Biography, Clare History

Margaret Ringrose of Moynoe and her mitochondrial DNA

Margaret Ringrose of Moynoe and her mitochondrial DNA

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

Conventional genealogies usually follow the male line of succession but it is the female line which carries the constant gene pool and can help identify ancestors you may have buried in a carpark, like King Richard III. This article follows Margaret Ringrose of Moynoe, Co. Clare and her female ancestors and descendants. These female relations would carry Margaret’s mitochondrial DNA through the gene pool.

Moynoe House once stood about 2km east-northeast of Scariff in County Clare. The eighteenth century two-storey, three bay house was demolished in the second half of the twentieth century. The demolished house had possibly replaced an earlier house on the site. This earlier house was the home of the Ringrose family for many decades before and after 1700.[1]

Margaret Ringrose

Margaret Ringrose was the second daughter of John Ringrose of Moynoe and his wife, Jane Purdon.[2] John Ringrose was High Sheriff of County Clare in 1727 and was possibly the son of Colonel Richard Ringrose who had died about 1707. The latter was a hundred years old when he died and was descendant from a soldier who came originally from Yorkshire.[3]

Jane Purdon, her mother

Jane Purdon was the second daughter of Gilbert Purdon of Ballykelly, Co. Clare, by Alicia his wife, daughter of Right Rev. George Synge, Bishop of Cloyne. Gilbert Purdon was the second son of Sir Nicholas Purdon of Ballyclogh, Co. Cork (M.P. for Baltimore) by Ellis his wife, daughter of Henry Stephens of Broghill, Co. Cork. The Purdon family originally came to County Louth from Kirklington in Cumberland in the time of King Henry VIII.[4]

Gilbert Purdon left four sons and two daughters (Elizabeth and Jane). Elizabeth Purdon married in 1693 to John Wilkinson of Johnstown, Co. Cork and left issue. Her granddaughter married Gerald Blennerhassett of Riddlestown, Co. Limerick. Much of the estate of Gilbert Purdon passed to his eldest son, Nicholas Purdon of Dysert, Co. Cork and later to the family of Richard Graves of Limerick.[5]

Alicia Synge, Margaret’s grandmother

As previously stated, Gilbert Purdon married (December 1665) Alicia, daughter of Rev. George Synge, Bishop of Cloyne by his second wife, Elizabeth Stephens.[6] The first wife was Anne Edgeworth, daughter of Francis Edgeworth of Dublin. She died in 1641 when the ship she was travelling on, going to England, sank. Five of her children also drowned in the same accident.[7]

Bishop George Synge was born at Bridgnorth in 1594 and died there in 1653 and is buried in the local Church of St. Mary Magdalene. In between these years George Synge served as a cleric in challenging times. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford where he got a M.A. in 1616. George Synge came to Ireland as chaplain of Christopher Hampton, Archbishop of Armagh. On 11th November 1638 George Synge was consecrated Bishop of Cloyne. At the outbreak of the 1641 Rebellion he fled to Dublin and became a member of the Irish Privy Council while his family tried to get to England but never made it as noted earlier. In 1647 George Synge was nominated as Archbishop of Tuam but could not take up the position as Tuam was then under Irish military control. Shortly after 1647 George Synge returned to England where he died in 1653. George’s younger brother, Edward Synge, became successively Bishop of Limerick and after 1663 Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.[8]

Elizabeth Stephens, Margaret’s great, grandmother

In Burke’s Irish Family Records, the second wife of Bishop George Synge is given as Elizabeth Stevens and sometimes as Elizabeth Stephens but unfortunately her father’s name is not printed.[9] Other sources that mention Elizabeth Stevens also do not give her parents’ names; particularly her mother’s name for it is her mother’s DNA that is the search of this article.[10]

Margaret’s brother

Margaret Ringrose had one brother, Richard Ringrose who went to England to study law. Richard Ringrose was living at the Temple, London when he died unmarried. The cause of his death was mistake poisoning.[11] With the death of her brother Margaret Ringrose became co-heir to the Ringrose estate of her father.

Alice Bowerman, Margaret’s sister

Margaret’s co-heir was her elder sister, Alice Ringrose who married John Bowerman of Cooline, Co. Clare.[12] Alice Ringrose inherited Moynoe House on her father’s death and her son Ringrose Bowerman was living there in the 1770s. At that time Ringrose Bowerman was involved in law concerning the estate and legacy of John Bowerman.[13]

Margaret’s family

Margaret Ringrose was born on 28th June 1698 and married on 28th January 1718 Francis Drew of Drewscourt, Co. Limerick.[14] In 1718 Francis Drew was High Sheriff of County Limerick. Francis Drew was the eldest son of Barry Drew of Ballyduff, Co. Waterford and Drewscourt, Co. Limerick by his second wife, Ruth Nettles, daughter of William Nettles of Tourin, Co. Waterford, by Mary his wife, sister of the celebrated healer, Valentine Greatrakes.[15]

Margaret Ringrose and Francis Drew had five sons and four daughters. The five sons were Francis (died without issue), John (died without issue), Barry (descendants died out in 1845), Ringrose (descendants still living) and George (left four sons). The four daughters were Alice, Jane, Ruth and Margaret Drew and they each inherited Margaret’s mitochondrial DNA.[16] The land which Margaret Ringrose inherited from her father formed the later estate near Scariff known as Drewsborough. Ringrose Drew and his descendants lived there until it was sold in the 1850s to Michael Skehan, an Irish immigrant to Australia who returned home after making a fortune from mining.[17] It was later the childhood home of writer Enda O’Brien.[18]

Margaret Ringrose Drew died on 25th November 1755.[19]

Drewsboro

Drewsboro house

Alice O’Neill, Margaret’s first daughter

Alice Drew married Charles O’Neill, M.P. for Clonakilty.[20] This marriage happened about September 1747. Charles O’Neill was the son and heir of John O’Neill of Shandrum, Cork according to one source.[21] Another source says Charles O’Neill was the son of Charles O’Neill of Shane’s Castle, by Catherine, daughter of Rt. Hon. St. John Broderick.[22] In 1749 Charles O’Neill was admitted to the Middle Temple in London and in 1754 he entered the King’s Inn, Dublin.[23] Charles O’Neill sat as M.P. for Clonakilty 1784-1790. In 1790 he was elected both for Clonakilty and Castlemartyr and opted to continue to sit for the former until 1797. Charles O’Neill practised as a barrister in Dublin and lived in Ely Place and subsequently at Monkstown Castle.[24] Alice Drew and Charles O’Neill had four daughters.

The eldest daughter was called Alice O’Neill and in September 1788 she married her cousin, Henry Knight as his second wife. Henry Knight was the fourth son of James Knight of Newtown, Co. Cork. Henry Knight died in Edinburgh in 1808 without leaving any children by Alice O’Neill.[25]

Another daughter of Alice Drew O’Neill was Charlotte O’Neill and she married Thomas Prendergast of Kildare Street, Dublin. Thomas Prendergast was son of Thomas Prendergast by Jane, daughter of Samuel Gordon. The family was long settled at Newcastle, Co. Tipperary. Thomas Prendergast, junior, was called to the Irish bar in 1787 and served as a commissioner of bankruptcy. Thomas Prendergast, junior, sat as M.P. for Castlemartyr, 1796-7 and for Clonakilty, 1797-1800, i.e. in succession to his father-in-law. Charlotte O’Neill and Thomas Prendergast had issue.[26]

Jane Nettles, Margaret’s second daughter

Jane Drew married in 1773 Rev. Robert Nettles as his second wife but had no issue. Rev. Robert Nettles was a relation of Jane Drew on a number of fronts. As noted earlier Ruth Nettles married an ancestor of Jane Drew, namely; Barry Drew of Ballyduff, Co. Waterford and this Ruth Nettles was a sister of the grandfather of Rev. Robert Nettles. A more immediate connection was that first wife of Rev. Robert Nettles was Jane Bowerman who was the eldest daughter of John Bowerman of Cooline, Co. Cork. This John Bowerman had married the elder sister of Jane Drew’s mother as noted earlier. The second daughter of John Bowerman, Catherine, married the elder brother of Rev. Robert Nettles, John Ryves Nettles in 1738. Jane Bowerman Nettles died in 1762 leaving two daughters by Rev. Robert Nettles, namely; Jane Nettles who married her cousin William Nettles and Elizabeth Nettles who married Kilner Baker in 1783.[27] As Jane Drew and Rev. Robert Nettles had no children the trail of female descendants of Margaret Ringrose stops with Jane.

Ruth Hall, Margaret’s third daughter

Ruth Drew married Joseph Hall of Dublin.[28] In 1729-30 Joseph Hall was mentioned in the will of his brother, John Hall, gent, of Dolphin’s Barn.[29] In March 1756 Joseph Hall witnessed the will John Willington of Killoskehane, Co. Tipperary and in June 1760 he witnessed the will of William Phineas Bowles of Dublin.[30] In 1773 the will of Joseph Hall of Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin was made and proved.[31] It is reported that Ruth Drew and Joseph Hall had two sons and three daughters but their names and biography are unknown to this author.[32]

Margaret Nash, Margaret’s fourth daughter

In September 1752 Margaret Drew married Andrew Nash of Brinny, Co. Cork.[33] Andrew Nash was the second son of Llewellyn Nash of Farrihy, Co. Cork. He was admitted into the King’s Inn, Dublin and was an attorney at the Exchequer. In November 1767 Andrew Nash died.[34] Margaret Drew and Andrew Nash had two sons and four daughters (Margaret, Jane, Helena and Catherine).[35] Further information on the four daughters is as yet undiscovered.

Further female descendants of Margaret Ringrose

Margaret Ringrose had at least six granddaughters to carry on her mitochondrial DNA but their names and heirs have not yet been found. This is one the big stumbling blocks in search for the female blood line as the usual genealogy sources follow the male line and often omit the names of the female children. Thus in the search for the mitochondrial DNA of Margaret Ringrose (1698-1755) we could go as far back as her great, grandmother and no further and down to her own granddaughters and no further. In all six generations of mitochondrial DNA. Maybe in some future time we could expand the number of generations but for the moment that is where we must leave the story of Margaret Ringrose.

IMG_0002

Outline chart of the female relations of Margaret Ringrose

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[1] Hugh W.L. Weir, Houses of Clare (Ballinakella Press, Whitegate, Clare, 1999), p. 203

[2] James Grove White, Historical and Topographical notes, etc. on Buttevant, Castletownroche, Doneraile, Mallow and Places in the Vicinity (Guy & Co. Cork, 1905), vol. 1, p. 135

[3] Hugh W.L. Weir, Houses of Clare, p. 203

[4] James Grove White, Historical and Topographical notes on Buttevant & Places in the Vicinity, vol. 1, pp. 134-5

[5] James Grove White, Historical and Topographical notes on Buttevant & Places in the Vicinity, vol. 1, p. 135

[6] James Grove White, Historical and Topographical notes on Buttevant & Places in the Vicinity, vol. 1, p. 135

[7] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 2007, p. 1086

[8] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A biographical dictionary of Cork (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2006), pp. 321-2

[9] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 2007, p. 1086

[10] http://thepeerage.com/p36860.htm#i368599 accessed on 19 November 2014

[11] James Grove White, Historical and Topographical notes on Buttevant & Places in the Vicinity, vol. 1, p. 135

[12] James Grove White, Historical and Topographical notes on Buttevant & Places in the Vicinity, vol. 1, p. 135

[13] Hugh W.L. Weir, Houses of Clare, p. 203

[14] Drew family tree by Carol Baxter, online pdf (2011), p. 17; James Grove White, Historical and Topographical notes on Buttevant & Places in the Vicinity, vol. 1, p. 135

[15] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1904, p. 159

[16] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1904, p. 159

[17] Hugh W.L. Weir, Houses of Clare, p. 108

[18] http://www.clarechampion.ie/ednas-birthplace-ideal-as-writers-retreat/ accessed on 4 June 2016

[19] Drew family tree by Carol Baxter, online pdf (2011), p. 17

[20] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1904, p. 159

[21] Drew family tree by Carol Baxter, online pdf (2011), p. 23; http://members.iinet.net.au/~nickred/trees/Drew.pdf accessed on 20 November 2014

[22] C.M. Tenison, ‘Cork M.P.s, 1559-1800’, in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, vol. II (1896), p. 137

[23] Drew family tree by Carol Baxter, online pdf (2011), p. 23

[24] C.M. Tenison, ‘Cork M.P.s, 1559-1800’, in the J.C.H.A.S., vol. II (1896), p. 137

[25] Drew family tree by Carol Baxter, online pdf (2011), p. 23

[26] C.M. Tenison, ‘Cork M.P.s, 1559-1800’, in the J.C.H.A.S., vol. II (1896), p. 179

[27] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1899, p. 125

[28] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1904, p. 159

[29] P. Beryl Eustace (ed.), Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Abstracts of wills, Vol. 1, 1708-1745 (Stationery Office, Dublin, 1956), no. 419

[30] P. Beryl Eustace (ed.), Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Abstracts of wills, Vol. 2, 1746-1785 (Stationery Office, Dublin, 1954), nos. 272, 389

[31] Sir Arthur Vicars, Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 (Edward Ponsonby, Dublin, 1897), p. 210

[32] Drew family tree by Carol Baxter, online pdf (2011), p. 24; http://members.iinet.net.au/~nickred/trees/Drew.pdf accessed on 20 November 2014

[33] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1904, p. 159

[34] E. Keane, B.P. Phair & T.U. Sadlier (eds.), King’s Inn Admission Papers, 1607-1876 (Stationery Office, Dublin, 1982), p. 360

[35] http://www.corkpastandpresent.ie/places/northcorkcounty/grovewhitenotes/fairyhilltokanturkcastle/gw3_103_119.pdf accessed on 4 June 2016

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