What can you learn about your ancestors?

Charleville Castle Door The Claw

Have you ever wished you could spend a day with one of your ancestors?  I often wish I could sit down and ask them about how they lived, why they moved and what was their life like.

My first visit to Ireland I learned about William Nevil/ Neville.  Family oral tradition is that William moved from Mountmellick in Queens County to Tullamore to help build a castle.  Mountmellick had been the home for the Nevill family from about 1700.

This summer I attended the Ancestral Connections Conference at UCC.  On Wednesday afternoon Dr. Jane Lyons and John Nangle talked about cemeteries and headstones.  John brought all the tools that they would have used.  These are the same tools that a stone mason would use to build a castle.  I took photos of all of the tools.

The next week when I was in Tullamore I visited Charleville Castle again.  I really noticed the beautiful stone work around the large double doors. It would take a master craftsman to carve such delicate lines in stone – in 1800!

“William, why did you move 14 miles from Mountmellick to Tullamore?” I can see in a 1802 church census you have a wife and four children – Jane, Joseph, Abraham & William. Building this castle would take a long time and you have a family to support.

The next record that I have found William in is the Lynally Glebe  the  1828 Tithe Applotment Books.  William’s last name is now spelled ‘Neville’ and he is renting 46 acres!  That is a lot of land at that time.  I can also see that by the time of Griffith’s Valuation – William is no longer there, but Jeremiah and Jacob are taking care of the Neville land. (note- In 1856 they are listed as Jeremiah Kelly and Jacob Kelly. In the 1863 Cancel Book it is corrected back to Jeremiah and Jacob Neville.)

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