Aide Family Genealogy – Project Blog

13 July 2009

Where was Edward Aide born?

I just want to start off by, again, thanking Maureen for giving me a copy of Julia Aide’s letter. It has been far and away one of the most important documents I’ve come in contact with and it’s led to a plethora of new leads and information, especially with regard to possible locations of where Edward Aide was born, which is the focus of this entry.

Note that in the second paragraph, although it does not specifically state where in Kilkenny Edward is from, it does mention that “a near neighbor was Walter Kent who came from the same town in Ireland…” Walter Kent, who was Edward Aide’s brother-in-law, is also buried in St. Philip Cemetery at Highland. As luck would have it, the location of Walter’s birth in Ireland is on his grave stone, and though it is quite faded, it’s still visible. When I was in Highland, WI doing research, I took a photograph of the inscription and using Adobe Photoshop I “tweaked” the photo so that the letters might become slightly more readable. Though the letters were far from crystal clear, I was still able to distinguish a enough of them to figure out what was written.

Walter Kent GravestoneThe clearest, most obvious words are his name and date of death: “Walter Kent Died Oct. 14, 1874 Aged 51 yrs.” Even without “tweaking” these letters are clearly visible on his burial marker. What is written below is much less visible. There are three lines in particular, the middle line slightly more distinguishable as “Co. KIllkenny, Ireland.” The top and bottom lines are an entirely different story. The only words I could make out were “Parish,” “of,” and “Graig.” Other than that I could only make out other various letters. After a little “tweaking” I came to the conclusion that the top line inscription read “Born in St. llybog (or) St. Ulybog Parish of Graig.” The third line simply read, “may he rest in peace.” Of course, at the time, none of these words (other than “may he rest in peace”) meant a thing to me as I hadn’t, as of yet, closely looked at a map of KIlkenny or had any knowledge of the parish names. So I did a little research.

I looked through various maps and records and performed various internet searches, searching for where “Graig” might be. As it turns out, “Graig” was short for Graiguenamanagh, which is both a civil and a Roman Catholic parish in eastern Co. Kilkenny, along the Co. Carlow border. After researching Graiguenamanagh, I hit a break one day when I came across the Tithe Applotments (an explanation of Tithe Applotments can be found here ) for the civil parish of Graiguenamanagh. On the list, there is a James Kent, whom I believe to be Walter (and Anastatia [Kent] Aide) Kent’s father, who is listed as living in the Sallybog subdivision of the townland of Raheendonore in the civil parish of Graiguenamanagh.  James Kent is again found in Griffith’s Valuation Index of Co. Kilkenny, circa 1850, again in the townland of Raheendonore.  So it seems that my interpretation of Walter Kent’s place of birth of his grave stone as “St. llybog” or “St. Ullyboh” was perhaps close, but may not have been quite right. I went back and looked at the photo of Walter Kent’s grave marker to double check and I now believe that the inscription reads “Born in Sallybog, Parish of Graig.” So I have since came to the theoretical conclusion that Edward Aide was born somewhere in or around the civil parish of Graiguenamanagh. The only way to really find birth records in Ireland, especially before the 20th century, is to look through the baptismal records of church parish documents. …and so the search begins…

Using the online records search system run by the Irish Family History Foundation, which performs partial searches of transcribed church parish records in Co. Kilkenny and throughout Ireland, I began very basic, preliminary search for the surname “Aide.” What I found was very interesting. After searching in and around the civil parish of Graiguenamanagh, I found the surname Aide, with various spellings (e.g. Aide, Ade, Aid, Ead, Eade), in significant numbers in the Roman Catholic parishes of Slieverue and Glenmore, just southwest of the civil parish of Graiguenamanagh.

Before I continue I should very briefly explain a little of what I know about the parish systems in Ireland. It’s important to understand the distinction between civil parishes and church parishes, as the concept can be a little confusing at first glance. Civil parishes are the equivalent to cities and towns in the United States, each containing different districts. In Wisconsin, these districts would be called “townships,” whereas in Ireland, they would be referred to as “townlands.” As a comparison example, I’ll use my home town of River Falls, WI – some of the townships in River Falls, WI are: Troy, River Falls, Kinnikinnick, etc. Graiguenamanagh, as a civil parish, contains the following townlands: Ballyduff, Graiguenamanagh, Raheendonore, etc. For a full list of townlands and how they are distributed amongst the civil parishes of Co. KIlkenny, click here.

Here’s the same example described another way:

In Wisconsin the breakdown would be – Township, City or Town, County (e.g. Troy township of River Falls in St, Croix County)
In Kilkenny the breakdown would be – Townland, Civil Parish, County (e.g. Raheendonore townland of Graiguenamanagh civil parish in Co. Kilkenny)

Above I mentioned that according to the  Tithe Applotments, James Kent lived in the Sallybog subdivision of the townland of Raheendonore. Sallybog, in this case, would indicate an area of the Raheendonore townland.

Church parishes, though they quite often go by a similar name as a civil parish, are different. Each church parish may consist of several civil parishes or parts of civil parishes. Furthermore, whereas a group of Irish civil parishes will make up a county, a group of Irish church parishes will make up a diocese. For example, the church parish of Graiguenamanagh lies within the diocese of Leighlin. Within the Catholic Parish of Graiguenamanagh are the civil parishes of Graiguenamanagh, Ullard and Powerstown. So if you were to try to locate a baptismal or marriage record of a person you knew to be born or married in the townland of Ullard, you will likely begin your search by looking through the records of the church parish of Graiguenamanagh, depending on the year.

Webroots has an amazing set of maps that can further clarify the distinction between church and civil parishes, as well as help locate townlands. Another really good resource is Brian Mitchell’s, A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland.

It is also important to mention that the boundaries of church parishes are not static, that the boundaries of a church parish can change from one decade to another. This means that, although Edward Aide may come from the same “town” as Walter Kent, they may have been born or baptized in different church parishes depending on the year in which they were born. Provided that the James Kent listed on the Tithe Applotments of Graiguenamanagh is actually Walter Kents father, even if Edward Aide came from the same “town” they may have been baptized in different church parishes depending on their age and depending on where their respective fathers chose to have them baptized. Additionally, when Julia [Aide] Egan states in her letter than Edward Aide was “came from the same town” as Walter Kent, this could mean a couple different things. They may have simply lived in the same relative area in southern Kilkenny or, because Edward was adopted, he may have been born and baptized in one church parish, then lived out his childhood in another parish, church or civil, after his adoption. We simply do not know.

So far, the earliest record I’ve found of an Aide in Kilkenny has been that of Richard Aide.  Baptised in the church parish of Slieverue on 16 May 1770, his parents were Thomas Aide and Joane Walsh.  Another early Aide, Peter, was also baptised in the church parish of Slieverue on 10 April of 1787.  His parents were Edmund Aide and Agnes Kehow.  There are quite a few other records accessable, however, accessing each record requires a fee of about $6 (5 Irish Pounds), so it will take both time and money to access each record.  I have accessed a few more records than these – I’ll provide this information in a future posting…

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