Visiting the Quaker cemetery in Rosenallis, Co. Laois

There are two fascinating burial grounds in Rosenallis, Co. Laois, the Quaker cemetery and St. Brigids churchyard just up the road from that. This video is a brief tour of the Quaker cemetery of Rosenallis. Laois has a fascinating history of religious cooperation and competition and the graveyards have proven to be key sources of the physical remains of this complex past - there are Catholic families, indigenous and planted in Tudor times, Quaker families following the times of Cromwell and a range of Church of Ireland and non-conformist protestant churches and all are traceable in the burial grounds of the last 500 years. Nearby Mountmellick will be the focus of a large gathering of Quaker heritage families in 2015 and no doubt Rosenallis will receive a lot of visitors keen to remember their forebearers. Working on this survey with the local community group I was intrigued that we were in such a Quaker heartland with links to the Carribean and North America going back to the 1700s. Read more »

The 170 year old man from Doneraile

Malakey McAuliffe lived to the ripe old age of 170 - or maybe an all too short 17 years. Or was he 70?

 

 

His wife, Mary, is also commemorated on this headstone and the lettercarver got WIFE wrong and it had to be fixed.So a likely blunder with an age (a misheard epitaph) and a blunder with the simple spelling of wife tells us these stonecarvers had yet to learn the full skills of the trade. However, as Mary died at the age of 60 it seems reasonable that Malakey was 70 rather than 17.

An eighteenth century Arma Christi headstone in Clonfert, Duhallow, Co. Cork

In the 'old section' of Clonfert graveyard (in the SW corner) is a large group of 18th and 19th century headstones and burial monuments. One of them has a rare survival of the 'crown of thorns' - the crown of thorns is commonly seen on headstones further north in Ireland but I can think of only two examples in Cork, Limerick, Tipperary.

 

The shouldered headstone has a sharp border on the top and then a fine collection of the instruments of the crucifixion.  Read more »

An Intriguing Headstone in Saint Thomas' Graveyard, Peterswell, County Galway.

This rather unusual crucifixion scene is to be found on a small rectangular headstone located in St. Thomas' medieval graveyard in the parish of Peterswell Co. Galway. It bears the simple inscription 'Erected by John Riley AD 1846'. Read more »

How much did a funeral cost in the 1880s? Thompsons of Waterford.

A question often asked during graveyard surveys is ‘how much did a funeral cost in the past?’ - to which I’d often reply that we need to see a undertaker’s account books to get an answer. The first undertaker’s accounts I have seen were shown to me by C J Destelle-Roe of North Tipperary and that account book contained a lot of important clues to understanding early 20th century Templemore.

Now, Waterford County Council have combined with Thompson Funeral Directors (opened in Waterford in 1786) to put their historic registers online. This is an excellent resource and a quick examination gives immediate reward.

Reading the registers it strikes me that literacy was just as much an issue for undertakers clerks as it was for stonecutters. The 19th century register is written with phonetic spellings - elm is ellim, car is care, hers for hearse so that lesson we have learned in graveyards is repeated here- the actual spelling doesn’t overly matter once you convey the intended meaning.  Read more »

Where to look for burials in the Tuam Union Workhouse?

There could be human burials anywhere within the site of the Tuam Union Workhouse -  especially dating to the mid-nineteenth century before the formal burial ground was established in the nearby townland of Carrowpeter. Delaney (2012) refers to information in Claffey (2009) that the Poor Law Commissioners were unhappy with the Workhouse burial ground being located within 90 feet of the fever sheds and the formal burial ground subsequently being established in Carrowpeter. Read more »

Archaeology, the Tuam Workhouse & St. Mary's Mother & Baby Home - a personal perspective

This post is written in the interests of taking a measured archaeological approach to the current debate about the Mother & Baby Home in Tuam. Two key issues underlie the whole matter from an archaeological perspective;

1. the lack of a clearly identified burial ground in the Tuam Union Workhouse.

2. 19th and 20th century burial practices relating to the Workhouse &St. Mary’s Mother & Baby Home.

  Read more »

Training Project in the Necropolis, Glasgow 24th & 26th May 2014

We will be heading to the Necropolis in Glasgow this coming weekend (24th & 26th May 2014) to provide training in historic graveyard survey, recording and publication. We will be working in partnership with a team from Archaeology Scotland and with the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis and all comers are welcome - if you can take a photograph you can learn our system. Read more »

Survey and model of Tullore, Laois

Paddy Carroll and Ann Scully have been working on a survey of the historic graveyard in Tullore, Laois for the last 4 years or so. Paddy and some neighbours did the survey and Ann typed it up. Paddy made a model of the graveyard which is surprisingly useful in helping visitors to the site. We met Paddy and Ann last year when setting up the Laois Partnership funded training programme and we finally got to Tullore graveyard this morning.

  Read more »

Training in Tang

We will be providing training to community groups and individuals in Tang, Westmeath on the 27th, 28th, 29th March and 3rd, 4th, 5th April. The project is organised by Tang Muintir Community Council and funded by Westmeath Community Development.

All are welcome. Come for a morning or come for all 6 days. We will work through regardless of weather and the local community hall will be our digital recording base. This could be our only Leinster training project for a few months so anybody based in that neck of the woods should consider coming along.

 

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