Category Archives: Genealogy

Dunhill Castle – a poem by Tom Power

Dunhill Castle

by Tom Power, Kill, Co Waterford

Now empty and forlorn you watch the seasons come and go
But what care you for summer sun or a fall of winter snow;
The ivy now grows green around your ancient wall,
No music now or song from within your banquet hall,
No noise around you now but the lowing of the cattle.
But if I stand and listen I might hear the sound of battle.

Cromwell came and did lay siege – he attacked and attacked again,
But each attack was bravely met by your mistress and her men;
around your grounds and ramparts the sound of sword and gun.
After many days of battle they had Cromwell on the run.
But then disaster struck and all because of a drink,
no, not the alcoholic kind, but a keg of butter milk.

The chief gunner was dissatisfied, he expected a stronger brew,
So above your battered walls the surrender flag he flew,
Cromwell then gained entry; revenge was in his eyes,
He blew up the castle and your mistress bravely died;
From inside your broken walls smoke curled up to the sky,
No one loves a traitor so Cromwell hung the gunner high.

Now a ruin you gaze across that lonely Annestown bog,
where you watched them haul the turf in summers now long gone.
You tower above the winding road a reminder of the past,
below you now on that same road cars and tractors travel fast,
but you go back for centuries, perhaps you can recall,
when they were no road, but just a path through oak woods big and tall.

In this peaceful valley now the song birds sweetly sing,
The river Ann flows gently by the ruined castle of Dunhill;
And if you pass this way, going to Annestown or Tramore,
As you gaze up at castle you might see the Mistress De La Poer;
Is that her wandering there, where she fought and died so proud,
Or perhaps it’s just a trick of light, the shadow of a passing cloud.

* Tom Power published a book of poems in 2007, “Waterford In Pictures And Verse”, launched at the Arts Centre Dungarvan by Julian Walton. His novel, “The Mysterious John Grey” is available from orders@choicepublishing.ie

Irish Emigrant Trails

Visit Ireland's Emigrant Trail websiteHere at the Power Clan Gathering, we’ve taken a step into family history and have started an exciting new project called “Irish Emigrant Trails“.

Our aim is to assist those of you who are planning a trip to Ireland with your family history, and then, based on the results, develop a trail for you to follow when you get here – either with us as a guide or by yourselves.

By tailoring the trail around the research we do before you arrive, visitors can get right down to it – we aim to find homesteads, grave sites, parishes, villages/towns etc. where possible, all while seeing the wonderful sights Ireland has to offer.

We’d be delighted to hear your feedback on this new project and if we can be of any assistance to anyone planning their next trip (or maybe the first ?), please contact us over at Irish Emigrant Trails … or via Facebook.

As the slogan says, “Come find where it all began …”

Nicknames Competition !

COMPETITION TIME AGAIN in partnership with WLR fm

We want to know your Power Clan nicknames and the stories behind why each branch of the clan was know as such.

There were so many Power families in Waterford and surrounding areas that they had to be differentiated by nicknames … and we’re sure there are some funny or unusual ones about.

For example, one of our committee member’s family is known as”The Mountain Powers” to distinguish them from the Power families who lived at the bottom of the mountain – “The Jeffs” !

So please leave your stories and nicknames in the comments and we’ll give 2 tickets to our Gardenmorris BBQ and Ceilí event on June 2nd to the winner !

12 Marker Y-DNA Special

www.familytreedna.com have just brought in a special offer on the 12 Marker DNA test.

For a limited time Familytreedna (FTDNA) are releasing the 12 marker for the princely sum of $US 39, which is amazing because before it was over $200 !

POWER(S), POOR(E), or POER can also take the test at http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Power . Simply a case of paying by Credit Card or Paypal and the Test kit will land on your doorstep shortly after.

Edermine House, County Wexford

Edermine House, which was built by Sir John Power, of Power Distillery fame, in 1838. This impressive collection of buildings has been described as “possibly the most interesting domestic architectural ensemble in County Wexford.”

edermine

Edermine House, a fine example of the Greek revival style, is a two-storey, three-bay Italianite villa designed by John B. Keane, with a handsome portico formed by Doric columns. There is a five-bay side elevation with a Venetian window.

Edermine, with it’s chapel And splendid Victorian iron conservatory designed by Richard Turner and James Pierce – an extraordinary curvilinear conservatory with a central semi-dome, flanked by plant houses that once housed a grapery and a peachery. The chapel commissioned by Sir James
Power and his wife, Jane, built in the 1850s. Lady Power was a daughter of Pugin’s Irish patron, John Hyacinth Talbot, and the Power family later intermarried with the Cliffe family of Bellvue.

chapelA plaque on the door and a second inside the chapel has led many to believe that the chapel is too late to have been designed by AWN Pugin, and they have ascribed it to either his son, Edward Welby Pugin, or to JJ McCarthy. However, Pat Doyle has long believed that the chapel is an original work by Pugin and that McCarthy merely supervised its later construction, and many contemporary writers believe the intermarriages between the Talbot and Power families underpin the supposition that the chapel was originally designed by the elder Pugin and that the project was supervised either by his son or by McCarthy.

Words and Photographs copyright to and courtesy of Reverend Patrick Comerford, Wexford and Dublin.  With thanks.

Church Records for Waterford

There are lots of surviving church records in Waterford City and County – most of these are available in some for or another on FamilySearch and Ancestry.com but the most comprehensive index as to what records exist can be downloaded here.

As with all records, it is essential to know the place of origin of your ancestor – parish is the most obvious one, as this is how these records are broken down.  Also have a look at this resource from Waterford City Council Library Service, which details other church records available.

Power et.al DNA & History Project

Ever wondered about getting your DNA checked to establish the history of your family ?

Friend of the Power Clan Gathering, Warren C.O. Power, of Melbourne, Australia has set up a project which facilitates just that … Warren explains the ins and outs of the project on the webpage so I won’t go into it here – suffices to say that it’s a great way to find where in the world we all came from and what patterns are in common with others of our surname.

So why not check it out – it’d make a great gift for a male member of your family this Christmas – who knows, it might even throw up a relative or two at next summer’s Power Clan Gathering event !

Genealogy at the National Archives

The website of the National Archives of Ireland should be the first stop for families looking to research early 20th century branches of Powers and other families …

The Censuses of 1901 and 1911 are now completely indexed and available online for free, along with the original returns documents and lots of other supplementary information about our predecessors.  There were 11,112 people with the surname ‘Power’ successfully enumerated in 1901, while just 33 had the surname ‘Powers’.

In further developments, the National Archives has also recently launched two further searchable databases – namely those of the Tithe Applotment Books – These were compiled between 1823 – 1837 in order to determine the amount owing which occupiers of agricultural land over one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland.  It led to quite a controversy at the time, as the de facto religion of the people was Roman Catholicism.  1,491 Powers are listed in Co. Waterford with a further 201 in Co. Wexford and 373 in Co. Kilkenny.

Another interesting addition recently is that of Irish Soldier’s Wills, written by many thousands of Irishmen before they went to serve in World War 1.  The wills are only of those who didn’t make it home.  Some 9 men named Power are listed.

The ‘Power’ surname in the UK

surname

This interesting graphic shows an analysis of the distribution of the Power surname in the UK (2010) – an interesting point to note is that there is a higher concentration of Powers in south Wales than anywhere else on the island.

Hopefully is is clear on the map (opposite) … the areas in blue represent the areas in Britain where the concentration of those with the surname “Power” are located.  The darkest section – those making up 5% or more of the population is in Glamorgan, Wales with a high concentration also around Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Greater London.

Power is the 21st most popular surname in the Vale of Glamorgan, reflecting migration to that area and the wider UK (principally for mining and heavy industries) in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  It is the 45th most popular surname in the Greater London area, which is remarkable when you think about it (7.7 million population).

Statistics from the Office for National Statistics, UK