Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - O'Rahilly - Contents

Thomas Francis Rahilly

Thomas Francis Rahilly and Julia Curry and some of their children.
Photo 1891. Detail from this photo.

Thomas Francis Rahilly,
Tom, born 8th Jan 1849, Ballylongford, Co.Kerry,
NOT educ St.Michael's College, Listowel (founded 1879),
think NOT educ Blackrock College (think both of these are confusion with his son Thomas Francis).
In a tribute to him at Listowel Petty Sessions in Feb 1899, Gerald McElligott J.P. recalled Rahilly's "remarkable intelligence which he said manifested itself even at the beginning of his schooldays when he actually edited a little nursery newspaper of his own".
He went to St.Munchin's seminary in Limerick to study for the priesthood, there as at 1865 (age 16). Found had no vocation, left it [O'Rahilly, 1991].

His mother died Jan 1866.
He went to America Tue 27 March 1866, according to his brother Richard in [P102/29]. This was shortly after end of the American Civil War.
Wrote letter to his brother Richard, from Trout St, Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania, Aug 1866 (him age 17): "My dear old Dick ... I am just after getting up after last night's fun. I had a jolly good night at a ball, lots of the handsomest girls I ever saw. .. Many's the time I wished I had you with me here, and many's the time I think over the great smokes we had together. .. I'm entirely my own master NOW. Marlo tried to keep me down but he saw it was no good, so he gives me plenty of pocket money now. I am as happy as a king. .. Half past three I am just after breakfast". He says he is about to have a smoke and an iced champagne "to settle my stomach .. now don't show this letter to Mama or she might write to Marlo about me and then he'd show me the doors. She does not know what a place this is at all and indeed it would not be pleasant to" [tell her].
This makes no sense. He does not seem to know that his mother died Jan 1866 and yet Richard says he went to America Mar 1866 after her death.
I wonder does it really say don't show this "to Marianne" his older sister.

Thomas Francis worked for few years in Rahilly business in Ballylongford.
Then moved to oversee family's business interests in Tarbert, Co.Kerry (an off-shoot of the original business in Ballylongford).
Aodogán speculated in 1986 [P102/548(23)], that Thomas Francis was in the RIC, maybe in Longford, and he then states this in [O'Rahilly, 1991].
But this is clearly confusion with his father. And Longford was just speculation to explain why some of his children and his sister's children went to boarding school in Longford.
He is not found in [RIC records].

Thomas Francis mar 1871 to Julia Curry [born 24th June 1854].
She married at 17, conceived at 17, gave birth to first child at 18, gave birth to 15 children over 26 years, last one just before husband's death, when she was age 44.
Eldest child born Glin, Co.Limerick, 12 Sept 1872.

Lived Tarbert, 1872-81:
He became Postmaster for Tarbert, Co.Kerry.
He took a lease of the Lindsay property, the old Sessions House, Chapel St, at Market Square, Tarbert, original lease dated 29 Sept 1872.
He built a fine new 3 storey building there in 1872. He ran the post office in the 3 storey house.
Listed as "postmaster" in Draft deed, 22 Mar 1873.
They are listed as living Tarbert 1873 through 1881 (children's births).
Listed as stamp distributor for Tarbert in [Thom's, 1874].
He managed a general store and importing business. He is listed as "draper" and "shopkeeper" in [GROI].
They sp the bapt of his 1st cousin's child Margaret Mary Goulding at Tarbert 1875.
The story was he was highly intelligent, likeable, but irresponsible, used drink heavily, got to be real problem.
Julia was remembered as a very capable, literary person, very competent in keeping family together through her husband's drinking, and after his early death.
She imposed on her brother-in-law Richard and on her own family to pay for children's education (those who didn't get scholarships). Some of daus educated at convent boarding school, Longford - Richard Rahilly paid for that.
She was "most ambitious for her children, she monitored their school progress, sought advice on what was best for each, and saw to it that they went to select schools" [Gaughan, 1986]. Strict household. Children not allowed to associate with anyone outside the family after school.
Aodogán said Richard's wife Ellen was constantly annoyed because Richard was always going over to his good-looking sister-in-law to see if she was OK when Tom was drinking.
The story was the business in Tarbert went bust due to Tom's drinking.
He would be "T.F. Rahilly" who sp bapt of Daniel Hickie 1879.
Leslie estate list of tenants, 1879 shows Rahilly holding property in Tieraclea Lower (would be the 3 storey house) and in Doonard Lower (W side of Tarbert).
[Slater's, 1881] lists Thomas F. Rahilly, Market Square, Tarbert, under "linen and woollen drapers", he is not the postmaster.

Clerk of Petty Sessions, Listowel, 1881-99:
The post of Clerk of Petty Sessions in Listowel, Co.Kerry, became vacant 1881.
Tom applied for it, and was awarded the post "not least because of the considerable influence exercised on his behalf by Richard" [Gaughan, 1986].
He is listed as Clerk of Petty Sessions at his son Michael Joseph's death, Feb 1881, when still living in Tarbert.
In 1881 he moved to big house, The Square, Listowel, Co.Kerry. He didn't build it. He leased it, the house was church property.
Living Listowel, Co.Kerry, 1882 through 1898 (children's births).
Listed as Clerk of Petty Sessions, Listowel, in [Thom's] 1883 and 1884.
Listed as Clerk of Petty Sessions in [Guy's, 1886].
He had a bad drink problem. Anno remembered that "it was a regular chore for her father to get word that Uncle Tom was on the booze again .. would have to drop everything and go off to Listowel to take Tom to a 'drying out' clinic in Roscrea or Mount Mellary" [O'Rahilly, 1991].
[P102/30] is a letter from him from Mount St. Joseph Abbey, Roscrea, 29 Aug 1886.
Apparently last time he was in Roscrea he was "cured".

Alfred remembered Parnell and Michael Davitt speaking at a meeting in The Square in Listowel [Alfred, 1960]. This is dated to Oct 1891. There was no great excitement in the family. They were "total conformers".
Thomas Francis listed as Clerk of Petty Sessions in [Guy's, 1893].
See front and rear of a dog licence signed by him in his capacity as Clerk of Petty Sessions, 1894 (courtesy of Vincent Carmody).
His brother Richard died 1896.
He is still listed as Clerk of Listowel Petty Sessions in Kerry Evening Post, 1 Apr 1896 (after brother's death).
On his deathbed he confessed there was never a day in his life that he did not have an irresistable craving for drink [O'Rahilly, 1991].

Thomas Francis dies, 1899:
He died at his house, The Square, shortly before midnight, Sat night, 25th Feb 1899, age 50 yrs, after a short illness.
Baby Ena (born Dec 1898) was sick at the same time. Bernadette Griffin was later told by an aunt that Julia asked God to take the baby but not her husband, but her husband said no, he would rather that he died than his daughter Ena.
Funeral Mon 27 Feb to Ballylongford, bur Lislaughtin Abbey, "in the family vault in the Abbey".
He is incorrectly listed as "solicitor" at dau Ena's marriage 1922.
See mass card in [P102/42].
Richard and Tom both now dead, Julia left a widow with 13 children, age 0 to 26. Wonder how she managed to pay school and university fees after this.

Julia left the house on The Square, Listowel in 1899 (according to plaque on house). Gone by census 1901.
Though note Richard Henry's dau was born on The Square 1904 (probably in different house).
Julia and the younger children are listed in [Census, 1901] as living in Ballybunion, Co.Kerry. All listed as "Rahilly", they have 1 servant living with them. They seem to be in the house beside Bingham's pub and hotel, Ballybunion.
Also living in Ballybunion at this time was Tom's 1st cousin Marianne McEllistrem, who had recently separated from her husband.
Julia went to Dublin, think 1906, think NOT 1909.
Cecile's entry in [Beathaisneis] says she was in Dublin by 1906.
Julia lived 66 Botanic Rd, Glasnevin (NOT 68 Botanic Ave), listed there in [Thom's] 1909 and 1910. Listed as "Rahilly".
Children all born "Rahilly", but all changed to using "O'Rahilly" in the 1910s, following T.F. and The O'Rahilly.
See entry at 66 Botanic Rd, Glasnevin, in [Census, 2 April 1911]. She is still listed as "Rahilly", though son T.F. is now using "O'Rahilly".
She was living 10 Marguerite Road, off Botanic Rd, Glasnevin, as at dau's mar 1922.
Spent last couple of years in nursing home.
Her address on grave record 1928 is still given as 10 Marguerite Road, Glasnevin.
Listed as "O'Rahilly" in grave record.

Julia dies, 1928:
She died 18th July 1928, Dublin, age 74 yrs [mass card], [grave], [grave record],
mass card in [P106/312],
bur Glasnevin Cemetery.
Thomas Francis and Julia had issue:

  1. Margaret Mary O'Rahilly,
    Gretta, born Margaret Mary Rahilly, 12 Sept 1872, Glin, Co.Limerick (her mother's homeplace) [GROI].
    Listed as just "Margaret" in Margaret Rahilly's will 1875.
    In her aunt Marianne Morris' 1889 letter she says "I hope Gretta will go to Longford" (meaning the boarding school in Longford where Marianne's children are).
    She became a nun, "Sr. Anthony", Sisters of Mercy.
    Professed 1899.
    She was in Sisters of Mercy convent of St.Mary of the Isle (or St Marie's of the Isle), Sharman Crawford St, Cork.
    She is not with family in 1901 census.
    See entry in Sisters of Mercy convent, 12 Titton St, Cork, in [Census, 1911]. She is listed as "Sister M. Anthony Rahilly", "primary teacher".
    She died 26 Jan 1921, age 48 yrs.

  2. Michael Joseph Rahilly,
    after grandfather,
    born 26 Nov 1873, Tarbert, Co.Kerry [GROI], though baptism record says born 25 Nov,
    bapt 29 Nov 1873 [Tarbert RC par records].
    A child prodigy, it was said he was "the cleverest of them all" in this talented family.
    At age no more than 7 he would memorise 3 or 4 pages from the Bible, stand up on table, reciting them.
    Neighbours would come to the Rahilly home to witness his extraordinary prowess.
    But he sadly died as a child.
    He died 21 Feb 1881, Tarbert, Co.Kerry, age 7 yrs, of hydrocephalus (water on the brain) [GROI].

  3. Florence O'Rahilly,
    born 20 July 1875, Tarbert, Co.Kerry,
    bapt 22 July 1875 [Tarbert RC par records].
    She was educ Mount Anville.
    Memoir of school days in [P106/316].
    She is not with family in 1901 census.
    Secondary school teacher.
    Artist. She did paintings with water colours.
    Her will dated 1940.
    Address at death is 17 Raglan Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin.
    She died unmarried, 16 Dec 1949, Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin [GROI], [grave record], age 74 yrs.
    She was bur Glasnevin Cemetery.

  4. Richard Henry Rahilly (or O'Rahilly),
    Dick, Richard Henry Rahilly when young,
    think adopted name "O'Rahilly" when older (along with rest of family),
    born 17 June 1877, Tarbert, Co.Kerry [GROI],
    bapt 30 June 1877 [Tarbert RC par records]. See entry.

  5. Teresa Rahilly,
    born 28th June 1879, Tarbert, Co.Kerry [GROI],
    bapt 1 July 1879 [Tarbert RC par records],
    died 10th Apr 1880, Tarbert, Co.Kerry, age 9 months, of whooping cough [GROI].

  6. Teresa O'Rahilly (second Teresa),
    Tessie, born 28 Jan 1881, Tarbert, Co.Kerry,
    bapt 31 Jan 1881 [Tarbert RC par records].
    Living with mother in 1901 census, listed as "teacher".
    (todo) See letter from her to her aunt Ellen Mangan on 11 Dec 1901, in [P106/34].
    She became a nun. "Sr. Walburga", "Sister M. Walburga", Sisters of Mercy, convent of St.Mary of the Isle (with her older sister Gretta), Cork.
    Professed 1906.
    Can't see her in [Census, 1911].
    She taught all her life in Cork.
    She died 27 June 1943, age 62 yrs.

  7. T.F. O'Rahilly,
    Prof. Thomas Francis O'Rahilly, the celebrated Celtic scholar,
    born Thomas Francis Rahilly, 11th Nov 1882, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    later known as Tomás Ó Rathaille, "Tomás Ó Rathile" on grave,
    known to family as "Frank".

  8. Alfred O'Rahilly,
    born Alfred Rahilly, 19 Sept 1884, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    bapt 21 Sept 1884 [Gaughan, 1986],
    later Alfred Joseph (confirmation name) Rahilly.

  9. Mary Josephine O'Rahilly,
    May, born 2 May 1887, family home, The Square, Listowel, Co.Kerry.
    Not living with mother in 1901 census, must be at boarding school.
    She became a nun. "Sr. Antonia", Order of Notre Dame de Namur.
    Professed 1910.
    "Sr. Mary Antonia", in Liverpool.
    She died 1968, age 81 yrs.
    Death not found in [GRO.UK] 1968.

  10. Julia O'Rahilly,
    Sheila, "Birdie",
    born 4th Jan 1889, Listowel, Co.Kerry.
    Not living with mother in 1901 census. Must be at boarding school.
    (todo) See [P106/305] which is apparently letter from her to Anno on 7 Mar 1915.
    (todo) See [P106/306] which is letter from "Julia O'Rahilly" to Anno on 24 May 1916.
    [P106/122(1)] (see online) is letter of 25 May 1916 from her to Anno after the death of The O'Rahilly in 1916 Rising. The letter is signed "Birdie O'Rahilly", and written from "Bank of Ireland, Listowel".
    She mar post-1916 to Ernest McCreanor [or MacCreanor, of Dublin], no issue.
    They lived on N side of Dublin.
    "Mr. and Mrs. MacCreenor" listed at funeral of Gerald Griffin 1932.
    "Mrs. Sheela MacCreanor" listed at funeral of Dominic Mangan 1936.
    She died 12th Aug 1948, age 59 yrs.

  11. Agnes O'Rahilly,
    born 30 Sept 1891, Listowel, Co.Kerry.
    She became a nun. She joined Irish Sisters of Charity. Professed 1915.
    She took name "Sr. Julie", "Sister M. Julie".
    She was based at Sisters of Charity, Merrion Gates, Dublin.
    She died 22 Dec 1982, age 91 yrs.
    Not listed on graves at Sisters of Charity plot, Kilbarrack Cemetery.

  12. Constance O'Rahilly,
    Connie, born 25th Nov 1893, Listowel, Co.Kerry.
    She mar 1925, France, to Gaston Rafroidi [born 1897] and had issue.

  13. Cecile O'Rahilly, the Celtic scholar,
    Dr. Cecile O'Rahilly, Sisile Ni Raithile,
    born 17th Dec 1894, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    listed as "Cecilia" in 1901 and 1911 census.

  14. Michael Anthony O'Rahilly,
    born 5 Jan 1897, Listowel, Co.Kerry.
    Not listed with family in 1911 census, perhaps at boarding school.
    He became a priest, Cistercian Order.
    "Fr. Aloysius" of Mount St.Joseph's Abbey, Roscrea, Co.Tipperary.
    [Bourke, 1967] and Sighle in [Mac Eoin, 1980] call him "Albert".
    He died 1 May 1968, age 71 yrs, St.Michael's Nursing Home, Dun Laoghaire [GROI].

  15. Ena O'Rahilly,
    Christina, NOT Christiana,
    born Christina Ursula Rahilly, 2 Dec 1898, Listowel, Co.Kerry.
    Living family home, 10 Marguerite Road, Glasnevin, at mar.
    She mar 6 June 1922 to Patrick Griffin and had issue.

Thomas Francis Rahilly and Julia Curry at the time of their marriage in 1871.
Back says "Mother age 17 and Father". Signed by Agnes: "S. M. Julie".
This is [P106/478].
See larger and full size.
See back.

The 3 storey building, Chapel St, Tarbert.
Thomas Francis Rahilly built this in 1872.
Rahilly home 1872 to 1881.
Photo probably 1896 or 1897.
See larger and full size.

An ad in the Tralee Chronicle, 27 Feb 1877.
Shows Thomas Francis at Tarbert and his brother Richard at Ballylongford.

Thomas Francis Rahilly and family.
Left to Right: T.F., Richard, Teresa, Florence, May, Julia Curry, Sheila (born Jan 1889), Alfred, T.F. senior, Gretta.
Photo taken one month before Agnes born, i.e. Aug 1891.
Back says: "Taken one month before I was born! S.M.J."
This is [P106/325].
See larger and full size.
See back.

Thomas Francis Rahilly of Listowel (formerly of Tarbert) in 1892 in the ledger books of Tim O'Connor of Tarbert Island.
See larger and full page.
See other page.

Thomas Francis Rahilly, from his mass card [P102/42].
See larger and full card.

Julia Curry, 1901.
See other versions.

Julia Curry's mass card.
See larger. From [P106/312].

Julia O'Rahilly grave

Julia O'Rahilly grave, Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.
Location: nH 34.5. Section: ST. BRIDGET'S. Go in gate, to left, quite a bit down, down path on right, grave is on left.

Julia O'Rahilly grave, Glasnevin.
This is also the grave of T.F. O'Rahilly.
Photo 2010. Courtesy of Peter Lyon.
See larger and full size.
See wider shot and shot from back showing location.
See close-up of top and middle and bottom.




This is [P106/332].
Listed as Gretta Rahilly (the nun, Sister M. Anthony, born 1872).
Listed as c.1890.
See larger and full size.

Florence O'Rahilly, c.1940s.
This is [P106/338].
See larger and full size.
See back. Edinburgh photographer.

This is [P106/331].
Listed as May Rahilly (the nun, Sr. Mary Antonia, born 1887).
Listed as c.1890. If it is her, the date must be later.
See larger and full size.




Sources yet to be consulted

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