More on Francis Sheehan of Dungarvan

The Waterford County Museum web site has a harrowing account of the famine in the Dungarvan area. The name Francis Sheehan pops up, surprisingly enough, as the local bank manager:

On 10 June, Francis Sheehan, the manager of the National Bank in Dungarvan, wrote to the Guardians informing them that their loan of £500 had been sanctioned. This was on condition that the chairman and two of the Guardians act as securities. The Clerk was directed to reply that the Guardians would not become individually responsible for the loan.

The problem was that the number of people seeking relief from the local poorhouse had far outstripped the town’s resources, given that the funds used to help the poor came from taxes on local farmers, whose crops had failed catastrophically. The ‘Guardians’, as the trustees of the poorhouse were called, were unwilling to provide security for a loan to keep the poorhouse open, and therefore called for it to be closed.

The fact that this Francis Sheehan was the manager of the local bank makes it plausible that he’s the Francis who owned 179 acres in Dungarvan in the 1870’s. Whether he’s related to us is another question! Continue reading “More on Francis Sheehan of Dungarvan”

Francis Sheehan, landowner?

Finding the Sheehan family history has been frustrating. The latest Dunn ancestor to have emigrated to this country was Daniel Farrar in 1860, while the earliest were the Cogswells and Seavers back in the 1630’s, so there’s plenty of local history to trace. The Sheehans, on the other hand, arrived in 1901 (Grandfather) and 1892 (Grandmother), and didn’t leave much trace until arriving in Worcester sometime before 1905.

So it was interesting to come across the name “Francis Sheehan” in a list of landowners in Dungarvan, County Waterford, in the 1870’s. It’s from a forum posting on Ancestry.com: “Abstracted from genealogy library reference book, the following individuals owned an acre or more of land in Co. Waterford, Ireland, the latter part of the 1870s…” Francis’s entry reads: “Francis Sheehan, address Dungarvan, owned 179 acres.”

That’s a sizable amount for an Irish Catholic to have owned at the time, so it’s suspicious to say the least, but then again,  Francis seems to be a popular name in the family….