THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE TIMMONS FAMILY
Since the Anglo/Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172, the history of the family named Timmons has been entwined in the legendry green tapestry of the Emerald Isle as surely as if the name had been native Irish.
Using works of legend and fact, researchers have compiled evidence using books by O'Hart, McLysaght, O'Brien and other Irish historians as well as transcipts from the Book of Kells, the Falaise Rolls, Battel Abbey Rolls, the Wace poem, Irish parish records, family histories and ancient land grants. Their conclusions are that the first record of the name Timmons was found in the counties of Wicklow and Carlow from 1172.
The name Timmons, occurred in many references, but from time to time, the surname was also officially recorded as Timmons, Timmins, O'Timmon, O'Timmons, Tymon, MacToimin, Tomlin, and these changes in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. It was not uncommon to be born with one spelling, married with another, and to have yet another recorded at his wake. The O' prefix, or Mc prefix, was dropped or assumed depending on the fashion of the time.
The ancient Milesian Kings, the legendary history of Ireland tells of the grandson of Breoghan, King of Galicia, Andalucia, Murcia, Castile and Portugal, were the ancient progenitors of the Dalcassian race.Milesius, the great general/king was instrumental in defending Egypt from the King of Ethiopia. In gratitude, the Pharaoh of Egypt gave his daughter, Scota, to Milesius for his wife. Later,Milesius sent his uncle northward from Spain with his own son Lughaidh to explore the western Isles. On finding that his son had been murdered in Ireland by the three resident Kings (the Danans), Milesius gathered an army to take revenge on the Irish. He died before he embarked on the trip. His remaining eight sons conquered Ireland and renamed it the land of the Scoti.
In 1172 A. D., Dermott McMurrough, in his fight for the position of Ard Righ, requested Henry ll for assistance. Henry of England commanded the Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, to help Dermott in his fight for the crown of Ireland. Strongbow recruited 2000 trained mercenaries of Norman,Welsh or Cornish background from south Wales and sailed for Ireland. The battles against the untrained, badly clad Irish were short, swift and sure, but, in the end, it was Henry and Strongbow who held the reins of power in Ireland not Dermott McMurrough. Strongbow doled out to his army commanders much of the confiscated Irish land in southern Ireland. Ironically, after several centuries, the invaders became as Irish as the native families. Those Anglo/Norman surnames such as Burke, Fitzpatrick, Fitzgerald, Power,Prendergast, Walsh, including the family named Timmons, became the backbone of the southern Irish society.
The Norman invasion was followed by Cromwell's invasion in 1640, when further loss of land befell the unfortunate Irish people, including the Anglo/ Noramn settlers. Ulster in the north was seeded with Protestant Scottish and English families. And, again, the sept of Timmons was amongst the great Irish families to lose their ancient territories.
The now Irish family Timmons emerged in later years as a distinguished family in county Wicklow where they were descended from the distinguished Barretts of county Cork. Timmons was derived from the Welsh Thomas. and settled in Tirawley in county Mayo in the year 1172, after accompanying Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke in his invasion of Ireland. In Wicklow and Carlow the name was sometimes McToimin,and in Mayo the name was Tymon. Tomlin is also derived from the same source. Notable amongst the family up to this time was Timmins of Tirawley.
In 1845, the great potato famine culminated several years of famine causing widespread poverty and starvation, and the great exodus from Ireland began. Within fifty years the population was reduced to less than half. Many joined the armada of sailing ships which sailed from Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Holyhead, Liverpool and Glasgow, all bound to the new world. Some called these small ships the "White Sails", others, more realistically, called them the "Coffin Ships", voyaging across the Atlantic when 25 per cent of the passengers died at sea.
In North America, one of the first migrants which could be considered a kinsman of the sept Timmons of that same family was Margaret Timmins from St. Mullens in Carlow who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1819; Lawrence Timmons settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, in 1822; Timothy and Isabelle Timmons settled in New York in 1811; John Timmons settled in Boston in 1764; Sarah Timmins settled in Maryland in 1774; John Timmons arrived in Pennslyvania in 1773; Bartholomew Timmings arrived in Philadelphia in 1834. These kinsman of the sept Timmons joined the earlier Timmons who had already made the trip to the new world. There is a Timmins Bay and Timmins Lake in Labrador, the city of Timmins is in Ontario, and the town of Timmonsville in South Carolina. Many of the Timmons moved westward with the wagon trains, and settled the mid west, some trekking over the Rockies to the west coast. Some remained loyal to the Crown during the American War of Independence and moved north to Canada, becoming known as the United Empire Loyalist.
In current history, many prominent people represent the name, Timmons, and the family Timmons continue to make an important contribution to the political and cultural life of the societies on both sides of the Atlantic. You will find the Timmons in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Oregon , as well as many other states, cities and towns across America, Canada, and other countries.
A few words about prefixes: MAC is the Gaelic word for "son" and is sometimes written Mc, despite the widely held notion that MAC is Irish and Mc is Scottish. Both are found in the two Gaelic national tradition.O is really a word all by itself, signafying "grandson". The apostrophe that usually appears after it is simply the result of a misunderstanding by English-speaking clerks in Elizabethian time, who took it to be a form of the word "of". That other distinctively Irish prefix, Fitz, derives from the French word fils, meaning son.
The Primary Valuation Property Survey between 1848 and 1864 was conducted in Ireland in order to produce the accurate information necessary for local taxation. The Tenement Act of 1842 provided for a uniform valuation of all property in Ireland. It was based on the productive capacity of the land and the potential rent of buildings. In this survey the names and town addresses of every landholder and householder was listed. Two hundred and four Timmons families appeared on this survey. They were listed in nineteen counties with most being in County Cavan, County Kilkenny, and County Dublin. County Wicklow listed three Timmons families.
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