Our Family History

Francis Athy (1615-1656)
The last Athy in our direct line in Europe
8th Great-Grandfather of Glenn Cook

Athy Motto: "To be led, not driven"

Francis Athy, known to many of us as the father of "Captain" George Athy, was born in Galway abt.1612/15, to Walter Athy of Galway and an unknown Martyn. From the naming pattern used by the family, his mother may have been a daughter of Francis Martyn FitzThomas. Francis was listed as Sheriff of Galway in 1639/40, his wife appears to also have been a Martyn. Again following the naming pattern we can establish that she may have been the daughter of George Martyn FitzWalter, a third cousin to his mother. Their children were Walter Athy b.1640, George Athy b.1642, John Athy b.1644. From the Bodkin genealogies we also find a daughter Susannah Athy, married to Patrick Bodkin. Their son Thomas Bodkin was married to Julian Browne who was listed among the traitors within the walls during the seige of Galway.

Francis did not live in Athy's Castle, but had a house on St. Augustine St. in Galway, this along with the naming pattern would support that he was the second son of Walter. As late as 1641 Francis Athy is shown also owning property in Athenry. He would have had an elder brother named John, who would have been the family heir. This John is mentioned as the father of Maria Athy of Galway, married to Francis Ffont, who died 1670, son of Stephen Ffont and Juliana Kirwan. Their son was Dominick Ffont who died in 1693.


Doorway From Francis Athy's House
St. Augustine Street, Galway

The facade was moved from it's original location in 1947. In the upper right-hand door arch is a small shield bearing the date 1577, while the Coat of Arms of the Athy family is the principle ornament of the opposite corner.

What became of Walter Athy and eldest son John? In 1641 Walter Athy was listed as owning "A dwelling house shingled, two and a half stories, with a back house one story; and a yard and another house backwards, slated, three stories" (Athy's Castle). Walter Athy was also listed as an officer in the Confederate Army Athy’s Castle was confiscated from Walter in 1656, for his part in the rebellion and granted to John May, a Protestant. Was Walter executed for his part in the Rebellion? Had John Athy died in the rebellion, or the plague?

Walter had a brother, Edmond Athy. Edmond married Margaret Lynch b. abt.1629 of Rinville, daughter of Phillip Lynch. As Phillip had only his daughter as heir, the Lynch name was retained as a condition of inheritance. They were the beginning of the Lynch-Athy family of Rinville.

The death of Francis Athy seems to be about 1666, this is the same year his son Walter is shown as obtaining Oranmore Castle from Ulick Burke, the Earl of Clanricard. The castle was located on the shore of the bay, ships were able to dock and the family merchant trade could continue.

Walter married Anne French b. abt.1643. They had a daughter Mary French Athy b.aft. 1666, who married Walter Blake. Leaving no male heirs, Oranmore passed into the Blake family upon Walter Athy’s death. Walter Blake is listed among those killed at the battle of Aughrim, 1691.

Oranmore Castle