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Looking relatives of/information about the Waldrons who lived in the townland of Balseskin in the house/estate called "Rockmount" that still stands along St. Margarets Rd.  My great great grandfather, Napoleon Theophilus Waldron (1814-1894)  was born there around 1814.  He married a local girl name Catherine "Kitty" Fagan (1833-1867) on 21 Nov 1850.  They immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio (via New York) in the U.S. in 1851. 

We know the following about this family.   Birth years are approximate.  Death and marriage years documented if listed.

Napoleon was one of at least 5 children of a John Waldron (17xx-1822) and Mary Anne Colligan (or Corrigan) Waldron (1794-1860).   While John died in 1822, his will was not probated until 1867.  We do not know where his grave is located.  Mary Anne lived at Rockmount until her death in 1860.  She is buried with her son William in Glasnevin Cemetery.

John and Mary Anne's children were

Charlotte Waldron  (1809-1897) - she married a Patrick Carey of Newtown, Coolock in 1863   Died in Newtown in 1897 and left her estate to one Julia Fitzsimons (not known if she was related or a friend).   She apparently did not have any children.

Henry Waldron (1815-  ) - immigrated to U.S. around 1839 and was last known to be living in Troy, New York around 1848 according to advertisement in Boston Globe posted by my great great grandfather Napoleon looking for him in 1866.  It is not known if he married or had any children.

William Waldron (1818–1866) Buried with his mother in Glasnevin.  He was married to an Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) according to probate advertisement.  They apparently did not have any children and her fate after his death is unknown.

John Waldron (1822- )  Emmigrated to Ottowa, Illinois in the U.S. in the company of a neighbor named James Carton in 1851.  He was a carpenter.   We do not know if he married or had children. 

 Elizabeth Waldron  - 1890)   Married a widower named Peter McKenna (1810-1884) from Rowanstown, Maynooth, Kildare in 1863.  After the death of her brother William in 1866, she apparently moved to Rockmount with her adopted family (her sister Charlotte Waldron Carey and her husband Patrick Carey may have also been living at the house).   At some point, her step son Peter McKenna apparetly took over the property and she died in Newtown (home of her sister Charlotte).

We know the fate of Napoleon and Kitty and all of their descendants.  We would like to reach descendants of Peter McKenna and learn what they know of the history of Rockmount.   I am also hoping to find relatives of John Waldron or Mary Anne Colligan Waldron or Kitty Fagan. 

Jim O'Reilly  - Cleveland Ohio U.S.A.


Monday 6th March 2017, 01:50PM

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Message Board Replies

  • Dear Jim:


    Many thanks for your query to Ireland Reaching Out, and your  very informative documentation.

    We have a volunteer associated with the project who may be able to assist and I will alert him to this message on your behalf.

    In the meantime, you can check for the family through the 1901 & 1911 Censuses using not only the surnames but also the place names where they lived (or you believe they lived). 

    The link for the Censuses is here:

    If you like, you might also consider posting something about one of the family members on the XO Chronicles--by creating a profile on that individual.  That profile will be seen by all of our members and someone may be able to add to your research.

    The link for that is at the top of the page under XO Chronicles.

    A very Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and the best of luck with your research!

    Kind regards,



    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Thursday 16th March 2017, 06:11PM
  • Dear Jim

    I am the volunteer to whom Jane referred - my own surname is also Waldron.

    I am afraid that I have not come across the Finglas Waldrons before.

    Napoleon is a most unusual name in Ireland, but is common in the Keeling family who run Ireland's largest horticultural business not far from Finglas.  See

    My own Waldron ancestors are from County Roscommon.

    I am always on the lookout for male Waldrons interested in a Waldron Y-DNA project.

    By the way, you may have been misled by the word "beneficiary" at which does not mean sole beneficiary, but means executor or administrator (and in some cases the executor is not a beneficiary at all).  The will of Charlotte Carey proved in Dublin in 1899 was probably destroyed in the fire in the Public Record Office during the Civil War in 1922, so it may be impossible to discover whether Julia M. Fitzsimons was a beneficiary or the sole beneficiary in addtion to being the executor.

    Best wishes

    Paddy Waldron

    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Friday 24th March 2017, 01:37PM
  • Thank you Jane and Paddy

    Unfortunately (in terms of Y-DNA study), Napoleon and Kitty did not have any sons and I have been unable to determine the fate of his two brothers who also immigrated to the U.S..    There was a John Waldron from Finglas who served some time in prison in Dublin for neglecting his wife who is the right age to be Napoleon's brother (see attached).   He was released about a year before our John Waldron made the trip to the U.S. with the Carton's.  I have been in touch with a decendant of that family who self-published a book about their immigration.  It contains letters that have been passed down through the generations describing their journey (which included a shipwreck).   James Carton refers to him in the letters as "his man", which sounds like he was hired help - which seems odd, given that the family clearly had means.   However, if he was a ne'er-do-well, he might have just been skipping town to avoid his wife.  Oral history passed down through my Great Aunt Helen Gilbride (granddaughter of Napolean who was born the year he died, so would have only heard these stories second hand from her mother and aunts) tells us that Napoleon's mother Mary Anne was domineering and that he and Kitty jumped on the boat to New York without telling her they were leaving.   They were supposedly taking a wagon of turnips to sell in the market in town and then used that money help pay for their passage - only sending word back to Rockmount as the ship set sail.    So, John may have simply signed onto the Carton expedition as a carpenter to escape his mother as well.   Regardless, James Carton mentions that John Waldron left the farm in Ottowa IL fairly soon after they arrived and that is the last record we have of him. 

    There was also a will left by John Waldron (Napoleon's father) that apparently did not come to light until after the death of William.   I assume that was probably destroyed in the 1822 fire as well.   It would be helpful to know who actually owned Baleskin in the early 1800s.   If this person lived in England, there could be surviving correspondence between that person and their local agents regarding the tenants.  I have attached some slides I made for interested relatives a while ago that summarize what I know about the Waldrons at Rockmount.   I did find more information on Peter McKenna's family in later census records, but have not followed up on that or located any descendants of that family.



    Saturday 25th March 2017, 01:17PM

    Attached Files

  • You have found a remarkable amount of details on your Waldron relatives!

    This might be your Julia Fitzsimons in 1901:

    You might find more in the birth, marriage and death records which have been freely available online since September last at

    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Saturday 25th March 2017, 06:45PM
  • An update on John  Waldron Jr. who is mentioned in the original post.   Recent research of burial records at St. John's Catholic Cemetery on Woodland Ave in Cleveland reveal that John Waldron (1822-1876) reconnected with his older brother Napoleon and had moved to Cleveland by 1867 - shortly after Nap had placed an ad in the Boston Pilot looking for information on his brother's whereabouts.  This was 15 years after he had travelled to Ottawa Illinois with the Cartons, his neighbors from Finglas, and then parted ways with them.  We do not know where he was over these 15 years.    City directory and census records tell us he lived near his brother in Cleveland for at least the last decade of his life and was single in 1870.     He is buried in the same plot as his brother Napoleon and his brother's family at St. Johns.   The 1870 census indicates that remained a carpenter throughout his life. 



    Sunday 4th October 2020, 09:56PM
  • Dear Jim, I would echo Paddy Waldron's comments on the impressive amount you have gathered on your Waldron ancestors, in north Dublin.

    My great grandfather, Richard Hannon,  worked for Peter McKenna and you can see him enumerated on the 1901 Census in the household at Balseskin in the household of Peter and Teresa McKenna. Oddly, Richard Hannon is enumerated twice, in his employers house and with his own family. Richard Hannon came from Wexford via Celbridge for work and I have always wondered about the Kildare connection.. Knowing the specific place in Kidare, Maynooth is interesting. 

    If you check out parish records online ( , you will see that William Waldron, of Rockmount, , son of John and Mary Waldron ( no maiden name recorded), married an Elizabeth Early, of Swords,  daughter of Peter and Mary Earley, in Swords on Feb 26th 1862. So, this gives you the maiden name for William's wife

    It looks like William , the remaining son, took over the large farm from his mother, Mary Anne, when his two brothers left. Although I say large farm, I mean  large by Irish standards, Mary Anne was liable for rates on a landholding of 123 acres in Griffith's Valuation.  

    Mary was leasing her land from a James Hamilton esq in 1849, the date Griffith's was published for Balseskin

    Other landowners in the area appear to be Wiliam H. Bourne and Wiliam Green.  Land in north Dublin was held in smaller parcels than in other parts of the island. 

    Carmel Gilbride 

    Tuesday 6th October 2020, 09:03AM
  • Hi Carmel

    Thank you for finding the marriage record for William - that is great! 

    It is exciting to find someone else with a connection to Rockmount. 

    I have done a little poking around on the topic of the history of that townland.   In the the book  "A history of the County Dublin; the people, parishes and antiquities from the earliest times to the close of the eighteenth century" : Ball, F. Erlington (Francis Elrington), d. 1928 there are a couple entries on Balseskin.  it says that Balseskin was land under the control of James Plunkett at "The Time of the Rebellion"  which I believe is a reference to Irish Rebellion of 1641.  The Plunketts lived in Dunsoghly Castle, a bit north of Balseskin.  Apparently that family lived on that property continuously from the 15th century until 1870.   It makes sense that the Plunketts might have owned other nearby townlands.   I would be very inerested in learning more about their family history.

    After the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 - Balseskin was occupied by a man listed as  John "Turpoole" and his house was "rated at three hearths" - which I take to mean it was a fairly large house.  I am wondering if the original record this refers to is still extant.   As far as I have been able to determine the name "Turpoole" is non-existent outside of this passage in this book.    Their is a surname "Turple" but it is very rare and apparently of German origin  So, this might have been a transcription error.

    I think the James Hamilton who owned Balseskin at the time of Griffiths Valuation must have been James Hans Hamilton of Abbotstown House (he is on page 32 of the book).   Do you know if the estate papers of that family are available anywhere? I know they were ennobled by Queen Victoria as the Barons HolmPatrick and there still is a Baron HolmPatrick but he does not live in Ireland.   Would the estate have donated their papers to a library someplace?  It would be interesting to know when they came to own Balseskin and if they kept records of the tenents there.   Mary Anne Waldron (widow of John who died in 1822) was born either Corrigan or Colligan (daughters used both spellings in marriage records) - so the lease may have come to the Waldrons through her family or John Waldron's family.  We might be able to find out how they came to live there if there were rent/tenent records dating back into the 1700s.

    Another interesting note.  I found a newspaper adverstisement from back in the 1970's or 80's at some point that said they were auctioning off the furniture from Rockmount and that it was Georgian period furniture.   I wonder if anyone would be around that would remember when that sale happened and if anyone local acquired any of the furniture?   It seems likely that this might have included pieces dating back to when the Waldrons lived in the house. 

    - Jim

    PS - we also have Gilbrides in our ancestry.  As best as I can determine, they were from Glenfarne in County Leitrim.  My great great grandfather, Michael Gilbride was born Michael Meehan in Cleveland in 1858.  His father John Meehan died when he was a baby and his mother remarried a man named James Gilbride.  I think it is likely that James Gilbride and John Meehan were both from the same area and lived among an extended group of families that included Cullens, Kinneys and McDermotts that had all immigrated from the area around Glenfarne and remained connected and intermarried for another generation and arriving in Ohio. 





    Sunday 11th October 2020, 07:14PM

    Attached Files

  • Jim, if I may take the last issue first. Re the furniture auction. I hope your newspaper names the agent

    who undertook the sale.?  If so, they would be your first port of call.  Really the buyers could have come from anywhere

    including outside Ireland.  

    You will note from the TAB entry that Mary Anne is the landlord of three acres of her holding and the remainer she leases

    from James A. Hamilton. This dates to 1833.

    In relation to possible estate papers,, the place to begin your search would be at the National Library, www.nli,ie

    Search their Sources database to see what if anything they may have for Baron Holmpatrick.

    Records at the Registry of Deeds would be another place to search. 

    Happy to discuss Gilbrides, but outside of this forum, as this is for Finglas, Dublin

    If you wish to send me your contact details, I will reply. Carmel Gilbride





    Wednesday 14th October 2020, 10:09AM
  • Hello , my grandfather was Joseph McKenna (1891-1977). Hé lived in Rockmount with his brother Jack who died in 1973, his wife, Charlotte and their 5 children. When Charlotte died in 1990 the furniture was auctioned off and then the house. Charloote came from St. Margaret.s also and was at least 20 years younger than Joseph. If I can be of any further use don.t hesitate 

    Jennifer Boyle 

    Jennifer Boyle

    Saturday 5th December 2020, 09:33PM
  • Greetings cousin (by marriage) Jennifer.  I hope you and yours are healthy and safe.  Thank you so much for responding to my posts!  We (Napoleon Waldron's descendants) would be interested in any stories or oral history you have about Rockmount.   Your great great grandfather,  Peter McKenna (1853-1910) was the stepson of my great great great Aunt Elizabeth Waldron McKenna.   He seems to have moved to Rockmount after his father, Peter McKenna, died in Maynooth in 1884.   Between the death of William Waldron in 1866 and 1885, Rockmount seems to have been run by a caretaker.   The Dublin newspapers of the time tell us the land was being leased out for grazing and hay was being grown and sold annually.   When William Waldron died in 1866, it would appear that his widow (Elizabeth Early Waldron) initially claimed the lease - but that this was overturned in probate court when Elizabeth Waldron McKenna and her older sister Charlotte Waldron Carey produced the will of their father John Waldron who had died in 1822.   That will had not been probated, and the court case seems to have given the lease to Elizabeth and Charlotte instead of William's widow.   Unfortunately, I think that will and the court records all burned in 1922.  I am sure there was a treasure trove of facts in those records when they were extant.    I don't think Elizabeth or Charlotte lived there after 1866.  Charlotte lived in Newtown after she married Patrick Carey until her death in 1897.   Elizabeth having lived with your GGG Grandfather in Maynooth until his death, seems to have moved in with Charlotte and died in Newtown in 1890.

    A couple of specific questions.    Do you know if there were graves on the property?   We have no record of what became of John Waldron who died in 1822.      Also, have any photographs or documents been passed down in your family  of these early generations from the mid 1800s?  I would love to put faces with these names.

    - Jim





    Sunday 13th December 2020, 12:12AM
  • Hello Jim,

    Sorry for taking so long to answer your post. First of all, no graves on the property. All the McKenna's are buried in Swords, Co. Dublin. My uncle Peter is the latest, Jan 2021, aged 86. Are you sure that your Peter McKenna was my great great grandfather? Seeing as how my grandfather was born in 1891.... Concerning photos etc I've reached out to see if someone might have some. If I were you, I'd try Swords cemetary for your Waldron family. If one is there, why not the other? However, I can give you a grand tour of the place - house, garden etc 

    Best wishes






    Jennifer Boyle

    Monday 1st March 2021, 09:42PM
  • Thanks for writing back Jenny.   I did mistate the relationship - sorry.    Your grandfather Joseph, was the son of Peter McKenna (baptized Simon Peter, but seems to have gone by Peter on legal documents as an adult) (1853-1910) and Teresa Monahan (1866-190?).   Simon Peter was the son of Peter McKenna (1810-1884) and Elizabeth Campbell (1813-1859).   So, it was your great great grandfather Peter that married Elizabeth Waldron, the sister of my great great grandfather, after his first wife died - and your great grandfather Peter (Simon Peter) who was her stepson that moved to Rockmount. 

    Are the McKennas buried at St.  Colmcille's in Swords?  do you know if there are records that can be accessed on line?   Elizabeth Waldron McKenna and her sister Charlotte Waldron Carey are buried in Glasnevin.   So is their brother William and their mother.   However, their father died in 1822, which was before Glasnevin was founded.,  That was why I thought he might be buried at Rockmount.


    Wednesday 3rd March 2021, 07:34AM