Sam Kingston's story

The Kingstons

The Kingstons are an Irish family. They probably moved to County Cork in the 17th Century as part of the great plantation. The family seems to have flourished and inter married with the local community. At one time in the 19th century in Drimoleague there was supposed to have been 60 children on a school roll and their schoolmaster all called Kingston!
Dick Kingston of Belfast has drawn up a family tree of Samuel and Mary Kingston (her maiden name was Kingston as well as her marital name) based on Drimoleague parish records (Protestant) and oral traditions.
Dick Kingston's father was Rev Paul Kingston, a missionary who received the OBE for translating the bible into an African tongue.
Paul Kingston knew of John Mary Sam Kingston through the Regans. He remembered meeting his son John Kingston (born 1861) in the 1920s or 1930s. This John Kingston had told Rev Paul that he was a cousin. The common ancestor seems to be Paul Kingston who married Catherine Beamish in 1860.
Dick Kingston's family tree reveals that Samuel Kingston and Mary Kingston married in Drimoleague in 1824. From the parish records it would seem that Mary was the daughter of a Samuel who was the son of Thomas Kingston, while Samuel's father was Paul Kingston and his grandfather Samuel.
It appears that Samuel Kingston died during the Irish famine. The West of Cork County, where they lived, was particularly hard hit.
Although the Kingstons lived in a predominantly Catholic country they were probably Protestants until the generation of John Kingston (1830ish to 1881). When John married Mary Regan at Drimoleague on 17th August 1852 the Parish Priest recorded the fact that he was a convert to the Catholic Church.
John Kingston, a farmer, was known in Drimoleague as John Mary Sam, Bob Griffiths says. A newspaper article from the 1930s explains the unusual middle name of Mary.

Most Londoners do not even know their grandmother's name. They have either mislaid the nice old lady altogether, or should they run into her they will remember having seen her face before, but forget where it was exactly they must have met.
The man from darkest Ireland told me this. It is his impression of big city life as lived by the familyless Londoner. The man from darkest Ireland is John William Kingston and he told me of family life as lived in an Irish village, which sounded more like a tribal bush settlement in Africa than a piece of ground within a night's sea journey from London.
Mr Kingston is looking for Kingstons in England- and so far has found none. He is looking for Kingstons because until recently he had known no one who was not a Kingston.
In the village he comes from and the villages around there are only Kingstons. At the village school he went to there were 70 children all called Kingston. So was the master.
That's why granny is such a very important person in Drimoleague. And why it is so shocking that the Londoner can do without her. When you have 70 children all John and Richard and Jane and Mary Kingstons- you have to help in the job of identifying them by adding their grandparents' names.
So among the hundreds of Kingstons you get Richard Mary Sam Kingston or Richard Sally Sam Kingston. Or you bring in grandfather, and are Rebecca Jane John Kingston or Rebecca Jane Paul Kingston.
When grandmother's name is exhausted you go back to the earliest primitive form of address, and a Kingston becomes: John of the Church (because he lives near the Church) or John of the South (because he comes from the south of the town). This form of address went out in England in the fifteenth century.
I suggested as much to John William Kingston. And being a young man with a quick smile and a twinkling eye, he took it well.
"Londoners are fine people," he told me enthusiastically. "But they do not seem to have a family life as we know it. I don't think you have quite the intimacy of life and charm of home life as we know it in Ireland. Home means so much more to us that it does to you.
"Why, when we leave our home and go to the nearest town to live its like going abroad. A Londoner would have to go and live 5,000 miles away to get the same sense of distance.
"I can imagine a Londoner being home sick for London. But I can never imagine him being homesick for home. That's where we're different in Ireland."
Yet, strangely enough all the Kingstons of Drimoleague (which means of Ireland!) are of English origin. It is all due to Colonel James Kingston, the first Kingston, who visited Ireland in 1690 with William III. At the famous battle of the Boyne Colonel Kingston saved King William's life by giving him his horse when his own refused to take the water. And that is how the Kingstons were given as much land as they chose to take. That explains Drimoleague and the miles and miles around it.
Article and photo of John W. Kingston published in the Daily Sketch, page 2, 1934.

This John Kingston was evidently an interesting character. He apparently published a number of items and sometimes described himself as Dr Kingston.
Our John and Mary Kingston left Ireland after the birth of their son Daniel in 1876. They intended to emigrate to Newfoundland via Liverpool but they ended up in Rhyl because they couldn't afford the fare.
Their sons Samuel and William walked to South Wales seeking employment. There are three lines of Kingstons, Samuel's in Ebbw Vale (most of the children actually born in Cardiff), William married in Cardiff with a large number of children but a high death rate (descendants still living) and Daniel married in Rhyl and with a large number of offspring- descendants still living.

An extract taken from the marriage Register kept in the parish of Drimoleague
Date of Marriage} Name- Mary Regan
August 17th 1852} Husband- John Kingston
Witnesses Richard Regan
Date of issue Celebrant Rev. J W Creedon
Oct 30th 1910

I hereby certify that the above is correctly copied from the Register
Dennis Forrest Parish Priest

Less than five years after leaving Ireland John, by then working as a labourer, died of typhoid in Rhyl, Rhuddlan, North Wales. It was October 15, 1881, shortly before the birth of his grandson, and he was aged 50. His wife Mary stayed in Rhyl and lived on until 1918 reaching the fine old age of 87 in 1918. In 1900 she received terrible news when a letter arrived which revealed that one of her sons had died while serving in the Boer War.
33 miles S.E. of Pretoria
18th of July 1900

Dear Madame
I regret to have to announce to you that on the 16th Inst in the action at Rietolei your son Sergt Kingston was dangerously wounded and this morning at 1 a.m. breathed his last.
He was a most gallant soldier and on several occasions his gallantry came under my personal notice so much that in Natal I recommended him for the Distinguished Service Medal.
He was one of the Bravest soldiers I have ever seen and I deeply lament his death as do all the Regiment.
Any little personal property he had with him out here will be sent you by the Captain of his Company by whom he was held in high esteem.
I deeply sympathise with you in the loss of so honourable and brave son.
The priest who attended him after he was wounded has promised me that he would write to you.

I remain
yours faithfully
John Reeves Colonel
Com 2nd R.I. Fusiliers

An entry in The Times of Wednesday, February 13, 1901 (page 4) says: "2nd Battn. Royal Irish Fusiliers- 1796 Col. Sergt. Daly, 2346 Sergt. Kingston, 3?37 Sergt. Devlin, 3795 Pte. McNally." This reveals that Sergeant Kingston was mentioned in despatches.

Samuel Kingston, born in Drimoleague, married an Irish girl, Bridget Welsh (or Walsh). The Welsh family came from Waterford.
Bridget's father Thomas Welsh was a labourer who was killed when he was crushed between an engine and a truck on November 17, 1878. The accident happened at Aberystruth, Ebbw Vale. He was just 38 years old and an inquest was held by the Monmouthshire Coroner, W H Brewer, on November 22. A record of this event must exist.
Thomas's wife Mary re-married (a Mr Power, perhaps Daniel Power, Thomasina Kingston's godfather?) but she was buried in the same grave as her first husband.

The Roman Catholic Church, Ebbw Vale
District of Bedwelty in the County of Monmouth
Rank or
When Name & Surname Condition Age Rank or profession Residence Father's name
married of father profession
First Samuel Kingston Bachelor 23 Steel worker Ebbw Vale John Kingston Brickmaker
1881 Bridget Welsh Spinster 20 ------------- Ebbw Vale Thomas Welsh Steelworker

According to the rites and ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church by certificate by me

Samuel Kingston Augustin A Frith (C. Priest)
x The mark of Bridget Welsh John Richard Lewis, Registrar

In the prescence of us
x.The mark of Michael Cronin
x.The mark of Ellen Cunningham

Bridget (Thomas and Mary's daughter) died at the early age of 28 in Cardiff in 1892. Fifteen years later her husband, Samuel Kingston, was found drowned, in a pond in the Blaina Mountain near the Morning Star, Ebbw Vale. He was probably 54 years old, though his death certificate says he was only 50. An inquest was held on January 20, 1908, by the Deputy Coroner for Monmouthshire (Abergavenny District) W Dauncey. It seems remarkable that it took so long to hold the inquest. Perhaps Christmas slowed things down, perhaps there was some sort of investigation?
Bridget, daughter of Samuel & Bridget, married Thomas Ghee and they had several children, including Richard who became a headmaster and moved to Australia.
Samuel & Bridget's eldest son, John Kingston was born in Ebbw Vale on December 6, 1881, almost nine months to the day after Samuel and Bridget's marriage. He was the first of the Kingstons we know about who lived to a ripe old age. John died in 1961 in Ebbw Vale at the age of 79. As a young man he was awarded a testimonial for saving the life of a drowning man. It is ironic that his own father died of drowning.

Royal Humane Society
Supported by Voluntary Contributions
His Majesty the King
H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught K.G., &c.
H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, K.G.&c.

At a Meeting of the Committee of the Royal Humane Society held at their OFFICE, 4, TRAFALGAR SQUARE, on the 3rd day of August 1921 Present Alexander Travers Hawes Esq. Treasurer in the Chair

It was Resolved Unanimously
That the Honorary Testimonial of this Society inscribed on
Parchment be hereby given to
John Kingston
for having on the 17th May 1921 gone to the rescue of W V Summers who was in imminent danger of drowning in the Long Feeder Pond, Ebbw Vale, and whose life he gallantly saved.

A Travers Hawes

F A L Claughton

John took part in one of the hunger marches before the Second World War. On June 7th, 1952 he was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Merit by the Buffaloes {Lodge 2359 Ebbw Vale}. The Buffs are a drinking society, rather like the Freemasons but without the power. They even had their own aprons! Before the Second World War the Buffs were one of many friendly societies which offered assistance to working class people in need: unemployment help, funeral expenses, health care etc. So it is more than possible that John earned this award by charitable work.

When he got married John was working in the blast furnaces. This was a very hot dusty place and in those days they used to have beer breaks to wet the throat. Someone would be sent to fetch a bucket of beer from the local pub and would carry it back much like an old fashioned milk maid! According to family legend he fought a man a day for 14 days and beat them all! The present Sam Kingston says this is a doubtful story, but whatever the truth it is certainly colourful.
John's wife Elizabeth Ann neé_ McDonnell (or MacDonald) was probably an untrained school teacher. In Newtown the men were supposed to bring their wages straight home when they were paid on a Friday afternoon. They would then be given a small amount of spending money. Bob Griffiths says: "The story I heard my grandfather had gone to the Top House, a pub in Newtown, on a Friday, without handing his weekly pay over to his wife. My grandmother went up there, created a scene and threw a glass at him which smashed a mirror behind the bar. I don't think he did that again."
Elizabeth Ann died when their second son, the present Samuel Kingston, was just 11 months old. This year (1920) was a terrible one for the family and saw the deaths of Elizabeth Ann's two brothers. The present Samuel also had a twin who died at birth or soon afterwards. The McDonnells, like the Kingstons, were of Irish origin. Elizabeth Ann's father John was born in a place called St Anne's which is in
County Cork.
The address John Kingston gives on his marriage certificate, 10 Seventh Row, Newtown, was the home of his sister, Bridie (or Bridget- perhaps Brighd) who married Thomas Ghee. It seems she moved from Cardiff and her brother followed her. The other address on the wedding certificate 19 Sixth Row, Newtown, was the family home of the McDonnells. They had lived there since at least 1861, cramming their house full of lodgers. In 1871 there were six McDonnells and six lodgers. In 1881 there were nine McDonnells living in the tiny house and five adult lodgers.
Clearly the McDonnells were the ones with the entrepreneurial spirit. When John McDonnell (son of John & Mary McDonnell) died on April 22, 1920, the gross value of his estate was £2,898 9s 0d, enough to buy a row of houses in Newtown. In 1920 he was living at the Post Office, which he may well have been running. Bob Griffiths remembers another shop run by Charlie Harding which had once clearly belonged to McDonnell. "When I was a child you could still see his name on the side, they had tried to paint it over," he said. Thomasina Griffiths neé_ Kingston, Bob's mother, also told him that McDonnell had owned Perserverance House.

Most of John and Elizabeth Ann Kingston's children were born at 19 Sixth Row. But before the present Sam Kingston was born the family moved to Perserverance House, a large detached property with a shop run by Elizabeth Ann.
When the mother died the Kingstons swapped homes with the Buckleys, moving to 6 Sixth Row, a two up two down terrace house. The Buckleys had lived there since at least 1891.

The first two compensation claims were for injuries suffered by John Kingston born 1881. The one that follows concerns his son, also John Kingston, the present Samuel Kingston's eldest brother. In 1911 the steelworks closed because it was not making enough money and John probably lost his job. In 1913, when Kath was born, he was working as a coal hewer, though the steelworks re-opened before the First World War and it's possible he got his old job again. By about 1923 he was working down the mine again.
"My father at the time for some reason was working underground," said Sam. "He couldn't get a job and it was his proud boast that he never was without a job. (John senior, Sam's father, originally used to work in the steelworks.) When Johnny left school he couldn't get work and against all the Buckleys' advice, my father got him a job. He wasn't underground above two months and he had his leg off. It blighted his life. When he was 21 he got the money my mother {inherited from his Uncle Jack} had left him, £100 or £200, and this gave him a taste for money. He applied to the colliery and got a lump sum and he went on the beer. Everybody was sympathetic and he got very good jobs. He was so active with one leg and he was so capable. He was very big, a six footer. He was the biggest of the whole bunch.

"He was so fastidious before the accident. He would play Hell with the girls if his shirt wasn't ironed properly." After the accident his attitude changed completely. Sam always knew of the tradition that the names Samuel and John rotated in the family and that if there was more than one son, the second name would be used. Strangely, however, he did not know that the family came from Ireland. In fact, he said, that in Ebbw Vale there was no love lost between the locals and the Irish. The newer Irish immigrants fleeing hunger were willing to accept lower wages and undercut the locals. Strangers were also often suspected of bringing disease with them! In the 1860s there was an outbreak of cholera in Newtown and by

1881 lavatories in the town were still holes in the ground surrounded by corrugated iron sheeets, Bobby says.
The Cardiff Kingstons were relatively well known to Sam. At least one of them was a teacher and there was a Maggie, Bridie (John's sister), John, Paul and perhaps a Daniel. They lived in Adamstown, Cardiff and can be found in the 1891 census in Pendoylan Street in Adamstown. The married kids had a milk round at Plot or Plat, an area outside Cardiff. In the mid 1920s the Cardiff Kingstons astounded their relatives in Ebbw Vale by a series of holidays in places like Lourdes and Rome. "That was completely the other side of the world as far as everyone was concerned," said Sam. The postcards they sent back were a thing of wonder. One or more of the Cardiff Kingstons taught at St David's School in Cardiff and may even have been the headmistress. The son, John Kingston, had a job at the mills (flour mills?) but after that always seemed to be unemployed when Sam knew him. "They were very old fashioned," said Sam. "They still wore the long dresses and had long hair. They also had a conservatory with potted plants and a glass roof which was a thing I'd never seen in Ebbw Vale." Sam's sister Ena used to keep up contact with the rest of the family.

The headmaster in the school in Ebbw Vale went to the same college or teacher training course as the Cardiff Kingstons. "He knew the name," said Sam. "He was the same age group as them."
Sam stayed with the Buckleys when his mother died, but he was the only one. All the rest of his brothers and sisters were brought up by his father in Sixth Row while he lived with the Buckleys at Perseverance House, a shop and home in Newton, Ebbw Vale.
"When my mother died, the Kingstons and Buckleys swapped houses," he said. "I was only 11 months old so I was left in my cot until the move was finished. Well, then I never moved. I kept in the house where I was born.
"It sounds daft now, I thought that two homes was the natural way of life until I went to school. I would go up to the Kingstons to see what they had for dinner. If they had stew for dinner and they had sausage and chips down at the Buckleys I would go to the Buckleys for dinner.
"It was an ideal existence as far as I was concerned. There were double rations of hanging up my stockings for Christmas, of parties for birthdays. It wasn't like being farmed out. I thought it was home. I never missed not having a mother at any time.

"My cousin Mary, she was the eldest daughter of Norah, and she did the looking after and the women between them, in the Buckleys there were five women in the house, they used to do the knitting. Auntie Poll was a seamstress as well and she used to do lots of clothes because nothing was bought; socks and vests and pullovers and shirts were all hand made."
Mike Buckley, Sam describes, as "the letter writer of the village". He was born in Delhi and educated in a public school, knew Latin and was out of step with usual village life.
One of the Buckleys daughters, Theresa, married Jack Pullen, a professional footballer who played for Wales.
The last word goes to Bob Griffiths who carried out almost all the research on which this document is based: "In general, the lives of the people in these few records were short and hard under their landlords in Ireland, the coal and iron masters in Wales or the incompetent officers in the various wars."

Jonathan Brind Bob Griffiths
519 Lea Bridge Road 37a Falstaff Avenue
Leyton Reading
London E10 7EB Berks
Phone 020 8923 0243
According to the Register of Baptisms kept at All Saint's
Church, Ebbw Vale, Thomasina Kingston daughter of John and Elizabeth
Kingston formerly McDonnell lawfully married, Born 17th April 1907 was
Baptised at the said Church, by Rev F P Rose on the 5th day of May
1907 I Daniel Power and Mary McDonnell being God-Parents.
I, the under signed, hereby certify that the above is a true
and correct extract from the Register of Baptisms kept at the above
Church as witness my hand, this 13th day of January 1915.

Extracts from

Family Names of County Cork

(Glendale Press. Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin 1985)

Names generally took root in Ireland in the 11th century. Brian Boru (d. 1014) provides a good examplar; his grandsons used the tile Ua Briain ('grandson of Brian') and so did their descendants. Most family groups tended to do likewise around the same time, choosing the name of a famous ancestor and prefixing it with either Ua (later O), 'grandson', or Mac, 'son'. The O Callaghans took as their eponymous ancestor Ceallachá_n of Cashel (d. 954), the O Donovans chose Donnubá_n (d. 980), and so on. The ruling family of Eó_ganacht Caisil did not feel the need for a distinctive surname until after the death of Carthach in 1045.
Mathghamhain is an old Irish word for a bear, used as a personal name among the Dá_l Cais. But because of a marriage connection it occurred just once among the Uí_ Echach in the 10th century- the Mathghamhain who died in 976- and happened to be adopted by their chief family, henceforth known at the Uí_ Mhathghamhna. It needs to be emphasized also that these had no connection with the Uí_ Mhathghamhna who were kings of the Ulaid (in Ulster). Likewise it cannot be assumed that the O Regans, Coughlans, O Flynns, Lynches, Murphys, etc., of Co. Cork are in any way cognate with those bearing similar family names which originated in other parts of Ireland.
The plantations of the 17th century produced an influx of new landowners and new family names. The only one of these latter to have proliferated in the county was Kingston, which is also dealt within in this work.



This surname at the time of its first appearance in Ireland in the 13th century was written 'de Kyngeston', indicating that it derived from a place called Kingston, but as there were many such places in England the name may well have had several distinct points of origin.
We have a record of one Thomas de Kingesdon in Ireland as early as 1277 and or a Richard de Kyngeston in Dublin twenty years later. At the beginning of the 14th century frequent mention is made of William de Kyngestoun in Co. Meath while the first of the name recorded in Co. Cork was John Kingstoun who was appointed chaplain of Holy Trinity (Christ Church) in Cork in 1381. The name came into prominence in the city again in 1785 when the mayor of Cork was James Kingston.
But today Kingston is generally, and correctly, regarded as a west Cork family name, and we can trace its origin there to the aftermath of the Cromwellian plantations in the mid-17th century- though there was a Richard Kingston in Bandon in 1619. The only one of the name to acquire confiscated lands in West Cork was Samuel Kingston who in company with James Draper got 118 plantation acres of Skeaf East in the parish of Kilmaloda, near Timoleague. This townland which had a total of 215 plantation acres (371 acres today) was, prior to 1641, the property of Tadhg ó_g O Crowley.
We know that the new owners settled there because the 1659 census listed as 'tituladoes' in East Skeaf the following: James Draper, Joseph, his son; Samuell Kinston, John Kinstone, his son. The census also recorded that in the townland as a whole there were six English and nine Irish. A marriage between John Kingston (the son of Samuel) and Joane Dobson took place in 1666. (Between then and 1750 twenty-four Kingston marriages were recorded in the diocese of Cork and Ross.) A latter day descendant, Dr. Richard Kingston, in a recent article in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society has traced many modern branches of the family back to Samuel Kingston of Skeaf who must have lived to a ripe old age since his will was not registered until 1703. A few miles to the north-west, in the townland of Cashel Beg (par. Desertserges), lived Paul Kingston whose will was registered in 1683.
A short account of the Kingston family in west Cork was published in a Cork diocesan magazine in 1893 and re-published in Armagh in 1929. It is mainly derived from the oral narrative of Paul Kingston of Lissangle as recorded by Rev. J. S. Reeves, rector of Caheragh from 1853 to 1890. According to this source, the first of the family in Ireland was a Colonel James Kingston from the west of England who accompanied William of Orange to Ireland in 1690 as colonel of horse as did his two sons, James and Paul, who were captains of foot. Although this information conflicts with the evidence from official sources as to the first bearers of the name in west Cork, the account is nevertheless, worth quoting as an authentic family tradition, much of which is undoubtedly based on fact: 'Besides Colonel Kingston, King William had two other Colonels- namely, Stawell and Honor. With these he fought the famous battle of the Boyne, in which Colonel Kingston saves King William's life by giving him his horse when his own refused to take the water.
'After the battle was over and peace restored, King William gave his Colonels and Captains land for their service both at the Battles of Boyne and Aughrim. About which time, a little after the battle of Aughrim, one of the Colonel Kingston's sons, Paul, died of fever in the camp at Dundalk, so that all the land of the three Kingstons- that is, of the father and two sons- came to Captain James Kingston. Captain James Kingston had several sons and four daughters. The person who tells this only remembers the name of three of them. One lived in Ballycotton House; another, George, lived in Barleyfield; another, Sam, lived in Skave. The latter married first a Miss Cooke, and then a Miss Blood. (Ballycotton is Ballycatteen, par., Rathclarin; Skave is Skeaf, already mentioned. There is, in fact, a record of a marriage between Samuel Kingston and Alice Blewytt in 1712.) Jerry Kingston was the youngest and his own (i.e. Paul Kingston's) great- grandfather. His four daughters married one a Mr. Laughton, another a Mr Maylor, another a Mr. Elbery and another a Mr. West Allen. Jerry Kingston, the great-grandfather of Mr. Paul Kingston, who relates this, settled in a farm in the parish of Kilnagross, which he rented from one of the Stawels, who was then a great friend of his, on account of the two families coming over at the same time. This was in the year 1715, the year of the great snow. His son Paul and grandson Sam lived and died there and there he himself was born.'
Gradually the Kingstons began to establish themselves throughout many of the parishes of west Cork. James Kingston of Rathclarin parish had a will registered in 1729. We find Thomas Kingston in Lislee (will 1773) and William Kingston of Knockeenbwee in Drimoleague parish (will, 1778). It was in this latter parish that the family name proliferated to the greatest extent. The family narrative already referred to claimed that at one period of the 19th century the sixty children on the roll of Meenies N.S. in Drimoleague parish- and their schoolmaster- were all surnamed Kingston, and even if the claim is over-stated, it is not too much of an exaggeration. So prevalent had the name become in the parish that it was found necessary to affix such titles as 'Richard Sally Sam' and 'Richard Mary Sam' to distinguish various members, using the personal names of the parents and grandparents after the Irish fashion.
The Irish form Cinnseamá_n was, according to Fr. Woulfe, sometimes used for Kingston. There are no townland-names derived from it; Kingston's fields in the parish of Litter near Fermoy obviously takes its name from the Earls of Kingston (of Mitchelstown) whose family name was King. Neither is there any connection with the Kingstones of Mosstown (near Kenagh, Co. Longford) whose original name, Mac Clochaire or Cloughrey, was constructed as Cloch Rí_, 'King's stone'!
Being of solid yeoman stock and concentrating almost entirely on farming, the Kingstons found no difficulty in living in accord with their Catholic neighbours, and never lost their original attachment to the land. In 1875, of 33 prominent Kingstons listed in Co. Cork by Guy's Directory, no less than 19 were given as 'landholders'.



In pre-Norman Ireland Uí_ Riagá_in family groups were to be found in several places- in Meath and in Thomond, for instance but a separate Co. Cork group existed among the families of Fir Maige Fé_ne in the Fermoy region. There were, in fact, two Uí_ Riagá_in families there, one at Cregg and the other at Kilmaculla near Kildorrery. The family name is preserved in the townland of Coolyregan (Cú_il Uí_ Riagá_in) in Brigown parish.
Even after the Normans took control, the O Regans remained an east Cork family for several centuries. Among the witnesses to the charter of Matthew, bishop of Cloyne, c. 1185, was the 'great priest' U Regan - perhaps the Gilla Colmá_in Ua Riacá_in, 'a noble priest of the community of Cluain Uama' who according to the Annals of Inisfallen, died in 1208. The same annals record the death in 1261 of Aedh O Riegan, treasurer of Cloyne. In 1295 Matthew Oregan and Thomas Oregan were among the followers of Philip le Blund pardoned for their trespasses. A Stephen Orgegan, clerk, was involved in an unpleasant matrimonial dispute at Youghal in 1307. Matthew Oregan, rector of Dungourney and vicar of Dangandonovan, died in 1462.
Further evidence of their prevalence in east Cork is provided by the townland-names Ballyregan in Cloyne parish and Ballyregan in Carrigtohill parish. Some O Regan followers of the Condons were pardoned in 1585- Donnell O Reigane, shoemaker, Moreghow mac Dermody ORegan and Ellen oge, his wife. The 1659 census records ten O Regan families living in Barrymore.
By then, however, the majority of the O Regans in the country were to be found in west Cork. There is no firm evidence as to the time of this westward movement but it may have been as early as the 13th century. A legal document of 1295 records 'suit of peace of all trespasses' granted to several west Cork men- O Donovans, O Coffeys, O Hea and wife of Nicholas Magnel, and the other was the wife of Cathal Oregan; her first name (according to another document dated 1302) was Cristok, so that she may well have been of Norman blood. Acting as pledge for all these offenders was John de Barry who at the time held land in Ibane (later Ibane and Barryroe). So it would appear that Cathal O Riagá_in was domiciled among the O Coffeys and O Heas, which is where the family name flourished in later centuries. There is a townland named Maulyregan (Meall Uí_ Riagá_in) in the parish of Ross. (There is also a Ballyregan- More and Beg - in the parish of Ringcurran near Kinsale.)
By the 16th century the name O Regan had become an integral part of the west Cork scene. After Barryroe was raided in 1543 by the citizens of Cork, one of the locals who gave evidence regarding the incursion was Malage O Regan. Further west, a Fiant of 1551 granting pardons to the seafaring O Driscolls of Baltimore included the names of Dermot leye Y Regan, Thady mac Richarde Y Regan and Donagh mac Teige Y Regan.
A pardon dated 1577 indicated the residence of the chief of the name- Thady mac Dermod mac Ricard oge of Knockmockfyne, gent. Rickard was a favourite name among the O Regans. The obsolete townland of Knockmockfyne is now included in Tralong and Ballinaclogh. Another son, John, (Teige's heir), on the occasion of his marriage in 1626 to Ellice Young of Ballyvireen, mortgaged Ballinaclogh to the Youngs and to Robert Coppinger. When John died in 1639 he left an eleven-year-old heir, Teige, who was to gain fame in the service of King James II many years later.
Maulyregan does not seem to have been occupied by O Regans in Elizabethan times but there were several other O Regan seats in the parish of Ross, as for instance, Killeenleigh, where Dermod mac Rickird mac Donell O Regaine was pardoned in 1579 and Donogh mac Deirmody oge in 1601. In the latter years ago John mac Morogh O Regaine of Ballynagornagh (Barleyhill) was pardoned. In Ross (Carbery) itself in 1601 we find Macragh buoy O Reigan and Dermot O Regan alias Mac na Madder. (Conoghor oge O Riegan mac na Madder of Baye was pardoned a year later.) Other 1601 pardons were to Donell mac Ranell O Riegan of Cossrowragh, his sons John, Connoghor and Rickard, his daughter Katherine, and several others of the name; likewise Dermod mac Rickard O Riegan of Glennyrowry and his son Donell. Glennyrowry is now Rouryglen, and Cossrowragh must have been nearby, along the Rowry river. As a result of the land dealings that took place after the battle of Kinsale, Sir Walter Coppinger became overlord of these lands. The O Regans had to pay rent to him and grind their corn at the manor mill (Coppinger's Court) on the Rowry river.
A second influential group flourished in the shadow of the Mac Carthy Riabhach seat of power at Kilbrittain . When Domhnall na Pí_opaí_ became lord of Carbery in 1593 he appointed (or re-appointed) William riogh mac Rickard O Regan, gentleman, of Burren (par. Rathclarin) as his chief steward and collector of rents throughout most of Carbery. William and his heirs were to have two pence out of every five groats collected, a commission of 10%. The office was obviously a hereditary one, as reference was made to parts held by other heirs of William's grandfather's sept which William was to have if they died without heirs. In 1601 William riogh O Riegan, senior, of Burren was pardoned, along with his son Deirmod whose wife was Ellis Mallifont (Mellifontstown is near Kinsale.) Also in Burren were Teige mac Rickard mac Meloghlin, his wife Katherine ny Callaghan and his son Conogher. If Teige was a brother of William riogh, then William's grandfather was Melaghlin- perhaps the Malage O Regan referred to in 1543. William's son, Teige, was probably the Teige mac William O Regan of Granseur, one of the trustees of John Lord Courcy in a land settlement. Others pardoned in 1601 were Donell, Diermod, Teige and Connoghor rowe mac Donogh mac Teige O Riegane and Teige mac Donnell mac Donogh O Riegane, all of Rathclarin.
Further parts of west Cork where O Regans were pardoned in 1601 were Lishane and Cloghane in Caheragh parish, Carrigillihy in Myross, Ballymacraheen in Lislee and even Carriganass in the O Sullivan country near Bantry.
Some there were, however, who refused to be coerced into the Queen's peace. In 1594, among the Carbery followers of Florence Mac Carthy (Mó_r) who were 'to be examined' were Teig Oreigan and Moroghoe mac Dermod Oregan with his sons, Dermod, John and Donell, Murchardh seems to have been incarcerated, as ten years later, in September 1604, he was released from custody with orders to deliver up his four sons, Shane, Donnell, Donnogh and Teag- or appear himself before the justices. One can only hope he had the good sense to vanish into the wilderness, as did Mortaugh and Daniel mac Shane O Regan, brothers of Dromgarum (? Dromgarriff, par. Kilnagross) '...and other malefactors who had betaken themselves to the fastnesses of the Leap' and on whose heads there was a price of £5 (each) in July 1604. Malachy Riegan 'who served in the wars in Ireland against the heretics' joined the Spanish army in Flanders in 1606; two years later, Dermot Oriegen, Irish soldier, whose right hand had been blown off by a cannonball at the siege of Rheinbergh, got a pension from the king of Spain.
Eventually, most of them settled down to the normal routine of farming and land ownership, buying and selling, frequently in connection with various branches of the Mac Carthys. In 1603 Connnogher O Regane of Downmanone (?Dunmanway), gent., was one of the recognizances of Tadhg Mac Carthy of Dunmanway. In 1631 Daniel Mac Carthy (Riabhach) mortgaged to William mac Ranell O Regan and to Connor O Mahony the townlands of Gortroe and Dungannon in Kilmacabea parish. Two years later Teige oge O Regan alias Troha and Donogh O Regan alias Gorm were witnesses to a deed of Dermod mac Owen Mac Carthy.
Although the O Regans must have been involved in the 1641 rebellion to the same extent as their neighbours, only one was mentioned in despatches- William Leagh Regaine who was said to have killed John Ford at Gortbrack near Castlehaven in 1642. It would appear that this William was really Tadhg! In 1620 Teige mac Dermott alias Mac William Reogh Regane alias William Leigh of Burren was outlawed and attainted for breaking into Barry's castle at Timoleague (in the company of Cnogher Hurley). He was pardoned four years later. Three were named as suspected Papist rebels in Carbery- Connor O Regan, gent., Melaghlin and Randal O Regan, yeomen- yet none was outlawed in 1643 though several were listed as liable to forfeiture after the war. According to the Book of Survey and Distribution, Joane Regan of Kilbeloge in Desertserges parish lost her 165 acres which went to Lord Kingston and John Abbot. (Several members of an O Regan family of Kockacullen in this parish were Irish scholars and scribes in the early 19th century.) Daniel oge Reagan's part of Glawn-rooragh (Rouryglen) ended up in the possession of James Coppinger while Daniel mac Rannell Reagan's lands of Knockrudane (Kilfaughnabeg par.) had three claimants- Capt. Morris, James Coppinger and Lord Murphy. Knockrudane or Knockridane near Leap apparently went with Killeenleigh and what happened here was that the forfeiture was contested on the grounds that in 1641 Daniel oge had conveyed the lands to John Murphy of Leap who assigned them to his son, John , then a student at T.C.D. John (junior) succeeded in getting the lands back and he then restored them to his nephew, Daniel Regan, who was a Catholic. Confiscation again occurred as a result of the Williamite wars, Daniel being a captain in the Jacobite army. However, he got the benefit of the articles of Limerick and was restored once more in 1694. His son, Teige O Regan, was a doctor in Macroom and his grandson, James, a doctor in Mallow. Through marriage the property descended to other medical families, the Cahills and Cagneys in Cork, until finally sold to the occupying tenants under the 1903 land act.
Meanwhile, the chief seat of the family, Ballinaclogh (with Gortnecloghy) had been granted to a Cromwellian lieutenant named Portman but this confiscation was also contested, by Teige mac Shane O Regan, who pointed out that he was only thirteen years of age in 1641. His claim was admitted and he was restored to Ballinaclogh. Tadhg may have been too young for the Cromwellian wars but he was not too old to play an outstanding part in the Jacobite campaigns. In 1690 he was governor of Charlemont fort (Co. Armagh) which lay right in the path of Schomberg's southward march. He refused to surrender the fort to Schomberg until the garrison had no food left, having eaten all the horses but Tadhg's own. He then surrendered on condition of being allowed to march to Dublin unmolested. There he was knighted by King James in Dublin Castle.
At the crucial battle of the Boyne, he again had a significant role; in fact it was held by many (according to James Roche {b.1771} in his Essays by an Octogenarian) that the Irish officer who said 'Change kings and we'll fight you again' was not Patrick Sarsfield but Sir Teige O Regan. On Sarsfield's recommendation Sir Teige was then appointed governor of the fort and town of Sligo. Here also he held out against superior forces until the 6th August 1691 when he finally capitulated on condition of being allowed to march to Limerick with arms and baggage, having first ensured that the inhabitants of Sligo were guaranteed protection. At Limerick the treaty negotiations had already begun and Sir Teige later accompanied Sarsfield to France where he died. He was unmarried and his lands at Ballinaclogh went to his cousin, Captain Daniel O Regan of Kockridane, already mentioned. Another supporter of King James outlawed in 1690 was Dermot Regane of Skibbereen, gent. Among the Jacobite burgesses of Baltimore in 1689 were Daniel Regane, Timothy Regane and Thady Regane of Ballyvarloghly (?).
By 1659, according to the census of that year, O Regan families were well distributed throughout west Cork, as follows: Kinalmeaky, 19; Ibane and Barryroe, 8; Liberties of Kinsale, 8; Courceys, 5; Kilbrittain, 30; East Carbery (Reagan and Regan oge) 39; West Carbery, 58.

SOURCES:The origins of most of the Gaelic families were derived from the compilations entitled Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniaw I (ed. M.A. O'Brien), The O Clery Book of Genealogies (ed. S Pender), An Leabhar Muimhneach (ed. T. O Donnchadha), The Genealogy of Corca Laidhe (ed. J. O Donovan) and Circhad an Chaoilli (ed. P. Power). Early history was supplied mainly by the Irish annals, in particular The Annals of Inisfallen (ed. S Mac Airt) and 'Mac Carthaigh's Book' published in Miscellaneous Irish Annals (ed. S. O hInnse). The period from 1169 on is well documented (from the point of view of Norman families) in the various official documents assembled in the Calendars of Documents, Ireland, Calendars of Justiciary Rolls, etc. The 14th and 15th centuries are somewhat neglected both by official sources and by the Munster annals, but the Calendars of Papal Registers supply some details though naturally in an ecclesiastical ambience. The outstanding 16th century source for the quarrying of information on Irish families, especially those of minor importance, is, of course, the 'Fiants', in particular those of Elizabeth's reign. Fiant litterae patentes 'let letters-patent be made', is normally the initial phrase of these official warrants, signed by the Lord Deputy on behalf of the crown. Some relate to the redistribution of confiscated abbey-lands etc., but most are pardons granted to individuals or groups who applied for them. The granting of a pardon does not necessarily indicate the commission of an offence. Quite often they were sought in order to provide the recipient with a clean sheet following some military or political upheaval in which he might or might not have been involved. In other cases pardons were issued in return for the recipient's agreement to overlook payment for cattle or horses 'supplied' to the Queen's army. The important thing about these Fiants is that they furnish names and surnames of practically every able-bodied man in the countryside, and oftentimes his place of residence and occupation as well.
Readers who are interested in coats-of-arms and crests will find these expertly treated in MacLysaght's Irish Families.
Journals of the Cork Historical Society. Cork and its county have been well served by the journals of this society where for almost a century successive generations of historian have been amassing a store of material relating to family and local history.



16th April 1723

(From the original indenture in the possession of Mr S E Kingston of Dublin, 1981)

((This is an agreement made by John Hungerford to pay a dowry of £200 to George Kingston who was marrying John's neice Catherine. This was an enormous sum in 1723 and these people must have been rich. Also Hungerford is not a common Irish name. George Kingston's oldest brother Samuel had married Catherine Hungerford's sister Ann.))
By the same agreement:
*James Kingston, George's father, gives John Hungerford lands in 'the towne and lands of Deregree containing by common estimation two plowlands be the same more or less situated in the Barony of West Carbery and County of Cork together with all and singular houses buildings' for a year.
*George gets to use these lands during his natural life but John Hungerford, or his heirs, get the lands after that.
*If George pre-deceases Catherine the sum of £12 has to be paid twice yearly to their children or to her assignees.
*The land is held in trust by Richard Hungerford on a 99 year lease and then reverts to the heirs of George Kingston and his wife Catherine. If George and Catherine have no surviving heirs then the property goes to heirs George may have by a wife he marries after her death. If there are no surviving heirs then the descendants of James Kingston junior, third son of James Kingston and brother of George, get the property. If neither James nor George Kingston have children, then the heirs of Samuel Kingston, James Senior's eldest son.
*Richard Hungerford also takes on the responsibility of paying the dowry of any daughters George and Catherine may have: £150 if there is one daughter, £200 if there are two, £300 three and £400 four.
*£10 a year is to be paid to James Kingston and his wife Sarah for the remainder of their lives.))



16th April 1723

THIS INDENTURE Quadripl made ye sixteenth day of April in the yeare of our Lord & God One thousand Seven hundred twenty three Between James Kingston of Ballycatteen in the County of Cork gent of the first part, The Revd John Hungerford of Cahimore in the Said County Clerk of the Second part, Richard Hungerford of Inchydinny in the said County gent of the third part, George Kingston and Catherine Hungerford Spinster of the fourth part Whereas a marriage by the Grace of God is soon intended to be had and Solemnised by & between the said George Kingston and Catherine Hungerford in consideration whereof and of the Sume of two hundred pounds secured to be pd by the said John Hungerford to the said George Kingston as a marriage portion to and with the said Catherine He the said James Kingston hath granted bargained released and confirmed and by these presents doth grant bargaine release and Confirme unto the said John Hungerford his possessions being by vertue of a bargaine & sale to him made by the said James Kingston for one yeare bearing date next before the date of these presents, And to his heires All that and those the towne and lands of Deregree containing by common estimation two plowlands be the same more or less situated in the Barony of West Carbery and County of Cork together with all and singular houses buildings appurtenances to the premises belonging and the reversion and reversions remaindr and remaindrs rents issues and profitts of the premisses and all the estate right title and Interest of the said James Kingston or in or to the premisses to have and to hold all and singular the said Lands and premisses with their appurtenances unto the said John Hungerford his heires and assignes forever to the uses upon the trusts and Subject the payments payments (sic.) and portions hereinafter declared and limitted that is to say to the use and behestte of the said George Kingston for and during the terme of his naturall life without impeachement of wast and from and after his death to the use of the said John Hungerford and his heires upon the trust to preserve the contingent estates and uses hereinafter limitted from being destroyed and to that purpose to make entry and bring actions but nevertheless to permitt the said George Kingston and his assignes to take and have the rents issues and profitts of the premisses and from and after the death of the said George Kingston thereto the intent that the sd Catherine Hungerford and her assignes shall and may yearely and every yeare during her life have receive and take out of the aforesd lands and premisses the yearely rent or sume of twelve pounds in case She shall have any issue male or female living begotten by the sd George Kingston, but if no issue living begotten by the sd George on her that then the sd Catherine Hungerford and her assignes shall and may yearely and every yeare during her naturall life have and receive the yearely rent or Sume and in leue and Satisfaction or her Dowery & this is to be payd halfe yearely on the feasts of All Saints and Sts Phillip and Jacob by equall moyeties the first payment thereof to begin & be made on which of the sd feasts shall happen first after the decease of the said George Kingston And to this further intent that if the sd rent of twelve pounds of twenty four pounds pounds p Ann and or any part thereof shall be in arre or unpayd for the space of twenty one dayes next after any of the said feasts for paymt than and soe often it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Catherine Hungerford or her assignes into or upon the sd lands and premisses or any part thereof to enter & distraine and the distresses there found to drive impound and dispose of according to Law for satisfaction of what shall be so in arre, and from and immediately after the death of the said George Kingston the remaindr of the said lands and premises to the use and behestte of the sd Richard Hungeford his Exr Admr & assignes for the terme of Ninety Nine yeares without impeachement of wast upon the trusts and to the uses hereinafter declared, and from and after the Expiration or other determination of the said terme then to the use of the first son of the body of the said George Kingston to be begotten on the body of the sd Katherine (sic) Hungerford and of the heires male of the body of such first son and for want of Such heires male to the use of the second, third fourth and every other son and sons of the body of the sd George Kingston to be begotten on the body of the said Catherine severally and successfively in remaindr one after another as they shall be in Seniority of Age and priority of birth and of the severall and respective heires males of the body and bodyes of such son and sons issueing the eldr of the Sd sons and the heires males of his body allwayes to be preferred before the younger and the heires males of his body and in default of such issues males then to the use of the first son and every other son and sons of the body of the said George Kingston on the body of any other wife he shall have after the death of the said Katherine severally and successively one after another as they shall be in priority of birth and of the severall and respective heires males of the body of such son and sons issueing, And for want of such heires males then to ye use of James Kingston third son of the said James Kingston party to these presents for and during the terme of his naturalle life without impeachment of wast and from and after ye determination of that estate to the use of John Hungerford and his heires male to preserve the contingent estates & uses hereinafter limitted from being destroyed and from and after the death of the Sd James Kingston to the use of the first and every other son and sons of the body of the Sd James to be begotten successively and in remaindr one after another as they be in priority of birth and of the severall heires males of the body of such son and sons issueing the eldest of such son and sons of the heires males of the body allwayes to be preferred before the youngest and the heires males of his body and in default of such heires males then to the use of Saml Kingston the first son of the Sd James Kingston party to these presents and his heires males and for degault of such heires males the remaindr of the aforesd lands and premisses to the heires males of the said James Kingston ye eldr forever and as for and concerning the said terme of Ninety Nine yeares of the said lands and premisses it is hereby declared and agreed by all the partyes to these presents that the terme shall be upon the trust and to the use & intent that in case the said George Kingston shall happen to dye without leaving issue male of his body on the body of the said Katherine or if such issue males between them shall happen to dye without issue male if that there shall be one or more daughter of daughters of the body of the Sd George Kingston on the body of the said Catherine begotten which shall be living at the tyme of the commencement of the Sd terme of Ninety nine yeares that then the Sd Richd Hungerford his Exr or Admr shall by with and out of the rents issues and profitts of the said lands and premisses or by mortgage thereof for all or any part of the Sd terme levye and raise the sume or Sumes of money hereinafter mentioned for the portion and portions of such daughter or daughters to be payed as hereinafter mentions, viz, in case there shall be one such daughter and noe more then sume of one hundred and fifty pounds and if there shall be two daughters then the sume of two hundred pounds if there shall be three daughters then the sume of three hundred pounds and if there shall be found or more daughters then the sume of four hundred pounds shall be levyed and raised for the portion or portions for such daughter or daughters to be equally divided amongst them wch said portion or portions shall be payd unto such daughter of daughters respectively at the day or days of her or their respective marriage or marriages or at her or their respective ages of twenty one yeares wch shall first happen the yearely Interest of the Sd respective Sum es not exceeding six pouhnds P Cento P until pd as aforesd to goe and be applyed towards the maintenance and education of such daughter or daughters and if there be no such daughter or daughters then the Sd terme of Ninety nine yres to goe with and attend the reversion and Inheritance of the premisses imediatly expectant on the Sd terme according to the uses and estates thereof herein before declare & limitted PROVIDED alwayes and it is hereby declared and Agreed unto by all the partyes to these presents, That the Sd James Kingston partye hereto and Sarah his now wife shall & may during their naturall lives and the life of the Survivor of them have receive and take the yearely rent or Sume of tenn pounds P anno to be pd before any other rent charge or Annuity out of the aforesd lands and premisses to be payd halfe yearely the first payment to begin the first day of November next by equall portions & for nonpayment thereof to distrain for the land by distress soe taken to impound & dyspose of according to law Anything herein contained in any case to the contrary Notwithstanding AND it is further agreed by all partyes hereto that in case the Sd George Kingston shall happen to survive the Sd Catherine his intended wife and leave no issue males by her living that then it shall and may be lawfull to & for the Sd George Kingston at anytyme during his naturall life after the decease of the Sd Catherine by Deed or Deeds in writing to grant a rent charge not exceeding two hundred pounds P Anum to be issueing out of the aforesd lands & premisses in leue of a Jointure on such woeman as the said George Kingston shall take to wife after the death of the said Catherine to be held and enjoyed by her during her life and it is further agreed by all the partyes to these presents that if the Sd George Kingston shall have one or more younger Child of Children begotten by him on ye body of the said Catherine that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said George by deed of by his last will & testament in writing to charge the aforesd lands & premisses with any Sume not exceeding two hundred pounds for portion & portions of such younger child or children anything herein considered to the contrary notwithstanding And the Sd the Sd (sic) James Kingston for himself and his heires doth covenant to and with the Sd John Hungerford & his heires that he the Sd James Kingston at the tyme of the perfection hereof hath good right full title and lawfull authority to grant and convey the aforesd lands and premisses unto the Sd John Hungerford & his heires according to the true intent and meaning of these presents IN WITNESS thereof all partyes to these presents have hereunto sett their hands seales the day and years first above written.

Signed and Sealed by

Catherine Hungerford
George Kingston
Jon Hungerford
James Kingston

Signed sealed & delivered in the presence of us
? Goodman
Tho Hungerford
Sam Kingston


(Eighty-ninth year of issue)
The Origins of
Co. Cork Kingstons

(School of Philosophy, Politics and History, Ulster Polytechnic)
In confining our attention to the origins of Co. Cork Kingstons we may seem to be imposing undue restrictions, both geographical and temporal, on the scope of this enquiry, but in fact the restrictions are more apparent than real. Geographically the name Kingstone can be found in several counties in Ireland, but more Irish and Irish-emigrant Kingstons have their roots in Co. Cork, as clearly indicated by the fact that in Griffith's Valuation or Ireland in 1853 90% or Kingston householders lived in that county, and in turn 90% of these lived in the south-west division of the county, mainly in the baronies of East and West Carbery. The localisation in the title is therefore understandable; nevertheless there are occasional references to non-Cork Kingstons, the most interesting occurrence of the name being that of a Co. Longford family who anglicised the Scots-Gaelic McCloughry to Kingstone and then dropped the final 'e'. By contract Co. Cork Kingstons are of English origin, the name coming from 'King's Tun',., the king's manor, and hence the toponymic 'de Kyngeston', (of the king's manor), eventually becoming Kingston.
To offset the other limitation in the title, the concentration on Kingston origins and consequent exclusion of recent family charts, it is intended at a future date to deposit copies of these in the Genealogical Office, Dublin, the Cork Archives Institute and the Public Records Office, Belfast, where they will be available for research purposes. Their inclusion here, however, would not only make the article far too long but would prove invidious, as most of the charts related to a particular parish and many to a particular family. The collecting and collating of Kingston family trees is still continuing, and further genealogical information is always welcome.
Finally I must express my gratitude to many who have tolerated persistent questioning about former generations and have variously co-operated in research, and in particular my father, Rev. Paul Kingston, O.B.E., of Drimoleague, and a distant cousin Robert Griffiths of Reading, England, whose parallel investigations into Kingston origins and constructive criticism of my interpretation of historical sources has been most helpful. The fault is mine entirely, however, if the following pages involve any misreading of the past.


Published or privately printed articles and pamphlets on the Kingstone of Co. Cork are unfortunately few in number and often misleading in content. Whilst responsible writers such as McLysaght simply report, but thus tend to perpetuate, commonly accepted but in fact untenable traditions, others have been decidedly irresponsible in making ancestral claims and exaggerating the number of Kingston families in the country-- see, for example, the pamphlet The Royal Descent of Kingston 'Being the story of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Kingston Family in England and Ireland' (this pretentious title resting on the irrelevant fact that in 1778 an English M.P., John Kingston married a lady claiming descent from Edward I), or the absurd article 'You Whose Grandmothers are Strangers-- Listen' in the Daily Sketch of 8 January 1934, with its fantastic assertion that 'In the village he comes from' (meaning Drimoleague, although the person interviewed actually came from Caheragh) 'and in the villages around there are only Kingstons'. To be precise the proportion of Kingston householders in the parish of Drimoleague in 1853 was 1/16, and by 1934 it was certainly no greater. Clearly, therefore, any serious review of Co. Cork Kingston origins has to be corrective as well as constructive, and we begin by giving reasons for rejecting the two main traditions concerning the arrival of Kingstons in the country. Some isolated traditions, such as a reputed landing of three unknown Kingstons at Myross in Cromwell's time, are virtually untestable and not worth considering.

Bantry Bay

At the end of the six page pamphlet The Royal Descent of Kingston there is a brief paragraph headed 'The Kingston Family in Ireland before 1690', which reads:

"According to Burke's Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain-- The Family of KINGSTON, originally DE KINGSTON, migrated from England to Ireland during the great Civil War of Charles the First's time. They landed at Bantry Bay and soon established themselves in West Cork.
Checking the reference one finds that there is no mention whatever of Bantry Bay. The entry deals solely with the Kingstons who settled in Queen's County, now Laois, and who had no known connections with their namesakes in Co. Cork. The claim that the alleged Bantry Bay landing rests on the authority of Sir John Bernard Burke is thus totally false.
A more widespread belief is that the Bantry Bay story was authenticated by an article published in The Southern Star, Skibbereen, in the 1930s by its then editor, James M Burke, who frequently wrote on West Cork families. As summarised by one firm advocate of this tradition, although he admitted that he had not personally seen the article but was reporting what he had been told about it:
The Kingstons came from Somerset in small boats into Bantry Bay as fugitives running from the Puritan persecution in England in the 1640s.... The refugees had the reputation of being good farmers and were received amicably by the native Irish in the Bantry district, and were given some land in the neighbourhood.
And in 'neighbourhood' he included the adjoining parish of Drimoleague.
A prolonged search through old copies of the paper failed, however, to disclose any such article. What it disclosed, rather, was that Burke reproduced the January 1934 Daily Sketch article mentioned above in the next issue of The Southern Star under the title 'From Darkest Ireland', adding in a footnote that it was 'rather exaggerated' (the understatement of the year!) but had a great deal of truth'. He disclaimed any knowledge of the Battle of the Boyne incident cited in the article, and continued:

We have read, however, that the Kingstons are descended from one of the O'Sullivans' Bere, who was rent receiver or agent for the Earl of Kingston, and was, in consequence called Sullivan (Kingston). His descendant adopted the nickname. We don't vouch the accuracy of this...

This curious theory doesn't merit serious attention, although there was a Thomas Kingston Sullivan who was agent for Edward Edwards in 1876. The point to be underlined is that Burke patently had not at this stage investigated Kingston genealogy, nor did this brief encounter with the name prompt him to do so, as there was no subsequent article on the family between this date and the issue of 12 September 1936 which announced his death. It would seem that the fact that Burke commented on Kingston origins on this one occasion gave rise to the mistaken impression that he had written a full article on the family, and perhaps the Bantry Bay location of O'Sullivan Bere may partly explain the presumed landing place of the Kingstons, the whole story further developing with time. This is clearly evident in one typewritten account of unknown origin (but with the same false reference to Sir Bernard Burke) which describes a 'vast migration; of Kingstons to Ireland under pressure of Oliver Cromwell between 1625 and 1649, comparing the situation to the departure of the Mayflower for America in 1620. In more epic style it asserts that

History was written in blood and tears the day the Kingstons left their homes and lands, marched to the coast and boarded sailing vessels bound for Ireland. They landed at Bantry Bay... and soon established themselves in that corner of South West Ireland.

Apart from the anachronism that the Cromwellian period cannot be stretched back to 1625, twenty years before the Battle of Naseby, and even if it could Cromwell would not have forced the emigration of Englishmen allegedly akin to the Pilgrim Fathers, any suggestions that a considerable number of West Country Kingstons arrived in Drimoleague via Bantry Bay at that time is in direct conflict with the facts that it wasn't until 1652 that O'Donovan was dispossessed of his land in the locality, and that seven years later, according to the 1659 Census, there were still only twelve English in the whole parish, the corresponding number for Bantry parish being sixty-seven. Of course it is just possible that many of these sixty-seven were Kingstons who subsequently moved to Drimoleague, explaining how the name because respectively rare and numerous in the adjoining parishes, but that is hardly likely. The impression conveyed by Bishop Dive (Sic.) Downes' report of his visit to 'Dromaleague' in 1700 is that even at that date the number of settlers in the parish was relatively small. { Note 1} Thus regrettably, insofar as refugee origins would be preferable to plantation origins, the Bantry Bay theory, whilst not actually disproved, must be regarded as very improbable, and definitely untrue of any 'vast migration'. Indeed the similarity between some accounts of the Bantry Bay tradition and Bennett's description of the arrival of immigrants from Somerset in the Bandon region around 1620 arouses a strong suspicion that the latter has deeply influenced the former, if not provided most of its content-- see his History of Bandon, chapter iv.
The Boyne
Judging by the extent to which it is quoted and uncritically accepted, the tradition that Co. Cork Kingstons came to Ireland with William or Orange and settled on land received as a reward for services at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 could almost be called the classical theory of Co. Cork Kingston origins. In published form it date from September 1893 when an article entitled 'The Kingston Family in West Cork' appeared in the Parish Magazine of the United Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. In 1929 the article was slightly extended by Mrs. Catherine Shannon and publishes as a separate pamphlet with the same title. {Note 2} Incidentally there are several minor discrepancies between the 1893 and 1929 versions, most of them stylistic improvements or minor corrections, e.g. Kilnagross for Kilnacross, but also one interesting mistake in which the 'several sons' of Capt. James Kingston in 1893 had become 'seven sons' by 1929.
Our primary interest, however, is not in the 1929 additions, or even in the introduction to the 1893 article (describing the prevelance of the name Kingston in West Cork parishes and how those with the same forenames are commonly distinguished from each other by adding the name of a parent and even a grandparent, e.g. 'Richard Mary Sam', a custom still in use but by no means peculiar to Kingstons) but in the main section 'which the Rev. J. Somerville Reeves, D.D. (who was Rector of Caheragh from 1863 to 1890) has written down from the lips of Mr. Paul Kingston before his death'. This section twice mentions 1872 as the current date and states that Mr. Kingston died 'several years ago', suggesting an unfortunate gap between the story being related and recorded in writing. This may account for some misreported place names, for instance the unfamiliar townland name Ballycotton, an error the narrator would not have made, having lived in nearby Kilnagross parish before moving to Caheragh. For puposes of comparison later it is necessary to reproduce most of this section, further reference to which will be noted as 'Reeves 1871':
"Colonel James Kingston, the first of the family that visited Ireland, came from the West of England, in 1690, with William III. He was Colonel of Horse. He was accompanied by his two sons James and Paul, who were Captains of Food.
"Besides Colonel Kingston, King William had two other colonels, namely Stawell and Honor; with these he fought the famous battle of the Boyne, in which Colonel Kingston save King William's life by giving him his horse when his own refused to take the water. After the battle was over and peace was restored King William gave his Colonels and Captains land for their service both at the battles of Boyne and Aughrim: about which time, a little after the battle of Aughrim, one of Colonel Kingston's sons, Paul, died of fever in the camp at Dundalk, so that all the lands of three three Kingstons, that is, of the father and two sons, came to Captain James Kingston. Czaptain James Kingston had several sons and four daughters. The person who tells this only remembers the names of three of them. One lived in Ballycotton HOuse, another, George, lived in Barleyfield, another, Same, lived at Skave. He married first a Miss Cooke and then a Miss Blood.
"Jerry Kingston was the youngest and the narrator's great-grandfather. .... [He] settled in a farm in the Parish o fKilnacross, which he rented from one of the Stawells, who was a great friend of his, on account of the two families coming over at the same time. This was in the year 1715, the year of the great snow. His son Paul and grandson, Sam, lived and died there, and there he himself was born."

Oral traditions concerning the Boyne, recalled with varying mixtures of pride, amusement and embarrassment, inevitably tend to fill in some of the missing details-- for example, that the grant of land stretched from Bantry to Togher, north of Dunmanway, a distance of about fifteen miles, or, most baffling of all, that a Kingston family of a former generation cemented the actual deeds with King William's signature into the wall of their home. Such reports, we hasten to add, are mentioned... as mere hearsay and not as established facts.
One's initial reaction to the above simplistic account of the battle of the Boyne (as if King William has only three colonels as his most senior officers!) is to discard it as pure fantasy, especially as no list of Williamite officers so far discovered includes a Colonel Kingston or captains of that name, nor is there any documentary evidence of Kingstons subsequently being given 'land for their service' in Co. Cork or elsewhere. In fact the Williamite soldiers, unlike their Cromwellian predecessors, were not paid with grants of land, the million acres confiscated land available for disposal after various claims had been met being sold by public auction between 1701 and 1703. {Note 3} Yet despite these objections it is highly probable that there is a core of historical truth in the story, as we shall argue later, but as an account of Co. Cork Kingston origins it must be firmly rejected for the simple reason that the half remembered and misnamed Colonel James Kingston and his descendants can unmistakably be identified with a family already in Co. Cork for at least thirty years by 1690. It may well be the case that this family, although not sufficiently prominent to be listed as treasonable persons in the Act of Attainder of 1689, nevertheless fled the country, as did thousands of others, when King James II landed in Kinsale, only twelve miles from their home, in March of that year, and later returned from England with the Williamite forces; if so, the Boyne could be held to explain their re-arrival in Ireland, but not their first arrival as stated in 'Reeves 1872', and widely believed ever since.


Turning to the positive evidence of Co. Cork Kingston origins we may note by way or preface that the first known instance of the name in the county was the appointment by the king of John Kingstoun as chaplain of the church of the Holy Trinity, Cork, on 17 February, 1381. {Note 4} Kingstoun is undoubtedly a variant of Kingston, but whilst this appointment has considerable historical interested it is doubtful if it has any genealogical significance for not only would a 1381 cleric have been celibate but it is very likely that his name and royal appointment mean that he was an Englishman and not a member of a local family. On the other hand the fact that in one account his predecessor is described as 'a native of England' may imply that Kingstoun was believed to be a native of Ireland, or at least not known to be otherwise, in which case the existence of various de Kingston or de Kyngston clerics in the Dublin diocese in the fourteenth century, most notably Adam de Kingston, Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in 1349, may be relevant. {Note 5} There is no instance however, of the Kingstoun spelling of the name.

The Munster Plantation

We are wholly indebted to George Bennett's History of Bandon (Cork, 1869) for evidence of Kingston involvement in the Munster Plantation, which was approved by Elizabeth I in June 1586, following the suppression of the revolt by the Earl of Desmond and others. Over 200,000 acres of land were confiscated and granted to settlers, and for present purposes the most important 'undertaker' was Phane Beecher of London, who is 1588 received 14,000 acres of land on both sides of the Bandon river on condition that he erect homes for ninety-one English families. In contrast to other undertakers Beecher excelled in attracting colonists to the area, 'shipload after shipload' landing in Kinsale and making their way along the wooded banks of the Bandon river. Bennett then lists 170 surnames, including Kingston, as 'amongst those who settled here about this time-- either being directly brought over by Beecher himself, or who procured lands from him and established little colonies of their own, or who came over to the infant settlement for purposes of trade and commerce' (p.9).
It must be presumed that Bennett had definite ground for the inclusion of each of these names, although we are puzzled as to what sources he could have used for the period prior to 1613, the first year of the Council Book of Bandon Corporation. That book was clearly available when he was writing his History but tragically has since been lost, an appeal for information concerning the 1613-1764 Council Book in the pages of this journal in 1937 eliciting no response. Fortunately, as regards Kingston, Bennett indirectly cites on early seventeenth century instance of the name in Bandon when illustrating the judicial system which had developed in the town at that time. Taking the year 1619 as his example he names those who paid 'fines and penalties' of 20d into the 'poor man's box', and they include the entry 'Richard Kingston v Edward Porter' (p.46).
Coincidentally it was also in 1619 that Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, purchased the Beecher estate in Bandon, having earlier secured other estates in the area, and set out to induce numerous new tenants top come to the town and surrounding countryside. {Note 6} Bennett gives a further list of 264 surnames, repeating some from the former list, of those who settled around 1620, the date given in the margin but Kingston is not in this second list, consisting largely of Puritans who 'principally came from Taunton and Kingston in Somersetshire' (p.63). Again the list is introduced with the words 'Amongst those who settled...' so that negative conclusions can not be drawn from the absence of a particular name. Unhappily the origin of the earlier immigrants, more germane to this enquiry is not stated, but there is still a slight presumption in favour of Somerset, for Elizabeth in her anxiety to secure the colonisation of Munster had sent her Attorney General to Somerset to persuade the gentry to send their younger sons to Ireland as undertakers, and in turn they would draw tenants from their own localities. However she also sent letters all over England to achieve her aim.
With the exception of two vague references to a Henry Kingston in reports from Capt. John Hodder of Cork to Sir Philip Persevall in London in 1644 and 1646 {Note 7} we have found no further evidence of Co. Cork Kingstons until the 'Census about 1659'. Only one Kingston family is mentioned in the Census, and they were of Cromwellian origin (see below), but that doesn't necessarily imply that there were no other Co. Cork Kingstons, for only the 'Tituladoes' or principal persons in the various towns and townlands are actually named in the Census, and these were a small fraction of the total (for example, in the Barony of East Carbery 83 'Tituladoes' amongst 422 English and 4999 Irish, and in Bandon 43 amongst 542 English and 304 Irish). All that can be inferred, therefore, is that if some Munster Plantation Kingstons of their descendants were still in Co. Cork about 1659 they were not socially prominent.
The Cromwellian Settlement

After the Cromwellian conquests in Ireland a radical policy was adopted of transplanting the native Irish to Connaught and planting the vacated lands with 'Adventurers' (those who had advanced money to finance the military campaign) and soldiers, who were to receive grants of land as payments for their services. The Act of Satisfaction which authorised this division of Ireland into two parts was passed in September 1653, but the implementation of the Act took some years. The procedure for allocating land to the various claimants was by lot. The details of the scheme, its difficulties and only partial success need not be outlined here, but some aspects will be noted where appropriate. After restoration of the monarchy an Act of Settlement was passed in 1662 confirming the grants of land already made but allowing for appeals by some who had been dispossessed of their property. A further Act of Explanation was passed in 1665 requiring Cromwellians to surrender one third of their land to satisfy these claims. {Note 8}
Kingstons were involved in the Cromwellian settlement both as Adventurers and soldiers, but only one soldier-family settled in Co. Cork (for details of non-Cork Kingstons see Note 9). The entry in the Books of Survey and Distribution indicates that the 215 plantation acres (equivalent to 371 acres today) forfeited from Teige O'Crowley in 'East Skeagh', i.e. East Skeaf, a townland in Kilmaloda parish and about two and a half miles north of the village of Timoleague, were allocated as follows:

RentAc.Rd.Pr.£ s.d.
Richard Dashwood59 3 0 18 2
James Brayly30 0 0 9 11/4
James Draper &117 3 191 15 9 3/4
Sam Kingston7 3 26 2 5

Richard Dashwood and James Brayly (John Brayly or Braly in parallel records) received much larger grants of land elsewhere, and neither of them in fact lived in Skeaf, but Draper and Kingston received only the one allotment. Why they received a joint grant is not known. The earliest evidence of their actual residence in Skeaf is the entry in the 'Census about 1659' which reads:
'James Draper Joseph his sonn'
Samuel Kingstone John Kinstone his son' {Note 10}
Seamus Pender's comment on the original manuscript of the census that the writing is clear and legible 'with the exception of the County Cork volume... written in a very careless manner indeed' {Note 11} may account for the peculiar spelling of Kingston.
Since the baronies of East and West Carbery were amongst those designated for the use of the army, and since there is no reference to an inheritance or purchase of debentures, the grant in East Skeaf must clearly imply that he was receiving payments for military service during or possibly before the Cromwellian campaign, but unfortunately the records themselves tell us nothing about his army career or where he was recruited. Being , however, the earliest known ancestor of many, if not most, Co. Cork Kingstons, curiosity compels us to find out all we can about his life and background.


The extreme difficulty of trying to account for Samuel Kingston's army career solely in terms of his Cromwellian military service inevitably raises more speculative questions about his military service in later life, and in particular his participation in the battle of the Boyne, thus forcing us to reconsider the 'Reeves 1872' tradition.
His Pre-1659 Army Background

In numerous instances one can get a clear impression of a Cromwellian soldier's army background from the locality in which he was planted and the names of his immediate neighbours as it was general policy to allocate particular counties or baronies to specific regiments, but the trouble is that by the time the baronies of Carbery were planted this policy seems to have been relaxed, {Note 12} and hence we cannot settle the question of Kingston's army background by a few simple inferences. Nor does the location of his grant determine whether he belonged to the main Cromwellian army or to the Munster army. {Note 13} The arguments supporting these alternative may, however, be briefly noted.
The first possibility, if not the probability (and in the judgement of my co-researcher, Robert Griffiths, the strong probability, based on his continuing analysis of the fragmentary evidence concerning the backgrounds of other soldier-settlers in Carbery), is that Samuel Kingston came to Ireland with Cromwell's army in August 1649 or amongst additional forces in 1650. This would be a certainty if we could give full weight to a tradition recently reported by the descendants of a Paul Kingston who emigrated to Canada from 'the Bantry Bay area' in 1826 that 'his ancestors were English and it is said that they came to Ireland with Cromwell's invasion forces' (this being the clearest instance to date of a living Cromwellian tradition regarding Co. Cork Kingston origins), and if we could be sure that his ancestors were Skeaf Kingstons, as hinted by the names Samuel, Paul and perhaps James being common to both families. Hopefully further research will resolve the whole issue; meanwhile we must conceded that if Samuel Kingston did come to Ireland in 1649/50 we cannot as yet identify the regiment to which he belonged of the home area from which he joined the army.
The other possibility is that he had served in the Munster army before 1649, either being locally recruited or else arriving in Co. Cork in 1647 when Parliament ordered Colonel Townsend's regiment to be transported to Ireland from the West of England to reinforced the Munster amy under Lord Inchiquin. {Note 14} Links with the Munster army are suggested by the fact that the two non-resident grantees in East Skeaf, namely Brayly and Dashwood, definitely did serve in the Munster garrisons. Bennett describes Capt. John Brayly's part in an abortive attempt to overthrow the Royalist garrison in Bandon in favour of Cromwell on 16 November 1649, and Prendergast names Ensign Richard Dashwood as involved in the rendition of the Youghal garrison. {Note 15} The reputed existence of a deed showing that Brayly's grant in Skeaf was of land 'retrenched' or given up by Draper and Kingston in 1669 weakens this argument, however, putting Kingston and Brayly in different categories.
The conjecture that Samuel Kingston may have belonged to Colonel Townsend's regiment is prompted by an intriguing reference to him in Richard and Dorothea Townshend's biography of Colonel Townsend

(spelled without the 'h') entitled An Officer of the Long Parliament and his Descendants, 1892, pp. 130-31. Faced with the problem of reconciling the established family tradition that 'Townsend's wife was Hildergardis Hyde with the existence of deeds signed by Townsend and 'Mary his wife' the writers quote three possible solutions, the third being the opinion of that 'excellent genealogist, the late Dr. Denis O'Callaghan Fisher', who maintained that Colonel Townsend clearly married twice, one bridge being Hildergardis Hyde and the other 'a lady named Mary, whose surname had possibly been Kingston, as one of Colonel Townesend's younger sons was named Kingston'. Seeking to identify this Kingston relation the biographers note that
A family named Kingston was settled near Bandon. Colonel Samuel Kingston, of Skeaf in East Carbery, died 1703, leaving a son James, who was admitted freeman of Clankilty, 1710, John Townesend being sovereign; and in 1708 Bryan Townesend granted Garrendruig for 980 years to James Kingston on such very favourable terms at to make it probable that it was some sort of family affair. {Note 15a}
The plausibility of this surmise that Mary Townsend had been Mary Kingston, a sister or other near relative of Samuel of Skeaf, is evident from the fact that Skeaf actually border Kilbrittain parish in which Colonel Townsend lived at certain periods, although his primary residence was at Castletownshend, thus explaining how the couple could have met, probably around 1660-61. {Note 16} The more pertinent consideration is that the absence of Samuel Kingston's eldest son from the list of 'Tituladoes' in the 1659 Census suggests that the whole family still hadn't moved to their new home at Skeaf by that date, and a Townsend-Kingston wedding shortly afterwards would thus be more understandable if it reflected not just the geographical proximity of the two families but their previous acquaintance through common military service.
Unfortunately the supposition that Kingston belonged to Townsend's regiment still wouldn't pinpoint the area where he was recruited, as there is considerable uncertainty as to where Townsend himself originated-- indeed his family may well have been in Ireland before the Cromwellian period-- but the fact that the regiment had served in the West of England before being sent to Ireland together with the fact that the name Kingston is frequently found in Somerset and Gloucestershire, would surely favour those localities.
Colonel or Common Solider?
The anomalous situation in this respect is that the description 'Colonel Samuel Kingston' in the extract just quoted from Townsend's biography seems totally at variance with the relatively modest size of his grant, his youth (at most he would have been in his upper twenties when he came to Ireland, as will be calculated presently) and particularly the absence of any rank prefix before his name in the records of land grants, suggesting that he wasn't an officer at all when disbanded from the army. Admittedly rank prefixes are sometimes omitted in these records, and we find recipients of more than one grant variously designed with and without such prefixes, nevertheless had Kingston actually been a Cromwellian colonel and not just a more junior officer or even a common soldier, the records would hardly be silent about his status, and we therefore seem driven to the conclusion that either he wasn't a colonel, or if he was, then he must have attained that rank at a later date.
That he really was a colonel is evident from the words 'Father Col. Sam Kingston late deced.' in the Thrift abstract of the 1729 will of his son James, the only puzzle being the silence of the abstract of his own will of 1703 regarding his rank. There is no record of the wills of his other sons. It is quite possible that the reference to Col. Kingston in the Townsend biography was simply based on an inspection of these wills, the originals being still available at that time although later destroyed in the Four Courts fire of 1922, and should therefore be seen as confirming the Thrift abstract rather than being an independent witness. Paradoxically it is the account in 'Reeves 1872', despite our harsh criticisms or it, which provides genuinely independent evidence that there was a Colonel Kingston, even though it misnames him as Colonel James and misreports other details, for here we have a tradition which is manifestly not based on documentary research but has been handed down verbally from one generation to the next. Accepting that Samuel Kingston was a colonel when he died in 1703 but almost certainly not a Cromwellian colonel how and when did he gain such promotion?
One answer could be that he became a colonel in the local militia, but this is highly improbable, for even on the main occasion when companies of militia were formed for the defence of their own areas, namely in 1666 when the French were hourly expected to land in Bantry or Kinsale, 'the rank of Colonel was not conferred on any of the gentry', according to the Townsend biography (p.111). It can, of course, be taken for granted that as an ex-soldier living only twelve miles from Kinsale and six from Bandon Samuel Kingston would have been actively involved in militia service, and probably as an officer, but not with regimental command. Nor is he likely to have been appointed to such a commend in the interval between 1666 and the next major crisis in 1689, when King James II landed at Kinsale, for it seems inconceivable that a colonel of militia would escape being listed as a proscribed person in the Act of Attainder of that year. {Note 17} We should add that there are no extant lists of seventeenth century militia officers, and that Bennett's two chapters on the West Cork Militia in his History of Bandon give scant attention to the years 1651-1689. But if he was neither a Cromwellian nor a militia colonel then the only other path to such promotion would be through service at the Boyne, as firmly although misleadingly asserted in 'Reeves 1872'.

Back to the Boyne

Before examining any positive grounds for this tradition we must face the obvious objection that Samuel Kingston would have been too old to take part in that battle, so we must try to estimate his likely age by 1690. Since he lived a further thirteen years after the Boyne it is reasonable to assume that he was probably as young as known circumstances would allow at that date, and of these circumstances the most pertinent is that his second son (judging by the order of sons in the abstract of his will) was listed with his father amongst the 'Tituladoes' in the 1659 Census, presumably implying that he was no longer a child. This may depend, however, on the dispute nature of the 1659 Census. If it was merely the basis for a Poll tax, and all over fifteen had to pay double Poll tax in 1660 then John Kingston was at least fifteen in 1659, but if, as Pender argues persuasively, it was really a census, albeit incomplete and with various peculiarities, then he may have been younger. Assuming he was fifteen and therefore born in 1644, this being consistent with the John Kingston-Joan Dobson marriage of 1666, then we may plausibly speculate that his father had married about three years earlier, say at the age of twenty-one (but possibly eighteen!), and if so he could have been seventy, although he was probably less by 1690. One's immediate reaction to the suggestion that a man of such seniority could have taken part in physical warfare is understandably to treat it with contempt, but in fact it is quite feasible, especially for a senior officer, the most telling instance of this being King William's Commander-in-chief, the Duke of Schomberg, born in December, 1615, and thus in his seventy-fifth year in July 1690 when he was killed at the Boyne, in the fighting near Oldbridge. The possibility 'Samuel Kingstone' of 1659 becoming Colonel Kingston of 1690 cannot therefore be simply dismissed as an anachronism; on the contrary we seem to be at a complete loss, if we discount the tradition about Kingstons at the Boyne, to explain how he attained his rank.
More positively we may note that although no Colonel Kingston has been found in lists of Boyne officers, none of these list claiming to be complete, a Major Kingston is mentioned in a 'Memorandum by Count de Solms of the officers most fit for advancement in the English regiments in Ireland', {Note 18} undated but within the period of May 1690-October 1691, and of course the next advancement for a Major would be to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Significantly the list was 'Endorsed by the King'. If this memorandum was written before July 1690 then it could refer to Samuel of Skeaf, assuming that he had fled to England along with numerous other Co. Cork settlers following or prior to the landing of King James II at Kinsale and then returned to Ireland with the Williamite army in 1690, {Note 19} or more likely with the Duke of Schomberg the previous August, as this would fit in with the 'Reeves 1872' tradition that he lost one of his sons at the camp at Dundalk. The rapid promotion of suitable and experience soldiers in time of war is commonplace, and interestingly it was at this time that Colonel Townsend's son Bryan became a Colonel of Militia, and apparently was also at the Boyne. {Note 20} A link between the Count de Solms (or Count of Solms-Braunfels) and troops from the Bandon neighbourhood is also affirmed in a peculiar statement in Bennett's History of Bandon. Having explained that those who marched directly from Bandon to the Boyne and some of those who arrived there indirectly via England joined forces at Loughbrickland he adds that the 'Bandonians were attached to the auxiliaries from Londonderry; with whom they followed Soame's Blues into the water, and by whose side they remained fighting throughout the day.' (p.292). 'Soame's Blues' is undoubtedly meant to refer to Count de Solms' three battalions of the Dutch Blue Guards.
Needless to say it is the tradition preserved in 'Reeves 1872' which is equally if not primarily the basis for the belief that Samuel Kingston was at the Boyne. But to what extent is Reeves' account, as related to him by Paul Kingston over one hundred and eighty years after the main event concerned really reliable? Traditions, after all, not only tend to get embellished with time, with a blurring of factual details, but sometimes have no historical foundations whatever, arising merely from some misunderstanding or even wishful thinking about the past. We must therefore approach this record critically if not sceptically.

The Reliability of 'Reeves 1872'

Checking 'Reeves 1872' in the light of fact which have already emerged or will emerge in the next section we find that it is a mixture of true and mis-remembered or misunderstood oral traditions about real people and real events. Thus there was a Colonel Kingston-- but his first name was Samuel, not James; he probably did come to Ireland with William III-- but if so was only returning after a short absence; his grant of land was for military service-- but as a Cromwellian, not a Williamite soldier; he was survived by his son James-- but also by two other sons; he may have lost a son Paul who 'died of fever in the camp at Dundalk'-- but that camp, in which some two thousand Williamite soldier perished, was during the winter before the battle of the Boyne, not 'a little after the battle of Aughtrim'; he had grandsons named Samuel, George and Jeremiah, and another in 'Ballycotton' (i.e. Ballycatteen) House-- but the parentage of Samuel and Jeremiah and the location of George are misreported; he had amongst fellow-settlers in the area a Lieut. Colonel John Honor, and the Stawells were also a prominent family in the locality in the seventeenth century-- but no evidence has been found connecting either name with the Boyne.
Turning to the alleged incident in which 'Colonel Kingston saved King William's life by giving him his horse when his own refused to take the water' this is at least consistent with most histories of the battle, it being generally accepted that William had problems with his horse crossing the river, but detailed accounts vary enormously. For present purposes the most significant account could be a recent study by Peter Beresford Ellis, The Boyne Water (London 1976) p. 104.

William had trouble in crossing. His horse became bogged down and he had to dismount and have the animal dragged out of the mud. Tradition has it that an Enniskillener named Mackinlay performed this service although the Enniskillen regiment were nowhere near this area.

The implied doubts about Mackinlay (after whom an Orange Lodge has been named in Enniskillen) could be seen as leaving the way open for the rival tradition about Colonel Kingston, not that it's the only rival demanding consideration, {Note 21} but quite frankly there must be grave doubts about the Kingston tradition also, apart from the fact that Ellis is evidently mistaken about the whereabouts of the Enniskillen regiment. {Note 22} Had the event really taken place it would surely have formed part of the Boyne folklore circulating in Bandon when Bennett wrote his history of the town and surrounding areas (1st ed. 1862), yet he writes concerning the Bandonians' part in the battle:

"At this distance of time we are unable to mention any special acts of valour performed by them, as tradition briefly relates that they fought like men' (2nd ed. p 292)"

The King's gift of his watch to Colonel Beecher in gratitude for his services is mentioned in a footnote, but the legend about Colonel Kingston gets no mention, being either unknown or else not considered worth recording. So a large question mark must be placed against Colonel Kingston's alleged heroism, the claim to have actually 'saved King William's life' looking suspiciously like a blatant glorification of the service reputedly rendered.
Thus both the family and the wider historical contexts of the story related by Paul Kingston to Dr. Reeves can to a considerable degree be vindicated, yet both have been seriously distorted by time, the understandable if not inevitable fate of oral traditions in a rural community, but on the whole the impression remains that the basic contention about Colonel Kingston have fought at the Boyne is likely to be correct, and not just a misguided interpretation of hints from the past, still less a mere eighteenth or early nineteenth century fabrication to boost family prestige, as it might perversely have seemed to do at the time. Others may disagree, however, or allow only an open verdict.


By its very title a review of Co. Cork Kingston origins precludes any attempt to provide a comprehensive genealogical survey of the family down to the present day, but some account must be given of earlier generations insofar as these can be traced. We must also consider whether various isolated references to Kingstons in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries relate to the Skeaf Kingstons or point to independent branches. Finally we comment briefly on the later history of the family and on the possibility of Samuel Kingston being the common ancestor of most Co. Cork Kingstons. The most specific issue of the Drimoleague Kingstons will be treated in a later section.

Samuel Kingston's Descendants

The sources of information behind the accompanying chart, with comments on some of them, are given in Note 23. These documents fully substantiate all the main items on the chart, but we have also included a number of suggestions based on the plausible identification of individuals in the Index of Marriage Licence Bonds, some isolated

deeds and other sources. Such probable but unproved entries of parts of entries are place in brackets, plus a question mark if the probability is not judged a really strong one, and correspondingly, probable relationships are indicated by a broken line. This may appear to be an over cautious procedure but it ensures great accuracy.
To avoid misinterpreting the chart it should be observed that older wills normally name sons first and then daughters, so that the order of seniority is only for each sex and not for the family as a whole, yet the notable exception to this is the will of Samuel in 1703. The chart doesn't include non-Kingston descendants, our present interest being only in those deriving their surname from Samuel of Skeaf. It should also be noted that whilst the list of Samuel's Kingston grandchildren is to our knowledge complete, this only applies to his great-grandchildren through his son James, {Note 24} and in the next generation to the families of Thomas of Lislee, James of Kilscohanagh and James of Derrynagree and Cork. In all other instances those name may have had numerous siblings-- or none.
Most of the towns and perishes named on the chart or referred to on other pages are shown on the accompanying map, but the scale is too small to include townlands. In most instances the location of these townlands should be clear from the contexts in which they are mentioned, and indeed their exact position is frequently specified; nevertheless, for reference purposes, the following index may be helpful: Skeaf is at the 'S' in Kilmaloada; Ballycatteen, Gortnahorna and Garryndruig are in Rathclarin; Raharoon is in Ballinadee and Cashel Beg in Derestserges; Baurnahulla Clashduff, Clodagh, Derrynagree, Gurteeniher, Kilscohanagh, Knockeenbwee (Knockbue) and Moyny (Meenie) are all in Dromdaleague.
Finally we leave to the reader the task of comparing and contrasting the chart with the details in 'Reeves 1872', already quoted, except to explain that Gortnahorna is the Irish form of Barleyfield, and to suggest that Miss Bleytt is identifiable with Miss Blood.


Samuel Kingston is thus established as the earliest known ancestor of a considerable number of Co. Cork Kingstons, but the size of that number could well depend on whether contemporary and slightly later references to apparently unconnected Kingstons really represent independent Kingston families or happen to be hidden offshoots, as it were, of the Skeaf family tree. We must therefore examine all these references, beginning with five from the seventeenth century, taking them in chronological order.

A 'Paule' Kingston will

According to an index to Irish wills {Note 25} a 'Paule' Kingston of Cashelbeg, a townland about three miles NW of Skeaf, in the parish of Desertserges, died in 1683. Neither the will itself nor any abstract of it survives and we can only speculate that is a James Kingston of Desertserges who died in 1749 {Note 26} was his descendant then the absence of any reference to these Desertserges Kingstons in the will of Samuel of Skeaf in 1703 must surely imply that they were not members of his family. It is equally possible, however, that James of 1749 was not descended from Paule of 1683, in which case Paule could have been an unmarried or else childless son of Samuel of Skeaf, a family connection being perhaps indicated by the fact that Samuel's eldest son called his second boy 'Paule'. On the other hand 'Reeves 1872' claims that Paul was the name of Colonel Kingston's son who is said to have died at Dundalk in 1690. Yet another explanation consistent with the various pointers is that Paule was a brother of Samuel, with or without his own family. Plainly the whole issue is too wide open for any positive verdict and we must simply be content to allow that Paule of Cashelbeg may represent a different line of Kingstons.

Two Jeremiah Kingston administration bonds {Note 27}

The fact that both men had the same name and lived in the same perish suggest that they were father and son, who died in 1685 and 1692, administrations being settled by ecclesiastical courts mainly when persons died intestate, and not necessarily implying that the deceased had children. Again the name Jeremiah occurs amongst Samuel Kingston's grandchildren, and this, together with their residence in Samuel's own parish of Kilmaloda, prompts a strong suspicious that here we may have a branch of his own family which died out in 1692, and hence the silence concerning them in his will of 1703.

Two Samuel Kingston marriage licence bonds

These marriages to Sarah Morley in 1698 and Jane Gilks in 1699 should probably be seen as identifying the brides of Samuel Kingston's grandsons at Skeaf/W. Raharoon (first marriage) and 'Kilgariff?', but having no clues as to which bride went to which home they are not included on the chart, even as suggestions with a question mark (some actual suggestions being virtual certainties).

Restricting our survey of eighteenth century reference to the years 1700-1720, as several unknown great-grandchildren of Samuel of Skeaf could be involved in marriages etc. from about the date, we have in fact only three further entries to inspect.

A Mary Kingston marriage licence bond, 1710 and Martha Kingston administration bond, 1720.

Once more the only reason for excluding the former from the chart is that we have no way of deciding which of two grand-daughters of Samuel Kingston became Mrs Paul Myler. That one of these ladies did marry a 'Mr Maylor' is confirmed in 'Reeves 1872' (section omitted in above extract) but it is hopelessly confused regarding her identity, regarding the bridge as both the daughter of James and sister of Jeremiah instead of being either one or the other. Martha Kingston was a widow of St Finbar's parish, Cork, but as she could, for all we know, have been the wife of 'Paule', or either Jeremiah or of a Kingston on or off the chart whose marriage or second marriage is unrecorded in the Index of Marriage Licence Bonds we can draw no conclusions whatever from this reference.

William Kingston, Freeman of Clonakilty, 1707

In Dorothea Townshend's 'Notes on the Council Book of Clonakilty' Part V, published in this Journal in 1895, she speculates that William Kingston, no address given, who was sworn freeman of Clonakilty on 25 February 1707, was 'probably a son of Colonel Samuel Kingston of Skeaf'. This is extremely unlikely as there is no mention of a William in his will of 1703, and unless his great-grandchild of the name was called after a Kingston relative, possibly a brother of Samuel, then we have here a separate branch of Co. Cork Kingstons.
Thus the documentary evidence seems to point to at most a few, and conceivably only one, early Kingston family, and in further corroboration of this we find that early deeds (from 1711) covering Kingston land transactions in the county are practically all concerned with Samuel Kingston's known descendants.


The subsequent history of the Skeaf family is less certain. Admittedly some lines on the chart could be further extended, but for a great many Co. Cork Kingstons there is almost a century of silence between these early Kingstons and later family trees based on memory, traditions, church registers, land records etc., with no assurance whatever that their ancestral line goes back to Skeaf. One partial explanation of this unwelcome predicament is that the fortunes of the more prominent branches of the family-- those most likely to leave wills, deeds and other genealogical information-- seem to have faded, a cause of their decline being perhaps indicated on the chart in the comparatively early deaths of three James Kingstons, and as regards the name rather than the family the fact that some couples had no sons. As further confirmation of this decline we find that there are only three Co. Cork Kingstons in the 1876 Census of Land Owners in Ireland, the vast majority being tenant farmers sharing the insecurity and hardships of their times.
Apart, however, from the inherent probably that the Skeaf Kingstons continued to increase in Co. Cork roughly in proportion to the general population trends of the period, there is an interesting signpost to their expansion in the local barony of East Carbery, East Division. A quick glance at the chart will confirm that the family rigidly adhered to the tradition of naming the eldest son after his paternal grandfather, and that youngest sons also received family names, with the result that the thirty-one male Kingstons on the chart share eight names between them. What is even more remarkable, however, is that the thirty-four Kingston householders in the barony of East Carbery, East Division, in Griffith's Valuation of 1853 were still limited to these eight names, the most popular being James and Jeremiah. This does not positively prove their Skeaf ancestry, for the possibility of other Kingston families with similar names cannot be wholly excluded, but it must make it highly probable.
Turning to the larger family of one hundred and thirty Kingston households in the south west division of Co. Cork in Griffith's Valuation it seems by contrast highly improbable that all of these have Skeaf origins. Even in the context of the phenomenal growth of Ireland's population prior to the Famine it is still hard to credit that one household could proliferate to one hundred and thirty households in less than two hundred years (from the 1659 Census to the 1853 Valuation), especially when we find that in some lines of descent the name died out. We must therefore face the real possibility that amongst Samuel Kingston's contemporaries there could have been poorer Kingston families who because of the absence or later destruction of church registers (the only records in earlier times of rich and poor alike) have left no documentary traces of their existence, and if so later Kingstons with no positive or plausible links with Skeaf could well have more obscure plantation origins. Of more particular interest, however, is the question whether the largest concentration of Co. Cork Kingstons, in the parish of Drimoleague, is a branch of the Skeaf family tree or has sprouted from a different root.


The not uncommon assumption that nearly all Irish Kingstons come ultimately from Drimoleague is even reflected in some published references to the family. In a brief seventy word entry on Kingston in The Surnames of Ireland, {Note 28} 1969, Edward McLysaght writes of

an English family established in the Drimoleague area of west Cork in the seventeenth century and numerous there, so much so indeed that it was reported in 1885 that every one of the sixty pupils in the National School at Meenies was a Kingston

The alleged situation at Meenies school was publicised in the 1893 article 'The Kingston Family in West Cork', although it doesn't specify the exact date as 1885, just 'a few years ago'. What actually happened, according to my grandfather, was that non-Kingstons were persuaded to absent themselves on day, and Kingston numbers were inflated by the return of several former pupils, this prank being forgotten as the myth was created of the exclusively Kingston attendance at this seat of learning. As for the reputed establishment of the family in Drimoleague in the seventeenth century it is precisely because we found this to be implausible when considering the Bantry Bay theory of origins that it is now imperative to investigate possible links with Kingstons truly dating from the seventeenth century-- at Skeaf, near Timoleague, almost thirty miles away by road.
Before embarking on this enquiry it should be stressed that we cannot assume that all Drimoleague Kingstons must have exactly the same origins; in fact there are indications to the contrary. Thos who live in the townland of Gurteeniher preserve the tradition of having come from Rosscarbery, and in substantiation of this relate that until some date in the latter part of the last century when they were given permission to use Varian graves in the old cemetery at Drimoleague at Gurteeniher Kingston funeral involved taking the coffin by horse and cart all the way back to Rosscarbery, a rough journey of almost eighteen miles. This also applied to a few other Kingstons in the parish. In the neighbouring townland of Meenies, however, there was no such tradition or burial custom. Of course it is possible that Rosscarbery may only have been an intermediate stage in Kingston migrations, and that originally the 'Mary' Kingstons of Meenies and the 'Sally' Kingstons of Gurteeniher, as main branches of the family in these townlands were formerly known, both came from Skeaf-- or from somewhere else!

Proven Contacts and Their Probable Implications

Evidence that Skeaf Kingstons had definite connections with Drimoleague from near the beginning of the eighteenth century is derived almost entirely from research in the Registry of Deeds in Dublin, {Note 29} but unfortunately these findings do not by themselves sold the problem before us. To appreciate the situation fully and be able to assess its significance we must briefly summarise these early contacts with the parish.
Samuel Kingston's youngest son, James (senior) of Ballycatteen, apparently owned land in Baurnahulla, Drimoleague, as Anthony Butler of Drimoleague directed his heir in a 1718 deed to pay James Kingston £100 'by mortgage or rent charge on the lands of Ballyhalowick als. Bearnahulla', and also pay his son Samuel £40. That he had other land interests in Drimoleague is evident from gifts to his sons.
James' eldest son, Samuel of Gortnahonrna, married Ann Hungerford in 1713, and as part of the marriage settlement the groom's father made over to them 'ye plowland of Killskoghanagh in ye parish of Dromaleague', but various later deeds show they continued to live at Gortnahorna, near Skeaf. Their only sons James, however, evidently moved to Kilscohanagh before his premature death in or before 1757, as deeds from the date concern his widow and daughters and refer to him as 'late of Kilskoghanagh' but having no sons his brief residence in Drimoleague is no help to our enquiry.
James' second son, George of Garryndruig, married Catherine Hungerford in 1723, and again the marriage settlement involved the transfer of land in Drimoleague, the two ploughlands of Derrynagree, from father to son and daughter-in-law. Moreover deeds from 1747 indicate that twenty-four years later George and his 'eldest son and Heir apparent' James (but the only son mentioned in deeds) had come to live there. By 1757 James had moved to Youghal and let or sold most of the land in Derrynagree, reserving only a half ploughland for his father. Anyway he had no male offspring, so that as far as deeds are concerned we still cannot account from Drimoleague Kingstons.
James' third son, James (junior) of Ballycatteen, owned or inherited land in Clashduff, Drimoleague, oddly described as 'Calshduffe alias Ballyhalwick' in some deeds, but there is no intimation that he or his descendants ever resided in the parish.
In brief we have positive evidence of strong links between Skeaf and Drimoleague from at least 1713, but we have no proof as yet that later Drimoleague Kingstons are descended from this particular family. It is arguable, however, that the probable implication of these links forged by the more prosperous representatives of the Skeaf Kingstons is that several less prosperous relatives followed in their footsteps, as tenant farmers whose movements are totally unrecorded and whose name appear in no legal transactions of the type which has enabled us to write the history outlined in the last few paragraphs. The gaps in the top half of the Skeaf Kingston chart have plenty of room for such unknown descendants of Samuel Kingston, and the general migratory pattern of following where more enterprising members have led is well attested.
There may, however, be a more specific link between the Drimoleague and Skeaf Kingstons. In the Kingston section of her family tree, as given to Miss Jane Kingston at Kinsale in 1964, Mrs Constance Pole Bayer of Miami, Florida, U.S.A., a descendant of George of Garryndruig and Derrynagree, names six members of his family, including a second son 'Samuel of Ballincalls'. Regrettably we have been unable to trace the origin of this list, presumably an unpublished will, as the sons as named first although in fact France (1724) was older than James (1725), these two being baptised in their mother's home parish of Rosscarbery. Nor can we definitely locate 'Ballincalls', which is not in any index of townlands, but it is possibly a variant of Ballincolla in Myross parish. Despite these difficulties we feel reasonably confident about the accuracy of the list, being impressed by the general although not total reliability of Mrs Pole Bayer's research into her Kingston roots. {Note 30} Our immediate interest is to point out that if George of Garryndruig and Derrynagree did have a younger son named Samuel who like his elder brother James left Drimoleague in early manhood, there is also evidence that he later returned.
In the earliest surviving record of Drimoleague parish, the C of I Church Vestry Book dating from 1782 (which incidentally reveals that KIngstons were firmly established in the parish by that date {Note 31}), we discover an 1805 reference to Samuel Kingston of Derrynagree, and more significantly that 'Samuel Kingston, Gent' of Derrynagree was Church Warden from 1809-15, a surprisingly long tenure of an office normally held fro just a year, and presumably betraying an undue deference to his social standing as a 'Gent', a distinction rarely found in Drimoleague but frequently amongst the Skeaf Kingstons. The further discovery in the church registers that a Samuel Kingston of Derrynagree was buried on 24 April, 1835, aged 100, must unquestionably identify him as 'Samuel of Ballincalls', younger son but possibly youngest child of parents married in 1723. His return to Derrynagree also seems confirmed by deeds of 1777 and 1784 between James Kingston of Cork (and ex-Youghal, we assume) and various persons concerning the letting of 'the ploughland of N. Ballincalls'. All this, of course, is irrelevant to Drimoleague Kingston origins unless Samuel was married and had a family, and we have no direct evidence of that. The only ground for believing that he probably did have male descent is the 1830 baptism of James, child of Henry and Ellen Kingston of Derrynagree, who could have been his great-grandchild, and if so the further possibility must be allowed that the surviving church registers (from 1801) may also contain the baptisms of many non-Derrynagree descendants of Samuel, although we cannot now recognise them as such.
Insofar as purely circumstantial evidence is permissible we may add that an analysis of the forenames of the thirty-three Kingston householders in Drimoleague parish in Griffith's valuation of 1853 (almost the same number as in the whole of the barony of East Carbery East Division) shows that twenty-one of the twenty-six men, for seven of the householders were women, had 'Skeaf names', i.e. the eight forenames on the Skeaf chart, Samuel and Paul being the most frequent, but in contrast to East Carbery there was no James or Jeremiah. The earlier 1826-26 Tithe Applotment Books are less suitable for this type of comparison as they don't give a comprehensive list of all the householders in each parish, and at times they can be really frustrating for the genealogist, as when the only entry for the eastern quarter of Moyny (Meenies) is 'Samuel Kingston and Partners', with no indication of the number or the names of the partners, nor were these the only partners in the parish. Nevertheless we may observe that twenty-six of the twenty-eight Kingston forenames belong to the Skeaf category. Fully conceding the limited impact of all surveys of this sort, for they are confined to heads of households, and family names have maternal as well as paternal origins, the proportion of Skeaf forenames is still noteworthy and at least in harmony with the view that many Drimoleague Kingstons are probably of Cromwellian descent, via Skeaf.
In passing we may note that if there is any substance in an indirect reference to Drimoleague Kingston origins in a 1930 article by Daniel Nyhan entitled 'Historic Drimoleague' {Note 32} this also may be explicable in terms of a movement from around Skeaf:
"Sir Richard Cox, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who lived in Dunmanway, planted both sides of the road westward. The number of Protestant families in Gurteeniher, Knockbue and Meelawn is very high. The name Kingston abounds, there being many Catholics of that name also."

This may not specifically state but it certainly implies that many Drimoleague Kingstons were introduced to the area by Sir Richard Cox (1650-1733), who received permission in 1693 to make an English settlement and build a town at Dunmanway. Presumably and planting of the of the road westwards toward Drimoleague (two of the townlands mentioned being roughly half way in that direction but Gurteeniher is directly north of the village) would have taken place after his new town was established, but a partial investigation of Cox land interests has disclosed few holdings in Drimoleague and no connection with the later Kingston-dominated townlands of Meenies, Gurteeniher and Clodagh. The surprise was to discover deeds of 1672 and 1685 showing that Cox had taken a lease of Richard Dashwood's land in East Skeaf, suggesting some familiarity with that area, and consequently if he did induce some Kingstons to come to the Drimoleague locality, perhaps thirty to forty years later, they may not have had too far to travel.

A Drimoleague Tradition of Descent from Captain James Kingston

Finally as a sort of postscript illustrating the necessity of approaching family traditions with both sensitivity and scepticism, we consider the quite specific claim by Samuel Kingston of Meenies, {Note 33} 1861-1945, that he was 'of the ninth generation from Capt. James', a belief which was firmly if uncritically accepted, and whose total implausibility only becomes obvious when it is translated with the aid of the Skeaf chart (of whose contents Samuel would have been completely unaware) and church registers into the assertion that his father, Paul, born in 1824, was of the eighth generation from James (senior) of Ballycatteen, or of the seventh generation from one of his sons, in effect the second or third, giving an average of less than seventeen years per generation. Thus clearly the tradition as it stands is untenable but it is not this so much as the fact that we cannot readily account for it that may make it important.
Admittedly the reference to 'Capt. James' indicates that it is at least partly derived from 'Reeves 1872', as published in the 1929 pamphlet The Kingston Family in West Cork or the earlier 1893 article with the same title, but it is certainly not a direct inference from either of these publications, as the 1929 pamphlet ended by representing Samuel's contemporaries in the neighbourhood townland of Bawnboy (parish of Caheragh) as being the sixth generation from Capt. James, and correspondingly the 1893 article ended with his father's contemporaries as the fifth generation. No ninth generation theory could emerge from these document. There appear, in fact, to be only two likely or credible explanations of this ancestral claim. The first is that Samuel, or perhaps his father, had only been verbally informed, or rather misinformed, about the number of generations in the article or pamphlet, and had then concluded on the basis of some known, but now merely reputed, relationship to the Bawnboy Kingstons that he was of the same 'generation from Capt. James'. It is difficult to credit, however, that Samuel with his reported keen interest in genealogy would have been content to learn at second hand about Colonel Kingston and his descendants, or that he had never seen the printed accounts of the story with their instant refutation of any ninth generation claim supposedly resting on them.
Hence the alternative explanation in terms of an independent if somewhat exaggerated family tradition must be recognised as a distinct possibility, and even the degree of exaggeration may be far less than we are assuming. This would be the case if the original tradition was the most general one of direct descent from Colonel Kingston, this later becoming distorted into a claim of descent from Capt. James once 'Reeves 1872' spread the false notion that James was the only surviving son of Colonel Kingston after the Boyne. If this happened it would mean that the ancestral line would as easily go back to Colonel Kingston through James' elder and in fact much older brothers Samuel and John (after all, even the narrator of 'Reeves 1872' was descended from Samuel and not James as he believed), raising even a ninth generation claim, or eight generation to 1824 as above to an average of about twenty-two years, still implausible but not impossible. Thus the Meenies tradition may not be as far fetched as at first appears, but neither is it strong enough to bear the weight of any positive ancestral claims.
The cumulative force of the earlier arguments in this section, with or without the Meenies tradition, raises a strong presumption that the home of the Kingstons, as some have labelled Drimoleague, was historically their second home in Ireland, the first home for many, if not most, being in the townlands near Timoleague.


1 See the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society xv (1909) pp. 84-85; also xiv, p.70.

2. The printer, Mr D Trimble of The Guardian, Armagh, presented a copy of the pamphlet to the National Library in Dublin, and in the library index and in several bibliographies of Irish Genealogical sources he is mistakenly named as the author of the pamphlet; indeed sometimes the pamphlet is listed twice under both Shannon and Trimble.

3. Admittedly there is a James Kingston entry amongst the Co. Cork purchasers of land in 1702, according to the lists in John O'Hart, The Irish and Anglo-Irish Landed Gentry When Cromwell Came to Ireland, Dublin 1884, p 519, but an inspection of The Book of Postings and Sales of Forfeited and Other Estates and Interests in Ireland, Dublin, 1703, shows that this is a misreading of the name James Hingston, the two surnames not infrequently being confused.
To avoid further confusion it may be added that the name Lord Kingston or Earl of Kingston appears regularly in the records of land transactions of this and later periods, but this prominent landlord family of Mitchelstown Caste, Co. Cork, had no relationship whatever with those surnamed Kingston, their surname being King. The Kingston title dates from 1660 when John King of Boyle, Co. Roscommon, was created Baron Kingston. Mitchelstown Castle was destroyed in 1922 but the oddly named Kingston College, consisting of homes for those in need, is still in used nearby.

4. See Wm. Maziere Brady, Clerical and Parochial Records of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, London, 1864, vol i. p. 104; also Henry Cotton, Fasti Ecclesiae Hibernicae, Dublin, 1847-60, vol. i, p. 216.

5. Surprisingly these Kingston appointments are all found in the first half of the fourteenth century, with no record of the name in the following centuries:
1306 Nicholas de Kyngston, Canon of St Patrick's Cathedral.
1332 Death of John de Kingston, Incumbent of Dunganstown or Inishbohin.
1325 John de Kyngeston, Prebendary of Aderk. Presumably identifiable with John de Kyngeston, a Canon, appointed a Guardian of the Spritualities of the archdeaconry of Glendaloch in 1328.
1349 Adam de Kingston, Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is surmised that he was appointed as the local nominee in 1346 but replaced by the Pope's nominee in 1349, when he moved to Castleknock parish. In the list of Deans displayed in the cathedral the only date given for him is 1349.
See Henry Cotton, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 92 and 193; H. J. Lawlor, The Fasti of St. Patrick's, Dublin, Dundalk, 1930, pp. 16, 40, 93, 95 & 120.

6. Some lists of tenants in the Boyle estates are included in The Lismore Papers, e.g. MS 6139 re Bandon etc., but we haven't found any Kingstons in these lists.

7. See M.S.S. of Earl of Egmont, vol. i, Part i, pp. 248 & 315.

8. The primary available documentation on these land transactions is found in the Books of Survey and Distribution, large manuscript volumes covering the period from Cromwell to the end of that century (the Annesley copy being consulted), and also in the Appendix of, and References to, the Principal Records and Public Documents connected with the Acts of Settlement and Explanation' in Irish Record Commission Reports, 1811-1825, vol. iii, London, 1825.

9. These were two Kingston Adventurers, Felix, a stationer of London (and probably identifiable with Felix, one of the King's printers in Ireland in 1628), who advanced £100 but died in 1653 before he could settle in Ireland, and John, possibly his son, who is omitted in some lists of Adventurers. In the lots they drew land in Co. Meath.
The only Kingston soldier, apart from Samuel of Skeaf, was Ensign Humphrey Kingston, a 'Forty-nine Officer' (i.e. he had served in Ireland before 5 June 1649) who received house property in Dublin. This entry is doubtful, however, as we find an Ensign Humphrey Kinaston in one army list. There is also a very vague reference to Kingston, with no forename or other details, in one index of soldiers etc., which remains inexplicable.
According to the pedigree of the Kingstons of Co. Laois and England in the offices of the Society of Genealogists, London, the first member of that family in Ireland was a Capt. John Kingston, a Cromwellian soldier granted land in Queen's Co. We can find no documentary record of such a grant, and the fact that the family tree jumps from Capt. John Kingston to his grandsons shows some vagueness about their origins in Ireland.

10. Seamus Pender, ed., A Census of Ireland circa 1659, Dublin 1939, p. 214.

11. Ibid., Preface.

12. Although Carbery is mentioned in the Act of Satisfaction of Sept. 1653 as one of the additional baronies to be used if necessary for the 'satisfaction' of the forces then about to be disbanded it is evident from an order issued on 10 May 1655 that both East and West Carbery were 'as yet undisposed of to the said disbanded soldiery' almost two years later (see R. Dunlop, ed., Ireland Under the Commonwealth, Manchester, 1913, pp. 507-8). The next major disbanding took place in August of that year, but if Prendergast, who oddly refers to it as 'the first and largest of the three great disbandings of the army', gives the complete list of the baronies involved then the absence of Carbery must mean that it wasn't planted until the July or Nov. disbandings of 1656. (See J. P. Prendergast, The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, 3rd ed., Dublin, 1922, pp. 216-20 & 226). By that time the distribution of available land had been handed over to the officers, who appointed trustees to act on their behalf, but unfortunately no record of how they allocated areas to the various sections of the army survives (see Dunlop, op. cit., pp clvi ff.). Records of individual grants are of course known from later enrolments.

13. As Co. Cork was not amongst the counties somewhat reluctantly assigned for the satisfaction of the Munster garrisons, and as these soldiers were reported to be still waiting for their allocation of land at the time of the Restoration in 1660, it would seem that a grant in Carbery during or before 1659 could not be for service in Munster. There is ample evidence, however, that some members of these garrisons did receive land in Co. Cork, and moreover received it before the Restoration. Colonel Widnam of Youghal, for instance, got land in Fermoy, and is stated to have 'kept it after the Restoration' (Prendergast, op cit, pp. 193-4). More significantly Dashwood got land in Carbery, and all of them are listed as residents in West Cork in the 1659 Census (Bayly spelled Braily).

14. At an earlier stage in the Civil War between King Charles I and the Parliamentarians Lord Inchiquin had revolted from the side of the King to Parliament, but in 1648 he reverted to the King, and hence the Munster garrisons were actually opposed to Cromwell when he landed in Dublin the following year. Those, however, who played an active part in the surrender of these garrisons to Cromwell in November 1649 and who continued to serve under him, thus proving their 'constant good affection', were pardoned for their action in 1648, and like the rest of the army were to receive land for their arrears of pay.

15. See Bennett, op. cit., p 473 and Prendergast, op. cit., p. 193.

15a. The argument in this section isn't invalidated by an apparent confusion in the Townsend biography between the Kingston and King (John Baron Kingston) families, nor by the inaccuracy of the statement that John Townesend (Col. Townsend's grandson) was sovereign of Clonakilty in 1710. In fact John Honner was sovereign in 1710-11, and admitted not only James Kingston but also John Kingston, Samuel Kingston and Samuel Fitzjames Kingston as freemen that year (see "Notes on the Council Book of Clonakilty", collected by Dorothea Townshend, in JCHAS, vol. 2 (1896), p. 31). It wasn't until 1720 that John Townesend became sovereign, admitting Samuel Kingston of Kilgarrif as freeman (ibid., p. 132). These five Kingstons are presumably identifiable on the Skeaf chart as James (senior) of Ballycatteen, John son of John, Samuel of Skeaf & W. Raharoon, Samuel of Gortnahorna ("Fitzjames" being "son of James") and "Samuel (Kilgarriff?)" respectively, and hence they are not mentioned in the sectionon "Other and Possibly Unrelated Co. Cork Kingstons" which does consider the only other Kingston in the Clonkilty Council Book Extracts, namely William of 1707.
Incidentally Dorothea Townshend's hesitancy about identifying Colonel Townsend's second wife in the 1892 biography has vanished by 1895 when she explicity named her as Mary Kingston in her comments on the Council Book of Clonakilty (see JCHAS, vol. 1 [1895], p.390).

16. We are assuming that Townsend's fifth son Kingston was probably the first son of his second marriage. His date and place of birth are unknown but the next son was born at Kilbrittain Castle in 1664. A 1666 deed signed by Mary is mentioned in Townsend's biography. Family tradition names Hildegardis Hyde as the mother of Townsend's second son Bryan, reputedly born at Lomsale in 1648, but no details are available concerning other births until 1664, nor is it known when the first Mrs. Townsend died.

17. The only Kingston named under the Act was a 'Gent' of Knocktopher, a barony in Co. Kilkenny. Not even his forename is given, just 'Kingston'.

18. See Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reign of William and Mary, May 1690-Oct. 1691, London, 1893, p 213.

19. Bennett, op. cit., p.292, names four persons, three of them colonels, amongst the West Cork exiles who returned to Ireland with William III, but they do not include a Col. Kingston. The list is only a sample, however, and hence his silence about the name is not really significant.

20. See Brady, op. cit., pp. 114-15.

21. Lieut. Toby Mulloy is also credited with giving his horse to the King when William's charge was allegedly shot-- see Mulloy pedigree in Burke's Commoners, iv, pp 146-50.

22. See J G Simms, Jacobite Ireland 1685-91, London, 1969, p. 150: "William... himself crossed there with Inniskilling, Dutch and Danish cavalry. His horse was bogged down....'

23. (1) Thrift abstracts of the wills of Samuel Kingston, Skeaf, d.1703, his son James, Ballycatteen, d.1729; Thomas Kingston, Lislee, d. 1773, his son James, Courtmacsherry, d.1789. All that in the P.R.O. Dublin.
(2) Fisher abstract of the will of James Kingston, junior, Ballycatteen, d. 1754. Genealogical Office, Dublin. (Some of these wills also in Burke's Pedigree Charts).
(3) Kingston deeds in Registry of Deeds, Dublin, and some in possession of Mr S. E. Kingston of Dublin.
(4) Index of Marriage Licence Bonds, Diocese of Cork and Ross, 1623-1750, in P.R.O. Dublin, and also as published by H. W. Gillman, Cork 1896-7. Also Index of Cloyne Diocese. Incidentally, not all the Skeaf Kingston marriages, e.g. of son Samuel or of unnamed daughters to Austen and French, are in the Index.
(5) Kingston section of family-tree of Mrs Constance Pole Bayer of Miami, Florida.
(6) 1893 article and 1929 pamphlet on 'The Kingston Family in West Cork'.
(7) Rosscarbery Parish Registers, from 1713.
Of these the abstract of Samuel's will of 1703 is the most informative, giving the names of (presumably) all his surviving grandchildren, and indirectly the name of his dead son John, but not giving the forenames of his three married daughters. The three youngest children of his son James are omitted, probably not yet born in 1703, and these are added to the chart from the abstract of James' will. This, in fact, omits Mary, places James third and Sarah last, suggesting that by 1729 Mary was dead and also Sarah, a further daughter having been born and given the name of her dead sister. Unhappily all but two members of the family of George of Garryndruig and Derrynagree have to be taken at second-hand from Mrs Pole Bayer but nearly all other details are based on primary sources. Precedence is given to Thrift abstracts in resolving minor clashes of evidence with 'The Kingston Family in West Cork' article.

24. The assumption that Samuel of Gortnahorna had only one son is based on the description of his daughter Mary as his 'only surviving issue' in a 1768 deed, her brother James having died about ten years earlier, but strictly speaking this description does not preclude the possibility of other dead brothers, some of whom could even have been survived by their offspring, though this is not likely.

25. See W. P. W. Phillimore, ed., Indexes to Irish Wills, London, 1910, vol. ii, p.64.

26. Index of Administration Bonds, 1630-1857, Diocese of Cork.

27. Ibid.

28. See also the half-page article on Kingston in his More Irish Families, Galway & Dublin, 1960, which mentions Bandon as another area where Kingstons can be found 'in strength', and expresses doubts about the all-Kingston roll at Meenies school.

29. There is an index to Kingston (unfortunately including numerous Lord Kingston, i.e. King family) deeds in the Registry of Deeds, the vast majority of the Kingston-surname deeds dealing with the Skeaf family. It is sufficient here to note the numbers of just a few of the more important deeds substantiating contacts: 11235, 92912, 96799, 75075, 126272, 177162 and 213840.

30. One serious though understandable error was the assumption that her ancestor James of Derrynagree, Youghal and Cork was Mayor of Cork in 1787, confusing him with his first cousin of the same name. This error is repeated in her privately published book And in the New World, 1968, p.82.

31. Those attending the earliest recorded Church Vestry meeting on Easter Tuesday 2 April 1782 (which 'resolved unanimously that the sum of eighty pounds be raised.... towards the building a new Church at Dromdaleague') included Paul Kingston, Church Warden, and also Thomas and William Kingston, that is, three Kingstons amongst the eight to ten laymen present (the total being uncertain as the end of the page is worn). No townlands are specified, the earliest locatable Kingstons in these minutes being Paul of Gurteeniher, 1786, Samuel of 'Moynies', 1789, and Paul of Clodagh, 1795, each being Church Warden at the time.

32. JCHAS xxxv (1930) p. 100.

33. Known locally as 'Sam Paul Mary', but he himself was adamant that he was really 'Sam Paul Sam Paul Sam', and this pedigree can be verified except for the final Sam, that too being perfectly credible as he had presumably been told that the grandfather he never met-- a victim of the famine-- was called 'Sam Paul Sam'.