23 February 2013

Surname Saturday: Durkin

Surname Saturday is a weekly prompt by GeneaBloggers which focuses on a patricualr surname. This week I have chose DURKIN. My great-great grandmother was Martha Durkin, the daughter of Patrick Durkin and Abyan Murphy.

Martha is also one of my immigrant ancestors. She was born 1 August 1839 in Ireland. She immigrated and once here settled in the Phoenixville, Chester County, PA area. It was there she married Dennis O'FLAHERTY, also from Ireland. Together they had eight children. The youngest - Catherine - is my great grandmother.



Etymology
Most sources (that is I have not found any to contradicte) seem to agree that Durkin is from the Gaelic Mac Duarcáin‘son of Duarcán’. Kilmoremoy is a civil parish that is locatedin both County Mayo and County Sligo. My grandmother always said this branch of our family came from Sligo but I have never found any documentation one way or the other ... yet.

The crest above is from Irish Abroad. Everything seen in the crest means something - or did at one time. I found this site (click HERE) which explains the various meanings of the colors and symbols used in crests. The gold the crest could symbolize "generosity and evelation of mind". There is also much green in the Dukin crest. Green symbolizes "hope, joy and loyalty". Black -sadly - seems to stand for "constancy or grief". The "X" could be the symbol for a cross moline. This indicates that the original grantee (the one with whom the crest began) was the eighth son.

Whatever the crest truely means is purely specualtion until I can document a few more generations.

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