Tracing the Taylor Families of Kilchreest
The Taylor families of Kilchreest, and nearby Raheen, in East Galway, were accomplished tenant farmers, carpenters, and builders believed to be descended from a Protestant clergyman who came to Ireland c.1658.
From the very early 1800s, descendants settled in other parts of the county: Ardrahan, Tynagh, and Athenry. In Ardrahan, seven descendants served as postmaster for an aggregate one hundred and sixty-four years between 1837 and 2020. In Athenry, Samuel Taylor and his family operated a corn and sawmills business from the 1890s until 1960.
A number of family members married Catholics and descendants of these families will now be found among the records of both the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland. One such family is that of Bridget Taylor and Lawrence Kelly, whose son Peter J. Kelly, an avowed Fenian played a prominent role in the campaign for land reform and suffered several terms of imprisonment: he also served as president of the Gaelic Athletic Association from 1889–95 and was elected the first chairman of Loughrea Rural and District Council in 1899.
A number of Taylor families emigrated in the period 1840–50: mostly to the United States where they settled in Pittsfield, Berkshire County and Boston, Massachusetts, and in Cattaraugus County, Salamanca, New York State. Today, descendants of the early Taylor families are now to be found worldwide, many bearing different family names and possibly oblivious of their roots in East Galway.
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