Irish Trip Pictures

Irish Trip Pictures-Our Great Grandparents

Patrick Henry and Catherine Murtagh Henry

Next to meeting Josephine, James, and Walter Jr. for the first time, the most touching moment of Ellen's trip to Ireland occurred on Friday, Oct 3, 2008 when she and Walter searched for her great grandparents' (and his grandparents') grave site, Patrick Henry and Catherine Murtagh Henry are the parents of her grandfather, Thomas Henry, and of Walter Jr.'s father, Walter Sr.

When Nana Henry died, Ellen's mom took some photos from 8 Mt. Vernon St., Peabody, MA. Those photos were in my basement here at 1005 Balmoral Drive. I went through the photos before leaving for Ireland. One photo showed a gravestone with a man standing next to it. I did not know who the man was. But the engraving on the gravestone was very clear. It read:

Sacred to the memory of
Died 24th March 1930
Died 7th July 1904

At the bottom of the stone it read:

R. I. P.
Erected by the HENRY family

They knew who Patrick Henry was but we were not certain about who Joseph Henry was. They had the letter (dated April 2, 1930) that Walter Henry, Sr. wrote to Grandpa Henry upon the death of their father, Patrick Henry. Within it, Walter Sr. wrote: “I buried him with Joseph in Kilmactigue. Pat Dan was at the funeral.” (Note: Pat Dan was Nana Henry's brother.)

Ellen took the photo to Ireland and the first evening (9/24/08) she met Josephine and James (in Donegaltown), Jo identified the man in the photo as her father. On 10/3/08 when she met Walter Jr. in Swinford for our day of exploration, and showed him the photo. He also verified that it was his dad. Walter Jr. had never seen the gravestone. Ellen had told him about it over the phone about two weeks before she left for Ireland. He did some preliminary investigating about where his grandparents (our great grandparents) were buried but he made no headway. He told me on the morning of 10/3 that there are two cemeteries in Kilmactigue Parish (the old one and the new one). Walter Jr.'s parents are buried in the new one. He had visited the old one between when she spoke with him and when she met him -- and he had no luck (but he had not seen the photo!!!).

And so on 10/3/08, one of their visits was to the old and heavily deteriorating Kilmactigue Parish cemetery, which is adjacent to the Kilmactigue church.

Kilmactigue church.

The cemetery sign.
Upon entering the cemetery, they entered the "abandoned" Church of Ireland church (minus a roof). Inside the church were slabs that contained the engraved names of those buried in the cemetery. No HENRY was listed and so that was a bad sign but they forged on. They looked out the end of the church down the hill and we could see the backs of two gravestones that were in the same shape as the stone in the photo I held nervously in my hand (see below next photo).
So they headed on down the hill from the inside of that roofless church and went to the first gravestone. Walter began clearing off all the growth on the front of the stone; he read the name and it was not HENRY. Ellen was crushed. But he forged on down the hill in the wet grass (and it was misting) to the next headstone. She held her breath. He began wiping the green growth and she walked down to the front of the stone. She was so nervous. What began to reveal itself was the name Patrick Henry; and so Walter kept scraping the plant growth off the front of the stone. And then they knew we had found the burial site of our ancestors. It was the most emotional moment of her trip. She had so hoped we could locate that grave site. Tommy Henry (our grandfather) had never been there to pay tribute; nor had Uncle Joe, Uncle Tom or Aunt Mary (the Peabody, MA grandchildren of Patrick and Catherine). But here they were -- Walter Henry, Jr. at his grandparents' grave and Ellen Roderick at her great grandparents' grave. When the stone was totally uncovered, it revealed the exact inscription that was in the photo, and then an additional inscription:
Died 10th March 1941


Ellen and Walter prayed at the grave site and we rejoiced that we had connected with our past; that they had been able to pay tribute to our Henry ancestors.

Walter by the gravestone.

Ellen by the gravestone.

To quote Ellen, “I was truly moved by this experience. And I am so grateful to Walter Jr. for partnering with me in finding this sacred site.”

(Ellen Roderick email dated 10/21/2008)

Addendum: Our Great Grandparents

Matter #1: Who was Joseph Henry who is buried with Patrick and Catherine Henry?

Joseph Henry (d. 1904) was the brother of Patrick Henry (d. 1883), who was the father of Patrick Henry (d. 1930), who was the father of Grandpa Henry and his eight siblings, including Walter Sr. Therefore, Joseph Henry was Patrick Henry's (d. 1930) uncle. In Walter Sr.'s April 2, 1930 letter to Grandpa Henry about their dad's death, Walter wrote: "I buried him with Joseph in Kilmactigue." We know that at Joseph's death on July 7, 1904 at Carns, Aclare, County Sligo, a Catherine Henry was present. In fact, she was the "informant." NOTE: We do not know if that Catherine Henry was Grandpa Henry's mother -- Catherine Murtagh Henry; OR was the sister of Grandpa Henry's father, Patrick. Patrick had a sister named Catherine Henry (b. 1847; date of death unknown).

Walter Henry Jr. and Josephine Henry McGroary both have told me that Joseph Henry (d. 1904) left the Carns cottages and land to Grandpa Henry's parents, Patrick and Catherine Henry. That is where Walter Jr. lives today. Walter Jr. believes that Patrick, Catherine and the children did not move to Carns until 1904 when Joseph died and they inherited the property. This is supported by a couple of different items in Jim Carlberg's genealogy research:

  1. The 1901 Ireland Census of Sligo County, Sligo South, Tubbercurry, Aclare, Tobberoddy shows Patrick Henry, his wife, and 8 children (Michael was not born until July 18, 1901). The census was collected on April 8 1901. It shows Mary O'Armstrong as the landowner. Therefore, the Henrys were NOT living in the town land of Carns but rather the town land of Tobberoddy. And they did not own the land. Previous generations of Henrys lived at Carns.

  2. Apparently, the bottom line is that Patrick and Catherine Henry's children were born and were being raised in the town land of Tubberroddy (or Tobberoddy) and not the town land of Carns. Both Tubberroddy and Carns are town lands in Aclare. They are adjacent to each other as is Lislea where Catherine Murtagh Henry was born. Tubberroddy is not to be confused with Tubbercurry which is the largest town closest to the small village of Aclare. Sometime after 1902 (date of Bridget's letter), the Henrys moved to Carns, to the property and cottages owned by Joseph Henry. It could have been as late as 1904 when he died.

Matter #1: Who was Joseph Henry who is buried with Patrick and Catherine Henry?

Walter Jr. speculates that Grandpa Henry and perhaps some of his siblings (all in the USA with the exception of Walter, Sr.) sent their mother money for a gravestone to be purchased; and that Walter Sr. sent the photo to show Grandpa Henry the outcome of their having sent the money to honor their father.

Walter Jr. speculates that Grandpa Henry and perhaps some of his siblings (all in the USA with the exception of Walter, Sr.) sent their mother money for a gravestone to be purchased; and that Walter Sr. sent the photo to show Grandpa Henry the outcome of their having sent the money to honor their father.

The gravestone where Joseph Henry along with Patrick and Catherine Henry are buried.

The "old" cottage at Carns which is next to the "new" cottage that Walter Jr. lives in.

This photo clearly shows the writing "HENRY 1812" carved into the side of the "old" cottage. So the Henry family was on that property in the early 1800s.

View the trip photos and information related to the Henry family,

View the trip photos and information related to the Sheridan family,

View the "pub" photos from the trip,

View Irish religious symbol photos from the trip,
Return the the trip Introduction.