried at St Mary’s. He was the oldest of three known sons. The year of William’s death was 1844, as listed on the gravestone, which gives no age or birth year. We know that his widow, Bridget, was born in 1795 in Doneraile. That would make William probably about 55 years old.

      Last year I was in Mallow and snapped a photo of William’s barely legible gravestone. I knew where to look for the gravesite because my late father mentioned it in his notes.

  18. My Paternal Grandmother was Annie Kate Barrett, born in Ballycroy, Erris, Co Mayo in 1912, Her Aunts and possably Uncles had already emigrated to New Jersey, annie kate married a local man,Dermot Conway, and went on to inherit the family farm, her brothers went to england and never returned, so the barrett name in ballycroy died out but there are lots still in erris, we lost contact with the ones who went to america, there is a photo around somewhere of the women in america taken in the early 1900s, they were very tall, well built women.

    1. Thanks for this great info. This sort of stuff goes to add that Mayo, Ireland and Barrett’s in America have a deep history and connection. I am currently in the middle of writing a new addition to the blog which should be up soon. Thanks for reading!

    2. I should have said that John James Barrett, born in ballycroy ,county mayo in 1907 inherated the family farm first, he never married and died in 1964, his uncle john went to new jersey around 1900 and married a donegal woman called bridget gallagher, they had a family but our fanily lost touch with them in the 1950s.

  19. An Australian Barrett Connection. My Grandfather Patrick Kevin Barrett. Born Kilkenny Ireland 1894. His Father John Barrett married Bridget Woods in 1887 in Durrow Ireland. Patrick Barrett Immigrated to Australia after WW1 with his Brother John Barrett Jnr and wife Edith Barrett (Martin).
    Siblings of my Grandfather, Patrick Barrett.
    Catherine (Kate) Barrett 1888, Joseph Barrett 1899, John Barrett 1896, William Barrett 1905, Bridget Barrett 1901, James Barrett 1907, William Barrett 1908.
    John Barrett Snr died 1908.
    Bridget Barrett (Woods) moved to Limerick and remarried John Cahill.
    Love to hear from any connections.

  20. wow! this great info and I love knowing about where I came from this is so amazing!
    thank you so much to everyone who helped make this

  21. My name is Mark Barrett. I live in Swindon, Wiltshire but hail from Somerset where my father’s family were traced back to mid 1700’s. I am the last male with the name of this line, only two sons borne to the 9 children of Frederick Barrett. One has no progeny and I have two daughters.
    My dad was Gordon Barrett, of Cannington but we lived in Bridgwater.
    Good to read this, thank you.

  22. alan barrett, my family’s from Clearfield Pennsylvania.
    a Michael barrett immigrated from Ireland in 1843 to Allegheny co. ,which is south of Clearfield co.

  23. happy to find this web site. My great grandfather was David Barrett born in Limerick Ireland in 1838. He came to kingston Ontario Canada Married Catherine Ogara Joyce..She died at a early age David Barrett then married her sister Margaret Ogara my Great Grandmother. they moved to the Usa loved in illinois in the 1870 Im on ancestry have a family tree and trying to research more in the past. thanks for this web page. interesting. hope to trach David Barrett to this part of the Barretts.

  24. My great-great-great-grandfather Edward Barrett came to Racine Wisconsin through Canada. His real name was probably Edmond or Edmund Barrat. He is listed as Edward Barrat in the 1860 census U.S.. In 1870 he is Edward Barrett. The story handed down to me that he is a decendant of Colonel John Barrett (1691 chose the Catholic side) from County Cork Ireland.

  25. My great grandfather John Barrett, married an American Annie Leonard. I wish I knew more of the family I am told he left behind, who were to follow but died.

  26. looking for information on my grandmother Isabell Barrett born in Kingston Ontario Canada in 1874. father was David Barrett born in Limerick Ireland in 1836. His wife was Margaret Ogara was told my grandmother was french cananda Indian. looking for the connection. the Blood line. Thanks for letting me post Elaine .

  27. Hi. Thank-you for all the work done on this. My name is Susan Barrett. I was born in Montreal, Canada and live in Vancouver BC Canada. My Dad Gerald Barrett was also born in Montreal, as was his father Richard Barrett. HIS father though was born in A suburb of Manchester, UK but he always claimed he was of Irish bloodline. Do you know of any branch that left Ireland previous to the 1800’s for the north of England? I also have a tree on . I have also done a DNA test. I pretty much came up half Irish half English. Other Irish names I am following are McLaughlin, Flanagan, French and Doyle. Thanks! Susan 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s