Saturday, 29 October 2016

Kilmoganny Church of Ireland Graveyard, Kilmoganny, county Kilkenny

This is a relatively small walled graveyard surrounding the very pretty St Matthew's Church of Ireland Church which was built in 1830 with a grant of £750 from The Board of First Fruits.   There are 22 memorials but other named people are buried here without headstones of any kind, as we shall see.   The graveyards contains both Protestant and Catholic burials.    Many burials relate to close and extended members of the Reade family of Rossenara House who were the big landlords in this area.   Kilmoganny also has a Catholic graveyard which may once have been part of St Matthew's Church graveyard; the road now divides the two burial grounds.   Bernie and I have surveyed this Protestant graveyard, and the Catholic one which we will be posting soon, and the memorials inside the Protestant church which will also be posted soon.   There is another modern Kilmoganny graveyard which we have not yet had a chance to survey but it is on the list, as they say.  This has been a very interesting graveyard to survey.  Some of the Reade family converted to the Catholic church in the 1830s, there was also a divorce in this family circa 1807, and there appear to have been many acknowledged natural Reade children.    The graveyard is kept in very good order.  Stones no 7 - 14,  most originally upright, appear to have been removed from their original place marking burials and placed in a single row lying flat and thus very much exposed to the weather making some of these memorials now very difficult to read.
Note: 21st November 2016,  After posting this entry about Kilomoganny Church of Ireland graveyard we have been given further information about 2 burials here but without headstone or memorial.  Dr Richard Speare Peile (1801-1849) ran the Dispensary at Rossenara House and is buried here together with his wife Margaret who also died in 1849.  He is buried beside her.  Both died of the Cholera.  .Many thanks to John O'Meara for sending us this information and for further family information and also to Thomas Reade-Duncan for additional information about the Peile family.  There are additional Peile burials in this graveyard but alas no headstone. 

List of names appearing on the memorials
Adams, Bourk, Bradley, Candler, Coughlan, Coughlin, Dowley, Duncan, Evans, Hackett, Hillas, Malone, McCheane, McManus, Morris, Murphy, O'Connell, Reade, Ryan, Scully, Somers, Sutton, Young.

List of places appearing on the memorials
Callan, Clincaun, Clonmel, Croan House, Curraghmore, Cussan,  Dublin,  Dunnamaggan, Goodwinsgarden, the Green, James Green, Kilkenny, Kilmaganny, Kilmoganny, Mount Pleasant, Ormonde Slate Quarries, Rogerstown, St Nicholas Without,  Sheepstown, Whitechurch.

List of occupations appearing on the memorials
Curate, Doctor, Lieut Colonel, MRCSE (Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh), Rector, Reverend, RIC.

List of Masons who have signed the memorials
Hoban of Kilkenny, Molloy, O'Dwyer of Kilkenny and O'Shea of Callan.

 No 2. The square obelisk commemorating the Adams family

Memorial No 9  reads "Here lie the remains of Mrs Jane Sutton, wife of the Rev Thos Sutton of Kilmaganny who departed this life on the 23rd day of Decr in the year or Our Lord 1811 aged 66 years".    In 1778 Thomas Sutton was the Curate of Kilmaganny and Knocktopher.  In 1800 he wrote in the Visitation Returns "I have served the curacy for 22 years and am now 25 years a curate and the Great God only knows the hardships I have laboured under".   He then had £50 a year". (Leslie: Ossory Clergy and Parishes 1933).  

No 16. A beautifully carved stone erected by James Bourk in 1805.  There are two decorative angel faces, both with feathered wings, on this headstone.  Note the handsomely carved IHS and cross above it.

Memorial No 22 reads "Here lie buried the remains of William Morris of Rogerstown, Kilmoganny who died 20th Sept 1902 aged 91 years and his wife Frances Morris who died 19th December 1902 aged 81 years"   Also of Richard, son of the above who died 7th February 1907 aged 49 years. Waiting for the Resurrection, for the Trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. 1st Cor.XV 52.  Death and darkness and the tomb only whisper till he come".    This William Morris of Rogerstown was born circa 1811 the natural son of William Morris Reade of Rossenara by  Martha, daughter of John McCulla, a coachmaker in Waterford.  He married Fanny Nicholson circa 1841.   

No 16,  The Bourk headstone 1805.  The second carved angel's head with feathered wings. This stone commemorates James Bourk's wife, Barbara Dowley of Callan and his mother Catherine Coughlan.  Perhaps an angel's face with feathers wings for each of them?

Against the back wall and clearly not in its original place is a very broken and seriously damaged stone with some parts completely missing. This is Memorial No 20 on our list. ".......of his....and only child of the Revd Annesley T Hillas, Rector of St Nicholas Without who died at Kilmoganny Rectory Oct 23rd 1880 aged 67 years.    In loving memory of Charity Blake widow of Monckton Somers Esq., of................illegible."    At first it was not at all clear that all the broken parts and scraps came from the one headstone but after some considerable research it became apparent that they did.
The marriage of Monckton Somers and Charity Blake Hillas took place in St Luke's Church of Ireland Parish in Dublin in 1836. Monckton Somers Esq., was a Brewer by occupation and also a Church Warden of St Lukes; they had at least nine children, four of whom died young.  One, George Somers died in 1849, of what is described as malignant scarlatina.   Another son, Annesley Thomas Somers, born in 1840, became Vicar of Kilmoganny from 1874-1883; this explains why his mother was buried here in this graveyard.  Monckton Somers Esq., died 22nd August 1856 in Kingstown, Dublin but was buried in St Luke's.     The Revd Annesley T Hillas, born 1768,  was the son of Wynne Hillas of Dublin and Miss Cherry (sic - but surely a misprint for Charity?)Blake.   The Revd Annesley T Hillas married Sarah Margaret Dowling in St Anne's Soho, London in November 1806.   There has been frequent mis-transcibing of Sarah's name as Douling but it is definitely Dowling and she herself signs the marriage register as S.M. Dowling.  The witnesses to this wedding are Edw. Dowling and M. Dowling.   The genealogy of the family of Hillas of county Sligo by Celeste Byrne has been published in The Irish Ancestor No 1. 1972.  This genealogy includes the above Rev. Annesley Hillas whose mother was Charity Blake; he appears to descend from a Robert Hillas of Donecroy, Templeboy, Sligo.
Quite a lot of information was eventually gathered together about this family and if anyone is interested we do have further information about the history of this family.

A view of St Mathew's Church from the back showing plot No 15. The large anonymous plot belonging to the Morris-Reade family

No 15 on our list is a large plot with a surrounding small raised wall which once had iron railings.  Currently there are no inscriptions and no names.  
We have been contacted by Thomas Reade-Duncan, co-author with Henry Morris, of the two articles about the Reades of counties Tipperary and Kilkenny which appeared in The Irish Genealogist, with further information about this plot.   He advised us that the plot is a Morris-Reade plot with burials containing the following members of the Morris-Reade family.   William Morris-Reade (1788-1847), his wife Elizabeth Maitland (1808-1884), their son Frederick Richard (1833-1898), their daughter Anna Maria (1829-1879), William's brother Rev Benjamin O'Connor Morris (1791-1846) and his wife Elizabeth O'Connor of Mount Pleasant, Queens County  The fine railing were stolen about twenty years ago.  We are grateful to him for this information.

It was understood that this plot was used to for the burial of members of the constabulary who were killed at the Battle of Carrickshock on Wednesday 14th December 1831.   These members of the constabulary are presumably somewhere else in the graveyard in an unmarked plot.     The names of the 11 dead sub-constables are:- John McGlennan, John or Joseph Whitaker, Edward Boyle, James Dixon (also spelt Dickson), Thomas Egan, William Budds, John Wright, Robert Fitzgerald, John Fitzpatrick, Charles Carroll and John Prescott,   The Chief Constable, Captain James Gibbons, a veteran of Waterloo, was also killed and is presumably buried here. Another unnamed sub-constable died of his wounds but it not recorded with precision where he was buried.  The process server, Edmond Butler, a man of  questionable reputation and hugely unpopular, died the day after the battle; it is unclear if he is buried here or not. 
Further reading:.
 1.  Richard Lahert. The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Dunnamaggan  in the
      Diocese of Ossory. 1956

Footnote:  Rev Hans Hamilton died in Leamington, Warwickshire, England on 8th February 1839. 
Some headstones are not that easy to get at.   This one, No 17,  engulfed by the shrubbery and trees is dedicated to Marianne Bradley who died December 11th 1865 aged 27 years.


  1. Please note that the Plot claimed to contain the burials of RIC men killed in 1831 is in fact the Grave Plot of the Morris-Reade family of Rossenarra House and interred here are Willoam Morris-Reade 1788 -1847 his wife Elizabeth Maitland 1808-1884 son Frederick Richard 1833-1898 daughter Anna Maria 1829-1879 and Williams brother Rev Benjamin O Connor Morris 1791-1846 and his wife Elizabeth O Connor of Mountplesant Queens Co. The Plat did have a fine metal railing about it but it was stolen some 20 odd years ago.I hope this clarifies the matter and the Family hope to place a Plaque on the graves at some time soon when they come from Canada and America. Thomas Reade-Duncan.

  2. Thank you so much for sending this invaluable information which we will enter on to the blog. What a shame about the railings being stolen. We could see that there had once been iron railing which appeared to have been filed off at the base.
    Thank you for taking the time to contact us and for looking at the blog
    From Mary and Bernie

  3. Thank you too for your hard work, I wish I could join you in your endeavors.
    Within the churchyard is also to be found: Doctor Richard Speare (1801-1849). He ran the dispensary at Rossenarra House. His wife Margaret also a doctor, dying in 1849 and is buried beside her husband. I was told that they both died from the same illness, that they were working on to find a cure?

  4. Dear John
    Thank you so much for your message. We are grateful to have this additional information and will amend the posting accordingly. The date of death for Dr Speare and his wife Margaret is very pertinent being the height of the Famine. They would, without doubt, have been ministering from the Dispensary to those people suffering from famine and indeed famine fevers like typhoid which killed many people who were not actually dying of the hunger. I expect they caught one of these terrible fevers. Do you know where in the graveyard they were laid to rest? It would be unusual for a doctor not to have a headstone but perhaps they needed to be buried quickly if they were, for example, contagious. That date is very early for a woman doctor. We would love to do some work on her, with your permission, of course. Do you have any further information about her?
    With very best wishes from Mary and Bernie and thank you for contacting us

  5. From what I can recall, they are on the right when entering from the road, in other words on the eastern end of the church. The grave is or was surrounded by the remains of railings. I haven`t been to Kilmaganny for a number of years now, and never took any photographs. But would be interested if there are any O`Meara`s on any of the inscriptions in the old churchyard opposite the RC church? When I last visited the churchyard, it was so overgrown it was impossible to read any of the few stones visible. All of my family from about 1824 are in the three cemeteries. My grandparents and parents being in the cemetery at Rossennara.

  6. Having just looked on Google Earth, I notice that the graveyard has been cleaned up considerably. As far as I can remember, the stone was laying flat on the ground by the east boundary wall?

  7. Correction after going through my notes which number in hundreds. The correct name is Doctor Richard Speare Peile. Originally a surgeon at the fever hospital(old school house) in Kilmaganny. They had at least seven children, Henery 1829-1829. Eilinor 1831-1832. Robert Moore Peile 1832-? Rebecca 1834-1838. George 1835-1838. William 1837-? Margaret 1841-? So there might well be others within the cemetery?

  8. The Peiles were Dublin merchants, Dr Robert Moore Peile died 1858 aged 93, Senior Surg Richmond Hosp Cons Surg Dr Stephens Hosp He retired 1847, Married aged 24 1787 to Lucinda Darby aged 18 and had issue all Bapt Eustice St Presbyterian Church Robert 1792, Sophia 1791, Elizabeth 1793 and Dr Richard Spears Peile 1791 LRCSI of Westmoreland St Dub in 1820/1,He married 1820 Margaretta Kierney daughter to Leyland Kearney of Birr and they had issue. Dr Richard born Dublin 1821 Surg in 91st Redg Foot and died Kilmoganny 1853, Ellen 1826 Dublin removed to USA, Henry 1829-1829,Buried Kilmoganny, Henry 1830-1852 Bur Kilmoganny, Eleanor 1831-1831, bur Kilmoganny, Robert Mooore 1832 at Rossenarra and removed to USA, Rebecca 1834-1838, bur Kilmoganny, George Spier 1835-1838, bur Kilmoganny, William Spier 1837, born Rossenarra and removed to USA, Margaret 1841, Born Rossenarra and removed to USA. Dr Richard and his wife are resident at Old Rossenarra 1829 and paying a rent of 30 pounds to William Morris-Reade, He died there on 11 May 1849 and his wife on 16 May 1849 both of Cholera. Dr Richards brother Robert married 1818 Susanna Crosthwaite, her father Leyland was a trustee for Nelsons Pillar Dublin.Some of the early family are buried Mt Jerome Dub, Dr Richard did not receive glowing or favorable reports on his Dispensary at Old Rossenarra and Knoctopher or his work at the Fever Hospital Kilmoganny in Parliamentary Inspection Report Papers 1835/7 and 1841, His Salary was £175.00.00 yearly and £45-00-00 for supplies etc, This with Donations from William Morris-Reade of £24/£25/£29. Patients had to pay a cost of from 5 to 20 shillings.

    1. I omitted to include my name to the Dr Peile Blog above and my apology's for that over sight. Thomas Reade-Duncsan.

    2. Dear Thomas, Thank you so much for the additional information. I have been trying for the past 25 years, but without success. The cottage by the side of the cemetery, being the former walled garden, formally belonged to my grandparents. They are in the census of 1911 at number 2 Rossennara. Have spent many a visit within the ruins of the house at Rossennara, sadly only one complete window now survives. The ordinance survey map of 1829-41 shows the estate as it once was.

    3. Dear Thomas and John
      Thank you very much for all this additional local information about the Peile family which is such a treasure to have. St Patrick's Graveyard (RC) has no O'Meara or O'Mara headstones but possibly they are there without a headstone. This graveyard is really well maintained and grass cut on a regular basis so it is easy to identify the headstones and nothing can be lost in the long grass. It is very interesting, from the information supplied by Thomas, that there are all those additional Peile burials in Kilmoganny St Matthews Church of Ireland Graveyard. Sadly there is definitely no memorial to this family there now unless it has fallen and gone well under the grass but there is nothing obvious. We had spotted that there was a Dr Richard Speare Peile at the Knocktopher Dispensary, and had made the link to the Peile family, initially assuming it was a relative by marriage but your further information has sorted that out. We have also checked the Knocktopher Church of Ireland graveyard but found no Peile headstone and also the Old Abbey graveyard at Knocktopher thinking that some of your Peiles might just be in there but we found no headstones.
      The graveyard at Rossenara House sounds very interesting and one we might try to record and survey some time in the future so thank you for mentioning that to us.
      Thank you both for checking our the blog and for all your information
      Mary and Bernie

    4. Thank you Mary, The cemetery is in the original walled garden of Old Rossennara House. The ruins being at the rear one field away to the east. The garden is original in its layout, being divided into ten plots for flowers vegetables and fruit. For todays residents, it is truly 'pushing up the daises'! The one good window in the ruins behind is worth visiting, as I am sure, that the Pheile`s once looked out of this very window, so many years ago.

    5. Hi Thomas, I wante to check the information about Robert Moore Piele MD. You report him dying at age 93 in 1858. If tht is correct do you have any information about the death of his son Robert Moore Peile Junior, also MD?

  9. John
    Thank you for the directions to the graveyard at Old Rossennara House. It sounds exactly like a graveyard we are interested in recording. Don't suppose it can be very big? If you are in Ireland would you like to join us when we visit this graveyard? We can offer tea and cake by way of a little picnic......We would plan a visit in the good weather......
    Kind regards
    Mary and Bernie

  10. Thank you Mary, but since 2010 I no longer travel to Ireland, due to the family having passed on. Once your parents are gone from the nest so to speak, it is never the same unfortunately when you return.

  11. We quite understand John. We will think of you when we visit the graveyard and raise our cups of tea to you....
    kind regards
    Mary and Bernie

  12. The No. 2 obelisk commemorating the Adams family is my family. Thomas Rutherford Adams was my great great grandfather - his daughter Isabella being my great grandmother. I visited this graveyard in 2005 and notice there is a new plaque dedicated to Anne Duncan and her sons. Do you have any idea who had this plaque done? I am hoping to revisit Kilmoganny in 2018. Did the history of Kilmoganny ever get finished and/or published? Regards, Eunice Robinson, British Columbia, Canada -
    email -

  13. Hello Eunice
    We are delighted to receive a communication from British Columbia Canada. We are very familiar with this Obelisk your family stone and each time we returned to it, it was getting more impossible to read as the elements are taking its toll on it. We have read the added stone you mention perhaps we will know more about it when you come to Kilmoganny. That local history publication is moving towards publication. Mary Casteleyn has written an article about members of a local family who fought in the battles of Fontenoy and Dettingen with the many Irish Regiments in the French Wars.
    We have recorded another Adams obelisk at Kilree perhaps it has relevance to you commemorating; In memory of a beloved father and mother Robert and Margaret Adams who died 1863-4 in New London Connecticut U S
    A dear sister Mrs Mary Field who died april 3rd 1876 aged 53 years. William Adams died Feb 25th 1909. Margaret Stewart Adams died June 23rd 1882. The obelisk is within an iron enclosure had us thinking of the similarities between these two monuments. Your map will tell you how close Kilmoganny is to the old monastic site at Kilree. we are shortly adding Kilree to this blog.
    Hope to hear from you again Eunice kind regards
    Mary and Bernie

  14. Hello, i am the 3rd great grad daughter of mary ann morris read adams and thomas Rutherford adams. There youngest daughter jane adams born 1852 and i believe baptised at this church was my 2nd great grandma. Eunice is my distant cousin any information or pictures you can send my way would be wonderful. Northern Wisconsin USA

  15. Hi
    Is there a grave for a william memery born and dies in 1847, 3 months ?

  16. Hi,
    We did not find the family name Memery in any of our research there. There is a placename that sounds similar connected to an event rather than a family.
    The family name is documented in both Waterford and Dublin.
    If you can add any further information that would be helpful .
    Thank you for visiting our blog
    Mary and Bernie

  17. Hello
    I believe John Prescott, one of the constables killed at Carrickshock was the father of my 3rd great grandmother Mary Prescott (baptised in Mothel parish 1816), who married William McKeon who served as an RIC policeman in County Kilkenny all his career (1832-1862).

    I am currently trying to trace descendants of John or Henry Prescott from Knockalane to confirm the connection through DNA, as a paper trail is understandably thin on the ground.

  18. Hi
    Thanks you for visiting our blog.
    Yes John Prescott died on 14th December 1831 at Carrickshock.
    Leave this with us and we will see if we can be of help to you.
    Mary and Bernie

  19. I am descended from the Peiles and the Spears, though not from Robert Moore Peile and have done quite a lot of research on this family. Robert Moore Peile Sr's brother was also called Richard Spear Peile, and was also a doctor. He's listed in the Treble Almanack for 1789, 1794, and 1798 under Surgeons and his address is given as "Rosinara" which seems to the old spelling for Rossenara. So it's possible RM Peile junior inherited his position.
    The father of RM Peile Sr and RS Peile Sr was probably Henry Peile, a woollen draper of Grafton Street who died before November 1811, and it's possible their mother Eleanor was a Spear.