Visit Ireland 2018

My trip to Ireland September to October was to gain an understanding of the people, the culture and history of my Irish Shannassy, Begley, Fogarty, ONeill people. I was particularly interested in Mayo, Donegal, Derry. These where the counties that my mothers side of the family came from.

During my journey I made it my mission to visit various small villages along the Wild Atlantic Way.

However, to start, I now write about the other county I visited which was Killkenny in search of the church lands where MARY PIDGEON born and baptised 1831. Mary was the only Irish person in my fathers tree line, with all others coming from Shetland. Her baptism image is from the Gowran townland and found in a genealogical site Find My Past. An excellent site if interested in being able to download an image.

It was toward the end of my trip that I located the church land and was able to photograph some beautiful images. St. Mary’s Collegiate Church Gowran (Gaelic/Irish: Eaglais Mhuire), also known as the Church of the Blessed Virgin of the Assumption, is a church in the centre of the town of Gowran, County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is an ancient site and a National Monument of Ireland.
The local people told me that there are “over 9000 souls in the ground”.

I will include some photos of the church land and some of the grave stones after I get myself organised. In the meantime here is an example:-


The pub was just across the road and the older people were interested in the family names. I was astounded. I must admit I spent hours wandering around the grave sites and taking in the feelings associated with finding a precious link to our family story.

This person from across the world popping to a little local pub was welcomed with open arms. A young couple took me under their wings and invited me inside where it was warm and cosy. I listened to their story and they listened to mine. Why was I here so long away from my home? I told them about my family and Mary Pidgeon being a first family settler, arriving in Sept 1852 at Point Henry, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. They knew exactly the right question to ask when I mentioned the name married to KENNETT. Was he in the barracks? Well yes he was. The Kilkenny Journal, 25 July 1849 and The military in Kilkenny 1800-1870 by Liam Böiger B.A. Thesis for the degree of PhD Department of History National University of Ireland Maynooth will allow you to read the history.

Thomas Trevanian Kennett served in a Dragoon Guard component for a short while, before returning to England and then leaving for Australia.

He married Mary Pidgeon in 1852 and their second child MARY EMMA KENNETT was my fathers grandmother.