If your ancestors left County Kerry in the late 1700's or early 1800's it is useful to know that there was a flax growing industry in Kerry. We have a list compiled by the Irish Linen Board in 1796 that survives of people who were engaged in flax growing and your ancestor may be on it. Though Donegal and Tyrone have the highest number of flax growers, Kerry is also represented. The list includes the name of the Civil Parish or the Barony in which the grower lived.
You can find more information about flax growing here
As I was researching another Flaherty family, I came across a marriage record for Thomas Flaherty and Honora Gaynor in Ballyheigue on July 23rd 1895. Thomas' address is given as Black Hawk County, Iowa. As you can imagine, this was a very exciting find. Honora's address is given as Glenderry.
I couldn't leave this without searching further. So off I went to familysearch.ie and found the following
John Martin Flaherty born to Thos. Flaherty & Nora Gaynor Nov 23rd 1897 in Lincoln Township, Pocahonatas, Iowa
According to the US Federal Census 1910, Thomas and Nora also had Lillian born c1901 and Marie born c1904.
Edward Thomas Flaherty born July 9th 1913
The 1920 US Federal Census describes the family still living in Grant, Pocahontas, Ohio. Grant Township was established in 1870 and was named after President Ulysses S. Grant.
Thomas gave his immigration year as 1880 and Nora (Nona as per transcript) gave hers as 1895 (transcript says 1885) Thomas was a farmer.
They are both described as naturalised citizens so that is the next research step.
It seems likely that Thomas Flaherty died in 1945 and is buried in Calvary Cemetary, Pocahontas, Iowa.
Whilst every attempt is made to be accurate, mistakes happen, especially when tiredness kicks in.
Slater's Directory of Ireland 1894 recorded the population of Fenit as 366. By 1901, when the Census was taken the population had decreased to 197. Of this 197 men, women and children, the 1901 Census enumerated 35 distinct families.
Baily, Margaret Retired Publican
Boorman, Ernest Coast Guard Boatman
Browne, John Farm Labourer
Burgess, Robert James Officer HM Customs
Comley, George Navy Seaman Coast Guard
Dwyer, John Blacksmith
Ferris, Edmond Labourer
Flaherty, Timothy Farmer
Hamilton, Alexander Coast Guard Station Officer
Hedges, Arthur J Coast Guard Boatman
Hurly, John C D Landlord & Justice of the Peace
Kelly, Michael Agricultural Labourer
Lawlor, Maurice Fisherman
Lynch, Daniel Stevedore
Moore, James Farmer
Murphy, John Farmer
Murphy, Patrick Farmer
McCarthy, Robert Harbour Master
McCarthy, Hugh Farmer
OLeary, Patrick Constable RIC
O'Sullivan, Johanna Hotel Proprietor
O'Rourke, Thomas Constable RIC
Parker, Robert Farmer
Parr, Thomas James Coastguard Boatman
Raines, Thomas Coast Guard Commander
Riordan, Timothy Retired Labourer
Sampson, Martin Station Master
Sheehan, Edward Crasie Driver
Sheehan, Thade Assistant Harbour Master
Slattery, John Farmer
Sullivan, Mary Farmer
Tansley, Thomas Coast Guard Pensioner
Wilders, William E Acting Seargent RIC
I started this bit of research to see if the Crowley family of modern day Fenit were living in Fenit in 1853. This was not the case. However, they were not far away!
I extended my search to the Civil Parish of Ballynahaglish and found the following;
Crowley, John-Ballygarron (townland) Number 7
Crowley, Laurence-Ballymakegoge Number 9
Crowley, Mary-Tawlaght Number 1
(Fenit is just to the left of Number 1 like the pointed toe of a shoe.)
Sources Griffith's Valuation and www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlker/fenit.html
Griffith's Valuation gives us a snapshot of the families in Fenit in 1853.
To my surprise, I found a John Sheehan tenant of Miss S.A.E. Locke in Fenit Within at that time.
Other families listed were;
Maurice Collins of Frogmore House, Spa, Tralee, Co. Kerry made a compensation claim for a motor car forcibly removed from his house by armed men on June 20th 1922.
Maurice Martin Collins was baptised on Nov. 14 1889 in St. John's RC Church Tralee. His parents were John Collins and Honora Keane.
John, of Tralee, and Honora, of Parkeragh married on Jan. 29th 1878 in Ballymacelligott (Ballymac)
Tralee baptisms list siblings; John 1879, Margaret 1880, Patrick 1881, Michael 1883, Denis 1885,
In 1911, Maurice was living with his mother Hannah and brothers Patrick and Michael at Knockanush West, The Spa. The three brothers are listed as Flour Merchants.
The 1901 census showes the family living in Castle St., Lower, Tralee with 2 Clerks and 2 Servants. Maurice's mother was recorded as Nora in this record.
It is worthwhile to browse the Compenation Claims records on the National Archives website to see if your family put in a claim.
My great great grandmother Catherine Gallivan married John Hurly on 12/2/1870 in Castlegregory. She was the daughter of Thomas Gallivan and Mary Fitzgerald (my 3x great grandparents who married in 1832) and was born in Aucasla in 1842.
Her siblings were
Gerald 1839 m Bridget Hurley of Annagh in Tralee, 1872,
(Mary 1873, Honora 1874, Patrick 1876, Margaret 1878)
In Griffith's Valuation in 1852, Thomas Gullavan is listed as living in Aughacasla North, Civil Parish of Killiney, Poor Law Union Dingle. His landlord was Thomas Day. His land and house had a value of £10.
It is likely that the Garrett Galvin listed in the 1901 Census is of the same family. Galvin, Aughacasla North 1901
If you are descended from Thomas Gallivan and Mary Fitzgerald, I would love to hear from you.
In the 1901 Census, there are 860 teachers recorded in County Kerry, including some who had retired from teaching.
At that time in Kerry, there was 42,010 children aged 5--15yrs, though many children over 12 would not have been attending school.
831 teachers were members of the Roman Catholic Church.
The majority of the teachers were born in County Kerry (733).
Two teachers were born in America; Michael Ashe of Annagap and Kathleen Lee of Bridge Street, Caher.
Four teachers were born in England;
Julia Jane O'Shea, Cantra, Ventry
Jeremiah J OConnor, High Street, Killarney
Catherine Keohane, Lackeen, Dromore
William Osbaldeston, The Mall, Dingle.
One teacher was born in Australia; Mary Martyns of Convent Lane, Castleisland.
A little under half of the teachers were married (349).
19 were widows.
11 teachers were widowers.
Just over half of the teachers were women (471).
484 teachers were recorded as having both Irish and English.
Unfortunately, the Census does not record which schools the teachers taught in.
Some schools have collated the history of their schools and put the information online. A good example of this is Lissivigeen National School, Killarney
While visiting a family grave in Annagh Cemetary between Blennerville and Curraheen, on the Tralee to Dingle road, I came upon the grave of Beatrice Caroline Fitzgerald-Harris nee Nesham 1881-1968. Beatrice Caroline was born in Stoke Devonpot, England and I began to wonder how life had brought her so far from home.
I first found Beatrice Caroline in the 1901 UK Census living with her widowed mother Constance, in 142 Houghton Cottages, Warblington, Hampshire. Constance is recorded as ‘living on her own means’. They have 1 servant Bellie Manchaster, age 23, born in Portsmouth.
I went back to the 1891 Census and found Beatrice age 9, a boarder in the town of Clewer, Berkshire. The Headmistress is Mary E. Berkeley.
In 1911, Constance is living as a boarder in the house of Ann Leslie Hine, 39 Ashburton Road, Southsea. She is recorded as an Officer’s widow. She is still 50! In the same Census, Beatrice is visiting the home of Frederick H S and Edith Le Mesurier, The Border Regiment, Falklands, Standford Hill, Liphook, Hants.
I went back again to the 1881 Census to see if Beatrice Caroline had been born at the time of the Census but found the following instead. Constance E. Nesham, age 31 (born Argyll, Scotland) is living at 103 Molesworth Terrace, Devon, Civil Parish of Stoke with her son Thomas age 11 months born in Devonport, Devon. She has 2 servants Ellen White 18, a nurse born Perrenworthal? Cornwall and Maria Steer age 34, cook and general servant born Almington, Devon.
A google search for the name Thomas Nesham, Beatrice Caroline's brother yielded the following sad information;
THOMAS PEERE WILLIAM NESHAM
LIEUTENANT ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY ONLY SON OF THE
ADMIRAL NESHAM & CONSTANCE HIS WIFE BORN 2ND MAY 1880 Devon.
Died AT TWEEBOSCH, Western Transvaal 7TH MARCH 1902
Thomas senior died 1900 in Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. (familysearch.org)
Adding up everything I had learned thus far, I was able to search for and find a Marriage recorded for Thomas Peere W. Nesham to Constance Eliza Colquhoun, Apr-Jun 1877, Totnes, Devon, Vol. 5b, page 329. (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl)
But this brought me no closer to finding Beatrice Caroline after 1911, so again I went to familysearch.org with Beatrice Caroline Nesham and the surname Fitzgerald-Harris and found that on Jan. 22 1912, Beatrice Caroline married John James Fitzgerald Harris, Country gentleman in the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew and St. Michael, Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa. (source familysearch.org)
A further search led me to the sad information that just 8 years after their marriage Beatrice Carolin's husband died.
HARRIS, JOHN JAMES FITZGERALD.
Rank: Major. Regiment or Service: South African Infantry. Unit: 1st Regt.
Age at death: 43. Date of Death: 20-January-1920 Awards: O B E.
Supplementary information added read that Beatrice Caroline was of Feirm Bawn, Doughcloyne, Co. Cork.
Now Beatrice Caroline, born of a Scottish mother and an Admiral father, sister of a veteran of the Boer War and wife of an Army Major, lies within sound of the sea, at the foot of the mountain in Annagh Cemetary.
The Census undertaken in Ireland in 1911 returned the population of Kerry as 158,297 men, women and children. It is a wonderful resource for us which gives us a window into to the lives of our ancestors.
Over the past few months I have begun to explore the Census in different ways. One aspect I am fascinated with is that this Census tells us where people were born.
In Kerry in 1911 there are
701 people listed as born in England
466 people born in the United States (367 state America as their place of birth and 99 as the U.S.)
161 born in Scotland
41 in Wales
37 in India
13 in Australia and
4 in Canada.
So though the number is relatively small, it is clear that at least some people returned home.
From this we can glean, for example, that Canadian born Margaret Mary Cullen, 17, of Ballyseedy whose mother Margaret Cullen is a widow aged 67, must have lived in Canada approximately 17 years before.
A quick glance at the 1891 Census of Canada brings us one return for a Margaret Cullen, born in Ireland, living with her husband Denis in Haldimand, Ontario. Denis is a stonemason. There is one daughter and four sons living with them, ranging in age from 19 to 12. The three oldest children were all born in England and the two youngest in Ontario, Canada. This quick glance cannot determine if this is our Margaret but it opens up other avenues of research we can use.
Copyright Martine Brennan
PS It is hoped that information on this website will give you a starting point for your own research. If it has been helpful to you, I would be grateful if you would add any aditional information you have in the comments below so that together we can break down those brick walls. Martine Brennan
Tracing your Kerry Roots