Showing posts from August, 2017

1922 Four Courts destruction

On June 30th, 1922, the biggest explosion seen in Dublin before or since took place at the Four Courts. Mines exploded in the basement of the Public Record Office, which was at the western end of the Four Courts complex, and the records of the Irish administration from the 13th to the 19th century were almost totally destroyed.  Anti-treaty forces had occupied the Four Courts complex in April 1922, and had made the Public Record Office their munitions block, where they stored mines and ammunition. Ernie O’Malley, IRA director of organisation, a member of the Four Courts garrison, and later a talented author, wrote of the event in The Singing Flame: “A thick black cloud floated up about the buildings and drifted away slowly. Fluttering up and down against the black mass were leaves of white paper; they looked like hovering white birds.” We have an almost complete account of what was in the Public Record Office before its destruction: Herbert Wood, assistant deputy keeper at the r

Steinbeck's Ballykelly roots part 3

Steinbeck at the Hamilton headstone in Ballykelly Church of Ireland graveyard, 1952 By the time Steinbeck reached Mulkeeragh in 1952 his Hamilton relations had died off. Hamilton  headstone Tamlaght Finlagan Church of Ireland, Ballykelly In / loving memory of / Jane / relict of W J Hamilton / died 30th Nov 1916 / aged 88 years / Thomas C L Hamilton / their son died 2nd August 1942 / aged 70 years / also their daughter / Katherine J Hamilton / died 18th Jan 1944 aged 83 years / and their daughter / Mary E Hamilton / died 11th Feb 1950 aged 84 years 1911 census returns Hamilton of Mulkeeragh The 1901 and 1911 census returns Mulkeeragh have the widowed mother Jane Hamilton with unmarried children Katharine, Mary Elizabeth (Minnie) and Thomas. Form B1 House and Building returns described the house as of the 2nd class with two-stories 5 windows in the front with nine rooms. The house was probably thatched. In addition Form B2 reveals there were 10 outbuildings with

Steinbeck's Ballykelly roots part 2

Mulkeeragh townland was church land but became part of Phillips' Limavady estate early in the seventeenth century. William Conolly, Speaker in the Irish House of Commons purchased the entire estate in 1697. In his will the lease for years which he held from the See of Derry he bequeathed to 'my agent Robert McCausland, Esq as an acknowledgement for the faithful service he has done me'. Thus, the church lands of Drumachose, Tamlaght Finlagan and Balteagh, originally leased by Phillips, passed to the McCauslands and became the Drenagh estate. The Hamiltons have a long association with Mulkeeragh townland. The story of Stenbeicks' Hamilton family roots, however is a rather complicated one! The earliest record I have been able to locate is in the Conolly archives in PRONI.  A very interesting document in the Conolly papers in PRONI contains a list of tenants who proposed to emigrate to New England in 1718 and who had disposed of their lands before emigrating (also li