When I planned this series of posts about my Irish forebears I had in mind S for Snell, my 6th great-grandfather William Snell, born Ballymoney, County Antrim, the son of William Snell of Coleraine, County Londonderry.
S for Scanty might have been better. I didn’t expect to find so few documented facts about him. But that’s genealogy, I suppose: sometimes we’re overwhelmed by information, sometimes there’s almost nothing.
The source for William Snell’s place of birth – and his father’s name – is Stephen Isaacson Tucker (1884), ‘Pedigree of the family of Chauncy’, privately printed, with additions, p. 25. (This can be read at Google Books.) I have been unable to locate any other records of my Snell family in Ireland.
Sometime during or before 1749, William Snell moved to London, and from this point his story is comparatively well-documented. On 12 December that year he married Martha Chauncy, at St Margaret Lothbury, in the City. They had three sons: William, Charles, and Nathaniel. Martha died in 1765. On 8 November 1766, William married a second time, to Mary Snell, daughter of Reverend Vyner Snell, at St George’s Bloomsbury. William and Mary had a son John.
William had been left property in Liffey Street Dublin by his uncle Robert Shaw. This he passed on to his own son William.
While his later career is interesting, it has been frustrating not to be able to find a William Snell associated with Coleraine, County Londonderry, nor a marriage of a William Snell to the sister of Robert Shaw, and although I have found some deeds from the right period mentioning Robert Shaw of Dublin I cannot confirm that this Robert Shaw was William Snell’s uncle.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
I have only a few Quakers in my family tree. One was Jane Sarah Russell (1791 – 1879), my fourth great grandmother, a capable and determined woman who separated from her first husband and, after his death, married a fellow Friend.
Her first marriage was to Patrick Cudmore (c. 1778 – 1827). She was his second wife. By his first he had a son, William Christopher, born in Ballyclough in 1798. Jane nee Russell and Patrick Cudmore had two children, Milo Clanchy (1808 – 1900) and Daniel Michael Paul (1811 – 1891), both born at Tory Hill, County Limerick.
In about 1822 at the time Patrick Cudmore and Jane Sarah separated, Patrick went to live with his son William at Manister, County Limerick. He died there in 1827. His death was announced in theLimerick Chronicle of 10 March 1827: “On Thursday, at Manister Lodge, County Limerick, Patrick Cudmore Esq. aged 47.”
Jane Sarah was living in Cork. She seems to have made her first formal request to join a Quaker meeting – the group is properly called the Religious Society of Friends – on 2 August 1822. On 10 July 1823 a meeting in Cork considered a letter from Jane Sarah Cudmore requesting admission. She had been under care for several months; prospective Quakers put themselves ‘under care’ of a Quaker meeting and were expected to follow the guidance and advice of established members.
Around this time, perhaps to improve their prospects, Jane Sarah found places in Quaker homes in England for her sons Milo and Daniel. Between 1822 and 1828 Milo was apprenticed to Levitt Edwards, a baker and flour dealer of High Street, Chelmsford, Essex. He boarded with the Edwards family. Daniel was placed with a relative of the Edwards family named Mary Levitt and her husband William Impey at Earles Colne, a village north-west of Chelmsford. While they were in England the boys saw each other occasionally. In 1830 they returned home to Limerick.
Henry Russell of Dublin son of Nathaniel Russell of Moate in the County West Meath, and Elizth his wife; and Jane Sarah Cudmore widow of the late Patrick Cudmore of Manister in the County Limerick, & daughter of Francis Russell of the city of Limerick and Sarah his wife, both deceased, have appeared in this meeting, and declared their intention of taking each other in marriage and severally that they are clear of all others in this respect; the young man having his parents consent in writing by two friends also a minute from the mo: meeting of Dublin signifying his being a member of our Society this meeting accepts their presentation and appoints Susanna Lickey and Hanh Newsom to have the necessary care of any matter which may arise in the case and report to our next meeting and Hanh Newsom to accompany them to the men’s meeting to wh we refer them.
Report is made that the publication of the intention of marriage between Henry Russell & Jane Sarah Cudmore was made in our meeting for worship on two first day mornings & that nothing had arisen to prevent their proceeding; the Women’s Meeting has also informed that no obstruction has arisen with them, & a letter has been received & read from two friends on behalf of Dublin Mo Meeting, informing that due publication had been made there, & that nothing has arisen to obstruct: this Meeting therefore leaves the said parties at liberty to prosecute their said Intention & appoints John Newsom to see the orderly accomplishment of the Marriage.
Report is made that the Marriage of Henry Russell with Jane Sarah Cudmore was accomplished in an orderly manner in our Meeting for Worship on the 18 of last month: two Certificates for Registry thereof have been handed in, one of which the Registrar is desired to record, the other the Clerk is to forward to the Quarterly Meeting.
Jane Sarah Russell (late Cudmore) having on her Marriage with Henry Russell of Dublin, which took place on the 18 of 9 month last, removed into the compass of Dublin Mo Meeting, the Clerk is desired to communicate that information to said M Meeting, by sending thereto an authenticated copy of this minute.
Henry and Jane Sarah Russell had two children Elizabeth born 1829 and Henry Cashell born 1831. Both children were brought up as Quakers, both emigrated to America and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth died in 1896 and Henry in 1919.
Two moidores, a gold coin which was the principal coin current in Ireland at the beginning of the 18th century; two moidores was worth 30 shillings
Some small gold
A large glove containing 28 guineas in silver
A quantity of plate worth 300 pounds
A gold watch
Freney was proclaimed an outlaw in January 1749 and surrendered three months later. Lord Carrick, a lawyer, helped Freney work out a deal with the chief justices in which Freney would be allowed to emigrate. Presumably it was feared that his execution would give him the status of a folk hero and lead to further disturbances.
It is not known where or how long Freney spent abroad, but by 1776 he was once more in Ireland, where he found employment as a customs official at the port of New Ross, County Wexford, a post he held until his death in 1788. Freney was buried in Inistioge , County Kilkenny.
From page 30 of The life and adventures of James Freney, commonly called Captain Freney. From the time of his first entering the highway, in Ireland, to the time of his surrender, being a Series of Five Years remarkable Adventures. Written by himself. First published 1754 :
In some time after Bulger came to pay me a visit, and we concluded to take to the high road, and were three days on the Ross road, but met with no prey worth mentioning. And in a short time after, we met with one Thomas Houlahan and one Patrick Hacket, otherwise called Bristeen, who were experienced sheep-stealers, and particular acquaintances of Bulger’s, who saluted Bulger kindly, and asked him how he was: To which he replied, that he would do well enough if he had a little more money; and asked them how they fared, for that he had not seen them a long time. They answered, they removed to the county of Wexford, but that they were uneasy to know how their correspondents in that country were (meaning the country of Kilkenny ) and further said; that there was plenty of money in the country they came from. They also informed him, that there was a gentleman, one colonel Palliser, who had a great deal of money, and plate, which they heard he kept in his house. I was during the time of their discourse some distance from them; upon which Bulger came up to me, and told me, that the persons I saw him talking to, were friends of his, for whose honesty and integrity he would engage, and then related the whole information they gave him of colonel Palliser’s plate, &c. Upon which, I agreed we should rob the colonel, and came up to Hacket and Houlahan, and saluted them kindly, and soon concluded upon a night to put our design of robbing the colonel in execution, I then asked them if they knew the inside of the house, or how many servants were in it ? But they said not, but that they knew the way to it, and no more. I soon said, that as we did not know how many were in the house, that we should take the more men with us. Upon which I immediately sent Bulger to Kinehan’s, to Burnt-Church, to inquire of him, where John Motley was. He soon returned with Motley, and one Commons. I had also one Matthew Grace another Cotter under Mr. Robbins, whom I had corrupted, and prepared for the purpose. And then Bulger, Motley, Grace, Commons, Houlahan and Hacket, (who were our spies) and I sent to Balley-cough-soust, in the county of Kilkenny, which was the place at which we intended to settle and advise which way to effect our design, and expedite our journey. Upon which I concluded, that two only should go in at a time, for fear, if we went in a body, we might be suspected. But we had a long debate, each man refusing to carry the arms, for fear of being suspected going over the ferry. But at length I contrived it so, that I got a bag and put the arms into it, which were three cases of pistols, and rolled hay about them, and then Grace agreed to carry them in the bag, as if he was going to Ross market, which he accordingly did, and got to the house in which I appointed to meet him undiscovered. When I came over the Ferry, I went to the house appointed, where my companions were stationed two in a company, the better to avoid suspicion, and they they did not seem to know each other. I then asked the landlady had she a stable for my mare ? she said the had : upon which I went to the stable to see whether there was hay and litter for my mare, but found it was very dirty, of which I told the landlady, and that I would send my mare down to Mr.Brahan’s, as I was known there, and could get her out at any hour, without any room for suspicion. t then took care to go into the next room to my companions, and called in the landlord to drink with me, and finding the proper time for our departure at hand, I walked out into the kitchen where Grace was, and spoke to Grace, as follows: ” But is not this Grace ? how long are you here ? how are all the neighbours ?,When do you intend going home ? What business had you here ?” To which he answered, they were all well, and that he came with some things to market.
In a little time I found an opportunity, and gave Grace the whisper to desire the rest to go on, two by two, a part of the road, and that one of the spies should go down to Brahan’s, under pretence of taking care of my mare, and that the other spy should go with my companions to direct them. When it was duskish, I went down to Mr. Brahan’s, called for a bottle of wine, and soon after desired the hostler to draw out my mare, for that I intended to go a little further. I soon mounted with my spy behind me, and had not rode far before I overtook the rest of my companions; we then joined company till we got near Mr. Palliser’s House, where I fixed the men in a safe place, and took one of the spies down towards the house, and came to near the house as to see the light of the candles. I then took a survey of the front of the house and rooms, that by the quenching of the candles, I might the better judge where the colonel and his men lay. I waited for some time near the house fronting the rooms, and in a short time saw one of the colonel’s servants lighting him to bed, and therefore judged what part of the house the colonel lay in. Some time afterwards I observed a light above stairs, by which I judged the servants were going to bed; and soon after observed that the candles were all quenched, by which I assured myself, they were all gone to bed. I then came back to where the men were, and appointed Bulger, Motley and Commons to go in along with me, but Common answered, that he never had been in any house before, where there were arms; upon which I asked the son of a whore, what business he had there, and swore I would as soon shoot him as look at him, and at the same time cocked a pistol to his breast, but the rest of the men prevailed upon me to leave him at the back of the house, where he might run away when he thought proper.
I then asked Grace, where did he choose to be posted, he answered ‘that he would go where I pleased to order him,’ for which I thanked him ; we then immediately came up to the house, lighted our candles and blackened our faces, I then placed Commons and Houlahan at the back of the house, to prevent any person from coming out that way; and placed Hacket on my mare, well armed, at the front; and I then broke one of the windows with a sledge, whereupon Bulger, Motley, Grace, and I got in, upon which I ordered Motley and Grace to go up stairs, and Bulger and I would stay below, where we thought the greatest danger would be, but I immediately upon second consideration, for fear Motley or Grace should be daunted, desired Bulger to go up with them, and when he had fixed matters above, to come down, as I judged the colonel lay below. I then went to the room where the colonel was, and burst open the door, upon which he said, odds-wounds, who is there ? to which I answered, a friend, Sir, upon which he said, you lie by G– d, you are no friend of mine, I then said that I was, and his relation also, and that if he viewed me close he would know me, and begged of him not to be angry; upon which, I immediately seized a bullet gun and case of pistols, which I observed hanging up in his room. I then quitted his room, and walked round the lower part of the house, thinking to meet some of the servants, whom I thought would strive to make their escape from the men who were above, and meeting none of them, I immediately returned to the colonel’s room, where I no sooner entered, than he desired me to get out for a villain, and asked me why I bred such disturbance in his house that time of night ; at the same time I snatched his britches from under his head, wherein I got a small purse of gold, and said that abuse was not fit treatment for me, who was his relation, and that it would hinder me of calling to see him again; I then demanded the key of his desk, which stood in his room; he answered, he had no key, upon which I said, I had a very good key, at the same time giving the desk a stroke with the sledge which burst it open, wherein I got a purse of ninety guineas, a four pound piece, two moidores, some small gold, and a large glove, with twenty eight guineas in silver.
By this Time Bulger and Motley came down stairs to me, after rifling the house above, we then observed a closet inside his room, which we soon entered, and got therein a basket, wherein there was plate to the value of three hundred pounds.
There happened to be a wedding near the colonel’s house that night, from whence there was a man and a woman coming at the same time we were in the house, whom Hackett spied, and pursued, but to no purpose ; upon which, Hackett informed me thereof, at which I told him, I admired that as there was three of them abroad, that they would let them escape, and said I would pay them according to their behaviour; I then considering that they might raise the country, took my leave of Mr. Palliser, telling him that I forgave him the abuse he gave me, and was his humble servant.
We quitted the house, and came back again to Ross, where we arrived a little before day, and concluded we could not get over the Ferry there with safety, so we took the road towards Grauge, and never stopped till we came to Poulmounty Wood,,within within two Miles of Grauge, and it was then clear day. I then sat down and paid each man according to his deserts, I then gave them directions to divide themselves, that they should not go any way through the country; upon which Motley said, that he and Common would go through the country, as if with a view of buying pigs. I hid the arms in the wood, after I sent all the men away except Grace, whom I shewed where I hid them, that he might know where to find them when I should have occasion; then I left the wood alone, and rid to Grauge, where I breakfasted heartily, and rested for some time.
From page 148
He then sent me to Kilkenny Goal, and at the summer assizes following James Bulger , Patrick Hackett, otherwise Bristeen, Martin Millea, John Stack, Felix Donnelly, Edmond Kenny, and James Larrassey were tried, convicted and executed; and at Spring assizes following, George Roberts was tried for receiving colonel Palliser’s gold watch, knowing it to be stolen, but was acquitted, on account of exceptions taken to my pardon, which prevented my giving evidence. At the following assizes, when I had got a new pardon, Roberts was again tried for receiving the tankard, ladle and silver spoons from me, knowing them to be stolen, and was convicted and executed. At the same assizes, John Reddy, my instructor, and Michael Millea, were also tried, convicted and executed.
Then Lord Carrick and counsellor Robbins, in order to enable me, with my family to quit this kingdom, proposed a subscription to be set a-foot, in order to raise a sum of money for that purpose; and it accordingly was, but the gentlemen of the country refused to contribute, and therefore that scheme came to nothing. Therefore to enable me to quit a kingdom which is tired of me, and which I do not chuse to live in, if I can avoid it, I have been advised to try whether the publication of my past life, will enable me to take myself and my family to some foreign country, and try to earn our bread in some industrious way, and hope the services done my native country by Lord Carrick’s spirit and resolution, roused up by my means, will make some amends for my former transgressions.
The life and adventures of James Freney, commonly called Captain Freney. From the time of his first entering the highway, in Ireland, to the time of his surrender, being a Series of Five Years remarkable Adventures. Written by himself. Printed and sold by S. Powell, for the author, MDCCLIV. . Eighteenth Century Collections Online, link.gale.com/apps/doc/CW0100325593/ECCO?u=nla&sid=ECCO&xid=666312d9 also the 1814 edition viewed through Google Books The Life and Adventures of James Freney, commonly called Captain Freney
Cavenagh, W. O. “Castletown Carne and Its Owners (Continued).” The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 2, no. 1, 1912, pp. 34–45. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25514203.
Thomas Leigh of Killeclone, co Kildare, deposed 19 January 1642 that losses were inflicted on him by Dennes Cavenagh of Clane, William Fitzgerald of Blackhall, Esqres, and Martin Nangle gent. The total loss valued at £1296. [This was a large sum of money. A historic currency converter suggests that £1296 in 1641 was roughly the equivalent of £297,000 pounds today.]
Henry Peirse of Clane, Co Kildare, gent, sworn 5 March 1642 states that in December last he was robbed and spoyled of his goods and chattels by WilliamFitzgerald of Blackhall in the same county Esqre, Oliver Wogan of ffersnston (fferanston ?) in the same county, Maurice Eustace of Moone, Nicholas FitzJames als FitzGerald of Clane, Lewes Moore of the same, and Dennys Cavenagh of the same, and Dominick 0 of the same, tailor, with divers others whose names petitioner knoweth not, total loss valued at £1173 [estimated £270,000 pounds today].
The depositions do not seem to accuse Cavenagh and associates of treason. However, given the timing, the inclusion of Peirse‘s and Leigh’s depositions in the Trinity College collection, and Cavenagh being named as an outlaw, it seems the robbery of Henry Peirse and Thomas Leigh by Dennis Cavenagh and others was part of the rebellion. Henry Peirse / Persse is I believe Anglo-Irish and one of the Persse family which were the subject of a 2016 book “The Persse Family of County Galway Genealogy and History, 1554-1964” by Gerry Kearney. The book blurb states “Revd Edward Persse and his brother, Henry, were fortunate to survive the worst excesses of the 1641 rebellion.”
In 1652, in an attempt to settle Ireland and bring the troubles to an end, the English Parliament passed legislation punishing owners of Irish land who had been involved in the 1641 rebellion. If they had played a major part they were dispossessed entirely. For a minor role they forfeited a proportion of their land. For this forfeiture they were to be recompensed by grants of land west of the Shannon, where they were to be given an area equal to the proportion they were entitled to retain. This was called transplanting.The province of Connacht and the county of Clare were set aside for the Irish rebels to transplant themselves, their families, dependents, livestock and goods before 1 May, 1654. The penalty for not transplanting was death by hanging. By 1 May 1654, 44,210 names were recorded on certificates of transplantation.
Dennis Cavenagh, almost certainly a Catholic and probably involved to some degree in the rebellion, seems to have been treated fairly leniently. His name does not appear on the list of transplanters, and it seems that after his outlawry he continued to live quietly in the district.
In the church registers of Athy, County Kildare. Dennis Cavenagh’s son James was recorded as a Protestant. The attainder of his father perhaps gave rise to this change in religious affiliation.
Dennis Cavenagh was still living in 1685 as he is is named in his son James’s 1685 will.
The will of James Cavenagh, dated the 8th of March, 1685, was proved in the Prerogative Court at Dublin on the 23rd of April 1686 by Elizabeth, his wife and the Reverend James Moore. James Cavenagh is described as of Grangemellon. He left sixteen pounds to his brother Martin, and one hundred pounds to his wife, to be paid out of a bond for five hundred pounds due by Captain Fitz-Gerald. He directed that what lands were then in the actual possession of his father, Dennis Cavenagh, and of his mother, they were to enjoy the same during their natural lives, with remainder to his son, Wenford [Wentworth]; should he die before his grand-parents, with remainder to Elizabeth, his wife; should she predecease his parents, with remainder to his brother, Martin.
One of my fifth great grandfathers was a clergyman named Henry O’Neale Bayley (also spelled Bayly or Bailey), born in 1757 at Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland to John Bayley (1724 – 1797) and Martha (or Bridget) nee Holmes (c. 1730 — ?).
The lady whom Hamilton married in the year 1833 was a daughter of the Rev. Henry Bayly, Rector of Nenagh, in the county of Tipperary, a member of the family whose head is settled at Debsborough in that county : she was in this way connected with Lord Dunalley and with Dean Head, Dean of Killaloe, who were neighbours in the country, took an interest in the marriage, and were subsequently Hamilton’s acquaintances and correspondents. Miss Bayly’s mother, whose maiden name was Grueber, and who by her letters appears to have possessed a bright mind and amiable disposition, was at this time a widow and resided at Bayly Farm, near Nenagh. She (Anne Grueber) had many children, two of whom were married to brothers, Mr. William and Mr. Henry Rathborne, whose country-houses, Scripplestown and Dunsinea, were in immediate neighbourhood to the Observatory. With the elder of these sisters, Mrs. William Rathborne of Scripplestown, Helen Bayly was often a guest.
Life of Sir William Rowan Hamilton, Andrews professor of astronomy in the University of Dublin, and Royal astronomer of Ireland, including selections from his poems, correspondence, and miscellaneous writings by Graves, Robert Perceval; De Morgan, Augustus. Publication date 1882-89. Pages 1-2 of volume 2 retrieved though archive.org
From A topographical dictionary of Ireland; exhibiting the names of the several cities, towns, parishes and villages, with the barony, county, and province, to which they respectively belong … Collected from the most authentic documents, and arr. in alphabetical order. Being a continuation of the topography of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland by Nicholas Carlisle, published 1810. Page 597 retrieved through archive.org.
NENAGH, in the Barony of Lower Ormond, Co. of TIPPERARY, and Province of Munster : a R. and V., united by Act of Council, on the 16th of February 1798, to the R. and V. of Knigh : a Church, in good repair, in the Town of Nenagh : no Glebe House, but the Incumbent is under orders to build : a Glebe, of 2 acres, in the parish of Nenagh, near the church; and, of l6a. 3r. Op., in the parish of Knigh, two miles distant from the former : The Rev. Henry Bayly, A. B., the Incumbent (in 1806), who has cure of souls, and is under orders to reside : the duties are performed by his Resident Curate, The Rev. Thomas Falkener, A. B., at a Salary of £50. per annum. Nenagh is in the Diocese of Killaloe, and Province of Cashel. It is 75 m. S. W. b. W. from Dublin. It has six Post-days in the week. The Fairs are holden on the 29th of May, 4th of July, 4th of September and 10th of October. It is situate upon a River, which empties itself into Lough Deirgeart, and is a large, regular, and well built Town. Here is a handsome old Castle, of great strength, called Nenagh Round. The parishes in the Union of Nenagh are contiguous ; their estimated extent from North to South being 3 miles, and from East to West 5 miles. ” About the beginning of the year 1200, an Hospital was founded here for Canons following the Rule of St. Augustin, who were constantly to admit the sick and infirm; it was dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and was usually called Teacheon, or, St. John’s House. Theobald Walter was the founder. A Friary was founded here for Conventual Franciscans, in the reign of King Henry the Third, by one of the family of Butler, or, as others say, by Kennedy. This Friary was supposed to be one of the richest foundations of the Franciscan Order in this kingdom.” Archdall’s Monast. Hibern. pp. 670. et seq.
William Mitchell, one of my fourth great grandfathers, was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, on 20 November 1803. There is a family story that William and his three brothers were orphaned as young children when their father, also called William, was killed in a Dublin riot. The boys grew up in the care of a nurse in “Stackallen House“, County Meath, the home of their uncle. In 1810, at the age of seven, William was sent to Dublin to live with his grandfather, Blayney Owen Mitchell, a well-known attorney. William was apprenticed to a Dublin apothecary for about a year. He was released from his indenture and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, but did not graduate. He then moved to London to become a missionary.
I have been trying to find sources for these stories without much success. I have, for example, been unable to find any reference to the death of William’s father in a Dublin riot.
In 1797 Blaney Owen Mitchell and William Owen Mitchell, attorneys at law of Dublin City jointly witnessed a deed. (Memorial 329391 index; image) It seems very likely that these were father and son, with this Blaney Owen Mitchell young William’s grandfather.
In 1802 there is a Memorial of an indenture deed of settlement bearing the date 12 April 1802 made between William Owen Mitchell of the city of Dublin attorney at law of the first part Jane Bartley of the town of Monaghan spinster of the second part. The deed, 384305, has been transcribed. I think these might be the parents of William. William Mitchell’s oldest son born 1829 was named William Owen Mitchell. However, William did not name any of his daughters Jane.
In 1807 Blaney Owen Mitchell was the victim of a robbery at Stackallen House. A trial at the Trim Assizes was reported in Saunders’s News-Letter of 13 April 1808. At the time of the robbery Blaney Mitchell was visiting Stackallen House with his two sons. They were there to collect the rents of the estate for Lord Boyne; it seems Mitchell did not live there at the time. The Dublin Evening Post of 11 August 1808 reported that “At Trim assizes, Richard Fotterall was convicted of a robbery at Stackallen-house, the 26th December, on the person of Blaney Owen Mitchell, Esq. and received sentence of death.”
According to the Alumni Dublinenses, William Mitchell was admitted as a pensioner to Trinity College Dublin on November 3 1823 aged 22, son of William defunctus [deceased], born Monaghan. He did not receive a degree. His brothers are not in this list of alumni.
I find it frustrating not to be able to verify more of the story of William Mitchell, in particular not to have found out more about his parents and brothers.
Two of my fifth great grandparents were James Cavenagh and his second wife Anne Cavanagh nee Lane (? – 9 June 1742). An inscription on the family gravestone at the Abbey Graiguenamangh Co. Kilkenny records their names.
Anne Cavanagh nee Lane died 9 June 1742. She was the second wife of James Cavenagh as mentioned on Inscription on the tombstone of the family vault at the Abbey Graiguenamangh Co Kilkenny. They married about 1735. James and Anne are two of my fifth great grandparents.
James’s first wife Elizabeth had died, childless, in 1734.
James and Anne had at least three children:
Kildare 1736 – 1769
Matthew 1740 – 1819
Margaret married John Howard in 1779
After Anne’s death, James married a third time, to Elizabeth Archdeacon. This marriage produced at least six children.
In his notes on the Cavenagh family Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh records an Indenture dated 15th December 1736 between Henry Agar of Gowran, Co Kilkenny Esquire and James Kavenagh of Graig, Co Kilkenny gent, letting dwelling house, Mault house and 3 ½ acres of land known as Tillots holding at Graiguenamanagh to James Kavenagh for lives of himself, Ann Kavenagh, his wife, and Kildare Kavenagh, his eldest son.
From this it appears that James and Anne were married about 1735 and that Kildare was born about 1736.
Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh also compiled notes on The Lanes of Lanes Park County Tipperary. He appears to believe that Anne, wife of James Cavenagh, was the daughter of Ambrose Lane of Lanes Park, who died 1724. He suggests that Anne was the person also known as Amey, daughter of Ambrose’s second wife. (Lanes Park is near New Birmingham and Killenaule, barony Slievardagh, Co Tipperary.)
Ambrose Lane married twice. By his first wife, Eleanor Gabbitt, he had three sons: John, Ambrose and Thomas, and three daughters: Eleanor, Sarah, and Mary. By his second wife Amey Ladyman he had a son Samuel and a daughter Amey.
Ambrose married Amey Ladyman in 1721 (Ireland Diocesan And Prerogative Marriage Licence Bonds Indexes for the Diocese of Cashel and Emly). In his will dated 17 December 1724 Ambrose mentions his children Samuel and Amey by his second wife. Amey Lane appears to have been born between 1721 and 1724.
If Amey Lane is indeed the Anne Lane who married in 1735 she must have married and had a child when she was only 14 or 15.
I have found no documents that show Anne Cavenagh nee Lane to be the daughter of Ambrose Lane. There appears to be no marriage settlement, for example. And it is perhaps worth noting that Killenaule Co. Tipperary is about 60 kilometers from Graiguenamangh Co. Kilkenny. Who knows how Amey Lane and Matthew Cavenagh met?
Ellen Keane nee Nihill, my 4th great grand aunt, was the daughter of James Nihill and Margaret nee Lane. Her husband Owen Keane, whom she married about 29 May 1791, was from Corbally, Co. Clare. He also had property at Kildimo in Co. Limerick.
On 1 July 1792, a year after their marriage, Owen Kean was thrown from his horse and killed. Ellen died, childless, within a month of the accident, perhaps from complications of childbirth.
Owen Keane’s death was reported in the Ennis Chronicle of 5 July 1792:
Last Sunday Mr Owen Keane of Kildimo in the west of this county was thrown from his horse and unfortunately killed on the spot
Ellen’s death and marriage were mentioned in a 1794 deed between James Nihill and Richard Leake
311694 To the Regr appd by Act of Parliament for Reg of deeds & soforth A Meml of an Indented deed made the first day of Novr one thousand seven hundred and ninety four Between James Nihill of Rockville in the Cof of Limerick Esq of the one part and Richd Leake of Rathkeale Abbey in the Co of Limerick Esq one of the Attornies of the other part. Whereby after sealing that the said James Nihill was seized of the Town and lands of Glasscoone [Glascloune?] situate in the Barony of Ibrickan and Co of Clare Esqr by virtue of a Lease made to him by the Right Honble Geo Earl of Egremont for the life of Ellen Nihill his Mother & Bourke Furnell of Cahirduff in the Co of Limerick Gent and that the said Lands then produced Eighty pounds yearly and afterwards prophet Rent that the said James Nihill on or about the 29th day of May 1791 granted and made over unto Owen Keane of Corbally in the Co of Clare the sd Lands of Glasscoone upon the Intermarrg of him the said Owen Keane with Ellen Nihill Eldest daur to the said James Nihill but on the Express proviso that if the said Ellen shd die without issue that in such case the said James Nihill his Heirs and ssrs shd yearly during the residue of said lain for ??? receive to his own use one annuity or yearly sum of Forty pounds silver to be levied out of said Lands of Glasscoone and after first reciting that the said Ellen Nihill died in the Month of Augt 1792 witht issue then the said James Nihill for and in Consdn of the sum of Two hundred pounds stov to him in hand paid.
Ellen Keane nee Nihill was my 4th great grand aunt.
On 6 December 1840 Julia Hickey, aged 23 arrived at Adelaide, South Australia, on the “Birman” which sailed from Greenock 23 August 1840. She was travelling with her sister Mary, 21, and brother Michael, 28, and Michael’s wife and children. On the passenger list Julia and Mary were described as farm servants from Castleconnel, County Tipperary, Ireland. Michael Hickey was a carpenter from Ennis, County Clare, Ireland and a cousin of a fellow passenger Catherine nee Hogan, a servant from Ennis, County Clare. Michael died on the voyage. His wife and children returned to Ireland.
Travelling on the Birman was William Morris, aged 21, a painter and glazier from Limerick. On 10 February 1841 Julia Hickey and William Morris married in the Roman Catholic Chapel on West Terrace, Adelaide. Between 1841 and 1857 they had eight children:
William George 1843 – 1906
Celia Catherine 1848–1916
Michael Christopher 1850–1897
Julia Mary 1852–1881
Gordon William 1857–1917
In December 1844 William Morris, who had previously been employed as a keeper in the Limerick District Asylum, was appointed Keeper for lunatics at the Adelaide Gaol. Twelve months later twelve lunatics were housed at the gaol. This was deemed unsatisfactory and a public asylum opened the next year in the East Parklands modified for the purpose. Nine lunatics were placed there under the care of the Colonial Surgeon, the Keeper William Morris, a second keeper, and the wives of the two keepers.
A much larger asylum opened in 1852. The new asylum held sixty patients and staff. This building was destroyed in 1938. The East Lodge however still survives. It had been home to the Morris family.
In the article South Australian Lunatics and Their Custodians, 1836–1846 by Marian Quartly published in 1966, Quartly wrote:
. . . the real control of the asylum fell to William Morris, the Head Keeper. Morris appears to have been a kind and honest man who did his best by his charges, but nevertheless Sheriff Newenham’s judgment of his capabilities was probably correct: Morris ” . . . tho a very proper person to superintend the care of lunatics as respects their safekeeping is not in my mind qualified by experience or habits to watch over the mental charges and graduation of insanity so frequent amongst this unfortunate class.” Morris’ “five or six years” of experience with lunatics prior to his Adelaide appointment was all in Ireland, where the emphasis still seems to have been on custody rather than cure. He could not have held a position of any authority in Ireland as he was practically illiterate.
On 13 January 1857 William Morris died aged 43 years. The death notice in the Adelaide Times read:
On Tuesday, the 13th January, Mr William Morris, for many years Head Keeper of the Lunatic Asylum, regretted by a large circle of friends and acquaintances
Julia Morris worked as Matron of the Asylum from 1846 until her death in 1884. In turn she was succeeded by her daughter Celia Morris who was Matron for eight years. The Morris family thus worked in the Asylum for nearly fifty years.
MORRIS. —On the 24th May, at Botanic-road, after a short illness, Julia Morris, the beloved mother of Celia and M. C. Morris, aged 64 years. For 40 years in the Government service.
THE Friends of the late Mrs. JULIA MORRIS are respectfully informed that her REMAINS will be Removed from her late residence Botanic-road To-morrow (Sunday), the 25th inst., at 3 o’clock p.m., for Interment in the West-terrace Cemetery. S. MAYFIELD & SONS.