I have been rechecking everything here and note the following:
I found a few more accounts of the incident in Kandahar but nothing useful.
In the Tithe Defaulters’ List of 1831 Dennis Gorman of Ballyduff(e) is listed as a ‘smith’ which ties him to the Gormans I am referring to and to Patrick Gorman on the U.S. record but not on any Irish records. I keep rechecking if there is confusion here.
Patrick Gorman who emigrated to the U.S. around 1849/1850 brought a family who were born in Firgrove and included twins Denis and James. I noted that a stipend was paid when the first two children were baptised but not for the later ones. This was during the famine so that is not surprising. The ages and sequence of the children are mostly right and I didn’t find any other Gorman twins to match on Roots. They later had a son called Terrence. Patrick is listed as a ‘blacksmith’ and his son John is listed as a ‘blacksmith’ in the 1860 census. I haven’t been able to trace them later as unless they are together it is not possible to be sure I have the right ‘Gormans’ I will keep looking. There is a Michael O’Gorman who enlisted in the Minnesota Volunteers on the Union side but there is not enough information to be sure he is a nephew of Michael O’Grady Gorman.
My great grandfather, John Gorman who lived in Firgrove MAY be Patrick’s son John but only if he returned to Ireland in the next few years. It seems unlikely but a blacksmith of that name married in Inistioge in 1867 and was living in Firgrove when my grandfather Denis was born in 1871. The remains of the forge can still be seen through the trees.
I will check the Valuation Lists for change of tenants and keep my antennae out for descendents who MIGHT know any of Michael O’Grady Gorman’s history or if the artifacts that were returned to his family still exist.
The biggest mystery is how that gentleman (spy or not) was educated. Major Todd was an intellectual of high calibre and it is hard to see how and why he would select a scribe from the ranks. My family left that area in the middle of the twentieth century as there was a lack of schools; it was hardly better served in the early eighteen hundreds, or perhaps it was.