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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Adapted from lists given to the Duke of Ormonde to select his nominees for restoration)

As published in The Irish Genealogist November 1971 (Volume 4, No. 4; pages 275-302)

In 1641, rebellion broke out in Ireland and was followed by more than nine years of almost continuous fighting, while in England  King Charles I and the Parliament strove for supremacy. The Irish Rebellion of 1641 (Irish: Éirí Amach 1641) began as an attempted coup d’etat by Catholic Irish gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for the Catholics living under English rule. However, the coup failed and the rebellion developed into an ethnic conflict between native Irish Catholics on one side, and English and Scottish Protestant settlers on the other. This began a conflict known as the Irish Confederate War. The rising was sparked by Catholic fears of an impending invasion of Ireland by anti-Catholic forces of the English Long Parliament and the Scottish Covenanters who were defying the authority of the King Charles I. In turn, the rebels' suspected association with the King of England, Scotland and Ireland, Charles I, helped to spark the outbreak of the English Civil War. The English and Scottish Parliaments refused to raise an army to put down the rebellion unless it was under their command rather than the King's.

The Irish rebellion broke out in October 1641 and was followed by several months of violent chaos before the Irish Catholic upper classes and clergy formed the Catholic Confederation in the summer of 1642. The Confederation became a de facto government of most of Ireland, free from the control of the English administration and loosely aligned with the Royalist side in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The subsequent war continued in Ireland until the 1650s, when Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army decisively defeated the Irish Catholics and Royalists, and conquered the country.

Maurice Eustace of Castlemartin, who had become a Catholic, joined the rebellion, and in February, 1642, both Castlemartin and Kilcullen Bridge were burnt by Lieutenant General the Earl of Ormonde, when his troops captured Naas and proceeded to lay waste the surrounding countryside. A reward of £400 and a free pardon was offered to anyone who would bring in the head of Maurice Eustace, and later that same year he was attainted and his lands declared forfeit. In 1643, Castlemartin, then garrisoned by 400 men under one of the FitzGeralds, surrendered to Ormonde, who quartered his troops there during his march south to capture Timolin. Harristown seems to have avoided trouble at this time, but was occupied as an outpost by General Preston in 1647, when he was at Naas preparing to advance into County Meath. Earlier that year, Castlemartin had been captured by Colonel Michael Jones  and again burnt.

In 1648, both Castlemartin and Harristown fell to Colonel Hewson, and were left in ruins, which included Sir Maurice Eustace's new house. Sir Maurice Eustace (later Lord Chancellor who was a Protestant, was arrested by Colonel Jones, and kept in prison at Chester for seven years, only narrowly escaping exile to Jamaica. On his release and return to Dublin in 1655, Sir Maurice was accused of communicating with King Charles II, and arrested again, but he was set free though under strict supervision.

Such was the fate of Sir Maurice Eustace, a loyal Protestant, but the Catholic Eustaces suffered far worse during these years of fighting and later under the Commonwealth (1649-1660). By 1657, the following Eustaces had been deprived of their lands: Maurice of Castlemartin, Alexander of Dowdenstown, Anne and Jane of Ballymore Eustace, Walter and Nicolas of Elverstown, Oliver of Ballymore Eustace, Oliver of Blackhall, Thomas of Tipperkevin, James and Nicolas of Confey, Thomas and Maurice of Moone, Walter of Ballycolane, Edward of Blackwood, Richard of Narragh, Rowland of Mullaghcash, and Christopher of Newland. Some of Christopher Eustace's lands were restored but only after his mind was impaired because of mental illness.

The lists which follow were copied from the Prendergast MSS. Vol. iv at the Kings Inns Library, Dublin, by E. G. More O'Ferrall in 1970, and are published by kind permission of the Committee of that library. The originals are among the Carte MSS. Vol. 44 (1660-70) in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, where the Prendergast transcript was made. Thus we here present a copy of a copy, but we are satisfied that it is accurate, since Prendergast was a careful worker and we have taken great pains to reproduce his copy faithfully. The names that occur in these lists are those of the heads of families who lost their lands through the Cromwellian Settlement and were not, for the most part, compensated with grants in Connacht or Clare, nor restored by the Court of Claims which functioned in 1663. In a few cases, where two or three members of a family are mentioned, one of them is described as ' past'. This means that the individual has passed the Court of Claims for restoration. A very small number of the ex-landowners on these lists were eventually restored to some of their former lands as nominees, and it fell to Ormonde, as Lord Lieutenant, to make the recommendations.

For this purpose he needed not only the names of the persons concerned but some briefing also on their conduct during the period of the war of 1641-52 in Ireland, and more especially the early part of it, which was now referred to officially as 'the late horrid Rebellion'. This briefing was done by means of capital letters placed above or after names on the lists with a key at the beginning explaining what they stood for.

The genealogical importance of these lists is obvious. In a number of cases they provide the name of the son and heir of the pre-Cromwellian head of the family where this would otherwise be unknown. Of those who “lived inoffensively” during the Rebellion we are sometimes told, or can infer, the reason for it, e.g. ' aged and bedridd ', a minor, or ' constantly distracted '.

The inclusion of a name on these lists suggests that the person was living in 1664 but is not proof. Some of those named are known to have died previously, and some are actually marked as killed in the King's service.

Where a father and son, or other members of the same family, are mentioned together, it may be accepted that the earlier generation was head of the family during the Rebellion and is now dead, while the younger generation is the present (1664) claimant.

It could be a reasonable genealogical aim of many Irish people to trace their descent from an individual on these lists. Once this has been achieved, it is generally (possible to go back several more generations with much less difficulty through inquisitions, fiants, etc. Although virtually all of these persons were Catholic, because it was the ' Irish Papists' that were dispossessed by Cromwell, it should be remembered that many of their descendants conformed later, especially during the 18th century, so that today they are genealogically important not only to Catholics but to many Irish Protestants also.

The number of entries for each province is as follows:
Leinster 538
Munster 704
Ulster 20
Connaught 368

Ulster had already been 'planted' in the reign of James I, so that there were no longer many native proprietors to be dispossessed. Connaught had been left to some extent as a refuge for Papist landowners under Cromwell's ' to Hell or Connaught' policy. Hence the greatest number of confiscations was in the other two provinces. The meaning of the figures which appear on the right hand side opposite to each name is not explained. They do not denote the extent or valuation either of lands previously forfeited or of the estates to which a few of these individuals were eventually restored. It is possible that they are acreages to which they were recommended to be restored immediately. We include them in the expectation that their purpose will eventually be known. And they do indicate the relative importance of these former landowners among themselves. The original is almost unpunctuated; stops have been introduced here occasionally for the sake of clarity. EDITOR.

'Qualifications of Lists furnished to Ormond whence to select Nominees'

A          Those who eminently suffered by the Nuncio & his party for their good affections to His Majesty's Service.

B          Those who by their early repentance redeemed their former failings by submitting to the cessation in 1643 to the peace        in 1646 to the cessation with the Earle of Inshiquyn & upon all other occasions manifested their good affections to his Majesty's service.

C          Those who constantly upon all occasions opposed the Nuncio & his party, labored to induce the people to returned to their former obedience to his Majesties' Government  signally endeavored to assert the peace of 1646.

D          Those who from the beginning lived inoffensively

E          Those named in H.M. Declaration & Act of Settlement as specially meriting on suffering.

G          Those who continued with H.M. abroad or served under his ensigns beyond the seas.

H          Those who submitted & constantly adhered to the peace of 1648.

I           Those who since the cessation in 1643 lived quietly & inoffensively at home.

K          Those who were killed in H.M. Service.

L          Those who were of known good affections to H.M.'s service & dyed before the cessation in 1643.

Note: For Leinster an extra category (F) is given, for ' infants, idiots or Madd men', but apparently is never used.

County Meath

Town of Drogheda
County Dublin

City of Dublin

County Kildare

County Westmeath

County Louth

County Kilkenny

County Wexford

Queen's County (now County Leix)





These pages © Ronald Eustice, 2012