BRABAZON LINEAGES AT BALLINASLOE
The origin of the
Catholic Brabazon lineage at Beagh, Ballinasloe has been a mystery to
all commentators. Fr Egan in The Parish of Ballinasloe tries to connect
it to Edward Brabazon of an older generation and Hercules Sharpe in
the History of the Family of Brabazon dismisses it as illegitimate,
saying that none of the family at Brabazon Park, Swinford knew of its
existence. This is strange as Anthony Brabazon of Beagh is a witness
to the last will and testament of George Brabazon of Brabazon Park.
Egan's guess is based on the fact that the land at Beagh was formally
registered in the name of an Edward Brabazon (the Cromwellian Grantee),
an uncle to Anthony Brabazon who fled to Spain, father of Captain William
Brabazon. However, this William later retrieved Beagh in the Restoration.
Egan mentions an Anthony Brabazon who has an altar stone erected in
Creagh chapel with his wife Catherine in 1756 and dies the same year,
his will being executed by Patrick Dillon, who turns out to be his son-in-law.
There is then another Anthony of Beagh who marries Catherine ffrench
in 1787 and who previous researchers have connected to the former Anthony
as father and son.
This is the entry for the first Anthony in Betham's extract of wills:
Anthony Brabazon of Beagh in Co. Roscommon, 15 July 1756 [only date
given, probably the date of grant], Brother William [Brabazon], Sister
Mary wife of Patrick Dillon Ex[ecutor], Niece Rose Dillon,Wife Catherine.
The Brother William is most likely the William recorded also in Betham's
extracts: William Brabazon of Athlone co. Roscommon Gent,1 July 1768
[date of will], 12 August 1768 [date of grant], Fr/br[Father or Brother?]
Anthony Brabazon decd[deceased], Wife Elinor daughter of Fergus Naghton
Ex[exuctor], Daughter Mabel [Brabazon], 2nd Daughter Catherine [Brabazon],
Son Anthony [Brabazon].
The approximate birth year for Son Anthony is then, say, 1720ish, which
is too early for the Anthony who married Catherine ffrench in 1787,
but fits if he is his father.
The fact that the first Anthony's executor, Patrick Dillon, sells his
estates and livestock in Beagh means that no sons were inheriting. The
property that the Anthony of Beagh had who married Catherine ffrench
is presumably from a split inheritance (between the above Anthony and
Brother William), being in line with the gravelling laws (splitting
property between Catholic sons rather than the Protestant eldest takes
Although Egan directly links the old Edward, the Cromwellian Grantee,
to these lineages, there is the problem of religion. The family was
Protestant until Anthony of Ballinasloe Castle, who died in exile in
Spain, turned Catholic in 1641, and the older Edward was his uncle (therefore
There is another Brabazon, only one record for whom can be found, a
William who owns a part of Tullrosse in 1641. This is interesting as
Tullrosse was part of the Brabazon inheritance coming down the line
through Malby to his son Anthony of Ballinasloe Castle. This suggests
that this mysterious William is none other than a younger brother of
Anthony of Ballinasloe Castle. If he turned Catholic in line with his
elder brother, who was then head of the family, it would explain the
Catholic Beagh lineages. The latter could easily have received Beagh
from the elder line (Captain William son of Anthony of Ballinasloe Castle)
after it was restored to the main line at the Restoration and then divided
due to the gravelling laws.
The line from Anthony and Catherine ffrench, daughter of Sir Charles
ffrench, was preserved through their daughter. They had two children,
Thomas, who had no issue, and Catherine or Ellen who married John O'Shaughnessy
(died 1836). Catherine or Ellen and John O'Shaughnessy had one son,
John, and a daughter Catherine. John married Fanny Mary Riddell of Fellin
Park, Swinbourne Castle and had one daughter, Mary Ellen, who died unmarried
and left her inheritance to her cousin Ellen ffrench. The daughter Catherine
married Martin ffrench, her 1st cousin and had issue (see ffrench genealogy).
POSSIBLE DESCENDANTS OF THE OLDER GEORGE BRABAZON
In the family papers of the Swinford Brabazons there are documents relating
to the second son, George, of Captain William Brabazon. George is the
younger brother of Anthony of Ballinasloe (married to Margaret Malone)
who is said to have died young, according the official genealogies.
However, George certainly survived to adulthood, as is proven by the
above mentioned documentation (legal and farming records from the family
at Partry, Mayo). Further, there are family letters and business papers
which mention three younger Brabazons apparently in the care of Margaret
Malone (not her own children). They are Anthony Brabazon, Edward Brabazon
and Rose Brabazon. There do not appear to be any other candidates, that
one can see, for the fathership other than this George. There is no
way that they can fitted into the Brabazons at Beagh, according to the
above construct, as they would have inherited part of that estate. I
had initially thought that this Anthony was the same person as the one
who married Catherine ffrench, but, besides other considerations, the
dates don't match. These three siblings, Anthony, Edward and Rose, would
have been born in the very early 1700s, using the family documentation
as a guide.
The tune and song
Planxty George Brabazon is said to have been written by O'Carolan for
George Brabazon of Brabazon Park, Swinford, a son a Captain William
Brabazon's second marriage, and therefore the younger half brother of
the above mentioned George. However, this younger George would only
have been 18 years of age at the death of O'Carolan in 1738 which tends
to negate the possibility of him as the harper's [patron. The only other
possibility is the older George.