One of the very first thoughts I had when starting this venture was about the Great Famine in Ireland and of how my family survived it. We now know that William was in England during the famine but his family was probably still in Down. My grandfather did not emigrate until 1907 nor did most of the family. This ran in opposition to what I knew of Ireland. So immediately I began to think of how they could have survived those times. The answer of course was money. The money that the family here talked about for years.
There is no doubt that William did well. Below a report from the House of Commons citing Lord Derby’s tilery as providing the best in Tipperary.
In later years William secured the contract for the Tipperary Army Barracks which made him quite well off. In the end , he owned the farm at Lisheenamalausa, a row of houses on Nelson Street in Tipperary Town and 2 houses at Galtee View, this according to his will.
Also, William was Presbyterian, not Catholic, making me further wonder how he survived the civil unrest that surrounded him. He was in the employ of Lord Derby, that in itself could be a blessing and a threat.
Was it just luck or had William cultivated friendships with people in the area so that they bypassed his property? It could also be that the tenants received fair treatment from Lord Derby and there were fewer evictions if any on his land. This civil unrest became known as the Irish Land Wars. To add to the irony of the situation, I have discovered that my grandfathers immediate family, including his father were land agents. You know, the ones that did the evicting? So, there I have my answer, my family was basically on the “other” side! I have heard from many people though that for the main part the different people in and around Tipperary Town managed to dwell together in relative peace.
In 1867, Sarah presented William with his 6th and final daughter, Sophia. They had a house full of girls and would live through the joy, sorrow and loss of watching them grow into bright and beautiful women.