The name Healy in Ireland is derived from either the O'Healaighthe Gaelic Sept in the Province of Munster or from the O'Heilidhe Sept in the Province of Connauaght. Counties Cork and Sligo were the main settlement points and it is here that the majority of descendants can still be found. The Healy family name, translated from Gaelic, means artistic.
My Healy family settled in the town of Boyle, County Roscommon. My great-grandfather William Healy was born in 1806 in the townland of Carrowkeel, and in the small cottage of the Healy family. He was married before the potato famine and raised his first Healy family on Carrowkeel. His first wife as well as some of his children might have died during or after the potato famine. Unfortunately, we can find no records to document his first wife's death or the births and deaths of any of their children, because civil records prior to 1864 are not available due to the 1922 Civil War. We know William had a first family because the only available recorded marriage certificate identified him as a Widower.
William's second marriage at the age of sixty-one was to a cousin, Ellen Healy, who was twenty-three. Married in the Kilfree Chapel in Gurteen, County Sligo, William and Ellen lived in the three-room thatched-roof cottage on Carrowkeel, referred to as House #2 on the land deed. During this time, Lord Lorton owned the entire townland of Carowkeel. Lorton passed the townland ownership to Edward King-Harman in 1872.
Between the years 1878 and 1884, the Healy family of William and Ellen had four children: Margaret, John, Michael (my grandfather), and Peter. Ellen died on May 27, 1896, at the age of fifty-two from a pain in her stomach.
Land deeds from 1908 state that the individual Irish tenants at last, purchased their ancestral cottages on the townland of Carrowkeel. My great-grandfather William was 102 years old; he lived to see that day. The Healy family finally held deed to their ancestral land and cottage on Carrowkeel.
William's oldest son John emigrated to Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1902. He secured employment, a suitable place to live, and sent money for passage to his brother Michael and his sister Margaret. Michael and Margaret emigrated to America in 1903. Now, the Healy family was rooted in America as well as in Ireland-new beginnings for a heritage rich in tradition.