Suggestions for tracing a possible descendent of Knights of Kerry???

This topic has 8 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 5 months ago by JillWill.

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     Noella Coutts

    For several years I have been researching my FitzGerald ancestors, both in Australia and in Ireland, but am at a loss to place my ggrandfather Patrick Henry FitzGerald said to be native of Kerry and related to the Knights of Kerry. I have always dismissed the latter claim as family folklore but a DNA connection on ancestry( and a small one to Knights of Glin) have made me revisit that idea.

    I know a lot about his life from 1800 onwards ( all verified with documents/ newspaper articles etc) when he was living and working in Dublin as a civil servant. He was born around 1762( no birth record, of course) as a superannuation record from 1826 lists his age as of then as 62. Not sure this is right though as he didn’t die until 1856 which makes him quite an old man when he died!! Still anything is possible

    The ancestry DNA connection suggests 6-8 th cousins which in my case brings me back to about the 14 th Knight of Kerry which isn’t possible as by now the family had taken the oath of allegiance and was COI where my branch definitely RC.
    This leads me to thinks perhaps he slots in to a younger brother or even another generation back.

    My question is, other than Burke’s peerage are there any other ways of tracing younger siblings of Knights?
    My ggrandfather was neither rich nor poor- his 2 sons were tertiary educated, one at Glasgow university and another at school of architecture in Dublin. But his addresses in Dublin do not suggest he was rich either!
    Do who is this man and where does he come from??


    When researching Kerry families there are a number of resources worth considering. O’Kief Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher and Upper Blackwater by Dr Albert Casey consists of 15 volumes and is very extensive though mainly covers an area bounded roughly by Newcastle, Tralee, Killarney and Mallow. There is a list of the related Kerry holdings in O’Kief on this website
    We hold the full set in our library in London. The beauty of these books are that they are not just indexed by name but by surname with first name e.g. James Fitzgerald, John Fitzgerald, Julia Fitzgerald.
    Selections from old Kerry records, historical and genealogical by Mary A Hickson 2 volumes published 1872-1874.
    A Handbook of County Kerry History and Biography by the Rev. Sir Henry L.L. Denny published 1923
    There is also County Kerry Past and Present: A Handbook to the Local and Family History of the County by Jeremiah King. This is digitised and online on However I think this book probably does not have enough detail for you on the Fitzgeralds.

    Then there is the more recent book Voices from the Great Houses of Cork and Kerry by Jane O’Keefe published by Mercier Press 2013. This is said to include the Fitzgeralds, Knights of Kerry but I am not sure how much detail it goes into.

    Have you checked the Irish Genealogist database to see if there has been an article on the extended family in the IGRS journal over the last 80+ years?

     Noella Coutts


    Thank you so much for your reply and suggestions form further research. Unfortunately, being in Australia mean I am restricted to online resources. I have looked at the journal articles on IGRS but so far nothing has come up. But I will keep searching.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.



     Web Editor

    Try also Debretts – and older editions of both it and Burke’s.

    I also wouldn’t discount the religion change – your ancestor may have married a Catholic and just decided to go along with it – although in that period, it would be a surprising conversion.

     Noella Coutts

    Are the older Debretts and Burke’s online? Can’t seem to find much.

    i have however done a family tree and can see where he may fit into the family but no descendants seem to be recorded.

    The  14 th Knight ( who is approx 6 generations back for me ) and who took the oath of allegiance had at least 3 younger brothers but I cannot see if they had any descendants! One of these would fit in for my DNA connection.

     Web Editor

    Not likely to be online but you could try and google books. Sometimes older editions make it in there.

    Eventually, you’ll have to try repositories for this kind of thing though.

    Do also consider that the DNA match might be on another line, especially when it’s a small one.

     Noella Coutts

    Thank your reply. I have considered that the DNA connection could be through another ancestor and have looked closely at this matches extensive and we researched tree- far bigger than mine. No surnames seem to be in common with my own, however, well at least so far. Counties,yes. We have those in common but otherwise only the surname FitzGerald. Funnily enough I have another small one yesterday when searching through unviewed matches. Not as well researched a tree, though.
    smaller marches are hard to work with! On Ancestry however I have several 6cm verified matches! Someone in New Zealand has done lots of work on our Wilson tree!! All well documented.

    You me tion repositories- what are they? Guess they are only accessible in Dublin??




     Web Editor

    Yes, generally, National Archives, National Library, possibly the Registry of Deeds.
    I’d also look at what material they have in the Kerry County Library.


    Noella you can find free access to some Burke here

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