Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Family of John and Anne Whelan

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John and Anne Whelan had at least ten children that we know survived beyond infancy, though we know from family anecdote that one child ( Anne ) died at an early age possibly in tragic circumstances in an accident in the home (need to confirm this as fact).

There were two sets of twins in the family , Elizabeth Theresa and Peter John , and Richard ( Dick ) and Margaret . The other children recalled from memory were John ( the eldest child ) , James ( Jimmy ) , Patrick , Mary and Catherine (Kitty).

Peter Whelan ( my grandmother's twin brother ) died on the 25th August 1952 aged 36 years old . He was late of Ringsend , Dublin ( 49 Shandon Drive , Phibsbaro ) and formerly of 49 Bolton Street . It was Peter's funeral that Nanny Lawlor was attending at the time of the hardships of the Lawlor family when they were living in Small Heath. His Mass Card is from brother John , Molly ( nee. Leonard ) and family .

Two of the Whelan children married children from another local family called Younge and another two married members of the Leonard family ; Richard Whelan (Dick) married Emily Younge , Margaret Whelan married Emily Younge's brother Denis ,

Pictured is my grandmother Elizabeth Lawlor nee. Whelan holding my mother Joan and on the right her sister Mary Leonard with her own baby, probably Anne - taken in December 1939 at the back of the Whelan home on Bolton Street, Dublin


John Whelan married Molly Leonard and sister Mary Whelan married Molly Leonard's brother Paddy .

Mary Leonard ( nee. Whelan ) died on 22nd April 1970 aged 62 years old , her funeral took place at St.Saviour's Church and she was buried at Dean's Grange Cemetery . Her address was 12C . St Finbarr's Road , Cabra West , Dublin 7 . Patrick Leonard died ( suddenly ) on 30th November 1976 at the Richmond Hospital . He was late of Taylor-Keith and 12C St.Finbarr's Road , Cabra West and his death was deeply regretted by his daughter Annie , by his sisters , brothers-in-law , son-in-law, cousins , relatives and friends. His funeral took place at the Church of the Most Precious Blood , Cabra West and he was buried at Dean's Grange Cemetery. Patrick Whelan married a girl named Florrie . We have no other references to Patrick at the present time .

When she was a young woman, Catherine ( Kitty ) Whelan had a daughter named Marie who was raised by two ladies who lived on the north side of Dublin although Kitty provided for her daughter during this period and when Marie was old enough she went to work for Kitty in a drapery shop she ran in Ringsend. 


A confirmation card sent from Ireland to Elizabeth in 1950 (see photo above) reads " to Auntie Lily from Anne "; Anne being the daughter of Mary Leonard ( nee. Whelan ) . Joan remembers that Margaret Young had a daughter named Anne who was slightly older than herself , whilst on Mary Leonard's obituary Annie is named as the only child of the deceased . Were there then two granddaughters named Anne ?

Elizabeth Whelan on left and her sisters

The photograph above shows a young Nanny Lawlor ( Lily Whelan ) sitting on a bench in Dublin's Botanical Gardens with two of her sisters, Margaret and Mary ( Lily looking younger than her sisters ) . Another picture taken at Gravies & Co , Dublin (below), is a portrait shot of one of these sisters, Mary Whelan.


Two letters sent to Joan and the other Lawlor children shortly after the death of Nanny Lawlor in 1983 express the sadness and prayers of two of Nan's brothers, Jimmy and John Whelan . Both men were in their seventies at this time and have since died themselves . Jimmy Whelan was married to Eileen and their family lived at 17 St Fintans Villas , Deansgrange , Co.Dublin. John Whelan ( who was married to Molly Leonard ) lived at 7 Caltymore Park , Drimnagh , Dublin 12 .

In summary of the information contained in obituaries we know that many of Nanny Lawlor's brothers and sisters left families ; Jimmy Whelan had a family living at Deansgrange ; Margaret Young had at least one daughter who married in the early seventies and possibly an older daughter named Anne ; Kitty Whelan had one daughter named Mary Morrisey who inherited the business at 128 Ringsend Park ; Mary Leonard had one daughter named Annie ; John Whelan had a family living in Drimnagh ; Elizabeth had six children in Birmingham ( Joan , Kevin , Pat , Betty , Brian and Dennis ) and it is likely that Dick Whelan had family living at 433 Ballyfermot Road . It is unlikely that Peter or Ann had children because they died at a young age and we know little about Patrick . We can therefore surmise that Granny Whelan has many grandchildren ( Joan's generation ) , great-grandchildren ( my generation ) , great-great-grandchildren ( Lara's generation ) and possibly even great-great-great grandchildren living today .

St Michan's

On Nanny Lawlor's baptismal certificate the church is recorded as St Michan's , Halston Street. This is the same church in which Elizabeth later married James Lawlor ( granddad Lawlor ) and this suggests that it was the local church of the Whelan family .

St Michans RC Church on Halston Street is not to be confused with a more well known Church of Ireland St Michans not very far away on Church Street in Dublin which is famous for the mummies in it's under floor vaults and is also reputed to be the burial place of the young hero Robert Emmett , leader of the Society of United Irishmen who was executed by the British for insurrection in 1803 .
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