With testimonials from State Secretary Reitz and General Botha in his pocket, Major MacBride said farewell to his horse, Fenian Boy, and, with what was left of his brigade, boarded a train which clattered across the great iron bridge over the Komati River and into Portuguese territory. Indeed, until their amalgamation in the 1960s (with other regiments of the North Irish Brigade, the Royal Irish Rangers), they were still commonly referred to as the 'Faughs'. The Force landed at Walvis Bay on the morning of 25 December 1914 and was immediately in action. Such a unit was formed in June 1946 and operated until 31 December 1959 as an artillery regiment, its members (drawn from ballots residing in Johannesburg) wearing the gunners' insignia. He also won the first road race between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Maj C. McN. (5), Autonomous South African Units shaped by Irish Influences. Nineteenth century South Africa did not attract mass Irish immigration, but Irish communities are to be found in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, and Johannesburg, with smaller communities in Pretoria, Barberton, Durban and East London. After the capture of Mega in 1941. Here they faced Lord Roberts’ army of 45,000 men. Soon the Irish commando was ensconced on Pepworth Hill overlooking the besieged garrison town of Ladysmith, where there were members of the Irish Fusiliers, the Irish Regiment, the 5th Royal Irish Lancers and some of the Dublin Fusiliers, all of whom were very eager to get their hands on the ‘flying Fenians’ of MacBride’s Brigade. Moreland, MC, trained at Premier Mine, being brigaded with the Imperial Light Horse and Pretoria Regiment. Surnames today: There are many different origins for Irish names today but the vast majority can be broken down into either of three categories: Gaelic Irish, Cambro-Norman, and finally Anglo-Irish. But the game was up and by mid-September 1900 MacBride could hardly control his men as they moved over the great escarpment and down into the hot and humid lowveld. DEATH NOTICE - Several members of the unit were drowned whilst en route to Italy by ship, as prisoners-of-war. The Irish in South Africa played an important part of the European history and development of the country. Also by then, reports of Michael Davitt’s much-publicised visit to the Boer front lines had appeared in the Freeman’s Journal. Murphy 2. Irish Argentines are Argentine citizens who are fully or partially of Irish descent. Until the end of November the survivors served with New Zealand forces; after this date, they rejoined the decimated Brigade at Mersa Matruh. The modern Irish-Argentine community is composed of some of their descendants, and the total number is estimated at 500,000–1,000,000. This, done with their daredevil tactics, made the Irish very valuable to the Boers. Dick. A third of the Cape's governors were Irish, as were many of the judges and politicians. Both the Cape Colony and the colony of Natal had Irish prime ministers: Sir Thomas Upington , "The Afrikaner from Cork"; and Sir Albert Hime , from Kilcoole in County Wicklow. As one would expect, a fair number of those in British colonial service in the sub-continent were Irish. These included Celtic Literary Society members John MacBride and Arthur Griffith. At the battle of Modderspruit, the Irish commando lost several men, including the eighteen-year-old Tommy Oates from Killarney, whose father was also in the unit. The surname Cloete was first found in Hessen, where the family was closely identified in the early period of history with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout Europe. (1) The 86th Regiment of Foot (later 2 Bn Royal Irish Rifles, to be reconstituted as the Royal Ulster Rifles, who were to be affiliated to the South African Irish Regiment after World War 2) arrived at the Cape on 22 September 1795, one week after the Dutch surrender. Subsequently, after the Battle of Congella (1842), the regiment served in the relieving force in Durban, where a detachment of the regiment, under Capt Charlton Smith, had been under siege for a month under extremely adverse conditions. Please enable JavaScript in your browser's settings to use this part of Geni. With the close of the SWA Campaign Active Citizen Force regiments were not permitted to proceed, as such, to other theatres of war. When the rising finally came, though, MacBride stumbled on it by accident—but was soon once again number two in a fighting unit. Here MacBride had his horse shot from under him, but the major survived. A group of officers who returned to Mersa Matruh after the battle of Sidi Rezegh. Garrisoning four towns besieged by the Boers, the regiment also incurred many casualties in the course of the battle of Bronkhorstspruit. Issued at first with single-shot Martini rifles, soon most of the Irish commando had acquired captured Lee Enfield and Lee Metford rifles. The South African Irish Regiment was allied in 1940 to the London Irish Rifles, and after the war, former prisoners-of-war met their comrades in London. Traditions and Curios of the South African Irish Regiment, Upon the re-formation of the Regiment in 1939, a Pipe Band was raised, under Pipe Major Foster, remaining with the Regiment until 1949, after which it became the South African Irish Regimental Association Pipe Band. But MacBride had enemies and when news reached camp that a second and rival Irish Transvaal Brigade was being formed in Johannesburg by a newly arrived Irish-Australian called Arthur Lynch, some members of the original Irish commando went over to the new unit. This was at most 150-strong and soon only about fifty in number. 9 Battalion campaigned in East Africa, where it earned the Honours 'Kilimanjaro' and 'East Africa 1916-17'. The Irish had fought well in the war. DE BEER Afrikaans De Beer is a Dutch and Afrikaans surname, meaning "the bear" ... Louw is a surname that has pre 7th century Germanic origins. Driscoll's Scouts also took part in the final operations directed against Gen de la Rey in the Western Transvaal. Blake and some of the lads remained and for the next eighteen months, these Irish ‘bitter-enders’ harassed the British army along the line of the Pretoria-Delagoa railway line through the Transvaal, on one occasion, 7 January 1901, defeating a unit of the Royal Irish Regiment at Monument Hill. Colonel Blake became more distant from the unit and Major MacBride, his number two, increasingly became the de facto leader. 2016 Family History is a new, free Irish genealogy education website, brought to you by the National Archives and IrishGenealogy.ie.The site is aimed primarily at secondary school students, but can be used by anyone with Irish ancestors to learn how to use the multiplicity of online sources now available for family history. Born: 23 Jul 1927 Died: 09 Aug 2017 Basil Daniel Vivian Hearne, Forever in our hearts dad! On 26 December 1914 outposts of the South African Irish came into contact, and conflict, with German patrols. Welcome to South African Ancestry: We would suggest that first time visitors to the South African Ancestry website first do a search on the surnames that you are researching to see what records are available on the South African Ancestry database. Early Origins of the Leahy family. Back in the eastern Transvaal, the Irish brigaders were suffering. Pages in category "Surnames of Irish origin" The following 200 pages are in this category, out of approximately 525 total. Some of the brigade’s members also fought opposite the Dublin Fusiliers at the battle of Colenso on 15 December. HUGUENOT FAMILIES These lists were taken from "Irish Pedigrees",vol.2, by John O'Hart. The event was, however, ‘painfully dry’. As 11 Battery, 4 Field Regiment, South African Artillery, the Irish were once again in action at El Alamein, and fired their first shot in the engagement on 24 September 1942, at 22h00. It is a Dutch/Flemish variant on the word Lowe, meaning Lion. Morale at this time was excellent. Perhaps because of this they were initially assigned to accompany and guard one of the great French Creusot fortress guns, or ‘Long Toms’, of Commandant Trichardt’s Transvaal State Artillery. One of the reasons for the prominence of the Irish was the fact that, while a few in numbers, they tended to be concentrated in specific occupations. Hugenot Surnames All materials on this page are used with the kind permission of Pat Traynor. The helmet plate of the regiment is a magnificent specimen and closely resembles that of the Connaught Rangers who were contemporary. The Cape Town Irish Rifles may be said to represent the first predecessor of the South African Irish Regiment, in so far as it was the first indigenous South African unit with a distinct ethnic Irish component. Irish journalists worked on major newspapers and often edited them, the most important being Frederick St. Leger, founder and editor of the Cape Times. There were the retailers, their profession dominated by Ulster Protestant-owned chain stores such as John Orr , William Cuthbert and R. H. Henderson - well-known names even today. Johannesburg had been the home of many of the Irish gold miners in the two commandos and some were reluctant to leave, preferring to disappear into the side streets of the Fordsburg suburb. SOURCE MOOC The retreat across the eastern Transvaal highveld had begun. It is a matter of some pride to the Regiment that Maj Twomey's son, Cmdt C.A. In Dublin, 1899 was a dry run for 1916. Meaning ‘sea-battler,’ this name… Although the first record of British Army units serving in South Africa cites the 78th Regiment of Foot (later 2 Bn Gordon Highlanders), who were landed at Simons Bay on 10 June 1795, the Irish were not far behind. The South African Irish Regiment was a unit within 4 South African Infantry Brigade in Col Skinner's Northern Force and embarked from Cape Town on 21 December 1914. After concentrating at Gilgil in Kenya, the South African Irish took part in the invasion of Southern Abyssinia (1 February 1941) and distinguished itself at El Gumu, Hobok, and Banno early in February 1941. Note: Pronunciation marks were not copied. Excluding the Irish administrators who could be found in any part of the British Empire, there were several professions and trades in South Africa which attracted the Irish. The second Irish Transvaal Brigade was posted to the Helpmekaar Pass on the Biggarsberg where they fought well during the Boer retreat up to Laing’s Nek on the Natal border. The dress for the South African Irish in 1914-15 shared the common features of the uniform of South African military forces, and as with many other units on active service, the slouch hat or sun helmet was worn. Though there were seven American doctors among them, the rest of the men under Captain O’Connor flagrantly used their Red Cross accreditation to get out of America to Africa to fight for the Boers. Nineteenth century South Africa did not attract mass Irish immigration, but Irish communities are to be found in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, and Johannesburg, with smaller communities in Pretoria, Barberton, Durban and East London. A northern English and Scottish habitational surname . Brennan seated in chair and Capt (later Major) G.Twomey standing right. The NEL surname originated from The Viking name NJAL. Ireland Ireland Emigration and Immigration Finding an Irish Ancestor Using South African Records. On 11 February 1915, the Northern Force came under the command of Gen Louis Botha. Other formations, such as Militia, Volunteers and Yeomanry have also seen service in South Africa either as units or as reinforcements for the regular forces, especially during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. On Saturday, 29 January 1921, at Milner Park, Johannesburg, the South African Irish Regiment was presented with the King's Colour by Prince Arthur of Connaught, the (then) Governor-General of the Union of South Africa, in recognition of its service in German South West Africa. I think it is fair to say that the surname “Dick” would get quite a bit of abuse from most western, English-speaking citizens. Regardless of where your family immigrated; if you had a branch in South Africa, it’s history and records are worth exploring. Upon its reconversion, to an Infantry regiment, the only change in dress resulting was the return of the original cap badge, the crowned harp and motto, to all non-commissioned ranks. Finally on Sunday, 23 September 1900, they reached Komatipoort and the Mozambique border. This was not helped by the Boer army’s democratic structure and cavalier attitude to military discipline. Elements of the Irish Guards were to participate in the latter phases of the Anglo-Boer War, as components of a composite Guards Mounted Infantry unit. ('Who will separate us?'). One will search Ireland in vain to find a counterpart: a memorial to those Irish soldiers who died fighting in the two Irish commandos in the Boer army. Soon Colonel Blake had to vacate his comfortable surroundings in Pretoria’s Grand Hotel. Brought to South Africa by settlers of French decent some time in the past 300 years. The Regiment at present stands 16th in order of precedence amongst the infantry battalions of the Citizen Force. And finally there were the Irish in British Colonial police forces. A campaign there against recruitment to the British army met with some success. The visit to Ireland in April 1900 of Queen Victoria had for a while dampened the Irish pro-Boer cause, but by mid-summer, the Boer colours were to be seen all over Dublin. Recruits were quickly found and the battalion formed up at Booysens Camp, Johannesburg, on 9 September 1914, its establishment consisting of six companies. A locale in the United States. I maintain the list. So, too, did the 1903 Paris wedding of MacBride and Maud Gonne, who were married under the brigade’s flag by the brigade’s chaplain. Irish Genealogy Hub is a voluntary group dedicated to publishing FREE Irish ancestry records online for anyone with Irish roots or Irish family history. Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree. By 1896 there were about 1,000 Irish living in the mining settlement of Johannesburg as well as others in Pretoria and in more far-flung dorps, such as Middelburg where Griffith edited the precursor to the United Irishman. Some of the most popular Irish surnames in the US, explained The badge was produced locally and worn on the cloth patch, and also as collar badges, this comprised a brass shamrock upon which was stamped 'S.A. Eventually totalling a strength of just under 500 men of all ranks, it first served with the Colonial Division and was present at the siege of Wepener and operations around Lindley and Fouriesburg. These men had a thorough knowledge gained from experience of all the roads, mountain passes, fords through rivers as well as a knowledge of the dialects spoken in the country. At the end of August, a number of members of the unit were granted leave to South Africa, their places being filled by reinforcements from other units; e.g., 2 Witwatersrand Rifles. The O' NEILLS of ULSTER are the oldest traceable family left in Europe. Relations between the Irish Brigade and the Boers were often strained (as were relations between other foreign volunteers and the Boers). The Table shown here gives a listing of the 100 most commonly names found in Ireland and their meanings. Between 1902 and 1905, there were about 5,000 Irish immigrants. In 1939 the First South African Irish Regiment was reformed through the efforts of Maj Twomey, Capt Jeoffreys and Capt Cullinan (son of Sir Thomas Cullinan, of diamond fame). The South African Irish, with its sister units, the 2 Botha and 3 Transvaal Scottish, together with the Transvaal Horse Artillery, was enmeshed in the defeat at Sidi Rezegh on 23 November 1941, when the German panzers overwhelmed 5 Brigade and 'plunged straight into Egypt.' There were the professional men: the lawyers, dentists and doctors. ‘To get my guns, the English will have to kill my Irish troops’, proclaimed Trichardt. MacBride was in overall command. Officers of the Irish Brigade outside Ladysmith in 1899. For example Kelly 97%, O’Kelly 3% means that 3% of the Kelly families use the "O" before the family name.) Reports of a son born in the Transvaal to MacBride would emerge only eighty years later. Well grown, well set up, and 1 300 strong, the regiment excited universal admiration and, its regimental records add, it was perhaps the finest body of men that ever came to this country. HONORARY COLONELS, COMMANDING OFFICERS AND REGIMENTAL SERGEANT MAJORS Honorary Colonels. 7. The publication of Blake’s war memoir, Davitt’s The Boer Fight for Freedom, and later of a series of thirteen articles by MacBride in the Freeman’s Journal kept this memory alive. This was particularly true of those Catholics who, during the course of the 18th century served as 'soldiers of fortune' (the 'wild geese'), and were particularly prominent in the 'Irish Brigade' of the French Army. This was one of a handful of foreign commandos raised to support the Transvaal and its sister republic, the Orange Free State. Apply this search to the user-submitted names Food was short, as were horses and clothes. IRISH'. This unit was later engaged in the operations at Brandfort and in the surrounding regions. This is a collection of surnames that developed from the work of the Irish Folklore Commission Even so, it is one of those surnames that would be unfortunate in Ireland. The Irish commando protected the guns on Pepworth Hill but also indulged in some fairly foolhardy horse-rustling activities on the British perimeter. According to Military Archives, the date of the formation of the unit is 1 December 1914. With some justification, perhaps the South African Irish Regiment may be referred to as 'the elusive regiment' in two major respects. Whereas many Irishmen served in units composed of their countrymen which were to found distinguished records in the annals of the British Army, others remained bitter opponents of the Protestant monarchy. Authority was granted by Defence Headquarters and Lt Col Brennan, VD (Volunteer Decoration), was appointed as Commanding Officer, with Maj Twomey as Recruiting Officer. Col. C.A. Cochran, who succeeded Lt Col Dobbs, was wounded. '(2) They carried out field and garrison duties and had as a companion Irish unit the 8th Dragoons (Kings Royal Irish Dragoons, later the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars). When peace came in May 1902, most of the Irish had little choice but to make their way to Europe or America, where MacBride’s men had preceded them. In November the long-awaited invasion of Libya and the relief of Tobruk was scheduled. However, a greater mark of appreciation of the bravery of Irish troops in South Africa was accorded when, a short while later, the Queen also deemed it appropriate that an Irish regiment of Foot Guards be formed, to be designated the 'Irish Guards'. After some time at Amirya, the unit proceeded to Mersa Matruh on 23 May and remained in the vicinity until October. We know the names of ninety-one casualties in the Irish commandos, thirty-one of whom were killed, twenty-three wounded and twenty-seven made prisoners-of-war. On Wednesday 11 October, in a severe thunderstorm, the brigade crossed into British territory. On 16 June the South African Irish was mobilized under the command of Lt Col D.I. But lucky as ever, and much to the regret of many of MacBride’s men, Lynch escaped the hangman’s noose and was eventually pardoned. Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The surname Leahy was first found in County Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and were descended from the tribe of Uaithne. Shortly before Major MacBride was executed by firing squad in Kilmainham, he is reported to have said: ‘I have looked down the muzzles of too many guns in the South African war to fear death, and now please carry out your sentence’. It is now common in South Africa. In 1901 Lynch had got himself elected to an Irish seat in parliament, something MacBride had not achieved; but returning from Paris to England, he had been arrested, tried and convicted of high treason. Nineteenth-century South Africa did not attract mass Irish migration, but Irish communities were to be found in Cape town, port Elizabeth, Kimberley, and Johannesburg, with smaller communities in Pretoria, Barberton, Durban and East London. Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree. PLEASE NOTE: This is ONLY a listing of who is interested in which South African families. Although South Africa did not attract large scale migration, many Irish immigrated in small numbers throughout the 19 th century. Family emigrated to S.A - Port Elizabeth about 1849 onboard the ship "ORIENT" or "ORIENTAL" from Plymouth, England to Port Elizabeth, South Africa With the revival of interest in Irish at the end of the nineteenth century, individuals began to reclaim the O and Mc prefixes. Only a few men, however, had fighting experience. When the British army was mopping up after the insurrection, they found rifles with Boer carvings on their butts. On 6 October 1899, the Irish Transvaal Brigade mobilised and boarded trains for the Transvaal-Natal frontier. Filed Under: ... Ancestry / Genealogy It is of interest to note that the appellation 'Sportsmen's Battalion' was largely due to the influence of Maj Twomey, who was extremely active in South African sport and prominent in the South African Amateur Boxing Association, the South African Athletics Association, and the South African Olympic Games Association. ‘Foxy Jack’ MacBride from Mayo declined the command so instead, the Irish lads turned to a colourful American called John Blake. Nevertheless, authority was granted for the formation of an artillery unit, to be designated 22 Field Regiment (South African Irish) South African Artillery. In this form it returned to North Africa as a component of 6 South African Armoured Division, later serving in Italy. But not all the Irish brigaders had left. A clan of Vikings settled in Ireland c. 500 B.C. Driscoll's Scouts was founded by Capt D.P. As the months progressed, disunity spread in Irish ranks. The Irish commando fought well and indeed for a while in the driving rain held the road to the north against Lord Dundonald’s cavalry, allowing the Boers to bring up their oxen to drag out the artillery. Secondly, one notes the chameleon-like character of the Regiment, changing from an infantry to an artillery unit, and then reconverting to an infantry unit once again. Maj Twomey became a double Company Commander with 9 Battalion. In February 1942 the South African Irish and 3 Transvaal Scottish ceased to exist as independent infantry units and the remnants were drafted either to the Regiment Botha or to the South African Artillery. At the outbreak of World War 1 in August 1914 three officers met at the Irish Club in Johannesburg with a view to raising an Irish regiment from among the citizens of Johannesburg and its environs. There were two sets of fathers and sons. A pipe band was formed, the pipes and music being obtained in Eire and the personnel wearing saffron kilts and green stockings. Up to this point, the Irish contribution to the British military effort in South Africa had been discussed, whether this contribution was in the form of Irish units forming part of the regular British military establishment or autonomous ('colonial') units, as in the case of Driscoll's Scouts. South African last names have a totally unique story. And he was correct. Irish Genealogy Services was set up and is run by a full time, Irish based professional genealogist with a background in Irish heritage (see About). Finding an Irish Ancestor Using South African Records, Irish Settlement and Identity in South Africa before 1910, the South African National Museum of Military History, Sir John Francis Cook, Irish Cape Governor. Blake's section distinguished itself at Pepworth, near Ladysmith, where it stood its ground under a hail of British shrapnel, dragging a great deal of ammunition up the hill. The Irish commando was in the van of the Boer army when the town of Newcastle was occupied and looted. Just after this, Lynch and MacBride came upon each other—both covered in dust, exhausted and battle weary. NIALL is an Irish word which means CHAMPION. Irish Genealogy Services offers a worldwide facility providing professionally researched histories of families, individuals and houses. DEPOT KAB In 1843 two companies of the 45th and one of the 27th Regiment of Foot pitched camp on Maritzburg Hill, naming the hill Fort Napier after Sir George Napier, the Governor of the Cape. Chrome South African infantry buttons continued to be worn, but with one unusual distinction. There were those with horses under Major MacBride and Captain McCallum and there were the ‘foot sloggers’ under Captain O’Connor and Lieutenant Ryan. The 27th Regiment of Foot discussed earlier, reappears during the Basuto War of the mid-1880s, together with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons. In November 1939 the Union Defence Forces had approved of the formation of the unit and two months later parades were held and details forwarded to the South African Military College at Roberts Heights concerning courses of instruction. Irish Surnames (3,500+) Irish Clan Names (140+) NOTE: For convenience sake this online version has converted the old Irish letters used in the original text to the roman alphabet, and exchanged the lenited or dotted consonants to their equivalents in the latter, e.g. Maj Twomey naturally attracted to the South African Irish many prominent sportsmen from Johannesburg and elsewhere. MacBride and Blake took their unit to Johannesburg, where they were joined by fifty-eight members of an Irish-American ‘ambulance corps’ from Chicago and New York. Geni requires JavaScript! Accusations that they were more fond of the bottle than the battle are false: they were fond of both. When it comes to the most common Irish surnames, Murphy is still top dog. Most of the surnames of the Brazilian population have a Portuguese origin, due to Portuguese colonization in the country (it is estimated that 80% of the Brazilian population has at least one Portuguese ancestor), while other South American countries were largely colonized by the Spanish. To find links to collections for lower jurisdictions (such as a county, town, or parish), go to Locating Online Databases. The new combined Irish force now moved to the front line in the Orange Free State. So if Irish surnames are misspelt and mangled in English-language records, you know why. Lt.Col. The regiment also participated in the capture of Mega (18 February 1941). The former invariably expected more than they were either accorded or received(7). During World War 2 it changed to 'FAUGH-A-BALLAGH' ('Clear the way'), which has remained to the present time. That Christmas Day 1899, under the flag sent out by Maud Gonne and the Dublin-based Irish Transvaal Committee, the Irish held a horse race behind Pepworth Hill and then a banquet was laid on for Commandant General Joubert and many Boer officers and their wives. An Irish surname, a variant of Crosbie. These relay Dragoons protected their houses from runaway slaves and their cattle from beasts of prey. 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