Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents


Edward Blennerhassett, of Rossbeigh

Edward Blennerhassett, of Rossbeigh,
born 31 Mar 1705.
He grew up Castle Conway, Killorglin, Co.Kerry.
He mar 7 June 1731 to Mary Fitzgerald.
His father died c.1738. His older brother's line inherited Castle Conway.
In 1760 he built Rossbeigh Lodge, Rossbeigh, Co.Kerry.
His will is dated 6 Nov 1774. He is Edward Blennerhassett of "Rosbeagh".
He died 1774, age 69 yrs.
His will was proved in Ardfert and Aghadoe in 1774 [Index to Irish Wills].
Edward and Mary had issue:

  1. Rev. John Blennerhassett,
    "Parson Jack".
    He was NOT born Jan 1733. That is a mis-reading of "Black Jack's Book" which gives that as birth of his sister. It also shows John is older than her.
    So he would be born between parents' marriage in June 1731 and sister's birth in Jan 1733 (would be 1734 new style year).
    That is, using new style year, must be born 1732-1733.
    Though strangely, his TCD record has him as age 17 in May 1752 (born 1735). This cannot be reconciled with "Black Jack's Book".

  2. Rev. Conway Blennerhassett,
    2nd son, born May 1736.
    He was educ TCD, entered as "pensioner" 1762. BA 1767.
    Ordained 1767 at Limerick.
    He mar 4 Mar 1778 to Lucy Orpen [Louisa, of Killowen, Co.Kerry], no issue.
    She died 8 June 1787, Ardfert, Co.Kerry.
    Rev. Conway Blennerhassett of Ardfert witnessed [Deed, 1794].
    Rev. Conway was Rector of Ballyseedy 1796-1804.
    Rector of Ardfert 1805.
    Will dated 1805. Will would be burnt in the Four Courts in 1922.
    However notes survive, made before the fire. See notes on pp.14-15 of [D950/1/9].
    See also abstract of will printed in [MGH, 1883].
    He died 22 Nov 1805, Ardfert, age 69 yrs.

  3. Robert Blennerhassett.
    He mar pre-1776 to Avice Blennerhassett.
    Some sources have her as "Anne" but her 3rd marriage says Avice.
    See descendants in extract from [Burkes Irish, 1976].
    Robert and his wife had issue:

    1. Edward Blennerhassett,
      Edward Conway Blennerhassett, born Jan 1776,
      died at St.Louis, Missouri, Dec 1855, age 79 yrs,
      will not filed in St.Louis probate court until 1904,
      the claim then was that the inheritance was property in Ireland worth $2 million, which caused great media interest,
      had issue:

      1. Richard Spottiswoode Blennerhassett,
        born 1811,
        had issue:

        1. Therese Blennerhassett, born c.1843.
          She mar 1871 to John Calvin Adams.
          She wrote memoir of Harman Blennerhassett, 1901.
          She died 1913, age c.70 yrs.

  4. Thomas Blennerhassett.
  5. Arthur Blennerhassett.

  1. Avis Blennerhassett.
    "Black Jack's Book" says the eldest dau was born Jan 1733 (would be Jan 1734 new style) but does not give her name.
    If this is Avis, she married very late.
    Avis mar post-1774 to Gerald Blennerhassett.

  2. Anne Blennerhassett,
    mar post-1774 to Robert Hilliard [of Hollymount].

  3. Jane Blennerhassett,
    mar pre-1774 to Hilliard Giles [of Castlemaine, Co.Kerry].

  4. Elizabeth Blennerhassett,
    born 1736.
    Ancestry incorrectly lists her as born at Newry, Co.Down. This would be confusion caused by her appearing in the [Crossle newspaper abstracts] from newspapers at Newry library.
    She mar 1stly to (think) Daniel Connell.
    Some sources list him as "Daniel O'Connor".
    But she is listed in her father's 1774 will as his dau "Elizabeth Connell (wife of Samuel K. Williams of Milltown)". Think this must be surname of 1st husband rather than a middle name.
    She mar 2ndly, pre-1774, to Samuel K. Williams and had issue.

  5. Mary Blennerhassett,
    born probably after 1736.
    She mar pre-1774 to   --- Clifford   and had issue.
    He was apparently a Catholic.
    Their descendants were Catholic.
    She clearly married without father's consent.
    The notes from his will of 1774 in [D950/1/9] say he left to "unfortunate dau. Mary one British shilling and no more."

Entry for Edward Blennerhassett in "Black Jack's Book".
This is p.17 of MS 7937 (this section written 1736).

Transcript of the previous. From p.43 of [Hickson, 1872].


Will of Edward Blennerhassett, and the "Robert" error

The will of Edward Blennerhassett was indexed in [Index to Irish Wills].
The original will would have been burnt in the Four Courts in 1922.
However notes survive, made before the fire.
See notes on p.11 and pp.12-13 of [D950/1/9].

An abstract was published in [MGH, 1883].
Unfortunately, this made an error in the name which is still being propagated today.


Blennerhassett wills listed in Ardfert and Aghadoe in [Index to Irish Wills].
He is listed correctly as "Edward".

Abstract of will printed in [MGH, 1883].
The author just makes an error here by writing "Robert". It should be Edward.
Note that in the family tree in the same article, the author writes "Edward", not Robert.
Note that Black Jack names his children and does not name any "Robert".


The Edward Blennerhassett inheritance


The late filing in 1904 of the will of Edward Blennerhassett of St.Louis (died 1857).
From St.Louis Post-Dispatch, 6 Aug 1904.
Bill Jehan notes many inaccuracies in the above.

Another rather inaccurate article in The Buffalo Courier, 8 Aug 1904, about the Edward Blennerhassett inheritance.
It speculates that Rowland Blennerhassett Mahany may be an heir, but this seems to be based on nothing. He is not even descended from Blennerhassett.
From newspaper archive.


Rossbeigh Lodge, Co.Kerry

Rossbeigh Lodge, on Rossbeigh strand (or Rossbehy), Glanbehy par, near Glenbeigh, some distance SW of Killorglin, Co.Kerry.
Built 1760 by Edward Blennerhassett.
Edward died 1774.
Letitia Blennerhassett born here 1780.
Long vanished. Exact location unknown.
See old map and modern map.
Public domain photos of Rossbeigh on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons.

Rossbeigh, Co.Kerry.
Photo by Peter Cox. Posted 2019 by Eva Ni Shuilleabhain.
See also 2008 photo. From Stephen Gerard O'Callaghan. Creative Commons.
See street view from strand.

Rossbeigh Strand, by drone.
See more videos.

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