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Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper

GUEST,mg 28 Feb 07 - 03:55 PM
GUEST 28 Feb 07 - 04:50 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Mar 07 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,mg 01 Mar 07 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 01 Mar 07 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,DannyC 01 Mar 07 - 06:00 PM
mg 01 Mar 07 - 09:27 PM
GUEST 01 Mar 07 - 09:31 PM
leeneia 01 Mar 07 - 09:49 PM
mg 01 Mar 07 - 11:48 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Mar 07 - 06:59 AM
leeneia 02 Mar 07 - 09:16 AM
leeneia 02 Mar 07 - 09:20 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 02 Mar 07 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,mg 02 Mar 07 - 04:59 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Mar 07 - 06:22 PM
leeneia 03 Mar 07 - 10:12 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 04 Mar 07 - 09:59 AM
GUEST 19 Jan 11 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,mg 19 Jan 11 - 03:27 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 03:55 PM

I know the only thing worse than someone who just got religion is someone who just got geneology..but Cornelius Lyons is my great-great-great grandfather's name..father of Margaret who married my ggf Timothy Garvey. Anyway, her mother's name is not known and I wanted to find it out so I googled Cornelius Lyons and find out her is a famous Irish harper, friend I guess of O'Carolin...does anyone know any more?

I do not know where the Lyons family is from...they ended up in Iowa after the famine sometime....but they could have been from County Kerry as that is where other family is from apparently and sometimes communities surely must have traveled in groups or gone to where they knew neighbors etc.

So anyone know about CL and if he had any descendents named Cornelius in the early 1800s...mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 04:50 PM

Mrs. Lyons?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 07:31 AM

Cornelius Lyons was from Macroom, Co Cork, born more or less the same time as Carolan (c.1670) but in the other end of the country. Lyons spent many years in the north of Ireland as the harper - and also from all accounts friend & companion - to Randall MacDonnell, Lord Antrim (am writing from memory so I may have slightly mis-spelled the family surname). He outlived Lord Antrim but I'm not sure if he stayed in the north or came back home. He also taught the harper Echlin Keane.

Unlike Carolan, Lyons could see and was able to write down his music, so it's very ironic that only ONE of his original airs survives, plus a few variations on known tunes. Lyons was highly regarded by his contemporaries as a gentleman and was "always civil & obliging to his brother harpers". I contacted the current Lord Antrim to ask if there were any other extant family papers in which a new Lyons gem might be hiding, but alas, no. I don't know whether Lyons married or had children.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 03:54 PM

Thanks...very interesting information....mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 04:02 PM

I don't know if it would help you find descendants, but there is a book that you should take a look through to see if there is a few paragraphs on Cornelius. It's an old book by Francis O'Neill, called

Irish Minstrels and Musicians: The Story of Irish Music

It was reprinted in paperback several years ago.   I can look to see if it has an index, but I don't think it does, I think you would have to just dredge through it, not that it's dull reading.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST,DannyC
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 06:00 PM

mg, here's the passage...

From O'Neill's "Irish Minstrels and Musicians; The Story of Irish Music":

Cornelius Lyons

   This renowned musician, who in his day was household harper to the Earl of Antrim, was a native of County Kerry, and flourished in the latter part of the seventeenth and the early part of the eighteenth centuries.
   Agreeable in personality, his reputation both as a man and a musician was admirable. Though a rival in art and even composition, Lyons was O'Carolan's loyal friend and companion. Famous as an arranger of variations in more modern style to such airs as "Eileen a Roon", "The Coolin", etc., only one of his original compositions has been preserved.
   The Earl of Antrim was a wit and a poet, and notwithstanding his rank was quite democratic in his manners. Once while in London accompanied by Lyons, they went to the house of a famous Irish harper named Heffernan, who kept a tavern there, but agreed on a plan before entering.
   "I will call you cousin Burke," said his Lordship. "You may call me cousin Randall or My Lord as you please." It was not long before Heffernan was made aware of the dignity of his guest, from the conversation and livery of his lordship's servants. Heffernan being requested to bring his harp complied and played a good many tunes in grand style. The Earl then called upon his "Cousin Burke" to play a tune. After many apologies and with apparant reluctance the supposed cousin at length took the harp and played some of his best airs. Heffernan after listening a while started up and exclaimed, "My lord you may call him cousin Burke or what cousin you please, but Dar Dia he plays upon Lyons' fingers." (pg. 63)

He's also mentioned as the teacher of the County Louth-native harpist, Echlin O'Cahan (Ackland Kane), and later named as "Con" Lyons, the teacher of the northern harper Hugh Quinn, "A gentleman's son, and as such conducted himself."

Thankfully, there's no mention of Con Lyons (or perhaps a daughter) feeding McDonnell green 'n yaller eels at any time, so yer prospective kin's off the hook there.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: mg
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 09:27 PM

I just wonder if my family had heard of him..my aunt had a great desire for me to learn the harp (and would doubtless not be pleased I took up the accordian)...mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 09:31 PM

Here is a link to the memoirs of Arthur O'Neill(1734-1818), an important harper who participated in the famous Belfast Festival of 1792. They were dictated in 1810. He recalls a great story about Cornelius Lyons playing a joke on Carolan.
http://pybertra.free.fr/ceol/oneill.htm

Robert Mouland
www.wireharp.com


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 09:49 PM

I'd be interested in knowing the air which Lyons wrote. What's the name of it?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: mg
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 11:48 PM

Miss Hamilton I believe. It seems to have been recorded by many people. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Mar 07 - 06:59 AM

The most recent scholars (Donal O'Sullivan and Grainne Yeats, among others) cite Cornelius Lyons' birthplace as Macroom in Cork, and they are probably more reliable sources than O'Neill, whose book was written about a century ago in America and who had to rely a great deal on secondary sources. A lot of information has come to light since then, so I would go with Yeats & O'Sullivan who have seen the historical records first hand.

Also, remember that there are a fair number of Lyonses in Ireland (a glance at the Munster phone directory shows nearly a page of them: it's not an uncommon surname) and Cornelius is not a particularly unusual first name for that period, so you need to do more research before assuming that your Cornelius Lyons is the same man as the harper-composer. The first thing is to ascertain whether or not he had children, which will probably require the services of a professional genealogist.

Still, it would be a total gas if it turns out he IS your ancestor so please do keep us posted -


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Mar 07 - 09:16 AM

Thanks, mg. I found a MIDI of it here:

http://pybertra.free.fr/ceol/tunes.htm

To hear it, go to that page, search (Cntrl + F) for Hamilton, and right click on the link.

I've saved the tune to Noteworthy, and I believe we'll be doing it this March 17th.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Mar 07 - 09:20 AM

I spoke too soon. That MIDI is over-dotted. (ornaments expressed as crazy lengths). I'll keep looking.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Mar 07 - 09:26 AM

We've finished almost every gig we've ever done with Miss H. Thanks for the information - fascinating!

Tom Napper Tom Bliss

Miss Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 02 Mar 07 - 04:59 PM

That is really pretty.

A newly found second cousin (I have at least four new ones in the last few days thanks to ancestry.com and a very prolific geneologist in the extended family) sent me a geneology of the Cornelius Lyons I am related to. If there are any geneology nuts who can fill in any blank spaces, including his wife or where he was from that would be great. Just email me at mgarvey@wsu.edu. I also have a picture of his grandson, Cornelius Garvey, who would be my great uncle...I am starting to realize that it is possible that I have cousins of my father at least still alive that he might not even have known about. His mother had a lot of sisters and his father came from a big family...I had only heard, or listened to perhaps is better, about the connection ith the Jusenovitch cousins.

Well, anyway, I am not saying I am related to the harper C. Lyons..only it would be interesting if I were somewhat related..I am sure I am somewhat but doubt I am a direct descendent..but would love to find out his wife's name, who would be my great-great grandmother. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Mar 07 - 06:22 PM

Have a look at this Irish genealogy website - the man who runs it is based in west Cork, not terribly far from Lyons' birthplace, and I can tell you that he is also a fantastic box player and singer, as well as being very knowledgeable about folklore & history in general. I used to play music (harp) with him on the odd Monday night in de Barra's (Clonakilty).

http://www.duchasresearch.com/

Let us know what you find -


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 10:12 PM

Thanks for that charming mp2, Tom. It shows musical skill and sensitivity to the piece.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 09:59 AM

Agreed! I'm really happy that old harp music is still so much a part of musical life today, and constantly being reinterpreted on other instruments.

BTW, mg, another fact about Lyons which I neglected to mention is that he was the son of a schoolmaster - which no doubt was one reason that he could read and write when so many others of that time couldn't.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 03:11 PM

Lawrence Lyons was my fater-in-law. His father was Cornelius Lyons and his mother was May Angelina Cagley. She was born 13 may 1873 and died 26 May 1934. I believe this is the same family as cornelius and May had two children, lawrence and Margaret (or Marguerite). There is more info on Roots Web World Connect.


I have no info on Cornelius Lyons parents, does anyone have that?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Cornelius Lyons, Irish Harper
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 03:27 PM

I have found that Margaret Lyons, GGM, was from Tralee. I have a death certificate of a Cornelius Lyons from Tralee who could have been her father, but no way of knowing...he would not have been the harper as he would have been too young. We know nothing about Margaret really..born around 1830, married around 1855..could have been an arranged marriage some cousins think...spoke Irish until death in early 1900s (did people know there probably were probably Irish-speaking enclaves in Iowa and probably other parts of midwest in 1800s? I sure didn't).

Anyway, guest..where are your Lyons relatives from again? mg


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