Thomas Bernard p2

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

Charles Bernard of Carlow  born circa 1642 - died 1668 (Children: Thomas John and Philip)

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

Philip Bernard (1668-1721)

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









Thomas Bernard, 1665-1720. Was the eldest son of Charles and Mary Bernard (also incorrectly referred to as Elizabeth in various editions in the Genealogical And Heraldic History Of The Landed Gentry Of Ireland (1912) by Burke.

“While visiting England during ‘the Glorious Revolution’ in 1688, Thomas married Deborah, daughter of Charles Franks, Esq, of Clapham.”

No evidence confirming this marriage has been found but Thomas and Deborah's second son was named Franks.  Thomas also mentioned Deborah, his wife, in his will (although this was probably a reference to his second wife, also Deborah).  The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England (VII of Scotland and II of Ireland) by a union of Parliamentarians with an invading army led by the William III of Orange who, as a result, ascended the English throne as William III of England. 

Thomas Bernard lived in Oldtown & Clonmulsh, Carlow (alternately spelled Clonmulsk, Clonmelsh) and was Sheriff of Co. Carlow in 1708. Although Thomas was a wealthy man (as will be seen by his will) he was living at a time of war and strife in Ireland. The war between the Jacobites (Catholic supporters of James II) and the Williamites (Protestant supporters of William of Orange) started in March 1689 and lasted for two and a half years. Thomas died in 1720.

"This parliament [7th of May, 1689] … effected the complete destruction of the arrangements of property in Ireland, by a repeal of the acts of Settlement and Explanation, under which two-thirds of the Protestants of the kingdom held their property; all of which was now restored to those who possessed it previously to the 22nd of October, 1641. ……The following persons connected with my county are named in this precious specimen of law, justice, and liberality” [List included] Thomas Bernard, of Cloghuae, gent.,  (History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow, by John Ryan)


Thomas and Deborah Bernard had three sons and two daughters:
  • Franks Bernard born about 1689 
  • Elizabeth Bernard 1690-1755. Married (1) Henry Rudkin in 1712. The marriage settlement is recorded in the Registry of Deeds (1) .  Henry was the second son of Henry Rudkin (Sen) of Wells in Co Carlow. There is much misinformation about the marriages between the Bernards, Rudkins and Pickerings. Notes from a court case clearly describe the correct pairings
    Henry and Elizabeth (Bernard) Rudkin had several children.
    • Elizabeth Rudkin, b. 1713 married 1733, her cousin Henry Rudkin
    • Mary Rudkin 1715 married Gilbert Pickering
    • Deborah Rudkin 1716, Married Oliver Cramer, son of Oliver Cramer of Ballyfoyle, County Kilkenny, by his wife Hester Coghill
    • Bernard Rudkin 1725, married Sarah Roth. He died in 1760
    • Anne Rudkin 1727, married William Ward of Wells (He was a Catholic she a Protestant, and as the ceremony appears to have been solemnised by a Roman Catholic priest, the marriage was, in the then state of the law, wholly void. Consequently she was described as a "spinster" in the Bill in Chancery filed in 1760, referred to subsequently, and in her will dated 20th October 1761, as an unmarried woman). She died 1761 
    • William Rudkin, married 1759 Diana Barnes
    • Harriet Rudkin died in 1739, an infant “of a few years”
    • Henry Rudkin (Jun) ?
After Henry Rudkin’s death Elizabeth (Bernard) Rudkin married William Doyle, of Clonmoney, co Catherlogh in 1738. She died in 1755 and William Doyle in 1758


  • Joseph Bernard b. 1692 or 1694, in Clonmulch, Co. Carlow. (d. 1764)
  • Anne Bernard born about 1695 married Thomas Barnes of Grange, Kilkenny about 1715


After the death of Deborah (Franks) Bernard circa 1700, Thomas Bernard married Deborah (Sheppard) Humfrey, widow of Edward Humfrey of Clonagh, Co. Carlow in 1708.   She was the daughter of Mathew Shepperd of Killerick (died in 1663) and sister of  Jonathan Shepperd, Esq. of Derryvowles.

There are various sources that confirm this marriage:
1708


  • Burke's A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. 
Although I do not rely on  Burke, because I have often found the information inaccurate I did find two entries that confirm my findings:
    • In the1894 edition for the Bernards of carlow - "Thomas Bernard, of Oldtown and Clonmulsh, co. Carlow, High Sheriff 1708; m. Deborah, dau. of Matthew Shepperd, of Killerick, co. Carlow, and sister of Jonathan Shepperd, of Killerick, co. Carlow, and widow of Edward Humfrey, of Clonagh, co. Carlow."  
    • In the 1912 edition for the Humfreys of Carlow -  "Edward Humfrey, of Clonagh, co. Carlow, m. 1676, Deborah, dau. of  Matthew  Shepperd, of Killerik, co. Carlow.  His will, dated 3 Jan. 1686 was proved 19 Feb. 1686. ……..(Deborah m. 2ndly, Thomas Bernard, of Clonmulsh)"
       There many documents illustrating the close ties among the Bernard, Bunbury, Humfrey and Sheppard families
  • In the Ireland Court of Chancery Records, 1633-1851, Bill Books 1709-1718 there is a record of a Bill in 1715 (plaintiffs John and Judith Kiege) which mentions Mathew Sheppard and Thomas Bernard as respondents. The defendants include: Jonathan Sheppard; Mathew Humphrys; Benjamin, William, John and Thomas Humphrys; Mary Bunbury; Mathew Sheppard; and Joseph, Thomas, Mathew, Benjamin and Diana Bunbury.

Chancery Record

  • A deed dated April 1729 between John Humfrey, gent of Carlow, son and heir of Edward Humfrey (Gent, deceased) and Deborah Bernard of Carlow (widow of Thomas Bernard Esq, deceased), confirms the first marriage of Deborah (Sheppard) to Edward Humfrey (in 1685). Ref: (ROD 2

  • There is a record of a will dated 1728, for a Debora(h) Bernard (widow) who died in 1732 in Carlow (Ref: Index of Irish Wills 1484-1858) which further clarifies that Deborah Bernard was the 2nd wife of Thomas Bernard. The will lists her children as: John Humfrey, Mathew Humfrey, Benjamin Humfrey, Thomas Humfrey, William Humfrey, Charles Bernard, Franks Bernard, Joseph Bernard, Elizabeth (Bernard) Rudkins and Anne (Bernard) Barns. The Bernards being her step-children. Ref: Carloviana # 20, 1971 (page 26).   The will also gives Deborah's mother as "Mary Bunbury, relict of Benjamin Bunbury" and refers to Mary's will of 1710. As Benjamin Bunbury did not have a daughter named Deborah and, as his wife Mary died in 1711, I believe the term mother refers to Deborah's mother-in-law. The use of relationship terms such as in-law, half-sibling and step-sibling where not in common use at this time. Thomas Bernard was the son of Mary (Sheppherd/Bernard) Bunbury and the step-son of Benjamin Bunbury.

Thomas Bernard died in 1720. His will lists several bequests to his children. 

Deborah (Sheppard/Humfrey) Bernard died about 1732 in Carlow.



Reference:   Registry of Deeds
Registry of Deeds: Vol #, Page #, Memorial #
(1) Memorial 93/122/65094 Image 356.
(2) Memorial 84/100/58379 Image 346




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