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
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:
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
Bridget's brothers and
(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
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.
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.
there now - do you have our genes?
ON SUIR WORKHOUSE
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
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.
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).
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?
from the diary of James Roche)