INDEX

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


William Ellis

Co Carlow


From: Michael Purcell <carlowmike@gmail.com>

Willie Ellis / Mary Boles.

Willie Ellis.

[note added by Michael Purcell -- Willie Ellis was grandson of Mary Boles.  All Willie's uncles and brothers were interested in our history, over the years many of their articles were published in the Nationalist and Carloviana.

A ten page article "Memories and Musings" by 90 year-old Frank Ellis was published in the 2006 edition of Carloviana.   Frank had published the article in booklet form, he gave me a copy shortly before he died in 2001.]

Carloviana 2007.

Willie Ellis tribute by Martin Nevin.

Willie Ellis grew up with the Old Carlow Society, now the Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society. His father, John was a founder member way back in 1946. His brothers John, Brendan and uncle Frank all contributed to the welfare of the Society over the years.

Willie was a member for almost 40 years and from his earliest association was regarded as one of the stalwarts of the Society.

In that time the hidden treasures of his beloved county became well known to him and we all enjoyed the many evenings when he delighted us with illustrated talks on his latest findings and the many changes which had overtaken us almost by stealth through the years in our towns, villages and countryside.

In a quite and unassuming way , Willie continued the tireless labours of Donal Godfrey in the work of research and preservation through the medium of coloured slides. To him must be credited the greatest collection of photographs and slides of unusual features, early stone structures, buildings, holy wells, changes to the neighbourhood, streetscapes, etc. of Carlow county.

Most of his Sundays were spent in pursuit of such items to compile a centre piece for "Carloviana"  under the heading County Carlow Miscellany which was a much hailed feature by our readers for almost a quarter of a century.

But this was not his only contribution to our journal. He left his distinctive stamp on the layout of not less than twenty editions. The cover pictures and design were typical examples of his work and they speak for themselves. He wanted Carloviana to be a credit to the Society and Carlow.

In addition, he was always at hand to provide from his vast library, a photograph to further illustrate and enhance a particular article. He had a keen eye for an historical anniversary and could be counted on to lend his pen to same. To his credit, recently deceased members were always recorded.

Willie was knowledgeable about County Carlow and was much sought after by students of history. His names completes the bibliography of many a thesis with a Carlow theme.

Visitors to our county with a special quest always found themselves in the company of Willie, who without fail, would professionally guide them in their search.

Likewise, personal from museums, universities and the Office of Public Works were well acquainted with his knowledge of the local scene and would call on his expertise when needed.

Willie was well known and respected throughout the county by all interested in the heritage and history of Carlow. Through his many contacts he travelled the narrow, winding roads to awkward places in this county, often times in a 4 x 4 of a fellow enthusiast, to look at and record a piece of rock with unusual markings, a Mass rock, standing stone or to capture something historical that was about to be removed from the landscape.

He was a man of integrity and principle who brought the highest standards to all aspects of his work.

For some years before he passed to his eternal reward he had been working diligently on a book "A Pictorial Aspect of County Carlow" with a view to having it published. This may yet come to fruition.

In his Will he donated his collection of photographs and slides to the care of Carlow County Library and some of his library of books to St Patrick's College.

Though never a committee member (he preferred always to work in the background) he was made an Honorary Member in 2002 in recognition of his contribution to the Society.

It must be recorded that many aspects of our heritage and history would have gone unrecorded but for tireless efforts of Willie Ellis. Always on the lookout for unusual findings, I'm sure Heaven will be no exception.

Willie Ellis died 22nd July 2007

Source: Michael Purcell 2013

The information contained in these pages is provided solely for the purpose of sharing with others researching their ancestors in Ireland.
2001 County Carlow Genealogy IGP

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