From ‘Harvey’s Jocular Medley’, ‘The Annual Fair will be held on the 13th May 1738 at Donovan’s Leap, (West Cork) now called Tonson’s Leap in West Carbery. Affords a place where vast numbers of cattle may be exposed for sale. Free of customs and Tolls for three years. Having a glass of Whisky in a Tent at Balagurteen Fair (near Dunmanway), 1828 prior to emigrating to Canada.

The Tonson referred to is believed to descend from an illegitimate line of Sir William Hull of Leamcon, Schull from c 1600.

Fair from John T. Collins newspaper extracts, courtesy JCHAS

Ballygurteen from Eddy family papers, Canada.




Ballygurteen Fair 1828 from Eddy Family History Canada
Clifton Gloucester NB April 4th 77

Dear Sir

I make bold to write you these few lines, at present we are strangers to each other but still we might be very near relations. I saw your name on the Western Advertiser and Weekly Liberal January 12th in connection with Lodge S.T. and excited my curiosity to know who you are and hope you will at your first convenience, my name is William Eedy and my grandmothers name was Wolfe, was born in Ireland County of Cork near Rosscarbery my Father’s name Wm. Eedy we came to this country in 1828 we are Church of England & Loyalists but uninitiated, and I had cousins whose mother name was Wolfe they came to this country but I cannot say where John & William sons of Jonathan Eedy Clonakilty shoemaker you possibly might be a son to one of them as them & we are now rather aged to take office in the Lodge but I am a member of the United Temperance Association and have just changed its name from the British Templars So in Faith and Charity I request your answer Sir, our name is not a scarce one in the World I have seen it often & met several but never saw it spelled by any as by you before except our family and the connections of the families gives me great hopes that yet we will be better acquainted

(no signature)

William Eedy wrote a second letter dated 18 October 1877, obviously in response to John Wolfe Eedy’s reply to his original letter of April.

Mr. John W. Eedy,

Dear Sir,

Received yours of the 9th yesterday and I freely forgive the delay and accept the excuse you give and hope these lines will find all the Eedy’s up there well and happy as it leaves us at present, thanks to a merciful God.

Truth, Sir, when you say I can find a relationship. When you said Rossmore Par, Killdee, I got the key. We are related, the same blood runs through our veins though it is a long distance. Now I will tell you I will have to go back to the days of the Commonwealth of England. When Oliver Cromwell marshalled the Invincibles, in his ranks were two brothers, Jonathan and Nicholas Eedy as you will find in history. He came to Ireland which held out for Charles the First when it was subdued a great many of his (Cromwell) officers got the confiscated estates. Their men settled on them as tenants both for protection to the landlords and to keep the Irish in subjection. Now, Sir, those two men were our ancestors. Jonathan settled at Killdee with Sir Michael Cox. I am pretty sure that Jonathan was the father of Charles. You know the remaining part and Nicholas Eedy settled at Killbree, near Clonakilty on the estate of Colonel Allen who lived in England. They were Welshmen. That Nicholas Eedy was marked (sic) to Hannah Knowles. His sons were Nicholas, Jonathan, William and Robert with several daughters. This Jonathan was father of William Eedy of Saroo. His mother’s name was Rebecca Wolfe from west of Dunmanway. This Wm. Eedy of Saroo was my father and my mother’s name was Susan Hill, daughter of David Hill of the same plowland. Now, Sir, I think I have shown you what I promised. My father was the man your father can remember coming to this country. It was in 1828. At that time I was only thirteen years old. I have no brother. I had five sisters. Four are still living and settled close by. My father was sixty-three years old when he came to this country. He died in 1839 and my mother in 1857 and their bones are in Christ Churchyard, Bathurst.

I got this history of the family from father and I can well remember to see your grandfather John Eedy at Saroo and afterwards to see him and Nicholas Eedy of Knockea (Knockey, Lyre, Clonakilty) who was the son of Robert Eedy, and my father in a tent at Balagurteen fair the year before we left home taking a farewell glass of whiskey. And I had mine and if your father and me met I think we would likewise.