Monday, 10 August 2009

4: Comerford of Ballybur Castle and Kilkenny City

4.1: Ballybur Castle, ancestral home of the Comerford family of Ballybur and Kilkenny City (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

By Patrick Comerford

GERALD COMERFORD (fl 1300-1302?). According to a volume of pedigrees in the possession of Blake Forster, Gerald Comerford was Guardian of the Peace for Kilkenny in 1300, and in 1302 he married Arabella Plunket, daughter of Sir Anthony Plunket.[1]

However, the first member of the family recorded as living in Co Kilkenny was:

PHILIP de QUEMERFORD, attorney, fl 1302-1326, is the first member of the family found living in Co Kilkenny. He was most likely the son of Henry Phelip de Quemerford (living ca. 1270-1290) of Quemerford [See Chapter 2: Quemerford and Comerford family origins]. Along with Nicholas of Calne, Henry of Cumpton, and Walter of Lacock, Philip of Cummerford (sic) was one of a small group of lawyers or agents from Calne, Wiltshire, working in Co Kilkenny on behalf of William de Calne, who acquired his property in Ireland through marriage with the widowed Roesia de Dene. He has been identified by Marsh as one of the “little colony of people from Calne and the neighbourhood [who] settled in Ireland.”[2]

4.2: Calne in Wiltshire: Philip de Quemerford was one of small colony of people who moved from Calne to Ireland at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries (Photograph © Patrick Comerford, 2008)

By the beginning of the 14th century, Philip of Cummerford or Philip de Quemerford was living permanently in Co Kilkenny. In a letter dated 26 July 1302, it was noted that ‘Philip de Cumberford’ and Philip Gode were attorneys for John de Earleye. As Philip de Quemerford, he was fined at Kilkenny in 1325-1326.[3] According to the Estreats of Kilkenny, on the Thursday after the feast of the exaltation of the Holy Cross in 1326, Philip de Quemerford was fined for an unknown sum along with others at Kilkenny.[4]

He appears to have been the father of both Thomas fitzPhilip de Quemerford and John de Quemerford, who were living in the same area a generation later:

1, John de Quemerford, of Earlstown, Co Kilkenny, of whom next.
2, Thomas fitzPhilip de Quemerford, of Kells, Co Kilkenny, of whom later.
3? (The Very Revd) Richard Comerford, said by the Revd James Graves to have been Prior of Kells, Co Kilkenny, in the early 14th century. Although there is no other record of a Comerford Prior of Kells, Graves reported the discovery of his gravestone in November 1840.[5] By 1902, however, it was reported that the monument no longer existed.[6]

4.3: The monastic ruins by the King’s River in Kells, Co Kilkenny ... Graves says Richard Comerford was Prior of Kells in the early 14th century (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

JOHN de QUEMERFORD, fl 1346-1358. He was living at Earlstown in the Barony of Shillelogher, Co Kilkenny, on 12 February 1346, when he witnessed a grant by Matthew Eyleward to Maurice, son of William ‘le Whyte’, of an acre of land at Langeland in Erleystown.[7] On 2 April 1346, he witnessed a grant by John Whyte to Maurice le Whyte of five acres in Tybryneken in the Barony of Erley.[8] Twelve years later, in 1358, according to Blake Foster’s pedigree quoted by Healy, he was appointed under a warrant from King Edward III to collect a subsidy from Kilkenny in the war against Art O’Kavanagh.[9]

4.4: The centre of Kells, Co Kilkenny, in 2012 ... Thomas fitzPhilip de Quemerford was living in the centre of Kells in June 1350 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

John was probably the brother of:

THOMAS fitz PHILIP de QUEMERFORD, fl 1350. He was living in Kells, Co Kilkenny, in June 1350. On 1 June 1350, he granted to William fitzRichard Coterel of Kells a house with appurtenances in the middle of the town of Kells, “to have and to hold to him and his heirs of the chief lords of the fee by the services due and accustomed.”[10] This grant was supplemented some days later by a quit claim from Thomas fitzPhilip Quemerford to William fitz Richard Coterel of Kells, and his heirs for ever, of all his rights in a house with appurtenances on the main street (in medio vico) of Kells, “which he has of the gift and enfeoffment of John Martyr of Kells”. Both deeds had a seal attached to them, and each seal was still perfect in the early 20th century.[11]

A generation or two later we find both:

PHILIP de QUEMERFORD (Philippus Quemerford) and
WILLIAM de QUEMERFORD, of Callan, Co Kilkenny, fl 1406-1433. William de Quemerford was a burgher of Kilkenny and witnessed two civic documents in the Kilkenny City archives on 28 May 1406, and on 6 October 1419. Philippus Quemerford and Willemus Comerford were among the assessors for the town of county of Kilkenny ca 1420-1421. William was still a burgess of Kilkenny in the period 1422-1428.[12]

In November 1411, William Quemerford held lands in Callan, Co Kilkenny, on lease from James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond (the ‘White Earl’), at an annual rent of 3 shillings and 4 pence. He was still in possession of them on 25 April 1412. He was living in Callan as a tenant of James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond, on 26 October 1433.[13]

William appears to have been the father of:

1, Richard de Quemerford, of whom next.
2, Fulk Quemerford (?ca 1408-1452), Mayor of Waterford, who was slain at Tramore in 1452. He may have been the ancestor of the Waterford and Castleinch branches of the family [See Chapter 7: The Comerfords of Castleinch and Waterford].
3, Thomas Comerford of Waterford, who was involved in kidnapping Thomas Hore, Abbot of Dunbrody, Co Wexford, in 1449 [See Chapter 7: The Comerfords of Castleinch and Waterford].

RICHARD de QUEMERFORD, fl 1434-1457, of Maioweston, Callan, who held his lands from James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormond and 1st Earl of Wiltshire, at a chief rent of 16 pence, and who was in possession of them in November 1434. He was a witness in Waterford on 24 April 1457 to a Butler grant involving lands in Co Carlow.[14]

Richard was, perhaps, the ancestor of the Ballybur branch of the family.

A generation or two later we find:

1, (The Right Revd Dr) Edmond Comerford, Bishop of Ferns, of whom next.
2, Philip Comerford.
3, Richard Comerford ‘senior’ (ca 1462-ca 1532) of Ballybur (see below).
4, (The Revd) Thomas Comerford, priest, living on 3 February 1515.[15]
The first of these sons: 

(The Right Rev Dr) EDMOND COMERFORD, Bishop of Ferns[16] [see Comerford Profiles 1: Edmund Comerford (d. 1509): the last pre-Reformation Bishop of Ferns.] The difficulties in ascertaining his identity are compounded by Joseph Comerford’s family pedigree, certified by Sir William Hawkins in 1724, in which Edmund is identified as the second son of “Fucus de Comerford” of Danganmore, Co Kilkenny.[17] Hore, Leslie, Foster and Gillespie incorrectly give his name as “Edward,”[18] although he is named Edmund in Cotton, Carrigan and Crockford’s, and is called both Edmond and Edmund by Grattan-Flood.[19] Edmond was educated at Oxford.[20]

4.5: Saint John’s, Kilkenny. Edmond Comerford was an Augustinian here, and became Prior in 1498 (Photograph © Patrick Comerford, 2007)

He entered the priesthood as an Augustinian friar, and from an early age he was attached either to Saint John’s Hospital, Kilkenny, or to the Augustinian Priory in his home town, Callan, Co Kilkenny. In 1486, Pope Innocent VIII noted in Rome that “Edmund Comortun” had been made a Canon of Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, before 13 March that year.[21]

4.6: Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, where Edmond Comerford and William Comerford were deans in pre-Reformation and Reformation period (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

Edmond Comerford was a canon of the cathedral from before 1486. A year later, on 21 June 1487, he was appointed Dean of Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny (Decanus Ecclesiae Ossoriensis) and Rector of Saint Martin’s or Tompugh (Templemartin), three miles south-east of Kilkenny City.[22] Leslie notes that the previous dean, Thomas Cantwell, had died of the plague.[23]

In his early years as dean, Edmond Comerford was accused of complicity in the rebellion of the Yorkist pretender, Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be Prince Richard, second son of Edward IV. In 1493, he was ordered in Parliament to resign as dean and to surrender on 12 August on a charge of complicity in the rebellion. Warbeck’s rebellion impinged on the feuds between the Ormond Butlers and the Kildare FitzGeralds, but when Kildare’s supporters were removed from office and Ormond’s nominees replaced them, Comerford survived the storm and eventually acquitted himself of the charges before parliament.[24]

Comerford was an unashamed careerist and pluralist, and he accumulated church benefices and offices. He became Rector of Saint Mary’s, Callan, and Prior of Saint John’s, Kilkenny, on 3 March 1498, despite the claims of John Canuell (Cantwell) and Dermot Oclere (O’Cleere), and he assumed those offices on 24 May 1498.[25]

As Dean of Saint Canice’s, his official residence was the Dean’s Castle in the townland of Deansground, near the present Archer’s Avenue, off the Castle Road, Kilkenny, with grounds extending to the site of Saint Joseph’s Convent.[26]

He continued as Dean of Saint Canice’s and Prior of Saint John’s at the same time. On 6 January 1501, he was one of the senior church figures involved in the ecclesiastical court case that legitimated the marriage of James Butler and Saedhbh Kavanagh, guaranteeing that the Ormond succession eventually passed to Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond, in 1515.[27]

Meanwhile, papal officials in Rome knew that Edmund had been living with a woman who had, in effect, been his wife, and allowed him to petition for a dispensation allowing his young son, William, to be ordained to the priesthood. On 14 May 1502, a mandate was issued at the Papal Court in the Lateran to the Prior of Inistioge, the Dean of Waterford, and Robert Heydan, a canon of Cashel Cathedral, ordering them to install William Comerford as Rector of the Parish of Culcrahyn (Coolcraheen) in succession to Maurus Olealonyr (Maurice Lalor), and the parish was to be made a Prebendary in Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, for his personal benefit.[28] In the mandate, it was conceded that William, who was underage, was born “the son of the dean, then a chaplain (i.e., canon), of the Church of Ossory, and an unmarried woman,” and that despite his illegitimacy, delicately described as “a defect of birth,” he had been ordained or “marked with clerical character.”[29]

4.7: Saint Edan’s Cathedral, Ferns … Edmond Comerford was consecrated Bishop of Ferns in 1505 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2009)

Edmund was consecrated Bishop of Ferns in Saint Canice’s Cathedral in 1505 in succession to Laurence Neville.[30] Grattan Flood says that “during the espiscopacy of Bishop Comerford, nothing of any note happened.”[31] While he was Bishop of Ferns, he remained Dean of Saint Canice’s and Prior of Saint John’s.[32] At that time, the principle residences of the Bishops of Ferns were Mountgarret Castle, near New Ross, and Fethard Castle, Co Wexford.[33]

On 14 January 1507, Edmund Comerford was one of the senior ecclesiastical figures involved in the case hearing a dispute between the Prior of Kells, Co Kilkenny, and the Prior of Kilmainham in Dublin.[34]

4.8: Edmond Comerford’s seal as Prior of Saint John’s, Kilkenny, in 1507 

On 26 January 1507, as Bishop of Ferns and Prior Commendatory of the “House and Hospital of Saint John the Evangelist near Kilkenny,” Edmund issued a grant of land in Magdalene Street, Kilkenny, to the Revd Philip Walsh, chaplain of Saint Peter’s Chantry in Saint Mary’s Church, Kilkenny, and his successors.[35] The seal attached to this grant, which survives in the charters and civic records of Kilkenny, is that of Edmund Comerford as Prior of Saint John’s rather than as Bishop of Ferns.

Within six months, there was a false rumour that Bishop Comerford had died and on 3 August 1507, Nicholas Comyn was appointed his successor. However, Edmond Comerford survived another two years.[36]

Meanwhile, minor disputes in November 1506 in the Diocese of Ossory, where William Comerford was still the Rector of Coolcraheen, and in October 1507 in the Diocese of Ferns, provide evidence that Papal officials in the Lateran continued to be aware of the private details of Edmund’s domestic and family life. Edmund was asked to adjudicate in the dispute in Ossory, although this meant he was asked to judge in a case involving his own son. In their mandate to a number of senior diocesan officials to call the Bishop of Ferns to court and to resolve these disputes, the Papal officials admitted that one of these diocesan officials, Canon William Comorthyn (i.e., Comerford), had received a papal dispensation some years earlier allowing him to be ordained although he was the son of an unmarried man and an unmarried woman.[37]

In October 1508, Bishop Edmond Comerford was summoned to parliament as one of the lords spiritual. On 15 October that year he was still Dean of Saint Canice’s.[38] Within weeks, though, it emerged that Edmund had “detained” the deanery while he was bishop “without any title or support of law in respect of it but of his own temerity and de facto as he still does.”[39] In other words, he had no papal or state approval to hold both offices. An ecclesiastical court was ordered in the name of Pope Alexander VI to remove Edmund from office as dean, and to hand over the position to “William Qum’ford,” a canon of Ossory – the bishop’s son.[40]

However, there were difficulties in replacing Edmund with his son: William was allegedly still a minor and there were questions about the validity of his ordination because of his age and his birth.[41] Pope Alexander moved quickly to remedy any defects, William was given yet another dispensation, and William was ordered to be installed as dean “immediately.”[42]

Within months, Edmund had died in office on Easter Sunday, 8 April 1509.[43] He was succeeded by Nicholas Comyn as Bishop of Ferns,[44] by James Shortall as Prior of Saint John’s,[45] and by his son William Comerford as Dean of Saint Canice’s Cathedral.

Bishop Edmond Comerford was a contemporary, and perhaps a brother, of:

PHILIP COMERFORD,[46] who has sometimes been described as the father of:

1, (The Very Revd) William Comerford (ca 1486/1487-ca 1539), Dean of Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny (ca 1509-ca 1539),[47] of whom next.

(The Very Revd) WILLIAM COMERFORD (ca 1486/1487-post 1539), Dean of Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, ca 1509-ca 1539 [see Comerford Profiles 2: William Comerford (ca. 1486-ca. 1539): the Reformation Dean of Ossory]. Although he was described on 9 August 1520 as the son of Philip and heir of Richard and Edmond Comerford, William was an illegitimate son of an unmarried woman and Bishop Edmond Comerford, born while Edmond was a canon of Saint Canice’s, Kilkenny.[48]

During William’s time as Dean of Ossory, the Reformation Parliament met briefly in Kilkenny in 1536. In 1537, as the Dean of Saint Canice’s, he was the cathedral dean with the third largest income in Ireland. When the Royal Commissioners came to Kilkenny in 1538 to proclaim the royal injunctions against the Pope, they received a warm welcome in the city and in the cathedral.

The Richard Comerford named by Dean William Comerford appears to have been:

RICHARD COMERFORD ‘Senior’, (ca 1462-ca 1532). Richard Comerford ‘senior’ appears to have been born ca 1462, and may have been a brother of both Bishop Edmond Comerford and of Philip Comerford. However, there is a strong tradition that the Comerford family was descended from Judge Richard Comberford (ca 1512-post 1547), son of Thomas Comberford of Comberford, Staffordshire [see Comberford 4: Comberford wealth from Wednesbury, and Comberford 7: The Quaker Comberfords of Bradley, Staffordshire] and his wife Dorothy Fitzherbert. Richard Comberford had married Isabel Biggs, and had two daughters, Dorothy and Elizabeth, and a son, Francis Comberford, ancestor of the Comberfords of Bradley, Staffordshire [see Comberford 7: The Quaker Comberfords of Bradley, Staffordshire].

4.9: The Staffordshire Comberford arms (gules, a talbot passant argent), quartering the Kilkenny Comerford arms (azure, a bulge horn argent, stringed gules, between three mullets or)

Joseph Comerford’s pedigree registered in 1724, and the pedigree compiled at the College of Heralds in 1786 for the Countess of Crequy, also claimed Richard moved to Ireland, married a Mary Comerford, a niece of Edmond Comerford, Bishop of Ferns, and was the ancestor of the Irish Comerfords. Because of these claims, the Comberford arms were used by the Comerford family in Co Kilkenny, quartered in various combinations with the arms of the Parles family and the traditional arms of the Comerford family of Ireland.

Despite this tradition, Richard Comerford came into possession of Ballybur, Co Kilkenny, in the early 16th century, through his marriage to Ellen Freny (or French), daughter and co-heir of Patrick fitzFulk Freny, and heiress of Ballymaclaphry and of the moiety of the manor of Ballymacuoge, Co Wexford.[49]

Richard and Ellen were the parents of:

1, Richard ‘Roe’ Comerford, of whom now.
2, Edward Comerford, living ca 1542,[50] and father of:
1a, Edmund fitzEdward Comerford, of Ballybur, living 20 April 1567, when he was pardoned with others, including Richard Oge, Richard Boy and William Quemerford of Ballybur, and Henry Comerford of Ballmacka.[51]
3, James Comerford, ancestor of the Comerfords of Ballymack [see Chapter 6: Comerford of Ballymack and Callan].
4, Edmund Comerford of Garryduff, Co Tipperary, living in 1548, 1555 and 1560.[52] He was father of:
1a, Richard m’Edmond Comerford, of Garryduff and Butlerswood, fined and pardoned on 2 January 1571-1572.[53]
2a, David Comerford of Craig; his daughter:
●● 1b, Joan married John Shee of Cloran, son of Richard Shee of Cloran and his wife Laetitia, daughter of Philip Comerford of Waterford [see Chapter 7: The Comerfords of Castleinch and Waterford].
5, Patrick Comerford of Ballymack (living in 1549) [See Chapter 6: Comerford of Ballymack and Callan].
6, Nicholas Comerford of Ballymack (living in 1549) [See Chapter 6: Comerford of Ballymack and Callan].

They were contemporaries of:

a, (The Revd) James Comerford, Rector of Saint Martin’s, Kilkenny, living on 12 June 1544.[54]
b, (The Revd) Piers Comerford, chaplain to James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond, on 28 March 1546.[55]

Richard Comerford ‘Senior’ was still living on 23 June 1532, and was then aged 70.[56]

The eldest son and heir of Richard Comerford ‘Senior’ was:

RICHARD ‘Roe’ COMERFORD (ca 1492?-post 1537), of Ballybur Castle and Ballymaclaphry, Co Kilkenny. As the eldest son and heir of Richard Comerford ‘Senior’, he succeeded his father soon after 1532, and was living in 1537, when he was presented for charging coyne and livery.[57]

He was the father of:

1, Richard ‘Oge’ Comerford, of whom now.

RICHARD ‘Oge’ COMERFORD (died ca 1579/1580), of Ballybur Castle, Co Kilkenny. He was living 1566, 1567, 1571/1572, and died ca 1579-1580.[58] On 22 June 1566, Richard Oge was among those given a commission to make war against the Graces and the Bourkes who were in rebellion in Kilkenny and Tipperary.[59] Richard was a witness to a number of Ormond’s legal transactions on behalf of Thomas Butler, ‘Black Tom,’ 10th Earl of Ormond, including a grant to William Bourke, the blind Abbot of Carry, Co Mayo.[60] In his will, ‘Black Tom’ left Richard his “second best horse”, while Richard’s wife was left “20 nobles.”[61] However, Richard appears to have died by 1580, when Ormond is using Richard’s sons, Thomas and William for legal work.[62]

Richard ‘Oge’ Comerford married ... and had had at least three sons:

1, Thomas Comerford, who inherited Ballybur.
2, Richard ‘Boy’ Comerford, ancestor of the Comerfords of Danganmore, Co Kilkenny.[63] [See Chapter 5: The Comerfords of Danganmore].
3, William Comerford, of Graigerossoneny, a member of Callan Corporation in 1583, when Jaspar Rothe was sovereign.[64] On 14 December 1613, he obtained from the Earl of Ormond a lease for 21 years of Kilcowle (Kilcooley) Abbey.[65] He is mentioned in the will of his nephew, Richard Comerford of Balllybur, who died in 1637, and may have left descendants.[66]

The eldest son of Richard ‘Oge’ Comerford was:

Gowran Castle was severely damaged in a fire in 2010 ... Thomas Comerford was the Constable of the Castle and Commons of Gowran in 1588/1589

THOMAS COMERFORD (died 1589), of Ballybur Castle, Castlekelly (alias Ballmaclaghny or Ballymaclaphry), Ballytarsney and Caplestown, Co Kilkenny.[67] He was the eldest son of Richard ‘Oge’ Comerford of Ballybur. He was living in 1570, when his lands in the Manor of Callan, Barony of Kells, were valued at £40.[68] He was granted Ballymaclaghny or Castlekelly by the Earl of Ormond in for 21 years on 20 May 1572, and again on 8 March 1581/1582.[69] He also acquired a townhouse in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, from Fulk Comerford of Callan in 1589. He was the Constable of the Castle and Commons of Gowran, Co Kilkenny, ca 1588/1589,[70] shortly before his death on 2 February 1589.[71]

He had four sons:

1, Richard Comerford ‘fitzThomas’, who inherited Ballybur and the other estates, and of whom next.
2, Patrick Comerford, died before 1637, leaving children.[72]
3, Edward Comerford, living in 1637.[73]
4, George Comerford, mentioned in the will of his brother Richard in 1637, by which time he was dead. He was a member of Callan Corporation with his brother William Comerford in 1583.[74] In 1629, Charles I granted him a licence to hold a market in Wells every Saturday and a fair on the feast of the Ascension and Saint Andrew’s Day (30 November). He married ... Sweetman of Castle Eve, Co Kilkenny, and died before 1637, leaving a number of children, including:
1a, …, a daughter, who married Anthony Skelton of Sleaty, Queen’s County (Co Laois), who died on 3 July 1637, son of the poet Matthew Skelton.[75]

The eldest son and heir of Thomas Comerford was:

RICHARD COMERFORD ‘fitzThomas’ (1564-1637), of Ballybur Castle, Co Kilkenny, eldest son and heir of Thomas Comerford (d. 1589). Richard was born in 1564 and at the age of 24 he inherited Ballybur and the other family estates in Co Kilkenny from his father, Thomas Comerford, in 1589.[76]

4.10: Ballybur Castle ... Richard Comerford (1564-1637) is reputed to have built the castle as it now stands (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Richard Comerford is reputed to be the builder of Ballybur Castle. In October 1601, he was a Justice of the Queen’s Bench when he was involved with others in acquiring the Manor of Insula or Great Island in Co Wexford for Thomas Butler, ‘Black Tom,’ 10th Earl of Ormond.[77] He was also involved in securing the lands and manor of Tullow, Mallardstown, and other lands in Co Carlow, for ‘Black Tom’, along with other lands in counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, and Queen’s County (Laois).[78]

Richard was appointed Sheriff of the Liberty of Tipperary by Ormond on 9 December 1603, and was Constable of the Barony of Shilelogher, Co Kilkenny, in 1608.[79]

4.11: Achill Island ... Richard Comerford was instrumental in securing the Ormond claim to Achill and large tracts of land in Co Mayo in 1612 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2009)

Richard Comerford was one of the five men involved in securing the title to of the Earls of Ormond to large tracts of land in Co Mayo, including Achill Island and Burrishoole. The Butlers of Co Mayo dated back to at least 1281. Their claims included much of Burrishoole and Murrisk, including Achill Island, and the Manor of Ballycroy. Professor Edmund Curtis presumes that the family died out in the 14th century, and that by some agreement the Earls of Ormond inherited their interests.[80]

The Mayo Butler claims may have first passed to the Garvey family of Murrisk, who appear to have moved to Kilkenny, where Archbishop John Garvey of Armagh (1590-1595) was born in 1527. Nicholas Garvey was Sovereign (Mayor) of Kilkenny in 1559.[81]

In the Composition of Connacht in 1585, Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormond, was confirmed in the Manor of Burrishoole, and ten years later he leased the “Manor and lands of Burriesowle” to John Whyte fitzJames of Kellis (Kells), Co Kilkenny, for 31 years at an annual rent of £24.[82] These rights were confirmed in 1612, when King James I granted the Manors of Aughrim, Co Galway, and Burrishoole, Co Mayo, to Thomas, Earl of Ormond, in virtue of his descent.[83]

The grant, dated 26 June 1612, included “the castle, lands and tenements of Ackille containing four quarters of land, and they were perambulated in circuit on each side by the seashore.”[84] The lands were handed over to Sir Nicholas Walsh, the Chief Justice, Robert Roth, Henry Shethe (Shee), John Everard and Richard Comerford to deliver to Ormond.[85] – all were closely related to the Comerford family. The five were granted free market in Aughrim each Tuesday and in “Borresowle” each Wednesday, as well as two extra markets in Aughrim, one each on Saint Barnabas’ Day [11 June] and Saint Francis Day [4 October], and two extra markets in Burrishoole on Saint Philip and Saint James Day [3 May] and on Saint Peter’s Day [29 June], “yearly for ever.” The five men were also granted provisions for holding courts in those areas.[86]

Richard’s godchildren included Nicholas Langton fitzMichael (1630-1683), whose grandson, Silvester Langton (1681-1749), was father-in-law of James Comerford of The Butterslip, Kilkenny (see below).[87]

Richard married firstly Joanna Sweetman, daughter of John Sweetman of Castle Eve, Co Kilkenny, and aunt of William Sweetman of Castle Eve, executor of Richard Comerford’s will with John Purcell of Crannagh Castle, Co Tipperary. She was alive when Thomas Comerford died in 1589, but she died without having any children.[88]

4.12: Loughmoe Castle, near Thurles, Co Tipperary, one of the homes of Richard Comerford’s father-in-law, Thomas Purcell (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Richard married secondly Mary, daughter of Thomas Purcell of Loughmoe and Crannagh Castle, Co Tipperary.[89]

4.13: Crannagh Castle, Co Tipperary, one of the homes of Richard Comerford’s father-in-law, Thomas Purcell

Richard’s will, dated 21 April 1637, was witnessed by his first cousin, Richard Comerford of Danganmore, Peter Rothe, Walter Butler and James Purcell, his brother-in-law.[90] He died on 15 June 1637, aged 73, and was buried according to his will in Grange Church, near Desart, Co Kilkenny.[91] Full details of his family and estates were given in his will and at his inquest on 2 July 1637.

 Two monuments in Grange commemorated Richard and Mary, a wayside cross and an altar tomb. The remaining base of the wayside cross was later inserted in the masonry of the north-west corner of the chapel of Grange. This fraction was covered in cement when Carrigan visited Grange in the early 20th century, but is now clearly visible. It reads:[92]

... Rich ... Comerford de Ballibvr eqvitis et Dominae Mariae Pvrcell vxoris eivs qvi hanc crvcem in honorem Almae crvcis Dni. nri. fieri fecervnt, 20 jvlii ...

4.14: The surviving fraction of the wayside cross dedicated to Richard and Mary Comerford was inserted in the north-west corner of Grange Church by Michael Comerford and others in the late 19th century (Photograph © Patrick Comerford, 2009)

Translated, this reads:

[Pray for the souls of] Rich[ard] Comerford of Ballybur, Knight, and of Mrs Mary Purcell, his wife, both of whom had this cross erected in honour of the Holy Cross of our Lord, 20 July ...

The second monument, in the graveyard in Grange, was an altar-tomb with an ornamental reredos and Latin inscription, which was re-erected in 1869 by the Kilkenny historians John Hogan of Ormond House, Kilkenny, and William Healy, and the Carlow historian, Dr Michael Comerford [See Chapter 8: Comerford of Bunclody and Dublin], a founder member of the Ossory Archaeological Society. The inscription reads:[93]

Amoris mortisque monumentum Richardus Comerford, Armiger, Dominus de Ballibvr, vire vere pivs, probvs, prvdens, fortis variis, in Revblica mvnerbus pace belloque svmma integriate perfvnctvs, obiit 15 Junii, 1637. Posvit Richardo Marito avo charissimo sibi ac liberis Maria Purcell, obiit Marie Pvrcell. Defunctis Viator bene pecare

Translated, this reads:

To God Omnipotent, Most High, Sacred.
A monument of love and death. Richard Comerford, Esquire, Lord of Ballybur, a man truly pious, upright, prudent, valiant, having fulfilled various offices of state in peace and war with strictest rectitude, died on 15 June 1637. Mary Purcell erected [this monument] to Richard, her most beloved husband, herself and children. Mary Purcell died ... Traveller, pray piously for the departed.

Richard and Mary Comerford had three sons and eleven daughters, according to the certified entry of his death in the Office of the Ulster King of Arms, Dublin, signed by his eldest surviving son John:[94]

1, Thomas Comerford, living in 1593 and 1599. He died young and unmarried in his father’s lifetime.[95]
2, John Comerford (ca 1598-ca 1667), who inherited Ballybur and the other family estates (see below).
3, Richard Comerford (fl 1641-1647), who married Elizabeth, daughter of William Den or Dean of Mocullen.[96] He held some of the Comerford lands at Ballybur and Ballymaclaghny and Ballybur in 1641,[97] and was cited as a “delinquent” in Michaelmas 1646 and Easter 1647 for refusing to pay rent on Kellistown (Ballymaclaghny or Castlekelly).[98] He is believed to be the ancestor of a number of branches of the Comerford family in Co Kilkenny.[99]
4, Ellen, who died young before 1637.[100]
5, Ellinor, married twice: firstly, John Kennedy; and secondly, her second cousin, the Hon Dermot FitzPatrick, son of of Thady FitzPatrick, 4th Baron Upper Ossory, who was descended through his father from the 8th Earl of Ormond and through his mother from the 9th Earl of Ormond. Dermot FitzPatrick was slain with his son Dermot FitzPatrick at Borris-in-Ossory in 1641.[101]
6, Joane, married George Shea of Kilkenny.[102]
7, Margaret, married James Forristal of Forstallstown, Co Kilkenny.[103]
8, Mary, who had died in childhood, unmarried before 1637.[104]
9, Ellen, who married 1640, Theobald Butler of Rouskagh, Co Tipperary, and of Enniscorthy, Co Wexford (1648). They had several children, including a daughter:
1a, Joanna who married David FitzGibbon of Neddans, Co Tipperary, Governor of Ardfinnan Castle when Cromwell besieged Clonmel. Joanna and David FitzGibbon were the ancestors of:
●●●● Maurice FitzGibbon (1818-1881), of Crohana, near Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny, who assumed the title of The White Knight in 1878.[105]
10, Elizabeth, married Piers FitzGerald Barron of Goslingstown, Co Kilkenny. She is named in his father-in-law’s will.[106]
11, Mary, who died young.[107]
12-14, Three other daughters who died young and unmarried.[108]

Richard Comerford’s second son but eldest surviving son:

JOHN COMERFORD (ca 1598-ca 1667), of Ballybur Castle. Born ca 1598, he inherited Ballybur Castle, Ballytarsney, Ballymaclaghny, and other family estates from his father, Richard Comerford, in 1637.[109] John was a juror in Kilkenny in 1640 in an inquiry into the Ossory see lands.[110]

4.15: The room in Ballybur Castle that once served as the private chapel of the Comerford family (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Hogan identified Ballybur Castle as the “villa” in which the Papal Legate, Cardinal Rinucinni, stayed on 12 November 1645, although Healy raises the possibility that this “villa” may have been Inchiholohan.[111]

4.16: Cardinal Rinucinni is said to have stayed in Ballybur Castle as a guest of John Comerford on 12 November 1645 

John may have been John Comerford who was a captain in the Leinster forces of foot in 1646 and who was taken prisoner on 8 August 1647.[112] In 1653, John Comerford forfeited his estates, including 390 acres in Ballybur,[113] and 1,158 acres held with Richard Kelly, Pierce Burren or Barron and Pierce Shee at “Ballymaclaughlin” (Ballymaclaghny or Castlekelly).[114] His lands at Ballybur were granted to Bryan Manseragh,[115] while the new proprietors at Castlekelly included Sir Theophilus Jones, John Mallocke, Charles Houlecroft, Quarter-Master William Foord, Richard Reddy, Lord Thomas Conway and John Lord Colville.[116]

Carrigan says he was transplanted to Connacht in 1654, and claims “his later history is unknown.” [117] However, we know John Comerford was ordered to be transplanted with Richard Shee, Thomas Freny of Brickan and William Denn to Inchicronan in the Barony of Bunratty Upper, Co Clare, on 12 February 1656, where he was given 150 acres.[118]

4.17: James Butler, Duke of Ormond ... he was a cousin of Grany Comerford, but John Comerford never secured the return of Ballybur Castle and estate after the Caroline restoration

John Comerford returned to north Co Kilkenny in 1660 after the restoration of Charles II, but failed in his appeals to the Duke of Ormond (whose father was a first cousin of his wife, Grany Kavanagh) to have his lands at Ballymaclaghny and Kellymount returned. In 1664 and 1667 he was described as “late of Balllybur.” He was living in a “cabin” on 200 acres of “coarse mountain land” on his former estate at Kellymount and was “extreme poore, and not able to subsist or maintaine himselfe or his poore wife and family ... who are in starveing condition.”[119]

4.18: The gates of Borris House in Borris, Co Carlow (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

John Comerford married Grany Kavanagh, daughter of Morgan MacBryan Kavanagh (1566-1636) of Borris, Co Carlow, and his wife, the Hon Eleanor Butler, third daughter of Edmund Butler, 2nd Viscount Mountgarret.[120]

John and Grany Comerford had at least two sons and a daughter:

1, Thomas Comerford, “of Ballybur,” born ca 1630. He was a witness to the will of John Sweetman of Castle Eve, June 1672.[121] He was outlawed at Kilkenny on 20 April 1691, following the Williamite defeat of the Jacobites.[122] He is probably the same person as Thomas Comerford who was outlawed at Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, at the same time.[123] He may have numerous descendants throughout Co Kilkenny and Co Wexford.[124]
2, Garret Comerford (ca 1630-ca 1686), of whom next.
3, Margaret, died young in 1637. O’Hart wrongly states that she married firstly Viscount St Lawrence, Lord of Howth, and secondly Jenico, Viscount Preston.[125]

John Comerford died soon after his failed appeals to the Duke of Ormond and was buried in Grange.[126]

The second son of Grany and John Comerford was:

GARRET COMERFORD (ca 1630-1686), “of Castlekealy”, Co Kilkenny. The second son of John Comerford (ca 1598-ca 1667) of Ballybur, he was born ca 1630, and was named after his uncle, Garret Kavanagh of Borris. Garret Comerford was living with his parents at Kellymount in 1667.[127] In May 1667, he was godfather with Mary Kelly, wife of Richard Synot, at the baptism of Anstace Langton, daughter of Nicholas Langton fitzMichael (1630-1683), godson of his grandfather, Richard Comerford above.[128] He was a witness to a number of Shee family transactions in the 1680s.[129]

4.19: Shee’s Alms House, Rose Inn Street ... founded by Ellen (Shee) Comerford’s great-grandfather, Sir Richard Shee (Photograph © Patrick Comerford, 2007)

Garret Comerford married his second cousin, Ellen Shee. She should not be confused with her first cousin, Ellen Shee, who married William Comerford of Inchiholohan, [see Chapter 7: The Comerfords of Castleinch and Waterford]. Ellen’s father, Henry Shee (1609-1638) of High Street, Kilkenny, was the son of Robert Shee of High Street, and Catherine Archer, later Catherine Grace; Ellen’s mother, Dorothy Shee, was the daughter of Lucas Shee MP of Uppercourt, Co Kilkenny, and the Hon Ellen Butler (daughter of Edmund Butler, 2nd Viscount Mountgarret). Lucas Shee’s father, Sir Richard Shee, was the founder of Shee’s Alms House, Rose Inn Street, Kilkenny, while the Kilkenny home of Ellen Comerford’s brother, Robert Shee, was the meeting place for the Parliament of the Kilkenny Confederation. Ellen is named in 1666 in the will of her paternal grandmother, Catherine Archer.[130]

Garret Comerford died ca 1686, and is buried in Gowran, Co Kilkenny.[131]

Garret and Ellen Comerford had two sons and a daughter:

1, Richard Comerford, born ca 1660?, living in 1686, 1706.[132]
2, Henry Comerford, born ca 1662?, living in 1686.[133]
3, Catherine (ca 1665-ca 1705), who married Darby O’Reilly, and was ancestor of an O’Reilly family in the US from 1845. However, Barney Comerford and others suggest she was a daughter of either Garret Comerford and Joanna Walsh or of William Comerford and Ellen Shee, of the Inchiholohan branch of the family.[134]

Garret Comerford’s eldest son:

4.20: Coolgreany House, near Castlewarren, Co Kilkenny, built in 1653, and said to have been the home of Richard Comerford and his son William Comerford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

RICHARD COMERFORD (ca 1660?-1714?). Born ca 1660, he was living in 1686 when his father changed his will shortly before his death. He was probably the Comerford who married ca 1690 the widowed Mary (Sweetman) Conway (born ca 1665), only child and heir of John Sweetman of Castle Eve and his wife Beale Archer (her father, Henry Archer, MP for Kilkenny City, 1639, was a son of Walter Archer and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Shee, Mayor of Kilkenny).[135] She was a first cousin of Piers Sweetman, father of Nicholas Sweetman, Bishop of Ferns 1745-1786.

Barney Comerford suggests he was the first member of the Comerford family to acquire property known as Coolgreany, seven miles outside Kilkenny, which remained in the family through to the 21st century.[136]

Mary Sweetman’s first husband, Hugh Conway of Castle Eve, a cousin of Henry Archer and John Shee, died shortly after he made his will on 10 May 1690. Mary and Hugh Conway had three sons:[137]

1, Patrick Conway.
2, Stephen Conway.
3, Silvester Conway.

Mary and Richard Comerford were the parents of:

1, William Comerford (post 1690-post 1764), of Kilkenny City (of whom next).
2, Michael Comerford (ca 1693-1719). He was born ca 1693, and he died on 15 December 1719, aged 26. He is buried in Old Kilmyshall Churchyard, outside Newtownbarry (Bunclody), Co Wexford, which is also the burial place of Eibhlinn A Ruain, a second cousin of his grandfather, Garret Comerford.[138]
3, Margaret (ca 1705/1706-1763). She was born ca 1705/1706. She married ... O’Neal. She died on 13 February 1763, aged 57, and is buried in Saint Colman’s Church of Ireland churchyard, Templeshanbo, Co Wexford.[139]

Richard Comerford’s elder son:
   4.21: The Butterslip, where William Comerford lived after his son James Comerford married Anne Langton in 1754 (Photograph © Patrick Comerford, 2011)

WILLIAM COMERFORD (ca 1692?-post 1765), of Kilkenny City. He was born after 1690, and died after 1765. He claimed to be a member of the Ballybur branch of the family. Barney Comerford says William and his father Richard lived at Coolgreany, Co Kilkenny. Prim and other authorities say William lived in Kilkenny City and moved to the Langton House at The Butterslip, Kilkenny, after the marriage of his son James to Anne Langton in 1754. His grandson Michael later recalled how William took an oaken chest of title deeds with him to the Butterslip, and on sunny days would take them out and unfold them. These were believed by family members to be the title deeds to Ballybur; after his death, they were inherited by his elder son James Comerford, but are believed to have been destroyed by James Comerford’s wife, Anne.[140]

William Comerford was still alive some years after the birth of his grandson Michael Comerford in 1765.

William Comerford was the father of:

1, James Comerford (ca 1720-ca 1808), of Kilkenny, ancestor of the Comerfords of Langton, The Butterslip, Kilkenny, and of whom next.
2, Edmund Comerford (ca 1722-1788), ancestor of the Comerford family of Newtownbarry (Bunclody), Co Wexford [See Chapter 8: Comerford of Bunclody and Dublin].
3? Patrick Comerford, of Ryland, outside Newtownbarry (Bunclody), Co Wexford, who died ca 1787.[141]
4? Edward Comerford, ancestor of the Comerford families of Newbawn and Horetown [See Chapter 11: Comerford of Horetown, Newbawn, &c., Co Wexford].

Barney Comerford cites no sources when he says William was the father also of two further sons:

5, Matthew Comerford, who married Elizabeth Bolton.[142]
6, Pierce Comerford, of Coolgreany, Co Kilkenny, who was born ca 1732.[143] [See: Comerford Profiles 38: Pierce Comerford (1944-2010), maintaining a tradition at Coolgreany]

William Comerford’s eldest son:

4.22: James Comerford (ca 1720-1809), of The Butterslip, Kilkenny, married Anne Langton in 1754 (from a portrait miniature by John Comerford)

JAMES COMERFORD (ca 1720-ca 1809), of Langton, The Butterslip, Kilkenny. He was born ca 1720 (although Barney Comerford says he was born in 1726, and Prim says he died at the age of 80). James Comerford was married by the Revd Patrick Molloy, Parish Priest of Saint Mary’s Kilkenny, on 27 November 1754 to Anne Langton (post 1729-post 1823, died aged 94), daughter of Silvester Langton (1680-1749) of The Butterslip and his wife Mary (nee Sexton, born in 1692/1693; married in 1728/1729; died on 21 August 1755 aged 62, buried Saint John’s Priory, Kilkenny). When Mary Sexton married Silvester Langton, she was a widow, the second wife and widow of Edmund Tobin.[144]

Anne Comerford’s brother, Michael Langton (born 1738, d.s.p.), lived at Danville and The Butterslip. Anne’s sister, Eleanor Langton (ca 1733/1734-1772), married Emmanuel Murray (ca 1734-1802) on 27 April 1756.

4.23: The Langton and Comerford house in the Butterslip, Kilkenny, as illustrated in Graves and Carrigan 

James and Anne Comerford lived at The Butterslip, where they continued her father’s business. The house is illustrated by the Revd James Graves in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol 8 (1864), by Canon William Carrigan (vol 3), and more recently by Anne Farrall in John Bradley’s Discover Kilkenny.[145]

Until at least 1773, James and Anne continued to update her father’s pocketbook with details of family births, baptisms, marriages and deaths.[146]

James Comerford’s father, William, came to live with them at The Butterslip, and other members of the family there included Anne’s half-sister, Mary Fitzpatrick (daughter of Silvester Langton and his first wife, Anne Langton; she was born ca 1689 and died 18 March 1749, aged 60, and both are buried in Saint John’s, Kilkenny), and her first cousin, Margaret Langton (ca 1721-1774), daughter of Michael Langton fitzNicholas, who died in the house of a “dropsical complaint” on 15 February 1774, aged 52.[147] Margaret’s brother, John Langton, who died of the smallpox at the age of two in 1717, was a godson of Catherine (Comerford) Nagle, sister of Joseph Comerford of Anglure.[148] [See Ballymack, Chapter 6: Comerford of Ballymack and Callan].

In 1771 or 1772, as “Mr James Commerford,” he subscribed £5.13.9 towards building a new church on the site of the present Saint Mary’s Cathedral Kilkenny. On 7 December 1775, James Comerford took the Test Oath along with Walter Butler, de jure 16th Earl of Ormond, the Revd Patrick Molloy of Saint Mary’s, and others at the Tholsel in Kilkenny.[149]

James Comerford formed the partnership of Comerford and Murray with his brother-in-law, Emmanuel Murray (1734-1802), husband of Anne’s sister, Eleanor Langton (born ca 1733/1734, married on 29 January 1774, died on 9 May 1772 aged 38, buried in Saint Mary’s). This partnership loaded the first and only boat that navigated the Kilkenny Canal from the tidewater to the city, and the vessel discharged its cargo at New Quay.[150]

4.24: The disused canal in Kilkenny … Comerford and Murray loaded the first and only boat that navigated the Kilkenny Canal (Photograph © Patrick Comerford, 2007)

The failure, despite many efforts – including those of Comerford and Murray – to build a canal that would make the city accessible from the sea had an enduring impact on Kilkenny. It led to the development of rival market places, notably Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, on the River Barrow, and Clonmel, Co Tipperary, on the River Suir, from which it was cheaper to ship goods to Dublin and Waterford. By the late 1840s, when the railways arrived, most of Kilkenny’s industries were in decline.[151]

James and Anne Comerford were painted by the Kilkenny-born miniaturist, John Comerford (ca 1770-1832), when he was their guest in 1794, and they were painted by him again in 1797 and 1808.[152]

4.25: Anne (Langton) Comerford, from a portrait miniature by John Comerford

The will of James Comerford, as James Cummerford of Knockanure, near Newtownbarry (Bunclody), Co Wexford, went to probate in Ferns Diocesan Court in 1809.[153]

James and Anne (Langton) Comerford had 17 children:[154]

4.26: The ‘Hole in the Wall’ off High Street, Kilkenny … Judith Madden, the proprietor, was mother of Edmund Madden who married Jane Comerford in 1781 (Photograph © Patrick Comerford, 2013)

1 Mary (i) (1755- ), who was baptised on 15 August 1755 in Saint Mary’s Church, Kilkenny. She appears to have died in infancy.[155]
2, Sylvester Comerford (1756-1796), of whom next.[156]
3, Jane, born in 1760. On 6 September 1781, she married Edmund Madden, of Kilkenny City, cabinet maker, in Saint Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Church, Kilkenny. He was the son of Matthew and Judith Madden of High Street, and Judith Madden is said to have been the proprietor of the ‘Hole in the Wall.’[157] Jane and Edmund had two sons and three daughters:
1a, Michael Madden, who married ca 1817 Bridget, daughter of Edward Cahill and Anne Martin, of Mountrath, Co Laois (she married secondly Daniel Bolger).[158] They had two sons and three daughters:
●● 1b, (The Revd) Edmund Madden (ca 1818-1865). He was educated at the Sorbonne, Paris. He was a Roman Catholic curate in Swansea, Wales, 1864, and was a chaplain in Wales to Colonel John Francis Vaughan, father of Cardinal Herbert Vaughan (1832-1903), Archbishop of Westminster. Father Madden inherited the family portraits of James and Anne Comerford, and purchased the Langton family interest in the Butterslip, Kilkenny. He died on 28 March 1865 and is buried in Kilkenny.[159]
●● 2b, James Comerford Madden, who later inherited John Comerford’s portraits of James and Anne Comerford. He married in 1859 Mary Agnes, daughter of James and Sarah Foley of Carlow. They moved to Kogarah, near Sydney, where they were visited in 1906 by Mrs Hayburn of San Francisco (below). Mary Agnes Madden died on 4 March 1910 at Iona, Rocky Point Road, Kogarah. The descendants of Mary and James Comerford Madden in the Madden, Corbett and Stark families are living in New South Wales (2008).[160]
●● 3b, Judith, grandmother of Rita Flood Morrissey.[161]
●● 4b, Michael John Madden (ca 1830-post 1880). He was born ca 1830, and married Sarah Foley of Carlow. They moved from Ireland to New Zealand ca 1860, and from there to New South Wales ca 1862. They were living in moved to Sydney, Australia, by 1865, and sold the Langton house in the Butterslip to the Wall family in 1866. They moved to California ca 1870, and were living in San Francisco at the time of the US Census in 1880.[162] They had at least six children:
●●● 1c, Mary E Madden., born ca 1861 in New Zealand, later lived in San Francisco.
●●● 2c, Edmond P. Madden, born in 1862 in Patrick’s Plain, New South Wales.
●●● 3c, Sadie, born ca 1863.
●●● 4c, Michael J. Madden (1866-1866), born in 1866 in Sydney and died soon after birth.
●●● 5c, Langton A. Madden, born in 1867 in Sydney, lived in San Francisco.
●●● 6c, Emma, who married James C. Hayburn of San Francisco and had five children:
●●●● 1d, (The Right Revd Monsignor Dr) Robert F. Hayburn, Mus.D. ( -1991), of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco. He was ordained by Archbishop John Mitty of San Francisco along with his brother, Edmund, on 16 June 1945. He was the author of Papal Legislation on Sacred Music, AD 95-1977 (Collegeville, Minnesota, The Liturgical Press, 1979). He was a founding member of the Catholic Music Association of America. A priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, he died in 1991.[163]
●●●● 2d, (The Revd) Edmund Langton Hayburn, of Freemount, California (1916-2006). He was born in San Francisco, and was educated at Saint Ignatius High School and Saint Patrick’s Seminary. He was ordained priest on 16 June 1945 by Archbishop John Mitty of San Francisco along with his brother, Robert. He was devoted to Latin American culture and served Spanish-speaking Catholics on both sides of the Bay. He built Saint Agnes Parish in the midst of Concord walnut orchards in the 1960s. He retired from active ministry in 1986. He contributed to the Old Kilkenny Review, the Journal of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society (1974, 1984), and presented copies of the Langton and Comerford portraits to the Kilkenny Archaeological Society. He died on 24 February 2006. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma.[164]
●●●● 3d, James Hayburn.[165]
●●●● 4d, Ruth M. Hayburn, married Frank Cisek, and was still living in 2006.[166]
●●●● 5d, Evelyn, married … Levinson.[167]
2a, James Madden.[168]
3a, Jane, married twice,[169] and was the mother of at least two sons:
●● 1b, (The Revd) James Edmund Delaney, of Carlow, later Parish Priest of Rosenallis, Co Laois. He died in December 1900, and is buried outside the church in Rosenallis.[170]
●● 2b, Michael Dunne, solicitor, Carlow.[171]
4a, Alice, who married ... Bourke and may have been the ancestor of:
●● (The Revd) Canice Bourke, OFM Cap (1890-1969), a Capuchin Friar and author of Humility: the Foundation of the Spiritual Life (1951), later republished as The Power of Humility; and his brother, Silvester Burke.[172]
5a, Ellen, who married ... O’Rourke of King Street, Kilkenny.[173] She was the mother of:
●● 1b, Louis O’Rourke (1801- ), who married Ellen Tobin,[174] and had a son:
●●● 1c, Louis O’Rourke (ca 1826-1846), buried with his parents in Old Saint John’s Churchyard, Kilkenny.[175]
●● 2b, Elizabeth, married John Buggy, of High Street, Kilkenny. In 1867, he became the first Catholic Mayor of Kilkenny.[176] Their children included:
●●● 1c, Michael Buggy, solicitor, chairman of the Kilkenny Journal (1926).[177]
●●● 2c, Alice, married Cornelius Kenealy.[178]
4, William Comerford (i), who died in infancy.[179]
5, William Comerford (ii), born on 22 September 1763, baptised by Father Richard Shee.[180]
6, Michael Comerford (1764-1851), of whom next.
7, Edward Comerford.[181]
8, Edmond Comerford (1767-1819), born on 11 June 1767, he was baptised five days later by Father McGenniss, a Dominican.[182] A hardware merchant, of High Street, Kilkenny, he died on 26 February 1819. Barney Comerford confuses him with an Edmund Comerford (1788-post 1839) of Ballyfoyle, Co Kilkenny.[183]
9, Anne, born on 10 February 1768, baptised 16 February by Father Peter Crea.[184]
10, Nicholas Comerford.[185], of whom next.
11 Margaret (i), who appears to have died in infancy.[186]
12 Mary (ii), who appears to have died in infancy.[187]
13 Ellen.[188]
14 Mary (iii).[189]
15 Margaret (ii).[190]
16 Alice, born ca 1776/1777.[191]
17 Eleanor.[192]

The eldest son of James and Anne (Langton) Comerford was:

SYLVESTER COMERFORD (1756-1796). He was born in 1756. In 1779 he married in 1779 Mary Dromgoole of Drogheda, Co Louth. Prim says he died without children in 1796.[193] However, the Betham abstracts show they had a son:[194]

1, Nicholas Comerford, living in 1794, of whom next.[195]

In addition, Barney Comerford says Sylvester Comerford lived in the Thomastown area in Co Kilkenny and had another son:

2, Sylvester Comerford, who married Mary Shortall and had four children, including a son: [196]
1b, Thomas Comerford (1801- ), born in 1801. [197]

However, the only known son of Sylvester Comerford and Mary (née Dromgoole) was:

NICHOLAS COMERFORD[198] (ca 1780?-post 1800?). He may have been the father and grandfather of the Comerfords buried in the Cord Cemetery, Drogheda.[199] Nearby is a gravestone erected by James Drumgoole to his mother, Mary Drumgoole (born ca 1714/1715, she died on 7 August 1770, aged 55).[200] Among the Comerford names on the gravestones in Drogheda we find:

Michael Commorford (sic) (ca 1798/1799-1826). Born ca 1798/1799, he died on 23 June 1826, aged 27, and is buried in the Cord Cemetery, Drogheda. On his gravestone he is named as a brother of James Commorford.[201]
James Commorford (sic) ( -post 1826) of Drogheda. He erected the gravestone for his brother Michael in the Cord Cemetery, Drogheda.[202]

Was he the father of?:

Michael Comerford (-1858). He died in 1858 and is buried in the Cord Cemetery, Drogheda, with his wife Jane and their daughter Mary Anne. He married Jane … Were they the parents of?:[203]
●● Mary Anne, who died young, and who is buried in the Cord Cemetery, Drogheda.[204]
●● Michael Comerford, who was living in Cord Road, Drogheda, in 1886, and described himself as a cashier.[205]
●● Bartholomew Comerford (ca 1830-1907). Born ca 1830, he died on 8 January 1907, aged 76, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Drogheda. [206]
Bridget … (ca 1831-1895). She was born ca 1831, died on 15 February 1895, aged 63, and was buried in the Cord Cemetery, Drogheda.[207] Bridget was the mother of one daughter:
●● Mary Comerford of Ship Street, Drogheda,[208] living in 1895, when her mother died.
Patrick Comerford, of Ship Street, Drogheda.[209]

However, it is not possible to be certain about the patterns of these family connections.

Another Comerford family in the Drogheda area may have lived in Saint Peter’s Parish at the end of the 18th or the beginning of the 19th century. At least eight or nine members of this family are buried in Ballymakenny, on the northern side of Drogheda, but there are no dates and only one name on the gravestone, which reads: “This Burial Place belongeth to Thomas Commerfort [sic], wherein lieth his mother, two of his brothers, and two of his sisters. Also three of his children.”[210]

The Comerfords buried in the Cord Cemetery and the Calvary Cemetery, Drogheda, may be related to the Comerfords of Ballymakenny and not to the Comerfords of Kilkenny, and it may be that Prim is correct if Sylvester Comerford’s son, Nicholas Comerford, died unmarried.

We now return to the fifth child of Anne (Langton) and James Comerford of the Butterslip, Kilkenny:

MICHAEL COMERFORD (1764-1851), of King Street, Kilkenny.[211] He was born in 1764. At the age of seven in 1771 he saw the removal of the Market Cross in High Street, Kilkenny. He rented the Langton house in the Butterslip from his mother’s brother, Michael Langton of Danville.[212]

4.27: The Market Cross in High Street, Kilkenny … Michael Comerford witnessed its removal in 1764 as a seven-year-old

Prim records the people around Ballybur “always looked upon” him as “the lineal representative” of the Comerfords of Ballybur Castle.[213] He died unmarried on 20 April 1851 and was buried in Saint Mary’s Churchyard, Kilkenny. His executor was the Kilkenny writer, Michael Banim (1796-1864). Michael Comerford was also an uncle of Jeremiah Scully of Freshford, who inherited the great Irish seal of Charles I from one of the Ballybur title deeds.[214]

On the death of Michael Comerford in 1851, the Langton house in the Butterslip and the Comerford family portraits by John Comerford passed to his grand-nephew, Father Edmund Madden, who erected his gravestone.[215]

Michael Comerford was predeceased by his unmarried brother Edmond Comerford (1767-1819) of High Street, Kilkenny. There are no further records of their brothers William, Edward and Nicholas Comerford. Barney Comerford is incorrect when he identifies this Edmond Comerford (1767-1819) of High Street, Kilkenny with an Edmund Comerford of Ballyfoyle, Co Kilkenny. Edmund Comerford of Ballyfoyle was married and had descendants. However, that Edmund was born in 1788.[216]

Barney Comerford also identifies the youngest son in this family, Nicholas Comerford,[217],with:

4.28: Nicholas Comerford (1780-1870) of Coolgreany House, Co Kilkenny

NICHOLAS COMERFORD (1780-ca 1870), who was born in 1780. At the age of 37, he married Margaret Hanrahan of Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, on 22 January 1817. They had ten children, five sons and five daughters: [218]

4.29: The Revd Dr Pierce Michael Comerford ... a missionary from Kilkenny in Berkeley, California

1, (Revd Dr) Pierce Michael Comerford (1818-1905).
4.30: Mother Mary Teresa Comerford ... a member of the pioneer group of Presentation Sisters from Ireland to begin missionary work in San Francisco

2, Bridget (Mother Mary Teresa) (1821-1881).
3, Thomas Comerford (1823-1898), of whom next.
4, Margaret (1823-1899).
5, (Dr) Edmund Comerford, MD (1826-1875), of 2 John Street, Kilkenny, died unmarried.
6, James Comerford, born ca 1828.

4.31: Mother Mary Bernard Comerford (1830-1911) ... missionary with her sister and brother in California

7, Kate (Mother Mary Bernard) (1830-1911).
8, Nicholas Comerford (1831-1872).
9, Elizabeth (1833- ). She was born in 1833, and probably died young.
10, Anne (1836- ). She was born in 1836, she married Nicholas White late in life and had no children.

The second named son:

THOMAS COMERFORD (1832-1898). He was born in 1832. He married Bridget White, and they had 15 children: [219]

1, Nicholas Comerford (1861-ca 1916). He was born in 1861, and emigrated to Australia, where he worked as a bank clerk, first in Melbourne, Victoria, and then in Ballarat. He married ..., and his wife died young; he died at the age of 55. [220] He had at least one son:
1a, Thomas Comerford. He married ... and they had at least one son: [221]
●● 1b, James Comerford. [222]
2, Margaret (i), died young.
3, Kathleen, died young.
4, Peter Comerford, died young.
5, Kieran Comerford (1866- ), farmer, of Kileen, Co Kilkenny. He was born in 1866. He married Julia Costello of Clara, Co Kilkenny. She died in 1909. Later he bought Kileen, Co Kilkenny. He was clerk of Kilkenny Union. [223] Kieran and Julia Comerford had four children:
1a, Thomas Comerford (1902- ). He married Mavis Short of Celbridge, Co Kildare. [224] They had three children:
●● 1b, Gemma.

Pigeon Park House ...home of Ken and Helen Comerford

●● 2b, Kieran (‘Ken’) Comerford, farmer, of Pigeon Park and later of Danesfort, Co Kilkenny. He married Helen Healy. [225] They had two children:
●●● 1c, Caroline.
●●● 2c, Tony Comerford.
2a, Bridget (Rheda), born 1903.
3a, Alice (Dolly), born 1905.
4a, Mary, born 1907,
6, Margaret (ii) (‘Maggie). She married Tom Manning of Kilkenny, and they had children. She founded Manning’s Travel. [226]
7, Thomas Comerford (1869- ). He lived in San Francisco, California, and Portland, Oregon. He married Edith Reilly. [227] They had three children:
1a, Bernard (‘Barney’) Comerford, who had two sons and two daughters: [228]
●● 1b, Thomas Comerford.
●● 2b, James Comerford, married with three sons.
●● 3b, Mollie.
●● 4b, Jane.
2a, Marian.
3a, Barbara.
8, Edward Comerford (1870- ). He was born in 1870, he worked on a sheep station in Moorea, New South Wales. He married Blanche Mesden and they had three daughters and a son: [229]
1a, Enid.
2a, Kathleen
3a, Jean
4a, Anthony (‘Tony’) Comerford. He married Mona Bingham-Smith. He died at the age of 59. They had two daughters and a son: [230]
●● 1b, Edwina.
●● 2b, Tessa.
●● 3b, Anthony Comerford.
9, Mary, married.
10, Pierce Comerford (twin, 1873- ), dairy farmer, of Coolgreany House, near Castlewarren, Co Kilkenny. He was born in 1873 and was named Pierce after his uncle, Father Pierce Comerford (see above). He was working in Arnott’s in 1898 when he was selected to play on the Arnott’s Dublin team that won the All-Ireland Football final that year. The medal was presented in 1899 and remained in the possession of Pierce Comerford of Coolgreaney House a century later. He married Mary (‘Molly’) Hogan of Tullaroan, Co Kilkenny. They were living at Coolgreany House at the 1911 census, when he was 37 and she was 35. Pierce and Mary Comerford had a son and a daughter: [231]
●1a, Thomas (Tom) Comerford (1907- ). He was born in 1907. He married Christina (‘Clossie’) O’Donnell. They had two children:
●●1b, Pierce Comerford (1944-2010), dairy farmer, of Coolgreany House, near Castlewarren, Co Kilkenny. He married Bridget (Breda) Teehan. He died on 7 February 2010. Pierce and Breda Comerford had five children, one son and five daughters: [232]
●●●1c, Clare.
●●●2c, Ian Comerford.
●●●3c, Ruth.
●●●4c, Ciara.
●●●5c, Valerie.
●●2b, James (Jimmy) Comerford, who married Angela Breen. He was living in 2010.
●2a, Mary (’May’), who married Colonel Michael Gilheany, of Blessington, Co Wicklow.
11, Frances (twin), married John Power, painting and decorating contractor, of High Street, Kilkenny. They had seven children.
12, Bridget, born in 1874. She married James McMurrough of Dublin, and they had four children. Her descendants in the Egan family ran the Corduff Stud in the 1980s.
13, Patrick Comerford (1875- ). He was born in 1875. He fought in the Boer War in South Africa, and after a brief time back in Ireland returned to live in South Africa, where he worked as a clerk with the National Railways. He married Johanna Aproski, and they had two children:
●1a, Kieran Comerford (1901-ca 1959), marine engineer, died unmarried in England at the age of 58.
●2a, Kathleen Comerford, senior clerk, of Cape Town, unmarried.
14, James Comerford (i), sponsored at baptism by his uncle, Father Pierce Comerford, and died in infancy.
15, (Revd Canon) James Comerford (ii) (1879-1948). Educated at Saint Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, the Irish College, Rome, and the Sorbonne, Paris. After a brief assignment in Newcastle-on-Tyne in England, he returned to Ireland to teach French in Saint Kieran’s College, Kilkenny. Later, he was a curate in Owning, Pilltown, Co Kilkenny, Parish Priest of Mullinavat, and Parish Priest of Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny. He died on 12 June 1948 at the age of 69 and is buried in Ballyragget.

Barney Comerford’s identification of this family with the Comerfords of Ballybur is without support or references, and may be based on his own presumptions rather than even an oral tradition within that family.

However, the Comerford family represented by James and Anne (Langton) Comerford of the Butterslip, Kilkenny, continued to be represented in the city through their descendants in the female line in the Madden, Bourke, Dunne, Kenealy and Buggy families. Nevertheless, the death of Michael Comerford in 1851 brought to an end the connections with Kilkenny City of the male line of this branch of the Comerford family.

If William, Edward and Nicholas Comerford died in infancy, and if, as Prim suggests, the descendants of Sylvester Comerford died out at the death of Nicholas Comerford, then the representation of this line of the Comerford family of Ballybur passed in 1851 to the senior member of the Comerford family of Newtownbarry (Bunclody), Co Wexford. This appears to have been James Comerford (ca 1788/1789-1859) of Clohamon and Newtownbarry, Co Wexford, and Brown Street, Carlow, the father of Bishop Michael Comerford [See Chapter 8: Comerford of Bunclody and Dublin].

Footnotes and references:

[1] Healy, History and Antiquities of Kilkenny, i, p. 61
[2] Cal. Just. Rolls, I, 383, 402; Marsh, p. 181.
[3] Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland in HM Public Records Office, London 1302-1307 (London, 1886), p. 15; E. Curtis (ed), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, 6 vols (Dublin, 1932-1943), 1, p. 247.
[4] Ormond 1, p. 247.
[5] Graves reported his finding to the Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society (later the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland) in 1864 (“Papers and Proceedings”, RSAI.Jn., 8, p. 186), and corrected his reading of the inscription in 1865, giving it as: hic: iacet: ricardus: comerford: [qui: qu]ondam: prior: exstitit: istius: domi: (RSAI.Jn., 8, p. 229).
[6] (Miss) J. Clark, “Kilree Church and Round Tower, County Kilkenny”, RSAI.Jn., 33 (1903), p. 214.
[7] Ormond 1, p. 331.
[8] Ormond 1, p. 332.
[9] Healy 1, p. 61, quoting Blake Forster, Irish Chieftains, p. 476, n 68.
[10] Ormond 1, p. 357; R.J. Hayes (ed.), Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation (Boston, 1965), vol 1, p. 655.
[11] Ormond 1, p. 357; Hayes 1, p. 655.
[12] Ormond 2, pp 301, 311; McNeill (ed), Liber Primus Kilkenniensis, pp 87, 89; O. Ruthven, pp 56, 61; H.G. Richardson and G.O. Sayles (eds), Parliaments and Councils of Ireland, 1 (Dublin, 1947), pp 132, 177.
[13] Ormond 2, pp 301, 311; Ormond 3, p. 104.
[14] Ormond 3, pp 111, 179.
[15] Ormond 4, p. 11.
[16] For my essay on Edmund and his son William see Patrick Comerford, “The last pre-Reformation Bishop of Ferns and his ‘nephew,’ the Dean of Ossory,” Journal of the Wexford Historical Society, No 20 (2004-2005), pp 156-172.
[17] Genealogical Office Dublin, Mss No 160, ff. 102-104.
[18] P.H. Hore, History of the town and County of Wexford, 6 vols (London 1900-1911), 6, p. 215; J.B. Leslie, Ossory Clergy and Parishes (Enniskillen, 1933), p. 57, although Leslie names him correctly as Edmund in Ferns Clergy and Parishes (Dublin, 1936); J. Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis 1500-1714, vol 1 (London, 1892), p. 314; R. Gillespie, “St Canice’s Cathedral, in an age of change 1500-1560,” in J. Bradley, D. Healy, A. Murphy (eds), Themes in Kilkenny’s History (Callan, 2000), p. 50.
[19] H. Cotton, Fasti Ecclesiae Hibernicae, 2 (Dublin, 1828), pp 293, 334; W.H. Grattan Flood, History of the Diocese of Ferns (Waterford, 1916), pp xi and 226; W. Carrigan, The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory (Dublin, 1905, 4 vols), vol 3, p. 252; Crockford’s Clerical Directory (London, 1971-1972 ed.), p. 1420.
[20] Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis 1500-1714, vol 1, p. 314; A.B. Emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to AD 1500 (Oxford, 1957), p. 475 (although he says Anth Woods gives no authority for this statement); Cotton 2, pp 293, 334.
[21] Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Papal Letters, vol 14, 1484-1492, ed. J.A. Twemlow (London, 1960), p. 117.
[22] Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis 1500-1714, 1, p. 314; Emden, A Biographical Register, p. 475 (although he says Anth Woods gives no authority for this statement); Cotton 2, pp 293, 334; Carrigan 1, p. 237, 4, p. 333; Gillespie gives the later date of 1491 for his appointment as dean, Gillespie, p. 50.
[23] Leslie, Ossory, p. 57.
[24] Carrigan 3, pp. 250-251; Gillespie, p. 50.
[25] W. Carrigan, Collection of Mss notebooks in Saint Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, microfilm copies in the National Library of Ireland (Carrigan Mss), notebook dated 1920, NLI Pos 909, f. 52; Calendar of Papal Letters relating to Great Britain and Ireland, vol 18, Part 1, 1495-1503, Alexander VI (ed A.P. Fuller, Dublin, 1994), # 575, p. 369, citing Reg Lat 1093, ff 391v-394v. Cantwell, Oclere and Comerford are not named by Leslie among the rectors and vicars of Callan, see Leslie, Ossory, pp 212-213.
[26] U. Hughes, ‘In the borough of St Kenny (2),’ Old Kilkenny Review 55 (2003), p. 115.
[27] Ormond 3, pp. 269-299; Lord Dunboyne, ‘The next Earl of Ormond?,’ Journal of the Butler Society, 14/2 (2000), p. 213.
[28] Cal Pap Lett 18, Part 1, # 645, p. 405, citing Reg. Lat. 1098, ff. 109r-110r. Neither Comerford nor Oleanlonyr is named by Leslie in connection with this parish (see Leslie, Ossory, p. 234).
[29] Cal Pap Lett 18, Part 1, # 645, p. 405, citing Reg. Lat. 1098, ff. 109r-110r.
[30] Cotton ii, p. 334; Grattan Flood, p. xi.
[31] W.H. Grattan Flood, “The Episcopal City of Ferns,” Irish Ecclesiastical Record, vol 6 (July-December 1899), p. 165.
[32] Carrigan 3, pp. 237, 252; Carrigan 4, p. 333; Ormond 3, p. 329; Leslie, Ossory, p. 57, quoting Ormond mss then in Kilkenny Castle; Hayes 1, p. 653.
[33] Billy Colfer, Arrogant Trespass (Enniscorthy, 2002), pp 219-220.
[34] Newport B. White, Irish Monastic and Episcopal Deeds, AD 1200-1600 (Dublin, 1936), pp 55-63.
[35] John Bradley, Treasures of Kilkenny (Kilkenny, 2003), pp 108-109.
[36] Grattan Flood, Ferns, p. xi; Grattan Flood, ‘The Episcopal City of Ferns,’ p. 172.
[37] Grattan Flood (1916), p. ix; Cal Pap Lett 18, #783, p. 540, citing Reg. Lat. 1194, fos 312r-316v.
[38] Grattan Flood (1899), p. 172.
[39] Cal Pap Lett 18, # 75, p. 40, citing Lat. Reg.
[40] Cal Pap Lett 18, # 75, p. 40, citing Lat. Reg.
[41] Cal Pap Lett 18, # 75, p. 41, citing Lat. Reg.
[42] Cal Pap Lett 18, # 75, p. 40, citing Lat. Reg.
[43] Grattan Flood, ‘The Episcopal City,’ pp 172-173; Grattan Flood, Ferns, p. xi; Leslie, Ossory, p. 57; Cotton 2, p. 334; Gillespie, p. 50.
[44] Grattan Flood (1916), p. 89; Leslie, Ferns, p. 5; Crockford’s Clerical Directory (1971-1972 ed), p. 1421.
[45] Carrigan 3, p. 253; Carrigan Mss, loc cit.
[46] Ormond 4, p. 60.
[47] Leslie, Ossory, p. 57.
[48] Ormond 4, p. 60; Hayes 1, p. 655; Gillespie, pp 50-51. Gillespie says: “Edward (recte William), although not ordained, claimed the deanery by right of succession. After a good deal of acrimony and petitions to Rome it was agreed that William should have seven years to regularise his status. Whether or not he was ever ordained is not known but he remained dean into the late 1530s.” His successor, James Cleere, was appointed dean in 1540, making William the Reformation Dean of Ossory.
[49] Carrigan 3, pp 393-394; Healy 1, p. 61; Burke’s Peerage, various eds, s.v. de Freyne (1851).
[50] Fiants Eliz 1008 (DKPRI 11), p. 151.
[51] Fiants Eliz 1008 (DKPRI 11), p. 151.
[52] Ormond 5, pp. 3, 78, 120.
[53] Fiants Eliz 2064 (DKPRI 12), p. 69.
[54] Ormond 4, pp. 269-270.
[55] Ormond 4, p. 236.
[56] Ormond 4, pp 155-156.
[57] Carrigan 3, p. 393.
[58] Ormond 5, pp. 275, 280; Fiants Eliz 1008 (DKPRI 11), p. 151; DKPRI 12, p. 59; Fiants Eliz 1949 (1499); Carrigan 3, pp 393-394.
[59] Fiants Eliz 891 (DKPRI 9), p. 130.
[60] Ormond 5, pp 206, 219, 267, 275.
[61] Ormond 5, p. 280.
[62] See Ormond 5, pp 303, 314, 324; Carrigan 3, pp 393-394.
[63] Carrigan 3, pp 393-394; Fiants Eliz 1008 (DKPRI 11), p. 151; Fiants Eliz 1941 (DKPRI 12), p. 59.
[64] See Ormond 5, p. 324.
[65] Hayes 1, p. 655; Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[66] Carrigan 3, p. 395.
[67] Carrigan 3, p. 394; Healy 1, p. 60; Ormond 5, p. 227.
[68] Carew 1 (1515-1574), p. 402.
[69] Ormond 5, pp 227, 314; Hayes 1, p. 655.
[70] Ormond 6, p. 126.
[71] Carrigan 3, p. 394; Healy 1, p. 60; J. Hogan, ‘Notes on the Ancient Churches and Castles of Ballybur and Inchihologhan,’ Transactions of the Ossory Archaeological Society, 2 (Kilkenny, 1883), pp. 35, 40-41.
[72] Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[73] Carrigan 3, pp 394-395.
[74] See Ormond 5, p. 324.
[75] J. O’Hart, Irish Pedigrees (New York, 1915), vol 2, p. 391. [76] Carrigan 3, p. 394; Healy 1, p. 60.
[77] Ormond 5, p. 32; Hayes 1, p. 655.
[78] (Bishop) M. Comerford, Collections, 3, p. 388.
[79] Carrigan 3, p. 394; Hayes 1, p. 655.
[80] Edmund Curtis, ‘Original Documents relating to the Butler Lordship of Achill, Burrishoole and Aughrim (1232-1640),’ Journal of the Galway Archaeological Society, vol 15, nos 3 and 4 (1933) (pp 121-127), pp 121-123.
[81] Edmund Curtis, ‘Seventeenth Century Documents relating to the Manors of Aughrim and Burrishoole,’ JnGAS, vol 16, nos 1 and 2 (1934) (pp 46-56), p. 49.
[82] Edmund Curtis, ‘Original Documents relating to Aughrim, Burrishoole and Aran,’ JnGAS, vol 16, nos 3 and 4 (1934), pp 136-137.
[83] Curtis, ‘Seventeenth Century Documents …’ (1934), p. 48.
[84] ibid, p. 51.
[85] ibid, pp 50, 52.
[86] ibid, pp 52-54.
[87] JGA Prim, “Memorials of the Family of Langton of Kilkenny,” pp 59-108 in RSAI.Jn. 8 (1864), p. 92.
[88] Carrigan 3, p. 395; Healy i, p. 60; for the Sweetmans of Castle Eve, see Carrigan 3, pp 330-334 and Appendix 5.
[89] Richard Comerford’s will, quoted in Carrigan 3, p. 395; Hogan offers the alternative suggestion that she was the daughter of Philip Purcell of Ballyfoyle, Co Kilkenny, and that she was still in possession of Ballybur Castle at the time of the Cromwellian confiscations (Hogan (1883), pp 42, 44-45).
[90] Carrigan 3, p. 395.
[91] Carrigan 3, pp 390-391; Healy 1, pp 62-63; Prim (1864), p. 93, n. 3; Hogan (1883), pp 41-42. [92] J. Hogan, Kilkenny (Kilkenny, 1884), p. 314, Carrigan 3, pp 390-391.
[93] Carrigan 3, p. 391; Healy 1, pp 62-64; Hogan (1883), pp. 41-42; Bishop Michael Comerford was a founder member with Hogan of the Ossory Archaeological Society.
[94] See Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[95] See Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[96] See Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[97] Carrigan Mss, NLI Pos 207, no folio number.
[98] CSPI, Charles I (1633-1647), pp 697, 729.
[99] See Barney Comerford, Demographic History of the Comerfords, privately published (Portland Oregon, n.d.), p. 47.
[100] Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[101] Carrigan 3, p. 394; Burke’s Extinct Peerage, s.v. FitzPatrick of Gowran and Upper Ossory; Complete Peerage, s.v. Upper Ossory.
[102] Lodge’s Peerage (Dublin, 1784), vol 2, p 342; Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[103] Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[104] Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[105] Hore 6, p. 485; Lodge’s Peerage, 6, pp. 215-216; Hore 6, p. 485; Carrigan 3, p. 394; Burke’s Irish Family Records, s.v. FitzGibbon, Co Kilkenny, p. 428 ff.
[106] Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[107] Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[108] Carrigan 3, p. 394.
[109] Carrigan 3, pp 394-395.
[110] Carrigan 3, pp 394-395, Carrigan 4, p 394; see p. 394, n. 2.
[111] Healy 1, pp 62-63; see Hogan (1883), pp 33-49.
[112] Carrigan Mss, National Library of Ireland, Pos 207, no folio number; see Patrick Comerford, “John Comerford of Ballybur (1598-1667): Tracing His Later Life”, Old Kilkenny Review 46 (1994), pp 24-25.
[113] Healy 1, pp A34-35.
[114] Healy 1, pp A100-A101.
[115] Healy 1, p. A35.
[116] Healy 1, p. A 101.
[117] Carrigan 3, p. 395.
[118] R.C. Simmington (ed.), The Transplantation to Connaught 1654-1658 (Dublin, 1970) p. 4; HMC, Ormond NS 2 (1899), pp 127, 131; Carrigan Mss 71, f. 282.
[119] HMC Report 8, p. 544; Appendix, p. 500 b; HMC Report 9/2, p. 144 a.b.; HMC Report 10/5, p. 27.
[120] Carrigan 3, pp 394-395; Lodge’s Peerage, 4 (1789), p. 45; Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, various eds, s.v. Kavanagh; Burke’s Peerage, various eds., s.v. Mountgarret.
[121] Carrigan Mss, Notebook ca 1890-1892, f. 907.
[122] Carrigan 3, p. 395; Carrigan Mss, NLI, Pos 207, no folio number; Anal. Hib. 22 (1960), p. 43.
[123] Anal. Hib. 22, p. 53.
[124] Comerford (1994), p. 31.
[125] O’Hart 2, p. 128; see Vicary Gibb (ed.), The Complete Peerage (London, 1926), 6, pp 23 and 606-609.
[126] HMC Report 8, p 544; Appendix, p. 500 b; HMC Report 9, part 2, p. 144 a.b.; HMC Report 10, part 5, p. 27.
[127] HMC Report 10, p. 27.
[128] Prim (1864), p. 99.
[129] Anal. Hib. 20 (1958), pp 241-243.
[130] For Catherine Archer’s will, see Carrigan 3, p. 201.
[131] See WPW Phillimore (ed.), Indexes to Irish Wills, vol 1, Ossory, Leighlin, Ferns, Kildare (London, 1909), p. 41; Carrigan Mss, NLI Pos 72, vol 59, f. 112, NLI Pos 72, ff. 14-15.
[132] Named in his father’s will; see Carrigan Mss, NLI Pos 72, ff 14-15.
[133] Named in his father’s will; see Carrigan Mss, NLI Pos 72, ff 14-15.
[134] Correspondence from Mrs Sydney H. Kromer of Dallas (8.6.1974); see Barney Comerford, Table A1C (p. 155).
[135] See Carrigan 3, pp 332-33.
[136] See Barney Comerford, pp 47 ff.
[137] Carrigan 3, p. 333. Carrigan notes the will of Richard Comerford, dated 19 January 1714, but gives no further details (Carrigan Mss, vol 52).
[138] Old Kilmeashall Cemetery (Enniscorthy, n.d.), #171; BJ Cantwell, Memorials of the Dead (Wicklow and Wexford), 10 vols (Greystones, Co Wicklow, 1971-1986), 5, p. 199 gives the age at death as 6, and the date of death 15 December, 179-, but the original gravestone inscription was checked by Patrick Comerford (12.6.1986 and 24.04.1992).
[139] Original gravestone inscription checked by Patrick Comerford (12.6.1986 and 24.04.1992); Cantwell 5, p. 217, does not give the full inscription, and misspells her surname as O’Neale, adding a final ‘E’.
[140] Prim (1864), p. 83; E. Langton Hayburn, “Langton Portraits,” Old Kilkenny Review 25 (1973), p. 78; Barney Comerford, p. 47.
[141] Phillimore 1, p. 73.
[142] Barney Comerford, p. 47.
[143] Barney Comerford, p. 47.
[144] Hilary Walsh, “Ossory Marriage Licences,” Irish Genealogist (1971), p. 335; Prim (1864), pp 82-83, 88; Carrigan 3, pp 258-259; Barney Comerford, p. 47.
[145] RSAI.Jn. 8 (1864), facing p. 76; Carrigan 3, p. 82; John Bradley, Discover Kilkenny (Dublin, 2000), p. 100.
[146] Prim (1864), pp 102, 106.
[147] Prim (1864), pp 100-107; Carrigan 3, pp 258-259.
[148] Prim (1864), pp 100-107.
[149] Carrigan 3, p. 126 (other major subscribers related to James Comerford included Nicholas Langton of Cadiz, £60; Mrs Ellinor Langton, £11.7.6; James Fitzpatrick, £5.13.9; Emmanuel Murray, £5.13.9; and Mrs Jane Langton, £3.8.3; the sum of £5.13.9 was also subscribed by Anthony Blunt, Mayor of Kilkenny); DKPRI n.d. (?1961), 59, p. 751; (Revd) T.J. Clohessy, ‘18th century Kilkenny,’ Old Kilkenny Review 11 (1959), p. 43.
[150] Prim (1864), p. 83; Walsh, ‘Ossory Marriage Licences,’ p. 338. [151] John Bradley, Kilkenny (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2000, Irish Historic Towns Atlas No 10), p. 7.
[152] Hayburn (1973), pp 76-77.
[153] PROI, Index Administration Bonds, Diocese of Ferns.
[154] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84; E. Langton Hayburn, ‘The Sale of the Langton Mansion on High Street, Kilkenny,’ Old Kilkenny Review, 3/1 (Second Series) (1984), p. 75.
[155] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84; Barney Comerford, p. 48.
[156] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84; Betham Will Abstracts, PROI, 1-18, f 154.
[157] Walsh, ‘Ossory Marriage Licences,’ p. 338; M. Kenealy, ‘Finn’s Leinster Journal,’ Old Kilkenny Review, NS Vol 1, No 5 (1978), p. 339.
[158] Hayburn (1984), p. 76.
[159] Hayburn (1973), p. 76; Hayburn (1984), pp 75-76; Prim (1864), p. 82.
[160] Hayburn (1973), p. 77; ‘Maddenswqld,’ (1.2.2008).
[161] Hayburn (1984), p. 77.
[162] Hayburn (1973), p. 77; Hayburn (1984), p. 75; ‘Maddenswqld,’ (1.2.2008).
[163] Hayburn (1984), passim; Kenealy, p. 339; The Catholic Voice (Oakland, California), 43/12 (20.6.2005), 44/5 (6.3.2006).
[164] Hayburn (1984), passim; Kenealy, p. 339; The Catholic Voice (Oakland, California), 43/12 (20.6.2005), 44/5 (6.3.2006).
[165] The Catholic Voice (Oakland, California), 43/12 (20.6.2005), 44/5 (6.3.2006).
[166] see Vincentian News (San Francisco) 1/13 (Spring 2007), p. 7.
[167] The Catholic Voice (Oakland, California), 43/12 (20.6.2005), 44/5 (6.3.2006).
[168] Hayburn (1984), p. 76.
[169] Hayburn (1984), p. 75.
[170] Hayburn (1984), p. 75.
[171] Hayburn (1984), p. 75.
[172] Hayburn (1984), pp 76-77. [173] Kenealy, pp 339-340.
[174] Kenealy, p. 340.
[175] Kenealy, p. 340.
[176] Kenealy, p. 341.
[177] Kenealy, p. 341.
[178] Kenealy, p. 341.
[179] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[180] Carrigan 1, p. 169, quoting notebook of their uncle, Sylvester Langton, an “old parishioner of Saint Mary’s”; Prim lists him as their fourth son, Prim (1864), pp 82-83, table facing p. 84.
[181] Prim (1864), pp 82-83, table facing p. 84; Carrigan i, p. 169. [182] Carrigan 1, p. 169.
[183] See Barney Comerford, pp 49-50.
[184] Carrigan 1, p. 168; Prim lists her as child number 14, Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[185] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[186] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[187] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[188] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[189] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[190] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[191] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[192] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[193] Prim (1864), table facing p. 84.
[194] Betham Will Abstracts, PROI, 1-18, f 154.
[195] Betham Will Abstracts, PROI, 1-18, f 154.
[196] Barney Comerford, p. 49.
[197] Barney Comerford, p. 49.
[198] Betham Will Abstracts, PROI, 1-18, f 154.
[199] See James Garry, The Cord Cemetery, history and tombstone inscriptions (Drogheda: Old Drogheda Society, 1999), pp 51-52.
[200] Garry, p. 66.
[201] Garry, pp 51-52.
[202] Garry, pp 51-52.
[203] Garry, pp 51-52.
[204] Garry, pp 51-52.
[205] Garry, pp 51-52.
[206] Garry, pp 51-52.
[207] Garry, pp 51-52.
[208] Garry, pp 51-52.
[209] Garry, pp 51-52.
[210] Seanchas ArdMhacha, 1983/1984.
[211] Prim lists him as their second son, Prim (1864), pp 82-83, table facing p. 84.
[212] Prim (1864), pp 82-83; (Mrs) JCJ Murphy, “The Ten Civic Families of Kilkenny,” Old Kilkenny Review, 1954, p. 11.
[213] Prim (1864), p. 83; Hayburn (1973), p. 78.
[214] Prim (1864), pp 82-84; Hayburn (1973), p. 78.
[215] M. Buggy, “Memorials of the Dead, St Mary’s Kilkenny,” pp 75-76, Old Kilkenny Review, 1980 (Michael’s age is given on the gravestone as his “85th year”); Hayburn (1973), p. 76.
[216] See Barney Comerford, pp 49-50.
[217] See footnote 185 above; Barney Comerford, pp 49-50.
a style="mso-endnote-id: edn217" title="" href="" name="_edn217">[218] Barney Comerford, pp 53-54.
[219] do.
[220] Barney Comerford, p. 55.
[221] do.
[222] do. [223] do.
[224] do.
[225] do.
[226] do.
[227] Barney Comerford, pp 55-56.
[228] Barney Comerford, p. 56.
[229] do.
[230] do.
[231] Barney Comerford, pp 47, 56; The Irish Times, 8 and 9 February 2010; Maurice O’Keeffe, Irish life and lore series, Clara parish collection, Clara heritage society, Clara, Co Kilkenny, Catalogue of 29 Recordings (privately published, Tralee and Clara, 2009), p. 11.
[232] Barney Comerford, pp 47, 56; The Irish Times, 8 and 9 February 2010; Maurice O’Keeffe, Irish life and lore series, Clara parish collection, Clara heritage society, Clara, Co Kilkenny, Catalogue of 29 Recordings (privately published, Tralee and Clara, 2009), p. 11.

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Unknown said...

This is fantastic, just found last night! My g-g-g-g-grandmother was Mary Comerford, b 1815 in Ireland and immigrating to US at some you by chance have any records of a Mary born about that time?


Marianne said...

What a great site. I have just found my great great great grandmother was Mary Anna Cumberford. She was married to Charles Cuff. They came from Kilkenny in Ireland. Their daughter Mary Ann Cuff came to Australia stating she had come from Kilkenny too. She married twice in in Victoria Australia. First to James Lindsey and then to Charles Hart circa 1860 - 1870. My ggrandmother, Mary Ann nee Cuff, Lindsey; Hart had a daughter Catherine Agnes Lindsey who married James Mckenna. If any one has information they wish to share on the Kilkenny side of this family I would be more than happy to share what I have on the Australian side. contact Marianne at

Tracee said...

I have been trying to find my Great Great Grandfather Thomas Commeford’s parents or any relative that may know the family. I know that he was born in Kilkenny County, Ireland in January 1842. He left Ireland and went to Liverpool, England in about 1858. From there, he landed in New York Port, New York State, U.S.A. The next time I have him recorded as being in the State of Illinois in 1860. He joined the Illinois Volunteers and entered the American Civil War. The Military Records show no next of kin or parents. From what I understand, most of the Census Records of Ireland have been destroyed from the wars in that country. I have been looking at some of the Roman Catholic Parish Record from Ireland that were on microfilm, in the hope that I can find a Thomas Commeford, Commerford, Comeford, Comerford, in the same time frame as his date of birth. As of yet, I have not had any success. Can you help me?

Katrina B said...

Karyn i read your comment i have a Mary Kinsella which was married James Comerford, James was born on the 19.02.1807 and died forty years later he was my g-g-g-g grandfather. One of their sons names was Richard?

To the writer I have a book on birthdays of Richard"roe" and Richard"boy" some of them are sligtly diffrent to the one found on this page

FXC said...

According to recent information (US Census 1850,60, 70 &80) I have gotten through the efforts of tourism Ireland my great great grandfather Nicholas and his wife Bridget emigrated from Kilkenny to Pennsylvania in 1848. His son was also Nicholas Comerford (Jr) . His son, my Grandfather, was Edward F, Comerford of Philadelphia and his son was my father Edward F. Comerford Jr also of Philadelphia. I have no information on family prior to arrival in the US. I noticed the many Nicholas & Edwards in your blog and am wondering if you have any starting point in Ireland for me.

Francis X. Comerford - New York City

Jack said...

My G-Grandfatehr was Nicholas Comerford who married Julia Murphy. He owned a farm in Kilkenny, sold it and emigrated to the US to Connecticut. His daughter Margaret (my Grandmother)was born in Ireland. Their other children were born in the US: John, Patrick, Elizabeth & Mary. Nicholas has a sister Margaret who married James Patterson. I'm looking for any information about Nicholas or his wife Julia. I would like to know who their parents were and other siblings. Any help would be appreciated.

Unknown said...

My great grandfather was Edmond Comerford of Co Kilkenny born mARCH 1859. Immigrated to New Zealand. DIED 1940 IN Greymouth.
Peter harris