August 22, 2017 at 5:27 pm #9473
Seeking any information regarding this family. A headstone was erected at Famma/Brownsbarn graveyard to Michael O’Gorman who was assassinated in Kandahar, Afghanistan in July 1841. He is sometimes called Michael O’Grady Gorman; his father was Denis Gorman (1765-1842) and his mother was Eleanor Grady. Other members of the family are recorded on the headstone and the family can be found in the Tithes at Ballyduff. A full description of the assassination and its ramifications can be found on http://kilkennygraveyards.blogspot.co.uk (Famma Graveyard posted 14/7/2016) in a letter written to Michael O’Gorman’s sister Mrs Murphy of Kingstown, Dublin by his then commanding officer Lieutenant North of the Bombay Engineers, Assistant Political Agent at Kandahar. This letter was published in full in The Freeman’s Journal for 12th November 1841.
MaryMarch 11, 2018 at 1:54 am #9792
I started to reply to this but seem to have lost it. If it has been received please let me know. I am a Gorman from that area who has researched this family and may be related to them.March 11, 2018 at 2:23 am #9793
I can see that my earlier post has disappeared. Rather than repeat it (as it is late) I will just jot down a few points.
Michael O’Grady Gorman’s brother Patrick almost definitely emigrated to the U.S. shortly before 1850 and had a son called Michael who fought and was injured in the American Civil War. Are you aware of this? He had a son called Terrence born in the U.S.
That Patrick had a son called John, born in Firgrove (part of Bohilla) in 1939. My Great Grandfather was John Gorman who had a forge in Firgrove. I don’t know if he returned from the U.S. or if it is a different John Gorman who is most likely related to the other one. Both families are described as Blacksmiths or Smiths though a later member, Terrence I think, is listed as a ‘shoer of horses’.
There are discrepancies, particularly as my John Gorman’s father is named as Daniel on the transcription of his Civil Marriage Cert, not Patrick. Daniel is very unlikely. I considered that it is more likely that his father was Denis but haven’t found anything to support that except the name of his first son and a death cert for a Denis Gorman, a widower and a blacksmith, Firgrove, notified by a Mary Keeffe. There was an earlier Denis Gorman, a blacksmith from Inistioge whose wife Catherine Parker died in Halifax in 1827. He arrived in New York a few months later and I haven’t found any trace of him after that but he may have been on his way home.
None of this adds to the more interesting story of Michael O’Grady Gorman, and I haven’t found anything about him that hasn’t been found yet. I felt for the family if they found that their hero was being described as a spy. Perhaps he was engaged in negotiations for the exchange of prisoners which was going on at the time?
I hope this is of some help. I really appreciate your work.
Brid O’GormanMarch 11, 2018 at 6:43 pm #9798
Hello Brid, It is lovely to hear from a member of the family. I think you must be connected. Bernie and I went about as far as we could with research into Michael who was killed in 1841. It does make sense that some of his family were blacksmiths as he was in a horse artillery regiment. He own father though is not listed as a blacksmith but I can see that others at Ballyshane, Inistiogue and at Bohilla in the 1901 census are listed as blacksmiths. Ballyduff itself in the 1901 census lists a Denis Gorman, 50, a labourer. But Denis Gorman at Ballyshane is a blacksmith. Have you ben through the catholic registers for Inistiogue yourself/ It can be a bit of a slog but might be worth it. Online and free at The National Library Dublin. Rootsireland, which is a pay site has then indexed which might be easier to use. A day ticket, so to speak only costs about £9. We would love to hear more about Michael’s brother Patrick who left for America. They were an enterprising family and obviously fairly well educated for Michael to end up as a writer for one of the officers. Patrick’s son Michael who served in the American civil war is also interesting, Was he on the Union side? And his son Terrence. The use of these name in your branch of the family, as well as in the Ballyduff line would indicate a connection. I think that the line at Ballyduff must have now died out or all moved away. Priests often transcribed wrong names into registers, Mary for Margaret etc., so I don’t think your problem with Daniel/Denis should worry you too much. There is so much other material pointing to a connection. Please do let us have some more information on your line. Bernie and I are working all the time in the Kilkenny graveyards. Finding Michael’s stone was a wonderful bit of luck. Please keep in touch Mary and BernieMarch 11, 2018 at 9:57 pm #9799
I have done exhaustive research. That is how I found the entries in the U.S. census and I have checked and rechecked the entries in Roots and have checked the registers in the NLI. The people in the U.S. census are described as blacksmiths. I think the family identified strongly with that skill. I will recheck everything I have and put it in a structured form. I am currently writing my family history – albeit from a distance – so that future generations can know what went before. I had thought the Gorman side was not as interesting as my mother’s side but your findings challenge that. Perhaps through this forum we can join the dots and bring history alive.
Brid O’GormanMarch 14, 2018 at 2:53 am #9802
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.March 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm #9804
Hello again Brid. thank you so much for all this information. It is only by building up a picture, bit by bit, that you may finally get a breakthrough and eventually that something will click into place. Having read all the research you have done, it seem to me that there is most probably a connection with Michael O’Grady Gorman. It is simply not a coincidence that all these people were blacksmiths and that Michael was in the Horse Artillery. Recruitment for the Indian Army service was going on in this area of Kilkenny at the time Michael must have enlisted. We have another fellow, about two villages away, also in the Indian service as an ordinary soldier but he returned to Ireland. There must have been someone in the area with connections to get these lads into the Indian Service. Interesting that he opted for this rather than the more conventional British Army regiments. Mind you since he must have enlisted after Waterloo in 1815 and after that date many British Army regiments were disbanded or reduced as they were simply no longer needed since Napoleon had been defeated. Further Michael does seems to have been bright; I have a feeling that someone, the landlord perhaps(?), or some other person in the local gentry noticed that he was bright and took an interest in him; this may be the same person that endorsed any papers that had to be filled in for the Indian Army. I do not think it a coincidence either that his assassin mistook him for an officer – he obviously had something about him that made him stand out from the crowd. Papers in the Indian Office Library may help you there. He would have had to have completed an entry applications (although this might be called something else). We will keep looking at this end and let you know if we find anything.
MaryMarch 20, 2018 at 1:49 am #9805
I am tracing the Minnesota O’Gormans and have got as far as Patrick’s will, i.e. Michael O’Grady Gorman’s brother Patrick. There is no mention of his son John, who is possibly my great grandfather. That John may have died or he may have come back to Ireland. There is a mention of K company (Civil War) on one of the headstones but I have to be very careful that I have the right O’Gormans. Another O’Gorman from Kilkenny emigrated around the same time and he and his friend Richard Ireland had sons who became bishops. Because of this there is an account written about how they and their families made their way in the new country and why they settled in Minnesota. There is confusion in compiled records about one of Patrick’s daughters as there seem to be two marriages of a Margaret O’Gorman to a Patrick Quigley. One of them has descendents but I haven’t established yet whether it is the right one or not. This search is proving very interesting but I have a daughter getting married in three days so I must leave it for the moment. Thank you sincerely for setting me on this chase whether I am following my great grandfather and great great grandfather or not.
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