Thursday, April 14, 2011

Irish roots going way back: Taaffe and More O'Ferrall

A diagram might help here but for tonight it will have to be text.

Sir George Thomas Lambert, of No. 3 Charles Street (in 1871) is our current subject.

One of his sisters, Juliana Margaret married Edward Gerald More O'Ferrall, about 1860.
The More O'Ferrall family were Irish landed gentry. One of the several notable members was Richard More O'Ferrall, at one time the Governor of Malta, and before that, Secretary to the Admiralty (1839 to 1841). Bear in mind that Sir George T. Lambert made his career in the civil service, as Principal Secretary to the Admiralty, serving some of the men who held the same position as the Right Hon. Richard, in later years, when the title was Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty.


The eldest son of Juliana and Edward was John More O'Ferrall (b. ~1872), who married Cesira Polenghi (b. ~1872). Cesira was born in Italy. Her father's name was Signor David(e) Polenghi.

Cesira had an uncle named Major John Taaffe (1820 - 1911). Cesira was living with the Major and his wife in the 1891 census and with the widowed Major in the 1901 census. She and John More O'Ferrall were married in 1901. This connected (perhaps not for the first time) two ancient Irish families, Taaffe and More O'Ferrall, and also demonstrated a recurring theme in the history both families: the connection with Catholic Europe.

If you do a search of either family name, you may be overwhelmed, as I have been, with what you find. A hundred and twenty-two generations. A mythic king. A Prime Minister of Austria. Relatives of Pope Pius IX (who among other things decreed papal infallibility in the 19th century and promoted the doctrine of Immaculate Conception). It goes on and on.

The Major's father was also called John Taaffe. He lived from about 1787 to 1862, and died in Italy. He had some interesting friends there. That's for next time.


The Taaffe's Ancestral Castle Smarmore, is now a hotel.

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