Katherine Jane Townsend (638)

Date of Birth: 10 Dec 1834
Date of Death: 1920
Generation: 6th
Residence: Donegal and Dublin
Father: Edward Hume Townsend [626]
Mother: Susan Townsend [5D09]
  1. Gahan, Frederic Beresford
  1. Fredrick Beresford
  2. Edward Hume
  3. Susan Isabella
  4. Fredrick George
  5. Beresford Horatio
  6. Horace Stirling
  7. Reginald Hume
  8. Walter Henry
See Also: Table VI ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Katherine Jane Townsend

Katherine was born in Dharwar, Karnataka, India, where her father was the Collector for the East India Company and later Secretary to the Bombay Government and Revenue Commissioner to The Presidency. In her Journal her mother records January 9th 1835. On Thursday 8th January we left Dharwar to go into the Districts. So our dear baby Katherine, commenced her travels early as she wants two days off being a month old. Subsequently she is mentioned several times in the Journal.

Married 31 October 1860 at Kilgariff, Co Cork. Fredrick Gahan (1) (2) CE was the son of Major Beresford Gahan, 5th Dragoon Guards, by his wife Henrietta Anne Townsend [227].

Though not shown in 'An Officer of the Long Parliament' at Table XIII, Fredrick married firstly Henrietta Byrne in 1853 as recorded in the County Cavan 'Anglo-Celt' of March 1853. "MARRIAGE. on Tuesday the 29th inst., in Cappa Church, by the Rev. James BYRNE, Ex F.T.C.D. (3), Fredrick GAHAN, Esq., late 57th Regt, youngest son of Beresford GAHAN, Esq., formerly of the 5th Dragoon Guards, and Brigade Major of Yeomanry, to Henrietta, eldest daughter of the late James BYRNE, Esq., Carlow." Henrietta died suddenly on 7 August 1856.

The April 1901 Irish Census shows Katherine aged 66 living at house 199 in Kenilworth Square, Rathmines, Dublin, with her husband Fredrick aged 78 and their son Walter aged 20. The April 1911 Irish Census records that she was living on her own at house 6 in Kenilworth Square; the census also shows that she was married for 44 years and had eight children of whom six were still living.

For many years Katherine was the North of Ireland Honorary Secretary of the South American Missionary Society. Her sister Susannah Townsend [641] was the Secretary for the South of Ireland.

Fredrick started his career as a surveyor in 1852 in Co Cavan and succeeded to the surveyorship of the county in 1853. In 1862 the family was living in Erskine Terrace, Cavan. 'Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for the Year 1862' for Cavan shows Fredrick Gahan as the County Surveyor. In 1864 he moved to the southern division of Co Donegal and spent the rest of his career there, retiring in 1891 on a pension of £240 per annum. He and Katherine took up residence at 6, Kenilworth Square, Dublin in 1894. Fredrick was a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers Ireland and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Of the children:

Fredrick Beresford Townsend Gahan was born in 1861 and died the following year.

Edward Hume Townsend Gahan was born in 1864 and died in 1875.

Susanna Isabella Townsend Gahan was born on 28 September 1865. She married ? Mackenzie and had four sons.

Fredrick George Townsend Gahan was born on 7 December 1866 and followed in his father's footsteps as a civil engineer. He worked for the Congested Districts Board, the Land Commission and the Electricity Supply Board. He married Winifred Mary Waters and had three sons (4) and two daughters (5); all the children less Fredrick Dermot were born in Co Donegal. The April 1901 Irish Census records Fredrick, his family, his brother Reginald and cousin, Edward Hume Steele Townshend [642], living at house 1 in Knockacroghery, Castlebar, Mayo. The 1911 Irish Census shows him living at house 11 in Gurteendrunagh, Castlebar with his wife, son Fredrick Dermot and a niece. Fredrick George died on 31 August 1955.

Beresford Horatio Townsend Gahan was born on 9 April 1868 and took Holy Orders. He married and had two children. The April 1911 Irish Census records a 'Beresford HT Gahan' as a 'Clergyman B A' born in Donegal, aged 42, and living in the Glebe, Mount Temple, Westmeath, with his wife, two young children and two servants.

Horace Stirling Gahan was born on 3 December 1870. He took Holy Orders and was the Chaplain of Christ Church, Brussels 1914-22. He visited Edith Cavell in the prison of St Gilles on 11 October 1915 and, after he had administered the last rites, she said, "We shall meet again". She was taken out and shot the following day. Horace married and had two children - John and Susan. He died on 3 February 1958 at the age of 88.

Reginald Hume Townsend Gahan was born on 27 July 1879 and was a Land Agent. He married and emigrated to Canada but had no children.

Walter Henry Townsend Gahan was born on 3 January 1881. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and took Holy Orders. He married but had no children. The April 1911 Irish Census records him as a Clerk in Holy Orders living at house 1 in Talbotsinch, Kilkenny with his wife, Rose. He died on 5 June 1963.

It is reasonable to assume that the following entries in ‘Slater’s Royal National Directory of Ireland, 1894’ refer to the sons Walter and Fredrick George Townsend. The Directory records under the heading ‘Dublin. Nobility, Gentry, Clergy, and Private Residents’ - “Gahan Walter C. 36 Palmerston rd. Rathmines” and under the heading ‘Ulster Directory of Private Residents - “Gahan Fredk. Geo. Townsend C.E. Maherabeg, Donegal.”

Much of the information for this entry was provided by John Hay Townsend Gahan, grandson of Fredrick George Townsend Gahan through Edward John Beresford Gahan.

(1) Fredrick Gahan was born in 1822. He died on 26 July 1904 and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery. Page 163 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that probate of the will of "Frederick Gahan 6 Kenilworth Square Dublin Civil Engineer", who died on 26 July 1904 at Portobello House Hospital Dublin, was granted at Dublin on 25 August 1904, to "Katherine Jane Gahan the Widow”. Effects £248 2s 2d.

(2) The entry for Gahan in the Natonal University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "In 1666 Daniel Gahan and his wife Susanna, widow of Thomas Ashe, were granted of about 1,000 Irish acres in the barony of Slievardagh, county Tipperary, including Coolequill. O'Hart records three sons of this marriage, Sir Daniel, George and John. Sir Daniel had no children and was succeeded by George. George's grandson Daniel of Coolquill Castle, parish of Crohane, barony of Slievardagh, married Hannah Bunbury of Kilfeakle, co heiress of her uncle Matthew Bunbury. In 1793 their daughter Marianne married William Tighe of Woodstock, county Kilkenny. Daniel Gahan was a Member of the Irish House of Commons in 1797. He had no sons and O'Hart writes that his property was inherited by his daughters Marianne Tighe and Penelope Gledstones [Gledstanes]. Coolquill was held in fee by Colonel Palliser in the mid 19th century. He was married to Anne Glenstanes. The castle was valued at £5."

(3) Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin.

(4) Charles Fredrick Townsend Gahan born 28 March 1896 and died 1903. Edward John Beresford Gahan born 28 March 1896, married Vera Hays and died 26 September 1992. Fredrick Dermot Owen Townsend Gahan born 25 September 1902 and died 19 July 1919.

(5) Mary Kathleen Grania Gahan born 12 July 1894, married A Sheridan and died 17 April 1978. Winifred Muriel born Oct 1897 and died unmarried 12 July 1995. Dr Winifred Muriel Gahan spent her life working tirelessly to preserve the old rural crafts of Ireland; her obituary can be seen in the Crafts Council of Ireland Newsletter No 21.