Newsletter No. 75

Public Records Office (PRO) Repository – Photograph from early 1900’s
Taken from site:

In this issue:

Letter from the Editor
Our Brave Kellys
Beyond 2022; Irelands Virtual Record Treasury
Where is the Tea Pot & Silver Jug.
Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO)
New Members
Contact Us
Subscriptions to Kelly Clans
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

Letter from your Editor – Judy Kelly Fausch

Judy Kelly Fausch
Judy Kelly Fausch Editor

At the last meeting of our Clan Council in February, we discussed suggestions for continuing our biennial Gatherings at various sites around Ireland.  Some Council members are now looking into where and how the next Gathering could take place.  We will make more specific decisions at our Council meeting in April, and by the time of our next newsletter, we should be able to give you an idea of where and when we will be meeting in 2021.  If you have suggestions, or would like to help, please contact one of our Council members.

A recent article in the Irish Times was my introduction to the Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury project, which I find fascinating.  It would seem that anyone with an interest in Irish history, from whatever angle, would be anxiously following this project.  Note further information on p. 4 of this newsletter.

We often hear from people who are anxious to find information on their Irish ancestors. Although our organization is not primarily set up to provide genealogy help, many of us have found that delving into Irish history can lead us to more personal information.  We have many people in this organization with a great deal of knowledge of both history and family lineage.  And, they graciously share that knowledge.  One story with a little insight into family relationships is shared on p. 8, provided by John Kelly of Co. Tipperary.  John also shared what would probably have been a family favorite, on p. 3, titled “Our Brave Kellys.”

Council member Aidan Kelly is in charge of our Kelly DNA project, and has helped many people in this area, and continues to do so.  We also try to share names of groups who do work specifically with genealogy.  On p. 9 you’ll find information and a selection taken from the most recent issue of Ireland Reaching Out.       

A number of people within our group trace their lineage back many centuries in Ireland.  Many of them know not only their ancestors but the full history of where they lived, where they moved and why.  Then there are those of us who started out with the information, “My ancestors came from Ireland.”  On p. 5-7 is a re-print of a presentation given at the Gathering in 2001, which appeared in an earlier Kelly Clan Newsletter.  It came from someone who initially knew very little about his ancestry.  He eventually did a great deal of research, which he shared.  

I was thinking that, no matter where we start, if we keep searching, it seems we all eventually end up experiencing the meaning of Failte Ui Cheallaigh (O’Kelly Welcome) which we extend to all our readers

As newsletter time rolls around, I’m always amazed at the interesting stories I’m given to share.  Putting this together can be a real treat.  As noted in two of our articles, DNA plays such a big part in family history research these days.  But this still leads back to the sharing of family stories about real people in real places.  A big thank you to all the people over time who have been so willing to share these stories.  I’d like to add that if you find errors in any of these, they can be attributed to your Editor.  Please let me know.

Members – Thank you to all who have paid their membership fees.

New Members

Failte Ui Cheallaigh (O’Kelly Welcome) to these new members: 

Joseph Kelly

Robert Kelly

Linda Gallagher

D S Hart

Gail Herr

Contact us with comments, questions, information to share.

Contact Us

Council Members

Count Robert O’Kelly -  Chieftain -

Joe (Cav) Kelly - Uachtaran -

Countess Tina O’Kelly - Treasurer/ Cisteoir -

Michele O Kelly Browne - Secretary/ Runai -

Mary Kelly - Asst Secretary/Runai -

Aidan Kelly - Coordinator, DNA Study -

Judy Kelly Fausch - Newsletter Editor -

Council Members

Our Brave Kellys

By Paddy Kelly. 1 Grattan Street, Tipperary town.

I remember a story told about my grandfather, Denis Kelly of Alleen (Donohill Co. Tipperary). Shortly after introduction of motor-car he and another man were driving at night somewhere within 10 miles of Tipperary town.  Car broke down; flogging rain…usual scenario…saw a light in the distance. Went to farmhouse…voices heard inside…woman came to door…told them to wait outside….10 minutes later she came back and escorted them upstairs to large bedroom, where they attempted to bed down for the night. 

Time passed…no sleep…they heard voices from downstairs and, eventually voices on the stairs. Frightened, they started to move furniture against the door and, finally, moving a large heavy closet the door sprang open and out popped a body wearing the old-fashioned burial habit. They panicked and made it out the window, on to a flat roof and over the fields and far far away. They found out the next day that they had come across a house where a wake was being conducted….story may be apocryphal.

Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury

Beyond 2022 is a project by Trinity College Dublin, in collaboration with the National Archives, the National Archives (UK), the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

The project aims to create a virtual reconstruction of the Records Treasury of the Public Record Office of Ireland, which was destroyed during the Irish Civil War in 1922.

The 3D model will be built from original architectural plans and early twentieth-century photographic evidence. The project will also compile an inventory of material destroyed in 1922, and will identify surviving material and surrogate copies, or substitutes, available in various repositories in Ireland and the UK.

Further information is available on the project website

[Below is taken from the website]


June 30th, 2022, marks the centenary of the terrible explosion and fire at the Four Courts, Dublin, which destroyed the Public Record Office of Ireland (PROI) and with it, seven centuries of Ireland’s collective memories.  While incomparable with the loss of human life, the destruction of the Record Treasury at the PROI was one of the great tragedies of the Civil War.

Beyond 2022 is an all-island and international collaboration.  Working together, we will launch a virtual Record Treasury for Irish history – an open-access, virtual reconstruction of the Record Treasury destroyed in 1922.

Combining historical research, archival discovery and technical innovation, Beyond 2022 offers a lasting and meaningful legacy from the Decade of Centenaries, democratizing access to invaluable records and illuminating seven centuries of Irish history.


Beyond 2022 is funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under Project Ireland 2040.  We are proud to have inspired a unique collaboration between our Core Partners and a growing list of Participating Institutions in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The National Archives (Ireland)

The National Archives (UK)

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Belfast)

The Irish Manuscripts Commission

The Library, Trinity College Dublin

Taken from Kelly Clan Association Newsletter of December 2001

The following was given at the 2001 Kelly Clan Gathering at the Bellbridge Hotel in Spanish Point, Co. Clare, as an introduction by Tony Morgan to his presentation of pictures and other information from his extensive family history research


Tony Morgan

Well, I would not have volunteered to do this.  I am no more in the habit of standing up and speaking about myself and my family to a roomful of strangers than, I am sure, any of you are.  Gearóid asked me to do it and I agreed to do so.  I am quite used to speaking to groups of students about serious matters but this is quite new to me to be standing in front of people talking about myself and my family and it’s like going to confession in public.

It’s a very small story, certainly in the context of the Kelly great and good.  It’s a big story to me, of course.  Really, I suppose, it’s about what’s a fellow called Morgan doing at a Kelly clan gathering.  What I’m saying is by way of a brief explanation.

Obviously, without a Kelly surname, we are not talking here about my father’s family.  My wife suggested this talk should have been called “Kelly’s Heroines” but the women seem to get lost in the mists of history most of the time.  What I hope to do is just talk for a short time, more about how I came to be here than about the research I have done.  And I want to show some slides, which will probably speak for themselves rather better.

I was born in Liverpool in 1946, seven years after my brother, Pat, nine years after my sister, Anne, and nine months to the day after VE day.  That may tell you something.  I was brought up in the Liverpool Irish Catholic community, educated by the Poor Clares and by the Christian Brothers in missionary mode overseas.  My family upbringing was more Catholic than Irish.  My mother and her sister and brothers were all born in Kerry, in Tarbert.  I knew only one grandparent, very slightly, when I was four, or so.  I had really no connection with the grandparents’ generation.  There was not much Irish culture.  Looking back now I can think of only a few links that made it clear that our house had some Irish connections.

The most distinctive one was that each Christmas my mother used to get a letter from “cousins in Kilmaley.”  That’s the phrase that stuck with me. Sometimes she was quite distressed and she thought they lived in difficult conditions.  She seemed to be content to be living in better conditions in our house in Liverpool.

Our second memory was Christmas Day.  My mother’s sister Bridget, who lived up the road from us, would come down to us.  John Mac Cormack records would be put on and Aunt Bridget would get quite tearful.

A third, very distant memory, was quite distinctive.  Every March a little square box would arrive through the post and I would wear a sprig of shamrock to school, as most of my schoolmates seemed to do but it didn’t really mean very much.  It didn’t have a deeper significance for me.

There were a few other things.  One was the large brown paper parcels of Aran wool that used to arrive, still with the thorns and the grass that would stick in the wool of my mother’s very heavy pullovers that we would be sent out in.

The final thing was the statue of St. Patrick that presided over the bedroom that my brother and myself shared.  

We got a very sound education from the brothers and they were no gentler with me than they were with anybody else.  Perhaps for that reason – and I was with them for about eleven years, all the formative years – and certain ideas I had in the fifties, at any rate, about the puritanism and the austerity of the religion, I didn’t develop any interest at all in visiting Ireland.  In fact, I had a definite reluctance.

My mother didn’t keep any photographs.  There was not much evidence of the past in the house.  I was completely ignorant about my long distance grandparents.  I had no idea what their names were.  I didn’t know what they looked like.  I didn’t know where they came from.

For personal and professional reasons, I seemed to have spent most of the last thirty or forty years in Spain.  Now, I think that what I was looking for in Spain was over here across the Irish Sea.

My mother, who was the last of her Irish family in Liverpool, died in 1989.  She was grateful to have raised her own family, with quite a struggle at times.  She was grateful that the Sisters of Mercy had given my sister Anne a good education.  The Brothers’ efforts got my brother Pat into a good career and pushed me to the giddy heights of Oxford University, which in the 1960s was a rather unusual experience for a working class Scouser.

Ireland wasn’t in my thoughts at all but, when I re-married nine years ago, my Scottish wife, Annie, whose maiden name is Donegan, was quite angry about this and she insisted that we come over to Ireland, that we take a family holiday to the West of Ireland, that I might get some sense of my Irishness, she thought, and I might even like it a bit, dislike it less.  So I reluctantly agreed.

We wanted to come down to Clare and north Kerry.  I remembered the letters we used to get from my cousins in Kilmaley and I contacted my sister and asked her if she by any chance had an address there.  She did and I wrote to that address, not knowing to whom and not thinking there would be anybody there because it must have been at least thirty five years or so since letters were coming to the house.  A few days before we sailed to Ireland a letter did come to me from Kilmaley from 83 year old May.  She wrote in the letter that she was very surprised to hear from me.  I remember the phrase she used – “I thought I had said goodbye a long time ago to all my English and American friends.”  She insisted we come to the house for a cup of tea.

I thought that would be quite interesting, just an interesting place to drop in to.  I thought I would be visiting an old lady in a bungalow somewhere.  I didn’t appreciate what a connection it would be in family terms.  So we got over here and the day before we were due to visit her we drove over to the Cliffs of Moher.  It was quite a dramatic sight.  When I started to talk to her, or when she started to talk to me, I found myself becoming quite nervous.  I asked her how we would find the place and she tried to tell me and she couldn’t describe to me how to really get there.  She had never lived anywhere else and she had never driven a car, of course, and it was very remote.  I found myself becoming nervous listening to her but I think, in retrospect, that her voice bore unconscious echoes of my mother’s voice.  She and my mother were cousins.  My mother would have been exactly the same age as May, had she lived.

Well, anyway, we got to Kilmaley, which is about half way between here and Ennis, on the road between Miltown Malbay and Ennis.  We got to Kilmaley at the appointed time of four o’clock but we got to her house at half past five.  That was a great learning experience.  For one and a half hours we circled the lanes, through the hedgerows, asking directions from everybody and anybody we could find, constantly criss-crossing our tracks, knocking on any door we could come to.  The only reason we got to the house was that the last people we asked actually knew the house and led us there in their car.  We actually wouldn’t have spotted the end of the lane that led to the house if we hadn’t been steered down.

We were anxious and embarrassed that we had got there so late.  May answered and opened the door.  She was a very frail old lady and she greeted us with traditional hospitality.  It was August but the turf was burning in the grate, as it always had done.  Nothing I could see had changed inside the house since forty or fifty years ago.  I was very surprised to see hanging on the wall portraits of my aunts and uncles, photographs I had never seen before.  She gave us a traditional tea.  She had been up early that morning to bake.  While we were enjoying our tea she took out a lot of photographs.  She pulled out over a hundred, going back, most of them, to the 1920s and 30s, all of which she wanted to give to me.  They included photographs from Liverpool from my childhood days, with some, which I had never seen, of me as a baby.  There were earlier ones from Liverpool, some of my mother getting married and so on.  There were lots of photographs of May’s uncles and their families in the States.  She was May Kelly, of course, but she was married for six years to a Paddy Crowley, before he died.

As she was doing all this, it began to dawn on me that this was the family home, to which photographs had been sent back across the Irish Sea and across the Atlantic as well, to join those of May’s own brothers and sisters at home.  I was very surprised by all this and traumatised, really.  She knew a lot about me, although we had never met, and the time I was growing up, from the letters sent back, but I knew nothing about her or her family at all.  The house was over two hundred years old and for all of that time her Kelly family had been farming that 21 acre farm.

The following tale is shared with us by member and formerCouncil member John Kelly of Cappawhite, Co. Tipperary

Where is the Tea Pot & Silver Jug.

Mgt Kelly Chadville House

 Mgt. Kelly of Alleen House, daughter of Big Dan Kelly and 2nd cousin to her husband John Kelly of Chadville House, winner of Irish Derby in 1911, died in childbirth on the 16th May 1915 aged 35 years.   Dr Tom Kelly her brother in law, attended to her and a surgeon was brought from Dublin at a cost of £110 and they all failed to save her. Both mother and child died and the child was a male.  The operation was carried out on the dining room table, which is still used in Chadville for special dinners.

When John Kelly remarried in 1919 to Mgt Furlong Ardnagassane, Cappawhite, Nora Kelly from Alleen House, his 2nd cousin and late wife’s sister marched up to Chadville (3 to 4 miles) and demanded her wedding presents  back.  She took home to Alleen her presents which were a “TEA POT and a SILVER JUG” dated Feb. 1911.   These gifts are in the possession of Alleen House.  Nora Kelly was married to McCurtin of Crogue Tipperary town.  John Kelly originally from Alleen Hogan and his wife Margaret would have been neighbors up to 1909 when he bought Chadville from The Reps of Valentine Ryan the largest Catholic Ryan landlord in the late 1800’s

Tradition had it that Margaret Kelly was a very attractive woman and also very gentle. 

The surgeon from Dublin was named Kennedy and he had a reputation and was called the “Butcher Kennedy”.  The experts or consultants coming from Dublin charged a fee of a pound sterling for every mile travelled. Chadville to Dublin would be about 114 miles or thereabouts depending on where you start in Dublin.  It has been known that people could hire a train for their journey or motor car.

Source; Vera Kelly Alleen House, wife of Denis Kelly.  Surgeon Dan Kelly, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, formerly Ballinahinch. Cashel, Co. Tipperary

Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO)

is a volunteer-based, non-profit initiative which builds vibrant, lasting links between the global Irish Diaspora and parishes of origin in Ireland.

For further information and a subscription, contact

The following is taken from the most recent issue of Ireland Reaching Out.  I found it especially interesting since my great-grandfather was Patrick Kelly (as well as many other relatives since then!)  Check out the issue – there’s more info there.

A legendary name

How many Pats and Paddys have you got in your family tree? Our ancestors’ penchant for naming a son after the patron saint of Ireland has left many of us with the daunting task of looking for a needle in a haystack. 

So if you are looking for a Patrick, are named after a Patrick, or are considering it as the name for a yet-to-be Patrick – this guideis for you!

How Irish is the name Patrick? 

Patrick has long been a popular given name for Irish boys and continues to rank among the top 20 in Ireland today. But how far back does the tradition of this name go in Ireland? Saint Patrick (c. 385-461) was an early Christian missionary to our Emerald Isle, but did you know that he may not have been the first or only Patricius to preach on our shores?

Patrick albeit the national name of Ireland, it is of Latin derivation.  The Latin adjective patricius signified membership of the patricians, the aristocracy of ancient Rome.  InRoman Catholic baptisms (traditionally recorded in Latin) Patrick will often appear as Patricius or Patricii.

How far back does the tradition of naming a child after Ireland’s patron saint go? 

Out of reverence to our patron saint, the name was not used as a first name in Ireland for some time. However, “servant of Patrick” surnames such as Fitzpatrick/Gilpatrick and Mulpatrick abounded.

Over to you…

Do you have an ancestor named Patrick? Can you add them to our Chronicles in time for St Patrick’s day?

[Editor’s Note:  If interested, and want more information, go to the website:  ]


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