Wednesday, June 29, 2016


So, for the final part of my trip to Ireland I was hoping to visit the townland of Scurlogstown in County Meath.  My ancestor William de Scurlog received some land grants in County Meath where he built a castle in 1180.  A town was then formed near the castle and was called Scurlogstown.  Of course, I would love to see a town that was named after my ancestor and my dream would have been to visit a castle built by or named after an ancestor.

There were a few problems with this dream, however -- even in the 1800's only ruins remained of this castle. Then years or so ago, some ruins were uncovered when they were building a business park in Scurlogstown.  That would be my luck -- a business park rather than a castle!  So, I didn't get to see the castle or even a sign with the name Scurlogstown.

We did end up 3.5 kilometers east of there at the location of the Trim Castle. I was getting to the point that any castle would have to do.  However, this castle is very special too.  Trim Castle is the largest Norman castle in Ireland and is located on the south bank of the River Boyne in Trim.   This castle was built by Hugh de Lacy (who my ancestor William de Scurlog accompanied to Ireland) so perhaps it is practically like family!

I did try to persuade my family (husband, son and daughter) who had accompanied me to start a coup and capture Trim Castle as our own family castle but alas, I had no followers!

Reference: "The Sherlocks of Ireland" by Arian E. Collins, c 1993, San Diego, California

Monday, June 20, 2016

Visiting County Meath

While my Chambers and Kilroy ancestors are from County Mayo, my Sherlock and Caffrey ancestors are from County Meath.  Since I visited Islandeady (in County Meath) in both 2012 and on the current trip, I wanted to make sure that I also visited County Meath.  Perhaps, I could see the townlands of Lady Rath and Demailestown, the hometowns of my great Grandfather Edward Sherlock.

In 1961, Grandpa Charlie visited the site of his father's (Edward Sherlock) childhood home in Demailestown.  Above is a photo of him at that house.

Demailestown and Lady Rath are very close to one another.  While they are listed as townlands, they are more like housing developments.  So, think of a housing development in a rural setting with a few houses.  Demailestown and Lady Rath are west of Drogheda, east of Kells, and north of Navan and Kilmessan.  I looked at both Demailestown and Lady Rath on Google Earth and couldn't find a house like the one in the photo above.  Of course, this photo was from 55 years ago and the house very likely could have been torn down and a new one built.

According to Grandma Theresa's diary, they visited Pat Sherlock's home and his cattle. They also visited the Carey's and Agnes Sherlock -- I am not sure which town-lands they lived in 1961.  Then they visited Mary Glacken in Navan.

Trying to find these town-lands in Ireland in person is a lot harder than trying to locate places on Google Earth.  Oh, if it could just be that easy!   Of course, it didn't help that we didn't have GPS so it was rather like looking for a needle in a haystack!  The roads were tiny rural roads and did not have a lot of signs.  We drove past Lobinstown, Wilkinstown, Slane Castle and Navan.  Lady Rath & Demailestown is to the east of Wilkinstown.  So, alas, I did not actually get to see Lady Rath or Demailestown despite our efforts.  Perhaps the only way this will ever happen is with a native guide who is familiar with these tiny town-lands.