My third great grandmother Mary Cudmore née Nihill (1811 – 1893) was born near Adare, County Limerick, Ireland, to Daniel James Nihill (1761 – 1846) and Dymphna Nihill née Gardiner (1790 – 1866). Mary was the oldest of their eight children, seven of whom were girls.
Mary’s father Daniel James Nihill was a schoolmaster at Cahirclough (Caherclogh), Upper Connello, about ten miles south of Adare. His father James, Mary’s grandfather, owned ‘Rockville’, a large stone farmhouse, near Adare.
Daniel and his family lived with his father James, caring for him until his death in 1835. The house and its associated estate, Barnalicka, were then passed to the daughters of Daniel’s older brother Patrick Nihill, who had died in 1822.
(Until recently Rockville House, now known as Barnalick House, was recently operating as bed-and-breakfast tourist accommodation. The sketch by Mary Nihill is recognisably the same house photographed more recently to advertise the business.)
On 15 January 1835 Mary married Daniel Michael Paul Cudmore from Manister, a village near Cahirclough.
The Limerick Chronicle of 24 January 1835 reported the marriage:
At Drehedtarsna Church, in this County, by the Rev. S. Lennard, Daniel Cudmore, Esq. son of the late Patrick Cudmore, of Manister, Esq. to Mary, eldest daughter of Daniel Nihill, of Rockville, near Adare, Esq.
Mary’s grandfather died in July 1835 after Mary had left for Australia. His death was announced in the Limerick Chronicle of 29 July 1835 : “At Rockville, near Adare, James Nihill, Esq. at the advanced age of 84 years.” Some years earlier on 23 March 1831 the Limerick Chronicle posted a notice “We are requested to contradict the death of James Nihill Esq.of Rockfield near Adare.”
After Mary’s father, Daniel Nihill, died in South Australia in 1846 the death notice in the Limerick Chronicle of 29 May 1847 said he was of “late of Barnalickey Rockville, near Adare”.
The following information about Rockville House is from a 2009 posting to an ancestry.com message board concerning the Vokes family:
Barnalick House … was built shortly after 1784 when a James Nihill leased all 272 acres of “Baurnalicka” from Mary St. Leger. Nihill was a wealthy man who had leases for over 900 acres in Co. Limerick and Co. Clare. He built the house in the shape of a letter “T”. He called the house “Rockville House”. His eldest son Patrick lived on some family land in Co. Clare with his wife Prudence Dickson and their two daughters, Anne and Jane. Patrick died before his father in 1822 and when James died in 1831 the two daughters became heirs to all the lands including Barnalick. Anne married in 1814 a William Dodd and Jane married in 1829 a Thomas Davenport. Patrick had a younger brother, Daniel, who married in 1810 a Dymphna Gardener. He lived with his father James and no doubt looked after him in his old age. However when James died, Daniel had to move out of Barnalick and he and his family departed to Australia in 1835.
A survey done in 1840 gives an Anthony St. Leger as the owner of Barnalick estate with a Thomas Davenport and a Mrs. Dodd as the leaseholders under a Col. John Dickson as middleman.
Samuel Dickson is the middleman in 1850 in Griffith’s Valuation and it must have been Samuel Dickson who employed Simon Vokes as Land Steward and placed Simon in residence in Barnalick House.