The Hanly clan originated in Co. Roscommon and spread, initially, throughout Ireland – the River Shannon providing an artery of communication that that would reach as far as Limerick and Cork. In the first published history of the clan, authors Gearoid O’Brien and John Hanly trace that story, from the earliest entries in the ancient annals to the present day.
Fascinating nuggets of historical information come to light, such as the figure of St. Berach, the 6th century monk and patron saint of the Hanly clan, whose crozier can today be found on display at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
The story is unearthed of the Hanlys on Lough Ree, who farmed and fished from the Black Islands on the Longford side of the lough, where they settled sometime around the 17th century.
There is a section devoted to famous Hanlys and persons of distinction bearing the family name, who made their mark in different spheres of business, enterprise, entertainment, sport, art, music, literature, broadcasting, academia, scholarship.
While this is a book that will be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about the Hanly family lineage, it also serves as a useful introduction to the principles of genealogy and family history in general. Concise yet informative material on the earliest history of Ireland and the evolution of Irish surnames is provided. Elsewhere, advice is offered to anyone interested in conducting research into their own family history (Hanly or otherwise). Readers travelling to Ireland with this purpose in mind, will even find useful tips on things to do and see during their Irish visit.
Of the authors, Gearoid O’Brien, a native of Athlone, is a retired librarian who has written more than a dozen books on local history and biography. He has had an interest in genealogical research for over 40 years. His co-author, John Hanly, who wrote the preface to the book, is a native of County Roscommon. He is a retired forester and the founder of Dundrum Woodcrafts in County Tipperary. He was one of the prime movers in the revival of the Hanly Clan in 1989 and was instrumental in organising several successful Clan rallies. He is the Honorary Secretary of The Hanly Clan.
Hanly: A Brief History of the Noble Name (at home and abroad) by Gearoid O’Brien and John Hanly is published by The Manuscript Publisher. A limited print edition, comprising 400 numbered copies, is currently available to buy online (priced €14.99 plus P&P) while, an unlimited e-book edition is available through Amazon, Smashwords and all of the major online retailers