Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My ancestors - O'Mara - Contents

O'Mara of Limerick city

Formerly of near Clonmel, Co.Tipperary.

O'Meara of Toomyvara, Co.Tipperary

There is a tradition in our family (O'Mara of Limerick city) that they were originally O'Meara of Toomyvara, Co.Tipperary.

The old Irish O'Meara family (O'Meadhra in Irish) had lands in the Barony of Upper Ormond, N Co.Tipperary.
The village of Toomyvara, or Toomevara, is named after them. In Irish it is Tuaim ui Mheadhra (or Tuaim ui Mheara), "Tomb of the O'Mearas".
Toomyvara is in Aghnameadle par, E of Nenagh (on the Dublin road), N Co.Tipperary (see map).
See notes on O'Meara of Toomyvara, Co.Tipperary.

There is a tradition that our family was originally from Toomyvara.
Stephen O'Mara called his house "Toomyvara" around 1920.
Dr. Frank O'Mara called his house "Toomyvara" around 1940.

However, in 2020 (see below) I discovered that before they came to Limerick, our O'Mara family was from near Clonmel, Co.Tipperary. This is nowhere near Toomyvara.
Any Toomyvara origin, if it exists, would have to be further back.
Perhaps, when they moved to Limerick, they were taken with the fact that Toomyvara was on the road to Dublin. And they were taken by the name and considered it as their ultimate ancestral home.

Extract from O'MEARA on p.239 of [O'Hart, 1915, vol.1].

Letterhead of letter of 17 Aug 1897, from Hartstonge House.
Shows that our family used the O'Meara crest.
See also letter of 13 Sept 1899.

Letterhead of 1905 letter in our family, showing use of O'Meara crest.
See full size.

Extract from O'MEARA on p.238 of [O'Hart, 1915, vol.1].
This explains that the O'Meara crest on the letterhead above is a pelican vulning herself.
Motto: "Opima spolia".


O'Mara of Clonmel, Co.Tipperary (our family)

We do not know if our family was in Toomyvara in the 18th century, or if it is a family myth.
The known family starts with:


Proof of this generation

For many years the father of our James O'Mara was unknown.
James was meant to be born in Toomyvara, according to the standard family origin story told by Pat Lavelle.
O'Mara family tree, post-1961, guessed that his father was "John". But it was only a guess. Other trees left it blank.

In 2020, I worked it out in two ways, first by looking at James' brother Andrew:

Then I confirmed this by looking at James' brother John: Conclusion: Our James O'Mara is from Clonmel and his father is Peter O'Mara.

The top of O'Mara family tree, post-1949, gives the mother as Margaret Casey.

The top of O'Mara family tree, post-1961, gives the mother as Peggy Casey.
"Peggy" is of course Margaret.

The grave of Andrew O'Mara in Canada says he was born in Clonmel in Jan 1817.
See full size.

Baptism of twins John and Andrew O'Mara, 8 Jan 1817, Clonmel, sons of Peter O'Mara and Margaret Casey.
From here.

Marriage cert of John in Liverpool in 1842 shows his father as Peter O'Mara, "farmer".

Marriage of John in parish records in Liverpool in 1842.
Shows his father as Peter O'Mara.
See full size.

Mara of Clonmel

The following may or may not be related.

James Mara, woollen draper, Main St, Clonmel, is listed in [Pigot's Directory, 1824, p.239].

James Mara, woollen draper, and Margaret Mara, milliner, 40 Main St, Clonmel, listed in [Slater's directory, 1846].

William Mara, blacksmith, Irishtown, Clonmel, is listed in [Slater's directory, 1846].


Sources yet to be fully consulted

Unidentified O'Mara photos

Miscellaneous O'Mara's and O'Meara's

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