Sunday, 5 December 2010

St Mullins Graveyard, County Carlow - 1

The Abbey Centre at Graiguenamanagh also has some reference books about the locality. There is a series of books recording gravestone inscriptions from the graveyards from the surrounding areas.

The graveyard at St Mullins has six Fitzhenry gravestones. So I went to take a look for myself.
St Mullins is the site of dissolved abbey about 5 miles south of Graigue. St Mullin himself was a local saint who is a patron saint of the area. As you can see on the Wikipedia map, it is on the cusp of three counties: Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford. It's a lovely area and well worth a visit. One of the most famous people buried in the graveyard is General Thomas Cloney, one of the leaders of the 1798 rebellion.

There were 3 Fitzhenry stones in a row, and 3 others with Fitzhenry "mentions". I'm going to discuss the 3 stones in a row as a group. If you click on the picture, it opens a larger version.

The transcripts are from the book "St Mullins and St Michaels Tombstone Inscriptions" pub St Mullins Muintir na Tir 1988

The oldest stone is on the right as you face them.This was elaborately carved in late 18th century script with religious carvings at the top of the stone.
This stone was erec'd in mem'ry
of Nicholas Fitzhenry dep'd
This Life Sep'ber 12th 1763 ag'd 78 yrs
Also his wife Bridget Byrne dep'd
March 15th 1756 aged 56 yrs
& Edward Fitz'ry dep'd Dec'ber 21
1796 Aged 72 yrs Also the Body
of Nancy Fitzhenery who died
At Lambay in Newfoundland Feb'y
19th 1807 aged 85 yr.
The carving "Lambay in Newfoundland" is quite indistinct and I have relied on the book transcription for this. However, I can only find Lambay as an island off the County Dublin coast. There is no Lambay that I can find in Newfoundland.

Stone 2 on the left is now so covered with lichen that it can't be read. To remove the lichen would damage the stone and what remains of the carving, so I can't confirm the dates, but here is the book transcription.
In memoriam.
Erected by the Rev. James Fitzhenry (Missionary South Africa) in memory of
James Fitzhenry died in 1847 aged 73 yrs.
Margaret Fitzhenry Nee Gorman died in 1840 aged 65 yrs.
Edward Fitzhenry died 1847 aged 40 yrs.
Patrick Fitzhenry died 1888 aged 84 yrs
Martin Fitzhenry died 1848 aged 46 yrs
Nancy Ryan died 1895 aged 71 yrs
John Ryan died 1879 aged 73 yrs
Judy Ryan died 1852 aged 74 yrs
Edward Ryan died 1891 aged 92 yrs
Stone 3 is in the middle and is very easily read. The last name has been added to the stone since the book was compiled in 1988.
In Sad and loving Memory of
Michael Fitzhenry
Died 4-3-1904 aged 93
Rev James Fitzhenry
Died Grahamstown South Africa
30- 4 -1919 aged 73
Margaret Fitzhenry
Died 6 - 5 -23 aged 73
Martin Fitzhenry
Died 19-4-1927 aged 75
Patrick Fitzhenry
Died 1-11-1931 aged 76
Walter Fitzhenry
Died 14-3-1939 aged 82
(late of Monamolin Rathnure)
Michael Fitzhenry N.T.
Died May 17th 1863 aged 28 years
I have featured this family before as I found the Rev. James Fitzhenry in a book about Templeudigan. This now gives us 3 generations of this family and the information that James Fitzhenry himself died out in South Aftrica. As yet I do not know how the Ryans are related, but the Gormans crop up again very soon.

The Michael Fitzhenry added to the stone is the murdered schoolteacher from the Rathgarogue school - I do not know at present how he links in with this family.

And did you notice the Martin Fitzhenry died 1848 aged 46 on the second stone. Could this be our elusive husband of Judith Doyle?

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  1. Fascinating blog - I do not have any Fitz-Henry relations (that I know of) but saw your blog mentioned and was interested in the one name aspect. Also as to the Carlow cemetery transcriptions - this is especially interesting as I do have Carlow roots - do you have additional information regarding these books. Finally, my Carlow relations from Carlow went to Newfoundland - very informative stuff on a Saturday morning. Cheers.

  2. Very interesting. It is always remarkable how some of the older stones can be easily transcirbed while other (maybe even not as old) loose the markings so completely

  3. Thank you to both Tessa and TCasteel for leaving comments.

    Tessa - the next posting is the next installment of the St Mullins graveyeard inscriptions. There is a link to a website which has the text of the books on them.
    I was told that a lot of the Southern Irish went to Newfoundland for the fishing opportunities.

    TCasteel - there was a wide variety of types of stone used in the graveyard. Marble seem to have fared the best. I expect that lichen just can't get a roothold on it to grow. Slate also seems to be a good bet for long term legibility. The clean damp air next to the River Barrow is perfect growing conditions for lichens on the "softer" porous types of stone.

  4. this was very interesting. my last name is Fitzhenry. and i came across this wanting to know more about the Fitzhenry side of my family. i have know clue wether this blog about Fitzhenry history is linked to me, but i'm going to keep looking for more info on my family.

  5. Dear Anonymous
    Drop us an email on:
    and we can swap information about your Fitzhenry family.
    Best wishes