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Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

An entry on a website dedicated to the memory of Special Forces who have died from World War II to the present day lists the details for a man who is buried at the New Cemetery in Paulstown.

John Heffernan died 24 Sept 1957 and served as a private in the PARAS 2 – Parachute Regiment. His date of birth is given as 3 December 1933. You can read the entry here.

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A list of soldiers from county Kilkenny who died in World War I was published in the Kilkenny People newspaper in November 2011. The names of those from Paulstown are transcribed below.

Name / From / Date of Death / Place of Death

Gleeson, John / Paulstown / 29 May 1918  / Unknown

Gleeson, Richard / Paulstown / 4 September 1918 / France

O’Neill, Michael / Paulstown / 19 March 1916 / Unknown

Tobin, Edward / Paulstown / 21 April 1917 / France

You can read the full list here. I hope to write more in-depth articles in the future about those from Paulstown who fought in World War I.

I would like to thank a reader of this blog for directing me towards this resource.

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Kellymount, the townland which makes up one third of the village of Paulstown, is named after Joseph Keally/Kelly (1673-1713). Previous to this it was known as Ballimcloghlin[1], Baile Mhic Lachna in Irish[2]. The earliest instance of a name for the area comes from the Calendar of Deeds of the 1220s with Balimaclacth given.[3]

Joseph Keally, was a descendant of Maurice O’Kelly, who had fled from county Offaly after the massacre of Irish chieftains at Mullaghmast about 1578.[4] O’Kelly settled in the Gowran area and over the following decades the family name changed to Keally. Joseph Keally was born in 1673 to John Keally and Elizabeth Cuffe, daughter of Captain Joseph Cuffe of Castle Inch, Kilkenny.[5] Keally married Elizabeth Monke in 1707.[6]


[1] Like most Irish place names before standardization there are many spellings. This version comes from ‘Pender’s Census’ of 1659

[2] ‘Placenames Database of Ireland’, database, logainm.ie http://logainm.ie/Viewer.aspx?text=kellymount&streets=no : accessed 4 November 2011, entry for Kellymount

[3] Ibid.

[4] Lynch, Kathleen. 1938. Congreve’s Irish Friend Joseph Keally in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (PMLA). Vol 53, No, 4, p. 1077

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., p.1081

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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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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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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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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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