Monthly Archives: May 2014

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa family & genealogy

Jeremiah was a son of Denis Donovan and Ellen Driscoll whose ancestors include Teige Mac Teige, Dermot Mac Teige MacEneslis ( – 1688), Donal O’Donovan Rossa (Teige) who married Joanna Reagh, and Joseph O’Donovan Rossa.

Jeremiah was born in Rosscarbery, Co. Cork on 4th September 1831 and baptised, Jerh, in that Parish on that day with Sponsors Jer Shanahan and Margt Driscol. To view family and genealogy then Click Here

Bantry Town Commissioners / Bantry Town Council 1896 – 2014

Below is the Introduction taken from the 60 page Summary of the Minutes of Bantry Town Commissioners / Bantry Town Council over its 118 year lifespan. To read the full summary of the Minutes then please CLICK HERE.


I was Town Engineer in Bantry from March 1987 to May 2009. When I realised that the Town Council would cease to exist after 31 May 2014 I volunteered to do a quick summary of the Minutes of the Town Commissioners / Town Council over the 118 year lifespan. My compilation is a brief summary, from the Minutes, of the work of the public representatives.
I have endeavoured, as much as possible, to use text from the Minutes and avoid colouring any part of my summary with my own impressions.        Continue reading

Forde, Ford, Galway

Spelling of names in Ireland in the 1800′s was unreliable and variations are often found and we have examples of Ford, Foard and Forde being used. Similarly we find Donlon, Donellan, Donnellan, etc. It seemed to depend on the person recording a birth or marriage. Many of the people in that era were not literate. Hence name and address spellings were often very varied.

It is thought the first Ford in the Ballynacurragh area was John Ford who came from Raheen, just West of Athenry, Co. Galway. He married A. Donnellan. They had 17 children and the eldest and youngest were Priests in Co. Galway.

Donovans in Reavouler, Drinagh in Griffith’s Valuation

These are the Donovan people listed in the townland of Reavouler, Drinagh, Co. Cork in Griffith’s Valuation. Their respective Plot References are shown in brackets and the first names are shown on the extract of the map herewith taken from Griffith’s Valuation.

  • Denis Donovan (4a)
  • Denis Donovan (4b)
  • Denis Donovan (5)
  • Timothy Donovan (6 a, b, c)
  • Timothy Donovan (8)
  • James Donovan (9)
  • James Donovan (15)
  • John Donovan (16 a, b)
  • Bartholomew Donovan (16b)
  • John Donovan (17a)
  • James Donovan (17a)
  • James Donovan (17b)
  • Michael Donovan (18)

Reavouler Donovan in Griffiths

The Kilnaruane Pillar Stone, Bantry, Ireland

The condition of one of the most interesting early Christian carvings located near Bantry was identified as a source of considerable disquiet and concern during a visit by members of the Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement and Bantry Historical Society. Jim Hourihane, who commented on the deterioration of the pillar in recent years, co-authored an article in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society in 1979 and compared the present condition of the iconography with photographs published by him in that article. He urged that some ameliorative treatment be considered and if some such work wasn’t carried there was a very real prospect of the pillar stone’s detail disappearing almost completely.
The pillar stone presents a fascinating insight into early Christian Ireland. The etymology of the place name – Kilnaruane – presents its own unique challenge. Some writers incorrectly associated it with St Ruadhán of Lorrdha, Co Tipperary. Linguistically this would be incorrect since the ‘na’ part of the place name is the genitive plural, not the singular structure which St Ruadhán would require. The most likely explanation is that the name means Church of the Romans – the people who adopted the Roman calendar after a dispute arose during the late sixth and seventh centuries over the placement of Easter in the calendar. This would support Francoise Henry’s suggestion of an 8th century date for the pillar based on its iconography.
The pillar is 2.13 metres in height, 28 centimetres in width and averages 14 centimetres in thickness, tapering gradually from base to top. The north-western face is decorated for approximately three-fifths of its height. There are four distinct panels on this side. The uppermost panel consists of an interlace with four terminals. Classically, this may be interpreted as the conflict between good and evil. The second panel consists of an orans or praying figure, with hands uplifted in prayer on either side of the body. The third panel is composed of an incised cross while the lower panel represents perhaps one of the most significant iconographic representations anywhere in Ireland. This represents St Paul and St Anthony in the desert, located on either side of a table, on which the bird which has brought the bread for the saints to share is also visible. The saints have their hands on the bread and thereby encompass the entire story in one panel, making it quite unique.
The south-eastern face is decorated for a little more than half of its length. The uppermost panel is very badly worn and the surviving elements suggest an interlaced spiral, again suggesting the conflict between good and evil. Below this is a panel which appears to consist of two pairs of four legged animals and it open to being interpreted as the passage in the Book of Revelations (4: 6-8), probably symbolic of the four evangelists. The third panel on this side is generally referred to as the Bantry Boat, with a coxswain and four oarsmen guiding the boat upwards through a sea of crosses. There is little doubt that it is based on a pre-Viking skin-covered boat, in all probability a currach.
The Bantry Pillar Stone is a unique part of West Cork’s heritage and its deterioration, undoubtedly caused by air pollutants, is very worrying and potentially irreversible. Now may be a timely point in its history to address its current state and future condition.

Kilnaruane Pillar Stone, Bantry

Kilnaruane Pillar Stone, Bantry

The Pillar Stone is on a drumlin in the townland of Kilnaruane to the SW of Bantry town. Access is off the Rope Walk road and the Pillar Stone itself is through a field and about 200 meters to the South of the Rope Walk road. It is marked on the Ordnance Survey maps as “Monumental Pillar”

Tombstone, Monument, Headstone

An inscribed plaque marking a burial place or grave will be called names like Tombstone, Headstone, Monument, Gravestone, Memorial plaque. These may be of wood (timber), stone such as marble or granite, or a composite such as fibreglass. These we will call physical markers while we can of course have virtual memorials like our Remembrance Garden.

Census 1901 and 1911 in Ireland – Townland spellings

Ireland has 32 County divisions. These are further sub-divided and a Barony is the largest sub-division which itself has a number of sub-divisions called Civil Parish (Parish) units. The Poor Law Union (PLU or Union) is another division of the Country into about 160 units which does cross County boundary lines at times. The District Electoral Division (DED) is a sub-division of the PLU. Finally the Townland is the smallest unit or parcel of land in Ireland. There are over 65,000 Townlands with names often being repeated, even within a County, but not in the same DED of course.
Frequently there is a difference in spelling of District Electoral Division (DED) names between the 1901 and 1911 Census data in Ireland. Also there are variations in the spelling of Townland names between the 1901 and 1911 Census data.
This section of our website shows the respective spellings for each Census -

Genealogy and family history research

If you are beginning a research project to trace your family history, then one of the initial requirements is to document the facts you have from a particular point or generation. Begin with what you know of your parents and their siblings. Have you dates / locations of birth or marriage details?
Talk to older relatives or indeed neighbours of any ancestors you know about. Talking to the elderly people can give a great insight into establishing a framework to build upon. Using this framework you can progress to add locations, facts and dates as they become available.
From birth details of your parents you stand a great chance of getting a background on their parents (your grandparents) and siblings.
A word of caution, do NOT simply insert names, dates etc if you are unsure, instead WAIT and keep checking and researching. You are not in some kind of race; do your thorough research and be sure of your facts. We have a huge number of examples in family trees where even the dates of birth of parents are after the birth of their children. Don’t rush and check the information. Remember this is part of your legacy to family members, even not yet born.
The State or Civil records in Ireland are available from 1964 to date. See
Roman Catholic Church records in some cases date back to the 1770′s or after while others like Kilmacabea Parish began in 1832. Indeed you will find too that several (maybe up to 10%) of births and marriages are not recorded.  The Church of Ireland and Methodist Churches have records dating back a few hundred years.  One problem in all Church records was the lack of information e.g. address, fathers name of bride or groom (great if we got a mothers name but that did not happen normally), age.
You may find it beneficial to visit some websites. Here are a few which are free and no login required to view data:- which covers much of the world and this covers part of Counties Cork, Kerry, Carlow and Dublin in Ireland
For the 32 Counties of Ireland there is the Census of 1901 and 1911