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The Irish Times on-line as a New Source
for Genealogy and Local History
         John Colgan
The Irish Times newspaper, from its inception in the mid-19th century to the present day, is now freely available in easily searchable format on the web at www.irishtimes.com in public libraries. Private access is available for a fee from the paper. Any word can be searched in chronological order, or by date, facilitating the tracing of families or events in a convenient fashion. The writer is using it for family-name genealogical purposes, with an eye to other Kildare interests.  To use the site, write ARCHIVES in the search box and Enter. Select Digital Archive by clicking on it. Type the word to be searched for in the search box, and if, required, set the start date. Small windows providing a hint of the content are shown in chronological order. Click on one to read it.
The following is a selection of chronological material, summarised from editorials, letters to the editor, ‘hatches, matches and despatches’, sporting and court cases etc, all based on searches for Colgan and a variant, Colligan, and are mostly of Kildare interest.  The writer’s comments and insertions are in italics.

1872:  Francis Colgan, JP, Co Kildare, attended a meeting in St Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle, to consider raising a fund to commemorate the late Lord, Earl of Mayo (who had been assassinated in India and whose family home was Palmerstown House, near Naas) [The Irish Times, 10/4/1872.]
1875: Francis Colgan was present at the Kildare Hunt Ball, Naas, yesterday [The Irish Times, 20/1/1875.]
1878:  F. Colgan, Esq., had a 7 year old bay mare for sale. He is “well known with Ward, Meath and Kildare hounds” [The Irish Times, 6/8/1878.]
1879:  The Empress of Austria was now hunting with the Kildare pack, which met at Enfield. Included were Mr Colgan of Castlewelland [sic] and party and Mr Colgan of Cappagh and party. “Cappagh gave a fox.. and worked his way into Grange. Hortlands was blank and from Courtown there was not much sport to chronicle” [The Irish Times, 10/3/1879.]
1879:  Sub-Constable Colligan has been transferred from Kildare to Carraroe [The Irish Times, 18/6/1879.]  Promotions and transfers of policemen, including some of the Free State’s civic guards, were recorded weekly, mostly in the Weekly Irish Times, and for every county in Ireland.
1880:  At a meeting of the Irish National Land League, held in Abbey St, Dublin, the case of the eviction of widow Colgan from her farm at the Curragh, Co Kildare was discussed at length as an example of Landlordism at it worst. The holding, known as the Curragh Farm, a mile from Kildare town, was the subject of an eviction at the hands of the Sheriff at the behest of the landlord, The Duke of Leinster. The Colgan family were said (by the PP of Kildare, Fr Nowlan, in a letter to the Duke) to have lived there for 250 years in undisputed possession. On the 29th January last the Duke wrote to Colgan’s widow stating that he had received her letter and having inquired into the case he regretted that he should decline to make a change in the arrangement of the Curragh Farm. On 13th February there followed a letter in the handwriting of Mr Hamilton, son of the [land agent] of the Leinster leases, stating that if the poor widow had given up possession of the farm when it was demanded of her, then she would have been put in as caretaker for 6  months. Fr Nowlan wrote saying the family had undisturbed possession of Curragh farm for 200 years. The rent was £43 10s. In 1810 the Duke gave Peter Colgan a lease of 21 years on the strength of which he built a house and made improvements at the expense of £700. The lease expired 3 years after his death in 1861, when the agent trebled the rent. The rent was raised again in 1870 to enable the widow to meet poor rates. In 1877 46 acres were added and the original rent quadrupled, some 60 percent over the government valuation etc. The house, now valued at £1,000, is in the landlord’s possession and Mrs Colgan is driven to a small cottage on the farm of the Curragh in the possession of her daughter. She has rights to graze sheep on the Curragh and gets “no help from her sons”. She was evicted a couple of weeks previously by the sheriff [The Irish Times, 5/5/1880.]
1881:  The Grand Jury for County Kildare was sworn in before the Sheriff:  among them were Francis Colgan, Esq, Cappagh House; Patrick Sweetman, Longtown House; John Maunsell, Esq, Oakley Park; F Cooke Trench, Millicent; Lieutenant Colonel Richard Wilson Hartley, Beech Park, Clonsilla [The Irish Times, 14/7/1881.]  Given that Grand Jury records for Co Kildare are few and far between, the newspaper provides a useful chronicle of all of their members, appointed each year by the Sheriff; the sheriff is also identified.
1881:  F. Colgan, Jnr, was at a well-attended meeting of landowners of Kildare in Naas to discuss hunting in Kildare [The Irish Times, 3/12/1881.]
1882:  F Colgan, JP, Cappagh, Enfield, subscribed £1 towards the Catholic School for Deaf and Dumb, Cabra [The Irish Times, 26/7/1882.] The paper regularly published columns of names of individuals who subscribed, and how much, to all kinds of causes, including raffles, church fetes etc.
1883:  At the County Kildare Club grounds at Oldtown, Naas, Walter Colgan, club member, competed in the 440 yards handicap race. He appears not to have finished, there being a (0) after his name. This was their annual athletics sports meeting [The Irish Times, 2/8/1883.] Names of competitors in every kind of sport were listed regularly.
1887:  Mullaboden Pony Races & Sports, Co Kildare: Mr J J Colgan’s horse, Countess, whose pedigree was unknown, was ridden by the owner and won the Scurry Race, the prize being £2 [The Irish Times, 22/4/1887.]
1887:  Francis Colgan of Cappagh House, Esq, was sworn in as a member of the Grand Jury for Co Kildare at Naas. A unanimous commendation was made of the 50 year reign of Queen Victoria by the members present [The Irish Times, 7/7/1887.]
1888:  Rev J Colgan, SJ, and Rev J Colgan, PP, attended the funeral of the RC bishop of Kildare and Leighlin [The Irish Times, 9/3/1888.]  Every funeral of note, and every marriage and company/club dance had the list of attendees printed; also those who travelled by ferry – and later by air  - were listed.
1889:  Rev James Colgan, PP, Stradbally, was present at the consecration of Dr Michael Comerford as bishop of Kildare and Leighlin [The Irish Times, 2/1/1889.]
1889:  A son was born to Francis P Colgan, MD, on 26/12/1888 at Bagnalstown, Co Carlow [The Weekly Irish Times, 5/1/1889.]  This was a typical announcement of a birth; the mother is never given a name, at best she is the wife of …
1890:  Grazing lands for letting for one year at Dunfierth [Northwest Co Kildare] were advertised. Apply to Francis Colgan, jnr, Cappagh [The Irish Times, 13/1/1890.]
1890:  At Balls Bridge yesterday Mr Laurence J Colgan, Co Kildare, sold a four year old filly to Lord Cholmandeley for £200 [The Irish Times, 27/8/1890.] Later references will cite his address and more...
1891:  At the meet of the Kildare Hounds at Enfield on Saturday, Mr Colgan of Johnstown House, met with a serious accident, falling on his head, receiving a severe scalp wound and being rendered unconscious for several hours [The Irish Times, 2/3/1891.]
1892: Mr D J Colgan’s chestnut gelding, Palace, 5 years old, is an entry at Newbridge ‘for horses the property of tenant-farmers in the Kildare Hunting District’ [The Irish Times, 7/4/1892.] So we know D J was no swell, but a tenant farmer.
1892:  Laurence J Colgan, St Anne’s, Clane, got 3rd prize in County Kildare Horse Show [The Irish Times, 20/9/1892.]
1892:  Laurence J Colgan’s wife, of St Anne’s, Clane, had twin sons born, 9/10/1892 [The Irish Times, 22/10/1892.] Later we will read of the death of one of the twins at an ‘exclusive’ college…
1893:  Small Ad:  Bedding plants… J Colgan, Leixlip, Gardens, County Kildare [The Irish Times, 2/6/1893.] There were many more small ads of this kind, with different plants, and his name is given as James, and the gardens are in Leixlip Castle Demesne.
1893:  The Kildare Hounds met at Kill village and rode to Furniss Hill Wood and Craddoxtown Cottage. Those who went well throughout the day included Mr Jack Colgan on a wonderful brown mare, and a few other persons. [The Irish Times, 30/11/1893.]
1894:  Dr Colgan played polo at tiny Ground, Carlow for Carlow in a match against Kildare. He also hunted [The Irish Times, 14/9 & 28/12/1894.]
1897:  Details of contributors to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Commemoration Fund, in aid of nurses of same name for aiding Irish sick poor in their own homes were published: Lord Iveagh contributed the largest amount by far, £12,500; the Lord Lieutenant, £500; Frederick Wookey [a Leixlip judge and flock-mill owner, in the mould of William Martin Murphy], JP, £2; and Nathaniel Colgan [Not a Kildare Colgan but a rare Protestant one and a nationalist, who was Vice-President of the Royal Irish Academy and a distinguished naturalist – publisher], £1 [The Irish Times, 3/7/1897.]
1899:  Announcement of the Local Government Elections Results: The counting of votes for the different electoral divisions in Co Kildare took place on Friday last in the Court House, Naas. The results (part of same) were as follows: Maynooth: Lord Frederick Fitzgerald (U) 235, W Rutherford Ronaldson (N) 163; Celbridge: Sir Gerald R Dease (U), unopposed; Timahoe: Francis Colgan, unopposed {No party affiliation for him cited} [The Irish Times, 10/4/1899.]
1899:  CELBRIDGE: There are two District Councils in the Celbridge Union: Celbridge No. 1 (Co Kildare) and Celbridge No. 2 (Co Dublin). Celbridge No. 1 District Council met at 11 o’clock on Saturday last, Mr John Field, CC, Kilcock, presiding. There was a full attendance. Messrs F Colgan, J Hannon and Major Claude Cane were elected ex-officio. Mr John Field was elected chairman, with 13 votes to 5 cast for Sir Gerald Dease, CC. As the appointment of Mr Field created a vacancy on the County Council, Mr Ronaldson was co-opted to the Council. In Celbridge No.2 (Co Dublin), Captain Vesey (U) was elected chairman of the Council. Mr W Bobbett, JP, and Mr E Shiell were proposed for the vice chair. Sheill was elected and he was also co-opted to the County Council in place of Vesey. [The Irish Times, 18/4/1899.]
1899:  At an adjourned meeting of Kildare Co Council which was held in the Court House, Mr Stephen J Brown, solicitor, chairman, presided. Mr F Colgan, JP, was amongst those appointed to the board of Carlow Lunatic Asylum [The Irish Times, 29/5/1899.] Brown is of Brown and McCann, the firm of solicitors for many years in the employ or service of Kildare Co Council.
1901:  COLGAN & QUIRKE:  April 23, at Star of the Sea, Sandymount by Rev John Colgan, OSB, brother of the bridegroom, assisted by Canon O’Hanlon, PP, Sandymount and Rev J Kirwan, PP, Kilcock, and the Rev J Colgan, SJ; Francis Colgan, JP, Cappagh, Co Kildare, son of the late Francis Colgan, JP, to Mary Staveley, 2nd daughter of William P Quirke, Chief Clerk to the Post Office in Ireland, 3 Churchhill Terrace, Ball’s Bridge, Dublin [The Irish Times, 24/4/1901.]  Weddings of the glitterati were covered in great detail, including the attire of the females, but not the males!
1904:  Mr & Mrs Colgan, Cappagh, had ‘open house’ there for Kildare Hounds led by the Master, Colonel de Robeck, with Mr Fennell etc attending [The Irish Times, 26/1/1904.]
1904:  E Colgan & F Colgan played cricket for Carlow Asylum in a match against Co Kildare 2nd team [The Irish Times, 28/7/1904.] Later we get the first names in place of the initials, and the connection between these Carlow Colgans and their Clane relatives.
1905:  EJ Colgan played cricket for Clongowes Wood College versus County Kildare [The Irish Times, 17/5/1905.]
1906:  County Kildare v Clongowes Wood: cricket match was played yesterday. Captain Patrick Hone, Leixlip, played for Kildare, and E Colgan for Clongowes [The Irish Times, 16/5/1906.] Hone is the father of Leland Bardwell, cotemporary author, and relative of Evie Hone, the artist; he established a quality furniture factory at Leixlip.
1906:  Kildare Hounds were at Kilkea Castle and Rathcoffey this week. Dr Colgan and Mr and Mrs Dalgety were among those out [The Irish Times, 6/11/1906.] Long lists of those who rode with the hounds were regularly published; I have noted only two here. Alexander Dalgety and his wife lived at Ryevale House, Leixlip.
1909:  Death Notice: Colgan, April 26, 1909 at Mungret College, Limerick, of appendicitis, Walter Francis, fondly loved twin son of Laurence and Annie Colgan, St Anne’s, Clane, Co Kildare, aged 16 years [The Irish Times, 8/5/1909.]
1911:  The Kildare Hunt met at Hazelhatch, “changed from Cappagh owing to the much regretted death of Mrs Colgan” [The Irish Times, 9/1/1911.]  There is no other mention of Mrs Colgan’s obsequies. She was the wife of Francis; perhaps Kildare papers or the other national dailies carry the details.
1915:  At Patrick O’Connor & Son’s auctioneers, of 49 Queen St, Dublin, was the following lot: sale of farms at Landenstown, Sallins, Co Kildare, of a house with out-offices, for Mrs Colgan – one lot of ~40 acres at Longtown and another of ~4 b acres at Landenstown. Secondly, an auction of furniture, farming and outdoor effects at Landenstown for Mrs Colgan [The Irish Times, 13/3/1915.]
1916:  Statutory Notice from the Irish Land Commission Court, re Land Purchase Acts, concerning the estate of Robert Read, Kathleen Colgan, Spinster, and Mary Colgan, spinster, Co Kildare.  An allocation schedule affecting the proceeds of the sale of part of the lands of Courtown Little, containing 66 acres, situated in the Barony of Ikeathy and Oughterany, Co Kildare, has been sold under the above Acts; any person having claim is required to state his claim etc. [The Irish Times, 20/1/1916.]  There are extensive details of compulsory sales of large estates to sub-tenants or to the Land Commission, and some short references to court proceedings to prevent sales.
1922: Statutory Notice: in the goods of Francis Henry Colgan, late of Cappagh, Esq, JP. By his will dated 2/4/1908, and a codicil dated 29/7/1915, he bequeathed the following charitable legacies: £40 to the RC Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin for masses; £200 to the PP of Kilcock for masses; £15 to the curate of Kilcock for masses; £50 to the Superior of the Jesuits, Upper Gardiner St, for masses; £50 to the Hospice for the Dying, Harold’s Cross; £130 to the PP of Kilcock for the erection of an altar rail or other suitable ornament in Newtown Church. And testator directed that all masses directed by his will should be celebrated in Ireland in churches open to the public. Appointed Alexander Michael Colgan, of 3 Pump Court, Temple, London, Esq, MA, LLR, the Very Rev John Colgan, OSB, of St John’s Priory, South Parade, Bath, and John Hevey Langan, of Mount Hevey, Hill of Down, Co Meath, Esq, executors and he died on 14th day of Novenber 1921 [The Irish Times28/6/1922.] Tells quite a lot about the deponent!
1922: Marriage announcement: marriage between Charles, son of the late Philip Brady, and Mrs Brady, Greenfield, Maynooth, and Letitia (Letty), only daughter of the late Laurence J Colgan and Mrs Colgan, St Anne’s, Clane, Co Kildare, will take place very quietly in September. [The Irish Times, 2/9/1922.]
1923:  In the King’s Bench Division of the courts yesterday, Harry Peard, of Castleknock Park, Castleknock, Co Dublin, took an action against P J Colgan, of Ballinagappa, Clane, Co Kildare, who claimed the sum of £70 due to him for betting transactions in the month of August, 1921. The plaintiff was a bookmaker, and the defendant a farmer. The defendant claimed the protection of the Gaming Act. The judge dismissed the action and awarded Colgan his costs. Mr Kenny, instructed by Messrs Brown and McCann, appeared for Colgan [The Irish Times, 23/1/1923.]
1923:  William Colgan, 87 Lower Leeson St, Dublin and Cappagh House, Enfield, Co Kildare, aged 20, a student, was remanded in the Dublin Police court yesterday on a charge of carelessness and negligence in the management of a motor cycle on Thursday in Upper Leeson St when he knocked down Wm H Shiel, 60, of Elmwood Ave, who sustained a double fracture of the right leg and arm [The Irish Times, 30/6/1923.] The paper chronicles this man’s life, providing a photograph of him. He became a famous racing motorcyclist, being the first to exceed a 100mph on a famous British track.
1926:  The death, which occurred recently [3/4/1926] of the Very Rev James Colgan, PP, Clane, Co Kildare, removes one of the oldest and best known priests in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. He had completed the 62nd anniversary of his ordination, and had ministered for over 30 years in Clane, where he had carried out extensive works. The Most Rev Dr Foley presided at the Requiem Office and High Mass for the deceased in Clane Parish Church [The Irish Times, 9/4/1926.]
1926:  Westmeath Co Council:  Messrs Councillors Colgan and 5 others left the Council chamber in protest at the overturning of a recommendation that had been agreed after being prepared by a sub-committee of the Council, that all officials pay be cut by 10%. In a statement afterwards they said they represented farmers’ interests on the council and asked what ratepayers could expect in the way of economy etc [The Irish Times, 24/4/1926.] No comment!
1926:  Mr Eugene C D Colgan, Co Co, who presided at a meeting of the Farmers’ Union at Castletown, Co Westmeath, declared that in view of the defeat by the County Council to reduce the salaries of county officials by 10%, attempts at retrenchment were useless under existing conditions. He proposed that the Local Government Department be asked to appoint a Commissioner to administer the affairs of Westmeath [The Irish Times, 29/4/1926.] The trade war with Britain was in progress.
1926:  William Colgan “a Co Kildare man” will be competing in the light-weight motor cycle races at the Isle of Man today [The Irish Times, 14/6/1926.] Colgan (Kildare) retired after 4 laps [The Irish Times, 15/6/1926.]  Colgan came 4th in another race, same venue [The Irish Times, 17/6/1926.] A celebratory dinner was held for the Irish competitors including Colgan in Jury’s Hotel [The Irish Times, 28/6/1926.]
1929:  Piece on Mr Billy (William) Colgan, being welcomed back to Ireland, as Cotton motor cycle expert, said to be staying with his brother and sister-in-law a Cappagh, Co Kildare, where the Colgan family have lived for several generations. He is hunting again with the “Killing Kildares” and for the present has abandoned motor cycling, which he started in 1923… He also competed in the Belgian and Italian races and is the winner of 20 cups and numerous medals. He is in his 26th year and is a member of one of the happiest of families who are near neighbours of Maynooth College. When his uncle, the Rev John Colgan, OSB, who is stationed in England, pays a visit to his old home the reverend professors of the college are invited to meet him.. Miss Molly Colgan, his sister, is a keen motorist and is well known to the members of the Killing Kildares, who whom she is very popular [Irishman’s Diary, The Irish Times, 12/3/1929; also in Weekly IT, 16/3/1929.]  Molly later offers a vehicle for sale in a small ad.
1929:  A Dublin and Kilkenny GAA hurling final match was declared void, both teams being at fault. Delegates present for adjudication of the issues by the Leinster Council of the GAA included P Colgan (Kildare) [The Irish Times, 5/8/1929.]
1929:  The inaugural meeting of the Collinstown (Leixlip) Coursing Club which was held yesterday provided a large company of metropolitan and Kildare sportsmen with the best coursing of this or, perhaps, of any season for years back.  The Club were fortunate in having the whole-hearted cooperation of Major Connolly [sic], of Castletown House, and the other landowners, Messrs. Cussen, Mitchell and Kiely. Various competitions were held: Barn Hall Stake, Leixlip Stake, Kilmacredock Stake. Mr P Colgan’s dog, Truthful charger, competed [The Irish Times, 26/11/1929.]  History in the making.
1929:  Recent Irish Wills: Mr Alexander Michael Colgan, late of Cappagh, Enfield, Co Kildare, formerly of Pump Court, Temple, London, barrister-at-law, who died 24/10/1929 at Beaumont Convalescent Home, Co Dublin, left £25,206. Probate was granted to the National Bank, Dublin, the sole executor [The Irish Times, 21/12/1929.]
1930:  Mr Frank Colgan, Cappagh, Co Kildare was reported as contributing a further collection of useful books to the Central Catholic Library [The Irish Times, 21/8/1930.]
1933:  Over 300 persons were guests of Major P A Mulcahy and the officers of the Artillery Corps at their annual dance in Kildare last Friday evening. Lieutenant Colgan attended [The Irish Times, 24/4/1933.]  Patrick Colgan, of Maynooth, one of the Kildare Veterans of the GPO at Easter 1916, was later promoted to Commandant and took an active part in amateur boxing in the army and outside it, according to later reports.
1936:  On the instructions of the executors of the late Miss K Colgan, the sale by auction, at the Hotel, Kilcock, of a superior residential farm at Loughtown, Donadea, containing 171 acres with residence, farm buildings and out offices, all held from the Irish Land commission, subject to a revised land purchase annuity of £50 odd. Lands of excellent quality, suited to mixed farming, laid down in divisions and well fenced, and watered by streams. About 10 acres is in tillage, the remainder in pasture. The residence, approached by a short avenue from the public road, is a 2-storey, slated structure, containing 10 apartments, including bathroom (h & c), wc, etc. Ample etc farm buildings with enclosed ;yards, affording accommodation for 40 head of cattle, horse stables, box stables, garage, implement sheds, piggery, fowl houses, lofting, hay barn, stores and stabling. Well laid out garden, haggard and paddocks; labourer’s cottage. 4 miles from Maynooth or Kilcock, Naas 9 miles, Dublin 20 miles.  A second Lot, fattening lands situated at Courtown, 1 mile from Kilcock, containing 83 acres, and no buildings. Holding comprises some of the finest feeding pastures in Nth Co Kildare. Brown & Mc Cann, solicitors. For auction by Edward A Coonan & Son. [The Irish Times, 29/2/1936.]
1936:  A marriage has been arranged, and will take place quietly in London early in September, between William A Colgan (of London), second son of the late Francis and Mrs Colgan, Cappagh, Enfield, Co Kildare, and Sheila, elder daughter of the late Patrick A E Dowling, Registrar, Royal College of Science, Ireland, and Mrs Dowling, 66 More Hampton Road [The Irish Times, 5/6/1936.]
1937:  John Colgan, Cappagh, Enfield, won 1st prize in the annual ploughing competition (confined to North Kildare) at annual competitions organised by the North Kildare Ploughing Association, held at Crinstown, Maynooth, yesterday [The Irish Times, 16/1/1937.] 
1937:  Mr Michael Colgan and his sister had very narrow escapes from being burned to death on Sunday morning when their thatched dwelling-house at Coolygagan, Rathangan, Co Kildare was completely destroyed by fire [The Irish Times, 7/12/1937.] 
John Colgan has unearthed a veritable treasure trove of genealogical and historical information from the pages of the Irish Times relating to the Colgans and to Co. Kildare. The 'Times' archive is online and is free to access through the public library network. As John Colgan illustrates it is indeed a trawl from 1859 onwards but provides a form of access to material which is otherwise denied to us. As always, our thanks to John who indeed has being trying to send this material to me since December. We are delighted to finally be able to post this amazing piece of research.

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