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Archive for the ‘20th Century’ Category

A recent article in the Irish Times highlighted one Kilkenny man’s quest to photograph all parochial houses in Ireland. The parochial house in Paulstown is included and can be viewed on this page. The house was the residence of the parish priest up to the late 1990s when it was purchased by the Barrett family. The parish priest now lives in a residence in Goresbridge village.

Currently, I am unaware of when the house was built. An aerial photo of the village, from the beginning of the 1900s, shows that it was built by this stage.[1] Likewise it appears on the OSI maps from the late 19th century and early 20th century.


[1] Paulstown Education and Historical Society (2007) Paulstown School Past and Present Paulstown, Kilkenny: Grange Silvia Publications. p.15

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After the Confederate rebellion in the 1640s vast tracks of lands were taken from the original landowners and given to adventurers and soldiers who had served under Oliver Cromwell. Published transcriptions from the Calendar of State Papers in relation to Ireland contain an interesting reference to what appears to be Henry Ireton, son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell, owning considerable amounts of land in Paulstown. [1]

Under the heading ‘Documents Relating to the Duke of York’s Claim in Ireland’, and dated 18 December 1667, a description is given of an address by the Commissioners of Settlement to the Lord Lieutenant (presumably of Ireland who was at the time was James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde) and Council. The address discusses how the Commissioners of Settlement were going about their business of settling new Protestant owners of the lands taken from their previous owners. It then outlines how they received a claim by a Doctor Robert Gorges, on behalf of the Duke of York (who at that time was James the II), that their work was unjust and illegal as the Duke was claiming many lands that were to be given to other people.

The following lands, amongst others in a number of counties, were claimed by Dr. Gorges on behalf of the Duke:

County – Kilkenny

Denominations and Acres – Shankill 1,702 acres, Jordanstown 224 acres, part of Garryduff 433 acres, part of Paulstown 355 acres

Former Owner – Henry Ireton


[1] Mahaffy, Robery Pentland (ed.). 1908. Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Ireland preserved in The Public Record 1666-1669. Office London: Mackie and Co.

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Included below is some genealogical information taken from two applications for U.S. passports where Paulstown is mentioned. The first is for John F. Martin whose father, Edward Martin, was born in Paulstown.[1] He applied on 9 May 1919. More documents were part of this application including an affidavit of identifying witness, a letter from the Knights of Columbus, an affidavit of birth and some letters from the War Department.

The second application came from Edward Vincent O’Rourke and was also made in 1919, on 3 October.[2] Edward’s father, William O’Rourke was born in Paulstown. This application also contained other documents. There was a letter from the Braden Copper company and an affidavit of birth where Anna O’Rourke is listed as Edward’s mother.

The italicized scrip shows where the applicant filled in information in his own handwriting. Text with a strikethrough was crossed out on the application.

John F. Martin

I John F. Martin a native and loyal citizen of the United States, hereby apply to the Dept. of State, at Washington, for a passport, accompanied by my wife.

I solemnly swear that I was born in De Pere in the state of Wisconsin, on or about the 15th day of March, 1868, that my father Edward Martin was born in Paulstown, Ireland and is now residing at dead, that he emigrated to the United States from the port of don’t know on or about 1848; that he resided 67 years uninterruptedly, in the United States from 1868 to 1915 at Utica NY for a few years and about 60 years at De Pere, Wn; that he was naturalized as a citizen of the United States before the Circuit Court at Brown County at Green Bay on Nov 4th 1856, as shown by the Certificate of Naturalization presented herewith; no certification on file only notation in record book

I am domiciled in the United States, my permanent residence being at Green Bay in the state of Wisconsin, where I follow the occupation of Lawyer; that I am about to go abroad temporarily; that I intend to return to the United States within 4 months with the purpose of residing and performing my duties of citizenship therein; and that I desire a passport for visiting the countries hereinafter names for the following purpose:

France                  Knights of Columbus War Relief Work

Great Britain      En Route

I intend to leave the United States from the port of New York, NY sailing aboard the unknown. My last passport was obtained from I never had a passport

 Description of Applicant

Age: 51 years / Stature: 5 feet 11 inches, Eng / Forehead: High / Eyes: Blue / Nose: Medium / Mouth: Ordinary / Chin: Ordinary / Hair: Brown / Complexion: Fair / Face: Ordinary / Distinguishing Marks: None

Edward Vincent O’Rourke

I Edward Vincent O’Rourke a native and loyal citizen of the United States, hereby apply to the Dept. of State, at Washington, for a passport.

I solemnly swear that I was born in Columbus in the state of Ohio, on or about the 5th day of September, 1895, that my father William O’Rourke was born in Paulstown, Co. Carlow, Ireland and is now residing at dead, that he emigrated to the United States from the port of Queenstown on or about 1882; that he resided 35 years uninterruptedly, in the United States from 1882 to 1917 at Columbus, Ohio; that he was naturalized as a citizen of the United States before the United States District Court at Ohio at Columbus on 1 – , as shown by the Certificate of Naturalization presented herewith

I am domiciled in the United States, my permanent residence being at Columbus in the state of Ohio, where I follow the occupation of Engineer; that I am about to go abroad temporarily; that I intend to return to the United States within 3 years with the purpose of residing and performing my duties of citizenship therein; and that I desire a passport for visiting the countries hereinafter names for the following purpose:

Chile So. America                             Mining Engineering

I intend to leave the United States from the port of New York sailing aboard the -.

Description of Applicant

Age: 24 years / Stature: 5 feet 9.5 inches, Eng / Forehead: Low / Eyes: Hazel / Nose: Large / Mouth: Medium / Chin: Round/ Hair: Dark Brown / Compexion: Dark / Face: Round / Distinguishing Marks: Mole on left jaw


[1] “U.S. Passport Applications 1795-1925”, database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 August 2011), entry for John Martin, 12 May 1919; citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.; Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; ARC Identifier 583830 / MLR Number A1 534; NARA Series: M1490; Roll #768, application # 80591.

[2] “U.S. Passport Applications 1795-1925”, database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 August 2011), entry for Edward O’Rourke, 7 October 1919; citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.; Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; ARC Identifier 583830 / MLR Number A1 534; NARA Series: M1490; Roll #768, application # 125556.

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Paulstown is just a little over a mile from the Kilkenny/Carlow border. As a result many people’s business, social and personal lives are orientated towards Carlow. A sporting example is found in the history section of the Carlow GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) website.

In 1931 the Carlow county hurling final, between Bagenalstown and St. Mullins, was played in Paulstown. Paulstown had also played in the Carlow county hurling championship in the preceding years.

You can read more about it here.

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Kildare Dobbs is an editor, writer and poet. He was born on 10 October 1923 in India and spent much of his childhood in Viewmount House, which is on the border of the townlands of Paulstown and Duninga. The house is on a boreen just off the Paulstown to Goresbridge road. Dobbs’ own genealogy is rich with family members who held positions of importance in religious life, the British military, education and on Anglo-Irish estates. Two examples being his maternal grandfather, who was a Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and Provost of Trinity College, and his paternal great-grandfather, who was an agent for the Wandesforde estate in Castlecomer. In 2005 he published an autobiography Running The Rapids: A Writers Life.

In the late 1920s or early 1930s the family purchased Viewmount House, “a Victorian mansion with walled gardens and fine trees”.[1] Dobbs outlines that “Viewmount was well named, sited in clear view of Mount Leinster…with a chimney piece of black marble”.[2]

Of relevance to this blog is a story he tells concerning threats made to his father. One Sunday the Dobbs family was at Church. The governess of the house, Miss Caldwell, cycled home to find a note with Evelyn Dobbs’ name (the father of the family) and a depiction of a coffin. The note menaced, “undo the conquest or I will riddle your orange carcass.” Miss Caldwell took the note to the Garda Barracks in Paulstown. An investigation ensued and two detectives were posted to Viewmount Hose to protect the family. The culprit was soon found out. Dobbs had originally bought 15 acres of the Viewmout lands with the remaining 45 acres kept by the land steward, named O’Mara. Seemingly O’Mara wanted to get his hands on all the land and had written the note. The conclusion was that Dobbs did not press charges and O’Mara left the county, he was “not a local man, and neighbours turned their backs on him”.[3]


[1] Dobbs, Kildare. 2005. Running The Rapids: A Writers Life. Dublin: The Lilliput Press. p.22

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid. pp.38-39

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Known as the “Old Man Registration”, these records come from the draft registration of older men that were collected for World War II.[1] All the men registered were born between 28 April 1877 and 16 February 1897 and were not already in the military. It was the fourth draft registration and was conducted on 27 April 1942. Two men, one from New Jersey and one from Massachusetts gave their place of birth as Paulstown. Records for eight states were destroyed and are incomplete for other states.

Thomas Carroll / Age:56 /   Born: Paulstown, Ireland / Residence: 307 Heights Road, Ridgewood, NJ / Date of Birth: 15 August  1885 / Emergency Contact: Amos P. Foy, 307 Heights Road, Ridgewood, NJ                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bernard Patrick  Cavanaugh  / Age:55 / Born: Paulstown, Ireland / Residence: High St, Woodshole,  MA / Date of Birth: 17 March 1888 / Emergency Contact: Catherine Cavanaugh, same address / Employer: M. A. Walsh Estate, Woodshole, MA.


[1] Ancestry.com. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Database. Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com: 2010

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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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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 Irish World Newspaper was published from 1890-1905 and served the Irish community in New York City and beyond. Below are one marriage and five death notices that were published in the paper.

Married – 1890                                                                                                                                                                                                              Patrick Maher and Margaret, only daughter of the late Nicholas Comerford, Killen were married at St. John’s Church on April 15th by Rev. J.P. Mulhall, Paulstown.[1]

Died – 1896                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Mrs. Patrick Rowan of Paulstown, died 26 April, widely respected. Requiem services were held in Paulstown.[2]

Died – 1898                                                                                                                                                                                                                      James Healy Brennan – 6 January at Paulstown Co. Kilkenny. Internment at Paulstown. Office and High Mass were held in the chapel. Funeral largely attended.[3]

Died – 1902                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mr. Thomas Hanlon of Ennis-Court (probably Fennis Court?), Pugnalstown (probably Bagenalstown?), passed away on 13 April, at the age of 61 years. The Office and high Mass in Paulstown Church and the funeral to Old Leighlin cemetery was very numerously attended.[4]

Died – 1904                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr. John Hanlon of Greenwood, Shankill died 11 December to the great sorrow of his family and friends. The funeral took place in Paulstown and was largely attended by all classes. Office and High Mass took place in Paulstown Church. Celebrant Rev E. Hipwell, Goresbridge. The other clergy present were Rev. R. O’Brien, Paulstown; Rev. J. Coyle, Leighlinbridge; Rev. J. Foley, Leighlinbridge; Rev. P. Murphy, Bagenalstown; The chief mourners were: John, Richard, Michael, Patrick and Joseph Maher, sons; Martin Meaney and Simon Meaney, grandsons; Philip Murphy, E. Wynne and J. Wynne, nephews; James, Michael, Thomas and Denis Hoynes, Jeremiah, Philip and Martin Maher, cousins.[5]

Died – 1904                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The death of Mr. Walter Walsh, Courtnabohilla, 23 June occurred. The funeral was one of the largest witnessed for a long time. Rev. Father Lalor of St. Paul’s, Paulstown officiated. Chief mourners: Laurence, Patrick and James Walsh, brothers; Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Mulrooney, sisters; Thomas and Patrick Walsh, Patrick Ryan, John and Thomas Murphy and C.W. Mulrooney, nephews; Kate, Ellen and Mary T Walsh, Kate and Ellen Ryan, nieces;  Martin Murphy, Edward Mulrooney and Pierce Ryan, brothers-in-law.[6]


[1] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The New Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 15 May 1890, p.2; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[2] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The New Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 23 May 1896, p.3; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[3] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The New Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 29 January 1898, p.3; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[4] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The Irish World (Leinster – Carlow section), 10 May 1902, p.7; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[5] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 30 January 1904, p.9; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[6] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 23 July 1904, p.9; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

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The following report comes for a 1902 edition of the St. Louis Republic newspaper.[1] Two nuns at the Visitation Convent in St. Louis, Missouri celebrated their golden jubilee on the same day. One of the sisters, Mary Beninga Craden, was reported as having been born in Paulstown 75 years previously, in about 1827. When she was 19 years of age she went to the US, travelling to St. Louis. She stayed with relatives for a number of years before entering the sisterhood in 1850. After their coronation mass a reception was held in their honour.


[1] Author Unknown, Golden Jubliee of Two Sisters in The St. Louis Republic, 29 August 1902, p.14; Chronicling America http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov accessed 17 April 2011

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