The Kerry Bindery - Kerry/Dingle Related Book Reviews

The Kerry Bindery

Kerry/Dingle Related Book Reviews

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"Discovering KERRY its History, Heritage and Topography" by T.J. Barrington is a wonderful resource. It is now in its 3rd printing.ISBN 0 905471 00 8. It is published by Mount Salus Press Ltd. Bishop Street, Dublin 8. It is very thorough in its descriptions and history of the areas in Kerry. I think I paid about $60.00 for it in Killarney a few years ago. It has a marvelous bibliography at the back of the book. You might be able to get it.
(Contributed by [email protected])
Note: new release 1999

Tom Fox allowed me to quote these two book descriptions: "ANCIENT TOWN OF HIGH RENOWN" and "RHYMES AND POEMS FROM DINGLE TOWN AND PENINSULA" compiled by TOM FOX. A wonderful collection of romantic, nostalgic and historical rhymes and poems from Dingle Town and Peninsula about people, places and events close to the hearts of muintir Chorca Dhuibhne
Website: Phone:066 9152383
Holy Stone Publications, The Mall, Dingle, Co Kerry, Ireland

"Dingle Down the Years"
A Second Collection of Old Photographs
This volume completes a unique collection of old photographs of Dingle town compiled by Tom Fox. Its 300 photographs chart over 90 years of Dingle life, beginning with a photograph of John Adams taken in the Grove Garden in 1879. The ball alley in John Street, the walk around Cooleen and photographs of the Emergency will rekindle fond memories. A republican on the run during the Troubles hints at more difficult times. The traditional ways of farming, featuring the ploughing match of 1954, and images of boatbuilding on the Quay, remind us of times that used to be.
The book teems with photographs of people at work and play. Fair days, regattas and races, bands, processions and plays; fishermen, farmers, football teams and much more are all featured to delight and and enchant. Informative captions, and a historical introduction, set the scene. This limited edition is a collector's item no Dingle person will want to be without.
Website: Phone:066 9152383
Holy Stone Publications, The Mall, Dingle, Co Kerry, Ireland

There are two books I found fascinating and most helpful in reconstructing Irish life in the early 19th century. "Irish Folkways"by E. Estyn Evans (reprinted 1988 by Routledge) ISBN 0415 00225 7 (paperback) Dr. Evans (Queens University/Belfast) has compiled descriptions of everyday life, land usage, furnishings, as well as "how to" build a mud hut, thatch a roof, plant potato lazy-beds, and many other seemingly lost details. He includes many line drawings of tools and household furnishings, and points out variations used in different parts of Ireland. I can't recommend this book enough.
(Contributed by: Patrick Gallagher Salem, OR. [email protected])

"Irish Peasant Society" by K.H. Connell (1996 reprint by Oxford University Press) ISBN 0-7165-2610-7 (Paperback) Four essays by Professor Connell (also Queens University/Belfast) on these subjects:
Illicit Distillation - a very detailed history, and "how-to" make, poiteen (bootleg booze).
Illegitimacy before the famine - discusses the low incidence of children born out of wedlock, and why.
Ether drinking in Ulster - Yes, we are talking about the same ether used as an anaesthetic: fascinating alternative to alcohol in the northern counties in the late 1800's and into this century. Even sophisticated ladies chose this tipple.
Catholicism and Marriage in the Century after the Famine - studies the late marriage phenomenon in Ireland, especially as viewed by the Catholic Church and individual priests. This essay is difficult to summarize in a few lines, but suffice it to say the author makes a very strong case that priests commonly viewed marriage as a "lower calling" and that women were a path to the devil.
(Contributed by: Patrick Gallagher Salem, OR. [email protected])

"The Book of Kerry, Towns and Villages in the Kingdom"by Arthur Flynn, Wolfhound Press. The U.S. distributor is DuFour Editions, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0449, phone 215-458-5005. This book was published in 1995. It includes 40 towns and villages in the Kingdom of Kerry from Kenmare in the South to Tarbert in the North. As stated on the book it explores and celebrates the history, architecture, archaeology, people, poets, writers and extraordinary scenic landscapes that make Kerry. In the introductory page under main festivals it states that the Daniel O'Connell Assoc. Workshop is held the end of each October. (Contributed by: [email protected])

"Ardfert in Times Past", originally published in 1990 but long out of print, has been re-published since August 1999. A revised edition, now 257 pages, written by Tommy O'Connor, is available direct from the author at Ardfert Village, Co. Kerry, Ireland @ $30 including postage & packaging. Enquiries / Orders from: [email protected]

"Dingle" by Jack McKenna. Published by Mac Publications, Killarney. (No street address shown). Price was IRL 9.95. It's a 134 page history of Dingle and in addition to the general history there are some lists of priests, ministers, and teachers and a history of the street names of Dingle. There is also a brief description and history of the townlands of Dingle, Kildrum, Garfinny, Minard, Kinard, and Ventry. First printing 1985, second printing (revised & sewn) 1993. (Contributed by [email protected])

"Meini The Blasket Island Nurse" by Leslie Matson. (Mercer Press) It was first published in 1996, ISBN 1-85635-133-5. For those of you who had ancestors who came from Kerry, especially from the west of Dingle, who settled or passed through either the Hartford, CT area or Western Massachusetts there is a book that you might want to read. I enjoyed it because it gives a first hand view of the immigration experience and life in both countries. Timelines: Meini Dunlevy was actually born in Holyoke MA, but her father died when she was young and she was reared in Dunquin and married at 19 on to the Blasket Island. She died in Dunquin 1967 at the age of 91. At the front of the book is a ancestry chart of Meini's family which goes back to the early 1800s.
(Contributed by: [email protected])

"The Ancient and Present State of County Kerry" by Charles Smith
"Being a Natural, Civil, Ecclesiastical, Historical and Topographical Description Thereof - Illustrated - with Remarks made on the Baronies, Parishes, Towns, Villages, Seats, Mountains ....." "Embellished with a large Map of the County....." First Published Dublin 1756. Reprinted 1969, 1979. The Mercier Press Ltd, 4 Bridge Street, Cork; and 25 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin (315 pages) ISBN 0-85342-565-5
Smith dedicated this book to Baron Newport, President of the Physico-Historical Society. He wrote: "This Kingdom, my lord, is a kind of terra incognita to the greater part of Europe .... none of which sciences have been cultivated here to any purpose". As expected, this is a book written from an English perspective. Nevertheless it is a very useful one for Kerry genealogists looking for background material on Kerry history. For those lucky enough to have connections with the County's leading families, English and Irish, it may also help solve problems of descent, as it has with several enquirers.
Unfortunately Smith did not often quote his sources so the usual note of caution must be stated.
CONTENTS: The following will be most useful for those with Kerry roots.
1. "Of the Ancient Names of the Territories and First Inhabitants ....with some account of the Principal Families ... before Queen Elizabeth I"
2. "Of the Principal Families ... from Queen Elizabeth to the present" (ie 1756)
3. "Of the Ecclesiastical State of this County"
4. "Of the Bounds, Extent .... Number of Inhabitants, Products and Civil Division"
5. Topography - Baronies of Kerry viz Glanerought, Dunkerron, Iveragh
6. Description - Baronies of Magunihy and Killarney Lake
7. Topography - Baronies of Trughanackmy and Corckaguiny
8. Topography - Clanmaurice and Eraghticonnor
9. Civil History
Other contents include Agriculture, Rivers, Medicinal Waters, Fish, Plants, Fossils
16. Of Remarkable persons Born in this County.
Probably the most helpful feature is a large (45 x 45cm) fold-out map of the County showing Baronies and Parishes. It also shows Coats of Arms for these families: FITZMORRIS, HERBERT, GAGE, FIELDING, ANNESLEY, CHILD, BROWN, MacCARTY, PETTY, FITZGERALD, PALMER, POWER. Another useful feature is the main tracks/roads which might help in deciding a possible route of family migration. For instance, it is easy to follow a probable route out of the Ballyvourney district towards Kllorglin of my Herlihy ancestors.
Churches are shown, even those in ruins, as are barracks.The book devotes 56 pages (and many separate notes) to Civil History. There is of course considerable mention of the McCarty's and the Desmond's, but also events such as the loss of some of the Spanish Armada in Tralee Bay and Dingle in 1588, and gives a full account of statements taken from those hapless sailors.
Smith thought that these were the "Remarkable Persons Born in the County"
THOMAS BLENNERHASSET - author of "Directions for the Plantation of Ulster" 1610
SIR VALENTINE BROWNE - who wrote a tract for the reformation of Ireland
DANIEL O'DALEY - Dominican Friar, Tralee, died Paris 1656
BERNARD O'CONNOR - Doctor of Physic to King of Poland
RICHARD ORPEN - published "The London Master, or the Jew Detected" 1694, after a Jew asserted the "Lawrell" was plundered in the Kenmare by his contrivance.
DERMOT O'CONNOR, who translated Keating's "History of Ireland" 1723
Of the "common people of this County" he gives some praise .... "I saw a poor man near Blackstones who had a tolerable notion of calculating the epacts, golden number, dominical letter, the moon's phases, and even eclipses although he had never been taught to read English".
I did say it was written from an English perspective (and it was 1756)! However for anyone whose research has ground to a halt in some place in Kerry though paucity of record, then I can recommend this book as a next step in understanding the topography and history. You might even find the chapter on plants of interest. On hops he says "They grow near Abbey of Killagh having been probably cultivated there formerly by the monks", and on "the common wild briar, or dog rose or hip tree - this is common on all the hedges, its fruit is used in a conserve". Even botannical names are mentioned.
PLACES AND PEOPLE Smith included a detailed description of the Baronies, including some reference to families, many of which did not rate a mention in the index. By way of example, here is an extract from his description of Magunihy Barony.
".....It comprehends also the territory called Glanflesk, which has been of late years much improved, enclosed and cultivated and among others, by Mr Daniel Croneene of Rathmore, near the bounds of County Cork ......" "Glanflesk anciently belonged to the O'Donoghue; it is now mostly the estate of Lord Kenmare .... "In the Chapter "Of the Ecclesiastical State of this County" he deals church by church:
"Castle-Island, rectorial, church in repair
Currens - the church in ruins ....."
There are considerable notes. For instance on the 1641 rebellion, when Florence McCarty of Carigprehane assumed the title of Governor of Kerry he associated with divers others, and the note gives their names and residence. Again, some of these names are not indexed, such as MacElligot, MacThomas. Later I hope to extract all of the names and index them. In the meantime researchers will need to trawl through the book. But it is an enjoyable read.
ON FARMING PRACTICES Smith makes interesting observations of farming life - "In the mountains of Slievelogher and other parts towards the end of June .... the country people cut the coarse mountain grass, called by them Fenane; and save it as they do hay .... " "It is true that by the loss of our potatoes by the frost the calamity was much more severely felt, and more suddenly in Ireland ...."
ON TAXATION "The number of Roman Catholics are here underated for the hearth-money collectors, in the wild uncultivated mountains, are obliged to compound for this tax, and take acertain sum for many cabins, otherwise they would collect nothing; besides many poor families ..... are excused on account of their poverty ....." Sir William Petty 1662, in answer to the question "who shall pay" said - "Everybody, for if there are 1000 persons in a territory, and if 100 of these can raise food and clothing for the whole 1000; if 200 more make as much commodities, and if 400 more be employed in the ornaments, pleasure, and magnificence of the whole; if there be 200 governors, divines, physicians, lawyers etc making in all 900, the question is, since there is food for the remaining 100 also, how should they come by it? ....begging? Stealing? or Whether they should suffer themselves to starve .... or being taken in theft ..." Petty is then quoted as favouring what we now call "Work Schemes", paid by the rich. And that was 1662.
ILLUSTRATIONS (Engravings) Plan of Tralee, showing the Church, Castle, Square, Court House, Gaol, Market House, and Arms of Denny Inny Bridge Scelig Island Large pull-out panoramic view of Killarney showing the town, Flesk Bridge, Abbey, Mucrus House (sic), Ross Castle, the ruined church, ruined church of Aghadoe, the Reeks, O'Sullivans Castle. An Ancient Hermitage at Galerus near Smeriwick where the Spanish landed in 1579. This book should be available through various library services in most countries where Kerrymen (and women) have settled. I have kept the spelling as it was written.
(Contributed by: Maggie Verry)
"King James Irish Army List, 1689"by D'Alton. ISBN 0940134233.It costs $125. In it there arethe names of Irish family leaders who left Ireland under different leaders when their estates were plundered by Cromwell's armies. They entered the service of France, Spain, Austria and Venice and were called the "Wild Geese". Ferriter, the main family I am researching, is one such name listed but so are such names as O'Sullivan, Moriarity, Fitz-gerald, etc. Evidently the book has writeups on the history of each family.
(Contributed by: Audrey Annable Franklin [email protected])

"Killarney in Old Picture Postcards" by Patrick MacMonagle
(IRL ISBN 90 288 6079 7 / CIP- Back In Time 1995 European Library) A little book of old postcards, early 20th century of Killarney, taken by photographer Louis Anthony. Each postcard has been given an historical description by the author, MacMonagle. In the collection are the authors favorite postcards of Killarney Lakes, Muckross, St Mary's Cathedral, Dinis, Gap of Dunloe, High St, Main St, New Street, Glebe Ln, College St and many others (over 80 postcards). The genealogist is treated to a picturesque glimpse of the past.
(Contributed by: Bridget [email protected])

"Echo After Echo Killarney and Its History"(ISBN 0 9513382 0 x) by Donal Horgan, 1988 . The author, Donal Horgan gives a historical view in text, notes and photos of Killarneys landscape, church and people over centuries of time and a most interesting account of the building of the town of Killarney in the 19th century and those individuals who helped shape its history, the Browne, Kenmare and Herbert families. A small book with lots of information.
(Contributed by Bridget [email protected])

"Killarney Top of Towns, Recollections of a Lifetime" by Tim McCarthy Book published by author, for repeat orders as printed in beginning of book contact Neil Brosnan Lyreatough, Kilcummin, Co Kerry Tel 064-43604 or John Mangan, Mileen, Kilcummin, Killarney, Co Kerry. Tel 064-43249 (I understand that D. F. Sullivan's a store on New Street has the book for sale as of Nov 99) This is a book written about Killarney in the 20th century. The reader travels from the days of donkey and carts, early motor cars, occupation of British troops, the civil war, freedom, and up to the present time as seen through the eyes of one of it's local citizens, Tim McCarthy.

New names of Kerrymen emerges into history. Thomas Cooper, who produced the first Irish film "Dawn", Thomas Crean of Dingle, the polar explorer, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, a Killarney man who during WW II, saved thousands of Jews from certain death while he stationed in the Vatican in Rome.*
The author McCarthy in his recollections speaks of many local residents and life in the town and surrounding communities. Many geneolgists will find their family names mentioned.
There are also many old photos.
*note: May I mention a note here I believe would be of interest to the Kerry group, There was a great movie made about Msgr Hugh O'Flaherty days in Rome, THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK with Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer Video ISBN 1-55658-994-8
(Contributed by Bridget [email protected])

"The Millers & The Mills of Ireland of About 1850" A List Compiled by William E. Hogg. The ISBN number is 0 9532246 0 0 (Hardback) and ISBN number 0 9532 2461 9 (paperback) In case someone was to request interlibrary loan for this book. It's published in 1997 by William E. Hogg, Sandycove, Co. Dublin, Ireland and cost 24 punts. On Page (i) in the Forward section of his text he writes: "During a lecture given by an expert in genealogical matters a casual mention was made of the existence of the 'Valuation Office Mill Books at National Archives, Dublin.' It was this small piece of knowledge which had originally provided the spark necessary to set a research project in motion"
(Contibuted by [email protected])

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