Charles Bernard - Carlow

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Introduction to the Bernard Family of  Carlow, Laois and Offaly, Ireland

Charles Bernard of Carlow  born circa 1638 - died 1668 (Children: Thomas John and Philip)

Thomas Bernard and Deborah Franks (Children: Charles, Franks, Elizabeth, Joseph and Anne)

Philip Bernard (1668-1721) Philip Bernard

Charles Bernard of Laois (Queen’s Co). (Eldest son of Thomas and Deborah)

Franks Bernard of Carlow (Second son of Thomas and Deborah)

Joseph Bernard of Carlow (youngest son of Thomas and Deborah)

Thomas Bernard of Castletown, Offaly (Son of Joseph and Mary)

John Bernard of Carlow (Son of Joseph and Mary)

William Bernard of Carlow (Son of Joseph and Mary)

Thomas Bernard of Carlow (Son of William and Mary)

Arthur O’Brien Bernard of Carlow and the Isle of Man (son of Thomas and Anne)

Bernards of Tullow, Aghade, Newstowne and Rathrush, Co Carlow









CHARLES BERNARD

Charles Bernard of Carlow is the first Bernard that I have been able to confirm with whom I have legitimate connections.  According to my research, I believe that Charles Bernard is the son of John Bernard of Carlow, grandson of John Bernard (Sen.) and a brother of Joseph Bernard and William Bernard. He would have been born about 1638. Charles Bernard married Mary Sheppard, in 1664/65.

It has been difficult to authenticate Charles Bernard's heritage as records are scant and there are several conflicting versions of his ancestry and marriage in various additions of Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry.

In the 1912 edition of A Genealogical History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1912, by Sir Bernard Burke.
 

"Charles, the son of Thomas Bernard Esq. and his wife Catherine, of Abington, Northamptonshire was born in 1615. He was the grandson of Francis Bernard, Esq., of Abington, in Northamptonshire, the representative of an old and eminent family".

 

After extensive searching I can find no evidence of Francis Bernard of Abington having a son Thomas or a grandson Charles.  There is no account of these people in the history of the Bernards of Abington which provides details of the family in The Bernards of Abbington and Nether Winchendon, N Higgins).

As I have found many inconsistencies in Burke's account of the landed gentry in Ireland I have discounted the information regarding ancestry of Charles Bernard as presented by Burke.
 


There is further confusion regarding his marriage.  In earlier editions Burke refers to the wife of Charles Bernard as Elizabeth Sheppard (also Sheapheard and Shepherd) and she is stated to be the daughter and heir of Philip Shepherd, Esq.  This appears to be a plausible scenario particularly as they named one of their sons Philip. 

Also in the early editions (1847 and 1853) Burke claims that Charles married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Phillip Sheppard, esq., and by her (who married 2ndly – Bunbury and 3rdly Richard Humphreys Esq.) he had issue….  The reference to a marriage of Elizabeth (Bernard) Bunbury to Richard Humfreys, after the death of Benjamin Bunbury, has not be proven and is even more confusing when reviewing the conflicting information on the Humfreys in Burke's Landed Gentry of 1894 and 1912. In later editions of the Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry (1858 onwards) the reference to Elizabeth's later marriages are omitted.

There are further inconsistencies and conflicts between  the various editions of Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry  In the 1858 edition Burke states that Benjamin Bunbury, who went to reside in Ireland, and settled at Killerig, Co. Carlow.  By Elizabeth-Frances, his wife, widow of Mr. Shepherd, he had a daughter Diana….and 5 sons.  In the 1812 edition Burke states that Benjamin Bunbury of Killerig, Co. Carlow….. married Mary, widow of Mathew Sheppard of Owles, Co. Leicester.  Both of which are contrary to the entries for Charles Bernard where Burke states that Charles Bernard married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Phillip Sheppard, esq., and then Benjamin Bunbury. 

In many documents and references the wife of Charles Bernard (and later, Benjamin Bunbury) is called Mary.

After the death of Charles Bernard in 1668, his widow, Mary (Sheppard) Bernard was left with three very young children. She married Benjamin Bunbury of Killerig in 1669. This information is confirmed by several documents including the will of Thomas Bernard (son of Charles and Mary Bernard) where Thomas mentions "my brother Joseph Bunbury" and a again in a deed for William Bernard (a grandson) who makes mention of "my grandfather Bunbury".    

In the Ireland, Court of Chancery Records, Bill Books 1636-1676. (1) Plaintiffs to a law suit in 1672 are "Benjamin Bunbury and his wife Mary". They are also mentioned in 1679 in the Ireland, Exchequer Court of Equity Bill Books. (2) This is documented confirmation that the wife of Benjamin Bunbury was Mary not Elizabeth.

There are many documents showing the close relationship between the Bernard and Bunbury families

Charles and Mary Bernard had 3 sons: 

  •  John Bernard, second son of Charles Bernard. Born about 1666 John is not mentioned in the will of his brother Thomas (1720) so he probably died before 1720.  

Benjamin Bunbury and Mary (Sheppard/ Bernard) had 5 sons and one daughter:

  • Joseph Bunbury of Johnstown (just outside Carlow). Born about 1670 died 1731;
  • Thomas Bunbury of Cloghna and Cranavonane, born about 1672, died 1743;
  • William Bunbury of Lisnavagh outside Rathvilly in County Carlow,  1674-1710;
  • Matthew Bunbury moved to Tipperary (Born about 1675. d. 1733);
  • Benjamin Bunbury of Killerig (b. 1676.  d. 1715);
  • Diana Bunbury (Born about 1677. d. 1728). Married Thomas Barnes.

The Bernard and Bunbury children grew up together from an early age.

(1)   Court of Chancery Records. "Records from the Court of Chancery in Ireland relating to individuals involved in court proceedings between the years 1633-1851. As one of the four older 'Superior' courts in Ireland, the Courts of Chancery were at the very centre of Ireland's legal system. Surviving records consist mainly of bill books with some other records including an Index to Pleadings and records of Pleadings themselves." Ancestry.com
(2)    Exchequer Court of Equity Bill Books. "This collection includes records from the Bill Books of Exchequer in Ireland relating to individuals involved in court proceedings between the years 1674-1850. The Exchequer Court of Equity was at the very centre of Ireland's legal system and from the mid-17th century held jurisdiction over financial disputes such as titles of land, debts and wills." Ancestry.com

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