Trish from Oz

Hey there now, do you have my genes?

If you have a connection to the surnames Prendergast or Gough 

in Tipperary or Waterford or

  Knight, Cowlyn or Collis in the UK ..................please email me

Prendergast Genealogy

Searching for my Prendergast origins


The ship's name is Murphy,  the crew is Irish, and the Captain?   ....................... Tom Prendergast of course.

Funny how you take little things for granted, how  often did I hear my late father (pictured below) utter that phrase above - well, it was more a question than a phrase - but I must confess it took a little while before I remembered the answer.  What I wouldn't give to hear dad ask that question now, oh boy I have so many questions I want answered now, questions that didn't occur to me way back then.......



Prendergast Coat of Arms

Gough Coat of Arms

The name Prendergast in Ireland is derived from the Anglo-Norman de Priondragas family who settled in Ireland in the fourteenth century.  Counties Mayo and Tipperary were the main settlement points although the Mayo settlers may now be known by the name Fitzmaruice.  Pendy and Pindy are variants of this name.

The name Gough in Ireland is of Welsh origin having arrived with a family named 'Coch' meaning 'red' who settled in Counties Dublin and Waterford.  It is in these Counties that the majority of descendants can still be found.



Our Prendergast Story

While growing up I was aware that I had a very unusual surname, In Tasmania the name Prendergast was certainly not as prevalent as Smith or Jones. I do confess that when I first started searching the 'net I assumed that I'd quickly find a Prendergast in Tipperary or Waterford and we'd be related.  The reality is, since searching,  although I have found that the name is quite common and the world is swarming with us (well almost),  to date none have claimed  us as their long lost cousins. 

My dad was born to Bridget Prendergast on 13 July 1906 in the Carrick on Suir Workhouse, County Tipperary.  My grandmother Bridget was a single mother, she had four sons:

    Edward born 22 July 1900 - (Edward died aged 5 months)
    James born 10 February 1903
    Thomas (my dad) born 13 July 1906
    Paddy born 18 July 1908

Paddy (left) and Tom 1941

The first 3 of Bridget's children were born in the Carrick on Suir Workhouse - I believe Paddy was born in the South Dublin Workhouse. It is understood that two of the boys were raised by other family members - my dad (Thomas) was raised by his mother - I located James in the 1911 census living with his grandmother Johanna and Uncle John at Mothel Road, Carrickbeg. I have not been able to locate dad, Bridget or Paddy in the 1911 census at this stage but I believe that all three sons grew up around Carrickbeg County Waterford.

Bridget was born to Thomas Prendergast and Johanna Gough on  13 April 1875 at Carrickbeg, she died 16 September 1950 and is buried in the Carrickbeg Cemetery.

The name Prendergast is often known as Pender in Ireland - it is interesting to see that most of Bridget's siblings were registered under the surname Pender - also the Catholic Church Register shows Bridget's father's name as Pender on the Marriage register.

Bridget's brothers and sisters:

    Mary (Pender) born 4 September 1870 (died at the age of 2)
    Thomas (Pender) born 3 April 1873
    Bridget (Prendergast) is the next born
    Mary (Pender) born 21 November 1877 (died aged 10 days)
    Patrick (Pender) born 16 March 1879 (died aged 18 months)
    John (Prendergast) born 18 July 1881
    Margaret (Pender) born 12 October 1883

I have been unable to locate any information on Bridget's brother Thomas - her brother John was living with his mother (Johanna)at Mothel Road Carrickbeg in 1911 - he was possibly still living in the area in 1940 (according to the Register of Electors for 1940). Margaret Pender married a Nicholas Gleeson of Clogheagh in 1903 and had a son Timothy - I recently discovered that Timothy only lived a few months. I have no further information on Margaret - I believe that she may have raised Paddy but have not been able to confirm this yet - if anyone can help with information I'd dearly love to hear from you. Johanna died in 1918 and is also buried at the Carrickbeg cemetery, I have no definite information on the death of her husband Thomas but believe he may have died from peritonitis in the Workhouse in late 1901 - It is very difficult to verify information when ages listed are so inconsistent.   Johanna is listed as a widow in the 1911 census and also on her death certificate.  

I am extremely grateful for the help given to me by Chris Prendergast, a local, who has generously given a great deal of his time to gather information about Bridget and her family.  Chris was able to locate Bridget's grave which enabled me to fulfill a long held wish to visit my grandmother's grave when I visited Ireland in October 2003 year. As an added bonus Chris also located Johanna's grave so I was also able to visit my great grandmother's grave - Thanks once again Chris.


My Prendergast Family

This is my Prendergast family and how proud I am of them.  Left to right:  John, Margaret, Kathleen, Trish, Patrick & Maureen.  Our mum (Dolly Prendergast) is seated.  

The above photo was taken while we were celebrating St Patrick's Day together in 2001.  Sadly Dolly passed away in June 2002 in her 92nd year - she was affectionately known by all and sundry as 'Granma'  

It breaks my heart to add that in April  2003 our much loved 'big brother' Patrick left us.  I pray that I don't have to add any more 'footnotes' to this picture.

Hey there now - do you have our genes?



I'd been searching the 'net periodically trying to locate this workhouse, to find out if the building was still standing and if so its exact location, sadly I've since learnt that the Workhouse which had been situated on the Clonmel Road burnt down in the 1920's and all records were lost.    A housing estate now sits on the property. My friend Chris Prendergast took Trevor and I to see the site when we were visiting Ireland in October 2003. 

After having seen the records from the South Dublin Workhouse from the same period I feel a great sadness at the loss of the records as I feel sure they would have contained a big part of my family history.   

Many thanks to those who have forwarded  information - any further information would be much appreciated.  Please email me.


I came upon the following poem through a genealogy roots web mailing list that I subscribed to for quite a while.  I found roots web extremely useful and would recommend subscribing (free).

If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row
Would you be proud of them or not
Or don't you really know?
Some strange discoveries are made
In climbing family trees
And some of them, you know,
Do not particularly please.
If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row
There might be some of them perhaps
You would not care to know.
But here's another question which
Requires a different view;
If you could meet your ancestors
Would they be proud of you?

(Anon: from the diary of James Roche)