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My ancestors - Kickham - Contents

Kickham of Mullinahone, Co.Tipperary

The Cromwellian origin of our family

Our Kickham family (the Fenian's family) is of SE Co.Tipperary.
Of the area of Fethard (Fethard par) and Mullinahone (Kilvemnon par, near border with Co.Kilkenny).

Page 242 of [Maher, 1955] says the family originated in Kirkham, Lancashire, NW England.
In England the commonest form is Kirkham, with variants Kirkam and Kerkham [Comerford, 1979].

Our family (the Fenian's family) descends from a Cromwellian settler of the 1650s:

"Robert Kirkam" of London, bowyer.
Listed among the Cromwellian adventurers for land in Ireland in 1642 to 1646.
The "adventurers" paid to get future lands in Ireland.
After the Cromwellian victory in 1653, Irish lands were confiscated and handed out to the adventurers.
From pp.401-403 and p.415 of The Cromwellian settlement of Ireland by John P. Prendergast, 3rd end, 1922.

The Cooke seat, Kiltinan Castle.
From 1887 to 1913 map.
Now Kiltinan Castle Stud.
See modern satellite view and street view of SW entrance.


Our family

It is now proven that our family is the same as the Fenian's family.

Proof that Charles Kickham (born 1752) is our ancestor

I regard it as now proved that Charles Kickham of Mullinahone (born 1752, died 1815, grandfather of the Fenian Charles Joseph Kickham) is our direct ancestor. In particular his son Edward Kickham is our direct ancestor.

Why do I say this?

  1. Start with family records:
    • Family records showed we descend from Mary Kickham, daughter of Edward Kickham.
    • Our Kickhams were said to be close relations of the Fenian.
    • Pat Lavelle had a family tree showing the connection. She said our Edward Kickham was uncle of the Fenian.
    • Bee Sheahan (born 1876) stayed with Kickham cousins in Mullinahone as a child (would be 1880s). She had a goat called Charles, after the Fenian (who died 1882). It was said that: "Family didn't approve" (Of what? The Fenian? Or disrespect to the Fenian?)

  2. External records confirmed it:
    • Looking through external records strongly confirmed this story.
    • We soon discovered proof that Mary's father was an Edward Kickham of Mullinahone.
    • There is no Edward Kickham listed among the Fenian's uncles in [White, 1955]. However we discovered that only lists some of the uncles.
    • We discovered [Deed, 1812], which showed an uncle Edward Kickham, the eldest son.
    • Edward is listed with his brothers in [Clonagoose Deed, 1817].
    • So there was an Edward, uncle of the Fenian, son of Charles Kickham (born 1752) of Mullinahone.
    • Our Edward had children baptised in Mullinahone 1812 to 1820, so he is the right generation and location to be this Edward.
    • At the baptism of our Edward's son Charles Kickham in 1812, the sponsor is "Charles the grandfather". If it was maternal grandfather they would say Charles Armstrong. So it must be Charles Kickham the paternal grandfather. So our Edward was son of Charles. Note that Charles Kickham, born 1752, died in 1815.
    • Maybe I should have regarded it as already proven, but I still looked for final proof.

  3. DNA proves it:
    • DNA finally provided the proof in 2019.
    • There is a close DNA match between Edward Blatchford (descendant of Charles Kickham, born 1752, through his son John Kickham) and Frank McGrath and Derval McGrath (descendants of our Edward Kickham).
    • This match clearly comes through Kickham. So how far back do we have to go on the Kickham line to get the link? In theory, our Edward, son of Charles, of Mullinahone, might not be identical with the other Edward, son of Charles, of Mullinahone. The two Charles Kickhams could be 1st cousins (or even more distant).
    • But having two pairs of sons and fathers in the same place at the same time is unlikely. And it makes Edward Blatchford and the McGraths very distant relations, making it highly unlikely their DNA would match like it does. Edward Blatchford and Frank McGrath would be 6th cousins, once removed, or even more distant. Edward Blatchford and Derval McGrath would be 7th cousins or even more distant. A close DNA match for both of them is not credible for such remote relations.
    • However, if there is only one Edward, son of Charles, then the DNA match becomes just about credible. Edward Blatchford and Frank McGrath would be 4th cousins, once removed. Edward Blatchford and Derval McGrath would be 5th cousins. The DNA match now makes sense.
    • I believe that the DNA, on top of the paperwork, has finally proved this link, unless evidence emerges to the contrary.

Pat Lavelle was right. Edward Kickham is uncle of the Fenian. Nothing else is plausible.

The Cromwellian farrier above is ancestor somehow of:

The standard theory is that Charles and James are Protestant.
But see below for a theory that the Kickhams may have converted to Catholicism in an earlier generation.

Kickham tree from Pat Lavelle (died 1966) in [PAT/7, no.1] and [PAT/13, no.4].
She shows our Edward Kickham as uncle of the Fenian.
Over 50 years later, in 2019, DNA analysis finally proved this is true.

Kickham tree in [PAT/13, no.2] also shows our Edward Kickham as uncle of the Fenian.
Though she attaches Armstrong to the wrong generation. Armstrong is definitely Edward Kickham's wife.
In [PAT/13, no.1] and [PAT/12, p.18] she shows George Cashel's wife as aunt of the Fenian instead of the correct relationship, 1st cousin.

Mullinahone, Co.Tipperary, on 1887 to 1913 map.
Callan St (also called Chapel St) is now Kickham St.
See Griffiths Valuation map (and full size).
See modern Google Maps.


The old Kilvemnon graveyard, Kilvemnon townland, S of Mullinahone.
From 1829 to 1842 map. Click through to map to see location of Kilvemnon townland, a couple of townlands S of Mullinahone.
See modern street view.
Both Protestants and Catholics are buried here.

Kickham of Kilvemnon

The below Kickham family are of Kilvemnon (some distance S of Mullinahone, where the graveyard is).
This family have a tradition of being related to the Fenian Kickham family of Mullinahone.
DNA now proves this, and suggests how close the relationship is.


Proof that Kickham of Kilvemnon are related to our family (and the Fenian's family)

There is a DNA match between Kickham of Kilvemnon and our family. Kathleen O'Donnell of this family is a DNA match to Frank McGrath and Derval McGrath of our family, descendants of Mary Kickham, dau of Edward Kickham.

So our family is related by DNA to both Kickham of Kilvemnon and the Fenian Kickhams. The matches are:

The DNA matches are similar, so the two families must be almost the same distance from us. So which family is closest to us? There are two theories:

Let us flesh out what these theories mean:

Conclusion: Theory A (we are closer to the Fenian branch) is more likely than Theory B (we are closer to the Kilvemnon branch).
And it's not like DNA is all there is. We have a lot of paperwork confirming Theory A. We have no paperwork confirming Theory B.


Is Laurence of Kilvemnon brother of Charles (born 1752)?

The DNA suggests that Laurence of Kilvemnon must be something like a brother of Charles (born 1752).
But then consider the brothers' religions:
  1. James Kickham of Knockelly Castle: Protestant. Though maybe identical with his supposed son James Kickham who marries a Catholic and has Catholic children.
  2. Charles Kickham (born 1752): Protestant. Marries a Catholic and has Catholic children.
  3. Laurence Kickham: Marries a Catholic and has Catholic children.
  4. Maybe Thomas Kickham: Marries a Catholic and has Catholic children.
Aren't there a lot of Protestant Kickham brothers marrying Catholics?

Perhaps a simple explanation is that none of these Kickhams are Protestant. But rather the conversion of Kickham to Catholicism happened a generation earlier.

We start Kickham of Kilvemnon with:

Laurence is probably a close relation of the following Thomas.
Why? Because Thomas and Laurence baptise children on the same day, 8 May 1816.
Laurence names his son Thomas. Thomas names his son Laurence.
They are probably brothers.


The double baptism on 8 May 1816.
From here. And here.


Miscellaneous Kickhams


Family trees




Kirkham of Northamptonshire

Possibly distant relations of the above are Kirkham of Northamptonshire, of which:

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