"Steward" Walsh, Moonveen

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The first recorded members of this family was Walter Walsh and his wife Joan Fielding born around the 1760s.

Walter had a brother John, who married Catherine Jordan in Ballyvadden. Both Walter and John named their first son Richard, so the assumption is that their father was called Richard.

According to Edmund Walsh Kelly

In the summer of 1775, there was a fight at the eviction of Ryan in Glengrant. Jackson, the landlord (now Bacas), was injured and subsequently died. Thomas Ryan had to fly the country, and remained away for some years.

This Thomas Ryan was from Ballygorey and had married Mary Walsh, Glengrant on 2nd Feb 1775.

John Walsh, brother of Walter, the butcher, and uncle of Richard, the old steward, was implicated in the affair and had to leave the neighbourhood. He went to Kill, Co. Waterford and there married Catherine Jordan of Ballyvadden who held the lands at a rent of 1/- per acre. John Walsh was thus the first of the Ballyvadden Walshs. He was a renowned hurler and athlete. He died from injuries received at a hurling match in 1782 and was buried in the old churchyard at Portnascully. His widow survived him more than forty years and was living in Ballyvadden in 1821 age 63 years.
Walter More Walsh of Moonveen and Robert Walsh of Glengrant were first cousins of this John Walsh.

The above story ties in with one provided by John Madden of Corluddy in 1939

On the road from Curlody to Carrigeen and about three hundred yards from Carrigeen School there is a very sharp turn called the “Poll John” On the right hand side of it there is a field owned by Philip McGrath called Poll an Murdair. In this field a landlord was murdered. The man’s name was Jackson and he lived down near where Carberys live now for but a number of years he lived in Curlody Castle. He did not own it however. One evening he was walking through the field and had a gun under his arm. He met one of his tenants and demanded rent from him. But instead of giving him rent the tenant snapped the gun from under his arm and hit him in the head with the butt of it killing him instantly. The man who killed him was a Walsh of Glengrant. After the murder he had to leave the country for America and no more was heard of him.

This family was one of the 3 biggest farmers in the parish having 36 acres of land in Moonveen in 1821, the other 2 “big farmers” being the Delahuntys of Portnahully and the Fieldings of Portnascully (originally Kilcraggan)

The land that they rented from Congreve eventually became part of the Vereker’s farm sometime between 1911 & 1920.

The children of Walter Walsh and Joan Fielding

1 - Mary baptised 17th Mar 1785
2 - Margaret baptised 28th Apr 1787 – married Cornelias O’Neil in 1807 – no known descendants
3 - Richard baptised 1st Mar 1789 – see below
4 - Rev. John baptised 28th Jan 1791 and died 12 Dec 1827 aged 34
5 - Daniel baptised 29th Apr 1793
6 - Catherine baptised 6th Oct 1796 – married Richard Fewer, Aglish 5th Aug 1819 – 1 known son
a) Edmond baptised 11th Mar 1821
7 - Edmund born 1799
8 - Eleanor baptised 28th Jun 1801
9 - Johanna born 1804

Walters’s eldest Son Richard was referred to as the Old Steward as he was Congreves “man” on the Kilkenny side of the river. Richard married Catherine McDonald (Born 1799) of Clogga on 10th Feb 1817 and they had four children before Catherine died in childbirth on 16th Apr 1825.

Their four children were

1 - Walter baptised 18th Mar 1818 – more below
2 - Mary baptised 23rd Feb 1823, married John Hayden of Carlisk on 18th Feb 1841. Three children
a) James born 1844
b) Margaret born 1846
c) Jane born 1848
3 - John baptised 15th Feb 1824
4 - Johanna baptised 15th Apr 1825 – she died before 1841 as Mary was listed as an only daughter on the notice of her marriage in the Freeman’s Journal in 1841.

Richard was the local representative for the Aglish area in 1839 on the Board of Guardians for Waterford Union.

Richard eldest son Walter married Ellen Delahunty of Portnahully (daughter of David) on 27th Feb 1843, but their union did not produce any children. In Aug 1846 Walter was listed as the Chairman of the Carrigeen Famine Committee in correspondence with the Famine Relief Committee.

He died at a relatively young age of 36 on 13th Feb 1855 - see Carrigeen No. 250. Ownership of the land passed to his widow Ellen, who subsequently married Thomas B Morrissey on 14th Nov 1858. But again no happy outcome to this marriage as Ellen died just over 3 years later on 22nd Jan 1862 aged 42 and again without issue.

Tom Morrissey married Bridget Power in Carrick on 8th July 1862. Thomas and Bridget had 10 children in Moonveen between 1864 and 1879 and sometime between 1885 and 1901 lost possession of the farm.

So despite the Steward Walsh’s relative position of authority, their legacy quickly passed to completely unrelated people via 2 marriages.

If anyone has further information on what happened to the Morrisseys please get in touch. Some of them did end up in Australia (Patrick 1877-1947) and US (Joseph 1865-1941), but it would be interesting to find out why they left Moonveen.