Friday, August 19, 2022

Irish Genealogy Page: Hennigans and Walls in County Cork

Leabhar Mór Leacain / The Great Book of Lecan, written in 1397-1418 AD

This page is a tribute to my parents Michael and Johanna Wall Hennigan, who were both natives of County Cork and were both born in 1914.

Donnchadh O Corrain, 'Ireland before the Normans' (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1972) noted that in the 10th century the Irish population was less than 500,000 people and Ireland had over 150 kings. These were petty kingdoms, or clans (tuatha), which typically elected the king. Also in the 10th century AD, a high king of Ireland (árd rí Éireann) emerged. In history, Brian Boru was apparently the most consequential high king, who reigned from 1005-1014 AD but the idea that Brian Boru saved Ireland from a Viking conquest is said to be “completely false.”

With respect to earlier times, even though the Gaelic language is Celtic in origin, the late Prof Barry Rafferty of University College Dublin said that from his research "there is no archaeological evidence for a Celtic invasion of Ireland."

While the term is useful, Raimund Karl, a professor of Celtic archaeology at the University of Vienna said, the “popular conception, that all Celts are the same, and that they are part of one big nation and people and race and so on, that is nonsense.”

The hereditary surname system evolved slowly replacing the patronymic tradition of a name typically derived from the name of a father or an ancestor. In Ireland Mac was 'son of' or Ó 'grandson of'.' Icelandic surnames today follow the Nordic tradition of patronymic and/or matronymic names.

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Lowest interest rates in 5,000 years but low investments by advanced countries

The Sumerian civilisation lived in southern Mesopotamia, situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system (in modern Iraq.) They settled in the area at about 4,000 BC and first used interest related to barley and silver. It was used for valuing cattle for example. In the Sumerian period from 3000 - 1900 BC, the rate of interest on barley was usually 33-1/3% and 20% on silverSumer was the site of the earliest known civilisation, and it had a record of innovation: The Wheel; Sail; Writing; Corbeled Arch/True Arch; Irrigation and Farming Implements; Cities; Maps; Mathematics; Time and Clocks; Astronomy and Astrology and Medicinal Drugs and Surgery.

The Babylonian period stretched from 1900-732 BC and the Sumerian interest rate system was mainly copied.

King Hammurabi (circa 1810- c 1750 BC) ruled the city-state of Babylon and eventually, the Babylonian Empire covered most of Mesopotamia. The Code of Hammurabi had about 150 rules on financial and economic issues (see below).

In 2015 Andy Haldane, then chief economist at the Bank of England and his staff researched interest rates back to antiquity: Check Chart 5 here with sources.

The Bank of England was founded in 1694 and it lent £1.2mn to the English government at a rate of 8%. The record highest rate was 17% in November 1979.

The Federal Reserve was founded in 1913 and its record federal funds rate was a 19-20% range in December 1981.

In September 1992, the Riksbank — the Swedish central bank — raised the interest rate to 500% to defend the krona. This defence failed and the krona exchange rate was floated.