Sunday 21 July 2019

US presidential hopeful with strong Duhallow ties

Maria Herlihy

Should the possible US Democratic Presidential candidate Terry McAuliffe go about searching his Irish roots he'll find that task has already been done in detail by a Duhallow genealogist.

Newmarket native Gerard Murphy of Sliabh Luachra Genealogy Services has said that Mr McAuliffe has Duhallow roots.

From research undertaken by Mr Murphy, he said that Terry McAuliffe's great grandfather was Thomas McAuliffe, who was baptised on August 13, 1843 in Ballyclogh/Kilbrin parish, the son of Bartholomew McAuliffe and Ellen Foley, who lived in the townland of Mahanagh in Kilbrin.  

Mr Murphy said: "Terry's second great grand father,  Bartholomew McAuliffe, appears in the Valuation Office field books on January 5, 1848 listed as Batt McAuliffe. The last trace of the family in the area is the baptism of their son, Owen (Eugene) McAuliffe on August 26, 1850 again in Ballyclogh/Kilbrin parish."

He also said that the family of Bartholomew McAuliffe and Ellen Foley don't appear in Griffith's Primary Valuation of 1852 for the townland of Mahanagh.

"Another McAuliffe family did remain in the townland at the time and the head of the household was Mary McAuliffe. There is a John McAuliffe listed in the Tithe Applotment books for Mahanagh c.1836-1837 which may possibly be Terry's third great grandfather," said Mr Murphy.

He noted that the family is listed in the 1860 US Census (under the surname McOllif) living in Onondaga, New York.

"At which stage they had another son, Michael born c.1856 in New York. In the 1910 US Census, Terry's great grandfather, Thomas McAuliffe, listed his immigration year as 1850, which would fit in with why they weren't listed on Griffith's Primary Valuation of 1852," said Mr Murphy.

Terry McAuliffe was born in 1957 in Syracuse, New York and his father, Jack, was the Onondaga County Democratic party treasurer and a real estate salesman, and Terry's mother was Millie. He got a law degree from Georgetown in 1994 and at just 23 entered the political world where he served as national finance director for Jimmy Carter's unsuccessful re-election campaign. 

At the age of just 31, he became the chairman of the Federal City National Bank in Washington. In 1997, he presided over the then President Clinton's inaugural celebrations. He is very close to the Clintons and in 1999 the then President Bill Clinton said: "It is safe to say that I do not have a more loyal friend than Terry." 

Terry is married to Dorothy and they have five children. Mr McAuliffe is a  former Virginia governor and made a case for his potential candidacy in 2020 on CNN in late December.

He said: "I'm obviously looking at [a run]," he said, adding: "I have got time. I have got a lot of great relationships … I have 40 years of working for this party. I have plenty of friends in many states. So I don't have to rush into this."

Meanwhile, since October, Mr Murphy set up his own Genealogy research company, Sliabh Luachra Genealogy Services and also has a website,

When asked why he began researching the potential US Presidential Candidate, Terry McAuliffe, he said he is presently undertaking a McAuliffe surname study.

And he is hoping to get as many McAuliffe's as possible to participate in a Y-DNA test project for the paternal line so we can have results for their 2020 gathering. He also said he has followed the political life of Terry McAuliffe for a number of years and began to look into his roots.

"My initial thoughts  were what McAuliffes does he descend from and could he be traced back to Duhallow?" said Mr Murphy.  

There is also a strong family connection for Mr Murphy in researching McAuliffe's as he explained that his grandmother was Mary McAuliffe of Blueford in Newmarket, who was the daughter of Jeremiah McAuliffe and Mary O'Connell.