The Great Unsolved MacTighernan Mysteries, Accomplishments & Awards

1. Locate Reverend Stephen's "copybook"   He was interested in historical and Gaelic matters for which he was made a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1884. In addition, Rev. Stephen McTernan, 1811--1906, was a member of the Societe Generale in Paris, France for which he received an annual sum of money. Rev. Charles Comey, curate of Cloonclare, Manorhamilton uncovered Reverend Stephen's personal papers in 1907. They found the papers in St. Claire's Chapel in Manorhamilton. Cloonclare was in the ancient parish of Cloonloger, now included in the Catholic parish of Drumlease, Co. Leitrim. More on his personal papers which are called the "Copybook"  Finding this may be a key to unlocking the wider McTernan family history as Rev. Stephen kept this diary from childhood. Rev Stephen is my 1st cousin, 3 generations removed in the T Group.

2.  Understand the O'Rourke and McTernan connection in the Chapel of Creevelea as it was the traditional burial place of the McTernans of Rockfield, Mount Allen and Heapstown [and Sheskin] where large recumbent flagstones mark their last resting places. In close proximity another memorial links the families of O'Rourke and McTernan and is inscribed as follows: Here lyeth the bodye of Hugh O'Roirk and Catherine McTernan who departed this life May 22, 1721. This is the mysterious gravestone that has the symbols of playing cards, heart, spade, diamond and club along with the etching of a cat. Tie one of the future DNA testers to The O'Ruairc of Bréifne whose family were the past kings of Drumahaire in Co Leitrim

3. Tie one of the DNA testers to James McTernans, of the Rockfield McTernans a British naval surgeon who was in the squadron which protected St. Helena during the residence there of Napoleon, and was present on the island at the death of that distinguished, but unfortunate monarch in 1821. James was also the surgeon on a British warship in the Chesapeake Bay in the War of 1812. In historical documents, the Rockfield McTernans and the Heapstown McTernans [Rory's line in the T group baseline] are called kinsmen and are related.

4. Understand the meaning of the 4,000-year-old Cairn on Rory's Heapstown family estate. What might be the connection to Rory's McTernan family who are in the T Group baseline.

5. The McTernan School: in Waterbury, CT.  In 2005, St. Margaret's-McTernan school changed its name to Chase Collegiate School. The new name honors the Chase family, which helped to found both St. Margaret's and the McTernan School. Charles McTernan from Foxbourgh, MA founded the school. A male line may descend from Charles' uncle, Patrick, 1863--, who was born in Boston. Charles' son Donald married and lived in France having two daughters. This family originally immigrated to the Boston area from Co Leitrim. Long shot for DNA match.

6. Jane Aloyaia McTernan, 1888--, born in Calcutta station, Bengal, India. To which DNA family does she belong.

7. Thomas McTiernan, 1883--1893, died at 10 years old at the army station of Mount Abu which is a popular hill station in the Aravalli Range in Sirohi district of Rajasthan state in western India near the border with Gujarat.  There is no mention of his parents in records.

8. Bernardette McTiernan, 1890--1893, most likely the sister of Thomas above. Died at the army station of Mount Abu which is a popular hill station in the Aravalli Range in Sirohi district of Rajasthan state in western India near the border with Gujarat. There is no mention of her parents in records.

9. Whereabouts of the McTernan Stone, an excessively heavy round stone thrown by Thomas McTernan known as Long Tom from Ardvoley, the grandfather of John-Rev in the T Group baseline. The stone thereafter was known as the McTernan Stone. This Stone lies now in the area of Killavoggy.

10. Tirmactiernan, Co. Leitrim on the banks of the Shannon/Erne canal system in South Leitrim. About 7.1 KM from Carrick on Shannon. Why was it named Tirmactiernan and what if any connection to any in the DNA test?

11. What might be our connection to Rathmactiernane, a townland in Killoran parish, Co Sligo listed in the Hearth roll of 1665 with Cahill McTanist?

12. A horse by the name of MacTiernan was racing in Dublin for the 2010 to 2012 season. He is running well, previously owned by Christine Kiernan. Why did she name the horse MacTiernan?

13. Cathal Mac Tigernan was King of West Connacht... died 1059... which means he predates the O'Rourkes. �ed in Gai Bernaig, King of Connacht from 1056 to 1067, had invaded and conquered Maigh Seóla in 1051, blinding its king. Cathal mac Tigernán is the next ruler of the kingdom recorded upon his death in 1049.

14. Origin of the 3 ring forts in the townland of Listernan, Co Cavan and why the name which in Gaelic means Ternan's fort?

15. We are supposed to descend from the O'Rourks past kings of Drumahaire & the O'Conor, past kings of Ireland. So far none of the MacTighernans genetically match either The O'Ruairc or The O'Conor Don Chieftains, but the T Group baseline is a perfect match to Michael O'Rourke.

16. The unfinished list of all MacTiernans who were killed or served in their country's armed services in the many wars for Freedom starting with the Leitrim Plantation Wars and ending with WW II, 

17. Edward W. L. McTiernan from Worcester, MA had a top 10 finish in the 1909 Boston Marathon (#9) See 1909 & 1911 results at   In 1908, E.L. McTiernan representing Worcester, MA ran in the Brockton Fair Marathon, starting in Boston, on Exeter Street, ending in Brockton, MA at the fairgrounds. If you look at the attached clipping, there is an Ed L. McTiernan of Worcester listed under the 1 Mile and 3 Mile runs. This is Edward William Lane McTIernan of Worcester, 5-29-1880--1955. Edward was the son of Thomas McTiernan and Catherine Lane, both of Ireland, both immigrating to the US and died in Worcester, Massachusetts. Edward worked for the streets department in Worcester. If you look at the attached clipping, there is an Ed L. McTiernan of Worcester listed under the 1 Mile and 3 Mile runs. This is Edward William Lane McTIernan of Worcester, 5-29-1880--1955. Edward and his 6 children are in the T3 DNA baseline because of his connection to Leo McTiernan and Jim-MA.

18. Potential but undocumented link of the Heapstown and Rockfield McTernans to the Sligo O'Conors, past kings of Ireland

19. The MacTier Championship Cup, info supplied by Mike McTiernan of Canada. Most likely the cup is named after a MacTiernan but additional research needs to be done to trace the origin of the name of the cup. The MacTier Cup established in 1998 is awarded to the championship team for winning the top senior men's rugby league in Canada.  Since 2009 the cup has been awarded to the winners of the Canidian Rugby Championship (CRC).  Since the inception of the CRC, the Ontario Blues have won the cup 6 times, the BC Bears have won 2 times, while the Prairie Wolf Pack and the Atlantic Rock both winning the cup 1 time.

Solved or achieved so far

20.  The McTiernan Seat since 1991 is an engraved bench in front of The 300 year old Powerscourt Arms Hotel in Co Wicklow The hotel was owned by Charlie McTernan, 1955-, until 2008 who is in the T2 DNA Group

21. The pamphlet written in 1845 by James MacTernan, <1815--1855, of the Mount Allen [Co Roscommon] McTernans that settled at Heapstown, in Co. Sligo entitled"An Address to my Fellow Countrymen", in which James claimed descent from Tiernan O'Rourke, Prince of Breffni. Found by John C. McTernan.  This James McTernan also invented a new breed of horse called the Buckshot Chestnut. This is Rory MacTiernan's family in the T Group baseline.

22. The McTernan Street in Cambridge, MA, USA formerly Lake St. right outside of County Boston, named after WW II veteran, William Francis, -1944 . This is Myles McTernan's family: Te DNA Group

23. McTernan Road, Tinderry, NSW, Australia 2626: is named after the pioneering McTernan family of the area, descending from Hugh and Mary McTernan of Michelago of which Scott (AU) & Richard descend in the Ta DNA Group

24. Origin of McTernan Place, Worrigee, NSW, Australia 2540: is probably named after Barney McTernan [below], Hugh's son who lived down there and had a stagecoach business of which Scott (AU) & Richard descend in the Ta DNA Group

25. Barney McTernan, being one of the stagecoach founders, is now a major character in the book, "Coachmen of the Nowra District" in Australia. Scott (AU), Margaret & Richard in the Ta DNA Group relate to Barney.

26.  Gwladys McTernan Park, named after the mother of Scott-(AU), David, Grant and Richard in the Ta DNA Group, a park in Naracoorte, South Australia, Australia,  RIP

27. Origin of McTiernan Close, Wilsonton, QLD, Australia 4350: probably named after Sir Edward McTiernan who relates to Leo McTiernan in the T3 Group baseline

28.  McTiernan Way, a road in downtown Minto named on 9-2-2013 by the Village of Minto, New Brunswick, Canada after the long history of the family in fire prevention. This is Michael (CN)'s family in the T DNA Group.

29. Bartholemew E. McTiernan, 12-11-1877--12-6-1917, born and died in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Bartholemew, his mother Margaret Gilroy and his wife Frances Caroline Gough were all killed in the famous Halifax explosion of 12-6-1917 which was and still is the largest man-made explosion after the atom bomb. Bartholemew is the great grand uncle of Greg McTiernan in the T2 DNA Group.

30. Lac McTiernan, a lake in Quebec, Canada, a 7 hour drive north of Ottawa and 5 hours north of Montreal. Lac McTiernan was named after William McTiernan born in Bryson, Canada. He worked for the Canadian International Paper Company in the early 1930s. To find out more about the man and his father, David McTiernan, both worked in the back country of Gatineau River, read the following book, particularly chapters 14 and 15, Crawford, Venetia, et Gunda Lambton. The Wildest Rivers -- the Oldest Hills; Tales of the Gatineau and Pontic, Maitland, Ontario. Canadian International Paper Company may have been bought by E. B. Eddy Company.  The family had a home in the Mason Lumber camp operated by the E. B. Eddy Company. 

A second historical opinion on "McTiernan lake" in the Gatineau hills which may not necessarily be named after a man that lived in Bryson by the name of William McTiernan, as Venetia Crawford explains in her book. William was the 2nd cousin, 2 generations removed of Thomas John McTiernan. Tom, was born and raised in Bryson, Quebec, but this "McTiernan lac" was named by him as a joke!

Tom worked in cartography for Energy, Mines and Resources for 35 years. In the late 70s he and his buddy Dan Lacelle came across quite a few "un-named" lakes in the Gatineau's. They thought it would be funny to name some lakes after themselves. I would have probably believed Venetia Crawford's story if I would not have found this pamphlet on the internet. Now - what are the chances that this hunting and fishing lodge is situated on the McTiernan and Lacelle lakes? Tom and his buddy Dan (and probably another 5 or 6 guys) used to go fishing together all the time in those days. However, it is a surprise that the names stayed and that these lakes are now known as the McTiernan and Lacelle lakes. The Lac some time ago. This is Maggie's & Thomas' family in the T Group.

31. McTernan Colour of the Year  This award is conveyed in honour of Irene McTernan, former Edinburgh University Sports Union Administrator (1980-2011), and awarded to the most outstanding individual for exceptional and sustained service to the organization, delivery and/or administration of a University Sports Club or EU Sports Union.  Colours are approved by the Blues and Colours Committee This award is confined to the University of Edinburgh students and was introduced in 2011 to mark the retirement of Mrs McTernan after 31 years of dedicated service to EU Sports Union. Her husband, Allen is in the T DNA Group baseline.

32. Maria McTernan Leadership Award is given annually by the Charles River Center in County Boston, MA to the most deserving person who has assisted in their support of programs and services for over 950 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Maria was the Chief Development Officer for the Center.

<>33  Anita McTiernan, --10-31-2020, RIP from Drumahaire. Anita, who had volunteered for over 21 years at the Mutomo Hospital in Kenya, Africa helping the hungry and poor kids has passed on after a short illness in Sligo town hospital. Originally, Anita was from Mullaghdoo and is buried in Carrowcrin Cemetery. Anita was in the T DNA Group. A very kind woman now with a high place in heaven.

34.  Liz McTernan, Paralympian and Iron Man world record holder Liz McTernan is looking for sponsorship support to enable her to continue to achieve success at the highest level. Earlier this year Liz became the hand cycle world champion at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. She became only the second female wheelchair athlete to ever finish the Ironman World Championships, and she now holds the course record for fastest time.
She moved into long course Triathlon in 2018.  Liz is in the T7 DNA Group. Read more at:

35. Madeleine or Maddie McTernan of NSW, Australia won a silver medal and two 4th place finishes in her first time competing at the Paralympic games in the 2020 Paralympics. What a great feat. Maddie is the daughter of Paul-Aus and therefore in the baseline of the T Group.   On September 15, 2021, the Leitrim Observer Newspaper published a piece by PJ Liddy on Maddie's family origin in Leitrim and her Paralympic's achievements. 

36. Sarah McTernan, is the daughter of Sined McTernan and the niece of Paul-C McTernan in the T3a DNA group. Sarah McTernan represented all of Ireland at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May 2019. She came third in series four of The Voice of Ireland in April 2015.

37. Dr. Susan McTiernan, the dean of the Mario J. Gabelli School of Business at Roger Williams University was awarded  the Patricia M. Flynn Distinguished Woman in Business Education Award  for having had a significant impact  on women by making a difference in business education. Dr. Susan McTiernan, the recipient of the 2017 award, has been a pioneer and an instrumental influence on women in business and business education, and her work in this area has had an impact on many.

38.  The Barr football team based in Co Cork instated a Championship Cup called the Kevin McTernan Cup for the Senior A Football competition named after the brilliant goalkeeper who was one of the great goalies in history
It commemorates the great St Finbarr’s player, selector, and club stalwart, who passed away in October, 2017, and is fondly remembered out Togher direction. The Barr's great Kevin McTernan will be honoured when Mallow face Éire Óg

39. Gene McTiernan of the Scranton Pennsylvania McTiernans has written a book, "Black Veins Green Blood" on his immigrant Irish ancestors and how difficult it was for them working in the infamous Scranton coal mines.  In the early 1900s, the Scranton criminal courts hung about 20 immigrant Irish coal miners for some made up reason.  The solid belief at the time was they were hung because they all belonged to the infamous Molly McGuires.

40. Thady McTernan was chairman of the writing group that produced the Local [Leitrim area]  history of the GAA and on the Editorial team.  Thady himself wrote a substantial part of the history.  In the past, Thady  won a Leitrim Senior Club football championship with Glencar Manorhamilton Club in 1977 playing at No 6 - centre half back.  He was awarded Leitrim Senior Club player of the year in 1989 and also won a Leinster Junior Rugby Towns Cup medal in 1975 playing with Portarlington at full back. Thady is in the T3d DNA Group. 

41.  Margaret Cogan, nee McTiernan, --10-2022, RIP [T3 group baseline] was the model for the left statue of the iconic bronz statue in Dublin done by her niece, Jackie McKenna, called, Hags with Bags, http// 

42.  Mary Ellen Burgess, nee McTiernan is Eoghan McTiernan's 2nd cousin, 1 generation removed in the T3 Group baseline.  Mary Ellen wrote a great book, called Memories from the Heart that depicts daily life in rural Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century.

43.  Paschal McTiernan, from Lurganboy, North Leitriim in the T3d DNA Group, was on the 1959 Leitrim tean that won the championship in NYC.  

44. Michael
McTiernan, on the 1969 Leitrim championship Gaelic football team was from Scardan then Mullaghmore, North Leitrim and is in the T2 DNA Group,

45.  Sean McTernan (T3d) of McTernan carpets in Sligo Town was a 1976 xhampion in cross country. 

If anyone has any information on any of the remaining unsolved mysteries above, please let me know Send E-mail to

If anyone has any information on any of the remaining unsolved mysteries above, please let me know

Send E-mail to

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