A day like no other. Yes there are such unique occasions that one can never forget them for the rest of one's life. And this was one of them when we located and entered this garden.
An Irish ancestor of my wife's, Michael Rush was arrested, tried and convicted of being in possession of forged notes in 1820. For this he was deported to New South Wales. On his convict records in New South Wales, he was identified as having been a "gardener and nurseryman at Killadoon". This wasn't much to go on, and even with the advantage of internet searches, I was unable to locate "Killadoon" until I happened upon a list of burial grounds in the Family History section of the library in Dublin.
Could the "Killadoon Burial Ground" near Cellbridge just west of Dublin, be anything to do with our Michael Rush? With the help of a ordnance survey map of the area seen on the wall of a real estate agent in Cellbridge, I was able to navigate down a narrow lane to emerge in the courtyard of a 18th Century estate house.
Knocking on the door, brought the owner to the meet his most unexpected visitors. We explained why we had come, speculating that there was a slim chance this was the Killadoon we were looking for but had no idea how we would ever prove this, even perchance it was the right Killadoon.
"You have come to the right place", Charlie Clements replied. "Come with me." And he led us into this magnificent walled garden. The glasshouses, the gardens, the apple orchard and - wait for it - and the nursery beds were all there, still today. The Earl of Leitrim was the original owner of the estate - land alienated from the local Irish - and it was still owned through direct inheritance by a descendant.
And in the house are the family archival records, including maps of the estate in the 1790s and 1840s. And the garden and the nursery beds are mapped.
Yes indeed, Michael Rush had come from this Killadoon where a nurseryman was employed. To stand at the nursery beds on the very soil where Michael had laboured made one feel as if one could somehow pick up Michael's DNA from 180 years earlier.
One of his sons, Bartholomew Rush established apple orchards at Willowvale, Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of NSW. The apples were railed to Sydney from Rush's Siding. One of Bart's sons, Eric, was nicknamed "Apple" Rush. And "Apple" Rush was my wife's father. To exit the walled garden at Killadoon, one must pass through the apple house where apples and potatoes were stored!
Yes another genealogical breakthrough!
That's a wonderful story, Ian. I am also doing my family history research and i know how you feel. Ireland is a place where history is well preserved, and visiting old graveyards, churches and estates can bring amazing findings.
Hello Ian, What a wonderful story. I am from Liverpool, England and my paternal grandmother's maiden name was Elizabeth Rush and she had two brothers called James and Bartholomew. Her mother Mary was born in Leixlip in County Kildare though I don't know her maiden name. Her husband James Rush also came from Kildare being born in about 1851.It would be interesting if there was a family connection between us although I'm sure Rush was quite a common name. The garden at killadoon looks absolutely beautiful. Kind regards Glenys Brown
You have blown us away with the possibility! Bartholomew surely suggests a link! I am going to have to rely on your further research, Glenys, to disprove that we are connected, for I am happily convinced already that this is so. Same names, same place, same times. I wonder what online records are available to you, or what opportunities you might have for research time across the sea. If you want to connect directly with us my email, google the Stehbens family history site where my bigpond address is given.
I will be able to send you more images. I look forward to receiving details of dates and places of birth that we may build the picture and see what we can prove.
Margaret and I look forward to further contact. Sorry for the slow reply, but I have been away for a while.
Ian & Margaret
I was searching for information on a Killdoon House ,Kildare when your photo of the walled garden came up. We are trying to find the house where my husband's great great grandfather, Richard Reade was living in 1894. We do have a photo of one of his houses but we're not sure if it's of Killdoon. Did you take any photographs of the house at Killadoon? We are going over to Ireland in May and we are thinking of visiting the area,
Kent and Carol Wells
I have no way of knowing at present, whether there is/was such a place as "Killdoon". However it would seem likely that as Killadoon House was such a significant estate house, that your search may also take you to "Killadoon". Yes I do have photos of the House, associated buildings/houses of workers, of the various gardens, orchard, grounds as well as interior images. The current residents are direct descendants/heir of the first Earl of Leitrim, and the family has lived here continuously. But as yet I haven't uploaded them. Thanks for your inquiry. I will follow up by email.
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Photo taken in Killadoon, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Misplaced? Suggest new location