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Martin Families of Kingscourt

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Submitted by Peter Martin

For more details and current research by Peter Martin: Click here
 
Patriarch James Martin
I have been gathering information on my family roots for several years but so far have only been able to trace back to James Martin & his wife Bridget (Carroll) to the late 18th century. James Martin’s family originated from Tory Bush - a crossroads on the Bailieborough to Kingscourt Road R165, about 3 miles from Kingscourt. It is in the townland of Collops, between Kingscourt and Bailieborough & several references to deaths in ‘Tory Bush’ have been unearthed & several family members have visited the house.
 
 
TORY BUSH MARTIN HOUSE PHOT0S BY PHILIP DONNELLY OF OTTAWA, MAY 22, 2009
 
 
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Martin House at Tory Bush
at 90 degree bend on Main Road R165, halfway between Kingscourt and Bailieborough
 
 
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Martin House at Tory Bush
front yard view
 
 
 
Ann Eiller visited Tory Bush in 1990 - “there was a huge thorny bush growing over the wall at the front of the house”. 
She told her father, James Martin (son of Eugene) that she believed it was a cotoneaster & he said that the bush had been there as far back as he could remember & that it might have something to do with the name. Note – The cotoneaster is a type of woody plant, in the rose family, related to the hawthorn. There are many species but the majority are shrubs from 0.5 to 5 m tall & a few are small trees that grow up to 15m tall & 75 cm in diameter. It has evergreen leaves, small flowers & the fruit is bright red berries.
 
Peter Martin (NY) visited Ireland in 2008 – “As far as connections with Tory Bush - It seems the entire Keenan family understand our family roots, as does Gerry Curtis. Gerry took me to the Tory bush when I was there. It is a lone bush on a hill, and about 200 yards from that, is the original home of the Tory Bush Martin’s, which is still inhabited, and looks very well. It appears that James was born in the house in Tory Bush by deduction in the late 1700’s. Not too much is known about James! He married a lady named Bridget Carroll & they had five children, Eugene, James, Michael, Peter & Mary. After their marriage they lived in a cottage in what was then called Church Street, now Main Street, Kingscourt (possibly No 5). According to his son Michael’s marriage certificate his occupation was that of a farmer.
 
 
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Michael Martin

son of James Martin and Bridget

Eugene Martin

son of James Martin and Bridget

 
There is an entry in the RC Parish of Enniskeen records that a James Martin died in 1848. What we know of his children follows:
 
Son – Eugene Martin
 Eugene Martin married Annie Mooney & had nine children, Jimmy, Patrick, Michael, Peter, Eugene, Mary, John, Patrick & Kathleen. Eugene Martin was born on 12 August 1866 to James Martin & Bridget Carroll. The sponsor at his baptism was Ellen Carroll. Eugene Owen Martin died in 1944, aged 78 years.
 
 Son – James Martin
James Martin married * Clark & had seven children Eileen, John, Eugene, Andy, Rose, Bridget & Michael.
The Christian name of his wife is unknown. James Martin was born on 13 April 1873 to James Martin & Bridget Carroll. The Parish priest at his baptism was Father Richard Kelly & the sponsors were Pat Farrelly & Rose Donahue.
 
Son – Michael Martin
Michael Martin was born in the family home in Tory Bush on 5 June 1875 to parents James Martin & Bridget (Anne) Carroll. Sponsors at his baptism were Patrick Martin (possible brother?) & Bridget McCardle
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Michael Martin married Annie Reilly in the RC  Chapel of Kingscourt on the 16 May 1900 The Parish Priest was father Joseph Flood & the witnesses to the marriage were Peter Keelan & Lizzie Halton. At the time of his marriage he was 25 years old & his wife was 21.  The couple moved into a house (No. 3) in Main Street, Kingscourt. (The house is still there!).
 
During their marriage Annie & Michael had ten children Michael, Mary, James, Bridget, Philomena, Anna, Peter, Eileen, Jack & Miread. Bridget & Philomena both died before they reached one year of age.  Their marriage certificate gives Michael Martin’s occupation as a Labourer & his wife Ann’s as a domestic servant. The marriage certificate of their son James Martin gives Michael Martin’s occupation as a domestic gardener, so he apparently changed jobs & he later worked as a debt collector. It was this latter occupation that lead to his nickname which was apparently, "Quick Mick Martin” He was also a sexton in the local church.
  
Recollection - Jim Keenan, son of Anna Martin
“Our grandfather was nicknamed "Quick Mick", because he had a part-time job delivering civil bills on behalf of the courts and, after serving the bill on an individual, he was renowned for his speedy exit from the premises or lands. His modus operandi was to rise at the crack of dawn and walk to the individual's abode, knock on the front door of the premises and present the court summons to the half-dressed and half-asleep occupant. He then “legged” it as soon as possible, from the immediate environs before, as they say ‘the penny dropped’".
 
Recollection - Madie Allen, daughter
“Father was brought up in Tory Bush & often on a Sunday afternoon he would walk there with his children to visit his brother Ownie (Eugene?) who carried on living there with his parents. Ownie & his wife Ann are buried in Kingscourt besides Michael & Anne. As far as we know the house at Tory Bush is still occupied by Ownie's son’s widow.
 
Recollection - Peter Martin, son of Michael Martin
“Granda used to work in a small family farm up behind the family house on what was known as Church Street (now Main Street) He used to have his lunch brought up so that he could eat right where he was working. Besides his other part time jobs he was also a Sexton or Caretaker of the local church.” “The Tory Bush is, I think, a place,. Gerard Curtis took me there & there is a big old house there. He said “This is the Tory Bush” but on the way to the house I was of the impression that we were already in the Tory Bush….! “
 
Recollections - Anna Keenan, daughter
“My father was a gardener for the two banks in town. He had to work keeping the gardens of the bank premises clean & tidy – he did that work all year round. In the summer he would work until seven or eight o’clock but only until four o’clock in the winter, but he was lucky to have it. It was very hard going: there was no money to spare; every penny had to be watched. Now he grew a lot of vegetables in the garden & he always had a ridge of potatoes in the field; so that did help.” Michael Martin died in 1943 at the age of 73. He is buried in the Catholic Church in Kingscourt together with his wife
 
Son – Peter Martin                                             
Peter Martin was never married-he drowned at sea in the 1920's.
 
Daughter – Mary Martin                                         
Mary Martin married Terry Boyle & had two children, Terry & Annie
 
If anyone reading this should have any information that will add to the story above please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Regards. Peter Martin. 076 140 7465
 

The Eyes That Shone - from Ireland to Canada in the 1950s

But a word of warning! The Eyes That Shone is not a saga filled with horrible tragedy and dysfunctional relationships, but rather a celebration of family lives in Ireland and Canada, in other words, a happy story featuring:

  • Memories of life on small farms in Ireland before 1950 and before tractors and electrification, when growing food depended largely on human sweat and muscle
  • Recollections about people and events in the Department of Public Works of Canada where the author worked during the period 1957 to 1991
  • Intimate perspectives on living and dying, politics and religion, home and family