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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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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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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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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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A moment from the present, but one that will be a part of Paulstown history for years to come. Colm Dunne, who is a student at Paulstown (Scoil Bhride) National School, was selected as one of three children to meet President Barack Obama on his visit to Ireland on 23 May 2011.

After meeting with the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, President Obama was brought to plant a tree and see the ringing of the peace bell in the garden of Áras an Uachtaráin. The bell was installed in 2008 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Belfast agreement. There President Obama and his wife, Michelle, met with the three children, including Colm.

Later in the day President Obama made his way to Moneygall, Co. Offaly, the home of his ancestor Falmouth Kearney who left Ireland for America in 1850.

Congratulations to Colm, his family and Paulstown National School. You can read more about the occasion and see a picture in an Irish Independent newspaper article here.

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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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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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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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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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