Saturday, November 24, 2007

NORSE SURNAME. MIGRATIONS. Scarf - Scharfe - Scharf - Scariff. Ironworking; Cormorant SkarfR . Norse. forge name connections

NORSE SURNAME, MIGRATIONS. Scariff. SkarfR. Norse to Ireland

Connections to Cormorants; and where they nested, irony-shaley places.

Scharfe family farm, Ottawa, Canada - Adam Scharf and Teressa Black.

Family occupations in memory.  Dairy, and Clydesdales for the farm and the city to pull the trolley. And Norse. Somewhere, back there.

With a name like Scharfe, we have to be odd. 

 What kind of name is that? Are you related to the Scaifes? No, but their mail sometimes came to us.

Ancestors from Kilkenny -

The family lore said Irish most recently, but the name sounded German - scharfe for sharp.  Tracking for recreational reasons, we find John and Anne in 1848, from Kilkenny, arriving in Ottawa, and their descendants took off from there - see Hazeldean Cemetery. The land of the farm is still there but the house burned in the 1940's we think. Just ampty land.

Old Norse. 

We also then found Viking roots to the name - not unusual, given the history of that wandering-settling-trading-raiding-group.Norway has a mountain, Skarfjellig; and there are runes to explore -- SKARF in runes with each rune having a meaning, see Norway Road Ways, SKARF.

Many probably raided first, then settled in Ireland - see their mills there, and replicas of their villages.

Recreational lookbacks into names - a diversion for us, looking up an unusual maiden name, Scharfe. Skarf. Scaife evolved. Scarf. Scharf. Six of one.

But the Scaife branch were better financial planners.


Were all of us stems of the root clans in The Burnt Njal Icelandic Saga?  There find Otkell, Son of Skarf and more Skarfs - see "The Story of Burnt Njal, or Life in Iceland at the End of the Ninth Century, " by George Webb Dissent in 1861, at a Google Book, with this very long URL, but worth it because of the coat of arms and illustration there - at ://

Read the story at the Icelandic Saga Database, at :// - Skarf at Chapters 47-48.

Another distant (not personally known) relative found a memorial near An Scairbh that traced the name back to the 1500's -  somebody named Red. Fantasy says we are related to Eric the Red. Everyone needs fantasy.  Go to All in a name.

Canada embellished us.

The "e" was added arbitarily in the early 1900's in the Ottawa Valley, Ottawa, Canada. The only reason was to help the poor postal worker who had all the Scharfs to deal with.  Adam made us different with a stroke of a directive. Always helpful.

They were good folks, think their progeny's progeny's progeny.

Back to the Old Norse.

Skarfs and Cormorants and Icelandic Saga.

The Old Norse. We earlier found connections with the skarf-scarf-scharf-scharfe group in Orkney - old Norse for cormorant, or the shaley cliff or other rocky places where they nested. See Orkney Road Ways - Scarf / Cormorant. See that site also for the Skarf in an old Norse Icelandic Saga. Meet Burnt Njall, meet Otkell, son of Skarf.

SkarfR - in the Runes, see ://, and scroll down to SkarfR.  Cormorant, or Skari, small sea gull. 

Scarfs and the Bowman, The Fletcher, the Longbow Arrow -

The arrow of the longbow - the best ones - were made of both ash and oak:  ash at the feather or fletched end, oak at the steel tip or bodkin end.  The join between the ash part of the arrow and the oak was called the scarf - and the gluing and varnishing made the scarfed joint.  See Agincourt at Studying War: World War 1, World War 2, Other Wars: Sites, History.

Scarfs and Blacksmithing.

Now we find a blacksmith connection: a scarf joint. Here is a description of a blacksmith doing one near Houston TX 2003: the Houston Area Iron Fest at

Metalworking: In summary, this is how you rough in a "scarf."

take two half-inch square bars, do an "upset" where the join is to be, at 5/8" inch. The angle of the "upset" and the anvil edge should be 30 degrees, keeping the opposite end away from the anvil's face, far end down. Hammer the overlap, making something called a "shearing" action where the cross section is. Soon it starts to separate, so lower the angle - some 45 degrees until it gets to about 60 degrees.

Now, clean it up, add dimension in the "off" sides. See the scarf bulge in the "plane of the tongue" and forge it back so it looks like a duck head. Both ends to be joined are now forged in "like scarfs" and bury them in a coke forge. Head up. Soak until you have 2800 degrees F.

Then, put tongs on opposite ends from the scarfs (note these are not scarves). Then pull both out at the same time, shake so the scale falls off. Rotate and bring the scarf head down and here we do a fair use quote of a bit:

"...[H]e then pressed the two scarfs into their yen and yang positions, he dropped the tongs us was using to hold the piece to his right, picked up his hammer and gave the joint a series of fast strikes, sending sparks flying. It was now forge welded together. Before more seconds passed he reinserted the bar into the forge and brought it up to forging temperature again, but not up to 2800 F as before. Once the steel could be seen to be molten on the surface while peering into the forge, it was pulled out and more rapid, short stroke blows given, tumbling the piece. This “wash weld” served to erase any remnant of a forge weld line still visible. Essentially, the molecules of the two pieces were now intermingled such that no forge line was visible because it didn’t exist any longer! Voila! Forge weld without flux and without a forge line. It was not necessarily remarkable, but most smiths present had never seen it accomplished before.

Several smiths looked at the piece attempting to discern where the weld was, but in vain. You’d need an electron microscope to see the union point now."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Donegal. SURNAMES, MIGRATIONS. McConaghy: Matthew McConaghy 1789 and Descendants

 Scotland, to Ireland, and Global.
A Tale of Two Diasporas - Diasporae
McConaghy's and spelling variations: McConnaghy, McConaghey
In Scotland, the Ulster Plantation, and The Mix

I.   Surname migration
A. Diasporas
B. Specifics - Maurice Edwin McConaghey
C. Ancients to Modern Overview

II.  Family Roots
I. Surname migrations.

A. We are tracing two diasporas - of an comparatively uncommon surname, McConaghy, in Ireland and Scotland.  Variations: McConaghy, MacConaghy, McConnaghy, Maconochie, McConaghey, and on withspread as spellings changed.  Find e's added and subtracted, c's for g's, e's for y's.  The name now is not only in the British Isles, but in Australia, South Africa, Egypt,  the US, and with military in two World Wars and other wars. Matthew McConaghy b.1780;  Grandsons James Foster McConaghy and Robert McClure McConaghy (sons of Joseph - 6); Robert McClure McConaghy had six children, including Robert McClure McConaghy (Jr? II?) b.1877 who married Louise Lucinda Brien (Hilliard b.1877); they had five surviving children, including my mother, Marjorie McConaghy. And pages more.

Researching: It takes a family starter.
  • Our McConaghy records and research is from a family archivist, Violet, a splendid human being, now up in years.
  • We have a number of her letters, logs, research papers; and visited St. Johnston and other family locales. Another cousin has written a narrative with sources. Our correspondence with Violet began in the 1970's; the recent cousin's work is still in progress. Anything we found from the internet is labeled.
B. Specifics

We chose one, Maurice, who was born to a military-medical family in Her Majesty's Service in India, went to Sandhurst, received his officer's commission and served in the Boer Wars; then in WWI where he was killed at Arras, France.  We visited his grave there, and also there began our keen interest in his life experiences.  Details of the family tree follow, since 1785 or so in Donegal starting; but that is of interest only to us.  For anyone else, meet Maurice.

Lt. Col. Maurice Edwin McConaghey b.1877; son of John McConaghy b.1849 and grandson of Rev. John McConaghy b.1812 and great-grandson of Matthew McConaghy b.1780; here at age 10, with brothers John Cunningham McConaghy and Laurence Edgar McConaghy, all then of Westward Ho! Devon; Maurice added the "e" to McConaghy as an adult, to differentiate his military record in the Royal Scots Fusiliers, from his cousin, William McConaghy b.1881, a surgeon in the WWI medical corps. Maurice appears at the far left. He married and lived in Londonderry with his wife, Cynthia Estcourt, reports the 1911 census, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ed/pages/1911/Londonderry

He, at age 33, and his wife, Cynthia Joan (Estcourt) age 23, lived at 8 Victoria Park, Londonderry, district No. 5 urban,; with a sister of Cynthia, and four servants, (find there their church affiliations, Church of England for the family and one servant, Church of Ireland for another servant, and two servants Roman Catholic) All could read and write except the little

Start with ancients and fast forward:

"Scotties" from Ireland to Scotland, Scotland back to Ireland. See the Scots side, Edinburgh and Argyll, at Scotland Road Ways, Surname Roots, Exodus, Campbell, McConaghy.

Then find Scots (and English) who were recruited by the British Crown, the landed and landless, to settle Ulster in Ireland, pushing out whoever was there, beginning in the early 1600's. This became known as the Plantation. We need to root through Pynnar's Survey more on this, for names: see

The Plantation was the Ulster Plantation, of James I, and it holds roots of current conflicts with "Northern Ireland" and the Republic. We find family on many sides:  Anglo-Norman, Plantation Protestant, indigenous Irish Protestant.


C.  McConaghy, McConnaghy, other spellings

1. 1785 est, Matthew McConaghy was born in Greenhills, Convoy / Raphoe, County Donegal. Farmer.
In ____  at _______________, Matthew married Matilda Gray. Is he buried at St. Johnston? Were his forbears part of the Ulster Plantation settlements of landed gentry, and unlanded folk, beginning 1609. See our earliest found source so far, A Special Census of Northern Ireland, Pynnar's Survey, by Rev. George Hill, at

Matthew and Matilda's children:

1.1 James McConaghy, born before 1805, and he married Jane Taylor who was born about 1821. James owned property, as of 1858, in Roosky, Upper Raphoe, some 28 acres. See He spelled the name McConnaghy. Freepages records: McConnaghy , James , Roosky Upper
McConnaghy, James, Roosky Upper
McConnaghy, David, Ardvarnock Glebe
McConnaghy, David, Kiltole
McConnaghy, David, Tullydonnell Lower
McConnaghy , Robert , Carrickbrack
McConnaghy , Robert , Kiltole
McConnaghy, Robert , Magherahee

Using the double "n" spelling of McConnaghy, the other brothers are

1.2 David McConnaghy. There are multiple listings at the 1857 Griffiths Valuation, ours was born 1805, ours died 2/21/1871. Ours married Ann_______ who died on July 8, 1872, and is buried at Convoy Presbyterian Church. David had with property at Tullydonnell Lower, 72 acres, and at Ardvarnock Glebe, 40 acres. There is another David McConnaghy (or the same?) shown at Freepages, at the 1857 Griffiths Valuation, with property at Kiltole

David and Ann's children are

  • 1.2a Nil McConaghy (double n?) (letter from Violet 1992)

1.3 Robert McConnaghy. Robert married Margaret Allen, who was born in Greenhills, Convoy / Raphoe, and died in 1857. Robert was from - born in? - moved to Carrickbrack, County Donegal, and died in 1857. He was a farmer. He owned 13 acres in Raphoe.

1.4 Rev. Joseph McConnaghy born 1811, died 12/31/1875 , St. Johnston, County Donegal, Ireland. He married Mary McClure, St. Johnston.   St. Johnston - St. Johnstown, Taughboyne, Co. Donegal, see

1.5 Rev. John McConnaghy born 1812, died December 11, 1882, "Larkfield", Urney

1.6. Alexander McConnaghy, born est. 1822, died 1889

D.   Places

e. the fifth son, Rev. John McConaghy, b. 1812, scholar, Glasgow Univ. 1832, ordained in 1837, Urney, lived in Sion Mills before moving to "Larkfield" Urney, County Tyrone. Married Elizabeth Cunningham b.1813, in 1841. They had seven children, and descendants include William and his cousin Maurice, both killed in WWI.

There is another Matthew McConaghy, of Antrim, born 1842, who may be the son of our Matthew, but who  knows.  This is fun, not obsessive despite the long entries here. The joy of the chase. Put enough stuff down and see what connects. Non-Maconochies, use these sites to look up your own ghosts. Family issues repeated in the generations, noone resolves, are you in the snare?
So we see these branches

1. Cunningham, maiden name
2. McClure, maiden name
3. The main inheritance surname, Maconochie, McConaghy, McConaghey, etc.

1.  Branch CUNNINGHAM?
  • Cunningham. Elizabeth Cunningham was the daughter of Robert Torrens of Ballyfatton Cottage, Strabane.  but Violet's brother, Charles, has a family painting of an elderly woman named Cunningham, and that name appears on the gravestone of the wife of the Reverend John McConaghy at St. Johnstone; and on the stones of several descendants.  She died in 1898.
  • "Larkfield" Urney, County Tyrone. There are apparently records dated Dec. 11, 1881 and 1882, a stone. Who was it who was age 70 then? 
  • Sion Mills - more connected to Rev. John before he moved to Larkfield?

2.  Branch TORRENS

James Torrens of Urney, County Tyrone
Daughter Sidney Torrens b. 1850, d. 1926 Rahway NJ

Robert McClure McConaghy b.1841 married Sidney Torrens b.1850

They had six children, including Robert McClure McConaghy (Jr? II?) b. 1876
  • Sidney had lived with brother Will Torrens b.1846 d. 1915 NY, and Maggie Torrens b.____, d. 1902, when they were in Ballyfatton Cottage, Strabane
3. Branch McCLURE
Rev. Joseph McConaghy married Mary McClure

Have to repeat some here. Robert McClure McConaghy married Sidney Torrens b.1850, on June 6, 1870.  Sidney is daughter of James Torrens. Sidney and Robert married at Sion Mills, County Tyrone.

4.  Branch McCONAGHY
Joseph McConaghey was officient at this marriage, see June 27, 1862 and other Marriages entries,

III.  Questions

1785.  Matthew McConaghy born.  There is another Matthew McConaghy, a #2, born 1842 in Bushmills. Not us, we think, see ://, unless a missing son of Matthew#1 is Matthew #2. There are repetitive family names there. We need Pynnars -

Pynnars Survey was to provide a report on each owner of land and its status in Counties Armagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Fermanagh;

Pynnars Survey of Land Holders - this gives us the real names of landholders, and the location/ condition of their property in Ireland. This includes Counties Armagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, and Fermanagh with notes on Londonderry. It was originally compiled as a result of the 17th century plantation of Ireland (1609+). A landholders census record, it set about to give us the results of the 'planting' of families from outside Ireland onto Irish lands. Here, Pynnar gives us the name and condition of Undertakers, servitors, and principal natives on these Ulster lands.
That from Who can go through Pynnars? It is really big.
  • This other site says Matthew #1 had 5 sons, not 4. See old census by Rev. John Wray in 1822, a friend and fellow clergy to Joseph McConaghy, as to his flock in Convoy, Raphoe Valley, County Donegal. Is this census the same as a book apparently written, called "Convoy", with access to records now lost. 
  • Go to this Convoy-search result site, and find several McConaghy's and McClures and related spellings, births, marriages deaths.  This is not my field, I am just passing connections on. Archivist, VP, is elderly.
* Joseph McConaghy (our line) - 1811-1875
Matriculated to Glasgow University
Ordained 1834, Irish Presbyterian Church.
M. Mary McClure, who died 1874

His church was at Dundee, St. Johnston, near Strabane.
Joseph and Mary are buried there.
Matilda Ellen McConaghy also buried there. 1843-1863. Is this a daughter? See the later Matilda, below.
  • Both John Wray and Joseph McConaghy had "a wonderful knowledge of most diseases to which the human frame is subject and turning this knowledge to account he was enabled to alleviate mch pain and suffering throughout the entire neighborhood."  See Death of the Rev. Joseph McConaghy, copied byVP "from a newspaper cutting pasted into a session book of Saint Johnston Presbyterian Church." We have a copy of the typed copy.  What is this custom? After praising his life, the article continues: "Nor is it by any means wonderful when as in his case the golden bowl broke, and the silver cord snapped, many, very many, real mourners were going about the streets."  Is that part of lowering the coffin? No idea.
Brother of Joseph, John McConaghy (the line of Violet)
Matriculated to Glasgow University
Became a Rev. also

Son of Joseph:  James McConaghy -

Now:  Joseph McConaghy and Mary McClure apparently had a number of sons, including a James. We find a James McConaghy who married Margretta Elizabeth Hamilton, born 1848, and a saga unfolds at the Hamilton site, by Robert Wilson Hamilton, at

This Dr. James McConaghy (a medical doctor) is affirmed there as the son of the old minister at St. Johnston, Joseph McConaghy/  James practised in the Orkneys, and lived in Sanday. See Orkney Road Ways, Sanday.

He and Margretta had five children, and they moved to London for the sake of the children's educations, but only stayed a few years. James went after his mother-in-law, Jane Hamilton, by writ in Dublin in 1886 for some 250 pounds plus interest.

James's sons as they grew up moved to Australia; and Margretta and the girls followed, and then Margretta died in Melbourne. This is also part of our known tree. Just fun to find it in somebody else's records - collective memoirs. OK, Mr. Robert Wilson Hamilton.  Did Jane pay up?  If not, what are all of us owed now on that 250 pounds plus interest, hmmm? We always knew, we did, that she had it in for our handsome, winsome, Jamie....

Update 3/24/2010 - we heard from someone whose relative came into possession of a silver salver, engraved with a tribute to Dr. James Foster McConaghy who practised in Sanday, Orkney, for ten years.  Read the note and see the photos at the Orkney post, Sanday, and Dr. James Foster McConaghy.  This was the first contact, in part:
''*** My wifes family have a commemorative 14.5" solid silver plate presented to Dr James Foster McConaghey on January 15 1884 by the people of Sanday for his good works and kindness to the poor. Should you be interested to see pictures of this plate please email....***"
So we did, and here is one of the photos.

Now we are looking at gaps in records;
  • The 1851 census apparently was lost in Ireland, so there are many gaps. We have a large family tree done by Violet, however, and will do our best with it - pending. She also did a piece on ancient history, where Celts and others went, Pytheas of Massilia (who?) great fun. No direct line of course, but interesting. What to do with her essays, accounts of her research?
For fun, here is Louise Lucinda Brien (Hilliard) who married Robert McClure McConaghy in New York. She was my maternal grandmother.

Louise Lucinda is the daughter of Margaret Hilliard, who was age 13-14 and working at the great Glengeen Lodge in Trillick, where the local nobleman, William Brien - then age 39 - had his enjoyment; and Louise Lucinda resulted.  Was Margaret only 13 when the encounter took place?
A cousin has researched that story. Louise Hilliard, the mother of Louise Lucinda. My grandmother grew up in Trillick, County Tyrone, and migrated here - proud of her second class ticket with her mother - in about 1889.  Born 1872.

Robert McClure McConaghy married Louise Lucinda (Brien) Hilliard, here with the father, known to us only by stories, and some letters, as Mr. Brien.  If Louise came here at age 18 or so, and married at age 26 to Robert then age 28, when did they meet, where, what was she doing, was she working, was Mr. Brien supporting "Maggie" and Louise, as we know he later did; until the stock fell in 1929 and there were no more dividends.  All gone.  One story says he had his wealth not only from inheritance but also the laying of the AT&T cable on the Atlantic floor.  Tales, tales.

More distant relatives:  Here are two brothers
WILLIAM MCCONAGHY - died 1918.   British Medical Journal 1898 -  Dr. William McConaghey, Lt. Col  was promoted to Col. in the Bombay, India Service see 

See also  Find a Major William McConaghy, died April 7, 1918, Royal Army Medical Corps, nationality UK, Suez War Memorial Cemetery, at D 89, age unknown, see the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at Start at ://  The cemetery is in Cairo, see :// and ://

MAURICE MCCONAGHEY (brother of William, but he added the the "e") - died 1917, age 39 - Maurice Edwin McConaghey, Lt. Col.,  WWI, buried near Arras, France. See Belgium Road Ways, Battle of Ypres (Ieper), Maurice McConaghey.  Royal Scots Fusiliers, buried at a pocket cemetery called "London Cemetery" at Neuville-Vitasse, France, near Arras. III C 13.

More loose ends:
  • Old Matilda McConaghy and her son James McConaghy. Poor farmers in Convoy, County Donegal, visited by Violet in 1973.  But there is another Matilda born 1871 of another line, in Antrim, from Hugh McConaghy born 1776, See  Which is this?  We are looking for the parents of our Matthew McConaghy born 1785. Any connection?
  • Ronald McConaghy, retired army major, lived in Yorkshire, England, with wife. No children.
  • Christopher McConaghy and his two sons, live in South Africa.
  • Brother to Christopher, John McConaghy, and their mother McConaghy, living in Rhodesia (any word?)
  • Paddy McConaghy, daughter of the late Dr. Richard McConaghy, living in Belgium
  • Charles McConaghy, brother of archivist VP, living in Bobcaygeon, Ontario, north of Toronto. 
The Role of Identity in a Human Life
  • What is an identity, its role in shaping a life. Is slavery identity theft, with ongoing repercussions. A family history is a privilege,a source of rootedness, a starting point for learning history, as well as a recreation.
  • Should reparations for slavery be based on identity theft?
  • Michelle Obama, I have a privilege that you do not, since records of your ancestors only go a limited way: see,0,485324.story/.
    • Compare that to many of us of European descent, where the records of one of our many names go back hundreds and hundreds of years and even produce some laughs or aghasts (who was paid on a note, who was executed).
    • Maurice Edwin up there. Buried at Arras, France, WWI. Find him there. Find old photos. Who married a good-looking, or prosperous person. Who did not. Worth the hunt.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

SCARIFF. Place and surnames: On Scairbh - Norse Roots, Migrations, Conquests

Tracking Place Names to Migrations and Conquests

On Scairbh, Scariff, Ireland

Track the immigrants of past eras by the place names - here announces the town of Scariff, and the Gaelic of it,

On Scairbh, western-central Ireland. The sound comes from the Old Norse root word for "cormorant," skarf, that unglamorous bird nesting on shales including at Orkney - northern Scotland also has its Skarfskerry. There are multiple derivatives through the centuries after Norse settling, as Scarf, Scharfe, Scharf, Scaif, Scaife, and the like - see earlier post on Kilkenny and Skarf roots at Ireland Road Ways, Kilkenny, Skarf roots, Old Norse.  Those who worked with the shale, metal smiths, blacksmiths, armor and sword makers, came to be known for the skarf root.  Update 2013 -- there are some 4-5 mountains in Norway known as Skarfjellet, for, I think, the bowl-shape worn into them.  The Skar, then the fjellet or mountain.  Skarfjell is also the name of oil companies working offshore.  Same roots? Speculation is entertaining, but you can't get DNA from a mountain.

Scariff.  This is a town located west-central, on a lake, and it serves also as a hub for hikers, and walkers. It is a regular working town - that also appreciates beauty.  There is an old stone bridge leading to it.

Scariff, Ireland, flower bridge

Begin tracing place names here, with Irish roots. See http//; and even

Scara or Scard: These names also show Norse roots, see Isle of Man, located in the Irish Sea with Solway Firth on the other side, at Scotland's side. Site: Try topographical descriptions to find roots, such as a gap or pass, or bleak hill.

Then, on other travels, look for yourself.  Find Scharfe's Bakery in Roskilde, Denmark, at Roskilde: Brick Gothic, Incidentals. The spelling seems closer to the Germanic than the Icelandic - migrations and mixings all.  Visit Yad Vashem at its central database of the Shoah and also find names with that root, Scharf, Sharf, with Czech, Polish, German, Romanian and other places named --  It takes DNA to sort it all out, and all we know within memory and story is the Scotland, Ireland to Canada route for the name.  Names are anywhere. Viking traders went throughout the riverways and lakes of Europe, and the coast, see map at  A plethora of skarfs?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

ITINERARIES. After The Fact - Three Trips

  • Two weeks trip, Dan and Carol:
Limerick, Ennis, Ballyvaughan, Galway, Spiddal, the Burren, Clifden, Westport, Sligo, Enniskillen, Athenrye, Strabane, Donegal, Killybegs, Derry, Giant's Causeway, Antrim Coast, Portaferry, Portstewart, Ballycastle, Carrickfergus, Belfast, Portaferry, Downpatrick, Dublin, Wicklow, Glendalough, Vinegar Hill, Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney, Dingle, Tipperary, Limerick

  • Six days' trip after attending a wedding in Wexford, Carol:
Dublin, Enniscorthy, Wexford, Rosslare, Duncorkick, Clonmel, Rock of Cashel, Gort and Thoor Ballylee, Roscommon, Tara, Dublin.

  • Further two weeks, Jon and Carol, the next year: Limerick, Galway, Clifden, Aran Islands, Athlone, Cork, Kinsale, Skibbereen, Bantry, Kenmare, Portmagee, Dingle, Tralee, Limerick.

See also Europe Road Ways hub.

Very fine photo gallery here -

I think the colors are too enhanced- my experience was with softer tones - but these are lovely -

More blogs about Ireland Road Ways.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

NORSE SURNAME, Memorial. Scharfe, Scarf, Scharf, Scarff, Scariff. Bawnree, Ridge, Old Leighlin & Coolcullen

"Erected by the Scarf/ Scharf/ Scarff/ Scariff Family
In Memory of their ancestors 
from Bawnree (Baunreigh), Ridge, Old Leighlin and Coolcullen"
Scharfe Family memorial. Baunreigh, Bawnree, Ridge, Old Leighlin, Coolcullen. Tracing back.  Red Scariff in 1525.  Red hair?  Where did that go in the SkarfR, Scharf gene pool.

We learned of a Memorial with a long list of us.  Memorials are handy because they put in one place a line of people and places, and dates. Spelling variations from the originating country, say, Norse ; to Gaelic to English and back, and merged words, make locations difficult.

We learned from someone from the ultimately Australian branch of Skarf / Skarfr (Old Norse - includes SkarfR) that there is a memorial in Old Leighlin (a/k/a in Griffiths Records, Oldleighlin).  Turn to the magic online maps.
  • Old Leighlin is in County Carlow, northwest from Kilkenny. 
  • Bawnree * - we could not find it in google.  It was not likely to be Bawnreigh over in County Limerick, so we turned to Griffiths: a Baunreigh and Ridge turn out to be owned by Beauchamp Scarffe in that "Oldleighlin". Baunreigh means a mountain - more like a turfy knoll, comments an anonymous madfrankie somebody, there is Baunreighcong, with a large stone cairn, on the hiking route known as the Slieve Bloom Way. See ://  Looking ahead at the memorial and lines from it, Beauchamp lived 1802-1886. 
  • Coolcullen is also northwest of Kilkenny, but still within County Kilkenny.  .

Vikings on the Move. Red Scariff's gene pool.The photocopy of the memorial information is too faded to scan in, so here is the listing from it. 

Start here:
I.  Red Scariff 1525-ca 1575

Cormac Scarfthe 1580-1640
Ainmire Scarfh 1600-ca 1660
Eoghan Scarfh 1640-ca 1700
Eoghan Scarfe 1670-1750
Padraig Scarff 1700-1760
Beircheart Scarf 1710-1780

Then there are two lines:

II. THOMAS SCARF 1760-1835 and wife Mary (Whitaker) 1765-1852

Son - John Scarf 1780-1850 and wife Jane (James) 1785-1880
Their son - Beauchamp Scarf 1802--1886 and wife Julie (Rice) 1804-1888

Their children:

Patrick Scarf 1831-?
Anne (Scarf) Tobin 1812-1914
William Scarf 1815-1910 and wife Mary Power 1811-1906
Daniel Scarfe 1816-?
Enoch Scarff 1841-1907 and wife Mary Tobin 1846-1895
Maria (Scarf) Perkins 1850-1878
Bridget Scarf 1850-?
Deborah Scarf 1856-?
Julia Scarf 1857-1870
James Scarf 1857-1857
James Francis Scarf 1862-1886

III. JAMES SCHARF 1764-1832 and wife Anne (Bradley) 1750-1843*

Their children:
Thomas Scharf 1785-1846 and wife Dorothy (Reynard) 1778-1872
Eliza Scarf  1786-?
James Scharf  1788-1835
Rachael Scharf 1790-? & husband Robert Fennell 1787-1829
William Scarf 1795-? and wife Catherine (Whelan) 1795-1822
John Scharf 1798-1860 and wife Elizabeth (Booth) 1808-1883
Enoch Scharf 1799-1879 and wife Catherine (Brennan)  1787-1864
Jacob Scharf 1800-? and wife Catherine (Brennan) 1810-? (different from Enoch's?)
Joseph Scharf  1801 and wife Catherine (Saunders) 1801-1879
Beauchamp Scharf 1804-1862 and wife Maryanne Saunders 1802-1833
 .... and wife Mary Ann (Conley) 181801850
 .... and wife Frances (Dawson) 1832-1903

Sometime search for Scarf or a variation and iron foundries, and many come up.

Many spelling changes are arbitrary.   The "e" was added by grandfather Adam in Ottawa ** to the Scharf spelling to ease the plight of the postmaster with all the families and farms all in the same area. The graves at Hazeldean Cemetery show dozens of people with the name, either way.  The farm where my father grew up - farmhouse burned in the 1930's, farm and other farms around still undeveloped - rural but right there in Ottawa city limits, we understand.

Ancestors, real and imagined.
  • Otkell, son of Skarf. See this Icelandic Saga (written in 11th Century, but preceding in oral tradition) at ://  This amateur researching business has its hazards. 
 "Otkell, son of Skarf, son of Hallkell, who fought with Gorm of Gormness in Iceland and felled him on the holm,"  from the Icelandic Saga, The Story of Burnt Njal at chapter 47, Icelandic Saga Database, at // 
With this gene pool, how did we become so pacifist? Skarf was brave, but his son Otkell was selfish and greedy. Must be some mistake. Otkell belongs to somebody else.

We are still sorting out what is there and what is pending. Is there is a memorial to Red Scariff and his progeny near Kilkenny, is it?
  • We received a copy of a Scarf Crest and Celtic cross from this memorial apparently for these fellow Scharfs located somewhere in the towns listed.

* Bawnree, Old Leighlin: In County Carlow, see Baurnreagh spelling.  Southeast. Near Kilkenny. See also ://

Chains of information:  see
  • ://; and 
  • ://  This one suggests a Norman connection - fits with the Scandinavian - Norse roots, since the Norse settled in Normandy, then invaded England - this site also suggests the name came with someone in the Norman invasion of Strongbow during the English occupation.  It adds another spelling - Scarfthe as in Cormac Scarfthe 1580.
  • For those of us with overstrung imaginations of past slayings bringing honor to the , read about Otkell, son of Skarf, son of Hallkell, in the Story of Burnt Njall, at Chapter 47, from the 1861 "Life In Iceland at the End of the Tenth Century, from the Icelandic of the Njal's Saga, this book by George Webbe Dasent. This Icelandic Saga is found in a google book now at (cut and past in the big address bar up top) ://

Do scroll up past the Title page to see the depiction of the Icelandic skall or hall, a kind of long house, and keep scrolling up to see the coat of arms, and the motto on a shield:


The heraldry shows a battle axe, a sword, and what looks like a pin, a brooch fastener for perhaps any kind of cloak? one with an apparent thistle - Scots? - Battle axes are frequent symbols for those founding this or that.  See St. Stephen's, in Austria, near Rohrbach, at Austria Road Ways, Aigen, near Rohrbach>

Note that Otkell is hardly a noble character.


**  Grandfather Adam Scharfe for us, in Ottawa, from the line of  James and Anne Scharf, added the "e in the early 1900's, solely to help the postal service  in delivering to the right farm. This will be of no interest to anyone but others of this ilk. They are mostly in Hazeldean Cemetery, Ottawa, an area still with rural patches, including the farm land - still undeveloped.

Adam Scharf, changed name to Scharfe
Born Hazeldean, Ontario, Canada 3/30/1860
Died Cyrville, Ont. Canada, 6/18/1930
Married Violet _____ Scharfe (birth and death dates unk so far)

Child of Adam and Violet:  Lillian, born 7/8/1888

Adam married Theressa Black, born 12/25/1865
Died Ottawa, Ont. Canada 3/31/1945
Children (all deceased) James Albert born 11/25/1893
Married Margaret Johnson
William Nixon born 7/21/1895, died Vancouver BC 12/20/1942
Married Alice Simpson
Gertrude born 6/19/1897, died ____
Married Alec Horner
Thomas Hector born July 2, 1899, died California 8/24/1956
Married Mary Bivins
Violet Jane born 12/12/1900, died _________
Married Leonard Wilson
Hilda Beatrice born 2/7/1903, died _____
Adam Cecil born 3/12/1905
Howard Carman born 9/12/1907, died Pittsburgh PA March 7, 1971

Everyone's children and children's children are on a separate private post - all the above is public record elsewhere.
Contact me if you want to know more and I will ask them each if they want information out.