GortnahoeCounty Tipperary

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Timothy Forde & Family First National School Teachers  1832-1867
Timothy Forde & Family First National School Teachers 1832-1867

Timothy Ford(e) and wife Mary Common (my 3x great grandparents)  as well as their children in turn, taught school in the small stone schoolhouse in New Birmingham/Glengoole, Co Tipperary.   The village was built up to support the mining company up the reen as developed by the local land baron Sir Vere Hunt early 1800s. Historians assume the school was built about 1820.

Timothy was most likely a hedge school teacher and first appears in records as 'father' along with wife Mary, in first child's baptism record 1830(Cappawhite). Interestingly, it is noted by his name that he is 'teacher'. I'm assuming Timothy and family moved to New Birmingham early 1830s to take the position of teacher there, around the time the National School system was being established 1831

NS records in the National Archives (Dublin) have NB/Glengoole parish's application to the NS system with Timothy Ford as teacher in 1834. Through the years, it was recorded that they had off and on, over 100 students registered in that 14x32 ft. dirt floor stone building. At one time the school was whitewashed and now is back to stone as the village shop.

Timothy's wife Mary applied to teach needlework in 1846 (Great Hunger times) and taught a couple of years after Timothy's passing January of 1865. Their daughter Anne carried until her marriage and birth of her first child 1877.

One cute story recorded in the records about Timothy, was that when the Inspector came calling once, he found Timothy had pigs in the schoolhouse and so this was written up in the report. While standing in line to get this page in the huge book copied, a gentleman gave me a possible explaination for Timothy to have had the pigs in the school: "Pigs were smaller then....If he had left them at home, someone could have lifted them!"

The 'new' school across the street was built early 1960s and has on it's front wall, a plaque my cousin and I commissioned 2019, to honor our Forde ancestors.


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