Eustace Families Association

Our Eustice family comes from Ireland.  We do not know which city they emigrated from or when.  But our guess is around 1840`s and the city of Dublin.

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Gerald "Gerait Mor" FitzGerald

 Eighth Earl of Kildare (1477-1513)

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Gerald, the eighth Earl of Kildare (1477-1513), was called in Ireland “Gerait Mor”—Gerald the Great. He had the fine stature, the manly beauty and goodly presence of his race; his liberality and his merciful deeds passed current as household words. He was a man of strict piety. His mild just government drew the hearts of his people to him in passionate devotedness. During the fifty year which preceded the Reformation, the office of Lord Deputy of Ireland, was filled, with a few broken intervals, by this Gerald the Great and by his son, Gerald the Younger. They pursued a National policy and so incurred the hatred of the permanent English officials.

By liens of blood-relationship he obtained great influence amongst the great Irish houses, Old and New. So powerful had he become that he retained the deputy-governorship of Ireland in despite of King Edward IV and his nominee.

He ruled it wisely and justly. A knight he was in valour—princely and religious in his word and judgments. He married Alison Eustace, daughter of Roland FitzEsutace, Lord Portlester and his wife Margaret d’Artois. His daughters, Eleanor and Margaret, were unquestionably two of the most remarkable women of their age and country. In vain endeavour to join in amity the rival houses of Kildare and Ormond (Geraldine and Butler) the Earl married Margaret to Piers Butler, Earl of Ormond. She founded the famous school of Kilkenny. Ormond was ably seconded by her in his efforts to promote more advanced methods of agriculture. Whilst Sir Piers is forgotten, ‘‘Magheen” or ‘Little Margaret” Fitzgerald’s deeds are recounted beside the fire of many a peasant’s cot in the Kilkenny of today.

Gerait Og, “Gerald the Younger,” ninth Earl of Kildare (1487- 1534), although educated in England was even more Irish than his father. He continued the policy of intermarriage with the Irish, and so consolidated the power of his house. Maynooth under him, was one of the richest earls’ houses of that time. ‘His whole policy was union in his county, and Ireland for the Irish.’ He was first appointed Lord Deputy by his cousin, Henry VIII, in 1513. After seven years’ rule he was removed, charged by the English with ‘‘seditious practices, conspiracies, and subtle drifts. The people were gladdened when a few years later he reassumed the post.

His cousin, the Earl of Desmond, had entered into a solemn league and covenant with Francis I, King of France (1523), to drive the English out of Ireland, whilst Scotland was to render assistance to the cause by invading England. But the heart 0 the leader of the Scottish army, the Duke of Albany, failed him at last moment and the gallant Scots dejectedly turned homeward (20th May, 1525). All Ireland’s hopes were again shattered



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These pages Ronald Eustice, 2007