Hi.  We’re the Bodkin Brothers of Long Island, New York (Matt & Bill).  Well, we’re not the only ones, but we are the ones who have started this blog dedicated to publishing the information we (mostly Matt) have gathered concerning Bodkin family genealogy, in the hopes of educating the far flung Bodkin family about it and potentially obtaining any additional information concerning the Bodkin family tree.

Who are the Bodkins?  The Bodkin clan is one of the Fourteen Founding Tribes of County Galway.  You can see the Bodkin family herald hanging in Galway City’s Eyre Square.  The Bodkin family is one of the smallest of the “tribes.”  The odds are excellent if you’re a Bodkin and Irish or of Irish descent, we’re related.

Our great-great grandfather, Christopher P. Bodkin (1845-1905), came to New York City in the 1880’s under, well, as you can see from another post, somewhat interesting circumstances.  He had three children survive to old age: Christopher (1879-1956), John (1881-1956) and Alphonsus (Stan or Al) (1886-1958).   We are descended from John’s branch of the family.

We would encourage all Bodkins (and those crazy enough to love them) to join us here, and to freely share any information with us: stories, legends, lore, and, perhaps most of all, verifiable facts (We love documents!).

Thanks.  We’re looking forward to a great conversation.


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17 Responses to Introductions

  1. David Bodkin

    I think the lawyer would agree the term ‘alleged’ should be inserted before interesting circumstances.

  2. Thomas W. Bodkin

    Hello Fellow Bodkin,

    I found that this is a interesting link about the origins of the name.

    • matt_bodkin

      Welcome Thomas! My apologies for the delayed response. Seems your post was stuck somewhere in a spam filter. All fixed now. Indeed, Hardiman is one of the Bodkin historical sources.

      There are lots of Thomas’s floating around my end of the family tree. We should compare notes.

  3. Barbara Hettwer

    Hello Long Island Bodkins,
    I am descended from the John J. Bodkin line. I don’t know how far back you would have to go to connect our lines. John was born in Tuam, Galway, one of 15 children (Sarah, Dominick, Patrick, etc.).
    From the “Bodkin files” in the Tuam Archives:
    “Sarah had a brother Dominick who was to become one of four Christian Brothers who pioneered Catholic education in Australia”.
    “The year of John J. Bodkin’s departure for the U.S. (1867) was marked by a Fenian uprising in Ireland. Amongst those arrested in Tuam were Martin Andrew O’Brennan, editor of a local newspaper, The Connaught Patriot. The newspaper was accused of involvement in the Fenian movement and closed down. O’Brennan went to America.”.”
    John arrived New York 10 Sep 1867 on SS Tarifa from Liverpool. He was a school teacher who settled near Chicago (some relatives stayed in that area). He taught and was married at St. Genevieve Catholic Church in St. Genevieve, MO. He married Marian O’Brennan, the daughter of the famous Martin A. O’Brennan. He moved to the Los Angeles area in 1875 where he lived in Olive then San Gabriel. He wrote the history of the San Gabriel Mission. He shot & killed an angry neighbor who was trespassing on his property but was found not guilty at his trial within a few days.

  4. Barbara Hettwer

    My John J. Bodkin was the son of Thomas Bodkin of Tullinadaly (Tuam) and Jane Keavney. I cannot find a link to the other Bodkins, but surely there is. My grandparents had the Crom A Boo crest hanging in their home and we were told that we are related to all the Galway Bodkins. My uncle, Henry Grattan Bodkin and his son Henry Grattan Bodkin Jr. both visited Galway at different times, I think back in about the 1960’s. I know Jr. visited Mr. Heaney at Tullinadaly (which is just a farm at a fork in the road).

  5. Barbara Hettwer

    Hi Anne, Nice to hear from you. What is your interest in the Bodkins of Tuam?

  6. Barbara Hettwer

    Here’s what I know of Thomas Bodkin which is as far back as we could trace.
    Born 1802 or 1810
    Married Jane Keavney (180301881)
    Died 24 February 1883 on Bishop St. in Tuam
    a farmer at Tullinadaly, Tuam
    These items were mentioned in the Last Will and Testament of Thomas’ son, John J. Bodkin:
    Thomas wrote a letter in 1836 to his attorney in Dublin
    There was a letter from Concillor Jenings to Thomas in 1840
    License to keep arms issued to Thomas Bodkin of Tullinadaly

    Still living in Tullinadaly in 1874 when Anne got married.
    Daughter Sarah M. Costello was present at his death at Bishop Street.
    One of his daughters who stayed in Ireland married a Mr. O’Brian (not related to Ellen’s husband Mr. O’Brien) and had a son named T. O’Brian who lived in Claugh and attended his Aunt Sarah’s funeral.

    In 1857 From Griffith’s Valuation
    Occupier Thomas Bodkin
    Lessor James Lynch
    County Galway
    Barony Ballymoe
    Parish Templetogher
    Townland Brierfort

    Dog License paid 6 for on 13 April 1867 yellow sheep dog, residence listed as Tullinadaly Lodge
    Dog License paid 6 for on 29 March 1873 black male dog, residence listed as Tullinadaly
    Dog License paid 6 for on 13 March 1875 gray male sheep dog, residence listed as Tullinadaly
    Dog License paid 6 for on 15 July 1876, D. & gray Jo, residence listed as Tullinadaly
    Dog License paid 6 for on 31 March 1877, female black & white Scotch, residence listed as Tullinadaly
    Dog License paid 6 for on 23 March 1878, male black D, residence listed as Tullinadaly

    Probably not the same as Thomas J. Bodkin, Esq. who also lived in Tuam

    Had 15 children (?H0noria), Sarah (married Patrick Burke & Michael Costello), Mary (married Nicholas Mahon of Ballinrobe), John P. (died young), Anne (married Thomas Heaney), Patrick (moved to Australia), Jane (married James Forde in U.S.), Ellen (married Mr. O’Brien), John J. (married Marian O’Brennan in U.S. ), Dominick (Christian Brother in New Zealand), Catherine, Nannie, Fannie, plus 2 others I don’t know about.

    • matt_bodkin

      Hello! There was also a Thomas Bodkin, 1808(?)-1868 who was a merchant of Galway. He married an Eliza Lynch who died in childbirth, then an Elizabeth Downey. I am descended from the latter marriage.

      There was another Thomas Bodkin who also died in 1868, within a month or two of my ancestor. He was reported to be “Master of the Roscommon County Harriers” and have “fallen from his horse in a fit of apoplexy” while leading the hounds. The event received what we’d call a lot of press coverage.

      I’ve read quite a bit about the Bodkins of Tuam but haven’t been able to connect my branch and yours. Let’s compare notes.

  7. David

    Hello all,

    Quite a lot can be found about the Bodkins at the Landed Estates database of the NUIG.

    Most of the Bodkins referred to here are all connected to one another in a line of land-ownership stretching mainly north and east of Tuam.

    The fortunes of the Bodkins, like many of the numerous catholic landowners of Galway, were on the slow decline from the beginning of the 19th Century. Large families, litigation, various land reform acts, the Famine all played their part in gradually dissipating the Bodkin estates.

    But you can rest assured that any Bodkin who is mentioned in a newspaper of the time, or recorded as acting in any official capacity etc. will be one of the Bodkin clans from the four main branches:

    Bodkins od Kilclooney (Quarrymount);
    Bodkins of Annagh:
    Bodkins of Castletown (Tullinadaly)
    Bodkins of Bingarra ad Thomastown (pf the famour Bodkin murders, cousins to the above).

    The Bodkins were not unique of the galway landowning families to have thier large broods assembled in various houses on their lands. This would explain why they are still there by the beginning of teh 20th Century, no longer landlords, but usually making money in the professions (doctors, lawyers, the army) or academia/religion (professors, nuns, priests).

    Quite a lot can be found up there

  8. Barbara Hettwer

    Hi Matt, My brother is having his Y-DNA tested. My Thomas Bodkin was not the J.P. one nor the merchant. He married Jane Keavney and lived & died in Tuam. We currently have a cousin David Mahon, of Dublin, who is researching all the info. and going to write a book on his ancestors. He is from the same Thomas Bodkin as I am. Feel free to contact me directly for more information. I do not want to post David’s email on here, but I don’t mind mine being known. It is all over the interet anyway.

  9. DJB Mahon

    And I don’t mind my email being here either! Feel free to contact.

    My research is showing that the Thomas J. Bodkin of Tullinadaly was descended from the Bodkins of Castletown, specficially John Bodkin of Casteltown, who established a large farm/estate around Casltetown (nowadays Tullinadaly) from the 1780s.

    I believe this John of Castletown to be an offspring of one of the survivors of the Bodkin Murder tragedies: dual murders (one a fratricide and the other a mass murder of the family and attendants), which took place around Tuam in 1739 and 1741 respectively.

    This John Bodkin had two sons: John Dominick of Bengarra and Dominick George of Louth Lodge., possibly daughters too.

    J.D. and D.G. had numerous children, though I have not been able to trace all of them. One of J.D.’s daughters married a Bodkin of Annagh and produced an heir to the estate and one of D.G.’s daughters married a Bodkin of Kilcloony, also producing an heir.

    The Casteltown Bodkins thus became closer kinsmen of the Annagh and Kilcloony Bodkins: though their fortunes were less lucky.

    A combination of many lawsuits by in-laws and debtors lead to a total dissipation of the Castletown Bodkins, the estate being reduced from 3,000 acres c. 1800 to less than 300 by the 1880s (the lands held by Thomas James Bodkin around Tullinadaly at the time of his death in 1883).

    While I have no genealogical proof yet, I believe this Thomas James Bodkin of Tullinadaly to be the son of Dominick George, so a grandson of John of Castletown.

    • Steven Bodkins

      Hello all;
      I’m confused regarding my last name. My Grandfather Leslie Bodkin had four children Edward, Gerald, Larry and Jimmy. As the story is told, my grandfather placed an (s) at the end of the Bodkin name because he he so many boys.
      My father Edward married a woman with the last name of McInanny (not quite sure of the spelling), who is from Pennsylvania.
      My question is are there any relations between the Bodkins and Bodkins name.

  10. Justin Duncombe

    I live in Alexandra Headland, Queensland, Australia. My mother was Nancy Jean Duncombe( Bodkin), her siblings were Alan Bodkin, Moira Briggs(Bodkin), Elizabeth(Betty) Ryan (Bodkin). I remember in the late 1970’s,early 1980’s my mother visited her relative Bodkin,who was an attorney in New York,the next year one of their sons visited my parents in Australia. Couls we be related.

  11. Nikki McGowan Marks

    Hi there!! I am so happy to have found this! I just recently started the process and it has gone faster than expected- I found that wiki tree and ancestry were pretty helpful. My grandfather (before he passed) was able to get us pretty far up the tree. His father was James Bodkins (added the s at some point) and we followed the tree up to Richard Bodkins- fortunately for us Richard liked to pass his name down! His family resided in Highland Virgina. Richard came over in 1741 with his kids- Richard jr, hugh, charles, john, and james. I would love to hear more and share my finds. Nikki

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