As part of “The Gathering”2013, Kiltimagh Co.Mayo will host a McNicholas Clan Gathering from the 14th to the 21st of September 2013. The McNicholas Clan name is most prominent in Mayo and it is especially associated with the general area of Balla, Bohola, Kiltimagh and Swinford. Earliest available records of the McNicholas’s trace back to the 1500's, when deeds to several properties in what today is known as Bohola Parish, Co Mayo, listed owners with the surname McNicholas.
The origins of the surname McNicholas are unclear, though Edward MacLysaght, one of the foremost authorities on Irish surnames, has the following to say with regard to it: "The name McNicholas is almost entirely confined to families belonging to County Mayo, where the Gaelic form Mac Niocláis has sometimes also been anglicised Clausson.They are said to be a gaelicised branch of the Norman de Burgos.The inquisitions of James the First’s reign show that they held extensive estates then around Bohola in the barony of Gallen and the Books of Survey and Distribution records them as 1641 proprietors in the adjacent barony of Clanmorris."
Although they were dispossessed of their ownership in the Cromwelliam and Williamite wars, the McNicholas families remained in their original territory as tenants. Like many Irish families parts of the McNicholas’ clan have migrated to the USA, Australia, Canada and the UK, but many have remained in Ireland.
This festival will be unique, in that it will facilitate a McNicholas Clan Gathering, to unite, examine and celebrate their ancestors, history and the traditions of the McNicholas Clan name locally, regionally, in Ireland and beyond. We hope to build a family name resource that can assist individuals in their search for their ancestors.
The McNicholas Clan Gathering will be a weeklong festival of heritage, genealogy talks and workshops, history, entertainment, tours, companionship, chat and much more.
We invite and encourage the McNicholas Clan or those with McNicholas in their ancestry to reach out and invite family and friends who have left the area or country, to come and join in the celebrations. By inviting anyone with the surname McNicholas or variant, we hope to reunite and bring home the diaspora of the McNicholas Clan to their ancestral homeland.
The vision is to hold an annual gathering that can be developed, progressed and evolved for future generations to enjoy. We expect that McNicholas’, from all over the world will come to Kiltimagh to join local McNicholas in celebrating their family heritage.