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Hallorans as Slaves in Antigua

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on October 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM

From 'The Hallorans of Birstall and Aghamore', (2012) by Sean O'Halloran and Mary Hudson, Clachan Publishing.

..."Many of the rest (of the Irish defeated by Cromwellian forces) were slaughtered or sent as forced indentured labourers to slave in plantations in the West Indies, specifically Antigua and Montserrat. The sept system and the old Gaelic order, along with the ancient Gaelic names were destroyed and it became a disadvantage to have a Gaelic sounding name.

The presence of slaves and slave owners called Halloran in Antigua in the early part of the 19th Century gives evidence of this aspect of Irish history. Recorded there* are Dick Halloran, born in 1793, a black male and 'owned' by John Gore; George Halloran, born in 1794, a black male and 'owned' by John Boyd; Tom Halloran, born in 1817, a black male and 'owned' by William Morris Trye Esquire; another Tom Halloran, born in 1804, a black male and 'owned' by H L Spencer Esquire; and Betsey Halloran, born in 1805, a black female and also 'owned' by H L Spencer Esquire.

At about the same period, there was a widow Mary Halloran, who owned a number of slaves. This appears to indicate that some descendants of the original captives forced out by Cromwell managed to work through their indentured forced labour and gained freedom. Others, however, sank into slavery and intermarried with the African slaves who were imported later."

* Record of Slave owners and their slaves in Antigua (

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1 Comment

Reply Sean O'Halloran
5:43 PM on October 7, 2014 
What intrigues me about this is that the names in the registry of slaves and their owners is that Irish names are largely spelt in a standardised anglicised form. Obviously some of the Irish on the island were literate in English.