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I have come across two obituaries in newspapers from the state of New York for people who were originally from Paulstown.

The first is for what looks like the name of Michael Fenelon. The page of the newspaper is very worn. He died on 1 September 1891 in Brooklyn, New York City.[1] His parents were James and Catherine Fenelon. He was about 56 years of age when he died and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn. An address of his last place of residence is given. Again, the page is quite worn here but it looks like 83 Amity St, which is in Brooklyn.

The second is for Catherine O’Haire who died on 3 May 1931 at the age of 92 in the town of Niagara, NY.[2] She was born in the parish of Paulstown about 1839 and came to the United States in 1863. Her husband was John O’Haire and the obituary says that he died 33 years previously. They had two daughters and three sons and she was buried in Riverdale Cemetery.


[1] Author Unknown, Died in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 2 September 1891, p.5 ; digital image, Fulton History, http://www.fultonhistory.com ; accessed 02 April 2011

[2] Author Unknown, Mrs. O’Haire -92- Dies at Niagara in Niagara Falls Gazette, 4 May 1931; digital image, Fulton History, http://www.fultonhistory.com ; accessed 02 April 2011

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There are a number of articles in various local Australian newspapers about the life of Thomas O’Rourke. He was born in Paulstown on 8 September 1844[1] and emigrated to Australia with his mother, father and sister about December 1867.[2] His three brothers had emigrated before the rest of the family. He lived until he was 95 years of age and died on 24 August 1940.[3]

Some of the articles refer to his life before he moved to Australia. He talked about how he worked as a farm labourer in Paulstown and that the wage of the time was 4d (pence). The landowner that he worked for used to feed his workers and they were given “stir about” to eat.[4] This was a dish of coarse meal that was well boiled and eaten with milk. They were given this three times a day and got potatoes now and then. O’Rourke only ate meat once in his life before moving to Australia, stating that “I only tasted meat on one occasion and that was when my father and I were in Paulstown one day – we had a chop between us”. [5]

O’Rourke even had links to people in Paulstown who were born in the late 1700s. He outlined in one interview that when he was a boy an 80 year old man used to visit their house and tell them “tales of the early days”.[6]


[1] Author Unknown, Mr. T O’Rourke Celebrates 94th Birthday in The Longreach Leader, 10 September 1938, p.19; digital image, National Library of Australia, http://trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 1 April 2011

[2] Author Unknown, A Race for Life in The Longreach Leader, 1 December 1937, p.16; digital image, National Library of Australia, http://trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 1 April 2011

[3] Author Unknown, Death of Mr. T O’Rourke at Longreach in Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, 26 August 1940, p.8; digital image, National Library of Australia, http://trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 1 April 2011

[4] Ibid.

[5] Author Unknown, Mr. Thomas O’Rourke Celebrated 95th Birthday in Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, 13 September 1939, p.9; digital image, National Library of Australia, http://trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 1 April 2011

[6] Author Unknown, Mr. T O’Rourke Celebrates 94th Birthday in The Longreach Leader, 10 September 1938, p.19; digital image, National Library of Australia, http://trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 1 April 2011

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In 1891 The Immigration Act became law in the United States. This meant that much more detailed information had to be supplied on passenger lists for ships coming to the United States. For genealogists, this was of course a fantastic development as a place of last residence had to be supplied by immigrants.

Below is a list of five people who came to the US through the port of New York and gave Paulstown as their last place of residence.[1]

James J Byrne    Arrived 8 September 1901           Age 24  Single    Ship S.S. Celtic   Port of Departure Queenstown                Occupation Waiter          Last Residence Paulstown            Previously in New York in 1896            Brother living at 746 10th Avenue

Mary Stokes       Arrived 10 August 1898    Age 51    Single    Ship S.S. Majestic             Port of Departure Liverpool        Last Residence Paulstown     Final Destination Rochester

William Tracey   Arrived 10 August 1898    Age 27    Single    Ship S.S. Majestic             Port of Departure Liverpool        Occupation Farmer Final Destination Buffalo               Sister living at West Street, Buffalo, New York

Annie Upton      Arrived 6 November 1904            Age 20  Single    S.S. Etruria          Port of Departure Queenstown                 Occupation Postulant     Final Destination San Antonio Texas        Friend of The Superior of Divine Providence Convent San Antonio Texas

Kathleen Upton                     Arrived 14 October 1906          Age 18  Single    S.S. Etruria          Port of Departure Queenstown                Occupation Postulant     Final Destination San Antonio Texas        Friend of The Superior of Divine Providence Convent San Antonio Texas


[1] Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957; (National Archives Microfilm Publication T715, 8892 rolls); Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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This is the second post that has a compilation of surnames from the Paulstown area. The first post covered the townlands nearest the village of Paulstown. This post covers the neighbouring townlands to those nearest the village. They are Ballytarsna, Ballyvalden, Butlersgrove, Coolcuttia, Coorleagh, Garryduff and Kilmacahill. Please see the first article, via the link above, for how the names were compiled.

You can open the list as a pdf file via the link below.

Surnames of Paulstown II

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The 2011 Census of Ireland will be carried out on 10 April. The most previous census, in 2006, showed that the population of Paulstown increased by over 100%, from 292 to 598.[1] This is a tremendous change for any area in such a short amount of time.

To give some idea of the changing population of the village in the 20th and 21st centuries, I have included some demographic statistics from the Central Statistics Office in Ireland. It is important to remember that these figures cannot be compared against each other when two different area definitions are used.

Currently, I am unaware of what townlands are included in the Paulstown Electoral District. Ancedotal evidence would suggest that it might be just the three townlands where the village is located, namely Shankill, Paulstown and Kellymount.

YEAR POPULATION AREA DEFINITION
2006 598 Electoral District
2002 292 Electoral District
1996 221[2] Electoral District
1991 234[3] Unknown
1971 459[4] District Electoral Division
1961 239[5] Cluster of 20 houses or more
1951 83[6] Cluster of 20 houses or more
1946 89[7] Cluster of 20 houses or more
1926 70[8] Cluster of 20 houses or more
1911 493[9] District Electoral Division
1901 349[10] District Electoral Division

[1] Central Statistics Office. 2006. Alphabetical List of Towns with their population 2002-2006. http://census.cso.ie/Census/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=75478 : accessed 16 March 2011

[2] Central Statistics Office. 2002. Population of Towns ordered by County and size, 1996 and 2002 http://www.cso.ie/census/documents/vol1_t5.pdf: accessed 3 March 2011

[3] Central Statistics Office. 1991. Alphabetical list of towns tith their population in 1991 http://www.cso.ie/census/census_1991_results/Volume1/C1991_V1_T20.pdf : accessed 3 March 2011

[4] Central Statistics Office. 1971. Population, area and valuation of each district electoral division, urban district, rural district and county. http://cso.ie/census/census_1971_results/Volume1/C%201971%20V1%20T11.pdf : accessed 3 March 2011

[5] Central Statistics Office. 1961.  Alphabetical List of towns with population 1961. http://www.cso.ie/census/census_1961_results/Volume1/C%201961%20VOL%201%20T15.pdf : accessed 3 March 2011

[6] Central Statistics Office. 1951.  Alphabetical List of towns with population 1951.  http://www.cso.ie/census/census_1951_results/Volume1/C%201951%20V1%20T14.pdf : accessed 03 march 2011

[7] Central Statistics Office. 1946.  Alphabetical List of towns with population 1946.  http://cso.ie/census/census_1946_results/Volume1/C%201946%20V1%20T13.pdf : accessed 03 march 2011

[8] Central Statistics Office. 1926.  Alphabetical List of towns with population 1926. http://www.cso.ie/census/census_1926_results/Volume10/C%201926%20V10%20Chapter%20Appendix%20D.pdf :accessed 03 March 2011

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One of the main employers in the Paulstown area today is the limestone quarry in the townland of Kellymount, about one mile west of the village up the ‘Kellymount road’. It is one of the most technologically advanced limestone quarrying sites in Ireland and is owned and operated by Feelystone. Limestone from Paulstown has been used all over the world, including the Irish Famine Memorial in Toronto, Canada and The Irish Hunger Memorial in New York City. The Feely family purchased the quarry in the mid 1970s.[1] They have a long history in the quarrying industry going back to the 1790s in Roscommon. Limestone quarrying in Paulstown has an equally long history going back almost 200 years.

As early as 1802 the limestone at Paulstown is mentioned. Tighe’s Statistical Observations of Kilkenny notes that “there is a cave in the limestone rock of Paulstown, in the parish of Shankill.”[2] In 1833 the area is mentioned in a brief discussion of the “calcerous districts” of Kilkenny. The author notes that “there are many such in the limestone region of Kilkenny, of which those of Dunmore and Paulstown are the most spacious.”[3] The first detailed description comes from Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of 1837:

“At Kellymount and Shankill are some of the principal flagstone quarries in the county, the produce of which is chiefly sent by the Barrow navigation to Dublin, Waterford and other places, and generally sold under the name of Carlow flags: limestone is also quarried, and a considerable quantity of stone, coal and culm are obtained at Bornafea”[4]

The Ordnance Survey maps of the 1830s and 1840s show that there were three or four openings (blue dots on map below) in the ground where quarrying was taking place. They are in the same place as the modern day quarry. An 1852 publication also outlines the type of stone quarried in Paulstown, noting the presence of “flag and limestone quarries, coal etc.”[5]

At this time, the immediate leaser of the land (section 9 in map below) that contained some of the quarry openings was Edmund Staunton, Esq . It was being rented by John and Abraham Wynne with the land and buildings valued at £69.[6] The area of land rented by the Wynne’s covered 115 acres, 3 roods and 15 perches. Another portion of the quarry (section 13) was being leased by John Dawson from Edward Wynne. He was leasing 4 acres, 3 roods and 22 perches of land, a house and some other buildings which had a value of £6.[7]

The Ordnance Survey maps for the 1890 to 1910 period give a clearer picture of the mining activities. It shows two lime kilns and the main ground opening. This map seems to indicate that the opening shown in the map from the 1840s has been filled in with some trees growing on top. A newer quarry is located beside the previous one.

The 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland give some examples of people who have quarry related occupations living in the civil parish of Shankill. John Scanlon, 38, and Martin Scanlon, 35, are listed as ‘Flag Miners’.[8] They are unmarried and live with their father and sister in Shankill townland. John Walsh is listed as living in the townland of Coorleagh with the occupation ‘labourer in flag quarry’. He was 56 years of age at the time and living with his son Robert.[9]The Walsh family continued to be involved in the quarry into the years of the Second World War as it was operated by a Peter Walsh.[10]


[1] Byrne, Liam. 2010. Roscommon History. Online at http://www.roscommonhistory.ie/Misc/business/feelystone/feely.htm : accessed 9 December 2010

[2] Tighe, William. 1802. Statistical Observations Relative to the County of Kilkenny Made in the Years 1800 and 1801. Dublin: Graisberry and Campbell.

[3] Gorton, John. 1833 A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland Vol II. London: Chapman and Hall. p.424

[4] Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. London: Lewis, 1837. Print. p.551

[5] Sharp, James A. A New Gazetteer; or Topographical Dictionary of the British islands and Narrow Seas Vol II. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans. 1851. Print. p.557

[6] The Library Council of Ireland. Primary Valuation of Tenements in Ireland or Griffith’s Valuation. Kilkenny County, Gowran Barony, Shankill Parish, Kellymount Townland. P.118, Number and Letter Reference 9b, Abraham Wynne. Digital image askaboutirealnd.ie http://www.askaboutireland.ie : accessed: 22 March 2011. Dublin Ireland: OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland, 2003.

[7] The Library Council of Ireland. Primary Valuation of Tenements in Ireland or Griffith’s Valuation. Kilkenny County, Gowran Barony, Shankill Parish, Kellymount Townland. P.119, Number and Letter Reference 13, John Dawson. Digital image askaboutirealnd.ie http://www.askaboutireland.ie : accessed: 22 March 2011. Dublin Ireland: OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland, 2003.

[8] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Shankill, Townland/Street Shankill, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 45, Family of Ann Scanlon; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000923834 : accessed 22 March 2011; original manuscript not cited.

[9] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Shankill, Townland/Street Coorleagh, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 2, Family of John Walsh; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000923701 : accessed 22 March 2011; original manuscript not cited.

[10] Dunleavy, John. 2007. A Short History of Paulstown. John Dunleavy.

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One of the most well known and tragic attacks during World War I was the sinking of the Lusitana in 1915. Torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Cork, it sank quickly and claimed over one thousand lives with about seven hundred people surviving. One of those survivors, Michael G. Byrne, gave many details about the sinking in a letter to his wife. Extracts from the letter were published in the New York Times on 25 May 1915. The article outlines that after Mr. Byrne was rescued he eventually made his way to Paulstown, where he stayed with relatives.[1]

Michael Byrne was born in the late 1860s in Ireland. He came to New York around 1887 and married a German woman named Herminie in the 1890s.[2] The newspaper article notes that he was living at 444 West 50th St in Manhattan and it is at this address that the 1910 and 1920 US censuses show him living with his wife. [3] By 1920 they had been married 26 years and did not have any children.[4]

Section of 1920 US Federal Census population schedule


[1] Author Unknown, Submarine man observed wreck New York man writes. New York Times, 25 May 1915, p.4

[2] 1910 US Census, New York County, New York, population schedule, part of 22nd Ward, p.13b (stamped); dwelling 444, family 287, Michael G. Byrne; digital image, Ancesty.com, http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 December 2010; NARA microfilm T624 roll 1027

[3] Ibid.

[4] 1920 US Census, New York County, New York, population schedule 5th Ward, p.12b (stamped); dwelling 444, family 334, Michael G. Byrne; digital image, Ancesty.com, http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 December 2010; NARA microfilm T624 roll 1047

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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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I have created a listing of all the surnames/second names that I found in different genealogical resources that cover Paulstown. The geographical focus is the townlands of Paulstown, Kellymount, Shankill and Jordanstown, as these are the townlands I fell are closest to the village. The resources used are 1911 Census of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, Bassett’s Kilkenny City and County Guide and Directory, Griffith’s Valuation and The Tithe Applotment Books.

In total there are 224 surname spelling variations. I have taken the spelling of the name as is from the source which leads to different spellings of the same name in different time periods, for example, Walsh/Walshe, Coady/Cody, Oneill/O Neill/O’Neill etc.. Be sure to check for all possible variations of the name you are looking for.

If you find that a name you have is not listed that does not mean your ancestors were not from Paulstown. This listing is only for the four townlands which I feel are closest to the village. People would have put Paulstown as their home town/village on various documents even if they lived a few miles from the actual village. Also, as with all the large listings I compile, mistakes are probably  inevitable.

Click the link to open the pdf file.

Surnames of Paulstown I

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The map section below comes from the publication Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland by P.W. Joyce and  A.M Sullivan and was published in 1900. The original map is for county Kilkenny, hence the lack of colour and place names to the right hand side, as this is county Carlow.  The publication is described as  “A Comprehensive Delineation of the Thirty-two Counties, with a Beautifully Colored Map of Each, arranged Alphabetically, showing over 11,000 Cities, Towns, Villages, and Places of Public Interest.”[1]

The map names well known antiquities of the area such as Shankill Castle and Paulstown Castle. The proximity of the railway line to the village can be seen along with the nearby Monefelim river, a tributary of the Barrow.


[1] Joyce, P. W., and A. M. Sullivan. Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland. New York: Murphy & McCarthy, 1900. Print.

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