Timothy O’Donovan, JP. Durrus, West Cork letter 1841 re family Pedigree to Dr. John O’Donovan, Dublin with Unusual Notation of Name Cross between Apostrophe and Fada in Irish.

O’Donovan’s Cove,

February 1st, 1841


Your letter of the 18th last should not have remained unanswered for so long but I was waiting to obtain some additional information on the query pertaining to the family of O’Donovan, The late General Richard O’Donovan, Lieutenant Colonel of the Enniskillen Dragoons, was undoubtedly the Chieftain of the Clann or Sept of O’Donovan. He died at the family seat of Bawnlahan, Barony of Carbery, County of Cork about 11 or 12 years ago. He was married to a Welch lady her name was Powell by whom he had no issue, he left his estate to his wife and upon her death which happened soon after she bequeathed it to her brother a Major Powell a Welch man in whom possession it is at the moment and this ancient seat and property is now in the possession of a Welsh man.

The title of “O’Donovan” was after the General’s death affected by a Protestant Clergyman, Morgan O’Donovan, but the claim was not recognised by the members of the O’Donovan family.

I am myself descended from a branch of the House of O’Donovan, who were obliged to fly the County Cork in the Civil wars of 1641 who took refuge in Co. Limerick, a considerable tract of property was preserved through the intervention of Protestant “Nominees’ who behaved in those olden days with great and fidelity honour to my ancestors.

This seat seat of O’Donovan’s Cove stands in the Parish of Kilcrohane in the Barony of West Carbery and County of Cork. It is my property by inheritance, my younger brother, Doctor O’Donovan who has an independent estate resides at Norton Cottage, Skibbereen and we are both in the Commission of The Peace for the county.

There are several respectable families of the name who do not affix the “‘O” to the name.

I believe we are the two of the Sept of O’Donovan here with the largest landed property in respect of the west of the county.

The most ancient document were in the hands of the late James Donovan, Esq., M.D., of Clonakilty, I know not if they are in the possession of his sons, one of whom is a barrister in London the other is the Clerk of the Crown for Co. Cork, they are my first cousins.

Bawnlahan the family seat of the Chief O’Donovan, is near Skibbereen and is a respectable old seat and demesne.

With respect of the information as to who is the Senior or head of the O’Donovan family at present, I cannot inform you. It is of little import as a matter of courtesy it would be conceded to me by the great majority of of the representative of the Clan but I am not satisfied as to the strict right of my claim, and therefore I would not assume it.

I believe a person of the name of James Donovan, of Coolderrha. Parish of Myross, Barony of Carbery, now reduced to the station of a struggling farmer, though a person of excellent character is the eldest representative of the House of O’Donovan.

I have given you all the information in my power as to the questions in your letter.

I should be most happy to meet you here when I hope we may discuss the pedigree of our ancient family over a glass of good wine.

Yours etc

John O’Donovan,
21, Great Charles Street, Dublin.

Timothy O’Donovans Estate near Bantry on the Muintervara Peninsula, possibly acquired by his grandfather who was at the University of Toulouse about 1750. Timothy O’Donovan was one of the first Catholics to be made a Justice of the Peace, in 1818.

Lt Col Richard O’Donovan
Born Ireland 1768; Major in 6th Dragoons 19 December 1799; Lieutenant-Colonel 2 May 1800; brevet Colonel 25 July 1810; subsequently Major-General 4 June 1813; Lieutenant-General 27 May 1825; died Ireland November 1829.

Son of and Jane Beecher she was between 14 and 16 when he in his 60s married for the second time. He called the house ‘Janeville’ after her.

Timothy O’Donovan (1790–1874), 1818, O’Donovan’s Cove, in ruins 1875, Durrus, listed 1838 , son Richard Esq. and Jane d Alexander O’Donovan, Squince.  Present at enquiry Skibbereen 1823 into enquiry into fatal affray at Castlehaven caused by Rev. Morritt’s tithe extraction. Correspondent with Antiquarian Dr. John O’Donovan re O’Donovans of Carbery.  Brother of Dr O’Donovan and Richard O’Donovan JP and uncle of Richard O’Donovan JP. His son’s wife is grand daughter to Daniel O’Connell, the mother of his wife was a Miss Lavellan, Co. Limerick, a daughter of Philip Lavellan of Water Park in the County of Cork.  Her sister was married to Mr. Puxley of Dunboy Branch. The grandson the present (1860) Mr. Puxley is a man of immense wealth the principal owner of the famous Allihies Mines in the Barony of Bere.  Signed public declaration in Skibbereen to Alexander O’Driscoll on his removal as Magistrate 1835 with Lord Bantry, Simon White, John Puxley, Arthur Hutchins, Thomas Baldwin, Samuel Townsend Junior and Senior, Thomas Somerville, Richard Townsend Senior, Rev. Alleyn Evanson, Richard Townsend, Lyttleton Lyster. 1835 Subscriber Lewis Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837.  In 1838 in the Liberal interest where at Bantry voter registration 15 were registered as opposed to 6 ‘Orangemen’ the tenants of Timothy O’Donovan JP were chiefly among those who registered.  Among these were probably McCarthys of Tulig later prominent in Nationalist politics of whom John Mccarthy (1859-1931)became a leading  in Nebraska and wrote a poem in praise of Timothy O’Donovan.  Attended Great Meeting in Bantry 1840 re Poor Laws.  Chaired 1846 distress meeting Bantry on proposition of Father Michael Barry PP Bantry. Landlord and political organiser. Member Election Committee, Rickard Deasy, Clonakilty (later Attorney General) 1855  Member election committee McCarthy Downing, Skibbereen. Juror Cork Spring Assizes 1863.   Land record, 1870, Kate O’Donovan, O’Donovan’s Cove, 1,940 acres and Reps Timothy O’Donovan 1,940 acres. 1874, Death at 85 of Timothy O’Donovan, J.P., Esq, O’Donovan Cove, Durrus, West Cork, The Last Survivor of the Ancient House of O’Donovan Bawn or Clann Cahill, Justice of the Peace since 1818 Probate to daughter Mrs Anne Barry, widow, effects £2,000.