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Archive for July, 2011

I recently came across a short note about Tom Bambrick, who was a victim of the Thetis Submarine disaster in 1939. Tom was born in Baunreagh, Carlow, which is just across the county border from Baurnafea and Ballygurteen. He is buried in Paulstown. You can read the article by his niece, Brigid Evans, here (3rd article down).

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During the American Civil War a group emerged in England that was sympathetic to the cause of the Southern Confederacy States. The Southern Independence Association was founded on 9 April 1864[1] and even went as far as trying to get a bill through the British Parliament that called for the British Government to intervene on behalf of the Confederacy.[2] A list of members was printed in the Manchester Guardian newspaper and reprinted in The New York Times in May 1864. Among the names are a number of the Irish based aristocracy, including a member of one of the main landed gentry families of Paulstown. The entry reads:

William Flood, Esq., J.P., Paulstown Castle, Gowran, Kilkenny, Ireland


[1] Author Unknown, Our English Friends in The New York Times, 7 May 1864, p.8 ProQuest Historical Newspapers http://www.proquest.com accessed 18 July 2011

[2] Bateman, Tom. Really Neutral on BBC Radio 4 Website, 2 October 2010; available online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9054000/9054041.stm : accessed 18 July 2010.

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When the Famine struck in Ireland relief committees were set up all over the country to try and help the destitute, hungry and dying. The names in the document below come from subscribers to the Paulstown Relief Fund, County of Kilkenny compiled by Samuel Jefferies of Gowran.[1] Names such as Flood, Brenan, Maher, Healy, Byrne, Drennan, Harding, Wynn and Brophy are all listed.

At the end of the list of subscribers is a short note from the fund treasurer James Maher. It reads:

I acknowledge to have received from the forgoing subscribers to the Paulstown Relief Fund the several suries(?) attached to their names making a total of £171 received by me up to this date.

James Maher

Treasurer

13 June 1846

Irish Famine Relief Commission Papers 1844-1847


[1] Ancestry.com Ireland Famine Relief Papers 1844-1847 from The National Archives of Ireland Incoming Letters Numerical Series RLFC3/1/ 2010 accessed 19 May 2011

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Many parts of Ireland can lay claim to people who fought in World War I and World War II. Paulstown is no different. William Neary, born in Kilkenny City[1] in 1906[2], and who lived in Paulstown from a young age[3] until his emigration at the age of 22[4], fought in World War II with the U.S. Army.

Neary fought with the U.S. Army in the Pacific arena. Indeed he was captured by the Japanese and served as a Prisoner of War (PoW). Few U.S. soldiers managed to ever escape from the Japanese PoW  camps, but along with two Mayo men, Neary did just that.[5] Having escaped he stayed in Asia and served with the army throughout the rest of the Pacific campaign.

Neary came to the U.S. in 1929, departing from Cobh on 24 March. He sailed on the Baltic and arriving in New York on 2 April.[6] His passenger list states that he was going to the U.S. permanently, like countless other Irish people. His ultimate destination was to a cousin, Patrick Walsh, who lived in New Haven, Connecticut.[7] Whether he was actually meaning to go to New Haven is unknown but in the next year he turns up living and working at a United States Marine Hospital in Manhattan, New York City.[8]

Neary’s parents were William Neary Sr. and Mary Cody (Coady on some documents).[9] William Jr. had at least four brothers and sisters: Catherine, John, James and Margaret.[10] Neary and Cody were married in mid 1898[11] with William Sr. having also been born in Kilkenny City[12], most likely in 1873[13]. Mary Cody and her father were also born in Kilkenny City.[14]

In the first decade of the 20th century William Neary Sr. and his young family lived with his father-in-law James Cody. In 1901 the family resided on Kennyswell Street on the eastern outskirts of Kilkenny City, in the civil parish of St. Canice.[15] Their accommodation was modest, a house with a few rooms and a thatched roof.[16] James Cody was a widowed cattle dealer with his son in law, William Sr., working as a labourer, possibly in the cattle business with James.[17]

By 1911 the Neary family and James Cody had moved to Paulstown, living in the townland of Kilmacahill. William Jr. was 5 years of age at this time. William Neary Sr. is listed as the landholder and they seem to be living in slightly better accommodation as their house has a slated roof. [18]By this stage there is no mention of James or William Sr. working in the cattle business as both are listed as labourers.[19]

Cody/Coady is a name that has a long association with the Paulstown area. It turns up in every major set of Irish genealogical records going back to the Tithe Defaulters Lists of the 1830s. This could be a reason as to why the Neary family and James Cody came to Paulstown, perhaps he had family in the area and land became available to rent.


[1] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Kilkenny Urban, Townland/Street Kennyswell Street, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped),house 30, William Neary; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000926560/  : accessed 12 May 2011; original manuscript not cited.

[2] Ireland Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958, database, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/search/recordDetails/show?uri=https://api.familysearch.org/records/pal:/MM9.1.r/MNMW-YD4/p1 : accessed 12 May 2011), entry for William Neary

[3] The National Archives of Ireland, 1911 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Paulstown, Townland/Street Kilmacahill, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped),house 7, William Neary; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002638171/ : accessed 12 May 2011; original manuscript not cited.

[4] “New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957”, database, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com: accessed 12 May 2011), entry for William Neary, age 22, arrived New York, New York, 2 April 1929 aboard the Baltic

[5] Doherty, Richard. 2002. Irish Volunteers in the Second World War. Dublin: Four Courts Press. p.340. Story told to author in interview with Ed Brett of New Jersey, USA.

[6] “New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957”, Ancestry.com, entry for William Neary; accessed 12 May 2011

[7] “New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957”, Ancestry.com, entry for William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

[8] Ancestry.com, 1930 US Census, New York County, New York, population schedule, City of New York Borough of Manhattan, 34th Election District, 1st Assembly District, Sheet x, No House number, No family number, William Neary; digital image, Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 12 May 2011; citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1545

[9] The National Archives of Ireland, 1911 Census of Ireland, William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

[10] The National Archives of Ireland, 1911 Census of Ireland, William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

[11] Ireland Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958, database, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/search/recordDetails/show?uri=https://api.familysearch.org/records/pal:/MM9.1.r/MF2Z-ZFD/p1  : accessed 12 May 2011), entry for William Neary. The corresponding entry for Mary Cody has matching registration district, year, quarter, page and volume numbers. Their 1911 census form says they have been married for 13 years.

[12] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

[13] The National Archives of Ireland, 1911 Census of Ireland, William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

[13] Ireland Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958, database, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org/search/recordDetails/show?uri=https://api.familysearch.org/records/pal:/MM9.1.r/MFR7-MGG/p1   : accessed 12 May 2011), entry for William Neary

[14] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

[15] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

[16] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Kilkenny Urban, Townland/Street Kennyswell Street, Form B1, No Number, house 30, Dwelling of James Cody; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000926529/ : accessed 13 May 2011; original manuscript not cited.

[17] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

[18] The National Archives of Ireland, 1911 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Kilkenny Urban, Townland/Street Kennyswell Street, Form B1, No Number, house 7, Dwelling of James Cody; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000926529/ : accessed 13 May 2011; original manuscript not cited.

[19] The National Archives of Ireland, 1911 Census of Ireland, William Neary: accessed 12 May 2011

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The temperance movement has had a long tradition in Ireland from the efforts of individual priests during Penal times to the current Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. One of the most famous crusaders for this cause was Fr. Theobald Mathew. Mathew was born in Tipperary and became a priest in 1814. In 1838 he founded the Cork Total Abstinence Society in response to the widespread drunkenness he was witnessing.

From his modest beginnings he became known worldwide. He visited England and the US and gave the pledge to hundreds and thousands of people. In October 1842 Fr. Mathew visited Paulstown at the invitation of then parish priest Fr. Michael Brennan[1]. The following account is given in the Bengal Catholic Herald[2]:

The very Rev T. Mathew arrived at the residence of the Rev. T. Brannan the zealous pastor of Paulstown, diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, on Sunday week. Whilst in Goresbridge alone he administered the pledge to 5,000. He then left for the church at Paulstown, where he preached in aid of the new school there, and had a numerous and respectable attendance. After the sermon he administered the pledge to more than 7,000, in all 12,700; and distributed 25l (pounds) in charity, for the excellent parish priest.


[1] Repcheck, John Joseph. 1994. Father Mathew’s Irish Temperance Campaign 1839-1846. Madison: University of Wisconsin.

[2] Author Unknown. 1843. The Bengal Catholic Herald Volume IV. Calcutta: P.S. D’Rozario and Co.

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