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Archive for the ‘18th Century’ Category

In the grounds of Shankill Castle there are the ruins of an old church and graveyard. This church would be quite old as it is shown in ruins on the Ordnance Survey maps of Ireland from the 1830s-1840s period.

Towards the end of the 19th century an organization called the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead was formed in Ireland. Members of this group spent their spare time visiting graveyards and transcribing the information on headstones, vaults and tombs. Many of these graveyards are in a total state of disrepair today and that makes the journal published by the association very valuable.

In the journal for the year 1900, a Mr. C.J. Hobson writes about how he visited this church and graveyard and transcribed what he could.[1]The relevant genealogical information from his transcriptions are reproduced below.

Elizabeth Ayleward, alias Butler, died 21 October 1708.  She had two daughters. Monument erected by her husband Peter Aylward in 1719.

John Gorges Hely Mulhallen of Malcolmville, Carlow died 1 April 1860 age 66. Erected by Frances.

Mary Cody, alias Purcell, died 31 February 1782, age 51 years.

Dennis Ryan, died 9 May 1800, age 70 years.

Erected by Michael Cooke in the memory of his father Thomas Cooke, late of Kellymount, died 16 December 1801, age 70 years. Headstone carved by John Brennan, stone-cutter, Royal Oak

Gregory Murphy, died 29 April 1768, age 21 years.

Michael Murphy, died 26 January 1771, age 60 years. Erected by his son Michael. Also, son Joseph died 26 December 1787, age 45 years.


[1] Hobson, C.J. 1900. Shankill or St. Kill Parish in Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead. Vol.4 No.3 Part 1, pp.432-434.

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During the 19th and 20th centuries the parish priest was a dominant personality and the enforcer of morality in the parishes, villages and towns of Ireland. The list below gives the names of all those who have served as the priest in the parish of Paulstown. The parish of Paulstown and Goresbridge was created circa 1822 with an entry in the Graiguenamanagh parish registers stating that “1822 – About this time Goresbridge was taken from this parish and with Paulstown, made a separate parish.[1] Today, according to the website of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, the parish is called Paulstown.[2]

The list of priests from Michael Brennan (1833-1851) to the current priest, Fr. Laurence Malone, is to be found in chapter fourteen of Paulstown Schools Past and Present.[3] To supplement this list, I have added examples from other sources where their names were also found. I have also found some examples of priests who served in Paulstown from before the time of Michael Brennan.

1618                        Sir Edmund Seix, listed as someone who says mass and sometime stays with Sir Richard Butler of Pawlestown[4]

1704                       Anthony Forstall, listed as PP of Graiguenamanagh and Paulstown[5]

1704                       William Walsh[6]

1731                       William Walshe,listed as PP of St. Kill and Kilmacahill[7]

1733                       William Walshe[8]

1741                       Dr. Walter Jacob[9]

1766-1783           Paul Cullen, listed as PP of Leighlin, Wells, Shankill and Kilmacahill.[10] He could have served as priest before 1766 as this year is the first time he is mentioned in documents as the priest of this area

1796                       William Cullen[11]

1824-1829            Daniel Nolan[12]

1830-1833            James Maher[13]

1833-1851            Michael Brennan[14]

1851-1870            Bernard Kinsella[15]

1870-1901            Patrick Joseph Mulhall[16][17][18]

1901-1934            Richard O’Brien[19] (See footnote)

1934-1948            Mark Walshe

1948-1950            James Breen

1950-1962            Cornelius Brennan

1962-1977            James Kavanagh[20]

1977-1978            Pierce Kavanagh

1978-1996            Sean O’Laoghaire

1996-2000            James O’Connell

2000-2004            Tom McDonnell

2004-2011            Laurence Malone

2011-Current        John McEvoy


[1] Comerford, Michael. 1886. Collections Relating to the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin Vol 3. Dublin:J Duffy and Sons. p.336.

[2] Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. 2011. Parishes. Available at: http://www.kandle.ie/parishes/paulstown/ : accessed 28 February 2011.

[3] Paulstown History and Education Society. 2007. Paulstown Schools Past and Present. Kilkenny: Grange Silvia Publications. p.101

[4] Comerford, Michael. 1886. p.335.

[5] Carraigan, Canon William . 1905. History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory Vol 3. Dublin: Sealey, Bryers and Walker p.412

[6] Ibid. p.281. Walsh could have taken over from Forstall in this year or it could be a mistake on the part of Carrigan to list two different priests in the same year.

[7] Comerford, Michael. 1886. p.335

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid. p.336

[11] His name is on a tablet in the current Roman Catholic Church as the serving priest when the church was built in 1796.

[12] Catholic Record Society of Ireland. 1984. Archivium Hibernicum. Unknown vol but between 39-44

[13] Boase, Fredrick. 1897. Modern English Biography. Truro: Netherton and Worth. p.1622.

[14] House of Commons. 1836. House of Commons Papers: Report from Commissioners, Poor Law Ireland Col XXXI.  p.72

[15] Kavanagh, James. 1865. Catholic Directory, Almanac and Registry for Ireland, England and Scotland. Dublin: John Mullany. p.189

[16] Keogh, Canon. 1872. The Irish Catholic Directory, Almanac and Registry. Dublin: John Mullany.

[17] Bassett, George Henry. 1884. Kilkenny City and County Guide and Directory. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker. p.318

[18] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Paulstown, Townland/Street Kellymount, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 1, Patrick Mulhall; digitial image, The National Archives http://census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Kilkenny/Shankill/Kellymount/1449156/ : accessed 21 February 2011: original manuscript not cited.

[19] In the 1911 Census of Ireland Richard O’Brien is listed as a curate and living in Goresbridge. Peter Kavanagh is listed as a priest and living in Paulstown.

The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Paulstown, Townland/Street Paulstown, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 12, Peter Kavanagh; digitial image, The National Archives  http://census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Kilkenny/Paulstown/Paulstown_Town__part_of_/567547/ : accessed 21 February 2011: original manuscript not cited.

[20] Duffy, J. 1968. The Irish Catholic Directory. p.164

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Topographica Hibernica or the Topography of Ireland Ancient and Modern…..was written by William Wenman Seward and published in 1797. The book gives an account of many different area in Ireland including the townland of Kellymount.   The relevant section discusses the Kellymount Gang and a battle fought between the inhabitants of Carlow and Kilkenny over the boundary between the two counties. I am currently not aware of what battle the article refers to.

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The extracts below are from the whimsically titled A Tour Through Ireland in Several Entertaining Letters written in 1748 by W.R Chetwood.[1] On his journeys Chetwood travels from Cork to Dublin.  Over three pages he discusses what seems to be the areas around Paulstown.  The passage from the book comes after he has left Kilkenny and before he comes to modern day Bagenalstown and Leighlinbridge in county Carlow.

He refers to the ‘seats’ of two men, but for some reason does not spell their name in full. However, A —–D and F—D  would correspond with Aylward and Flood, the two principal land owning families in the Paulstown area at the time. The description he gives of the house in which A —– D lives also corresponds with Shankill Castle, where the Aylward family lived.

He then gives a detailed account of stopping at an inn where the Kellymount Gang are known to frequent. Kellymount is a townland which forms part of Paulstown village. He describes in detail how they became so notorious that “the whole country trembled at this name.”

The extracts below are from pages 205-207 of the publication. For a better understanding of some words, the ‘f’ shaped letter should be replaced with the letter s.


[1] Chetwood, W. R., A Tour through Ireland in Several Entertaining Letters: Wherein the Present State of That Kingdom Is Consider’d … Interspersed with Observations on the Manners, Customs, Antiquities, Curiosities, and Natural History of That Country … London: Printed for J. Roberts …, 1748. Print.

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The first road map of Ireland was published in 1778, as surveyed by George Taylor and Andrew Skinner in 1777.[1] They had previously surveyed the roads of Scotland before raising 2000 pounds from the noblemen of Ireland to survey the roads.[2] Page 118 shows a section of the Dublin to Cork road from just north of Old Leighlin and Leighlinbridge in Carlow to Clara in county Kilkenny. This section of road passes through Paulstown. The village, and surrounding areas, can be seen on the right panel. About half way along the road is the county boundary between Carlow and Kilkenny (“Enter Kilkenny Co.”). Just above this is the relevant area, listing Shankill and Kellymount, with the roads forming an almost square shape. The Paulstown name is located slightly to the left and above these names, indicating the area where Paulstown Castle is located. The two prominent land owners of the area, Flood and Aldward (sic) are also listed.

The image can be clicked to enlarge.


[1] Taylor, George, and Andrew Skinner. Taylor and Skinner’s Maps of the Roads of Ireland, Surveyed 1777. [London]: Published for the Authors … Sold by G. Nicol … I. Murray … London and by W. Wilson … Dublin, 1778. Print.

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