A Very Occasional Blog

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!

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A Slideshow of Recent Posts

Time Travel – it’s 1975 again!

Today (11 March 2022) my friend Cora Crampton showed me a photograph of a sheet of paper – the one in the image here.  It was in the back of a copy of Claude Chavasse’s The Story of Baltinglass (1970) which I gave her (or so she says) several years ago.  She...

Hungry Hill: Daphne du Maurier’s Fantasy Ireland

A few months ago I spent a weekend with friends on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork.  On our way from Glengarriff to Castletownbere we drove along the base of the bleak looking Hungry Hill.  It’s the highest mountain on the peninsula.  During our few days we visited...

The Anglo-Irish Treaty’s Ancestor

The signing, a century ago this week, of the Anglo-Irish Treaty echoed the signing of another document five years earlier.  The Proclamation of the Irish Republic was signed by seven men in Easter Week 1916.  It was, in a sense, an ancestor of the Anglo-Irish Treaty....

My Name is Aloysius

My second forename is Aloysius.  Throughout my childhood, youth and middle age I kept it hidden from most people.  I was embarrassed by it and I wasn’t a bit happy that my parents thought to lumber me with such an oddity.  It took decades for me to come to terms with...

The Day My Grandfather Didn’t Become a Golf Champion

A hundred years ago this very day my grandfather, Joseph Gorry, reached the zenith of his amateur golfing career.  Very probably for him it felt like failure.  The events of that day became the stuff of golfing legend in the family.  His daughter, Joan Gorry, was...

Gordon Bennett!

Gordon Bennett !!!  This photograph was taken on Wednesday 1 July 1903 in South Main Street, Naas, Co. Kildare. What was happening was the weighing of the cars for the 4th Gordon Bennett Cup Race, the first to be held outside of France. The race took place the...

I’m Mad as Hell!

I’m led to believe that it was Mark Twain who said ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’, but who knows?  Who cares?  Truth is a commodity much less valuable than perception.  Get a celebrity into a graveyard, show him any old gravestone and tell him...

Rex Ingram, the Irishman who put the Valentino into Romance

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...
Irish Golf in 1920

Irish Golf in 1920

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...

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Talbotstown Church – something of a West Wicklow gem

Talbotstown Church – something of a West Wicklow gem

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...

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The Eleven (or so) Daughters of John and Martha Stratford

The Eleven (or so) Daughters of John and Martha Stratford

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...

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McAllister – a monument with history

McAllister – a monument with history

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...

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Gorry Research,
Baltinglass,
Co. Wicklow,
Ireland
info@gorryresearch.ie

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