Joan Koechig outside Dysert O’Dea Castle in County Clare.
By Irish Echo Staff
Joan’s second name is Koechig,
But Joan, from St. Charles, Missouri, is now chieftain of the Dysert O’Dea Clan Association for the term 2018-2021.
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Joan was installed during the clan’s gathering last month and at a ceremony held at Dysert O’Dea Castle outside Ennis in County Clare.
The Dysert O’Dea Clan Association met in the town to coincide with the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Dysert O’Dea.
A re-enactment of the battle was staged to mark the anniversary.
The Battle of Dysert O’Dea became famous because it was the first major battle when the Gaelic clans defeated a Norman force.
The castle was purchased in 1970 by a Wisconsin couple who have spent a great deal of time and money over the years, in conjunction with a local preservation group, to restore the building which is now mentioned in travel maps and books.
Joan descends from Michael O’Day, her great-great grandfather, who immigrated to Louisville, Kentucky before the American Civil War.
He was injured at the Battle of Perryville (also known as the Battle of Chaplain Hill) in Perryville, Kentucky on October 8, 1862.
O’Day was discharged from the service on April 10, 1863 on a certificate of disability arising from these wounds.
He married Bridget Sheehan on November 29, 1865 in Louisville and they were the parents of five children.
Michael’s youngest child was just five months old when he died, at age 35, in 1875.
Joan’s (Joanie’s) great grandmother, Margaret May O’Day, married Frank Mallory and was the mother of three children, including Joanie’s grandfather Joseph Mallory.
Joseph and his wife Myrtle Elizabeth Grenough Mallory were born and raised in Louisville and were the parents of Joanie’s mother, Mary Mallory Haake.
Membership to the Dysert O’Dea Clan Association is open to anyone with the name O’Dea, O’Day, Dee, Dea or other variations whose ancestors are from Ireland.
The website is at www.odeaclan.org.