Between Paulstown, Kilkenny and Old Leighlin/Leighlinbridge, Carlow on Route 724 is an old cemetery, Killinane, that has several Maher graves in it. According to the 1844-45 Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland, Killinane was in the barony of West Idrone. This barony included “part of the parishes of Cloydagh, Killinane, and Wells; and the whole of the parishes of Old Leighlin and Tullowcrine. Its only town is part of Leighlin-Bridge; and its chief villages are Royal Oak and Old Leighlin.” In 1841 the population was 8,435 and it was in the Poor Law Union of Carlow. (pg. 309)
This was an unexpected find as we were driving past, having gone back first to look at and photograph Wells Cemetery, which appeared to be Protestant. Unfortunately I was unaware of the standing stone that was apparently nearby, another of the many reasons to return to Ireland whenever possible.
Places mentioned on the Maher stones in Killinane Graveyard include: Closutton, Clorusk, Bagenalstown, and Royal Oak in County Carlow and Moanmore, in County Kilkenny. I have kept the spellings as they appeared on the stones. There is a habit in Ireland of people darkening white marble stones with paint or other substances, then sanding down the surface to reveal recessed black lettering. While this cannot be good for the stones, it is also unfortunate for others to come upon, as we did here (#7), before someone had returned to finish the job. Thankfully, I was able to make out the inscription. On two graves were also included the names of the stonecutters and their locations.
John Hayes’ lists of surnames included in Griffiths Valuations, index abstracts, include fifteen Mahers in Killinane. I believe that relatives of at least some of those listed will be found to match up with these graves. See Ask About Ireland/Griffiths Valuations for further details. Since so many records were lost and destroyed, Griffiths tabulation of leaseholders and their landlords after the Great Famine is very helpful in trying to locate families. This, in combination with microfilms of baptism and marriage records from Family Search, can keep one quite busy and help in piecing various parts of puzzles together. I recommend James R. Reilly’s article that explains Griffith’s Valuations if this is the first time you’ve heard of them.
Transcriptions of Maher Graves in Killinane Graveyard, July 2011
1. Sacred Heart of Jesus Have Mercy On the Soul of Jeremiah Maher, Closutton, Who Died Nov. 12th, 1915, Age 77 Yrs. Also His Sister, Maria Maher Who Died Sep. 28th, 1914, Aged 73 Yrs. [Phelan R. I. P. Royal Oak]
2. Erected by Thomas Maher of Clowsutton in memory of his beloved wife Anne Maher alias Walsh who depd. this life April 18th 1861, aged 50 years. Also one of his children who died young. Also the memory of Thomas Maher above mentioned died May 2nd, 1866, aged 66 years.
3. Erected by Jeremiah Maher of Clorusk in memory of his beloved father John Maher who died July 29, 1876 aged 72 yrs. also his mother Mary Maher als. Ryan who died June 9,  aged 58 yrs. also his brother John who died July 5th 1865 aged 20 yrs. also his sister Mary who died Dec. 11, 1860 Aged 27 yrs. also two brothers and one sister died young. Also The Above Named Jeremiah Maher Died Nov. 4, 1905 Aged 61 Yrs. And His Wife Catherine Maher Died Nov. 29, 1912 Aged 63 Yrs. Also Their Son Thomas James Died May 23, 1898 Aged 12 Yrs. And Three Children Died Young. And Their Son John Died July 17th, 1945 Aged 60 Yrs. Also His Wife Annie Maher, Nee Kavanagh, Died Oct. 31st, 1972, Aged 87 Yrs. And Their Grandson John Maher Nolan Who Died In Infancy Also Their Daughter Mary O’Keefe Who Died 14th Jan. 1988 Aged 71 Yrs. Requiscant In Pace. [On the back:] When a few short years of toil are past We reach that happy Shore When divided friends at last Meet to part no more.
4. Of Your Charity Pray For The Soul of Michael Maher, Main Street, Bagnalstown, Who Died July 23rd 1909 Aged 48 Years Also His Wife Catherine Maher Nee Mulligan Who Died March 28th 1960 Aged 87 Years R. I. P.
5. Of Your Charity Pray For The Repose Of The Soul of Philip Maher, Closutton Who Died [18th] Jan. 1870. Aged 55 Years Also Their Grandchild Marianne Maher Who Died Young. Also Jeremiah Died 23rd March 1907 Aged 59 Years. Also Edward Died 10th May 1909 Aged 59 Years. Also Annie Maher Died 29th Oct. 1917 Aged 63 Years. Also Kate Maher Died 8th Nov. 1919 Aged 52 Years. Also Elizabeth McDonnell Daughter Of Above Edward Maher Died [7th] Jan. 1963 And Her Children May & Frances Who Died Young R. I. P. [Hughes Carlow]
6. Erected By Patrick Maher Royal Oak In Memory Of His Father John Maher Who Died Dec. 4th 1915 Aged 78 Years and his sister Bridget Sister M. Peter Who Died Jan. 20th 1916 Aged 58 yrs. Also his brother John who died Nov. 12th 1918 Aged 26 yrs. And his mother Mary died Jan. 23rd 1927 aged 82 yrs. Also his brother Michael died in Waco, Texas, U.S.A. Sept. 19th 1941 aged 56 yrs. And the above Patrick died April 6th 1950 aged 67 yrs.
7. In Loving Memory Of Thomas Maher, Moanmore, Died 18th Apr. 1872, His Wife Elizabeth Died 10th June 1897, His Two Daughters, Bridget and Elizabeth Died Young, His Son Jeremiah Died 12th Apr. 1959, His Wife Kathleen Died 17th Mar. 1942
Reilly, James R., CGRS, Is There More in Griffith’s Valuations Than Just Names?, pdf online of entire article can be downloaded from this link: http://www.deliapublications.com/More2Griffith.htm or from a direct keywork search.
The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland: Adapted to the New Poor-Law, Franchise, Municipal and Ecclesiastical Arrangments, and Compiled With A Special Reference to the Lines of Railroad and Canal Communication, As Existing in 1844-45, Volume II. D-M, Dublin, London, and Edinburgh: A. Fullarton and Co., 1846. (http://books.google.com)
©2011 Sinéad Ní Mheachair (Janet Maher)
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