The Stannards of Kilkenny





Other sources

  1. Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, published by Harrison & Sons, 1899
  2. Tombstone inscriptions from Rathbeagh churchyard (Kilkenny Archeological Soc.)

Family trees

Stannard family tree
Family trees of the Stannard and Wilson families

Also showing the MacAdam family


Other information

The Tipperary connection

The executor named in John Lanigan Stannard's will is Frederick Falkiner of Congower, Tipperary. This is very probably Frederick Falkiner (1760 - ca.1840) of Congor, son of Richard Falkiner of Mount Falcon in Tipperary. Frederick was a Clerk of the county, and his grandfather Richard Falkiner of Mount Falcon had married Maria Rogers, daughter of Daniel Rogers of Ballynavin.i

John Lanigan's wife Elizabeth was also from the Rogers family, the daughter of Joseph Rogers of Cloughjordan.3 Mount Falcon, Congor, Ballynavin and Cloughjordan are very close to each other, and it is possible that the families of John's wife Elizabeth and his friend Frederick were related.

The MacAdam family of Blackwater

The MacAdam family (also spelt McAdam or M'Adam), two of whose sons married Stannards, were important landowners in Co. Clare in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1684 Philip MacAdam (I) bought the Blackwater estate in the barony of Bunratty Lower, just north of Limerick. The first house on the estate was Churchland House; later Blackwater House (also called Springhill House) was built, probably by Thomas (II) (1762-1825), great-grandson of the above-mentioned Philip (I). Blackwater House belonged to the family until the early 20th century, but is now no longer standing.1,16,i Sadly no images of the either house have yet come to light.*

Thomas MacAdam's first two sons married daughters of John Lanigan Stannard, and the first sons of both marriages were named Thomas Stannard MacAdam. The elder of these two married an English lady, Elizabeth Bower, and following her early death, married Ellen Jane Preston, whose family owned the very grand Borde House in Cuckfield, Sussex. From that time the main seat of the MacAdam family was in southern England.

The family had strong military connections - Elizabeth Stannard's husband was a captain in the 3rd West York Militia, and at least four others had military ranks. The Ireland-wide estate valuations of 1876 estimated the estate of Col. Thomas [Stannard] MacAdam [1827-1906] at 1,747 acres - substantial, but only moderate compared to the 3,500 acres belonging to the Stannard family.

* Springhill House (= Blackwater House), stood just east of a bridge over the river Blackwater, and can be clearly seen in historical maps in the Co. Clare Library.17 The site is now a housing estate, Blackwater Demesne.


William Stannard Grave


William Stannard, 1799-1855

"Sacred to the memory of William Stannard Esq. who entered into glory on the 13th June [1855] aged [5]7 years. This stone is erected by his sorrowing and afflicted widow as [an] affectionate remembrance of her beloved husband"

Ellen Stannard Grave


Ellen (Ellinor, Eleanor) Stannard (née Armit), ?-1875

"Ellen Stannard, died 12th October 1875, widow of William Stannard"

Robert Stannard Grave


Robert [Rogers?] Stannard, 1805-1904

"Robert Stannard, [rest hard to read]"

The Grange, Ballyragget
The Grange, Ballyragget

Estate agent's photo

The Stannards were a major family of landowners in Ireland, with roots going back to the early 18th century, and branches in Limerick, Cork and Kilkenny.1 The latter are the ancestors of my maternal grandmother Olive Stannard, and their story can be traced back to John Lanigan Stannard and his eight children in the manor house called The Grange, and from there to William Lanagan Stannard, Olive's father, an accountant in England who fell at Ypres in 1915. This family does not give up its secrets gladly, but after some searching, a reasonable picture has emerged, with many gaps. Many of the locations mentioned here are shown on the map of Ireland (southern section).

John Lanigan

The father figure is one John, born about 1762, the son of William Lanigan (or Lannigan) of Frankfort (or Frankford), about 20 miles south-west of the town of Kilkenny. The Lanigan family lived in a castle there from about 1764 until the end of the 18th century.2 (In his will, John refers to his late father as William Lanigan of Leugh: this is in the vicinity of Grange where John later lived - perhaps his parents moved there to be nearer to the family.) The name of John's mother is not known, but she was perhaps a Stannard, as at some stage he changed his name from John Lanigan to John Lanigan Stannard.3 There was also a brother, Robert Lanigan (see below). In 1796 John married Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Rogers of Clogjordan [Cloughjordan],3 and probably at about that time bought The Grange, a large manor house near Ballyragget, seven miles north of Kilkenny.4 See the page on The Grange for details and history of this fine house.

John and Elizabeth had eight children - probably. The first seven listed on the left (three sons and four daughters) are mentioned in the Peerage website3 and in John's will. The last child, Abigail, died in 1822 age 16, according to a burial notice from the Leinster Journal of 1822, listed in the Tipperary Clans Archive (TCA): '16th April, Miss Abigail Stannard, of Grange, youngest daughter of John Lanigan Stannard'.5

The Stannards lived the life of important and wealthy landowners. They were linked by marriage to other families of the district, such as the MacAdams of Blackwater and the Eyres of Gallway. John was a JP (magistrate), and William and Robert Rogers rode with the Kilkenny hunt. Their estate was considerable: even 50 years after John's death it totalled 3,500 acres, one of the larger landholdings in the county.6 Only a dynasty was lacking: John had only two grandchildren through the male line, and only one Stannard great-grandchild.

John died on 26th February 1823,5 a few weeks after writing his will. The probate was completed in March 1824. He is buried at Rathbeagh church (now in ruins), a mile south of The Grange: the tombstone inscription reads, "here lieth John Stannard of Grange died 26 of February 1826 aged 61 by his side lieth Abgael his youngest daughter died 16 April 1822 aged 16".ii The date of 1826 is almost certainly a misreading of an old tombstone (easily done) - the date of 1823 is corroborated by other TCA entries.5

Will of John Lanigan Stannard

John Lanigan Stannard's will, obtained from the National Archives in Dublin, dated 20th January 1823, 12 pages long, answers some questions and raises others:

It would seem that John possessed a finely-tuned financial acumen, if the detail in which he sets out the division of his large estate is anything to go by.



John's first son William (referred to in one source4 as William L. Stannard - middle name Lanigan perhaps?) was born in 1799, attended Trinity College Dublin,8 married Ellen (also written Eleanor or Ellinor) Armit in 1824 and died comparatively young in 1855.9 The couple had no children, and lived at The Grange, where William was a keen huntsman.10 He is mentioned in the records of the Court at Kilkenny, in relation to keeping the road from Ballyragget in good repair.11 Ellen's sister May Armit married into the Eyre family, and a daughter of that marriage, Charity ('Cerise'), is buried near the Grange (photo below), with an affectionate tribute from her "afflicted aunt".12 Ellen died in 1875, and she and William are buried at The Grange. (Ellen was a 'great aunt by marriage' of Elizabeth Frances Eyre (née Edie), who married Henry Stannard, son of Rev. Henry Stannard.3) See the Family Tree (left) for details.

Robert Rogers

The second son, Robert Rogers Stannard, was also a JP and also a keen huntsman.10 He didn't marry, and became the head of the household after his brother's death.


The eldest daughter Martha didn't marry, and at some stage went to live with her sisters Elizabeth and Charlotte, who had married into the MacAdam family, in Co. Clare (see below).


The second daughter also followed Elizabeth and Charlotte to Co. Clare: they had married MacAdams of Blackwater in 1825 and 1827, and Rebecca married a certain Capt. Jonas Welsh (also Walsh) of Roonard (also Runard) in 1828. This is close to Blackwater, and it is tempting to speculate that Rebecca met Capt. Walsh at the MacAdam family house. The couple had no children.


She married Capt. Philip MacAdam (III), the eldest son and heir of Thomas MacAdam of Blackwater, near the town of Limerick. The MacAdams were important landowners in Co. Clare - see side note.1,12,i Philip and Elizabeth lived at the main house on the estate, Springhill, and had six children. The first son and heir was Lieut.-Col. Thomas Stannard MacAdam, whose second wife came from a wealthy Sussex family; Thomas and all of his siblings (except Martha) subsequently went to live on the south coast of England. At least one, Lieut.-Col. John Stannard MacAdam, was engaged in the Army Medical Corps, which had a substantial presence in Portsmouth.


She married Thomas Hutchinson MacAdam, a younger brother of Philip. They lived in Churchland House on the Blackwater estate and had four children: the firstborn, named (like Elizabeth's first son) Thomas Stannard MacAdam, married and had two children. His siblings did not marry: Robert and Charlotte lived at Blackwater, and Jane returned to live (presumably with her uncles or cousins) at The Grange.


The youngest daughter Abigail (also Abgael) died in 1822, and is buried in Rathbeagh churchyard, near Ballyragget. The inscription states that she was 16 years old.5,ii She is not mentioned in the Peerage (perhaps because she died young),3 nor in John's will, as she predeceased him.


John Lanigan's youngest son Henry, from whom my paternal grandmother's forefathers descend, took holy orders and lived in Dublin. His sons Henry and William George lived at The Grange at various times. See main article for details.


Stannard tomb


Large tomb at the centre of the Stannard burial plot (see text)
Stannard Coffin


Coffin below large tomb

In a field behind The Grange are the ruins of a church, with a small graveyard next to it. The Stannard graves are in an overgrown, fenced enclosure. Prominent is a large tomb, standing about shoulder high, with memorial stones to William and Ellen as its sides. Underneath is another tomb, and below that (underground) is an open coffin, with bones! This is almost certainly the grave of an important Stannard family member, although we could find no inscription. As it is not John Lanigan Stannard (who is buried at Rathbeagh church nearby), perhaps it is his widow Elizabeth, whose death date is not yet known. This whole family graveyard, with vault, was created in 1847, with the ruins of the church being partly cleared away to make room for it.13,14 (See the page on The Grange for more details.)

Cerise Gallwey grave


Cerise Gallwey, née Eyre, 1823-1849

"In memory of Cerise beloved wife of Lionel Gallwey Esq. Captain in the Royal Engineers and daughter of John Eyre Esq. of Eyrecourt Castle, Co. of Galway who departed this life 6th July 1849 at the early age of 26 years. This tablet erected by her afflicted Aunt Ellen Stannard "

Also in the graveyard is a memorial stone dated 1849 to a certain Cerise, a young niece of Ellen Stannard (photo left).15 The graves of Henry and William George Stannard (sons of the Rev. Henry), and Frances and Lawrence Dowdall, are described on the page about the Rev. Henry Stannard. There is also a gravestone to Clare Bancroft, a distant relative of the family, who inherited the estate in 1962: see the page on The Grange. Also in the Stannard plot is a stone to a certain Robert Stannard, 1833-1913. As far as I can see he has no direct connection to the family.