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My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents


Tarbert Island, Tarbert, Co.Kerry



Tarbert Island is on the Shannon estuary just to the N of the town of Tarbert, Kilnaughtin par, N Co.Kerry. See map.
Tarbert House is on the road to Tarbert Island.

Tarbert was an important strategic location in the late 18th to early 19th centuries for both defence (protecting the Shannon against foreign naval invasion) and revenue and customs.
In the late 18th to early 19th centuries there was a regular threat of French invasion.
The French attempted to invade Ireland in 1796. They landed forces in 1798. French plans to invade Britain and Ireland intensified under Napoleon in 1803-05. The Shannon was high on the list for possible invasion places in French planning.
Many British and Irish defences against invasion were built.
The military battery at Tarbert Island was built 1790s, replacing earlier works. Land and naval forces from different parts of Ireland were stationed there.

Joseph Lindsay worked in the customs service at Tarbert from 1785 to his death 1805.
Richard Ponsonby was head of customs at Tarbert ("Surveyor of Tarbert") 1803 to 1811. He lived on Tarbert Island.
Joseph Lindsay worked under Ponsonby in 1803-05.
Joseph's son William Lindsay worked in the customs service at Tarbert under Ponsonby, 1805 to 1811.
Capt. Daniel Guion was Captain in the Irish Sea Fencibles (naval militia) 1806-10, headquarters at Tarbert. He married Richard Ponsonby's niece.

Richard Ponsonby died 1811. [Joseph Lindsay, 1897] says that a house came with his job, and when he died his widow Letitia Blennerhassett had to leave. She "was obliged to give up the government house and went to Limerick to live".
Letitia Blennerhassett married 2ndly in 1811 to William Lindsay.

William Lindsay's brother George Lindsay was a coast guard officer at Tarbert.





Tarbert on p.106 of [Taylor and Skinner, 1777].



A view of Tarbert, Co. Kerry, from the Co.Clare bank of the River Shannon.
Tarbert House is visible centre-left on the Co.Kerry bank. Tarbert Island is centre-right on the Co.Kerry bank.
Painted c.1782 by Francis Wheatley.
[Pielou, 1935] says it refers to an incident in 1781.
From the Glin Castle collection. Sold by Christie's 2009.


 

Shipping off Tarbert, Co. Kerry.
Tarbert town to LHS, Tarbert House in centre, Tarbert Island to RHS.
Painted 1795 by Joseph Charles Barrow.
From the Glin Castle collection. Sold by Christie's 2009.
Richard Ponsonby and his wife Letitia lived on Tarbert Island on the RHS.



Detail of above showing Tarbert Island.
Richard Ponsonby and Letitia probably lived in one of these buildings.
See larger.


 

View of Tarbert House and Tarbert Island, Co. Kerry.
Tarbert Island to LHS.
Tarbert House to RHS.
Painted 1795 by Joseph Charles Barrow.
From the Glin Castle collection. Sold by Christie's 2009.



Detail of above showing Tarbert Island (where Richard Ponsonby and his wife Letitia lived).
See larger.



Coast Guard Station, Tarbert Island.
From 1829 to 1842 map.



Tarbert Island.
Extract from 1868 map made for Robert Leslie.
See larger and full size.



Coast Guard Station, Tarbert Island.
From 1887 to 1913 map.
In fact, this map is from survey of 1897 (see below).



This map, identical to above, says "Surveyed in 1897" and printed 1898.
See larger and full size.
See close-up and close-up.



The old gates into the coastguard station. Looking out. At the bend in the road.
Old gates now gone. See modern street view (then turn around).
See larger and full size.



Tarbert Battery Fort (built 1790s).
Photo 1963, just before demolition.
See larger and full size.
From [Lynch, 2008, p.313]. Used with permission.



Tarbert Island on modern satellite view.
It is now occupied by a large power station.
See street view.



The pier on Tarbert Island.
Photo 2006 from Geograph. Creative Commons.



The pier on Tarbert Island.
See full size. Photo 2008 from Flickr. Creative Commons.


  

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