Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

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My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents


John Blennerhassett, "Black Jack"

John Blennerhassett, "Black Jack",
of Castle Conway, Killorglin, Co.Kerry,
born 1665.
The old Castle Conway was a ruin as at 1682.
He was educ TCD. Entered 26 June 1683, listed as age 18, John son of Robert. BA Spring 1687.
See possibly confused entry in [TCD Alumni].

He was supporter of William of Orange in the Williamite-Jacobite War (1689-91).
He was captured at Loughrea, Co.Galway, 1 Mar 1689 [using [NJ] date format, note that at the time this was regarded as the end of 1688].
He was imprisoned at Galway.
Believed to have started writing down the Blennerhassett family tree in prison.
Transferred to prison in Dublin after 14 months (May 1690). Finally released after Battle of the Boyne July 1690.

He mar pre-1693 (so probably in 1690-93) to Elizabeth Cross [born 1669].
At some point, probably in Black Jack's time (in 1690s to 1730s), a fine new Castle Conway was built on the old site in Killorglin.
[Houses of Kerry] thought it was built "after the Williamite wars", but also thought it was built by Black Jack's parents (but his mother died 1683, before the Williamite wars).
John Blennerhassett of Killorglin witnessed a Deed of 1708, the marriage settlement of Samuel Bennett of Co.Limerick and Anne Collis of Co.Kerry.
Elizabeth died 22 Mar 1732, age 63 yrs,
bur in the chapel at Castle Conway, Black Jack erected a memorial to her.
See her now-vanished tomb at Castle Conway.
Black Jack finally produced first Blennerhassett family tree c.1737, known as "Black Jack's Book".
He died c.1738, age c.73 yrs.
Black Jack and Elizabeth had issue:

  1. Conway Blennerhassett,
    of Castle Conway, Killorglin, Co.Kerry,
    born 3rd Oct 1693.

  2. Anne Blennerhassett, born 24th Jan 1695 [using [NJ] format],
    mar 1stly, 1717, to Dennis McGillycuddy and had issue,
    mar 2ndly to Thomas Herbert and had issue.

  3. Elizabeth Blennerhassett, born 1702,
    mar Townsend Gun and had issue.

  4. Tryphena Blennerhassett, born 1703,
    mar 1723 to Ulick Fitzmaurice and had issue.

  5. Edward Blennerhassett,
    of Rossbeigh, born 31 Mar 1705.

  6. Arthur Blennerhassett, born 1706,
    mar 2ndly, 1734, to Sarah Gun and had issue.


DNA from 1665 can be detected in 2020

In 2019 and 2020, it was discovered that several DNA matches still exist between the living descendants of different children of "Black Jack". These are the furthest back DNA matches I have ever found. Possibly the DNA matches are through some unknown closer lines. But unless that is found, it does seem that DNA from 1665 can be detected in 2020!

Black Jack names his children in "Black Jack's Book".
Note there is no "Robert".
This is from p.42 of [Hickson, 1872].

Arms of Blennerhassett and Cross.
From the arms of the 32 ancestral lines of James Franklin Fuller, made out in 1909 by the Dublin Office of Arms.
Courtesy of Teresa Stokes.
(Left) See full size.
(Right) See full size.


Deed of 1708


John Blennerhassett of Killorglin witnessed a deed dated 13 Feb 1708.
Though unfortunately his signature is not on the surviving memorial.


"Black Jack's Book"

Sources yet to be consulted:


The close of "Black Jack's Book" as printed on p.108 of [Hickson, 1872].
"Show me the country, place, or spot of ground; Where 'Hassetts or their allies are not found."

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