Friday, May 3, 2013

15. Where in Freshford to Place the Map Tack?

Correlating information on the Buggy family in Freshford parish records, the Phelan family book, and U.S. records confirms that Dennis Buggy was born on or before his baptism on 6 June 1829 in Freshford, County Kilkenny, Ireland. [1]

Freshford is a town, a Roman Catholic parish, and a Church of Ireland parish.  Here’s a description of it, written in 1837 when Dennis Buggy was a boy:

FRESHFORD, or AGHOURA, a post-town and parish, in the barony of CRANAGH, county of KILKENNY, and province of LEINSTER, 6 ½ miles (W. N. W.), from Kilkenny, and 63 (S. W.) from Dublin, on the road from Kilkenny to Johnstown; containing 2277 inhabitants…The parish comprises 2108 statute acres…there is no bog or waste land. The state of agriculture is fast improving, and the land is almost equally divided between tillage and pasturage. There are limestone quarries, in which manganese is said to exist; and a coal mine is about to be opened…The town, which comprises 374 houses, is neat and well built, and is part of the estate of William De Montmorency, Esq.

It is a station of the revenue and of the constabulary police, and has fairs on Aug. 5th and Dec. 17th, and pig fairs on Oct. 31st and Dec. 5th. Here is a dispensary, a fever hospital, and a society for relieving the bedridden poor.  A flour-mill, called the manor mill, is remarkably well supplied with water from the Freshford river.  A manor court is held every third week, for the recovery of debts under 40s.; and petty sessions are held every fortnight.[2]

We can narrow Dennis Buggy’s birthplace even further.  We know he was born in the Catholic parish.  That was a pretty large chunk of the county at the time he was born.  A good map at RootsWeb, “County Kilkenny Catholic Parishes circa 1831,” shows Freshford Parish in the northwest quarter of the county.[3]

Fortunately Freshford Catholic parish baptism records all indicate a residence.  Buggys resided in Kile and in Rathmoyle.[4]  The Richard Buggy-Mary Brannagan family resided in Kile.

Where is Kile?  But first, What is Kile?  Kile and Rathmoyle are townlands, small geopolitical divisions comprising from a few acres to thousands of acres.  Averaging about 350 acres, a townland could be thought of as an estate belonging to a family.[5]  For an easy-to-understand explanation of townlands, check out “Guide to Irish Land Division,”  Dennis Buggy came from a townland named Kile.

A number of online sites offer searches for Irish townlands.[6]  Rathmoyle is easy to find; Kile (sometimes spelled Kyle) is not.  Or rather, it can be found, but it’s clearly a townland of the same name closer to the city of Kilkenny, in the (wrong) Barony of Kilmaganny, to the southeast.  And Rathmoyle is the townland of other Buggy families.  There does not seem to be a Kile/Kyle in Freshford Parish.

Online databases offer only so much information.  Sometimes we have to bring in the big guns: Google searches and Google Earth.  The results are surprising.

Next Time: Pinpointing Kile in Freshford Parish

© 2013 Judy Kellar Fox, CG,

[1] Judy Kellar Fox, “4. Dennis Buggy’s Siblings: Gathering Relationship Clues,” Pinpointing Dennis Buggy’s Irish Origins (, posted 29 April 2013.
[2] Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, Comprising the Several Counties, Cities, Boroughs, Corporate, Market, and Post Towns, Parishes, and Villages, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions (London: S. Lewis & Co., 1837), 2 vols., [probably] Vol. 1, “Freshford, or Aghoura;” digital transcription, Library Ireland  ( : accessed 14 April 2013).
[3] “County Kilkenny Catholic Parishes, Topographical Dictionary Cross Reference of Civil Parishes,” County Kilkenny Ireland Genealogy and History ( : accessed 3 May 2013).  Permission to reproduce the map on this post was requested 2 May 2013.
[4] Judy Kellar Fox, “11. Freshford Parish Records,” Pinpointing Dennis Buggy’s Irish Origins (, posted 15 April 2013.
[5] “Genealogical Glossary Terms,” FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 April 2013), “Townland.”
[6] “Search,” Irish Place Names ( : accessed 3 May 2013).  Also, “Kilkenny Townland Index by Barony, Crannagh Barony,” RootsWeb ( : accessed 3 May 2013).  Also, The IreAtlas Townland Database ( : accessed 3 May 2013), search for Kile, Kyle, and Rathmoyle, County Kilkenny.

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