Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents


Col. John Blennerhassett, MP

Ballyseedy on p.163 of [Smith, 1756].
This shows John Blennerhassett at Old Ballyseedy and his younger brother William Blennerhassett at Elmgrove.

Col. John Blennerhassett, MP (see here),
"The Great Colonel John", of Ballyseedy,
born 1691 or 1692.
His father died 1709.
He inherited Ballyseedy Castle 1709 (age 17 or 18).
MP for Co.Kerry and MP for Tralee, at various periods 1709 (age 17 or 18 yrs) through 1775 (age 83 or 84 yrs). "Father of the Irish House of Commons".
He mar 1713 to Jane Denny.

It has been said that he built the new Elm Grove (later Ballyseedy House) 1721. But he did not live there. He lived in the old Ballyseedy Castle, and his younger brother William lived at Elm Grove.
Possibly he built it for his brother, who he was perhaps like a father to. His brother was only age 4 when their father died and John (age 17 or 18) inherited the estate. In 1721 his brother was age 16 and John was age 29 or 30.

He built Blennerville Bridge 1751.
He is listed as living in Ballyseedy (separate to Elmgrove) in [Smith, 1756].
He commanded a regiment of foot of the Kerry militia temp 1756. See [Ó Snodaigh, 1971].

Before 1774 he left Ballyseedy Castle and moved to Oak Park, Killeen, Tralee (the home after 1758 of his granddaughter Letitia Bateman, formerly Denny). It seems Ballyseedy was abandoned and fell into ruin.
See letter by his daughter-in-law Jane Giradot, July 1774. This describes him as age 82 (born 1692). It indicates that he is living at Oak Park.
His will dated 19 Nov 1774. At his will he is described as of "Oak Park, Co.Kerry, formerly of Ballyseedy".
He died May 1775, age 83 or 84 yrs, at Oak Park.
See death notices in [Hibernian Chronicle, Mon 22 May 1775] and [Dublin Hibernian Journal, Wed 31 May 1775].
Will proved 27 June 1776.
See entry in [Boyd's Family Units].
Col. John and Jane had issue:

  1. John Blennerhassett,
    born 1715 [Collins papers, 10].
    He mar 2ndly, 1753, to Frances Herbert of Muckross.
    His will dated 7 May 1763. "John Blennerhassett of Tralee". Wife Frances.
    He died May-June 1763. Will proved 8 June 1763.
    His will was burnt in 1922. But notes survive on p.9 and p.10 of [D950/1/9].
    He had issue by 2nd wife:

    1. Frances Blennerhassett,
      mar 1784 to Rev. Jemmett Browne, of Riverstown, Co.Cork,
      had issue:

      1. Rev. John Browne, born 1795,
        had issue:

        1. Edward Francis Jemmett Browne, born 1835.
          Researched family tree, including Blennerhassett.
          His research is now in the Kynnersley-Browne papers in Shropshire Archives.

  2. Arthur Blennerhassett,
    of Ballyseedy, born 1719.
    He mar Jane Giradot.
    See letter by Jane, from Oak Park, July 1774, published in The Gentleman's Magazine, July-Dec 1816, vol.LXXXVI, part II, p.598.
    Arthur inherited Ballyseedy 1775. This would be the old Ballyseedy Castle and estate.
    The old Ballyseedy Castle fell into ruin.
    MP for Kerry 1775-1783.
    Arthur appears in painting of Irish House of Commons, 1780. There is a key to this among the photos in the Day papers.
    MP for Tralee 1794-1797.
    He lived Bath.
    He died Bath, 1799, age 80 yrs.
    Will pr 1799 [PCC], [NAI].

  3. Agnes Blennerhassett, born 1722,
    mar Sir Thomas Denny and had issue.

  4. Arabella Blennerhassett, born 1726,
    mar 1stly to Richard Ponsonby,
    mar 2ndly to her 1st cousin Col. Arthur Blennerhassett and had issue.

  5. Letitia Blennerhassett,
    born Ballyseedy, 28 Feb 1728.
    Did not marry. Lived Tralee.
    She is Letitia Blennerhassett of Tralee, spinster, who is party to [Deed, 1 May 1801]. The other party is Rev. Edward Day, the younger, of Beaufort, Co.Kerry. Lease of property in Tralee town. The property is leased for the life of, among others, Frances Browne (her niece).
    Her will dated 27 May 1801.
    Died unmarried. Her will says "spinster" [NAI] T/17747.

  6. Mary Blennerhassett, born 1729,
    mar Lancelot Crosbie and had issue:

    1. Col. John Gustavus Crosbie,
      killed Sir Barry Denny, 2nd Baronet in a duel 1794,
      mar 1796 to Catherine Mary Blennerhassett and had issue.

What appears to be a mention of the elderly "Miss Letitia Blennerhassett" at a dinner in Farnham House, Co.Cavan, in 1801.
From Diary of Justice Robert Day, 25 July 1801. See [O'Carroll, 2004, p.53].
It looks like "Mrs" but there is no candidate for "Mrs. Letitia Blennerhassett" in 1801.
I think it is "Miss" and it is the elderly unmarried Letitia of Ballyseedy above.
The other candidate would be the young unmarried Letitia Blennerhassett of Riddlestown, Co.Limerick.
But it must be Letitia of Ballyseedy because:
  1. It says "a Kerry Colony". There are various Co.Kerry people there.
  2. Also at the dinner is "Lady Anne FitzGerald". She must be Anne Fitzmaurice (died 1808), widow of Maurice Fitzgerald, Knight of Kerry.
  3. Also there is "Miss Herbert", probably a relation of Letitia of Ballyseedy's sister-in-law Frances Herbert of Muckross.
  4. Letitia of Ballyseedy had recently (May 1801) been party to a deed with Rev. Edward Day, the younger, nephew of Judge Robert Day.
  5. Letitia of Co.Limerick is not of Kerry, and was only a teenager (age c.16) in 1801.




Sources yet to be consulted


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