It’s now exactly a hundred years since the name Valentino was first noticed by cinema audiences and became synonymous with romance. On 6 March 1921 the silent motion picture The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had its first public showing at the Lyric Theatre in New York. Twenty-five year old Rudolph Valentino and twenty year old Alice Terry had the leading roles, while the future Oscar winner Wallace Beery was in the supporting cast.
Valentino had been in films for seven years by that time, but only as an extra, a dancer, a bit part player or a supporting actor. The Four Horsemen was his breakthrough role. There are competing stories as to who ‘discovered’ Valentino, whether it was the film’s twenty-eight year old director, Rex Ingram, or the screenwriter June Mathis. Either way, they both were responsible for the film that launched a legend. Mathis was an influential woman in Hollywood, and more so after the success of The Four Horsemen.
The picture was an instant and huge hit. The famous tango in an early scene contributed enormously to Valentino’s appeal for swooning women and the film raked in a fortune for Metro Pictures. But this remembrance of the centenary of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is not all about Valentino. Instead, it shines a light on Rex Ingram and his future wife, the other star, Alice Terry.
Decades before Oscar nominations for direction came the way of Kenneth Branagh, Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan and Lenny Abrahamson, Hollywood had another Irishman at its heart. Rex Ingram was not an American of Irish parents (like John Ford); he was not someone born in Ireland and raised elsewhere (like Herbert Brenon); he was Irish born and bred. Ingram was born in Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, in Dublin in January 1893. He grew up in Dublin, Nenagh, Borrisokane and Kinnitty. He was living with his father in Kinnitty at the time of the 1911 Census, when he described himself as an artist. He was eighteen years old then. A few months later he boarded the ship ‘Celtic’ at Queenstown and on 2 July 1911 arrived in New York. On the passenger list he again was described as an artist. He was 5 feet 11 inches in height, with brown hair and grey eyes.
During the first two decades of his life his surname was not Ingram. He was born Reginald Ingram Montgomery Hitchcock. Reginald was popularly shortened to Rex. As Rex Hitchcock, he became involved in the film business in New York, as an actor and general dogs body for Edison Studios. In 1914 he moved to Vitagraph and the following year he joined the newly formed Fox Film Corporation as part of the writing and directing staff. His first work with the new company was on the film ‘Should a Mother Tell?’ when he was credited for scenario. It was at that point that he started using his mother’s maiden surname, becoming Rex Ingram.
Why he decided in 1915 to change his name is unclear. It is doubtful that it had anything to do with saving the blushes of his clergyman father, as his father had been to the cinema to watch one of the Vitagraph productions Rex had acted in. Apparently in the late 1920s Rex advised a young director named Alfred Hitchcock to change his surname, as it would spoil his chances of success. It is somewhat ironic that Rex Ingram was responsible for making Valentino synonymous with romance, while someone else made the surname he abandoned synonymous with suspense.
As for Rex Ingram’s credentials as an Irishman, his parents were Rev. FRANCIS RYAN MONTGOMERY HITCHCOCK (1867-1951), a Church of Ireland minister, and KATHLEEN MARIA INGRAM (1869-1908). Both were born in Dublin and they married in 1891.
Rex’s paternal grandparents were GEORGE ROCK HITCHCOCK (c1822-1874), an officer in the Valuation Office, and FRANCES MARGARET MARIA RYAN (c1845-1911), daughter of SAMUEL RYAN (1807[?]-1859), an apothecary in Great Britain Street, Dublin, and CECILIA LAMBERT (c1817-1882), who was born in Co. Galway.
In her book The Archives of the Valuation of Ireland 1830-1865, Frances McGee mentioned the possibility of tracing the careers of staff members through the records and, luckily, used George Hitchcock as an example. He worked in the Valuation Office from 1839 (beginning as a temporary assistant), rising to divisional superintendent by 1860, and he retired in October 1870 with a pension of £233. In his will he left effects under £4,000 and the Calendar of Wills and Administrations indicates that he had been engaged in the Town Hall, Blackrock, after his retirement.
Rex’s paternal great-grandparents were JOHN HITCHCOCK , Governor of Clonmel Asylum, and ANNE LOUISA JOHNSTONE (d. 1860). They married in St. George’s, Dublin, in 1811. Anne Louisa was the daughter of JAMES JOHNSTONE, of Moffat in Scotland, ‘many years Engineer of the City of Dublin’, and his wife MARIA (d. 1819).
There was a belief in the family at the time of Anne Louisa Hitchcock’s death that her paternal grandfather was the Chevalier de Johnstone, who supposedly was aide-de-camp to Bonnie Prince Charlie. A cursory online search in relation to him suggests that he was not aide-de-camp to the prince and that he is not known to have had children.
Rex’s maternal grandparents were JAMES ROBERT WILLIAM INGRAM (c1829-1882), Captain or Superintendent of the Dublin Fire Brigade, and EMMA CAROLINE THOMPSON, daughter of ABRAHAM THOMPSON. James and Emma married in 1866, and according to their marriage record her father was Superintendent of the Fire Brigade in Derby in England.
James’s father was JAMES INGRAM, an office clerk. The younger James trained as a fireman in New York and apparently joined the Dublin service nearly twenty years before his death. The Ingram family lived up until his death at 58 South William Street, where their daughter Kathleen was born. That large building had been the City Assembly and at that time it had various corporation uses, including being Fire Station No. 1 and home to the Ingrams. In the latter half of the twentieth century it housed the Dublin Civic Museum. Today it is the home of the Irish Georgian Society.
This sketch of Rex Ingram’s family background involved several hours’ research, limited to online sources due to Covid. Its initial stages were greatly assisted by Liam O’Leary’s 1980 biography Rex Ingram: Master of the Silent Cinema. O’Leary dedicated the book to Alice Terry, from whom he obtained great assistance. Rex and Alice married in Pasadena in November 1921, eight months after The Four Horsemen made her a star, and while they were making The Prisoner of Zenda.
As with so many film people, Alice’s surname was altered too. Until 1919 or 1920 she acted under her real name, Alice Taaffe. As O’Leary stated, she was born in Indiana in July 1900. O’Leary gave her father’s name as Martin and said that he was a farmer from Co. Kildare in Ireland. This was inaccurate. Her parents were MATTHEW TAAFFE (b. c1867) who was born in Illinois to Irish parents, and ELLA THORN who was born in Indiana. Matthew described himself as a barber in the 1900 US Federal Census. He died in Los Angeles in February 1907, when Alice was only six.
Alice’s paternal grandparents were JOHN TAAFFE (b. c1817-23) and ELIZABETH (b. c1825-28), both of whom were born in Ireland. Their children were born in various locations as they travelled west from Massachusetts. They were Peter (c1848), John (c1849), William (c1852), Thomas (c1855), James (c1859), Richard (c1862), Alice (c1865), Matthew (c1867) and George (c1869). John Taaffe’s occupation in 1850 was miner, in 1860 and 1870 was farmer and in 1880 was livery stable keeper. No definite record has been found so far of where in Ireland John and Elizabeth Taaffe originated. It does not appear to be Kildare. A different location seems likely but supporting evidence is lacking at this point.
O’Leary’s book shows that Rex Ingram directed 27 films between 1916 and 1932. Alice Terry appeared in 14 of them. The Four Horsemen made a superstar of Rudolph Valentino and a less brightly burning star of Alice Terry, but it also elevated Ingram into a more influential sphere. He launched the career of Ramon Novarro in The Prisoner of Zenda and directed him in a further four pictures. Moreover, Rex was praised for his artistry by filmmakers such as Michael Powell and David Lean. Rex Ingram died in hospital in North Hollywood, California, on 21 July 1950, aged 57. He is not as celebrated in his homeland as he deserves.
[The image accompanying this story is not of Rex and Alice. It is taken from a generic postcard of the period that has a verse about ‘Constancy’ and a heading to relate it to a specific place. In this case it is ‘FROM BALTINGLASS’.]
It is impossible to imagine the mental state of John Jackson during his meeting with Dr. Dockeray 150 years ago this very day. John’s mind may have been in turmoil; it may have been numbed by grief. Whether Dr. Dockeray visited his farm in Kilmurry or John travelled the few miles to the village of Kiltegan is uncertain but the record shows that they were in contact on that day.
As well as being a physician and surgeon, Robert Dockeray was responsible for Kiltegan Registrar’s District [RD] within Baltinglass Superintendent Registrar’s District [SRD]. Even though Kilmurry was in the southern extremity of Baltinglass civil parish, it was in Kiltegan RD, so births and deaths occurring there were the Kiltegan registrar’s responsibility.
On 18 February 1871 John Jackson had the unspeakable task of providing information on the deaths on six of his children. I first became aware of the tragic deaths of the Jackson children in the summer of 1999, when I started transcribing the gravestone inscriptions in Rathvilly Church of Ireland churchyard. I was struck by the sad, stark wording of the Jackson stone and I wondered whether there might have been a house fire or an outbreak of typhus.
Shortly after seeing the gravestone, I was talking to a man I knew very well, John Farrar of Kilmurry. I told him what I had been doing in Rathvilly and he asked if I had seen the Jackson grave. I cannot remember whether he knew what had happened to the children but ever since I had the impression that they were struck down by a disease. The reason why he knew about the tragedy was that the children were his grandfather’s brothers and sister.
Like so many historical snippets I come across, the tragedy of the Jackson family moved to the recesses of my mind. A full twenty summers later I thought to complete my transcriptions in Rathvilly for publication in the tenth Journal of the West Wicklow Historical Society. When I came across the Jackson gravestone again, the memory resurfaced. Sadly, John Farrar was no longer with us by that time. I thought to obtain the death record of at least one child to see the cause of death but the publication deadline beat me to it. Last year, when the death records from the 1870s came online in the Civil Records database on Irishgenealogy.ie, I eventually looked at each of the Jackson children’s records.
The unfortunate children died of scarlatina, otherwise scarlet fever. This infection can develop in a person suffering from streptococcal throat, itself an infection caused by a contagious bacterium. Scarlatina is most common in children, circulating particularly in winter and early spring, and flourishing where people are in close contact. The sufferer would have a sore throat, a high fever and bright red rashes on the skin. It would appear that there was no general outbreak of scarlatina in the Baltinglass area in January / February 1871. No other deaths occurring in Baltinglass SRD in those months were recorded as having the same cause.
The gravestone lists the children in birth order and states that they died in the first week of February 1871. This case is a reminder that statements cast in stone are not always exactly true. It is also a reminder that official records are not always entirely accurate. The death records of all six children were registered on 18 February and the certified cause of death in each case was scarlatina. However, the dates of death were given from memory in a time of grief. The burial register of Rathvilly parish (which I have not checked) may well give some clarity.
The first child to pass away was Henry, who was almost two years old. The death record states that he died on 29 January, having had the infection for four days. Both Thomas (aged 8) and Mary (12) died on 31 January, having been five days infected. Samuel, recorded as four years of age (but who actually was five) died on 4 February after five days of infection. The following day Richard, aged ten, lost his struggle after six days. Finally, on 12 February, 14 year old Robert died of general dropsy after three weeks of scarlatina.
The Jacksons’ home was all but emptied of life in the space of about two weeks. The parents, John and Anne, along with their eldest child, Joseph William, were the only family members who definitely survived. There may have been one or two others but the Baltinglass C. of I. baptismal records do not survive for that time.
John Jackson of Kilmurry married Anne Jones of Holdenstown, just on the other side of the River Slaney, on 8 January 1852. Their wedding was in the old C. of I. parish church in Baltinglass, now part of the central ruins of Baltinglass Abbey. Their known children were born in this order: Joseph William (c1852-53), Robert (c1856), Mary (c1858), Richard (c1860), Thomas (c1862), Samuel (6 June 1865) and Henry (7 February 1868).
The gravestone in Rathvilly records four generations of the Jackson family. Covid restrictions prevented me from photographing it for this commemoration, so a faithful transcript must suffice. How parents, or even siblings, could emotionally come through such a shocking episode is difficult to comprehend. Perhaps it was their Christian faith that gave them the strength to bear the pain, believing that they would be reunited in Heaven. The quotation from the Psalms may be a key to their way of coping with the situation:
‘The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance’.
Today, 150 years after this tragedy, the Jackson children and their grieving family are remembered in the little corner of the universe where they once lived in this realm.
Margaret Dickson Falley’s publication, Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research, is remarkable, yet the vast majority of people now pursuing Irish genealogical research have never heard of it. The most remarkable thing about Falley’s two-volume work is that it was written remotely in the USA, long before fax, email and the internet made information gathering so much easier. The only book available on the subject at that time was Rev. Wallace Clare’s slim A Simple Guide to Irish Genealogy, published in 1937.
Over 60 years ago Mrs. Falley made three extended research trips to Ireland and followed up with correspondence, as well as accumulating ‘a private library of historical and genealogical source materials of over two thousand volumes’. What she produced was a work of extraordinary detail that would be extremely difficult to compile with the aid of all of today’s advancements in technology.
Margaret Falley (1898-1983) was already a highly regarded genealogist before she turned her attention to Ireland. A year after she embarked on her Irish crusade she was elected the 64th Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), an exclusive organisation limited to fifty individuals at any given time. Individuals are selected for membership, or ‘Fellowship’, based on ‘the excellence and volume of their published works that would demonstrate ability to discover facts from original source material and to evaluate and present evidence’. She was the tenth woman to be so honoured. She served as Vice President of ASG in 1961-1963.
Mrs. Falley paid her first research visit to Ireland in 1951, making initial contact with the men (as all were men at that time) in charge of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the Presbyterian Historical Society, the National Library of Ireland, the Genealogical Office, the Registry of Deeds and the Public Record Office [of Ireland], as well as the Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum. Over the following decade she gained a remarkable knowledge of all types of genealogical records to do with Ireland. Her magnum opus was published in 1962.
‘Falley’ is a source that any serious Irish genealogist should have to hand. It may not need to be used too often but, when troublesome fine points appear in a search involving records beyond the basics, it is often the source to which you might turn. It is so packed full of information that it can be hard to use. Often delving into it is like falling down a rabbit hole or getting lost in a labyrinth, but the journey is always worth it.
In 1980 Margaret Falley donated her books and microfilms of Irish records to Northwestern University Library in Evanston, Illinois. She died on 10 July 1983. In 1991 her personal research papers were donated to the same institution by her daughter. Her remarkable Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research was reprinted a number of times by the Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore, beginning in 1981.
The story of armed conflict often dominates and clouds our perception of the past. When we read about a time of war it seems as if nothing but war was happening: as if normal life was suspended while shooting and killing were all pervasive. The Great War of 1914-1918 was an armed conflict that impacted on people’s lives all over the globe. It finished in November 1918 and in Ireland two months later the War of Independence began. It lasted until July 1921.
After the Great War competitive and championship golf resumed in many parts of the world during 1919, even as the global influenza pandemic burned itself out. The three Irish national championships (ladies’, men’s amateur and professional – won by Janet Jackson, Ernest Carter and Pat O’Hare), as well as the Irish Amateur Open (won by Carl Bretherton of England), all took place in 1919, despite the added obstacle of the War of Independence.
One of the casualties of the Great War was Michael Moran, who died in 1918, aged 32. Before the conflict he was Ireland’s leading professional, and he tied for third place in The Open Championship in 1913. As a memorial, the golf clubs of the province of Leinster presented a trophy to be competed for among professionals, originally only those from Leinster. The first staging of the Moran Cup was at Hermitage, Co. Dublin, on 5-7 May 1920. It was a match-play event and the winner was Moses O’Neill, who beat Fred Smyth at the first extra hole in the 36-hole final.
The (British) Ladies’ Championship was resumed only in 1920. It was to take place in 1919 but it was abandoned: not due to influenza, but because of the nine-day national railway strike in September-October. The 1920 championship was played in mid-May at Royal Co. Down, Newcastle. Cecil Leitch, then widely regarded as the greatest lady golfer, came to Newcastle as the reigning British, French and English champion.
1920 was the sixth time the championship was played in Ireland and the third time it was played at Newcastle. On both previous occasions, 1899 and 1907, the finals were played between two Irish competitors. On this occasion two Irish ladies reached the quarter-finals. They were Marion Alexander and the Irish Close champion, Janet Jackson. Alexander lost at that stage, but Jackson beat Phyllis Lobett from England by 8/6. Her semi-final was a close run affair against another English player, Molly Griffiths, but Jackson lost by one hole. It was her second time to reach that stage in the championship. In the final Cecil Leitch came through again to win her second of four British titles.
The Open Championship did not restart until 30 June 1920, when play commenced at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent. No Irish competitor featured on the last day, and it is doubtful that there was any Irishman in the field. Across the Atlantic in August 1920 the other ‘Major’ of professional golf, the US Open, took place at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio. Three Irishmen completed all four rounds. Gene McCarthy, a long-time resident of the USA, finished in 67th place. Pat Doyle, from Delgany in Co. Wicklow, was joint 43rd. The best of the Irish was Peter O’Hare, one of three golfing brothers from Greenore, Co. Louth. He finished tied for 27th position, 15 shots behind the winner, Ted Ray. For whatever reason, the O’Hare brothers were referred to consistently as O’Hara in America.
Days after the US Open finished, the US PGA Championship (not yet quite the ‘Major’ it subsequently became) commenced at Flossmoor in Chicago. At that time it was a match-play event, with 32 players qualifying to compete after 36 holes of stroke-play. Among the 32 qualifiers were four Irish competitors – Tom Boyd, originally from Armagh, Pat Doyle and the ‘O’Hara’ brothers, Pat and Peter. Each match in each round was over 36 holes. All but Peter O’Hare went out in the first round, Peter beating Pat Doyle by 1 hole, while Pat O’Hare was defeated by the same margin by the eventual runner-up, Douglas Edgar. Peter got to the quarter-finals, where he was beaten on the 38th hole by George McLean.
Meanwhile, back in Ireland in May, the Irish Professional Championship had been played at Castlerock as a sort of preamble to the Irish Amateur Close. The professional title was not defended by the holder as he was Pat O’Hare, who was competing in the USA by that time. He was replaced as Irish champion by the third O’Hare brother, Jimmy, who won in the first ever play-off in the event. Jimmy O’Hare and Harry Hamill finished in a tie on 315 for the 72-hole championship. The next day their 18-hole play-off resulted in a 3 shot win for O’Hare. Jimmy O’Hare was professional at Skerries Golf Club, Co. Dublin, at the time. Three months after his win, the Skerries clubhouse was burned to the ground and the championship cup was destroyed. This does not seem to have been linked to the War of Independence.
The Irish Close championship that followed the professional one, at the same venue, was won by Charles Hezlet, who had been runner-up in The Amateur Championship at Sandwich in 1914, not long before war was declared. As a British Army officer, Hezlet spent the next several years as a soldier and he was only slowly returning to competitive golf by 1920. At this point this article veers in the direction of self-indulgence, with mention of the writer’s grandfather, Joe Gorry. He reached the Irish Close quarter-finals, where he was beaten 3/2 by Hezlet. Referring to Charles Hezlet, the Belfast Newsletter of 1 June 1920 stated:
In his earlier matches the opposition was not very serious, but on the Wednesday he ran up against Gorry, of Kildare, who, as all are aware, is a very hard man to beat. On this occasion Hezlet played better golf than before, and Gorry, in his anxiety to leave nothing to chance, practically beat himself by the elaborate and, as many thought, the unnecessary care he took over every shot.
The Amateur Championship returned from hibernation in early June 1920, at Muirfield, near Edinburgh. Best of the Irish was Charles Hezlet, who reached the fourth round (last 32), going down to G.L. Mellin, who ended his challenge in the semi-finals. Also in early June, the Irish Ladies’ Close was played at Royal Portrush and the holder, Janet Jackson of the Island Golf Club, Co. Dublin, retained the title. This was her fourth in a row, as she had won the title in 1913 and 1914, before the suspension of competition due to the war, and she won it again when competition resumed in 1919. She was to claim the title twice more, in 1923 and 1925. Her photograph is reproduced here courtesy of the Women Golfers’ Museum.
The autumn brought the last two big events of the Irish calendar, the Irish Amateur Open and the South of Ireland. In 1919 the Amateur Open, played at Royal Portrush, had its usual quota of cross-channel competitors, with Carl Bretherton of England winning the final against Tommy Armour, the future professional from Scotland. The other two semi-finalists also were from England. The 1920 staging was at Portmarnock, in Co. Dublin. The field was down from 132 the previous year to 83, and only 16 entered from across the Irish Sea, compared with 57 in 1919. Bretherton came to defend his title, but he was defeated in the quarter-finals by Noel Martin of Portrush, another Irish veteran of the Great War. Only one non-Irish player made it to the semi-finals and Martin was the eventual winner.
In another display of self-indulgence, the following was reported on 7 September 1920 in the Irish Independent account of the first round:
One of the disappointments was the moderate form shown by J. Gorry (Kildare), who was 3 down at the turn to J.L. Morgan (Delgany), and was beaten 3 and 2, but it must be said in extenuation of the Kildare man’s form that he was playing with strange clubs, his own having been burnt in the recent fire at the Skerries Club.
The South of Ireland Amateur Championship at Lahinch followed on the heels of the Amateur Open and the victor was Ernest Carter, yet another British Army officer. His entry in the 1922 Golfer’s Handbook states:
Badly wounded in the war and amputation of a leg was deemed necessary to save his life. He refused to permit the operation “because with only one leg he would be little use at golf and life would be unbearable”.
Carter’s victory in the 1919 Irish Close is all the more remarkable because of this. His win in the 1920 South of Ireland final had some War of Independence mischief as a backdrop. Arthur J. Quinlan’s history of the ‘South’ relates a story told by John Burke. In 1920 Burke was involved in the armed struggle but in later years he was one of Ireland’s greatest amateur golfers. He told Quinlan that during the final he and two others removed the Union Jack from the flagpole outside the clubhouse and burned it, replacing it with a Tricolour.
During the politically turbulent times the Irish region of the Professional Golfers Association divided into northern and southern branches. In September 1920 a stroke tournament for northern professionals was held at Bangor, with Harry Hamill winning the event. In succeeding years this developed into the Ulster Professional Championship.
Two babies born in 1920 were among those who in later years would make their mark on Irish golf. In February, Zelie Godfrey was born. It was under her married name of Fallon that she won the Irish Ladies’ Close in 1964, becoming the oldest ever winner, at 44 years and 94 days. Philomena Garvey was 67 days younger when she won her last Irish title in 1970. Zelie Fallon remarried and in later years was better known as Mrs. Gaynor.
In May 1920, Jimmy Bruen came into the world. He became an amateur golf sensation in the late 1930s but his career was interrupted by World War II and his sparkle had faded by the time he reached his early thirties. Nevertheless, he won the Boys’ Championship, the Amateur Championship, the Irish Amateur Open and the Irish Close, as well as being leading amateur in The Open.
Despite the overshadowing story of conflict, 1920 in Ireland had an eventful golf calendar, and the beginnings of new growth.
St. Brigid’s Church, Talbotstown, has a really beautiful backdrop, with the twin mountains of Keadeen and Carrig dominating the view. The small car park beside the church is one of the best vantage points for admiring those mountains and for seeing Finn McCool and his wife resting in the sunshine. To the left you will see the much smaller Kilranelagh Hill, the site of an old graveyard and the centre of an area with many remains of ancient habitation. But Talbotstown Church itself has its own beauty and its own history.
It is at the edge of the townland of Talbotstown Upper in Kilranelagh civil parish, but it is an out-church or chapel-of-ease of Rathvilly Roman Catholic parish, which straddles the border between Cos. Carlow and Wicklow. Talbotstown is proudly in Wicklow, though all this part of the county was part of Carlow (Catherlogh) before Wicklow was invented in 1606. Until the early years of the twentieth century the word ‘church’ was used only in relation to Church of Ireland places of worship, while those of other denominations were referred to as ‘chapels’.
Writing in the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society in 1905, Charles Drury stated that after the old chapel of Kilranelagh fell into disuse, Mass was said in a chapel in Englishtown. He quoted one John Magrath as saying that this practice continued for about 150 or 200 years. The tumbled down walls of that chapel are all that may be seen now, to the side of the road between Talbotstown and Killalesh. That chapel is shown on the original Ordnance Survey map c1840, while the site of what is now Talbotstown Church was part of a field next to the then new National School.
Drury stated that:
… now some sixty years ago, service was first held in Talbotstown Chapel. Father Gahan, who was parish priest at the time it was built, assembled his congregation on the site of the proposed new chapel, and ascertained by actual measurement the size necessary. The dimensions of Tinnock Chapel were arrived at in the same way.
The new Talbotstown Church is said to have been built in 1842. A Valuation Office House Book, dated in the mid-1840s, states:
This chapel has been lately built and the interior is in quite an unfinished state the south western [end?] is [?ed] with cut stone in the grecian style and so are the windows on such side, and all appears to be of the best materials
The building features in The Churches of Kildare & Leighlin 2000 A.D., edited by Rev. John McEvoy, now Parish Priest of Rathvilly. It mentions that the bell from the old chapel in Englishtown was installed in it. Talbotstown is described as:
… a substantial structure built of granite, with a front of fine-cut blocks featuring six pillars. Three doorways allow access, two to the nave and the central one to the organ gallery. The porch has rounded stone arches, a feature repeated in the side-windows and the pillar-supported arch over the old altar.
The book notes that it never had stained-glass windows. Regarding the interior, it mentions that ‘the striking features are the high walls of exposed stone which support a beautiful ceiling painted by Grispini, an Italian artist who also worked on Humewood Castle, Kiltegan.’ This painting would have been done a few decades after the erection of the church, as Humewood was built in the 1860s-1870s.
There must have been much rejoicing when John and Martha Stratford’s eighth child arrived in the mid-1730s, about a decade into their marriage. According to Martha’s second cousin, Pole Cosby, that eighth child, Edward, was their first son. It is said that John and Martha had 19 children, with 15 of them surviving childhood. However, there seems not to be any definite record of all the children, or when they were born. So, it can be said that they had at least nine daughters, very likely eleven, and possibly more.
The Stratfords were upwardly mobile members of the Irish gentry in the early eighteenth century. John was the youngest son of Edward Stratford of Belan, Co. Kildare, and ultimately he succeeded to most of his property, including the town of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, and much of its environs. Martha was the younger daughter of Archdeacon Benjamin Neale and his wife Hannah Paul. The Archdeacon’s career is a little hazy, but he may have been rector of Baltinglass parish about the time of his daughter’s marriage. The Co. Carlow parishes of Hacketstown and Rathvilly also vaguely featured in his curriculum vitae. In any case, he built a mansion in Rathvilly parish, just south of Baltinglass, which he called Mount Neale [now Mountneill]. After his death much of his property, including Mount Neale, and property from the Paul family passed to the Stratfords.
The Stratford family were a quarrelsome and litigious lot. There was always a disagreement going on between some of them. Sir Jonah Barrington, in his colourful and satirical Personal Sketches, commented that they ‘preferred law to all other species of pastime’. John and Martha had a not very harmonious relationship with their eldest son, Edward. Edward in turn was intermittently at loggerheads with his younger brothers, while his sisters appear to have had divided loyalties. According to Barrington, Edward had a dispute with his brothers about the running of the borough of Baltinglass. To remedy the situation he decided to nominate his sister Hannah as the borough’s new returning officer, an extraordinary proposition for the late eighteenth century. It ‘created a great battle’ into which the other sisters evidently waded. Barrington wrote:
The honourable ladies all got into the thick of it : some of them were well trounced – others gave as good as they received : the affair made a great uproar in Dublin, and informations were moved for and granted against some of the ladies.
The order of birth of John and Martha’s eleven, or so, daughters is very unclear. Almost certainly HANNAH was the eldest, though she has been referred to as Edward’s twin. She remained unmarried. If the order in which her sisters wed is any indication of their place in the family, they were born in this order: MARTHA (married 1753 Morley Pendred Saunders), ELIZABETH (m. 1758 Robert Tynte), AMELIA (m. 1760 Richard Wingfield, younger brother of the 2nd Viscount Powerscourt), HARRIOT (m. 1765 Robert Hartpole), GRACE (m. 1778 Rev. Hayes Phipps Queade), ANNE (m. 1778 George Powell) and FRANCES (m. 1781 William Holt). In addition, there was DEBORAH, who did not marry, as well as two others, MARIA and LETITIA, who died sometime before 1789.
Considering that the Stratfords were regarded as wealthy and that they were coming up in the world, the matches made by the daughters were unspectacular. Amelia was the only one who married into the aristocracy and even that was not a major step up the ladder, as her husband’s father had been elevated to the peerage only 17 years before she became the Honourable Mrs. Wingfield.
In 1763 the Stratfords moved up a peg in society, when John Stratford was created Baron of Baltinglass. This made Lord and Lady Baltinglass’s other married daughters the Hon. Mrs. Saunders and the Hon. Mrs. Tynte, while the unmarried girls became the Hon. Hannah, Harriot, Grace, Anne, Frances and Deborah Stratford. If Maria and Letitia were alive at the time they too would have been Honourables! The following year Amelia’s brother-in-law died and her husband became viscount. She was now Lady Powerscourt and once again ahead of her own mother in the pecking order, as viscountess trumps baroness.
In 1776 John Stratford was elevated to the title of Viscount Aldborough, but this did not change the status of his daughters. However, the next year he became Earl of Aldborough and his daughters’ prefix of ‘Honourable’ was replaced by ‘Lady’. This had no bearing on Amelia’s status as she already was the wife of a peer. By then all of the Stratford daughters ranged from young adults to middle-aged women. John Stratford had long been a wealthy landowner with social aspirations. With his newly found position as a peer in the 1760s, and a houseful of daughters, it might have been expected that better matrimonial alliances would have been a priority for him and Martha. For whatever reason, there were no advantageous marriages.
John died less than six months after gaining his earldom. His son Edward became the 2nd earl and he too had aspirations to greater social connections, but his sisters who married in the following four years did nothing to enhance the family’s grandeur. All three married with their mother’s approval, as she was a party to each of their marriage settlements. One married a student and future clergyman, while the other two settled for fairly ordinary gentlemen. Considering that each of them had a dowry of £4,000-£5,000, you might expect them to catch the younger son of a peer at least.
In relation to this generation of the Stratford family, original documentary sources are supplemented by Ethel M. Richardson’s Long Forgotten Days (London, 1928) and Ronald W. Lightbown’s An Architect Earl: Edward Augustus Stratford (Thomastown, 2008), and by an article, ‘Recollections of Visits to Belan House, Co. Kildare, in the Early Victorian Period’, by an anonymous female writer, published in the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society, Vol. V, No. 5 (1908). Mervyn Archdall’s 1789 revision of John Lodge’s Peerage of Ireland, or a Genealogical History of the Present Nobility of the Kingdom listed nine of the daughters of John and Martha Stratford, including the little known Maria and Letitia, both of whom were stated as deceased by that time. Archdall’s source on these two daughters was ‘Information of the Earl’, their brother. Strangely Archdall omitted Frances and Deborah, both of whom were alive and well at the time. Richardson likewise listed nine daughters, omitting Maria and Deborah.
No one seems to have carried out a full inventory of the Stratford offspring. Over the years, daughters’ names have been thrown about and the total of nine has been quoted, without a careful head count. Assuming that Maria and Letitia actually existed, and there is scant evidence of that, there were at least eleven daughters. Certainly there were six sons. If there were 19 children altogether there are two others unaccounted for, and their gender is unknown.
The following is a very brief summary in relation to each of the eleven daughters of whom there is record:
Hannah: Apparently she was the eldest, named after her maternal grandmother, Hannah Paul (Mrs. Neale). However, Lightbown refers to her as Edward’s twin, and Edward was preceded by seven girls. Certainly Hannah was the eldest surviving unmarried daughter, as she was referred to as Miss Stratford before she became Lady Hannah, evidently at about the age of fifty. By all accounts she was a formidable woman. Apparently her opinion held sway with her parents. According to Barrington’s lively account of the dispute over the borough of Baltinglass, she was an ally of her brother Edward, the 2nd Earl. Hannah died unmarried in 1801 at 8 Great Denmark Street, the Dublin residence her brother the earl had used before building Aldborough House. At that time she was possibly in her mid-seventies.
Maria: According to Archdall’s revision of Lodge’s Peerage of Ireland, Maria was deceased by 1789. The only other evidence of her existence is the ‘Portrait of Lady Maria Stratford, daughter of 1st Earl of Aldborough’ which was sold at auction in 2019 as part of the contents of Fortgranite, the residence of the Dennis family, descendants of the Stratfords. Despite her want of biography, Maria’s picture fetched £18,000, three times the guide price. The portrait was attributed to James Latham, an Irish artist who died in 1747. If it was by Latham, Maria must have been one of the older daughters.
Letitia: Archdall also mentioned Letitia as deceased by 1789. The only other reference found to her was Richardson’s ‘to complete the long list, at the very end, came the little Lady Letitia, who appears to have died early unmarried’. Her position ‘at the very end’ may have come from Richardson’s imagination rather than real evidence.
Martha: The first of the children of John and Martha to marry. Her husband was Morley Pendred Saunders of Saunders Grove, just north of Baltinglass. The ceremony was celebrated at St. Anne’s in Dublin on 20 February 1753 by George Stone, Archbishop of Armagh. That little social coup may have come about by ecclesiastical connections through the Neale family. Stone started his rapid rise through the ranks in 1733, when he became Dean of Ferns. In the same year Martha’s grandfather, Benjamin Neale died in office as Chancellor of Ferns. Martha was still alive in 1800, when she was bequeathed a legacy by her brother Edward. Her many descendants included the Tyntes of Tynte Park and the Dennises of Fortgranite, both in West Wicklow, as well as the Saunders family. The 2019 sale of Fortgranite brought an end to her progeny’s association with the Baltinglass area.
Elizabeth: In 1758 she married Robert Tynte of Old Bawn, Co. Dublin, and Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow. He died in June 1760 near Bristol, on his way to Bath ‘for the recovery of his health, which was much impaired’. Their only child was born posthumously. This was the future Sir James Stratford Tynte, who was created a baronet in 1778, while still a minor. He married his first cousin Hannah Saunders, Lady Martha’s daughter. Lady Elizabeth remained a widow for the rest of her life. According to Lightbown, she died in 1816. The Tyntes of Tynte Park were her descendants.
Amelia: She married Hon. Richard Wingfield in St. Anne’s parish, Dublin, on 25 September 1760. Four years later she became Lady Powerscourt. Her husband died in 1788, but she was still alive in 1807, when she testified in a Chancery case concerning the will of her brother Edward. According to Richardson, she died in 1830, by which time she would have been in her late eighties at least. Among her living descendants are Sarah Ferguson and her daughters the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York.
Harriot: She also married in St. Anne’s parish, suggesting that the Stratfords’ town house was in that area of Dublin at the time. The wedding took place on 30 May 1765 and her husband was Robert Hartpole of Shrule in Queen’s Co. [now Co. Laois], then a grand house in decline. Richardson mentions an account of ‘when she, suffering the agonies of smallpox, gave birth to a dying baby boy’. According to Lightbown, Harriot died in 1775 (in which case she was never ‘Lady Harriot’). Her only surviving son, George, was the subject of one of Barrington’s Personal Sketches, in which the Stratfords were lampooned. He died in 1795, bringing an end to the Hartpole line that had been associated with Shrule for generations. Hannah’s daughter Martha married Charles Bowen and her daughter Maria married John Lecky. The historian William Edward Hartpole Lecky (1838-1903) was one of her descendants.
Grace: In 1778, the year after the death of her earl father, Grace married Hayes Phipps Queade. The ceremony also took place in St. Anne’s parish, on 1 September. As Grace’s mother was born no later than about 1708, Grace must have been in her early twenties at least by the time of the marriage. Her husband was a scholarship student at Trinity College, Dublin, aged about twenty-one, and the son of a clergyman. He graduated the following year and was ordained in 1780. Apparently his first appointment was not until 1799, when he became curate at St. Anne’s. Considering his youth and lack of prospects at the time of the marriage, it is not surprising that Grace’s marriage settlement stipulated (with Queade’s consent) that none of what she brought to the union would be ‘at the disposal or subject to the Controul of her said then intended Husband’. Grace died in or before 1803, when her will was proved. In 1805 Queade married his second wife, Narcissa McNemara.
Anne: James Shiel, an ally of the 2nd Earl, in a letter of January 1778, quoted by Richardson, observed:
Lady Ann sings to admiration the song in ‘The Beggar’s Opera,’ ‘I’m like a ship in the ocean lost.’
At the end of that year Anne married George Powell, apparently a distant cousin who attached himself to the Stratford family and later became agent to Anne’s brother Edward. Anne was still alive in 1798 but must have died soon afterwards. Her earl brother died on the second day of the nineteenth century, 2 January 1801, and eleven months later his widow, Anne Elizabeth, married George Powell. That union lasted only a few months before Anne Elizabeth also died.
Frances: She was the last of the sisters to take a husband. She married William Holt of Dublin on 26 April 1781 in St. Anne’s parish, with her brother-in-law, Rev. Hayes Phipps Queade as celebrant. She had two children, Edward Stratford Holt and Hannah O’Neale Holt, both mentioned in her will. In the late spring of 1792 it was known in the family that Frances was dying. On 30 April Lady Aldborough and Lady Hannah went to visit at her home in Crumlin, Co. Dublin. According to the 2nd Earl’s diary, quoted by Richardson, they brought home ‘her only child’ to stay with them in Dublin ‘as her poor Mother is not like to live’. A few days later ‘little Miss Holt’ was brought back to visit Frances. On 15 May Lord Aldborough wrote ‘Lost my poor sister Holt’. Three days later he entered:
Went to Crumlin, to do the last sad office to my departed sister in attending her remains to St. John’s. After the burial service was performed, had the coffin replaced in hearse, and Conveyed to Family Vault in Baltinglass, and grave intended for her in St John’s closed. Spent the rest of the day at home.
The ‘Family Vault’ was not a vault as such, and should not be confused with the much later Stratford Tomb that is to be seen now in Baltinglass Abbey.
Deborah: Debby, as she appears to have been called, remained unmarried. She was little mentioned until her later years. After the death of Edward, the 2nd Earl, in 1801, the next brother, John, became the 3rd Earl of Aldborough. At some stage John and his wife decided to lead separate lives. He remained at Belan House, to which he succeeded along with the title. After his wife’s departure his sister Debby lived at Belan with him, leading a quiet life. The anonymous ‘Recollections of Visits to Belan House’ paints a picture of Lady Deborah’s management of the household:
She was a notable housekeeper, always carrying a large bunch of keys, and keeping her store-room filled with all sorts of good things ; she distilled herbs, roses, and lavender ; she doctored the tenants, or thought she did so, for though they accepted her medicaments, they threw them all out, doctor’s stuff, as they called them, not being to their taste. At Christmas time she laid in great stores of raisins and currants, and, with the help of a boy named Hagarty, stoned all the raisins and prepared the Christmas fare herself. This same Hagarty must have had a bad time ; she watched him closely when stoning the raisins, and, if caught putting one into his mouth, boxed his ears so soundly that he tumbled off the high stool on which he was perched.
Eventually the earl’s daughter, Lady Emily, came to live at Belan, and Lady Debby departed. The anonymous writer added:
In a short time she retired from the scene , and lived a very retired life in Dublin in a large house, I rather think in Leeson Street. Her fine jewellery and a considerable sum of money which she took with her from Belan she carefully kept sewed up in her mattress.
There may be portraits of various of the Stratford sisters in existence. Apart from that of Maria, the only other encountered on this journey of discovery was one of Elizabeth with her young son James Tynte, reproduced in Lightbown’s book.
It’s not that far from home, but I had my first visit to Kilmore Quay, on the south coast of Wexford, just the other day. Apart from the combined feel of fishing village and seaside resort, the most striking thing about Kilmore Quay was the number of thatched houses to be seem. Passing through the village of Kilmore, a few miles inland from Kilmore Quay, such roofs were evident too.
A century or more ago thatched roofs were to be seen all over Ireland. By the 1960s they were a rarity. They had been replaced in very many cases by corrugated iron coverings, as I was reminded by a comment in response to an image I posted a few weeks ago on my Facebook page. Nowadays, driving through most parts of the country, passing a thatched cottage elicits comments about the quaintness and loveliness of its appearance.
The particular roof in the photograph here was just newly repaired and I had a chance to chat to the thatcher as he put huge bags of straw back in his trailer. He told me that Wexford is now the county with the most thatched structures in Ireland. He is a native of the village and one of only a handful of thatchers working in the county. A straw thatch, like this bright new one, would be expected to last for about twenty to twenty-five years, while a reed thatch should last for about forty years. Kilmore Quay has examples of both.
Looking online I learned more. It would appear that the phenomenon is one of revival rather than survival. The Irish School of Thatching, in Duncormick (not far from Kilmore Quay), runs short and intensive courses on the craft. Its website shows that some quarter century ago the late Peter Brockett was brought over from Bedfordshire to give a two-year course in thatching for FÁS (An Foras Áiseanna Saothair, the former national training and employment authority). Prior to that Ireland was accustomed to roofs lasting only seven years.
Revival rather than survival is a reason for optimism – even a source of inspiration. Reintroducing thatch to parts of Ireland, just like native species of wildlife, is a possibility. Wouldn’t it be nice?
A few months ago my website hosting company started sending me early and frequent email notifications about the due date of my annual hosting fee. When I made the payment (of just over €33) there was some glitch. I was assured by one of the staff that, even if the glitch wasn’t sorted, I had a month’s grace before anything drastic might happen to my site. No email notifications requesting overdue payment were received so I just forgot about the glitch.
Then a week ago my email stopped sending or receiving. I thought this was related to an old email problem, so I muddled along with an alternative email account till I could find a free day when I could hand over my laptop to my local IT expert. In the meantime, I discovered that my website was off-line. So I started communications with the hosting company. They acknowledged that the annual payment had been made back in July and they said they would look into the problem.
My IT expert needed further details (beyond my understanding) from the hosting company, so I made several calls to them and it was only on the third call that the penny dropped in my slow brain: the email and website were disabled a week before due to the hosting company’s glitch. As a result of my fourth phone call of the day, my website and email were restored at 5pm. Another day passed by before I got my laptop back, with the email problem eliminated, but with side effects. Tomorrow is another day of uncertainty, thanks to my hosting company’s internal glitch.
At the age of 116, Sam McAllister is the oldest resident of Baltinglass. He has stood at the centre of Main Street since his unveiling on 8 May 1904. He has become a symbol of Baltinglass and even a minor place-name. People often meet ‘at McAllister’. Pop-up events sometimes take place ‘at McAllister’. Unfortunately, on occasion Sam is made hold flags for sporting events or nationalist commemorations – not the most respectful treatment for such a venerable resident.
Sam is very much an accepted part of our community. I doubt that anyone dislikes him. People may be indifferent to him and take him for granted, if they don’t actively like him. Visitors take photographs of him. He was only in his mid-fifties when I was born about a hundred yards away from where he stands, and he’s been at the focal point of my home town all my life. The centre of Main Street would look very bare without him.
McAllister was a late starter in the centenary commemorations of the 1798 Rebellion. Other towns in Wicklow, Carlow and Wexford got their rebel statues before Baltinglass got Sam. The main impetus and funding came from Dublin-based organisers and nationalist emigrants living in the USA, but local committees were expected to raise money too. Baltinglass was a bit tardy, so the foundation stone was laid four years after the centenary and it was another two years before the unveiling.
Visitors may look at the statue and see its message of rebellion. Baltinglass natives may see an old friend. But McAllister is also a minor work of art. The sculptor was George Smyth of Dublin (c1857-1927). He created a life-sized statue of Sicilian marble, representing a defiant McAllister with his right arm in a sling and a rifle by his left side. The base was made of Ballyknockan granite.
Apparently George Smyth was known more for church sculpture. His premises were in Great Brunswick Street, across the road and a few doors down from those of another firm of monumental sculptors, the Pearse family. The street was later renamed after Patrick Pearse, while George Smyth’s premises were absorbed into Trinity College. George’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him were sculptors. The great-grandfather was Edward Smyth, who worked on the ornamentation of the Custom House in Dublin for the architect, James Gandon, who was greatly impressed by him. The riverine heads that adorn the keystones of the Custom House were Edward Smyth’s creation.
As a minor work of art, our McAllister statue has an interesting pedigree, but what of its purpose? Commemoration of 1798 was a way of keeping nationalism to the fore as the centenary of Ireland’s integration into the United Kingdom approached. There is no doubt that the proliferation of statues built a hundred years after the United Irishmen’s ’98 Rebellion had a political motive, one not shared by all Irish people. While the leaders of United Irishmen had set aside religious differences and the rebellion had been led in Ulster by Presbyterians, the fighting in the south-east had a strong sectarian element. Joseph Holt, a Protestant from the Redcross area of Co. Wicklow, was almost the only exception to the rule. Those who involved themselves in the rebellion in the south-east were almost exclusively Roman Catholic; those who were involved in opposing it were primarily Protestant. And then there was Sam McAllister.
Sam is someone of whom little is known. Certainly he was a Presbyterian from Ulster. He may well have come to the West Wicklow area as a textile worker in the calico factory in the new town of Stratford-on-Slaney. While in Co. Wicklow, he enlisted in the Antrim Militia, for whatever reason, in April 1798 but deserted three months later and joined the rebels. In February 1799 he was one of a party of rebels on the run with the local leader, Michael Dwyer, when they sheltered one night in a number of houses in Derrynamuck in the Glen of Imaal. They were ambushed and surrounded by a detachment of the Glengarry Fencibles. McAllister and Dwyer were in one house with two other rebels, both of whom were killed. McAllister was wounded in the arm and the thatched roof was set alight. According to Dwyer, McAllister sacrificed his life by standing in the doorway and drawing the soldiers’ fire in order that Dwyer might escape, which he did.
When it came to erecting a centenary statue in Baltinglass, the original intention was that Dwyer would be represented by it. However, there was a lingering resentment against him in the town due to a sectarian killing spree in December 1798 by a group of which he was the leader. It took place as they left Baltinglass on a Fair Day and walked along the Dublin Road (now Sruhaun Road) towards Tuckmill. Apparently Dwyer was not forgiven for this and so, remembering the Derrynamuck ambush, the shadowy figure of the little-known Presbyterian from Ulster was chosen in preference to the folk hero.
The monument’s inscription refers to both Dwyer and McAllister, and mentions the various nationalist struggles down to the Fenians in the 1860s. This structure cannot have been a welcome new feature in the centre of the town for the several Protestant families who lived here, because it represented a tradition that largely alienated them. Whatever they felt about it at the time, as the years went by McAllister became familiar. He wasn’t preaching or fighting or causing any disturbance. As the decades passed, he grew older and mellowed, and now he is older than anyone in Baltinglass. His persona has developed and grown.
With all his ambiguities, he represents what the beholder wishes to see. He’s a rebel, a shadowy hero, a Presbyterian nationalist, a work of art, an Ulsterman, an outsider, a ‘blow-in’ or (less politely) a ‘runner-in’, a migrant worker, an old friend, a venerable resident, an institution, an icon of Baltinglass, a symbol of our community, a constant in time of change.
I’m very fond of Sam. I look at him and see all those things at different times. Mainly I think of him as an old friend. He’s like a man of contradictions, all whose opinions I don’t have to share in order to appreciate his friendship.
It’s getting close to two years since I published my latest book, Credentials for Genealogists: Proof of the Professional. I wrote it because I passionately care about genealogy as a profession and I can see its structure declining before my eyes. Things have changed a little since the book was launched in October 2018 and one good change came to my attention recently. It relates to Atlantic Canada.
When I was researching for the publication I found it very difficult to get information about the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes (GIM). This accrediting body was founded in 1983 and it provides credentials for genealogists conducting research in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. A few years ago its online presence consisted of an add-on to the website of the Nova Scotia Genealogy Network Association. It contained a few static pages and gave no contact details for those it accredited.
Recently I was asked to recommend a genealogist in Canada, without geographical specifics. There are two accrediting organisations within Canada, GIM and the Bureau québécois d’attestation de compétence en généalogie (BQACG), which only covers the province of Quebec. When I looked for the GIM web pages they were gone! I was afraid that the organisation had imploded, but when I searched for ‘Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes’ up came its new website.
The first thing I noticed was an excellent YouTube introduction to the organisation’s background and history by Allan Marble, one of its founding members. This new website has a list of GIM Members naming all genealogists, past and present, who have been granted credentials. Separately, it has lists of certified researchers currently active, arranged by province and with contact details. It was a pleasant surprise to see that GIM has been reinvigorated. Though it is one of the smaller accrediting organisations, it serves a very useful purpose for an area of the east coast of North America through which many Irish, English and Scottish migrated. Ireland’s cod fishing connections with the area, dating from the eighteenth century, are well known.
Incidentally, Credentials for Genealogists: Proof of the Professional is available to order through Alan Hanna’s Bookshop, Dublin. Getting back to Canada, I wish long life and prosperity to GIM.
I'm a genealogist by profession, with credentials from AGI. I also dabble in local history and the history of Irish golfers, and I'm always writing something!