French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French

Castle ffrench, Galway, Ireland, built by Sir Charles ffrench in 1779

Chart #IREC, ffrench Family of Castle ffrench
Ballinasloe, Galway County, Ireland
formerly Clogher

Last updated by Mara French on 6/19/11. Numbers in brackets [ ] show the source material and refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Send corrections or additions to Mara French. Revised 1989, 2008, 2011.

Note:

This is a very extensive ffrench family. There is so much information online about them that I plan to include only a small part here. I am mainly trying to research the connection of the French and ffrench families born in Ireland who immigrating to America. This family does migrate to America – to Massachusetts in the 20th century; however, it daughters out. There are probably many more connections that I am unaware of. I was able to visit the last Baron ffrench of Castle ffrench in 1996. Mara

Contents

History and Research

History of Castle ffrench

Š      Location of Castle ffrench

Š      Castle ffrench History

Š      Coat of Arms of the ffrench Family of Castle ffrench

Š      Castle ffrench Description

Š      Baron Titles at Castle ffrench

Photos of Castle ffrench
(All photos were contributed by William Medardo Bagliani, owner of Castle ffrench, 2005 – present)

Š      Exterior Photos

Š      Interior Photos

Š      Outer Buildings Photos

Š      Garden and Horse Stables Photos

Genealogy

Š      First Generation

Š      Second Generation

Š      Third Generation

Š      Fourth Generation

Š      Fifth Generation

Š      Sixth Generation

Š      Seventh Generation

Š      Eighth Generation

Š      Ninth Generation

Š      Tenth Generation

Š      Eleventh Generation

Š      Twelfth Generation

Š      Thirteenth Generation

Š      Fourteenth Generation

Š      Fifteenth Generation

Š      Sixteenth Generation

Š      Seventeenth Generation

Surname ffrench in Ireland

Š      Origination of the Surnames ffrench and de Freynes

Š      Ireland Castles Belonging to the ffrench Family

Š      Surname French and ffrench in Ireland

Š      Notes From Mara French’s Trip to Castle ffrench in 1997

Š      Other Ireland Notes on the Surname French

Bibliography

Location of Castle ffrench

The ffrench family of Castle ffrench, the topic of this page, lived 12 miles NW from Ballinasloe where Thomas Ridley French lived (FFA Chart #IREJ), 5 miles North from Ahascargh, 35 miles NE from Galway where Walter ffrench lived (FFA Chart #IRED), 25 miles NE from Monivea where Robert Percy ffrench lived (FFA Chart #IREH)  -- (all in County Galway) -- , and 3 hours by car from either Dublin or Shannon.

Castle ffrench History

At the early stage Castle ffrench was known as Clogher and was owned by an O’Kelly Chieftain. John ffrench who was a son of Edmund, purchased Castle ffrench in 1636. Jasper, son of John, took it over but he was dispossessed of by Cromwell and the estate was given to Dr. Fennell. Jasper ffrench repurchased the estate in 1671 from Ellen Fennell, the doctor’s widow and he rebuilt it. The castle was knocked down to build the new castle. Sir Charles ffrench, who was the Mayor of Galway, became Baron in 1779, and he built the new castle as it stands today. The first castle actually replaced a castle steeping Castle ffrench in history, and the tower still remains today. Sir Charles ffrench died in 1783 and his widow became Baroness. His son did not obtain the title although he was the legal heir, because he was only a practicing Catholic and could not receive a title. When the Baroness died, her son became Baron and his son Charles became the third Baron in 1786. Thomas became the fourth Baron and Martin the fifth. The ffrenches were a highly distinguished and respected family and became very prominent in business and in banking in the early part of the 19th century in County Galway.

Ballinasloe is a little further east on M6. The ffrench family lived in Galway, Monivea, Athenry, Ballinasloe, and Castle ffrench, all the County Galway.

In 1845 Tuam bank, in County Galway, suffered a setback due to the manager’s disappearance. Lord ffrench mortgaged the estate to put the bank back in business in 1850. It was purchased by the Thorngate family and they later sold it to the Churchers. After about fifty years the honourable John ffrench and his wife Lady Sophia ffrench, who was Italian and had such distinguished friends as Pope Pius XI and President Eamon De Valera, purchased Castle ffrench in 1919. Their son Peter Martin Joseph became Baron in 1955 and lived there with his wife, Lady Sophia Cayley ffrench until 1983, when the castle was purchased by John and Elizabeth Mitchell from Loughrea. Peter ffrench died on January 16th 1986. John Mitchell died tragically in a boating accident on Loughrea Lake in 1985. His wife resided in the castle until 1989 when she sold it to an English couple, Leo and Christine Austin, who were movie directors or designers. The castle was sold in 1998 to Bill Bagliani. The castle has been for sale since about 2005 and is still for sale in 2011. Bill built all 16 stables belonging to Castle ffrench according to the stone architecture of the castle. You could own a ffrench castle of royalty; go to http://www.castleffrench.com/.

Coat of Arms of the ffrench Family of Castle ffrench

Coat of Arms: Erm., a chevron, sa. Crest - a dolphin, embowed, ppr. Supporters - Dexter, a falcon, gu., armed, membered, belled, and winges inverted, or; sinister, an unicorn, gu., armed, unglued, crined and tufted, or, holding in the mouth a rose branch, with two red roses thereon. Motto - Majo mori quain foedari; or, Mors potius macula. NOTE: The Coat of Arms for other members of the ffrench family in Ireland, even blood relations to this family, have their own Coat of Arms to differentiate them from the ffrench family of Castle ffrench.

Seat - Castle ffrench, Ballinasloe, co. Galway.

Castle ffrench Description

From William Medardo Bagliani’s website: http://www.castleffrench.com/
This beautiful listed Grade ‘A' manor house is situated amongst century old trees and lawns. 29 rooms, stone walled cobbled courtyard with a 2 apartment guest cottage, 16 stall stable, 8 paddocks and 2 large pastures.  Set in rolling parkland Castle ffrench ranks with Irelands ' outstanding examples of Georgian architecture.  Absolutely one of a kind with its original floor plan, elaborate plasterwork, woodwork and hardware.  Ornate fireplaces and huge bedrooms all being the hallmarks of this very rural country house, which is full of eye-catching features including a barrel vaulted semi-basement, ornate cornicing, marble fireplaces, wooden floors and flagstoned hallway. The castle, as it is known locally, lies a mile up a drive and appears suddenly from through the trees. Built on the site of an earlier castle, Castle ffrench portrays interior plasterwork of a style characteristic to County Galway, with it's delicate naturalistic foliage and flower swags. Foliage and trophies can be seen on the ceiling of the hall whilst Irish harps and other emblems are portrayed in the drawing room frieze. Ř2,750,00 see auctioneer at http://www.ivanconnaughton.com/castleffrench.htm.

A Guide to Irish Country houses describes Castle ffrench as follows: An elegant ashlar-faced house of 3 storeys over a basement, built 1779 by Sir Charles ffrench, Mayor of Galway; replacing a late C17 house on a different site which itself replaced a castle built by the ffrench family soon after they bought the estate in late C16. 5 bay entrance front with 3 bay breakfront, the outer bays being very wide. Fanlighted and pilastered doorcase; solid roof parapet with urns. 3 bay sie; 4 bay rear elevation with twin round-headed windows in the centre, lighting the main and secondary staircases. Interior platerwork of a style characteristic to Co. Galway, with delicate naturalistic foliage and flower swags. Foliage and trophies on ceiling of hall; Irish harps and other emblems in drawing room frieze; flowers, foliage and birds in sideboard alcove of dining room. Doors and shutters of handsome joinery, with octagonal- and lozenge-shaped panels. Slightly curing staircase behind hall with balustrade of plain slender wooden uprights. Early in C19, 2nd Lord ffrench lost a great deal of money owing to the carelessness of the manager of the family bank; the family fortunes suffered a further blow with the Famine, when 3rd Lord ffrench refused to collect any rents from his tenants; so that in 1848 Castle ffrench had to be sold. It was, however, bought back by the parents of the 7th Lord ffrench in 1919 [17].

Baron Titles at Castle ffrench

Baron ffrench of Castle ffrench in the County of Galway is a title in the Peerage of Ireland created in 1798 for Rose, Lady ffrench. She was the widow of Charles ffrench, the 1st Baronet in 1779, the year in which he became a land baron and built a castle. One descendant in each generation held the title of a Baronet or Baron. A Baronet is a member of the lowest hereditary titled British order, with the status of a commoner but able to use the prefix “Sir”. Charles ffrench was the 1st Baron of this family, and the current Baron is the 9th Baron, Baron Robuck Charles ffrench.

This family is descended from the ffrenches of Galway, one of the largest and most important of the Galway Tribe families. The common ancestor of the Barons ffrench and the Barons de Freyne was Walter ffrench who migrated from Wexford and settled in Galway in 1440. He was the Sovereign (Chief Magistraate) of Galway from 1444 to 1445. All Barons and Baronesses were Catholic, although some did not follow this religion.

Lineage - The common ancestor of the BARONS FFRENCH and the BARONS DE FREYNE was WALTER FFRENCH, who migrated from Wexford and settled in the town of Galway 1425. He was Sovereign (Chief Magistrate) of that town 1444 to 1445. See related members of the Irish “ffrench” family.

First Generation

1.1* Walter ffrench, Mayor of Galway.

Walter Ffrench was the founder of the line of the Galway Tribe families [1]. He was from Wexford, Ireland (see FFA Chart #IREA) and left Wexford by 1425. He was sent to Galway in 1425 by King Henry VI, to be a judge, or mediator in an ongoing dispute between the Athy and Blake families. Most of the Athy family killed in 1440, but Walter Ffrench married Mary Athy, the daughter of John Athy, Sovereign (Chief Magistrate) of Galway. By 1444-5 Walter Ffrench was then Sovereign of Galway. Walter died Bef. 1453, from him descended: 1. Nicholas Ffrench m. Elizabeth Browne 2. ROBUCK FFRENCH, 3. James Ffrench, 4. John Ffrench, 5. Julianne Ffrench 6. Mary Ffrench m. John Browne.

Walter French was settled in the town of Galway by at least the year 1440, when his name appears on a writ of Henry VI concerning "divers disputes" which "had previously arisen between John, son of Henry Blake, of Galway, and Henry Lynch, William Lynch, William Blake, Walter French" and several others, including "Walter, the son of John Athy". John Athy was Walter French's father-in-law [1]. Walter French was "Sovereign of Galway", a position roughly equivalent to that of mayor, an office that only came into existence after the Charter granted by Richard III in 1485 [1]. He was Sovereign, or Chief Magistrate of Galway from 1444 to 1445 [1]. Walter French married Mary Athy, daughter of John Athy, Sovereign of Galway 1427-28 [1]. Athy is another one of the tribes of Galway. “A” John Athy, b. ca. 1675, immigrated to Charles Co., MD. He was the son of George Athy of Galway. Walter d. before 1453.

Second Generation

Children of Walter ffrench, 1.1

See FFA Chart #IRED.htm for details on the Galway branch of the ffrench family.

2.1 Nicholas ffrench, m. Elizabeth Browne.

2.2* Robuck ffrench. it was from Robuck Ffrench that came several of the main lines of the family; Sligo, Roscommon, Monivea, and Rahasane. Robuck and his unknown wife had four sons.

2.3 James ffrench.

2.4 John ffrench.

2.5 Julianne ffrench.

2.6 Mary ffrench, m. John Browne.

Third Generation

Children of Robuck ffrench, 2.2

See FFA Chart #IRED.htm for details on the Galway branch of the ffrench family.

3.1 Peter ffrench, Bailiff in 1499.

3.2 Nicholas ffrench, Bailiff in 1500.

3.3 Stephen ffrench, Bailiff in 1511.

3.4* Edmund ffrench, Bailiff in 1509, married leaving a son, John ffrench.

Fourth Generation

Children of Edmund ffrench, 3.4

See FFA Chart #IRED.htm for details on the Galway branch of the ffrench family.

4.4* John ffrench, Mayor of Galway, b. 1489, Mayor of Galway 1538-9, he was known as “Sean an Salainn” or “John of the salt”, as he made his fortune importing salt to Galway. He added the wing to the Church of St. Nicholas, Galway, called "ffrench's Aisle," and built a beautiful side chapel in the Franciscan Abbey in Galway. He also erected the stone building which stood on arches over the river at Galway, called "John ffrench's Chamber." This munificent patron of the church d. 1545, leaving two sons, 1. Dominick and 2. Robuck. John remained in Galway.

Fifth Generation

Children of John ffrench, 4.4

See FFA Chart #IRED.htm for details on the Galway branch of the ffrench family.

5.1 Dominick ffrench [5] of Galway.

5.2* Robuck ffrench, Mayor of Galway [5]. Mayor of Galway 1582-3, d. 27 Jan. 1598 (will dated 27 Jan. 1598, proved 1602), m. Christina Martyn, daughter of George Martyn, leaving issue, two sons, 1. Edmund and 2 Walter [16].

Sixth Generation

Children of Robuck ffrench, 5.2

See FFA Chart #IRED.htm for details on the Galway branch of the ffrench family.

6.1* Edmund ffrench, Mayor of Galway [5]. Mayor of Galway 1606-7, d. about 1618, leaving two sons, Dominick and John [16]. He was of Spiddal.

6.2 Walter ffrench [5]. This line remained in the city of Galway in County Galway; whereas, his brother Edmund’s son moved to Castle ffrench, formerly Clogher.

Seventh Generation

Children of Edmund ffrench, 6.1

This is the first generation of the ffrench family of Ireland who resided in Castle ffrench.

7.1 Dominick ffrench [5], killed at the Battle of Aughrim on 12 Jul 1691. The battle was one of the more bloody recorded fought on Irish soil – over 7,000 people were killed. It meant the effective end of Jacobitism in Ireland, although the city of Limerick held out until the autumn of 1691.

7.2* John ffrench of Clogher, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, purchased Castle ffrench in 1636, the castle and lands of Clogher (now called Castle ffrench) in the Baronies of Kilconnell (just west of Ballinasloe) and Killyan, co. Galway, and d. 1642 [5].

7.3 Martyn ffrench, killed at the Battle of Aughrim on 12 Jul 1691. The battle was one of the more bloody recorded fought on Irish soil – over 7,000 people were killed. It meant the effective end of Jacobitism in Ireland, although the city of Limerick held out until the autumn of 1691.

Eighth Generation

Children of John ffrench, 7.2

8.1* Jasper ffrench of Clogher, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, d. ca. 1683 [5].

He was deprived of his estate in 1655 by the Cromwellian Commissions, who allotted it to Dr. Gerald Fennell and Ellen his wife, dau. and heir of John O'Meagher, of Clonenikeny, co. Tipperary, on their transplantation into Connaught. In 1671, Jasper ffrench repurchased the estate from Ellen the widow, and got a confirmatory grant in 1677 by patent under the Acts of Settlement (patent dated 18 Aug. enrolled 5 Oct. 1677). He rebuilt the castle in 1683, the year in which he died. The tower was not part of the house, but the stone above the tower door says built by Jasper ffrench in 1638. (Photo to come) Some findings indicate that Jaspar may have married Ellen O’Meagher Fennell to obtain the property [16]. He had two sons, 1. Patrick, m. 1 Apr 1676, Barbara, 2nd dau. of Anthony ffrench, of Calla, but d.s.p.v.p. (abbreviation for the latin Phrase, descessit sine prole; died without issue. That is, he left no heirs) and 2. Martin.

8.2 Sir Oliver French, who signed the capitulation of Galway to Cromwell’s forces in 1652, and who d. without issue.

Ninth Generation

Children of Jasper ffrench and Ellen O’Meagher, 8.1

9.1 Patrick ffrench (dvpsp), m. Barbara ffrench, dau of Anthony ffrench of Calla on 1 Apr 1676 [5]. Her relationship to Patrick is unknown.

9.2* Martin ffrench of Clogher, m. the dau of _ Lynch of Levally, and was succeeded by his son, Thomas [5].

Tenth Generation

Children of Martin ffrench, 9.2

10.1* Thomas ffrench of Clogher, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, d. 21 Jul 1755, m. 3 Jun 1717 to Clara Hamilton, dau of Charles Hamilton of Fairfield [5]. His will was dated 14 Mar 1753.

10.2 Agnes ffrench, m. Colonel Dominick Browne, and had son Geoffrey Browne.

Eleventh Generation

Children of Thomas ffrench, 10.1

11.1* Sir Charles ffrench, crowned a Baronet 17 Aug 1779, the 1st Baron of Castle ffrench, first called 1st Baronet of Clogher in 1779, d. 1784 (will dated 11 Jan 1783, proved 20 Oct 1784), m. Rose Dillon of Roscommon on 25 Jun 1761, dau. of Patrick Dillon of Kileen. His widow, Rose, who was descended from the same ancestry as the Earls of Roscommon, was crowned on 12 Mar 1798 by patient Baroness ffrench, of Castle ffrench, Co. Galway with remainder to the heirs male of her body, by her husband Sir Charles ffrench, Bt; she d. 8 Dec 1805. Sir Charles ffrench built Castle ffrench in 1779. Thereafter, he was Mayor of Galway. Clogher was later called Castle ffrench. His son did not obtain the title as Baron although he was the legal heir, because he was only a practicing Catholic and could not receive a title. Before she died on 8 Dec 1805, her son became 2nd Baron and his son Charles became the 3rd Baron in 1786. Thomas became the 4th Baron and Martin the 5th.

Rose Dillon, first dau. of Patrick Dillon of Killeen, Co. Roscommon, by Mary dau. of Anthony Brabazon, of Beagh, co. Roscommon, m. 25 Jun 1761 Charles Ffrench, who was crowned a Baronet, 17 Aug 1779. He d. Jul 1784 at Charleville. Will dated 11 Jan 1783. She was 12 Mar 1798, crowned Baroness Ffrench, of Castle Ffrench, Co. Galway, with rem. of that dignity to the heirs male of her body by her late husband. She d. 8 Dec 1805 in Dublin [21].

Sir Charles ffrench, 1st Bt., of Castle ffrench (otherwise Clogher), co. Galway, Mayor of the town of Galway 177304, was created a Baronet, 17 Aug. 1779. Sir Charles m. 25 June, 1761, Rose, Baroness ffrench, eldest dau. of Patrick Dillon, of Killeen, co. Roscommon.

Sir Charles d. in 1784 (will dated 11 Jan. 1783, proved 20 Oct. 1784), and his widow, DAME ROSE FFRENCH, was advanced to the peerage of Ireland, 12 March, 1798, by the title of BARONESS FFRENCH, of Castle ffrench, co. Galway, with remainder to her issue by her late husband, Sir Charles. The peerage was conferred in consideration of the services rendered to the government during the Vice-Royalty of Lord Westmorland 1790-4, by their only son, Sir Thomas Hamilton ffrench, a leading and influential Mem. of the Catholic Cttee. during that period. GEORGE III's personal objection to the elevation of any catholic to the peerage was the reason of the elevation of the mother (nominally a protestant) instead of the son (a strict catholic). Her ladyship d. 8 Dec. 1805, and was succeeded by her son, SIR THOMAS FFRENCH.

11.2 Anne ffrench, m. Patrick Lynch (Fitzmark) of Galway. He was a merchant and they had issue.

11.3 Jane ffrench, m. Capt. Prendergast.

11.4 Catherine ffrench, m. Thomas Clutterbuck.

11.5 daughter ffrench, m. ____ Darcy of Gurteen.

11.6 Martin ffrench, d. after 1783 and buried in Athenry Abbey on Bridge St., Galway, Dominican friar. The Abbey was founded in 1241 by Meiler (or Meyler) de Bermingham and accidentally burned in 1423. It was built about 200 metres south of Athenry Castle. It was re-built with a central tower and the present northern doorway in 1324, and rebuilt in 1427. Restored in 1638-44, it was declared a university for the Dominican Order by decree of a General Chapter held in Rome. In 1652, however the Cromwellians totally destroyed it.

Martin, a Dominican friar, bur. In Athenry Abbey after 1783.

  Ruins of Athenry Abbey, Co. Galway, 1786

11.7 Mary ffrench, nun.

Twelfth Generation

Children of Sir Charles ffrench and Lady Rose, 11.1

12.1* Thomas Hamilton ffrench, 2nd Baron of Castle ffrench, the only son of Charles and Rose ffrench, b. 1765, d. 9 Dec 1814 (will probated 1 Mar 1815), who had in 1784 succeeded his father as 2nd Bt. His Lordship m. Margaret Redington in 1785, the eldest daughter of Thomas Redington of Kilcornan, Co. Galway, and had issue, Charles Austin ffrench. Lady Margaret d. 7 Dec 1849 [5]. 2nd Lord ffrench lost a great deal of money owing to the carelessness of the manager of the family bank [17].

Thomas Ffrench [21], Baron Ffrench of Castle Ffrench, only son and hier, b. ca. 1765, succeeded his father in the Baronetcy July 1784. He m. May 1785, Margaret, 1st dau. of Thomas Redington, of Kilcornan, Co., Galway, by Sarah, dau. of Christopher Burke of Kilcornan. He d. 9 Dec 1814 at his son’s chambers, at Trinity College, Dublin, having committed suicide by shooting himself. Will dated 9 Dec 1814, proved in England more than 100 years later, Feb 1915. His widow d. 7 Dec 1849, aged 82, at Glenloe. Thomas founded a bank at Tuam, about 1804, under the style of Sir Thomas Ffrench, Bart. and Co. A Branch was opened in Dublin in 1807, but it came to utter grief in 1814 and the money troubles arising from its failure caused him to kill himself [21].

12.2 Clare ffrench, m. Edmund Kelly of Ballyforan [5].

12.3 Catherine ffrench, m1. 3 Dec 1787 to Anthony Brabazon of Birch Grove, Co. Galway and had issue. She m2. Edmund Whitehead in 1804, and d. 10 Jan 1833, having had further issue [5].

12.4 Jane ffrench, m. 18 Jul 1787 to Sir Gonville Bromhead, 1st Baronet in 1806 of Thurlby, Lincolnshire, who was born 20 Sep 1758 and d. in 1822. She d. 2 Sep 1837, having had issue [5]. Their son, Sir Edward Thomas ffrench Bromhead was born in Dublin 26 Mar 1789, the eldest of three sons; there were no daughters.

  Gonville Bromhead (1845-1892) ca. 1872, grandson of Jane and Gonville Bromhead

12.5 Martin ffrench, d. 18 Dec 1793, died unmarried [5].

12.6 Mary ffrench, d. 1784, died unmarried [5].

12.7 Marcella ffrench, d. young [5].

Thirteenth Generation

Children of Sir Thomas ffrench and Lady Margaret Redington, 12.1

13.1* Charles Austin ffrench, 3rd Baron of Castle ffrench, b. 9 Apr 1786, m. 26 Sep 1809, Maria Browne, the dau. of John Browne, of Moyne, Co. Galway, d. 25 Sep 1860 (age 74). Lady Maria d. Jun 1827, eldest dau. of John Browne, of Moyne, Co. Galway. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas ffrench [5]. The family fortunes suffered a blow with the Famine, when 3rd Lord ffrench refused to collect any rents from his tenants; so that in 1848 Castle ffrench had to be sold. It was, however, bought back by the parents of the 6th Lord ffrench in 1919 [17].

Charles Austin Ffrench, Baron Ffrench, of Castle French, first son and heir, b. 9 Apr 1786. He m. 28 Sep 1809 at Salt Hill near Galway, Maria, 1st dau. of  John Browne, of Moyne, Co. Galway, by Margaret, dau. and coh. of John Dolphin, of Turoe, in that county. She d. July 1827. He d. 25 Sep 1860, aged 74, at Tarver Hall, Co. Mayo [21].

13.2 Thomas ffrench, b. Jan 1790, d. 11 Jun 1846, died unmarried [5].

13.3* Martin ffrench, b. Apr 1793, d. 27 Nov 1871, m. 1 Dec 1825 to Margaret Bodkin, dau of Major Thomas Bodkin of Rahoon. Margaret d. 25 Sep 1882, had issue [5]. He held an estate in Co. Galway in his own name.

13.4 Nicholas ffrench, b. Feb 1796, d. 1 Jul 1838, a Clergyman of the Church of Rome, died unmarried on 1 Jul 1838 [5].

13.5 Gonville ffrench of Claremont, Co. Roscommon, b. May 1797, d. 29 Apr 1866, m. Clare Kenney 16 Jul 1823. She d. 12 Oct 1864, the dau. of William Kenney of Kilclogher, Co. Galway and d.s.p. (abbreviation for the latin Phrase, descessit sine prole; died without issue. That is, he left no heirs) on 29 Apr 1866 [5]. He held an estate in his own name in Co. Mayo.

Claremont House is a 'neat modern building', the house was located close to the bank of the River Suck. It was the home of Gonville ffrench and he held it from the D'Arcy family. In the D'Arcy sales rental of May 1851 there is reference to 'the splendid mansion' of Gonville ffrench. Occupied by the Honourable Clarinda ffrench in the 1850s who held the property from the Right Honourable Richard W. Greene, valued at £21. The house is now a ruin.

Gonville ffrench was a younger brother of the 3rd Baron ffrench of Castle ffrench, county Galway. He lived at Claremont, county Roscommon and held lands in county Mayo in the parishes of Kilmainebeg, Kilmainemore and Moorgagagh, barony of Kilmaine, in county Galway in the parishes of Killeroran and Killian, barony of Killian and in county Roscommon in the parishes of Cam and Dysart, barony of Athlone. The lands in the parish of Cam were sold to Sir Thomas ffrench of Castleffrench in November 1792 by Robert Blakely who had bought them the previous July. They later formed part of Gonville ffrench's marriage settlement trust. Some of Gonville ffrench's county Galway estate was held from Nicholas D'Arcy. His interest in county Mayo lands may possibly derive from his mother a Redington of Kilcornan, county Galway, a family who had landed interests in county Mayo. His main tenant and agent was James Fox of Lakefield, Shrule. In 1851 and 1852 his assignee Henry Lyons advertised for sale his estates in counties Mayo and Roscommon, each amounting to just over a thousand acres. Some of the county Mayo estate was bought by William Booth, the Roscommon estate was still in Gonville ffrench's possession at the time of Griffith's Valuation. His interest in the fee farm rent of Gorteens, parish of Moorgagagh, barony of Kilmaine, was sold by his assignees in 1867. Gonville ffrench married Clare or Clarinda Kenney of Kilclogher, county Galway. They had no children and the ffrench interest in Claremont appears to have been inherited by Gonville's nephew Edward Thomas ffrench Beytagh of Cappagh, county Galway. Claremont on 181 acres was advertised for sale in November 1885. See: http://www.landedestates.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/family-list.jsp?letter=F

13.6 Sarah ffrench, m. 14 Oct 1810 (double wedding ceremony with sister) Edward J. Beytagh of Cappagh, Co. Galway. She d. 19 Mar 1832 [5].

13.7 Rose ffrench, m. 14 Oct 1810 (double wedding ceremony with sister) Edward Francis Blake Forster or Foster of Ashfield, Co., Galway. She d. 12 Dec 1857 [5]. He d. 13 Dec 1867.

13.8 Margaret ffrench, died unmarried [5].

Fourteenth Generation

Children of Sir Charles Austin ffrench and Lady Maria (Brown), 13.1

14.1 Thomas ffrench, 4th Baron of Castle ffrench, b. 13 Sep 1810, succeeded his father, m. 18 Oct 1851 Mary Anne Thompson of Stansty Hall, Denbighshire, who d. 3 Jun 1906, dau. and heiress of Richard Thompson of Stansty Hall, Wrexham. Sir Thomas ffrench d. 20 Jan 1892 (age 81). Denbighshire is a county in North Wales. They had issue, a daughter, and he was succeeded by his brother, Sir Martin ffrench.

We regret very much to have to announce the death of Lord ffrench, fourth baron of the name, which took place on Tuesday January 19, at his residence, Elm Park, Merrion. He fell a victim after a brief and severe illness, to the all-prevailing and daily more' fatal influenza epidemic, complicated in his case by congestion of the lungs. Sir George Porter and Dr M. A. Boyd were in attendance almost from the first, and all that medical skill and care could do was vainly exhausted in his behalf. Lord ffrench was an old man being in his eighty-second year. He was born on September 13, 1810, and succeeded to the title in 1860. He was a D.L. and a J.P for Galway, and in 1857 he married the only daughter and heiress of the late Richard Thompson, Esq, Stanesty, Wrexbam. There was no issue of the marriage, and it would appear that the Hon Martin Joseph ffrench, his brother, barrister, and J.P. for Dublin and Galway, will succeed to the title and the property.

Thomas Ffrench [21], Baron Ffrench of Castle Ffrench, first son and heir, b. 13 Sep 1810. He m. 18 Oct 1851, Mary Anne, only dau. and heir of Richard Thompson, of Stansty Hall, Co. Denbigh. He d. 20 Jan 1892 of influenza at Elm Park, Co. Dublin, aged 81. His widow d. in Dublin 3 Jun 1906. Will proved Dec 1906 with over 34,000 pounds [21].

THOMAS, 4th Baron ffrench, D.LK., b. 13 Sept. 1810, m. 18 Oct. 1851, Mary Anne (d.3 June, 1906), only dau. and heiress of Richard Thompson, of Stansty Hall Denbighshire, and had issue, a dau. He d. 20 Jan. 1892, and was succeeded by his brother, MARTIN JOSEPH.

14.2 John ffrench, in Holy Orders of the Church of Rome, b. 5 Aug 1812, d. at Rome, 31 May 1873.

14.3* Martin Joseph ffrench, 5th Baron of Castle ffrench, b. 1 Oct 1813; Resident Magistrate for Co. Tipperary 1846-82, m. 2 Jul 1862 Catherine Mary Anne O’Shaughnessy, who d. 1908, only dau. of John O'Shaughnessy, of Birchgrove, Co. Roscommon. Martin d. 2 Nov 1893 (age 80). Sir Martin ffrench succeeded his brother Thomas ffrench 1846 to 1882. Sir Martin ffrench was succeeded by his son, Sir Charles ffrench.

Martin Joseph ffrencb, who is himself an old man, has, however, sons to succeed him in the inheritance, the eldest of whom, we understand, is at present a law student, and is at the same time reading for honours in Trinity having been previously educated at Clongowes. The entire family is Catholic, and has shown a certain sympathy with Irish popular movements, which is not usual among the Irish aristocracy. The late lord was from the first an honest and earnest Home Ruler. He expressed his views clearly and boldly in a famous letter that he wrote to Isaac Butt at the very inception of the movement. From those views he never wavered. He was a member of the committee formed to give a worthy reception to this Marquis of Bipon and Mr. Morley when they came as English Home Rule delegates to the Irish metropolis.

Martin Joseph Ffrench [21], Baron Ffrench of Castle Ffrench, next surv. br. and heir, being 3rd son of the 3rd Baron (third generation), was b. 1 Oct 1813, Barrister 1841, resident magistrate for Co. Tipperary 1846-82. He m. 2 Jul 1862 Catherine Mary Anne, only dau. of John O’Shaughnessy, of Birchgrove, Co. Roscommon, by Ellen, dau. of Anthony Brabazon, of Birchgrove. He d. 2 Nov 1893 at Blackrock, Dublin, aged 80 [21].

MARTIN JOSEPH, 5th Baron ffrench, Barrister-at-law, J.P. Resident Magistrate, co. Tipperary, 1846 to 1882, b. 1 Oct. 1813, m. 2 July, 1862, Catherine Mary Anne (d. 6 March, 1908), only dau. of John O'Shaughnessy, of Birchgrove, Galway, by his wife Ellen, dau. of Anthony Brabazon, of Birchgrove, and his wife Catherine, dau. of Sir Charles ffrench, 1st Bt. (see above), and had issue.

14.4 Margaret ffrench, m. 7 Jan. 1836, Valentine O'Connor Blake, of Tower Hill, co. Mayo, and d. 16 July, 1869. He d. 9 Aug. 1879.

Children of Martin ffrench and Margaret (Bodkin), 14.3

14.5* Thomas ffrench, b. Jan. 1833, m. Mar 1859, Victoria (who m. 2ndly, Major-Gen. Andrew Browne, C.B., who d. 8 April, 1883, and had issue), dau. of Maurice Blake, of Ballinafad, co. Mayo, and d.s.p. (abbreviation for the latin Phrase, descessit sine prole; died without issue. That is, he left no heirs) on 30 May, 1859.


14.6 Josephine ffrench, m. 1872, Walter Eakins, of Richmond Spa, Well Road, Wexford, and had issue.


14.7 Anne ffrench, m. 10 July, 1865, Michael Joseph Chevers, of Killyan, co. Galway, and d. 8 Oct. 1808. He d. 10 April, 1889.


Fifteenth Generation

Children of Sir Martin Joseph ffrench and Lady Catherine Mary Anne (O’Shanghnessy), 14.3

15.1* Charles Austin Thomas Robert John Joseph ffrench, 6th Baron of Castle ffrench, b. 20 Jun 1868, m1. 1 Sep 1892, Mary Margaret Corbally of Rathbeale Hall, Swords, County Dublin, Ireland. She d. 27 May 1944, the dau. of Matthew J. Corbally. Charles ffrench d. 4 Mar 1955 (age 86). He m2. Catherine Elizabeth Nixon on 8 Jun 1951. She was the dau. of Rt. Hon. Sir Christopher John Nixon. She d. 25 Jul 1960. Sir Charles ffrench d. 4 Mar 1955. They had issue, only a daughter; therefore, he was succeeded by his nephew.

Charles Austin Thomas Robert John Joseph Ffrench, Baron Ffrench of Castle French, also a Baronet, first son and heir, b. 20 Jun 1868. He m. 1 Sep 1892 Mary Margaret, dau. of Matthew James Corbally.

15.2* John Martin Valentine Joseph ffrench, Capt. Late 7th (Service) Bn. Leinster Regt., a Kt. of Malta 1932, b. 19 Jul 1872, m. 27 Mar 1915, Sophia Brambilla of Castle ffrench, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, the youngest dau. of the late Giovanni Brambilla, of Villa Sucota, Como, Italy. Sir John ffrench d. 7 Mar 1946 (before his brother) leaving issue.

The family fortunes suffered a blow with the Famine, when 3rd Lord ffrench refused to collect any rents from his tenants; so that in 1848 Castle ffrench had to be sold. It was, however, bought back by the parents of the 6th Lord ffrench in 1919 [17]. He and Lady ffrench rebought Castle ffrench back into the ffrench family in 1919.

After about fifty years of Castle ffrench not being in the hands of the ffrench family, the honourable John ffrench and his wife Lady Sophia ffrench, who was Italian and had such distinguished friends as Pope Pius XI and President Eamon De Valera, purchased Castle ffrench in 1919. Their son Peter Martin Joseph became Baron in 1955 and lived there with his wife, Lady Sophia Cayley ffrench until 1983, when the castle was purchased by John and Elizabeth Mitchell from Loughrea. Peter ffrench died on January 16th 1986. John Mitchell died tragically in a boating accident on Loughrea Lake in 1985. His wife resided in the castle until 1989 when she sold it to an English couple, Leo and Christine Austin, who were movie directors or designers. The castle was sold in 1998 to Bill Bagliani.

John Martin Valentine Joseph, Capt. Late 7th (Service) Bn. Leinster Regt., a Kt. Of Malta 1932, b. 19 July, 1872, m. 27 March, 1915, o Sophia (Castle ffrench, Ballinasloe, co. Galway), yst. dau. of late Giovanni Brambilla, of Villa Sucota, Como, Italy, and d. 7 May, 1946, leaving issue.

Children of Thomas ffrench and Victoria Blake, 14.5

15.3 Ellen Mary Anne Josephine ffrench, a nun, d. 29 Sept. 1918.

15.4 Maria Anne Josephine Catherine ffrench, a nun, d. 1928.

15.5 Frances Catherine Mary Josephine ffrench, d. unm. 28 Aug. 1940.

15.6 Margaret Elizabeth Mary Anne Josephine ffrench, d. unm. 18 Sept. 1945.

Sixteenth Generation

Child of Baron Charles ffrench, 15.1

16.1 Sophia ffrench, b. ca. 1892, d. age 94 in 1986.

(not sure the next son goes here)

Martin Joseph Mathew ffrench, b. 26 Jul 1893, d. 26 Jan. 1894. He m. 2ndly, 8 June, 1951, Catherine Elizabeth (d. 25 July, 1960), yst. dau. of Rt. Hon. Sir Christopher John Nixon, 1st Bt., P.C., M.D., LL.D., and d.s.p.m.s., (abbreviation for the latin Phrase, descessit sine prole mascula superstite; died without issue surviving male issue. That is, he left no heirs) on 4 March, 1955, when he was succeeded by his nephew.

Children of Sir John (Jack) ffrench and Sophia Brambilla, 15.2

16.2 Freida Dora Katherine Mary Josephine ffrench, b. 24 Mar 1916, m. 30 Nov 1946 to Hans Vajda of Budapest, Hungary, the Honorable Mrs. Hans Vajda, lives presently at #16 Wakefield Rd., Tottenham, London N15, England. They have issue.

16.3 Katherine Mary Margaret Frances Josephine ffrench, b. 25 Jun 1917, The Honorable Mrs. C. V. Banon, m. 17 Dec 1935 Lieut. Christopher Valerio Edward Paul Banon, RN, eldest son of late Christopher Banon, of Broughall Castle, Kilcormack, King's County, and has issue. They live presently at the Carrig House, Mt. William Rd., Lancefield 3435, Victoria, Australia. They had issue, Christopher Benedict Edward Patrick Fitzsomon (Carrig, Mount William Rd., Lancefield 3435, Victoria, Australia), b. 1943; Susan Anne Katherine, b. 1940, d. 1980; Camilla Mary Rose (25 Pakenham St. Blackburn, Victoria, Australia), b. 1947, Clemency Mary Katherine, b. 1957. Residence Carrig, Mount William Rd., Lancefield 3435, Victoria, Australia.

16.4 Ellie (Ellinor) Frances Anna-Maria Josephine ffrench, b. 1 Dec 1918, m. 14 Dec 1946, Thomas Anderson Courtney Agnew (Kilcolgan Castle, Kilcolgan, co. Galway). The Honorable Mrs. Agnew, m. Agnew, lives presently at Cregmore Ardrahan, County Galway, Ireland. No issue. Ellie was living in 2008.

16.5* Peter Martin Joseph Charles John Mary ffrench, 7th Baron of Castle ffrench, a Baronet, b. 2 May 1926, d. 16 Jan 1986 (age 60), m. Katherine Sonia Cayley (Lady ffrench or Baroness ffrench) on 5 Aug 1954. She was b. in 1926 and now lives in Cushmore, County Kilkenny, Ireland, the second daughter of late Maj Digby Coddington Cayley, J.P., late King's Own Borderes of Rougham Chantry, Bury St Edmunds. Baron Peter ffrench succeeded his uncle, Baron Charles ffrench, in 1955 when he died.

Peter Martin Joseph became Baron in 1955 and lived in Castle ffrench with his wife, Lady Sophia Cayley ffrench until 1983, when the castle was purchased by John and Elizabeth Mitchell from Loughrea. Peter ffrench died on January 16th 1986. John Mitchell died tragically in a boating accident on Loughrea Lake in 1985. His wife resided in the castle until 1989 when she sold it to an English couple, Leo and Christine Austin, who were movie directors or designers. The castle was sold in 1998 to Bill Bagliani, who still owns it in 2011.

16.6* John Charles Mary Joseph Francis ffrench, b. 5 Oct 1928 in Ballyraine House, Arklow, Co. Wicklow (near Dublin), m. 1963 to Sara-Primm Turner, dau. of James A. Turner of Stockbridge, MA. They live at West Main St., Stockbridge, MA (413) 298-3795. They met in Florence, Italy, where both were studying ceramics and lived in the Villa Fabricotti, an international student house. Both John and Primm were art teachers at the high school in Stockbridge, MA. Their three daughters were all born in Ireland, but are U.S. citizens. I (Mara) visited this family various times in Stockbridge, MA, and at their summer home and art gallery in Kinvara, Galway. For many years, the entire family produced a large silkscreen calendar at the Dolphin Studio in Stockbridge, MA, named after the dolphin that represents the ffrench coat of arms. John d. 22 Jan 2010 in Stockbridge, MA, at age 81 of cancer.

 

John ffrench and Primm ffrench

John’s Artwork

See website about his artwork: http://www.wilsonart.com/design/statement/viewarticle.asp?articleid=267 and http://www.thekennygallery.ie/artists/ffrenchjohn/apersonaljourneypressrelease.shtml and http://www.thekennygallery.ie/gallery/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=548&Itemid=2

The artwork of John ffrench portrays a happy world filled with fanciful patterns, playful animals and peaceful humans. Ornate birds fill the sky and jeweled fish swim in the seas. Humans are simple creatures smiling without malice like in the ancient Mediterranean world.

John ffrench (written in the proper Norman fashion with two small f’s) credited with introducing color into Irish Ceramics at the famed Arklow Pottery Studio, was born in Dublin in the 1930s to Irish and Italian parents. He studied at the National College of Art and Design, as well as the Instituto Statale D’Arte in Florence.  Having worked at the Brogi Studio in Florence, the Ring Ceramic studio in Kilkenny and the West Bengal Design Studio in Calcutta, his career is as colorful as his artwork. ffrench now divides his time between his two studios in Galway Ireland and Massachusetts.

Obituaries

From the Galway Advertiser, January 28, 2010

The many friends of artist John ffrench, in Ireland, the United States, and around the world, will have heard the news of his death on Friday (January 22) at the age of 81, with a deep sense of loss.

Not only was he one of Ireland’s finest contemporary ceramic artists, but he was a man of exceptional personal qualities. Possessing warmth, kindness, and gift for friendship, as well as an almost old-fashioned sense of courtesy, he was also, like Chaucer’s Clerk of Oxford, a gifted teacher, “and gladly would he teach and gladly learn”. Anyone who knew him will miss so much his delightful smile and hearty laugh, his sometimes impish sense of humour, and, perhaps above all, his passion for life and his love of beauty.

Although born in Dublin, he grew up at Castle ffrench near Ahascragh, Ballinasloe. His first formal schooling in art was at the National College of Art in Dublin. After he had completed his studies, he decided to specialise in ceramics, which was not taught at the college at that time. So he went to Florence where he attended the Instituto Statale D'Arte for almost three years, after which he worked as an apprentice in the Brogi Studio for a further four years.

Many years ago, when I first got to know John, he told me what a marvellous experience it was to study in this wonderful city.

"I studied the history of art, and what was so wonderful was that so many of the things the professors would talk about were literally around the corner. I worked in a little studio belonging to a Florentine potter and learned from him. The Instituto Statale was a wonderful school because it was really established for the children of the different art guild members in Florence. Every sort of art was taught - weaving, block-printing, gold-smithing and silversmithing."

Instituto statale d-Arte, Florence, Italy

As he grew in both skill and confidence, he began sending pieces back to Ireland to Victor Waddington, who at that time had the most important and influential gallery in Dublin, and the only one who had international connections. When he eventually returned to Ireland, John worked with Peter Brennan at the Ring Ceramic Studio in Kilkenny for a few years before going back to Florence. At that point he received an invitation to go to India by an organisation that had been inspired by the ideal of Mahatma Gandhi, that villages ought to be as self-sufficient as possible - although he later admitted he had learned more than he had taught. He eventually spent three years in India and exhibited work in The West Bengal Design Centre in Calcutta.

Back in Ireland he returned to Kilkenny, working again with Peter Brennan. Unfortunately Victor Waddington decided to sell his Dublin studio, which immediately created an enormous gap for potters who wished to exhibit their work. However John was fortunate in being able to exhibit his work in Switzers and Brown Thomas. At that stage another bit of good fortune came his way when he was offered a job in Arklow by Bill Walsh, who was then the head of Coras Trachtala, and there helped establish the famous Arklow Pottery Studio.

In 1969 John was offered a teaching position at the Berkshire Hills School in Great Barrington, Massachussetts, where he taught ceramics and textile design. So he and Primm, his wife, also a fine artist, moved to the United States, and settled in the lovely New England town of Stockbridge, where they raised their three daughters, Felicitas, Crispina, and Sofia. There he founded The Dolphin Studios, and from it came over the years the beautiful calendars, each month illustrated with an original silk-screen print, designed initially by John and Primm, but as their family grew, eventually including prints by other members of the family.

John retired from teaching in the early 1990s, and in the years that followed continued to work and exhibit both in the United States and Ireland. In 2007 the Craft Council of Ireland honoured this pioneer of contemporary ceramics with a major retrospective exhibition in Kilkenny, A Life of Colour - John ffrench, Irish ceramic Artist, A Retrospective Exhibition 1951-2007.

I first came to know John and Primm after he bought a house not far from where I live in Kinvara, and their return each summer, from June to late August, became one of the quiet pleasures to which I looked forward. You could always tell when he was back in residence because you would see him bent over or kneeling to weed his lovely garden or bed plants. Over many years I came to value John as one of the most remarkable people I knew. His conversation was wide-ranging, full of delightful anecdotes, and passionate. A life-long liberal, he was absolutely thrilled with the election of Barack Obama.

Colour was the keynote of John ffrench’s work – bold primary colours. There was much talk locally after he painted the roof of the studio next to his house a bright canary yellow, and it became a kind of reference point in the area – “You take the turn after the yellow roof”, I remember someone saying. And his pots, dishes, ceramic wall-hangings, batiks and silk-screen works (these last taught to him by Primm) are a delight to the eye. Influenced by Miro, Matisse and the cubist paintings of Braque and Picasso, during the 1950s some critics failed to appreciate his decisive modernism. The great Myles na Gopaleen once described some of his pieces as ‘tortured ashtrays at three guineas apiece’.

John ffrench’s work was imbued with the wisdom of the true ‘maker’, in its original sense of "one who makes, fashions, constructs". I remember when I interviewed him for an exhibition at Kennys in 1997, I read to him something written by the art critic Brian Keeble - "To make something by hand is a slow process, it requires commitment, patience, aptitude and skill such as is only gained over a long period of gradual mastery, during which the character of the maker is also formed."

John ffrench was a fine artist and very special person. It was a privilege to know him, and his wife Primm. I shall miss him deeply, as will all those who were touched by him during his long and productive life.

From the Kenny Gallery in Galway, Ireland

Born in Dublin in 1928, John studied at the National College of Art and Design and the Istituto Statale D'Arte in Florence. This distinguished artist, whose ancestral home was Castle ffrench near Ballinasloe first exhibited his paintings and pottery in 1948. Since then his remarkable career has led to a considerable international reputation.

The artist has worked in the Brogi Studio, Florence; the Ring Ceramic Studio, Kilkenny; The West Bengal Design Studio, Calcutta and the Dolphin Studio in Massachusetts. He has exhibited in Dublin, Florence, Calcutta, Reykjavik, New York, Frankfort and many other places.

One of the pioneers of studio pottery in this country, John founded Arklow Studio Pottery in 1962, and in later years established his own ceramic studio near Kinvara in County Galway. He also taught ceramics for many years before his retirement.

From the Berkshire Eagle Newspaper, January 26, 2010

1928-2010 STOCKBRIDGE John ffrench, 81, died of cancer at home in Stockbridge surrounded by family on Friday, Jan. 22, 2010.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Oct. 5, 1928, to Jack ffrench and Sofia Brambilla ffrench, John grew up in his ancestral home, Castle ffrench in Co. Galway Ireland.

He studied in Dublin and Florence Italy where he kept a studio for several years exhibiting and selling his ceramics. When he returned to Ireland he became a partner in The Ring Ceramic Studio.

In 1957 he went to India to teach and work as a potter in Calcutta. He also traveled widely to collect folk art for the Design Center of West Bengal for the three years he spent in India.

His ceramic work was influenced by his love of color, design and pattern with which he was surrounded in Italy and India as well as many other travel destinations.

John was hired to establish Arklow Studio Pottery by the Irish government to initiative improved design in Irish industry. He was the leading pioneer of contemporary Irish ceramics and honored by Eircom with an hour-long television broadcast documentary on his life in 2008.

In 1969 John and his family moved to Stockbridge, where he and his wife founded The Dolphin Studio and taught Art at Monument Mountain Regional HS until 1992. The Dolphin Studio is known for hand screened calendars designed and printed by the ffrench family - a tradition that will continue.

Since his retirement from teaching, John ffrench divided his time between Stockbridge and Nogra, near Kinvara in Co. Galway Ireland. He was a prolific maker with well-outfitted studios in both locations where he spent many hours creating organically shaped pottery in brightly colored patterns. This pizzazz was reflected in his dress with many a brightly colored outfit of stripes and polka dots.

In 2007 The Craft Council of Ireland selected John as the subject for their first ever lifetime achievement exhibition at their national headquarters gallery in Kilkenny where they hosted a sold-out month-long retrospective of his work. In 2008 'A Life In Colour', an hour-long documentary film of his life and work was shown nationally on Irish television.

John loved poetry, travel, all kinds of music and books. He was a gregarious, great storyteller exuding fun and cheer. His flower gardens will continue to be a delight to behold. He was a joyful man, kind, generous, thoughtful, caring and supportive of young people.

He leaves his wife, Primm; their three daughters, Felicitas ffrench, Crispina Swindlehurst, and Sofia Hughes; four grandchildren, Ben Paley, Lily Hughes, Lucy and Violet Swindlehurst, and his sister, Ellie Agnew of Ardrahan, Co. Galway.

FUNERAL NOTICE: His funeral will take place on Friday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph's on Elm St. in Stockbridge with a luncheon at Crissey Farm to follow.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Art Department at Monument Mountain Reg. HS or to Hospice Care of the Berkshires.

Seventeenth Generation

Children of Sir Peter ffrench and Lady Sonia, 16.5

17.1 Robuck Charles ffrench. Robuck John Peter Charles Mario ffrench, 8th Baron and 9th Baronet: b. 14 Mar 1956, succeeded in 1986; ed Ampleforth, and Blackrock, Co. Dublin: m. 1987 Dorthe Marie-Louise, dau. of Capt. Wilhelm Schauer of Zurich, Switzerland, and has issue: Tara Else Sofia Eleonora ffrench, b. 1993 [6]. No male heirs, thus ending the rein of barons.

I (Mara) visited Robuck and his wife in 1997. They had lived at Castle ffrench previously, but they moved to another castle about 5 miles NW after losing all their wealth. It is far off the main road and cannot be seen from the street. You enter through a large iron gate. There were 2 families interested in buying the castle. The day that Robuck bought it, he felt sure that the other potential buyer burnt it down. It was not yet insured. All that stands of the castle are the stone walls; all wooden floors of the 3-story castle plus the roof were burnt, leaving only the stone walls. Robuck and his family have lived ever since in the maid’s quarters next to the castle. They are very nice quarters, and because they hadn’t moved their furniture yet into the castle before it burnt, their quarters have lovely antique pieces. Their daughter at age 3 served me cookies while I hand-copied some information about their family. I wished I had had a copy machine. I have more to add, plus photos, when I get a chance. Robuck says he is the last Baron ffrench in the area. He lives at Clonbrock House, Ahascragh, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, phone: 090-9688823 or 090-9688590 [14]. To get to Clonbrock Demesne, take R358 north of Ahascragh and past Sleve, Southpark, and Kilglass. The castle is just before Ballybaun on the left.

Robert Dillon, afterwards 1st Lord Clonbrock, built Clonbrock House near Ahascragh in County Galway, between 1780 and 1788. It was designed by William Leeson and was built to replace the old castle which remained intact until 1807 when it was accidentally burned in a fire that resulted from a fireworks display on the estate to celebrate the birth of the 2nd Lord Clonbrock’s son and heir. The following is part of the entry for the house in Mark Bence Jones’ A guide to Irish country houses (revised ed. London, 1988), written before it was accidentally burned by fire in the 1994: 7 bay entrance front with 3 bay pedimented breakfront; doorway with blocked engaged Tuscan columns and entablature. A single-storey Doric portico by John Hampton was added ca 1824; while in 1855 3rd Baron added a singlestorey 2 bay bow-ended wing to the right of the entrance front, which is balanced by a single-storey wing on the left hand side, thought the two do not match. Good interior plasterwork of the 1780s, in the manner of Michael Stapleton. Classical medallions and husk ornament also on the walls of the staircase hall, at the inner end of which stood a splendid organ in a mahogany case surmounted by a baron’s coronet…. Stone staircase with balustrade of brass uprights. Large drawing room with coved ceiling and modillion cornice in 1855 wing opening with double doors into a smaller drawing room in the main block, to form what is in effect one long room; which, a few years ago, still had a delightful early-Victorian character; with a grey watered silk wallpaper and curtains of cream and faded pink as a background to the glitter of 2 crystal chandeliers and of the many gilt frames of the pictures and of the mirror over the fine statuary marble chimneypiece. When the room was being fitted up, 3rd Baron’s son, who at the time was a young diplomat in Vienna, wrote home to give instructions on how the floor was to be laid, so that it might be suitable for dancing the latest waltzes [17]. Website:
http://www.askaboutireland.ie/resources/Clonbrock_HistoryOfABigHouse.pdf

17.2 Rose Katherine Iris Mary ffrench or the Honorable Rose Sophia Iris Mary ffrench, Regensburg, Germany. Hon Rose Sophia Iris Mary, b. 27 Jan 1957, m. 1989, Dr. Albert Alois Fuchs or Dr. Albert Alois Fuchs, only son of late Albert Alois Fuchs, of Pocking, Bavaria, and has issue, Julia Katherina Sonia Mariele, b. 1992.

17.3 Clare Katherine Grace Mary ffrench, b. 18 Jul 1958, m. 1989, Alexander Timothy Joynson, Jr., son of William, R. H. Joynson, of Hyam, Malmesbury, Wilts, and has issue, Peter William, b. 1994.

Children of John Charles and Primm ffrench, 16.6

17.4 Johanna Felicitas ffrench (known as Felicitas), b. 1964 in Ireland, immigrated to Stockbridge, MA in 1970. She attended local schools and finished secondary school in London. She went to California and graduated from U.C. Berkeley after having her junior year in Trinity College, Dublin. She majored in English Literature. She then went to Stanford Law School and worked in Law until the multiple sclerosis she contracted prior to attending Berkeley became aggressive. Her M.S. has progressed to the point of her becoming incapacitated, but she is still very much a part of the family and lives nearby.

Stanford University News Release, 15 Apr 1993, 1993, Palo Alto, California. Kennedy Public Service Summer Fellows named: Beth Cohn and Felicitas Ffrench, both first-year law students, will create the HIV and AIDS Legal Service Program that will provide assistance to HIV-positive East Palo Alto residents in applying for Social Security benefits and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.

17.5 Teodora Crispina ffrench (known as Crispina), b. 1965 in Ireland immigrated to Stockbridge, MA in 1970. She studied weaving in Vancouver and at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. After graduating she started her own business, Crispina Designs, making toys, blankets, pillows, pot-holder carpets and some clothing, all from recycled woolen sweaters and/or blue jeans. See her website www.crispina.com. She married Chris Swindlehurst and they have two baby girls, Lucy and Violet. They all presently live in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Ben Paley, Crispina's first-born, was 14 in 2008 and has designed calendar months for several years.

   Crispina ffrench

17.6 Dorcas Sofia ffrench (known as Sofia), b. 12 Dec 1967 in Ireland, immigrated to Stockbridge, MA in 1970, living in Boston, MA, in 1996, and probably living in 2011 in Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., MA. She is married to Pat Hughes and lives just around the corner from us with their daughter Lily Rose. Sofia attended Keene State College in Keene, N.H. and then got her masters from Lesley College in Boston, studying Early Childhood Education, and is now teaching kindergarten in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Lily, now 8 in 2008, has designed calendar months since she was 4 years old (a record for our family).

The 7th Baron ffrench

The following website is added below in case it disappears from the internet: http://www.brabazonarchive.com/Pages/The%207th%20Baron%20ffrench.htm. The British tend to number their ancestors using a set of numbers for the sons and another set of numbers for the daughters; hence, you may find the number “1” twice within the same family. This information has been copied into the genealogy above.

The 7th Baron ffrench (Sir Peter Martin Joseph Charles John ffrench), of Castle ffrench, co. Galway, in Ireland, and a Baronet, b. 2 May, 1926, s. his uncle 1955, m. 5 Aug. 1954, o Katherine Sonia, 2nd dau. of Digby Coddington Cayley, J.P., of Rougham Chantry, Bury St Edmunds (see CAYLEY, Bt.), and has issue,

1 ROBUCK JOHN PETER CHARLES MARIO, b. 14 March, 1956.
1.Rose Sofia Iris Mary, b. 27 Jan. 1957.
2 Clare Katherine Grace Mary, b. 18 July, 1958.

Lineage - The common ancestor of the BARONS FFRENCH and the BARONS DE FREYNE was WALTER FFRENCH, who migrated from Wexford and settled in the town of Galway 1425. He was Sovereign (Chief Magistrate) of that town 1444 to 1445. From him descended,

JOHN FFRENCH, Mayor of Galway 1538-9, added the wing to the Church of St. Nicholas, Galway, called "ffrench's Aisle," and built a beautiful side chapel in the Franciscan Abbey in Galway. He also erected the stone building which stood on arches over the river at Galway, called "John ffrench's Chamber." This munificent patron of the church d. 1545, leaving two sons, 1. Dominick and 2. ROBUCK. The yr. son,

ROBUCK FFRENCH, Mayor of Galway 1582-3, d. 27 Jan. 1598 (will dated 27 Jan. 1598, proved 1602), leaving issue, two sons, 1. EDMUND and 2 Walter. The elder son,

EDMUND FFRENCH, Mayor of Galway 1606-7, d. about 1618, leaving two sons, 1. Dominick and 2. JOHN. The yr. son,

JOHN FFRENCH, purchased before 1636, the castle and lands of Clogher (now called Castle ffrench) in the Baronies of Kilconnell and Killyan, co. Galway, and d. 1642, leaving a son,

JASPER FFRENCH, of Clogher, was deprived of his estate in 1655 by the Cromwellian Commissions, who allotted it to Dr. Gerald Fennell and Ellen his wife, dau. and heir of John O'Meagher, of Clonenikeny, co. Tipperary, on their transplantation into Connaught. In 1671, Jasper ffrench repurchased the estate from Ellen the widow, and got a confirmatory grant in 1677 by patent under the Acts of Settlement (patent dated 18 Aug. enrolled 5 Oct. 1677). He rebuilt the caslte in 1683. He had two sons, 1. Patrick, m. 1 April, 1676, Barbara, 2nd dau. of Anthony ffrench, of Calla, but d.s.p.v.p. (abbreviation for the latin Phrase, descessit sine prole; died without issue. That is, he left no heirs) and 2. MARTIN. The yr. son,

MARTIN FFRENCH, of Clogher, m. the dau. of Lynch, of Levally, and was s. by his son,

THOMAS FFRENCH, of Clogher, m. 8 June, 1717, Clara, dau. of Charles Hamilton, of Fairfield, co. Galway, and d. 21 July, 1755 (will dated 14 March, 1753), leaving with other issue,

1. Martin, a Dominican friar, bur. In Athenry Abbey after 1783.


2. CHARLES (Sir), 1st Bt.


1. Anne, m. Patrick Lynch (Fitzmark), of Galway, merchant, and had issue

The 2nd son,

Sir Charles ffrench, 1st Bt., of Castle ffrench (otherwise Clogher), co. Galway, Mayor of the town of Galway 1773-4, was created a Baronet, 17 Aug. 1779. Sir Charles m. 25 June, 1761, Rose, Baroness ffrench, eldest dau. of Patrick Dillon, of Killeen, co. Roscommon and had, with other issue,

1. THOMAS HAMILTON, 2nd Baron.


1. Catherine, m. 1stly (sett. Dated 3 Dec. 1787), Anthony Brabazon, of Birch Grove, co. Galway, and had issue. She m. 2ndly, 1804, Edmund Whitehead, and d. 10 Jan. 1833, having had further issue.


2. Jane, m. 18 July, 1787, Sir Gonville Bromhead, 1st Bt., and d. 2 Sept. 1837, having had issue. He d. 1822.

Sir Charles d. in 1784 (will dated 11 Jan. 1783, proved 20 Oct. 1784), and his widow, DAME ROSE FFRENCH, was advanced to the peerage of Ireland, 12 March, 1798, by the title of BARONESS FFRENCH, of Castle ffrench, co. Galway, with remainder to her issue by her late husband, Sir Charles. The peerage was conferred in consideration of the services rendered to the government during the Vice-Royalty of Lord Westmorland 1790-4, by their only son, Sir Thomas Hamilton ffench, a leading and influential Mem. of the Catholic Cttee. during that period. GEORGE III's personal objection to the elevation of any catholic to the peerage was the reason of the elevation of the mother (nominally a protestant) instead of the son (a strict catholic). Her ladyship d. 8 Dec. 1805, and was s. by her son,

SIR THOMAS FFRENCH, 2nd Baron ffrench, who had inerited the Baronetcy upon the decease of his father in 1784. His Lordship m. in 1785, Margaret (d. 7 Dec. 1849), eldest dau. of Thomas Redington, of Kilcornan, co. Galway, and had, with other issue,

1. Thomas, b. Jan. 1833, m. March, 1859, Victoria (who m. 2ndly, Major-Gen. Andrew Browne, C.B., who d. 8 April, 1883, and had issue), dau. of Maurice Blake, of Ballinafad, co. Mayo, and d.s.p. (abbreviation for the latin Phrase, descessit sine prole; died without issue. That is, he left no heirs) on 30 May, 1859.


1. Josephine, m. 1872, Walter Eakins, of Richmond Spa, Well Road, Wexford, and had issue.


2. Anne, m. 10 July, 1865, Michael Joseph Chevers, of Killyan, co. Galway, and d. 8 Oct. 1808. He d. 10 April, 1889.


3. Nicholas, a Clergyman of the Church of Rome, b. Feb. 1796; d. 1 July, 1838.


4. Gonville, of Clarmont, Roscommon, b. May, 1797, m. 16 July, 1823, Clare (d. 12 Oct. 1864), yst dau. of William Kenney, of Kilclogher, co. Galway, and d.s.p. (abbreviation for the latin Phrase, descessit sine prole; died without issue. That is, he left no heirs) on 29 April, 1866.


1. Sarah, m. 14 Oct. 1810, Edward J. Beytagh, of Cappagh, co. Galway. He d. 19 March, 1832.


2. Rose, m. 14 Oct. 1810, Francis Blake Foster, of Ashfield, co. Galway, and d. 13 Dec. 1867.

His Lordship d. 9 Dec. 1814 (will pr. 1 March, 1815), and was s. by his eldest son,

CHARLES AUSTIN, 3rd Baron ffrench b. 9 April, 1786, m. 26 Sept. 1809,. Maria (d. June, 1827), eldest dau. of John Browne, of Moyne, co. Galway, and had, with other issue,

1. THOMAS, 4th Baron.


2. John, in Holy Orders of the Church of Rome, b. 5 Aug. 1812; d. at Rome, 31 May, 1873.


3. MARTIN JOSEPH, 5th Baron.


1. Margaret, m. 7 Jan. 1836, Valentine O'Connor Blake, of Tower Hill, co. Mayo, and d. 16 July, 1869. He d. 9 Aug. 1879.

His Lordship d. 25 Sept. 1860, and was s. by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 4th Baron ffrench, D.LK., b. 13 Sept. 1810, m. 18 Oct. 1851, Mary Anne (d.3 June, 1906), only dau. and heiress of Richard Thompson, of Stansty Hall Denbighshire, and had issue, a dau. He d. 20 Jan. 1892, and was s. by his brother,

MARTIN JOSEPH, 5th Baron ffrench, Barrister-at-law, J.P. Resident Magistrate, co. Tipperary, 1846 to 1882, b. 1 Oct. 1813, m. 2 July, 1862, Catherine Mary Anne (d. 6 March, 1908), only dau. of John O'Shaughnessy, of Birchgrove, Galway, by his wife Ellen, dau. of Anthony Brabazon, of Birchgrove, and his wife Catherine, dau. of Sir Charles ffrench, 1st Bt. (see above), and had issue,

1. CHARLES AUSTIN THOMAS ROBERT JOHN JOSEPH 6th Baron.


2. John Martin Valentine Joseph, Capt. Late 7th (Service) Bn. Leinster Regt., a Kt. Of Malta 1932, b. 19 July, 1872, m. 27 March, 1915, o Sophia (Castle ffrench, Ballinasloe, co. Galway), yst. dau. of late Giovanni Brambilla, of Villa Sucota, Como, Italy, and d. 7 May, 1946, leaving issue,

1. PETER MARTIN JOSEPH CHARLES JOHN MARY, 7th and present Baron.


2. o John Charles Mary Joseph Francis, (Ballyraine House, Arklow, Co. Wicklow), b. 5 Oct. 1928, m. 1963, o Sara-Primm, dau. of James A. Turner, of Stockbridge, Mass, U.S.A., and has issue,

Johanna Felicitas, b. 1964.


1. Freida Dora Katherine Mary Josephine, b. 24 March, 1916, m. 30 Nov. 1946, Hans Vajda, of Budapest, Hungary, and has issue.


2. Katherine Mary Margaret Frances Josephine, b. 25 June, 1917, m. 17 Dec. 1935, Lt.-Cmdr. Christopher Valerio Edward Paul Banon, R.N., eldest son of late Christopher Banon, of Broughall Castle, Kilcormack, King's County, and has issue.


3. Ellen Frances Anna-Maria Josephine, b. 1 Dec. 1918, m. 14 Dec. 1946, Thomas Anderson Courtney Agnew (Kilcolgan Castle, Kilcolgan, co. Galway).

1. Ellen Mary Anne Josephine, a nun, d. 29 Sept. 1918.


2. Maria Anne Josephine Catherine, a nun, d. 1928.


3. Frances Catherine Mary Josephine, d. unm. 28 Aug. 1940.


4. Margaret Elizabeth Mary Anne Josephine, d. unm. 18 Sept. 1945.

His Lordship d. 2 Nov. 1893, and was s. by his elder son,

CHARLES AUSTIN THOMAS ROBERT JOHN JOSEPH, 6th Baron ffrench, b. 20 June, 1868, m. 1stly, 1 Sept. 1892, Mary Margaret (d. 27 May 1944), dau. of Matthew James Corbally, D.L., of Rathbeale Hall, co. Dublin, and had issue,

Martin Joseph Mathew, b. 26 July, 1893, d. 26 Jan. 1894. He m. 2ndly, 8 June, 1951, Catherine Elizabeth (d. 25 July, 1960), yst. dau. of Rt. Hon. Sir Christopher John Nixon, 1st Bt., P.C., M.D., LL.D., and d.s.p.m.s., 4 March, 1955, when he was s. by his nephew.

Creations - Baronet, 17 Aug. 1779; Baron, 12 March 1798.

Notes From Mara French’s Trip to Castle ffrench in 1997

I headed toward Roscommon, and then made the big decision to continue on to Castle ffrench, which I'm glad I did. Leo Austin, a British man, and his wife bought the castle about 8 years ago, so that would be in 1989. He's a film set designers and recently designed the set for "Widow's Peak" with Mia Farrow. He had nothing but good to say about her.  He let me take many photos, even one on the inside, and told me they are selling it for 420,000 pounds -- which I've heard is a good buy. He partially renovated the three stories plus basement by putting in a heating system so as not to detract from the authenticity of the castle. I told him I'd send him a photo of the castle. His address is Leo Austin, Castle ffrench, Ballinamore Bridge, Ballinasloe, County Galway. The first castle was built in 1632, but only the tower remains today. The tower was not part of the house, but the stone above the tower door says built by Jasper ffrench in 1638. The new castle was built in 1779, 140 years later. This newer house is where Leo lives. He walked me over to the tower, which is still owned by Robuck ffrench, the son of Peter Martin Joseph ffrench, who was the last ffrench of the ffrench tribe to have lived in that castle. It was quite a muddy walk through high grass, but well worth it. 

I was procrastinating about going to see Baron Robuck ffrench, but I finally made my way there. Clonbrock is the name of his main house, way back off the road in the forest. The main pebble stone road seemed like any other road leading off a small road. Finally I got to the gate, which was open and then I passed the burnt out castle to the little stable houses in the back. First I took many photos of the main house, because I didn't think I'd get a chance later on, which I didn't. It is 3-stories high with a basement. Only the exterior stones remain, but the guts and roof are gone. Apparently Robuck was selling off part of his land at Castle ffrench (he kept the land with the tower ruins). A young lady from Germany and her mother were looking at castles to buy when they looked at his. They also looked at Clonbrock, which they ended up buying. As the fairytale goes, she fell in love with Baron Robuck and the two were married, I suppose shortly after she married Robuck, which was about in 1989. Another party wanted to buy Clonbrock, and Robuck feels that it was he who burned the Clonbrock castle before they got proper insurance on it. They lost everything, but at least they hadn't moved in yet, so saved their furniture. Robuck had had an estate sale of the furniture at Castle ffrench -- the people running the B&B where I stayed the next night told me they went to it. Castle ffrench is more on a little hill, whereas Clonbrock is on flat land and very suitable for the 10 or so horses they have. His wife was exercising the horses when I drove up. Robuck was building a fence with another man. He gave me some books on the ffrenches to read while he continued working with him to finish out that man's hour of wages. Robuck is the last Lord ffrench (or Baron ffrench) in Galway Co. They have a 4-year old daughter named Tara. She was very sweet. His wife’s grandmother lived with them and she didn't speak a word of English. Apparently they are from Marburg, Germany. The young girl who was care sitting for Tara gave me cookies, biscuits, and tea while I copied madly everything from his 3 books I could in the hour I knew he'd be away. When he came back, he played so sweetly with Tara. I'd say he was approaching 40, and a genuinely easy-going guy, wearing shorts and a t-shirt. He laughed and was a little silly, but several times mentioned money problems. He said the Burke's Peerage editors send out forms every so often to update their book. He filled one out and got his family ancestry current so that it was printed in the last volume. They expect you'll buy one, but he said he couldn't afford it, so his aunt bought it for him. They had several hunting dogs, some cats and kittens, and chickens. The stables looked in great order. I did manage to take some photos of photos in the books they showed me -- I think. I'll remember better when I get the film back. After leaving there and driving back to the main road, I saw some teenagers who asked me for a ride -- 3 walking and one on a bicycle. They had been swimming and wanted a ride back to Ahanscragh which I gave them. Then, I tried to find Carrowrea or Carrowroe or Carrowreagh where another member said his family came from. It was a house out in nowhere, rather new, but where a family had lived for 3 generations and they knew nothing about the ffrenches. I also saw a town with this name, Carrowreagh, just outside Monivea, and this too was not very impressive. I need to write Hugh Casement about this line. It was late and I found a B&B and went to bed. Photos to come. Mara French, 1997

An update in 2011: I still haven’t gathered those photos, but I plan to do another research trip to Ireland and I will go through the research I have here at home before I make another trip to Ireland.

Bibliography

[1] A gentleman working on his thesis on the ffrench family, should have finished his work sometime in 1988, but I never got to see it. He is Patrick Melvin, Oireachtas Library, Leinster House, Dublin 2, Ireland. A map on page 59 of the Lamberts of Athenry, Galway, pinpointing some of the 'Big Houses' around Athenry accompanies an chapter entitled 'Landlords and Gentry around Athenry' which was contributed by Patrick Melvin, Leinster House Librarian. “The Lamberts of Athenry” was reviewed in the Tuam Herald, page 7, Saturday, August 21, 1999.

[2] Martin Burke, Email: burke2005@gmail.com email dated 2005: I went to primary school with the guy who is selling it (Robuck Ffrench). Remember that some "Frenches" spell their name "Ffrench". Thus our primary school is called "Castle ffrench Primary School".

[3] Jim and Lillian Dickinson, jedlhd@aol.com (good in 2008).

[4] Wikipedia Dictionary, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_ffrench

[5] Stirnet Researchers Network,
http://www.stirnet.com/main/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=79&startUrl=http://www.stirnet.com/HTML/genie/british/ff/french1.htm (need to subscribe)

[6] The 7th Baron French: http://www.brabazonarchive.com/Pages/The%207th%20Baron%20ffrench.htm

[7] Martin Burke, email burke2005@gmail.com (good in 2005)

[8] The Ffrench Connection, http://homepage.eircom.net/~castlefrench/ffrench.htm

[9] Crispina ffrench’s blog, http://crispinaffrench.blogspot.com/. Email: crispinaffrench@gmail.com.

[10] Primm ffrench, primm@thedolphinstudio.com or best to use primmffrench@gmail.com

[11] The History of the Town and County of the Town of Galway, by James Hardiman, 1820, http://books.google.com/books?id=Lv8HAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=subject:%22Galway,+Ire.+(County)%22 

[12] Burke’s Peerage and Gentry, and “Burke’s Irish Family Records” of landed gentry.
http://www.burkes-peerage.net/Search/AtoZnosub/F.aspx

[13] Dublin Notes from the National Papers. Website:
http://www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=NZT18920311.2.38&cl=&srpos=0&st=1&e=-------en--1----0-all

[14] Eircom Phonebook, http://www.eircomphonebook.ie/search/Galway/ffrench.html

[15] The Genealogy of the Existing British Peerage, by Edmund Lodge, Esq., London, 1838, website:
http://books.google.com/books?id=VYcUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA206&lpg=PA206&dq=%22Martin+Ffrench%22+%2BGalway+%2BIreland&source=web&ots=_3BMIbaQv2&sig=bTXgG_4JyGC9jhIsRPm-hJQa-pw&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PPA206,M1

[16] Email posted by Paul Athey (or Athy – one of the tribes of Galway) on 23 Mar 2004, to Charles French:

Charles,

I actually have come across several Martin French’s in Galway in the late 1600’s. An Augustinian Friar, Martinus French is mentioned in a document about a miracle of Saint Augustine’s well, dated 23rd June, 1673 (his lineage unknown).

Martin Ffrench and his brother, Dominick Ffrench, were both killed at the Battle of Aughrim, on 12th July, 1691, they were the sons of Edmond Ffrench of Spiddal.

Also a Martin/Martyn Ffrench, was the son of Jaspar Ffrench of “Castle ffrench”. The events effecting the property of the family of the later, in 1671, would support that the family of Jaspar Ffrench has a possible connection.

WALTER FFRENCH was sent to Galway in 1425 by King Henry VI, to be a judge, or mediator in an ongoing dispute between the Athy and Blake families. Most of the Athy family killed in 1440, but Walter Ffrench married Mary Athy, the daughter of John Athy, Sovereign (Chief Magistrate) of Galway. By 1444-5 Walter Ffrench was then Sovereign of Galway. Walter died Bef. 1453, from him descended: 1.Nicholas Ffrench m. Elizabeth Browne 2.ROBUCK FFRENCH, 3. James Ffrench, 4.John Ffrench, 5.Julianne Ffrench 6. Mary Ffrench m. John Browne.

ROBUCK/(ROBERT) FFRENCH, it was from Robuck Ffrench that came several of the main lines of the family; Sligo, Roscommon, Monivea and Rahasane. Robuck and his unknown wife had four sons, 1. Peter French (Bailiff in 1499), 2. Nicholas French (Bailiff in 1500), 3. Stephen Ffrench, (Bailiff in 1511), and 4. EDMUND FFRENCH

EDMUND FFRENCH, Bailiff in 1509, married leaving a son, JOHN FFRENCH

JOHN FFRENCH, b. 1489, Mayor of Galway 1538-9, he was known as “Sean an tSalainn” or “John of the salt”, as he made his fortune importing salt to Galway. He added the wing to the Church of St. Nicholas, Galway, called "ffrench's Aisle," and built a beautiful side chapel in the Franciscan Abbey in Galway. He also erected the stone building which stood on arches over the river at Galway, called "John ffrench's Chamber." This munificent patron of the church d. 1545, leaving two sons, 1. Dominick and 2. ROBUCK. The yr. son,

ROBUCK FFRENCH, Mayor of Galway 1582-3, d. 27 Jan. 1598 m. Christina Martyn, daughter of George Martyn (will dated 27 Jan. 1598, proved 1602), leaving issue, two sons, 1. EDMUND and 2 Walter. The elder son,

EDMUND FFRENCH, Mayor of Galway 1606-7, d. about 1618, leaving two sons, 1. Dominick and 2. JOHN. The yr. son,

JOHN FFRENCH, purchased before 1636, the castle and lands of Clogher (now called Castle ffrench) in the Baronies of Kilconnell and Killyan, co. Galway, and d. 1642, leaving a son, JASPER FFRENCH.

JASPER FFRENCH, of Clogher, was deprived of his estate in 1655 by the Cromwellian Commissions, who allotted it to Dr. Gerald Fennell and Ellen his wife, dau. and heir of John O'Meagher, of Clonenikeny, co. Tipperary, on their transplantation into Connaught. In 1671, Jasper ffrench repurchased the estate from Ellen the widow, and got a confirmatory grant in 1677 by patent under the Acts of Settlement (patent dated 18 Aug. enrolled 5 Oct. 1677). He rebuilt the caslte in 1683. (some findings indicate that Jaspar may have married Ellen O’Meagher Fennell to obtain the property) He had two sons, 1. Patrick, m. 1 April, 1676, Barbara, 2nd dau. of Anthony ffrench, of Calla, but d.s.p.v.p. and 2. MARTIN. The yr. son,

MARTIN FFRENCH, of Clogher, m. the dau. of Lynch, of Levally, and was s. by his son, Thomas.

It would be interesting to find if Dr. Fennell had held property in St. Mary’s, that was aquired by the Ffrench family in 1671? This could prove a connection. But there may be other Martin French’s still waiting to be found.

If anyone has an interest in working on the history, lineages and intermarriages of the merchant families, the “Tribes of Galway”, you are welcome to visit/join us at: http://groups.msn.com/TheAthyFamilyofGalway Paul Athey

[17] A Guide to Irish Country Houses, by Mark Bence-Jones, 1988

[18] The History of the Town and County of the Town of Galway from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, by James Hardiman, 1820. This book has so much about the French family, that I only scanned it to find any possible immigrants to America. It is online and easy to search. Website:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Lv8HAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA251&lpg=PA251&dq=%22St.+Nicholas%22+church+Galway+%22french's+aisle%22&source=web&ots=Uden_U_lc-&sig=ThRPqjW4yHvgdCeCH8w-qIdM7Cg&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPR1,M1

[19] William Medardo Bagliani, owner of Castle ffrench in 2011, phone: 919-596-0771 in Raleigh, NC. Email: castleffrench2@gmail.com. I give acknowledgement to him for the fine photos of Castle ffrench.

[20] In 1999 Felicitas ffrench lived in Oakland, CA. Felicitas Ffrench and Sara Primm Ffrench sold property at 315 Stockbridge Road, Lee, for $185,000 to Shannon S. Hughes on 24 Sep 2004.

[21] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, London, The St. Catherine Press, 1926. From p. 103 of the Frenchline. I didn’t have time to copy everything into this chart.

[22] Caroline ffrench-hodges, email: info@carolinewestenholz.org. Website: http://www.carolinewestenholz.org/.

Email from Caroline to Mara French, 23 Jan 2011:

Dear ms French,

Your fascinating website couldn't solve my problem so I simply have to ask you something.

As you may gather from the name connected to this mail, I am called ffrench-Hodges and so possibly, a relation of yours by marriage. For the sake of my husband's children and grandchildren I am trying to find out more about his ascendancy. Since his parents were divorced when he was very young, he knows very little about his father's family. I was hoping you could help me with a possible connection.

My husband's name: Peter Nathaniel de Bruce ffrench-Hodges (born 1935). His parents were:

Noel Dudley ffrench ffrench-Hodges (1904-1970) and Laetitia Kathleen Mary Tucker (1909-1988), they were married in ca. 1931 and divorced in 1937.

Noel had a younger brother called Roy Steward/Stuart ffrench-Hodges (1906-1978).

The grandparents were: Harry MacDonald Hodges (1874-1929) and Ada Lavinia French (1866?-1958).

Now it seems that Ada Lavinia French, who was Irish, was related to the ffrench family of Castle ffrench, and therefore added the surname ‘ffrench' to the surnames of their children.

(NB. My husband remembers that Canon ffrench, probably the Reverend James ffrench, was a relation. In his honour young Noel was given yet another ‘ffrench’ in his name. Ada Lavinia and/or Noel did apparently inherit from Canon ffrench. My husband was disinherited, to punish his mother for the divorce, so unfortunately, he has nothing to prove all this).

Now would you be able to trace this Ada Lavinia French anywhere in your family trees? Or, for that matter, tell me where Canon ffrench fits in? I would be most grateful for your help!

Yours sincerely
Caroline ffrench-Hodges née De Westenholz

Email to Caroline from Mara French, dated 23 Jan 2011:

What an interesting line you have, Caroline. I've been to Castleffrench twice, but I don't have anything on Canon. Someday I'll get back to working on the Irish French tribe -- I've been working on about 200 different families and I'm wanting to concentrate just on mine for awhile. I'll keep you data for search reference on my computer and let you know if anything appears. 

I looked briefly on ancestry.com in the Irish section and find marriages of ffrench-Hodges families, but they all appear in England. There is Peter N., Moona A., Peter N De B, Darrell C. Hodges, Michael J., Michael J. Adam, John M. Beswick, Kathleen A. Erasmus, and Moona A. Richardson. Some of these married into the Ffrench-Hodges family.

I see Peter N. D. ffrench-Hodges who married De Westenholz on 22 Jun 1988 in Kensington and Chelsea, London. Nothing on his parents -- the earliest record is 1960. 

For births, I see Peter N De B born during Apr May Jun 1935 in Kensington, Greater London. Also listed in London is Jasper T. born 1962, and in Yorkshire births are Maya and Iona. There are 24 listings in the phone book. I did find an Ada Mary French, b. Sep 1868 in Sussex, d. 1957, m. Harry Joseph Lee in 1891 in Steyning, Sussex, but I think this is incorrect. 

I find a very strange coincidence. When I was in Galway, I specifically went to an art show of John ffrench who has a cottage in Galway, but the family lives in Stockbridge, Massachusetts where I've been several times. John is now very elderly and is unable to travel. He is part of the Castleffrench family and is written up on our website. http://www.frenchfamilyassoc.com/FFA/CHARTSWEB/IREC.htm

The strange thing is that the art show in Galway was held at Kenny's Bookshop and Art Galleries, the same place where Rev. Canon Ffrench has a book that he published called "The Family of Sherlock No. II".  There's a lot about Canon online if you enter in only "Canon Ffrench" with the quotes. It seems he had something to do with Armagh Castle and the Kilhogan Churchyard, and that he was of Shinrone, Ireland. 

On this page http://www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/wicklow/photos/tombstones/1headstones/redford01.txt in County Wicklow, Ireland, the headstone reads "To the Memory of Charlotte, wife of Canon Ffrench of Ballyredmond House, Co., Donegal, who died 23 Jun 1910."  You might find out more here: http://www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/

Good luck, Mara

[23] Part of the line of 722 members of the French family of Ireland can be found here: http://www.thepeerage.com/.