Tracing your Ancestors in Effin

For the year of the gathering 2013 I finally completed my family tree on the Kennedys of Effin,  There are about 400 individuals in the Kennedy Family Tree who can trace their ancestry back to Jerimah Kennedy. Little did Jerimah realise that when he married Catherine Maher back in the 1840’s in Herbertstown, Co. Limerick  that they would be responsible for so many individuals. I am very proud of my ancestry as they have fought and died for our rights and the rights of our country. They have lived through some of Ireland’s darkest hours, from the famine and survived two world wars. They have spread their wings to the four corners of the globe. In the researching of this family tree have found it very interesting and it has given me a deeper understand my roots and linked me to what was going on in Ireland and the world and all these have helped to shape us and my family today.

During my research I found the  following links helpful in this piece of research.

  1.  – this was my choice – and I used the software called Family Tree Maker which linked all updates to their online site

However both sites require a payment to search their records.

Speak to older members of your family to get their memories. – Initially I spoke to the older members of the family to write down their relations (sadly some have now passed on, so was glad to have done it.)

Visit the Graveyard,  – invaluable for getting dates and working out their year of birth.

The following links may be also be helful in tracing your family tree in Effin

The national Census of Ireland

The 1901 and 1911 censuses are the only surviving full censuses of Ireland open to the public. Both censuses cover the island of Ireland. They were released to public inspection in 1961, because of the stream of requests for information about people’s ages, particularly those born before civil registration of births began in 1864.

The 1901 census was taken on 31st March 1901. The 1911 census was taken on 2 April 1911.

See if you can find your ancestors in the link below

Tithe Applotment Books

If your family was in Effin around 1823 – 1837 you may find them on the Tithe Apploment Books for the parish, however only the head of the family was named on the list.

There are other useful links you may use, like the local library and the Ordance Survey Maps the find what buildings, houses where in the area at different times.,559319,623172,5,9

So why not get started and start your family tree, its a fantastic legacy to pass on to your childrena and grandchildren, after all to find out where we are going we need to understand where we came from.



Brother Stephen Russell from Thomastown,

I recently came across this article below written about Brother Russell. He was born and reared in Thomastown, Effin and is one of our parishes colorful and well known citizens. His work and advocacy for the homeless men of limerick was recognized after his death by the naming of a homeless shelter after him. It is located between Mount St Laurence cemetery and St Joseph’s hospital. The building mentioned in article below is now knocked and a new bigger facility is being built in its place, it will keep the name Brother Russell house.

Many of you may not have heard of him or this facility, but we should be proud of his achievements and compassion during his lifetime is still having an impact and positive effect on people’s lives in limerick.

Article below written by his friend Ted O’Riordan, Charleville

Bro. Stephen Russell – Good Samaritan of the down and outs
To have known Brother Stephen of the congregation of the Alexian Brothers was a privilege, but to have known Jim Russell, the man who became Brother Stephen, was indeed a revelation. I was privileged to have known the two sides of this wonderful man of God who to use a cliche, became a legend in his own lifetime this kindly loving and loveable character who became the apostle of the drop-outs and the winos and the Good Samaritan to the homeless and the lonely. I do not think I am doing his memory any injustice in referring to him as a drop-out and a misfit, since after are we not all drop-outs and misfits, unless and until we eventually find our true niche and answer the call to our real vocation in life! Some of us indeed never find it and so become all of our lives Jim Russell truly found his when he became an Alexian Brother.
After a rather hectic and varied career from the time he left school until he reached the age of 31 years he appeared to be carefree and happy but deep down in his heart and Soul he was lonely and unhappy and when eventually he found experession for his God given gifts of caring for and helping the outcasts and the homeless, he expressed his thoughts and feeling in poetry. The title of the little book is entitled Happiness and it reads as follows:

Continue reading “Brother Stephen Russell from Thomastown,”

Muinter na Tire in practice and concrete –

Muinter na Tire in practice and concrete –
The building of the Canon Hayes Memorial Hall in Effin 1955- 1959’

The above quote comes from an photographic scrapbook kept by Canon Gerard Wall whose first raised the idea of building a parish hall in Effin at the first annual general meeting of the local Muintir na Tire (MNT) in 1950 . This idea was to grow into a solid functional memorial with the involvement of the entire parish, young and old. Effin is a rural parish located between the towns of Charleville in north Cork and Kilmallock in south Limerick and Ireland in the 1950’s was rife with unemployment and emigration and choice in rural Ireland was the boat or the farm. Canon Hayes who was founder of MNT believed Ireland was losing its sense of community and that the best part of entertainment was meeting the neighbour’s and parish unity was being forgotten. In 1937 “Muinter na Tire” (MNT) a guilds or councils in rural parishes in Ireland was formed by him to stop the vanishing Irish from rural Ireland. Rural communities were still recovering from the bitter and community destroying civil war in the 1920’s. MNT was a persistent and lone voice in the world of Irish Community Development. Between 1937 and 1958 there was a high number of active guilds around the axis of Tipperary, Cork and Limerick, and the Garrienderk and Effin MNT Guild was one of these. In 1958 MNT commissioned a social and economic survey of county Limerick and Effin was included in this extensive survey of rural parishes in Limerick which resulting in the publication of the Limerick Rural Survey (LRS) 1958 – 1964. The growth in the economy in the late 1950’s after was accompanied by a big expansion in social spending which meant that women now had money to socialise and be independent. The Irish Country Women’s Association (ICA) was also helping women to campaign for better facilities and realised that rural water and electrification were essential in rural areas. Russell highlighted the importance of women in rural Ireland by claiming that ‘we cannot build up a rural civilisation in Ireland without the aid of Irish Women’.

Dancing became an important social outlet for young men and women in the 1950’s with many Ballrooms opening up around Ireland under the patronage of the Catholic Church, with profits going to fund the church, there were approximately over 1,100 dancehalls, 1,640 total bands in existence in Ireland between the 1950 and 1970’s. Boys and girls of all backgrounds and ages would dance together, even an elderly bachelor would have no problem getting a dance partner if he was a good dancer Many new ballrooms were quickly built by entrepreneurs and local communities to meet the increased need of the dancing public. The halls were custom built for dancing and usually included a few bathrooms, a cloak room, and a mineral bar. There was little seating, other than a row of benches around the perimeter of the dance floor. Some included an upstairs balcony area where weary dancers could catch their breath. Halls were often built “in the middle of nowhere,” drawing patrons from towns and villages for miles around. However the onset of extended opening hours and Discos heralded the end of many of the Dance Halls.
Fortunately many primary sources remain in researching the building of the hall in Effin, Canon Ger Walls’s scrapbook containing photographs, newspaper cuttings, and poetry of the construction of the hall form 1955 to 1958 is an important record of that time. The souvenir brochure from the official opening night on 23 March 1959 provide useful details of the committee, builders, architects, engineers and organisations involved in the project. Two of the original committee members, Willie Mortell and Alice McCarthy were interviewed on their memories of the building of the hall and the parish at the time. Many local poems were written about the guild at the time praising their efforts and work. MNT head office in Tipperary fortunately has a large collection of material related to all local guilds and correspondence and annual reports submitted by guilds. A local man kept a diary listing all the dances he went to which includes the venues from Effin to Dublin, the showbands and admission costs.

Continue reading “Muinter na Tire in practice and concrete –”

Effin, its Landscape and History


Map of Parish of EffinThe Modern Parish of Effin combines three older religious parishes of Effin, Kilquane and Kilbreedy Minor.

To understand the local history of Effin, we need to examine these old parishes which today form the civil and religious parish of Effin.

As part of the course I did on local history I had to do and assignment on the following topic, “Local History should not be confined to artificial or administrative boundaries? To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement, what  are the advantages and disadvantages associated with such an approach?”  The following link is what I researched.

Effin, its Landscape and History.