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Hello my GGG Grandfather was James William Kavanagh. He was born 17 Sept 1818 in Graigue na managh. His father William Kavanagh also passed away in this town. His mother was Mary Byrne.

J W Kavanagh was a Professer of Mathematics in Trinity College in Dublin. He died in Dublin on 30 Sept 1886.

William Kavanagh was born cir 1787 died 30th may 1844

Mary Byrne was born cir 1798  died 5 sept 1844 Tramore.

If anyone can tell me where I can find out more info on William & Mary, I would greatly appreciate.

Thank you Ian Thomson


Saturday 4th Apr 2020, 02:44AM

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  • Unfortunately the records for the RC parish for Graig (Graignamanagh) only go back to about the year that your James was baptised, so it will probably not be possible to work back any further. Catholic records for the early 1800s especially for rural areas often only start in the 1830s so getting back as early as 1818 is a lucky find..

    James as a Catholic becoming a Professor of Mathematics in Trinity College would have been very unusual, as Catholics generally would not attend the collage even after it opened up admittance to them in 1790s, and the Catholic Church actually banned Catholics from attending up to the very early 1900s except with a special dispensation.

    I checked the Alumni Dublinenses which is a register of the students, graduates, professors from 1593 to 1860 but did not see entry for James.. the professor of Maths listed for the college in 1877 is a Michael Roberts, assistant William Roberts, and in both 1880 and 1884 is a William Burside, assistant is Benjamin Williamson.

    I eventually located James W. at the Catholic University, Stephen's Green, Dublin city in 1880 at the faculty of science teacher of 'Elementary Mathematics'. This University is beginnings of the modern University of Dublin (UCD), which later relocated to south County Dublin.


    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 5th Apr 2020, 05:01PM
  • Sorry for the delay on replying.

    Thank you for your research. Apparently James Kavanagh was unhappy with the catholic education system. cir 1859 He wrote letters to an Edward Cardwell MP re his disagreeance with the system.

    I will try looking more in Dublin Un.

    Regards Ian


    Sunday 19th Apr 2020, 04:45AM
  • JW Kavanagh was a prominent officer with the Board of National Education rising to rank of Head Inspector. A disciplinary action by the Board prompted him to publish anonymously a work highly critical of the national system of education - Mixed Education - The Catholic Case Stated (1859). He was appointed by Archbishop Paul Cullen to the Chair of Mathematics at the Catholic University (later University College, Dublin).


    Seosamh Ó Dubhghaill

    Monday 23rd Nov 2020, 09:37PM
  • Hi Ian, it's your Canadian cousin, Kay. I hope you are well. I am also very interested in what can be learned about the Kavanaghs in Graignamanagh! It's great to read these messages about Professor Kavanagh. Thank you. I have a family history note that I believe was written by William Kavanagh and Mary Byrne's great-granddaughter Agnes Hickey (who did not marry). It is undated, but would have been written in New York and is handwritten on yellow legal paper.

    "Great Grandparents Kavanagh

    "William Kavanagh, born in Graigue and Mary Burne (sic.) were married, their children William, James, John, Bridget and Margaret (Mrs. Kinsella) all are dead.

    "Grand Parents Kavanagh

    "James William Kavanagh and Anne Nugent, children were Mary, Agnes, William, James, Charlie, Annette, Arthur, John, Kathleen, Evangeline, Patricia, Bryan, Dermod.

    "Great Grandparents Nugents

    "William Nugent married Bridget O'Rafferty, lived in Tullamore. Their children were as follows Anne, Kate, James & Maria. William and Bridget with Kate, James and Maria came to America in the year 1850. All are now dead and buried in Ohio. Michael Nugent had two sons Edward & Richard, Emma and Fanny (Mrs. Spring).

    "James William Kavanagh born in Graigue Ireland Sept. 17, 1818 married Anne Nugent born Jan. 6, 1822 was married Oct. 10, 1842 in Tullamore by her uncle Dr. James O'Rafferty Parish Priest and Vicar General of Tullamore."

    Kay McGinnis

    Saturday 13th Nov 2021, 10:55PM

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