Kinsella's move to Co.Kildare (1700s)


Some of the Kinsellas of Co.Kildare, Ireland, have passed down the following story which explains why they no longer live in their ancestors ancient homeland of Co.Carlow:


Thady Kinsella and his family lived in a town called Rahill in northern Carlow, on the Fitzgerald estate. Thady had a very pretty daughter who apparently had been noticed by the current Earl of Leinster. One day the Earl stopped by and told Thady he would like to have his daughter start work at the mansion.

Thady, knowing the Earl had a reputation for "having an eye for young girls" refused. Knowing full well what such a refusal meant, he quickly added, "And I'll be moving my family off your land tomorrow."

The Earl angrily replied, "Not only your family, but I want everyone with that accursed name Kinsella off my land forever." So in May of 1732 Thady and his family moved to Broadstown in County Kildare.


John Kinsella of New York was told this anecdote while visiting some Kinsellas in County Kildare. Let him tell you about the first time he met this family:

When I arrived at the farm, Kitty's first words were, "Well, there's no denying it, you're one of us all right."

After she and I had been talking for awhile her sister, Reecie, joined us. After a bit more talk, Kitty said to Reecie, "Don't you think he looks like us?"

"Oh, yes, I can't get over it. I know it's impolite to stare but I can't help it."

Later they took me to meet their mother. She looked for awhile and then announced, "Well, there's a Bigstone Kinsella if I ever saw one (Bigstone is the local name for Broadstown, the town where Thady moved to)." I later found out the most telling feature of a Bigstone Kinsella is a prominent nose.

I was told the Kinsellas "were a fierce breed of people." In fact, at one time long ago, the Church made a ruling that no one named Kinsella could become a priest!


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