IRL-PALATINE-L ArchivesArchiver > IRL-PALATINE > 2001-07 > 0995303675
Subject: [IP] Rathkeale No 2 School
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 13:14:35 EDT
Hello good friends
I came across the IRL Palatine List and its vibrant community of goodhearted
researchers less than a month ago and have learned a great deal, besides
making many good friends. But his weekend I hit upon the most joyful
discovery and would like to share it with you.
If you're not into Palatine lyrical - look away now.
A fellow lister tipped me off about the school register data for Rathkeale,
freely available through the IPA at http://www.erin.ie/ipa and it proved to
be a true revelation. I knew my father had attended that school, but thought
the privacy threshold of 1910 would exclude him and would not prove
particularly helpful. At all events I always look into these things with hope
and was justly rewarded; even the tiniest hint is enough to send us into
delirium when records about everything else seem so dismally scarce.
The register showed the attendance of the entire family I have been
researching for most of my adult life - Grandfather Arthur Piper and his 8
siblings, right through from 1873 to just six months before my father's 4th
birthday, when he would have been registered in the normal course of events.
I know enough of the subsequent lives of most of those children to write an
entire chapter, even more - but the register in itself is a brilliant
illustration of the gradual dismemberment of the Palatine heartland in County
Limerick. I was able to correct three essential birthdates for my own tree
and to discover the missing daughter who died in her youth. There is too the
child (a Bovenizer) who would eventually marry one of the Piper girls and
generate his own patriarchal colony - but that too is unlikely to last beyond
Although my father's name does not yet appear, there is the young classmate
who "used to copy" his sums and spelling tests (mistaking 'moustache' for
mouse-ache on one occasion). I know it seems a bit silly, but looking at that
microcosm of family life in a dying community (details that rarely come to us
of children's lives, beyond the scope of b/m/d certificates and census
returns) does bring a little sadness along with the cheer of discovery.
Am I boring you? Please excuse me. I simply thought you might like to know.
If you're still reading, I can tell you that three of the boys were
long-serving soldiers - one being Mentioned in Despatches, in Flanders;
another playing out time for 21 years in garrison forts around the coasts of
Britain and Ireland, whilst the third was killed at the battle of Al'Orah in
Mesopotamia, scarcely a dozen years out of school No 2. Son number four
stayed and worked the land at Killeheen until his death in 1940 (his name is
mentioned in Patrick O'Connors' book as the last of the line, although GF
lived on to 1958).
The land passed to my father and he had to sell it because our home in London
was being blitzed by incendiaries. I have the letter of sale from a solicitor
in Rathkeale. How I would have loved to live there.
A second sister also died in her youth and a third moved out to Winnipeg,
never married and died in her 90s (how I would love to know about that
woman's life. When did she go and why? What ship took her there? Did she know
someone out there?).
There was another family of Piper/Pyper children later at the same school and
I have fairly good information on them too. He was gunsmith/whitesmith Julius
Pyper, husband of Alicia Downes and father of eight. I wonder how he was
related to my GGF Richard.
I could go on, but I think I've burned out your screens by now. Just know
that I am very happy to have happened across your company.
Many thanks to Ken McDonald and his wife who transcribed this valuable
material. I cannot wait to see the data from the No 3 school, promised for
the near future. If any help is needed with the hard graft of typing the
data, I am only too glad to help.
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