Monday, 22 August 2011

The Flanagan family of Raheen, Ballymore, Westmeath

Map of the parishes of Westmeath. Moate (marked in red) is in the south of the county, on the border with Offaly. The parish of Ballymore is number 3 on the map, not far to the north of Moate. Raheen is not to be confused with Rahan, an Offaly village near Tullamore.

My wife Theresa's maternal grandmother was Catherine (aka Kate) Stone, nee. Flanagan.

On her marriage certificate to Edward Stone in 1924, it is stated that Kate Flanagan was from Rehan and her father was a farmer named William Flanagan. The couple married at Ballymore in the Union of Athlone.

My mother-in-law Kitty Dwyer, nee. Stone, has previously told me that her mother Catherine had four brothers (Ned, William, Thomas and John) and four sisters (Julia, Mary Ann, Elizabeth and Margaret).

According to Kitty, Mary Ann Flanagan was a highly skilled dress maker whose reputation brought in a great deal of custom from the local gentry:

"Every year Mary Ann would receive an order from the local Church of Ireland vicar at Ballymore to stitch up fine lacy dresses for five of his daughters who would ride around the area in a horse and cart like a gaggle of geese in their fine outfits. Mary Ann married Jack Duffy. She was 91 years old when she died and her son died a few months after her".

Kitty also told me that Catherine's brother Ned died as a young man following a violent kick in the stomach from a horse. The event left a strong and lasting impression on Catherine and many years later she was recalled as being very nervous when her grandchildren were near horses in the fields around Lurgan, especially a young Michael Dwyer would would swing enthusiastically with his arms around the neck of a particular horse.

The Flanagan women are described by Kitty as being generally "floppy and floating". Catherine herself was a small and stout woman. She died on the 26th September 1981 aged 88 and is buried at Tubber cemetary with her husband Edward Stone (died 8th September 1947 aged 64) and their daughter Mary who died on 11th November 1947 aged 19.

Kitty has a Mass Card for Margaret Moran of 35 Magerton Road, Drimnagh, Dublin who died on 29th Auigust 1961 aged 78 years. This was Catherine Flanagan's sister Margaret.

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