Irish Ancestral Heritage

Past stories of my Éire families

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Maternal Lineage to the Persse's of Roxborough - Co. Galway

It was explained to me about 18 years ago by a family tree that was supplied by Great Aunt, that we had connection to the Great family of the Persse's of Co. Galway.
At first I didn't know what this meant, but now I do.
A link to help a bit more on the Persse's : Persse History (Lady Gregory & Yeats Heritage Trail)
It took quite a while to understand this lineage, not by the account of who they were, but also how they were related.

It is said within the family, that the man called Rev. Robert Persse came from Northumbria or Northumberland England and settled in Ireland around c.1600.
His 3rd Great Grandson was Colonel William Persse of Roxborough, Co. Galway.
This is my line of Persse family.

It must be said that the Persse family were very well interconnected with each other, by means that cousins did very well marry cousins. And multitude of lineages, show this trend.
It has to be said that if you are a Persse descendant, you would most likely connect to another Persse descendants in multiple ways. The genealogy of the Persse family is difficult to just put writing, so I'll post images to show the transitions of my line.

Where my Persse interconnection really starts, is with my 4th Great Grandparents - Henry Hood Newenham and Annie Persse. Just for the record, they also were Persse 1st Cousins.
Indeed, as I found out a few months ago Henry and Annie's parents had a cousin-age at a much higher level as well.

Henry Hood was the 4th son of Edward Worth Newenham and Elizabeth Persse (5th GGP's).
I belive that Annie was the 2nd daughter of William Blakeney Persse and Anne Blood (5th GGP's) and Anne was also my direct maternal 5th GGM.
Elizabeth and William were Brother and Sister - children of Colonel William Persse and Sarah Blakeney of Roxborough (6th GGP's).

Many children and descendants were born at Roxborough house. Henry and wife Annie were both born in Dublin, but many other close family relatives, were actually born at Roxborough.
As many would know, that Roxborough was also the birthplace of the great Isabella Augusta Persse - Lady Gregory.
Colonel William Persse and his wife Sarah Blakeney, were Great Grandparents of Isabella
My 5th GGP's - Elizabeth Persse - Great Aunt and William B Persse - Great Uncle to Isabella.

One of the great interests, that is also in my research, is to do to with the Nuns Island Distillery, based in Galway City. It made the great Irish Whisky - Persse's "Galway" Whisky made under Henry S Persse - S for Stratford.

The Persse family owned and ran this Distillery for many years in the 19th Century and just made it into the 20th Century before it was closed down. Just before the Nuns Island days, Henry ran a Distillery in Newcastle.

There is a few things that tie my family history research with Henry.
Henry's sister - Elizabeth, was my 5th GGM. In a few family notes and as also depicted in the book on Henry Stratford Persse's life "Letters from Galway to America" edited by James Pethica and James Roy, mentions about Elizabeth.

Whilst Elizabeth's Husband - Edward Worth Newenham, was away (quite a bit on business in Dublin), she was referenced in notes as staying in Newcastle. I can only gather that Elizabeth and children were frequent visitors of the Newcastle territory.
As far as I am aware, no information found, suggests my line of Persse's had anything to do with the Persse Distillery but only be of family association to them.

As a slight kicker, to such a story, a business neighbour to Henry's Distillery on Nun's Island, was a Maltser/Brewer named Francis Fitzgerald.
This man had 2 sons that migrated to Australia - Nicholas and Edward. These 2 Brothers were the forefront to Beer Brewing in Melbourne Australia during the mid 19th century.
They created the Castlemaine Brewery (also known for brewing XXXX Beer). The Castlemaine Brewery was of course in Castlemaine Victoria during the Gold Rush era, but later on, it's production moved to Queensland.
Nicholas, is part of my research, not only that I have the same surname - no relation as of yet, but he is buried in the same cemetery as some of my Persse/Newenham family. St.Kilda Cemetery - Melbourne.
Nicholas is buried just 50 odd metres away from Eliza Persse Newenham (my 3rd GGM) and about 90 metres away from Eliza's Brother - Edward Persse Newenham.
These 2 Newenham's were Grandchildren of Elizabeth Persse (which means that Henry Stratford was their Great Uncle)
I find it extraordinary to find a connection like this half a world away from "home" and yet they get buried in the same cemetery.

The other connection that is very interesting, is that my 3rd GGF Frederick John Hasler, who married Eliza Persse Newenham, used to be a rower back in Galway City. He was an extremely good rower and used to partake in events held on the River Corrib around the 1860's.
He was a professional photographer and was based in Upper Dominick Street. And to think that he rowed right beside the Persse Distillery before becoming part of the family (1/2 a world away).

Below is the easiest way to explain the lineages.

The inter-relations keep going

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by Brett Fitzgerald Sunday, May 31, 2015 2 comments

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

 Battle of Waterloo 200 Years Anniversary - June 1815 - June 2015

Family history research, gets quite involved when you can dig up stories this far back.
It's even more involved when multiple family members are involved with the same story, albeit a few years apart.

The Battle of Waterloo - June 1815 (and its many years of lead up to), fits in with a lot of  my Maternal line Persse-Newenham family members. (4th Great Uncle's and a 5th Great Uncle)

This post is aimed in honour with the Battle of Waterloo and is mostly aimed at Robert Burton Newenham and his 2 elder Brothers. Now 200 years later, I wrote a short story on Robert and it is on display on the below link depicting Robert's Waterloo duty.
Robert was noted in the Roll Call's of the 3 days of Battle and is honoured on the "Waterloo 200" Webpage.

Ensign Robert Burton Newenham

Robert was the 3rd son of Edward Worth Newenham and Elizabeth Persse. Born in Galway in 1793, Robert, by his Father’s advice, was supposed to have had “Government Employment” and never to have met War. 

But just like his direct family, steeped into British/Irish Military history, he also encroached on to Military life. His 2 elder brothers- Edward and William, served in the Napoleonic era and his 2 Grandfathers (Sir Edward Newenham and Col. William Persse) also served for a much earlier Irish “cause” (Volunteer Militia)

On the 27th January 1814 and against his Father’s wishes, he was conveniently placed into the 14th Regiment of Foot, as an Ensign.
George Keppell (6th Earl of Albemarle), also rubbed shoulders with Robert, as George was also an Ensign in his Battalion.

This 3rd Battalion was suffering from a reduction of men from the unit and it was noted for Disbandment when Waterloo came calling. 

Robert was of the No. 1 (Grenadier) Company, under Captain Harcourt Morton and of the Colour Party. The Duke of Wellington allowed this crew of men from the 3rd Battalion, to become part of the“Grand Battle". This was due to Wellington’s words, “they are a pretty little Battalion”.  “Pretty” was due to having so much youth in the unit.

Robert survived the battle and went on to serve his final Naval duties, travelling in and around India/East Indies until 1823, where he apparently resigned from the service. 

It is unknown what happened to him after this date but it is assumed by family notes, that he died on 11th July 1823 in Meerut, India, due to war injuries. He is noted in the Waterloo Roll Call of the 14th Foot.
Robert Burton Newenham was my 4 x Great Grand Uncle.

If you further interested on a much earlier Newenham family member, this POST , contains a lead up to the following Napoleon-esq encounter in the Battle of Toulon - 1793.
It is about the Uncle (of Robert) that served in the Battle of Toulon, guarding a Fort whilst under attack from Napoleon himself, or his Republican Militia. He was injured in the attack and died from wounds.
I strongly believe this Uncle, heavily influenced these 3 Brothers to perform war duties - I suppose in honour of him.

Robert was also noted in the "Napoleon Series" website, which depicts Robert and another Ensign Fraser, on the day of battle - June 18th, being "taught" in I suppose an amusing way on what the "Colours" meant.
Story here - Scroll down to about 1/3 of the page : Waterloo June 18th - Colours

Newspaper clipping, showing Robert being credited. As an added jewel, we have what looks like a cousin of a sort, to Robert - W(illiam?) Persse. Unsure as of yet who this is and what level of cousin he is to Robert.

 20 Nov 1844 - Sydney Morning Herald

Robert Burton Newenham - 18th April 1829 - The Advertiser Adelaide

3 x Newenham Brother's went to war and 3 survived the war but only just. The 4th and youngest Brother - Henry Hood Newenham (my 4th GGF) was not old enough to join and probably explains why his life was much different to his Brothers. The 3 Brothers seemed to have gone against their Father's wishes, as their Father didn't want them to go to war. In family notes from Edward Worth (their Father), he explained over many letters that he wanted "Government Employment" for his sons.
But it seems that the Family History, that's steeped in Military blood, took over the Father's wishes and the son's got their way.
Unfortunately,  there are no photos or portraits that I know of, depicting Edward or Robert, but I do have William and Henry's, which I'll display below.

This family was also personally known to Lord Hood of the British Navy, as per previous story on Lt Charles Burton Newenham's Navy involvement at the Battle of Toulon-1793.

To read about what these 3 Brothers went through, is harrowing. The duty and honour put them to the test in the face of War and what happened after the War.

These 3 Children of Edward Worth Newenham and Elizabeth Persse, that went to War, are :
  • Edward Worth Newenham   - 1787-1867
  • William Persse Newenham  - 1790-1866
  • Robert Burton Newenham    - 1793-1823?

Edward was born in one of Ireland's most famous houses, that is of the Roxborough Persse Family of Co. Galway. He served in the 9th Regiment of Foot and was caught up in a shipwreck in late 1805 whilst trying to land in France. He was ultimately captured and then placed in the town of Verdun as a POW in early 1806. A sort of encampment for POW's, it had sort of a soft rule "You can stay in Verdun unharmed, as long as you don't try to escape".
Edward stayed "voluntarily" in Verdun until his death. Within 2 years of being a POW, he acquainted himself with a Young Girl, whom he married. Within a few months a baby boy was born. When Edward died, he was buried in Verdun's Farbourg Pave' Cemetery in 1867.

William, was born in Dublin, the below newspaper clipping tells the story and I will try not to take away from it's storyline. William is believed to have died in England.

Robert, was born in Co. Galway (Hampstead House - Believe to be a Persse estate?) - please refer to the above "post" link for his story.

William Persse Newenham (1790-1866)                         Henry Hood Newenham (1805-1895)

Newspaper Clipping

Robert Burton Newenham's Roll Call
Waterloo Roll Call - Charles Dalton's 2nd Ed - 1904


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by Brett Fitzgerald Wednesday, May 27, 2015 No comments

Sunday, 10 May 2015

My Direct Male Lineage to Ireland - Fitzgerald

What is known that 2 Generations (William and son Thomas) were from Cork City, it is unsure where William's Father originated. I'm suspecting he may have traveled from Far West Cork, or from Limerick to be placed in Cork City by the 1800 era.

(image is expandable - just click on it)

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by Brett Fitzgerald Sunday, May 10, 2015 No comments

Saturday, 9 May 2015

My Direct Female Line to Ireland - Blood/Persse/Newenham/Blakeney/Burton/Davies

Anne Blood is the Daughter of Neptune Blood and Marianne Davies.
They are the Blood's of Applevale - County Clare and distant relatives of the famous Thomas Blood, who went on to steal the Crown Jewels. It isn't known yet, where Marianne's lines goes to.

(image is expandable - just click on it)

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by Brett Fitzgerald Saturday, May 09, 2015 No comments

Friday, 1 May 2015

Understanding my deep "Irish" connection between Protestant and "Young Irelander-ism".

I am now at a weird, but deep phase on understanding this Irish Family History of mine.
So deep, that I am having trouble with the complexity of 2 'very different' cultural lines of "Irish". One being Protestant and the other being Catholic. This is just my Maternal side at the moment.

These 2 diverse Irish lines cross at the point of my Maternal 2nd Great Grandparents.

  • Philip MacNevin - Born approx c.1879 Sydney
  • Annie Hasler (born as Annie, but later changed to Marie Josephine) - Born 1880 Melbourne
Philip was the youngest son of Thomas Edwin MacNevin (former NSW Judge/Coroner/Clerk) and Edith Ashworth Snape.
Annie was a daughter of Frederick John Hasler (Galway / Melbourne Photographer) and Eliza Persse Newenham.

So you can understand a bit better:
  • The name MacNevin is associated with being Catholic
  • The name Newenham is associated with being Protestant
* (The name Hasler is associated with Dublin Castle as being a Chamberlain for the Lord Lieutenant, so no connotations of this family, as compared to MacNevin and Newenham families)

Philip's lineage consists of his Father - Thomas Edwin MacNevin and Grandfather Richard Charles MacNevin. Richard was a brother to Thomas MacNevin Esq - the "Young Irelander".
Thomas MacNevin Esq, was part of "The Nation" magazine and performed as a Solicitor/Barrister/Poet in Dublin. He was deemed to be of the "Young Irelander" political movement in the 1830's/1840's. However Thomas died just before the insurrection of 1848, that was carried out. Thomas never got over the death of his Young Irelander friend - Thomas Davis and subsequently looks like he went into a very bad depression, as it affected him mentally - he died in an English Mental Asylum in 1848.
From my understanding, this Young Irelander movement was basically supporting Irish Nationalism and in form supported the "Repeal" of the Act of Union - 1800, under the O'Connell's direction. Some would say that this movement had the early formings of the IRA.

These MacNevin's (Daniel MacNevin - the Father and son's Thomas and Richard) were very heavily involved with "The Emancipator" - Daniel O'Connell, until Daniel turned his support (sold out) to the Whig Party and the MacNevin's basically disowned O'Connell.
As far as I can see, Philip's Father and Grandfather - Thomas and Richard never showed the prowess to Irish Nationalism as what Thomas MacNevin Esq had. That is not to say that behind closed doors they didn't support the Young Irelander movement, but I found basically nothing on these 2 individuals regarding Nationalism - even though they directly associated with O'Connell. Many publications of newspaper articles are around, but it does not suggest that Richard was every part of the Young Irelander movement than that of his brother, Thomas.

Richard was the Author / Rule maker of how to deal with "Encumbered Estates" during the 1840's famine and it's aftermath in the early 1850's. Richard made it clear, on how to instruct people dealing with Lost/Absentee Landlords and the Lands of Ireland in this pivotal period of human survival.
I am not sure if this book, was aimed at helping the Irish get over the famine, or was written under British Government instruction to help the English buy cheap land. The jury is still out.
Richard's Solicitor business was registered at : 8 Middle Gardiner Street, Dublin.
Ironically, Richard fratenised with William Keogh, a very controversial Judge at this address.

Son - Thomas Edwin, came to Australia in the late 1860's, just after his Father's death and made Australia home, initially it was Brisbane, but then he settled in Sydney.
I can find no Young Irelander sentiments in Thomas Edwin, during his life. His court cases, serving as a judge, never showed bigotry or favouring of one side of religion. He was a Catholic, in a predominately, Protestant society. He basically showed complete "transparency" to religious motives, certainly a far cry from today's society.

What makes this story a little more close to home, is that Young Irelander movement came to Australia, a few of them as either a Convict and penalised for their failed Insurrection, or escaped the convict route and took to exile.
One that sort of escaped, but was in exile was Sir Charles Gavan Duffy. Ironically he became a Victorian Premier. Duffy did try to sell the Young Irelander / O'Connell movement down in Melbourne, but was shouted down by the predominate Protestant public. It took a long time for the public to warm up to Duffy.

Now even a bit closer to home, Philip's wife Annie, she was the Granddaughter of Henry Hood Newenham.
Henry was working in the Water/Sewage board in the 1860's during the time Duffy, was it's Minister/Head of Dept.

Henry's Father (Edward Worth Newenham) and Grandfather (Sir Edward Newenham Irish MP), were both staunchly Protestant people and they both showed connotations of putting Catholics down (showed signs of a lesser class).
Henry amazingly, did not show this pattern and I find it ironic that he worked under Duffy without a fuss. Ironically, Henry's Grandfather probably would have been turning in his grave, knowing of this.

Richard Charles MacNevin, also dabbled into administering lands, one set of lands that he administered, was that of the Persse Lands of "Spring Garden" - Co. Galway (One of Henry Hood Newenham's close relatives, think this was an Uncle's Property). The closeness of family affairs between 3 families, is very apparent.

An image of Thomas MacNevin Esq - Young Irelander - sits in the National Gallery of Ireland here :

Thomas McNevin Esq - Image Only

Thomas MacNevin Main Gallery Page

Thomas's book on the Volunteers of 1782
Ironically, he also mentioned about relatives that served as Volunteers,
of the below Henry H Newenham

Richard C MacNevin's Book on how to deal with the lands after the 1840's Famine

Richard C MacNevin's Business Address in Dublin

Issue No.1 1899 - Parramatta & Districts Illustrated - Historical, Biographical, Industrial
Philip MacNevin with his daughter (my Great Grandmother) Dorothy May MacNevin - circa 1907

Henry Hood Newenham - 1805-1895 - Grandson of Sir Edward Newenham MP
Eliza Persse Newenham - 1842-1891 - Daughter of Henry Hood Newenham

Annie Hasler (Marie J MacNevin) - 1880 - 1930 - Daughter of Eliza Persse Newenham
She married Philip MacNevin.

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by Brett Fitzgerald Friday, May 01, 2015 No comments

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