Friday, 20 May 2011

St Mullins (St Mullings) parish register

The old baptism register of the parish of St Mullins (or St Mullings, as some of the entries read) reveals some details about the occupants of one of the graves at St Mullins churchyard. I described the oldest gravestone in a posting here where you can also see a photo of the gravestone.Erected by Patrick Fitzhenry
In memory of his wife Ann
Fitzhenry Als Murphy
June 15th 1803 ag'd 32 years
And 3 of her children
May they rest in peace

The register started in April 1796, only 7 years before Ann died. Both the following entries have been spelled as they were in the register. There was pair of letters after the name of each child (the same letters for both male and female children) which at first I couldn't decipher. After asking around, I now think that they are PL, which is a contraction of Parvulus Legitimum - "the legitimate child of".
This priest wasn't backward in making his views clear on a child's birth status - in April 1797, Solomon, the child of Thomas Poor and Bridget Kinsella is referred to as "an incestuous bastard".
SS stands for sponsors

February 15th 1797
At Ballyleigh. Bapt. Laurence PL Patrick Fitzhenery [sic] and Anne Murphy SS Martin Kehoe and Cathy Murphy

December 12th 1801
At Ballyleigh Bapt. Thos. PL Paddy Fitzhery [sic] and Anna Murphy SS Paddy Murphy and Paddy Neale

There are no more baptism entries for this couple and Ann died in 1803. Laurence and Thomas may have been two of the three children also commemorated on the gravestone.

By 1809, Patrick Fitzhenry appears to have married again. Again all the spellings are as given in the register

January 24th 1809
Lur. [? Laurence] of Patt Fitzhenry and Peggy Byrne
SS Jas. Kighoe and Betty Fitzhenry.

I only reached up to 1810 in this register, so there may be more treasures to be found in later years...

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