Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Phelan family of Ashtown, Kilkenny


I wish to thank my mom's cousin Phylis Devlin (nee. Whelan) for giving me some printed copies of old family photos at my recent meeting with the Whelan clan in Dublin (August 2012).

Some of the photos that Phylis gave me I have previously posted onto this blog when Gaye Mulholland sent me scanned copies via email some months back. However there are one or two new ones which I haven't seen before and shall therefore post up.

This one above is very interesting indeed and would appear to have been taken on a visit of the Whelans from Dublin to the ancestral farm at Ashtown, Kilkenny. This photo seems to relate to others I have posted including one of family members sitting in a vintage motorcar outside of the farmhouse.

The farm at Ashtown was the ancestral home of my great grandfather John Whelan's family. According to old census records, the Whelan family of Kilkenny were named Phelan, it was common for Irish surnames to change through time, I don't know if it was a slight Anglicization of the name when John moved from the country to Dublin or whether it was just down to the foibles of common literacy in the early 20th century.

I am not entirely sure at the moment as to who everyone is in the photograph, though can say with certainty that there are three of the young sons of John and Anne Whelan standing on the right hand side. I am also pretty certain that my g-grandfather John Whelan is second from the left wearing a three piece suit and trilby hat.

I am not sure if one of the women in the photo is my g-grandmother Anne Whelan, I don't recognise any of them as being her, she may even be taking the picture. But I think it would be entirely reasonable to speculate that the old lady next to John Whelan is his mother, Catherine Hearne and could the tall man on her right, with the pocket watch chain be her husband Richard Phelan?

If this is the case then this photo is the only one I have ever seen containing direct ancestors at the generation of great great grandparents.

Given the age of the three boys, the photo would have been taken in the early 1910s. John  Whelan was born in 1865, so his parents must have been born in at least the 1840s or earlier. Can we guess that Catherine Phelan was in her 80s in this photo?

1 comment:

  1. Was there any Shanahan,s in ashtown
    larryshanahan@hotmail.com

    Cape Breton, NS, Canada

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