Wednesday, 27 July 2022

More information about Sergeant John Kirwan

The old graveyard at Dungarvan has a memorial to the Kirwan family of Dungarvan.  Recorded on this headstone is "Jack died July 1944".  This is actually Sergeant John Anthony Kirwan DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal), Air Gunner, service number 1067998, who was in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 49th Squadron.  He flew at least 28 missions but possibly as many as 39 and his Lancaster was involved in a near collision with a Junker when returning from a raid on Leipzig 19th February 1944; the Junker was downed and the Lancaster limped back to England on three engines and a broken wing.  The Distinguished Flying Medal was awarded to RAF personnel for exceptional valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying an operation against the enemy.  He was awarded the DFM in June 1944.  He and his entire crew of 7 of the Lancaster bomber (LM541) were shot down over France on 8th July 1944 and all perished. He had been intending to come home within the next five months but of course never did. Of the seven crew members, he was the eldest at 25 yrs (The rest of the crew were aged 20 yrs, two aged 21 yrs, 22 yrs, 23 yrs and 24 yrs).    The crew had been bombing the German V1 rocket storage base at St Leu in France, which they accurately bombed (and presumably destroyed).  These unmanned and unpredictable V1 rockets were terrifying the people of London and the South East of England at the time.  Sergeant John Anthony Kirwan is buried with the rest of his crew members at Le Chesne Cemetery near Conches in Eure, France.  Conches is a small town on the Cherbourg - Caen- Paris railway line.  More information can be found at  including a photograph of the crew members, the burial service in France and a war memorial at Conches village which includes the names of all the crew.  

John Anthony Kirwan was based at Fiskerton Air Base in Lincolnshire.  This base opened in 1942 for the 5th Group Bomber Command.  The duties of bomber command were considered so dangerous, even by war-time standards, that the bomber crews were made up entirely of volunteers; these were very brave young men.  Each volunteer was required to complete a 30 mission tour.  Life expectancy of a crew was just five missions (we know John Anthony completed at least 28 missions so he must have been under considerable strain).  Air crew trained for 2 years.  Air crew acted as a team and were mutually dependent on each other.  The rear gunner was seperate from the rest of the crew and confined in a small space for the duration of the flight.  The main duties of the rear gunner were to advise the pilot of enemy aircraft movements to allow the pilot to take evasive action, and of course to defend the aircraft against enemy fighters.   There are at least 5 combat reports for bomber Command in which Sergeant John Kirwan is mentioned in the National Archives at Kew in London.   Sergeant John Anthony Kirwan was the son of Michael and Bridget Kirwan of Dungarvan, county Kilkenny.  His family knew that he had a sweet heart at the time of his death but unfortunately no record has survived of her name or who she was.  

In 2019 we were contacted by an Australian, Eric Whittle, whose father Bert Whittle had been a RAF pilot during WW2; he had been shot out of the sky over Holland and had spent three years as a POW before the end of hostilities.  At the time Eric contacted us, Bert was 97 yrs old and living in Perth, Western Australia.  In 1938 he had started training in the RAF School of Photography at Farnborough, Hampshire.  There he had met an young Irishman called John Kirwan and the two became firm friends.  Bert accompanied John Kirwan home to Ireland over Christmas;  this Irish trip involved a train ride from Dublin south down to a Kilkenny village where he met John's family.  In the chaos of war Bert Whittle had lost contact with John Kirwan; Eric was keen to establish what had happened to his father's friend and to find out, on behalf of his father, if his friend had survived the war or not. 

We knew from our own research that a John Anthony Kirwan had died in 1944 and whilst he was commemorated on his family headstone at Dungarvan that he was actually buried in Conches in France.   Eric was sure this was the John Kirwan he was seeking and sadly had to tell his father that John had perished in1944.  Eric even made a pilgrimage over to Ireland to visit Dungarvan and to meet with the surviving members of the Kirwan family and to Conches in France to visit the actual grave of John Kirwan.  Eric had a memorable and very warm welcome in Dungarvan and will always keep in touch with the Kirwan family there.   (Eric's photographs of his visit to Conches  and all the memorials there to Sergeant Kirwan can be seen on our posting of 6th October 2019 entitled Follow up to Sgt WW2 story).

However there is an unexpected twist to this sad story.  The photograph that Eric had posted of his father Bert Whittle and John Kirwan in Aldershot in about 1938 led to a surprise contact from a  lady in New Zealand, Jean Kerwin (note spelling), who said that the John Kirwan in that photograph was in fact her own grandfather.    Her grandfather who had been christened Sean O'Kerwin, had changed his name to John Kerwin.  This John Kerwin (note spelling) had trained as a photographer and rear gunner with the RAF and had survived many bombing raids over Germany during the war; he had been based, amongst other places in Farnborough near Aldershot.  According to his family he was the only one of his intake of rear gunners/photographers to survive the war.  The co-incidence seemed unmistakable.  This John Kerwin had emigrated to New Zealand circa 1957/58 and died in Auckland in 1966 having served in the New Zealand Air Force.   John's father was Edward O'Kerwin of Dublin had served in the Indian Army and later as a messenger in Whitehall, London.   We are grateful to Jean for contacting us and all this clarification; she has been in direct contact with Eric Whittle in Australia.  We are still mystified about how, and if, Eric's father Bert Whittle met John Anthony Kirwan of Dungarvan;  according to Eric he apparently had a very sound memory of visiting Ireland with his young Irish friend and meeting his family down in the country. There is no doubt that the John in the photograph is John Kerwin from evidence of other photos held by his family in New Zealand.  John Kerwin's family was based in London and Dublin and there are no known contacts for this Kerwin family in Kilkenny.  Sadly Bert Whittle has now passed away but no doubt all three of these very brave men are able to have a good laugh about this where ever they now might be.  We thank the Kirwan family of Dungarvan for sharing information about their very brave relation John Anthony Kirwan and also Jean Kerwin of New Zealand for getting in touch with all her information about her grandfather John Kerwin.   Thank you everyone. 

Sunday, 25 July 2021

St Beacon's at Mullinavat

St Beacons's graveyard at Mullinavat presented quite a challenge to us. It had never before been recorded and the size of the graveyard was a daunting prospect for just two people.   It has upwards of 500 memorials and for ease of work we divided the graveyard into ten sections; this includes the memorials inside the church.   We have in fact managed to survey the entire graveyard but Covid and related restrictions have prevented us from double checking our work, something we must do before preparing the indexes and mapping.  We hope to get back to completing this work shortly.  But we do know what is there and can help you out if you are looking for a specific grave, even if at this stage we can't publish the work.
Mullinavat is the chief town of the Walsh Mountains in south Kilkenny.   St. Beacon's church in the Diocese of Ossory, was re-built in 1890 by Rev James Raftice PP and incorporated an earlier church which had been built on the site in 1805.   This earlier church was built during the pastoral charge of the Rev Peter Marum, PP of Kilmacow and Mullinavat.  It, and the graveyard that surrounds the church, stand on the townland of Garrandarragh.   We have also surveyed the older and smaller burial ground across the road at Kilbeacon; this has 42 memorials. these memorials in Kilbeacon are mainly catholic but there are a few protestant memorials, since once a protestant church stood on this site.  Many of these stones date from the mid 18th century with one bearing the date of 1701.  Unbaptised children were buried at the bottom of the Mullinavat chapel yard according to information given to the Irish Folklore Commission in 1937/38.

All the spelling are as we have found them on the memorials.  Spelling of names and places can sometimes be very erratic but we always copy exactly what we find on the memorials.  For example  there are six different spellings for Clonassay, Clonasy, Clonassy, Clonnassay, Clonnassey and Cloonesy.  Listrolin can be spelt as Listolan and on one very early stone dated 1820 appears as Lisbroling.

There are some very old an important families buried in these two graveyards and we have made a study of some of these families, trying to sort out precise relationships, beyond what can be found on the memorials.  Alice Walsh who died in 1884 aged 91years was the youngest surviving daughter of William Walsh (died 1794) of Ballylusky and Earlsrath and his wife Mary Fielding (died 1847), known as the widow Walsh.  Alice Walsh is constantly referred to as a near relation of Margaret Aylward, the foundress of the Holy Faith Order of Nuns.  Margaret Aylward was a daughter of William Aylward of Waterford, a wealthy bacon merchant involved in the Newfoundland trade.   William's sister Mary Aylward had married a Mr Walsh of Earlsrath; this is possibly the John Walsh who married a Mary Aylward at Trinity Within in Waterford on 20th October 1802.  Trinity Within was a church actively supported by William Aylward the bacon merchant.   William Aylward's traditional family burial place was at Kilbeacon.  There are several Aylward memorials in Kilbeacon and a very impressive memorial to William Walsh of Ballylusky and Earlsrath, his wife Mary Fielding and his family.

John Carroll of Earlsrath is another former resident of Mullinavat with links to both to Margaret Aylward and to Alice Walsh (died  1884).   John Carroll was a tenant's right leader but also somewhat eccentric.   He was born in 1809, the only son of Michael Carroll of Seskin Boyce, Lisdowney, and Bridget Walsh, one of the daughters of William Walsh and Mary Fielding.  Sadly Michael Carroll died unexpectedly aged 20 yrs on 9th February 1809.  There is a memorial erected to him in Barony graveyard, Lisdowney which has an extensive eulogy. The eulogy mentions his tender parents who were both obviously alive and his grieving widow but there is no mention of an orphaned babe-in-arms so John Carroll must have been born after his father's death.  These Carrolls of Seskin Boyce are of the house of Cullenwain, Kings county and of Leap Castle and were eminent old Irish gentry of the Princes of Eile O'Carroll stock.  At least three of his uncles died in America and five cousins also left for Illinios, some participating in the Indian wars there.  We are in touch with one of the descendants of John Carroll's relations in America.   

Alice Walsh (died 1884) gave £1000 to establish one of Margaret Aylward's Holy Faith convents at Mullinavat and John Walsh gave lands at Earlsrath where it could be erected.

Mullinavat is fortunate to have at least three separate collections of materials for furthering the study of local and family history.  The Mullinavat section of the Irish Folklore Commission Project done in 1937/38 gathered data and information from the local people about traditions, stories and people in the area.  Interestingly for us there is information about burial and funeral traditions in Mullinavat.  We have also recorded the names of all those who collected the information and also those who contributed information.  

The Poole Photographic Collection held in the National Library has 430 photographs in its collection of people who commissioned photographs with Mullinavat addresses between 1885 to the mid 1950s.  Most of these photographs date from the 1890s - 1930s and are portraits, cartes-de-visite, cabinet photographs, group photos or memorial cards.  A.H. Poole was a photographer who operated in Waterford. This is a wonderful resource for Mullinavat residents.

A rubbling from the memorial to James Scurry (1790 -1828) Irish language scholar. Note the Passion symbols - cross, spear, sponge, coat, 30 pieces of silver, pincers, hammer, nails, flail and crowing cock 

Finally we have included a study of about 85 former residents of Mullinavat who enlisted for military service during the 19th century. These records are held by the National Archives at Kew, London or at the National Army Museum.  The earliest record we found was for a Patrick Brien, born in 1784 in Mullinavat, who enlisted in 1805 for the Royal Marines; he later transferred to the Royal Artillery. Many of these records are useful as they predate any existing parish records or civil registration.    The history of these young men has been forgotten and perhaps their families are no longer represented, but they once did live here and walked around within the parish boundaries.   The range of exotic places they served in includes Afghanistan, Ceylon, Canada, China, Gibraltar, India, Malta, the Mediterranean, North America, South Africa and Turkey.  All these men were listed as Roman Catholics. bar one.   This is perhaps a surprising set of records but we used the "lockdown" as an opportunity to explore other ways of moving forward our research on Mullinavat, even though these soldiers may not be buried in Mullinavat. 

Hopefully it will not be too long before we can index the whole of the graveyard at Mullinavat and complete the mapping.   Thank you for your patience!

Friday, 6 March 2020

Kilfane Graveyard Thomastown co Kilkenny part 2

Lower graveyard dedicated to the Power family, Baronets of Kilfane

17. In loving memory of May Wilmot Beatrice Power eldest daughter of Sir Richard Power 3rd Bart Kilfane died 18th March 1966 aged 90 years.

18. Cross over carved boulders with regimental insignia.  Pro Patria Semper.  Sacred to the memory of Derrick Elliott Power Vth Baronet of Kilfane, Captain of the Rifle Brigade who died for his King and Country January 20th 1902 from fever contracted on active service in South Africa and was buried in that country aged 29.  Until the day dawn and the shadows flee away...Solomon 2: 17

19. Cross over carved boulders with regimental insignia., helmet, rifle, sword, water container...
Sacred to the memory of John Elliott Power 1Vth Baronet of Kilfane, Imperial Infantry who died for Queen and Country in South Africa.  Was mortally wounded at Lindley - died June 1st 1900 and was there buried aged 29.  Pro Patria Semper.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith Timothy 1V.7.  What I do knowest not now but thou shall know hereafter John X111. 7

20. In loving memory of  Richard Crampton Power, 3rd Baronet who died May 24th 1892 aged 49.  Lord of Hosts and The Eternal God is thy refuge and underneath is everlasting arms...(Deuteronomy 33:27) and they shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my Jewels: and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Malachi 3 : 17

21. In loving memory of Florence Anna Maria wife of the late Richard Crampton Power 3rd Baronet of Kilfane.  Born Oct 19th 1848.  Died April 20th 1909.  Let not your heart be troubled ye believe in God.  St John X1V.  Verse 1.  "Until the day break"  Song of Solomon Verse 17.

23. In loving memory of Kathleen Mab Power beloved daughter of Rev. Geo. B Power and his wife Constance.  Drowned while bathing in the Nore July 15th 1903 aged 22 years.  The Lord gave and the Lord taketh Away.  In Thy Presence is fullness and Joy.....The Lord Gave and the Lord hath taken away..Job. 1:21

The Waterford Standard for Saturday July 25th 1903 has a report of this drowning and funeral headed Kathleen Mab Power, daughter of Rev George Beresford Power and Mrs Constance Power, drowned July 15th 1903 aged 22 years.  The younger of two daughters of Rev. George Beresford Power, the Kilfane Glebe.  Miss Kathleen Power rode over on her bicycle to Coolmore to see Miss Connellan, only daughter of Major J.H.Connellan DL, JP.  After some time Miss Connellan and Miss Power accompanied by 2 young ladies staying at Coolmore proceeded to the the river to bathe.  Miss Power, who could swim little, swam to-far down the stream into deep water and became exhausted.  Miss Connellan who could not swim did try to help but was soon prostrate with grief.  One of the other ladies ran for help but it arrived too late to save Miss Power.
The funeral took place on Saturday morning from Kilfane Glebe and the great gathering of all ranks and classes was representative of this neighbouring counties where the desceased young lady was a universal favourite. 
The nobility, gentry and people of the counties of Kilkenny, Waterford and Tipperary envinced their sympathy with the Rev Mr and Mrs Power and family in their deep distress by attending in such large numbers that it would be impossible to give anything like a complete list of those present.
The chief mourners were the Rev. G. B Power amd Mrs Power (father and mother), Miss Power (sister), Mr Ambrose Bushe Power (uncle), Mrs Bellingham (aunt), Mr and Mrs Devaynes Smith (aunt and uncle), Lady Power of Kilfane and Miss Power,  Mr Villiers Stuart and Mr Raymond de La Poer (cousins).
Shortly after 11 o'clock the funeral started from the Glebe but so dense was the throng, that a considerable amount of time elapsed before the arrival at the burial ground, whence lies the remains of so many Power family who have ever held a foremost place amongst the leading gentry of Kilkenny.  The remains were enclosed in a suite of coffins, the inner one being of cedar wood, richly lined and upholstered, the outer coffin being of the finest polished oak, with solid brass mountings.  The shield bore the following inscription "Kathleen Mab Power  Died July 15th 1903 aged 22 years".
The Grave was made as if a bed of flowers, fit resing place for one who in the very morning of her life was in truth "cut down like a flower".

24. In loving memory of George Beresford Power Canon of St Canice's Cathedral and for 51 years  Curate and Rector of Kilfane Parish.. Died Trinity Sunday May 31st 1931 aged 82 years.
Father in thy gracious keeping, here we leave thy servant sleeping, underneath are everlasting arms.  Deut, XXX111.27  And the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.  Eccles. X11.7.  Also of Constance his wife. Died August 24th 1935.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Kilfane church and graveyard Thomastown, county Kilkenny

Samuel Lewis in his Topographical Dictionary of Ireland published in 1837 describes Kilfane as a parish in the barony of Gowran, 2 miles north of Thomastown with 898 inhabitants at that time and  with 90 children in the parochial school.  It comprised 3830 statute acres.  The Church of Ireland of Kilfane included the vicarages of Tullaherin and Blanchevillestown and in the Roman Catholic division it formed part of the union of Thomastown.  The 1851 Alphabetical Index of Townlands which was based on the census described Kilfane as having two sections, the Demesne East and West and within the Barony of Gowran and the Poor Law Union of Thomastown.

The Shell Guide to Ireland 1962 ( by Lord Killanin and Michael V. Duignan) states that Kilfane was the site of an early monastery and consisted of the ruins of a 14th century medieval church which served as the church of Ireland or Protestant church until 1850.  The inside of the ruins are very interesting and if you look carefully you can still see faint traces of painted medieval red crosses inside circles; these are near the doorways.  The tower on the north side was the priest's residence.  This graveyard contains both Catholic and Protestant burials.

Kilfane gets its name from St Paan, Kilfane meaning the church of St Paan.
Paan was the son of Bracan, a Welsh prince and  Dina, the daughter of a Saxon king.   They also had several other saints amongst their offspring which included Melaria, the mother of St David of Wales. 

The graveyards site is not so large but is in several sections.  Our survey and recording at Kilfane begins with Section One which is within the ruined church.  We then moved to Section Two which contains the six Seigne family memorials on the right side of the laneway and outside the enclosed graveyard.  Next we recorded the Lower Graveyard which we called Section Three; in this section you can find the entrance to the  Power Family Mausoleum which has been severely disturbed over the centuries. It is now locked shut.  We then returned to the enclosed graveyard which we divided into Section Four and Five.   Section Four, which contains the Catholic burials, is on the south side of the ruined church; these memorials continue all the way to the end wall of the graveyard.  Section Five lies across and behind the church on the east side. This is  where the Church of Ireland internments begin and this section continues around the church on its north side back to the entrance laneway. We have created a detailed map of this graveyard as not all the early stones are easily read or located.

Section 4 which contains mainly Catholic burials shows evidence of a vibrant and affluent Catholic community who had the funds to erect family memorials and headstones.  Altogether in this Section alone there are 22 memorials dating from the 18th Century. These are:- 1720, 1737, 1742, 1744, 1751, 1761, 1762, 1763, 1765(x2), 1770, 1772(x2), 1773, 1775, 1781, 1788(x2), 1789, 1790, 1794 and 1798.   Additionally there are 19 headstones dating from the period 1800-1850.  These are:- 1802(x2), 1807, 1809, 1811, 1815, 1818, 1820, 1822, 1827(x2), 1829(x2), 1828, 1830, 1832, 1833, 1837, 1840.

Section One: Inside the ruined church

1. Here lyeth ye body of Margaret Motley alis Jones who died Mar ye 3rd 1735.  The many Motley graves mentioned in 1974 Old Kilkenny Review at Kilfane are not evident there now.
Very Rev. James Mottley was the Catholic P.P. Kilmacow and Mullinavat in 1748, he died about 1756. He was a native of Kilfane.  His father was John Mottley and his maternal uncle was an unnamed Protestant Clergyman.  (See Carrigan in The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory) p144 Vol.1V).
At St John the Evangelist in Kilkenny city there is another Mottley memorial which is no doubt a relation of Margaret Motley buried in Kilfane church. (Here lieth the body of the Reverend Father Walter Motley parish priest of St Johns, He died september ye 27th 1750, aged 79 years.  Requiescat in pace. Amen).

2. Broken stone with two coats of arms on a shield - Martin Impailing Hartstronge.
Here lyeth the body of Mrs Eliza Follitt desceased wife of the Reverend Mr Thomas Martin, prebendary Kilmanagh and 2nd daughter of Sir Standish Hartstronge Bart, Baron of the Court of Excheqr in Ireland in ye reign of King Charles ye 2nd who departed this life ye 27th and was interred ye 10th day of October 1720 in ye 66 year of her age. 
The Latin part of this inscription translated in Memorials of the Dead (Vol)?.." I have made this grave in loving memory of wife who for 34 years enjoyed a close married bond in the same grave dust ashes united until the reunion altogether at the general ressurection.  Husband, sons and daughters confident of his care"  
The Rev Thomas Martin is probably identified with Thomas Martin, son of Thomas Martin of Limerick who entered TCD in 1677 and who obtained a BA 1684. He was made Prebendery of Kilmanagh 1710 by his brother-in-law, Dr John Hartstronge, Bishop of Ossory.  His will was proved in August 1730 and he left a son and two daughters - the Rev Hartstronge Martin married Sarah Weyms of Danesfort.  The two daughters of Rev Thomas and Elizabeth Hartstronge were - Mary who married Arthur Bushe of Kilfane and Martha who married William Waring of Pottlerath, county Kilkenny.  Sir Standish Hartstronge was for several years Recorder of Limerick before being made a Baron of the Exchechquer.


3. Here lyeth depositied in the hope of the resurrection to everlasting life Richard Lee late of Clonderla in the county of Clare Esqr., the son of Henry Lee Esqr., descended from the ancient family of Darnold Hall in Cheshire.  He dyed of small pox ye 12 day of March 1707 leaving only one son of 3 years old.

Rarely is justice done to the Just
In his case of necessity it must
Cause you'll speak well or you must silent be
He was composed of love and charity
A bright example to posterity
Reader if in his paths you rightly tread
Doubt not of being happy when you'r dead
Life here below he did but little prize
E'r having life above before his eyes
Ever remembering that the soul ne'r dyes

The initial letter of the first word of every line spells out Richard Lee. This is called an acrostic poem.

Henry Lee of Castle Craig, Tipperary was supposedly the grandson of Cromwell Lee KG and who settled in Ireland; he purchased in 1678 the lands of Barna or Rossacully, barony of Owney and Arra, county Tipperary.  In the same year a Henry Lee Esq., had a grant under the Act of settlement of Moyfadda in the Barony of Clonderlaw, county Clare.  It is unclear if these two Henry Lee are the same person or not.  Henry Lee Esq., had a son Richard of Clonderlaw, county Clare born in 1665 (will dated 8th May 1707 and proved 19th July 1707) who married Agnes sister of Henry and George Rose.  Richard's son mentioned on the above stone is thought to be Thomas Lee (born 1704) who married his cousin Susan Vandeleur of Kilrush (Her Lee descendent is via Elizabeth Crofton Esq., of Inchirourke, county Limerick;  Elizabeth Crofton married Rev John Vandeleur of Cragg, county Clare, Rector of Kilrush.

Two other headstones now lying flat within the church and close to each other
4. Erected by James Hendricken of Kilfane in memory of his daughter Elizabeth Hendricken who departed this life on the 1st January 1835 aged 22.  Requiescat in Pace. Amen
Mason: William Beck

5. 2nd stone lying flat;  Dcorated with a lancet window.  
Erected by John Lanigan of Kilfane in memory of his beloved wife Mary Lanigan alias Hendricken depd this life Septr 19th 1853 aged 62.  Also her father James Hendricken who departed this life Augst 15th 1840 aged 93 years.  Also her mother Abigal Hendricken who depd this life August 10th 1844 aged 76 years.  Requiescant in Pace Amen.
Mason: Thomas Beck.

6. Standing also inside the ruined church is a magnificent limestone effigy dated to circa 1320 of An Cantwell Fada meaning in English The Long Cantwell. This is a cross legged effigy of a  knight in full armour with the Cantwell arms on his shield and by tradition was the tomb and effigy of the ancient Lord of Kilfane and other lands in county Kilkenny.

7. A pile of broken memorial stones piled up and lying below the east window and to the left of the altar.  This is now all illegible but appears in The Clergy of Ossory as "Here lyeth the body of Revd M. Hartstonge Marten (sic) formerly Minister of the Union of Kilmanagh who departed this life on ye 27th Dec 1728 in the 37th year of his age".

8. Not found by us but recorded in the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead (submitted to that Journal by Mr John Hewetson) but now most probably broken up and beneath the pile of stones under the east window mentioned in No 7 above.  "Here lieth the body of Nicholas Marten A.M.(sic) late Prebendary of Blackrath...….He departed this life on the 13th day of January 1779 aged 75 years. Abi et imitare" (translates as Go and imitate). Nicholas Martin was the son of Thomas Martin and born in county Cork. He entered TCD in April 1722 aged 17, obtained a BA in 1727 and an MA  in 1731. He was Prebendary of Blackrath (anciently called Madokestown) in the Cathedral Church of St Canice from 1772 until his death.  The Ossory Will of Nicholas Martin of Irishtown, Kilkenny was proved in 1779.  For further information about his career see The Clergy of Ossory.

Below is a picture of the sedilia in the ruined church. This is to the right of the altar. Set into the south wall and used as seating for priests during services.

The image below depicts a Hagioscope or a Squint situated in the north east corner left of the altar.  A Squint is described as a narrow opening in an interior wall of a church allowing a view of the altar from the other side.   Ceremonies could be seen and heard, and in this case from the ground floor of the Presbytery, so that infirm members of the community could view the altar and the Celebrant but were not visible to the congregation.


Ogee headed doorway North facing


Section Two. The Seigne Family Plot
This consists of six memorials, five of which are lying flat and in a single line and enclosed behind iron railings on the right of the laneway, outside the walled graveyard to the south of the ruined church.   Each stone is decorated on the top with a carved chalice or urn

9. In memory of Joseph Seigne who died 2 June 1901 aged 91 years. Also in memory of Susan Seigne his wife who died 12th March 1892 aged 75 years. blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.

10. This monument is erected by Anthony Seigne of Dangan in memory of his beloved daughter Anne Minchin alias Seigne who depd this life on the 5th day of Augt in the year of Our Lord 185? aged 26 years. Also of her daughter Harriet Minchin that died young.

11. This monument was ereted by Anthy Seigne of Dangan in memory of his mother Anne Seigne alias Goff of Kilfane who depd this life the 16th of Novr 1805 aged 75 years.  Also his father Joseph Seigne of Kilfane who depd this life the 16th Augt 1810  aged 51 years.  Also his daughter Mary Seigne who depd this life 17th of Jany 1820 aged 26 years.

12. Erected by Thos Seigne in memory of his beloved father Mark Seigne who died Decmbr 11th 1827 aged 60 Years.  Here lies the remains of him who was loved as life by sons and daughters and tender wife.   Also his beloved sister Rebecca Seigne who departed this life March 11th 1828 aged 29 years.
13. In memory of Thomas Seigne of Kilfane Cottage who died Febry 20th 1871 aged 71 years.
He was beloved by many friends and earned a widespread respect as agent over the estate of Sir John Power of Kilfane during a period of nearly 50 years.  Also in memory of Maria Seigne his wife who died Novr 17th 1875 aged 77 years. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.

14. Upright slab inserted against the back wall.  This burial ground belongs to Joseph Seigne and this plate erected in memory of his beloved son Thomas Seigne who departed Novr 3rd 1795 aged 24.
Entrance gate to lower graveyard

The Power Memorials in the lower graveyard

A view Looking east on  north side of the ruined church

The Mosse Family Memorial, a Millstone commemorating William  Henry Mosse and his Wife Dora Eleanor Cranfield

List of names of the memorials

Bolger 110,
Bookle 55,
Boyle 47,
Brandon 114,
Bushe 111,
Butler 46, 88,
Byrne 99,100,
Cannon 88,
Cantwell 6,
Casey 15,
Chamberlain 115,
Cody 40
Cooke 39
Cranfield 120
Croke 15
Cummins 92
Cunningham 107
Darcy 75
Dempsey 22
Dixon 140
Dowling 73, 74
Dudley 128
Dunne 35
Edwards 75
Farrell 60
Flood 47
Flynn 60, 78
Foley 40
Follitt  2
Forde 103
Galway 82
Goff 147
Graham 147
Gready 41
Greenslade 112
Hara 55, 56
Hartstronge 2, 7
Halford 42
Heffernan 102
Henriken 4
Hendricken 5
Hickey 43
Holland 84
Irwin 115
Jones 1
Kealiner 66
Keefe 54
Kelly 34
Kearney 63,64
Laihain 28
Lanigan 107,108
Lee 3, 25
Maher 61
Marten 7,8, 57
McDonald 49
Meaney 83,84
Mercer 129, 131
Menchin 10
Miller 146
Moressey 86
Mosse 120
Motley 1
Murphy 44,55,61,71,93,104,108,147
Normoyle 128
Nowlan 43,44,45, 50, 51, 65, 66, 79
Pa;mer 147, 148
Pendergt 63
Power 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,21, 23, 24, 25
Purcell 27
O`Brien 91
O`Hara 55,56
O`Keeffe 94,102,113
Rice 35,51, 52
Riley 49
Robinson 127
Rothwell 146
Ryan 98,101
Seigne 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 37
Shehy 41
Shortill 83
Summers 87
Walpole 76
Walsh 56, 82, 93, 101
Watts 117
Whitelock 118
Williams 116, 130, 131,132, 133, 134, 135, 138, 139, 141, 142
Younge 119

List of places recorded on the memorials

Archer St 60
Bennetsbridge 120
Blackrath 8
Blackwell Lodge 119

Caran 35
Carhan 46
Clanderla 3
Clare 3
Chesshire 3
Clossgregg 110
Cloughscregg 34, 71, 78
Cloughscregg 22
Coum 49
Dangan 10, 11
Darnold Hall 3
Dunbell 52
Dungarvan 53, 100, 132, 138
Gowran 43
Huntingtown 53
Kilbline Stud 116
Kilfane 4, 5, 11, 13, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 28, 83, 84, 108
kilfane Church 25, 147
Kilfane Cottage 13
Kilinshawn 45
Kilkenny 40, 60
Kilkenny, county 119, 130
Kilmanagh 2, 7
Kilmurry House 15, 114
Kilmanagh 2,7
Lindley 19
Maddoxtown 64
Nore 23
Old Racecourse 58
Oldtown 119
Ossory 115
Queens county 119
Ruppa 86
St Canices Cathedral 24
Sligo 115
Smithstown 37, 94, 113
South Africa 18, 19
Stoneen 76, 101
Sugarstown 102, 103, 104
Summerhill 147
Tanragoe 115
Thomastown 22, 59, 75, 110, 107
Thostown 93
Tullaherin 101
Tullow Cottage 130. 131, 132, 133, 138
Tullow Lodge 141
Walkin Street 27

List of Occupations recorded on the memorials

Agent 13
A.M.  8
Archdeacon 115
Barron 2
Baronet 18, 19, 20, 21
Bart 17
Boys Brigade Captain 112
Canon 24
Captain 18, 115
C aretaker 25
Colonel 115
Curate 24
DSO 24
Flower Miller 120
Judge 115
Linen Draper 40
Lt. Col 147
Rector 24
Reverend 2, 7, 23
School Teacher 112
Venerable 115

List of masons and blacksmiths who have signed memorials

Thos Beck, Thomastown 5
William Beck, Thomastown 4
R Collis, Kilkenny 119
Downes, Kilkenny 115 (signed railings)
Molloy, Callan 116
Mullen, Kilkenny 76
O`Keeffe and sons, Waterford
O`Shea Callan and Kilkenny 115 (stone xv)

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Mullinavat Parish Church and Graveyard dedicated to St Beacon


 In the words of William Butler Yeats "a bee loud glade'  a tiny space in the Parish Graveyard of Mullinavat co Kilkenny

This beautiful little herb garden commemorates the sad loss of a little girl BlanĂ id with generations of her relatives. What a joy it was to come on the little space which was always alive with bees and butterflies, and the scent of herbs and flowers.

We were recording here last autumn before the weather put an end to our endeavours.  This is a very historic place and the Catholic graveyard enormous; so far we have transcribed about 280 memorials but there is more to come.  Everyday here was an exciting project for us and we will be out again shortly when the weather works with us.  This graveyard has important headstones including one commemoration James Scurry (1790-1828), the south Kilkenny Irish scholar. His headstone has part of the inscription in Ogham.  The earliest stones seem to date from circa 1800/1810.   Older and very ornate memorials may be found in the graveyard of Kilbeacon which is just across the road from from this graveyard.  We will also be including Kilbeacon is our work as the same families are recorded in both graveyards.  Thanks to Father Barron, the Parish Priest, we have also been able to record the memorials inside the church.