The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Find the Lady!

Visit to Galway August 2017

One of the extraordinary parts of my research was the discovery of Henry Murray in Galway with his wife in 1885, which I summarised in 2010:

Lady's Stay in Galway 1885

A number of questions about the entries in Mary Murray's Calling Book remained unanswered including the spelling of some of the names and the whereabouts of:

- West House
- Fort Eyre
- Glenande
- Corrikarper (?)
- Clairmont Lodge, Blackrock (near Salthill)
- St Mary's
- Raheen Park


On Monday 28 August 2017, we visited Galway as part of a tour of Ireland. In the morning allocated to the visit there were 2 setbacks:

a. it poured with rain all morning!
b. the library was closed!

There were a number of gains from the visit though:

1. On arriving the Sunday night before, I spotted 2 areas of interest in Galway:

A. Raheen Industrial Park - the Lopdell family had lived at Raheen Park
B. Renmore district where the barracks were in 1885

One of the street maps I had obtained in the past showed that 14 roundabouts in Galway were each named after one of the 14 Galway 'tribes'.

2. We stayed at the Menlo Park Hotel which had a function room named the Blake Suite where we had our meals (the significance of which was not appreciated until the afternoon.

So on the Monday, we walked around Eyre Square (the main square in Galway) where 2 of the ladies listed in the Calling Book lived.

Chris took photos of some of the buildings in the Square, the Browne window and some of the flags of the 14 Galway "tribes" including Blake and Athy.





In the coffee bar "GBC" just off Eyre Square, Chris also took a photo of a picture of the premises taken at the turn on the 19/20th Centuries:


4. Before we knew the library was closed, I did buy a book, 'Tracing your Galway Ancestors and a detailed street map for research on return home. (see Note below)

There was another book on surnames in Galway which I was intending to read in the library.

5. It had been pre-arranged that the tour party after lunch would have a cruise on the River Corrib.

On sitting down on the vessel, the 'Corrib Princess', we spotted a photo of Eyre Square in 1910:


During the cruise, the commentator mentioned that the Blake's had lived in Menlo Castle until the it was destroyed by fire in 1910
- hence the link to the Menlo Park Hotel where we were staying and the Blake Suite. Chris took a photo of the castle ruins:



Colin Bower
4 September 2017

Find the Lady! Final Report


The map did not produce much in the way of extra information but did show where Renmore Barracks was and there was a road, 'Fort Eyre Mews'.

The book listed 3 possible sources of information:

- Censuses in 1901 and 1911
- Galway Year Book& Directories 1902-1907
- a number of books including 'The Tribes and Other Galway Families', written by T.P.O'Neill 1984

Three of the 14 merchant families in Galway or 'Tribes' appear in the Calling Book (Athy, Blake and Lynch) but the book also mentions 5 other major families that appear in the Calling Book (Daly, King, O'Hara, Persse and Wilson).

There was an important inter-marriage, Wilson-Lynch in addition to Lynch-Athy in the Calling Book.

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