By Damian Mac Con Uladh
Since the successful publication of Killure–Kilgerrill: Its People and Places late last year, Killure Heritage Group took on the task of enhancing the information that was already on the FindAGrave website for Kilgerrill Graveyard, completing the entries on the 150 or so people known to be buried in this small, remote cemetery between Ballinasloe and Kilconnell.
Where we could, we added birth/marriage/death dates for the people buried there and linked the various families together and were also able to link the resting places of some emigrant offspring back to their parents in Kilgerrill. In addition, the people who are named on the 30 or so memorials in the graveyard, we were also to add the names of another 12 people we know are buried there from press reports and death notices but are not named on any headstone.
On a bitterly cold morning last Christmas, when I was double-checking some inscriptions with TJ Cleary and Gerard Jennings of Killure Heritage Group, a visitor arrived at the cemetery and soon enquired if we knew where the Kenny grave was. TJ was able to help.
It turned out that the visitor, Trish Schroeder, was a great-great granddaughter of Peter Kenny (1844–1909) and Margaret Walsh (1851–1916), of Northbrook, Kilconnell, and that she had come all the way from Illinois to retrace her ancestors. Trish had known her great-grandfather Peter Kenny had come from Ballinasloe, but it was only when she saw the headstone on FindAGrave around the time that we had updated the information on it that she knew where to visit.
The chances of meeting someone else while visiting Kilgerrill cemetery are slim so the timing couldn’t have been better. As Trish said, some of her Kenny ancestors must have been looking out for her.
With TJ’s knowledge, I realised that I know Trish’s second cousin once removed in Ballinasloe, Anthony Lawless, and I was able to put them in contact.
Trish says that her grandfather James Brendan Kenney – who was serving in the US Army in Europe at the time – visited Kilgerrill sometime in the 1950s and she produced a photograph from that visit. She was keen to identify the other men in the picture. Mary McLoughlin of Aughrim, whose Goode ancestors are buried in Kilgerrill, contacted Mary Rocke, who was able to put names on the other three.
Link to Kilgerrill graveyard
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