Shanahan, Foran, & Related Families

Our Foran surname is the Anglicized form of Gael "O'Fuar", descendant of Fuar(th)ain. The name "Faur" means "cold", and early families bearing this surname could be found primarily in County Galway, Ireland.

Our ancestor Bridget Foran, who married Thomas Fennell, was the daughter of James Foran (he born bef.1839, died bef.1901, in Quilty) and Honora (Nora) Shanahan (she born June 26, 1840, died aft.1901 in Quilty, the child of Patrick Shanahan and Bridget Griffy). James Foran and Honora Shanahan were married on July 11, 1858, at Quilty, the union being witnessed by John Whealon and Mary Burke. Their children were::


1-Mary Foran, baptized June 1859, in Quilty, witness Bridget O'Brien

2-Patrick Foran, baptized February 1861, in Quilty, witnesses William Green and Mary Boyle

3-Bridget Foran, baptized on March 02, 1864, at Quilty, witnesses John Kenny and Ellen Downes. She married Thomas Fennell (our direct line ancestors).

4-Kate Foran, baptized May 18, 1866, in Quilty, sponsored by Mary Kelly, married Sean Kenny and had two known children, John Kenny and Mary Ann Kenny (she married George Charles Avon)

5-John Foran, baptized March 3, 1869, in Quilty, sponsored by Ellen Foran (likely his aunt).

6-Ellen Foran, baptized May 19, 1871, in Tromora, sponsored by Mary Kelihan. She married Cornelius O'Brien on September 26, 1900, at Quilty (She was likely named after her aunt).

7-Michael Foran, baptized July 19, 1873, in Tromora, sponsored by Ellen Foran (likely his aunt).

8-James Foran, baptized June 1876, in Tromora, sponsor Margaret McMahon


The 1901 Census of Clare, District Electoral Division Kilmurry, Townland Quilty West, DED Number 85/7, has the following about our Foran family:

Foran Honor Head of Family (Mother) Roman Catholic Cannot Read-Write 60 Female Domestic Servant Widower [sic] Co. Clare Irish-English
Foran James Son Roman Catholic Cannot Read-Write 22 Male Fisherman-Labourer Not Married Co. Clare Irish-English
Foran Michael Son Roman Catholic Cannot Read-Write 24 Male Fisherman-Labourer Not Married Co. Clare Irish-English
O'Brien Ellen Daughter Roman Catholic Cannot Read-Write 26 Female Domestic Servant Married Co. Clare Irish-English
O'Brien Cornelius Son-in-law Roman Catholic Read-Write 27 Male Labourer Married Co. Clare Irish-English


Parents of Honora Shanahan were Patrick Shanahan (who d.Sept.27, 1872, at Ocean View, near Quilty, and is buried in the old cemetery near there), and Bridget Griffy. There may have been other children born to Patrick and Bridget, namely: 2-Andrew Shanahan, married Mary Cotter: 3-Elizabeth Shanahan: and 4-William Shanahan, baptized May 17, 1843, married Feb. 20, 1867, at Doonbeg Parish, Co. Clare to Margaret Healy). There is a large crypt at one end of the old cemetery and on the outside is the following inscription:

Erected by Bridget Shanahan
in memory of her beloved Husband
Pat Shanahan
Ocean View
who died Sept.27th 1872
May his soul rest in peace


For a larger view of the Shanahan crypt click on the above thumbnail.


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