|Clare County Library||
|Donated Material: Family Histories, Biographies & Memoirs|
The Family of Austin (Augustine) Carrigg of Ennistymon, County Clare
Austin Carrigg of Attycristora and Ennistymon, butcher, farmer and keeper of the local Bridewell, was also one of the local enumerators for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Conditions of the Poorer Classes in Ireland set up in 1833 which resulted in the setting up of the Poor Law Unions and workhouses. Probably born ca1780-90, he married Bridget Finucane.
Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Ireland published in 1837 describes Ennistymon as a picturesque town which once had ‘a considerable market for strong knit woollen stockings purchased in large quantities by dealers for supplying to Dublin and the north of Ireland.’ However, the introduction of machinery led to the decline of local industry which by the 1830s only supplied the home market. Many of the Carrigg girls (found in marriage certificates and census returns) worked as drapers and dressmakers — availability of work or something in the genes — as did later members of the family.
Ennistymon was originally part of the Roman Catholic parish of Clooney with records starting in 1820. Unfortunately, the first 10 years or so are apparently very bad and many are illegible. It also appears that there are many gaps in the records, especially marriage records, since many records relating to the family were not found. They are in the custody of the Clare Heritage Centre in Corofin. Records for the parish of Ennistymon start in 1870.
Only one baptismal record was positively identified as a child of Austin and Bridget. This was Hugh, born in 1827. Other children of this family were later identified by their marriage records. These were Mary ca1829, Anne ca1838, and Michael. According to family tradition, John was also of this family, and there were probably others.
John (ca1816-1890), originally
a farmer, but later a publican and shopkeeper, married Mary Anne Herbert
(ca1820-1902). No record was found of this marriage. Their children
Other children of John Carrigg and Mary
Anne Herbert were :
John and Mary Anne Herbert’s son,
Austin, emigrated to Australia, married Margaret Flanagan
in Toowoomba in Queensland in 1865, and had two children :
John and Mary Anne Herbert’s son,
Michael born 1853, was also a shopkeeper, probably
a small grocer, but at the time of his death in 1931, it was a typical
rural bar-cum-grocery business. In 1878, Michael married Catherine Griffin;
they had ten children :
Catherine died (no record found) and in
1894 Michael married Mary McGuire who gave him another twelve children,
some of whom died young :
Mary, daughter of Austin
Carrigg and Bridget Finucane, was married to Francis O’Donohue
(no record found), a local builder, described as an architect on his
death record in 1895 who, according to the Cancelled Valuation Books,
seems to have built most of the town, and had the following children:
In 1885, Jane married
Cornelius McDermott, a doctor. (His father, also Cornelius, was a school
teacher according to Jane’s marriage record.) Their children were:
Jane’s husband, Cornelius, died in 1895, leaving her with a young family. She took in boarders, and her widowed cousin, Thomas in Dublin helped her by paying for the children to go boarding school with his children in Dublin, and having them to stay during Christmas and Easter holidays when it was too far to travel all the way to Ennistymon for a short period.
In 1864, Anne, daughter
of Austin Carrigg and Bridget Finucane, married John Harte from Co.
Limerick, an RIC constable stationed at Ballyvaughan. Because the RIC
were not allowed to be posted to their own native county or their wife’s,
he was then posted to Union Hall in Co. Cork where their children were
They had three children :
succeeded his father as Keeper of the Bridewell and married Bridget
Garrihy (died 1897) in 1866. Their children were:
Michael, son of Austin Carrigg and Bridget Finucane, year of birth unknown, married Susan O’Dwyer in 1868. No children of this marriage have been found in Ireland but it is very likely that Michael and Susan emigrated to Australia as many of the Carriggs are known to have done. In 1844, Michael’s son, Thomas Joseph was born to Mary McCarthy, the parents being noted in the register as unmarried. No other record of Mary has been found in the Ennistymon records but McCarthys were recorded at Calluragh East, outside the town, in Griffith’s Valuation in 1855. Whoever reared Thomas, he maintained close contact with his father’s family and it is very likely that they paid for an apprenticeship for him with one of the large drapery or department stores in Limerick, Galway or Dublin. He later became a buyer (head of department) in Cashmeres with Arnotts department store in Dublin. Thomas married Arabella Bloomfield, born in Woolwich to a cooper from Limerick, Stephen Bloomfield who joined the Royal Artillery as a bombardier, and his wife Jane Harley. Arabella died one week after the 1901 census, a few days after the birth of her last child who also died. They had four other children :
Thomas Bloomfield, an amateur boxer and
electrical engineer who worked on the electrification of O’Connell
Street, married Gretta Moore, their son Austin died in infancy;
Many of the Carriggs, of all generations and branches of the family died young as can be seen from the duplication of names within each family. According to family tradition, many of the family went to Australia (Austin has already been found in Toowoomba, Queensland), although some may have gone elsewhere, maybe not even as far as Dublin. Birth, marriage and death indexes in the General Register Office bear this out, there being plenty of Carriggs in the indexes at the start of Civil Registration for births, deaths and Roman Catholic marriages in 1864 but very few by 1900.