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Some Historical Notes on the Guerin Surname in Co. Clare by Pat Guerin
Some Co. Clare Guerins of Note: Mathew Geran

A native of Killaloe Diocese, he held the posts of curate of St.Mary’s RC Parish in Limerick City and that of Parish Priest of St Munchin’s in the same city in the 1720s. When he died in 1778 he was Parish Priest of the Silvermines, Co.Tipperary. He was author of one or two tracts in defence of Roman Catholic doctrine. Like most RC clergy of his time he was probably educated at one of the Irish Colleges on the continent (France/Spain).

Had he been of Guerin (Huguenot) descent he would have been first generation Hiberno/Huguenot; as a person of some education he would most probably have retained the Huguenot (Guerin) spelling of his name. One can only surmise that he was not of Huguenot descent and saw Geran and Guerin as two distinct names. Like the members of his flock of that era Fr. Geran would have been a fluent Irish speaker and, like them, Irish was most likely his first language. He would therefore, as an educated person, have been more aware than most of the cultural provenance of his surname.

See “The Diocese of Killaloe in the Eighteenth Century” by Ignatius Murphy for further information on Fr. Geran. He also gets a mention in “The Diocese of Limerick from 1691 to the Present Time” by S. O Beaglaoich (1938).

The archives of some one of the Irish Colleges on the Continent may possibly hold more detailed biographical details on Fr. Geran and incidentally provide valuable genealogical data on the Gerans.

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