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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Eustace Family of Yago (Jagoeston) in the Townland of Gaganstown, Co. Kildare

Jago, or Yago1, was at one time the name of a distinct parish in the Barony of South Naas, but it is now incorporated in that of Ballymore Eustace. It comprised of the Townlands of Gaganstown, Moorhill, Boleybeg, and Ardinode. The parish church stood in the burial-ground situated in Annfield Demesne, which lies in Gaganstown Townland. As the name Jago, or Yago, implies, the Patron was St. James. The Townland of Gaganstown in documents of the sixteenth century appears under peculiar forms, such as Yagoston, Yagogestone, Jagoteston, Jagogeston, and Jagoeston.

In 1494 the lands of Jagoeston (Gaganstown, Parish of Ballymore Eustace) and “Bardore,” containing a castle, a court baron and 72 acres in “Jagoeston” were in the possession of Sir Robert FitzEustace of Ballycotelan2.  Sir Robert was one of three County Kildare members of the Brotherhood of St. George, a military association established in 1475 for the defense of English territories in Lienster. The other Kildare members of the Brotherhood were Thomas FitzGerald, 7th Earl of Kildare and Roland FitzEustace, Baron of Portlester. Sir Robert was Sheriff of County Kildare in the years 1452, 1456, 1470 and 1472. He was the son of Sir Richard FitzEustace, Knight, appointed Justice of the Peace for County Kildare in 1408.

A County Kildare Exchequer Inquisition held in Naas in June 1597, mentions some of Sir Robert's descendents in the following manner 3:

In the nineteenth year of King Edward IV, i.e; in 1479, Sir Robert FitzEustace, Kt; of Ballycotelan enfeoffed his lands of Jogogeston, Bardore, and Rocheston, for certain uses in John Stokes and William Body, Priests. The surviving feoffee, John Stokes, priest, on the 12th of March 1487, granted and confirmed the above premises to James, son of Sir Robert FitzEustace and his heirs, with remainders to Oliver, Richard and Maurice, other sons of Sir Robert, and, failing issue to them, to the right heirs of Sir Robert. The said James FitzEustace died on 15th December 1522, and his son and heir Nicholas succeeded him, and was so seised of the lands at the time that Christopher FitzEustace of Cutlandestown (to whom they would go in reversion) was attainted for high treason.

Nicolas Eustace of Jagoteston, County Kildare, gent4; and Lauglan O’Murgho of same, cowherder, were granted pardons on May 16, 1548.

The said Nicholas died in 1577 without male issue. The said Oliver and Richard also died without male issue. And afterwards, owing to the attainder of Christopher FitzEustace of Cutlandstown, son and heir of Maurice, brother of James, father of said Nicholas FitzEustace, all of these premises reverted to the Crown.

It would appear from the above that Sir Robert FitzEustace granted to his (?) second son James, the land of Rocheston and Gaganstown in County Kildare, and those of Roestown and Bertramstown in County Meath; and that his (?) eldest son Sir Maurice succeeded to Coghlanstown on his death in about 1486.

When Christopher Eustace of Coghlanstown was executed after the “Silken Thomas Rebellion" in 1535, those of his lands west of Ballymore Eustace and south of the Liffey were granted to other members of the family 5. Rochestown, Gaganstown and probably part of Ardinode (just east of it) were granted to the 1st Viscount Baltinglass, Thomas Eustace, who had done much to quell the rebellion. Gaganstown and Rochestown seem to have passed to Nicholas Eustace of Kerdiffstown (Cardeston), doubtless as a dowry of Anne, daughter of the 1st Viscount, on her marriage to Nicholas in about 1538. In 1568 Roland Eustace of Jagogeston and in 1570 6 , Roland Eustace of Yeagogeston received pardons from the Crown 7.

Gaganstown was forfeited by Thomas Eustace, son of Nicholas, after the 1580 Baltinglass Rebellion and let to Mary Heron as follows. In 1584, “Yagogestone, near Naas,” late in the possession of Thomas Eustace, of Cardeston, or Kerdiffstown, attainted (and executed) for rebellion in 1580, was leased for forty years to Alice, daughter of Christopher St. Lawrence, Baron of Howth, widow of George FitzGerald, of Ticroghann, County Meath (died 1580), and wife of William Heron, of Kinnegad, in the county of Westmeath (Elizabeth Fiant, No. 4322).

Mason in his “History of St. Patrick’s Cathedral,” states that out of its nineteen Prebends that of Yago is placed fourth (p. 52). He adds that, according to Archbishop Alen (slain in 1534), the former name of the Church of Yago was Dunamor (Donaghmore), and that it was granted in frankalmoigne to Archbishop Comyn (1181-1212) by William FitzMaurice FitzGerald, Baron of Naas, for the purpose of augmenting the common fund of the cathedral. Subservient to this church were two chapels:

  1. Technabretnas, alias Brethnockstown, now Brannockstown, dedicated to St. Sylvester (10th of March).
  2. Inchebrislane, alias Kiltown, now Gilltown, dedicated to Saint “Boyana” (Elizabeth Fiant No. 3146.

The Fiants of Edward VI and Elizabeth record pardons by the Crown to a Nicholas Eustace of this place in 1548, and to a Roland Eustace between 1568 and 1582.

A County Kildare Chancery Inquisition (No. 27 of James I), taken in 1618, found that Queen Elizabeth by Letters of Patent, dated the 20th March, 1599, granted to Nicholas Taafe, of Athclare, County Louth, and to Joan, his wife, daughter of Christopher Eustace (or FitzEustace), of “Ballicutland,” now Coghlanstown, who was attainted and hanged for rebellion in 1535, the lands of “Yagogeston and Rocheston, lying near the Irish mountains,” to hold to him and his heirs by knight’s service. On the lands of Gaganstown there then stood a very ruinous castle, almost prostrate, and also a hall (aula) in ruins. These lands at the taking of this Inquisition were claimed by Roland Eustace, of Blackhall, near Punchestown, as being of his hereditary possessions. Roland seems to have occupied Gaganstown as a tenant from 1568 until 1582.

The castle and house (in ruins in 1618) have gone but the old graveyard marks the site of the church of the former parish of Gaganstown. The Parish included Ardinode, Bolleybeg and Moorhill, with the chapels of Brannockstown and Gilltown, southwest of Grangemore. Rochestown must have been sold to the heirs of Joan Taafe, for it (with Brannockstown) later always formed part of the Harristown estate 5.

Roland Eustace of Jagogestown (Gaganstown), County Kildare

Rowland Eustace, born about 1568, the son of Oliver Eustace and his wife Joan Eustace (Mullacash)  of Blackhall, made an unsuccessful claim to Gaganstown, west of Ballymore Eustace, asserting his right of “hereditary possession,” perhaps through his wife Catherine Eustace. Rowland claimed to have lived at Gaganstown from 1568-1582.

In his will dated 1640, Roland Eustace asked to be buried in the ancient graveyard of Killsaintlucan, half-a-mile south of Blackhall Castle.) In 1641 he lost (apparently only temporarily) Blackhall and the nearby lands of Newtown with parts of Tipperkevin and Oldtown.

Roland married Catherine Eustace, possibly of Gaganstown. Catherine could have been a daughter of Thomas Eustace of Kerdiffstown and his wife Joan Eustace of Mainham. If she was this would partially explain the reason for Roland's unsuccessful attempt to claim Gaganstown for "hereditary possession". Thomas Eustace held  possession of Gaganstown before being attainted for his involvement in the Baltinglass Rebellion.

In the court—book, the record of court—marshals held in Dublin after the war, in Marsh’s Library, we read under the date March 23rd, 1652: “Rowland Eustace is accused of holding correspondence with and relieving the enemy and all evidence being heard and fully debated, it was put to the question whether upon the whole question and circumstances to the Court there are not strong and pregnant presumptions that the said Rowland Eustace is guilty of the several crimes wherewith he is charged; resolved in the affirmative. Second, whether upon the whole matter there is sufficient evidence to proceed by judgment against Rowland Eustace or not; resolved in the negative, it was finally ordered upon the question resolved in the affirmative that the said Rowland Eustace be herewith removed with his whole family and dependents into the province of Connaught. It was also further ordered that he be released, giving security to perform the judgment of this court hereby declared, and to appear on the forty days after the notice lodged at any of his houses.’’ On the margin is “in Jajogstown, (Gaganstown) in the County Kildare.” Note: We cannot be certain that this Roland is the same person as Roland, son of Oliver and Joan, mentioned above, but the Jagoeston connection for both is strong evidence that if not the same person, at least they are closely connected. Roland born in or before 1568, would have been at least 84 years old in 1652, quite elderly for that time, but given his strong demeanor, his stamina was great.

Oliver Eustace (father of Roland) was pardoned in 1583 7 for involvement in Baltinglass Rebellion. Fiant Records show that Oliver and others had aided rebels numbering 500 who had taken the field at Baltinglass, and had attacked the town of Sagard, Co. Dublin, burning forty houses; Oliver together with Maurice FitzGerald was said to have aided the rebels. The pardon was granted but instructions were that it not to be “sealed” till Oliver “find surety” before the Lord Chancellor to prove his loyalty. Oliver died in 1618. Oliver was married to Joan Eustace of Mullacash who was the daughter of Thomas Eustace, died 1594 and his wife Catherine Eustace. Thomas first married Cecily Graydon and upon her death Catherine Eustace.

1.         Journal of the Kildare County Archaeological Society, Vol. VII; Page 336-37.

2.         Ibid, Volume XIII, No. 8 (1960); Page 372.

3.         Number 41 of Elizabeth

4.         Fiant 201; (133).

5.         Fiant Elizabeth 1268; (1568); Pardon to John Eustace of Castlemartin, County Kildare,   Roland Eustace of Jagogeston (Gaganstown) James Eustace of Cloceste, Maurice Eustace of Ballesax, John Eustace of Kilbride and Richard Eustace of Walshetown all in the same county, gentlemen; James Eustace of Inchcoventer and Remeletus Walsh of Balloteig, same county, horsemen; Edmund Eustace of Castlemartin, John Fitz Rowland Eustace of the same...(This Roland appears to be an uncle or other close relative to Oliver, father of Roland or more likely Nicolas Eustace of Kerdiffstown who acquired Gaganstown as dowry from his marriage to Ann, daughter of Thomas Eustace, 1st Viscount Baltinglass and Margaret Talbot.).

6.         Fiant Elizabeth 1665; (1570); Pardon to...Roland Eustace of Yeagogiston, co. Kildare gent.

7.         Fiant Elizabeth 4193; (1583); Pardon to Maurice FitzGerald alias fitzJames of Obertstown and Oliver Eustace, late of Blackhall, had aided the rebels including James Eustace, Viscount Baltinglass and others.

son or brother of Oliver of Barretstown].  (TN p. 399).

Oliver of Blackhall was pardoned in his role in the Baltinglass Rebellion.  Oliver had regained his lands that were forfeited in 1584 (TN. P. 370 and p. 399) He must have lived on the Gaganstown property as his son Rowland tries to reclaim this land in 1618 stating he (Rowland) had lived there for 14 years between 1568-1582.  The Fiants of Elizabeth I support the claim that a “Roland Eustace from Gaganstown” was pardoned on three occasions between 1568 and 1582.  Fiants Eliz. #1268, 1665, 4083.

Questions for further study:

Was Oliver of Blackhall a tenant on his mother-in- law Catherine Eustace’s Gaganstown estate that had been given to her parents, Nicholas and Anne of Kerdiffstown as part of a dowry in 1538?  Were Oliver and Joan’s children especially Roland raised there?  If Catherine the second wife of Thomas of Mullaghcash was a daughter to Nicholas of Kerdiffstown and then a sibling to Thomas of Kerdiffstown, could this be the connection of Oliver of Blackhall to Thomas of Kerdiffstown and their connection to the Baltinglass Rebellion?  

1618 Rowland of Blackhall tried to reclaim Gaganstown after his father, Oliver’s death claiming that he had lived on the Gaganstown estate from 1568-1582.  (SEE CONNECTION TO KERDIFFSTOWN).  He had temporarily lost Blackhall, Newton, Olde Town and Tipperkevin.  His children were Mary Eustace (Robert) Archbold, Thomas of Tipperkevin and Oliver of Blackhall. Oliver had a son Richard who lost all the property in 1641. (TN p. 370 p. 372)

These pages Ronald Eustice, 2007