Maureen Crowley - Chair of the Peter Robinson Crowleys CommitteeMeet Maureen Crowley
Chair of the Peter Robinson Crowleys Committee

When did you become involved with the Crowley Clan?
I have always been interested in knowing more about the Crowley history, especially in Ireland. I knew my Canadian family history, but had little information on the Ireland connections. In my research I found information on the Crowley Clan on the internet. The more I read about the Crowley's the more I wanted to know. In 2007 my two sisters Cathy Soroff, Lori Cowan and my daughter Brittany attended out first Crowley Clan Gathering. It met more than our expectations, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

What have been some of the high points of your involvement?
The high point was going to the Clan Gathering. It was a great time and a wonderful failte. I especially enjoyed seeing our Castle. It was like stepping back in time. I tried to imagine our ancestors living there, wondering about their lives and how they survived. It was magical.

What is your professional background?
I am in my 28th year working as an educator for Peterborough Fire Services. I teach fire and life safety to the public. This is my last year and I plan to retire in 2013.

What are your interest and hobbies?
Family and friends are important to me. When I am not at home with them, then I enjoy a good adventure. I love to travel especially to Ireland, visiting the off-beat places checking out the history and scenery. I am interested in history, so travel and history are a great combination. I was involved in writing a book on the Peterborough Fire Department, Fighting Fires In Peterborough. I like walking and enjoy nature.

Tell us about your family and about your Crowley ancestors?
I am 28 years married with three children and a little granddaughter. My family has never ventured far from where our ancestors settled. My two brothers still remain on the Crowley homestead on Crowley Line. The road got its name because of the many Crowley families that settled there. My father Claire Crowley passed away in 2002. I also have   sisters.

Our family came to Peterborough in 1825 along with many other immigrants under the command of Peter Robinson. Many of the families came from the area of Mitchelstown, ours from Ballyporeen. The families settled in Peterborough, Ontario Canada.

My ancestors Patrick Crowley(1780) and his wife Alice OKeilly(1785) along with children, Mary, James, David, Michael, Catherine, Patrick, and Julia settled on land just outside Peterborough where our family still resides. James married Catherine Leahy, and they the parents of my great grandfather.

You are the chair of the Peterborough, Ontario Crowley Committee. Tell us about Peterborough and the Crowley's?
There are 42 Crowley families that live within a 20 mile radius around Peterborough. I have not yet organized a formal gathering; this will be one of my initiatives when I have some time in my retirement. However I did send out a newsletter with information on the Crowley Clan.

You backpacked around Ireland with a friend last year. What was that like? Do you have any advice for others who might be interested in traveling Ireland by public transportation?
After dreaming about it for 30 years, my best friend and I finally backpacked through Ireland, and we had a fantastic time.

Public transportation is a great way to see Ireland without the fear of driving on the other side of narrow roads with no shoulders. It does have its up and downs. Ireland has a great public transportation system. A Combination Pass will allow using both the bus and the train a selected amount of days. The trains provide a more direct route and are spacious. However, they don't go everywhere. Combination Passes can be bought at the larger train stations. A pass is good if you plan on making lots stops. You can purchase point to point tickets if you plan on only a few stops. The bus goes to more places but takes longer. You can check both the bus and train schedule on line to see when they run. We took a bus from Cork to Bantry, had a lovely chat with the bus driver who knew the Crowleys well. It's a good way to meet the locals and get some travel ideas. Check accommodations within a walking distance to the bus and train stops. Book accommodation before you leave home. It's a good idea to do some research on where the train stations are in relation to the tourist attractions and accommodation. You can also take a cab. Research and planning is important and half the fun.

Think about taking organized tours from major cities if you want to get access to many tourist attractions in a short amount of time. Dublin runs tours to major attractions. Combining your own personal tour with an organized tour group gives you the freedom to be on your own as well as seeing major attractions that don't have a direct public transportation connection. One of the major obstacles with public transportation is that you may have some difficulties getting to where you want to go or have to deal with long wait times.

Remember to pack light, a carry-on and small back pack is all that you need. What you pack you have to carry. Travelling light saves time as you don't have to check it in at the airport or wait for your bags. You would be surprised what you really don't need.

What goals would you like to see the Crowley Clan set for the future years?
Continue with the building of relationships and sharing information with each other. I would like to see a research data bank where each family could add their family history. The program would sort through the data and connect families who have similar information. It's great to be a Crowley. How many families take the time and effort to connect as a group like the Crowleys do? Proud of our past looking forward to our future.

The Crowley Clan Newsletter is
compiled by Marian Crowley Chamberlain