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County Kilkenny Ireland History


The Forrestall Family
Early Documented History


The Forrestalls of Forestallstown, &c.

Among the first mentioned was Geoffrey de Forestall (or de Foresthal) who was sheriff of co. Kilkenny in 1263 [Irish Monastic and Episcopal Deeds, p. 309]. A Sir Geoffrey de Forestall, knight, was witness to a number of deeds concerning Corstown (Corbali) in the parish of Ballycallan, and he is presumably the Geoffrey mentioned (as deceased?) in a feodary of 1317. The version of the 1317 feodary in the Cancery Miscellanea sites 'the heir of Geoffrey de Foresthal' holding 1/10th of a knight's fee at 'le Damagh'. A variant of this record [British Museum, MS. 4791] cites a Geoffrey Forestall holding this fee at Damagh. From a study of these records by Eric St. John Brooks, it is presumed that a Geoffrey was deceased by 1317, and was succeed by another Geoffrey. Brooks also identifies the placename 'Damagh' as Damma, parish of Ballycallan, barony of Crannagh, co. Kilkenny. A later man of the same name occurs in 1370 as a trustee for Archer lands in the burgage of Kilkenny [Egerton MS 75. f. 66].

Accordong to Rev. Carrigan, the Forrestalls, an Anglo-Norman stock, were landed proprietors in Glenmore (Catholic) parish, co. Kilkenny, from an early date. Rev. Carrigan cites that the Forrestalls were divided into four main branches or families, one of which was seated at Forrestallstown (Ballygurrim parish, Ida), another at Kilbride (Kilbride parish, Ida, a third at Carrickloney(Kilmakevoge parish, Ida), and the fourth at Mullinahone (Kilmakevoge parish, Ida).

Forrestallstown - "John Forstall m'Walter, of Forstallstown, gent.," had a pardon, 6th John, 1566 [Fiants of Eliz.]. Walter and Gibbon Forstall, of the same place, gents., were pardoned, the former in 1571, the latter in 1572. By Inquisition of Ap. 5th, 1638, it was found that Gibbon Forstall, late of Forstallstowne, was seised of Forstallstowne, Ballymolgorine and Ballycrony; that he died so seised thirty years before; and that his son and heir, Walter Forstall, was, at the time, of full age and married.

By another Inquisition, of Oct. 12th, 1640, it was found that Walter Forstall, late of Forstall's towne, was seised of the castle, town and lands of Forstall's towne, otherwise Ballynkenny, Ballymvegarran (Ballygurim), Ballyheamocke (Jamestown), Newfoer and Ballycroney, otherwise Rusheldstown; that he died March 1st, 1639-40; and that his son James was then of full age and married. Under the Cromwellian regime, James Forstall, with Thomas Den, forfeited Forrestallstown, Miltown and Ballygurrim, and was transplanted to Connaught. The castle of Forrestallstown was thrown down about the year 1800. In Irish Forrestall is pronounced Furristhawl, and Forrestallstown is called Bollinurristhawla.

Kilbride - Redmund more Forstall, of Kilbride, was pardoned Dec. 28th, 1571 [Fiants of Eliz.]. Walter Forstall, of Kilbride, gent., pardoned in 1602 and 1603, was Constable of the Barony of Ida, in 1608. Edmund Forstall, of Kilbrydy, gent/. was one of the jurymen at an Inquisition held Aug. 18th, 1623. Richard Forstall, of Kilbride, gent., and Katherine, wife of Redmund Forstall, of Kilbride, gent., are mentioned by one John Kearney as taking part in the alleged plundering of the Protestants, at the beginning of the Outbreak of 1641. Redmund Forstall, of Kilbride, gent., appears as a juror in 1636; he forfeited Kilbride in 1653, and with Walter Forstall, of Kilbride, was transplanted to Connaught the same year.

Carrickloney - Edmund Forstall m'Thomas m'Redmund of Karryckneglonyne, horseman, was pardoned in 1548-49, and Walter Forstall fitz Edmund, of the same place, horseman, probably his son, was pardoned in 1566. Richard Forstall, of the same place, was Constable of the Barony of Ida, in 1608, and received a pardon in 1612. In 1639 Thomas Forstall, gent., had a grant, under the Commission of Grace, of the townlands of Carrigneglonyne, Kilmakevoge and Knockbrack, and 1/2 of Ballynerahie. Peter Forstall forfeited Carricknegloning, Kilmackvoge, Knockbrack and Rathsallagh, in 1653, but his name does not appear on the list of the transplanted.

The castle of Carrickloney was taken down in the memory of people still living. In Irish Carrickloney is called Corrig-na-glooin-eeny, the rock of the little lawns, meadows, or insulated bog islands [O'Donovan].

Mullinahone - Walter Forstall of Monhowen, gent., had a pardon, in 1571-72, Richard Forstall, of Monynehoen, gent., appears as a juror, Sept. 22nd, 1636. In 1653, Edmund Forstall forfeited Munmonewhone, Jamestown, Parkstown and Ballybraghy. He is very probably the "Edmund Forstall, of Monyhoare," was was banished beyond the Shannon in the same year, and who was assigned lands in the Barony of Islands, in the Co. Clare, amounting to 392 stat. acres, which after his death, were confirmed to his son, "Peter Forstall, gent., son of Edmund Forstall, deceased, " by a royal grant of June 26th, 1677.

Mullinahone castle shared the fate of the other Forrestall castles, having been razed to the ground many years ago. Its site is pointed out in Mr. Richard Phelan's "castle field," a few fields west of Glenmore chapel. In Irish, Mullimahone is called Mullanahooan. This too is the local Irish for Mullinahone, in the Co. Tipperary. In both cases we have an instance of the corruption, or substitution, of the liquid l for the liquid n, -- a very usual occurrence in the spoken Irish. The correct Irish sound of Mullinahone is Munnanahooan, the shrubbery of the lamb.

Rochestown - The Forrestalls of Rochestown, lately extinct, are traced by O'Donovan, in a pedigree to be quoted before the end of this Capter, to a Captain Edmund Duff Forrestall, who fought at Limerick, in 1690, and who most probably belonged to the Mullinahone or Carrickloney branch of the family. The Forrestall name is still well preserved in this parish, according to Carrigan.


Article sources:
Rev. Carrigan's History of the Diocese of Ossory" published in 1905 describes the Forrestalls of Forestallstown, &c. on pages 89-91 of Volume IV.
Eric Brooks' book entitled Knights' Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny has a brief mention of Geoffrey Foresthal on page 239.


Extracts from the Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Vol. I, II & III, Curtis, 1932-35.

Circa 1364 - Thomas Forstall was among the witnesses of a grant by the provost and community of Carrickmacgriffin (Carrick-on-Siur) of lands near the said vill. [Vol. II, p.81]

December 23, 1364 - Thomas Forstall was among the witnesses of a grant by William son of Henry Crispin of lands within the burgage of Carrickmacgriffin [Vol. II, p.88]. In 1366 Thomas Forstall is cited, among others as a burgess of Carrickmacgriffin [Vol. II, p.94].

May 3, 1370 - Richard Forestal was among the witnesses of a grant to Thomas fitz John of all messuages, lands and tenements in Courstown and Brantestoun in the tenement og Tillaghrothan (Tullaroan). [Vol. II, p.146

January 3, 1376 - Indenture between Richard Forestall and Geoffrey his son on one hand and Thomas fitz John of Corestoun on the other viz. that it was agreed between them that said Thaoms should take to wife Alice, diaghter of Richard, and said Richard and Geoffrey owe to Thomas for the marriage portion twelve marks silver payable in terms till complete. [Vol. II, p.146]

February 13, 1381 - Geoffrey Forestall is among the witnesses of a grant of Thomas de Valle of seven carucates and a half of land, in the lordship of Kilcasshe, to James, Earl of Ormond. [Vol. II, p.186]

April 8, 1388 - Robert O'Baydd (?) alias Whyte quit-claims to Sir Thomas Forestall, chaplain, his heirs and assigns for ever all his right and claim in all messugaes, lands, rents and tenements in Kylbrneyn and Kylleghan with all rights and liberties, together with husbote, heybote and fyrebote in the wood of Kylneboll in the tenement of Kappagh... [Vol. II, p.207]

March 24, 1393 - Thomas Forestall appoints Richard Oweyn his bailiff for placing Thomas fitz John of Correstoun in full seisin of all messuages, lands, rents, etc., in Kyltrauyn with husbote, heybote and fyrbote in the wood of Kilneboll and common paster in 'le Kappagh.' [Vol. II, p.221]

In a list of receipts of royal service, circa 1413, is "From Kilfenagh and Ballysuk by the hands of Henry fforestall," and "From Balmagurin by hand of Gerot Forestall." [Vol. II, p.318]

Patricia Cantewell and Johanna Cantewell, daughters and heirs of John Roth Cantewell, give and grant to Henry Forstall, all lands and tenements, pastures, etc., in 'le lytilramynduff' in the parish of Ballagh[mich?]ow in Sillr' (?Shillelogher). To have an to hold to him and his heirs for ever. Given at Ramynduff, dated May 3, 1416. [Vol. III, p.13]


Information compiled and contributed by Dennis Walsh.


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