Origins of the Nash Family

Why John Rorke was obliged to sell his home is unknown but the man who purchased the property in about 1860 was a Cork man of perhaps 33 years age named Thomas Nash. His wife, Juliet, was a daughter of the great Richard Grainger, the visionary planner responsible for designing the city centre of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the 1830s and 1840s. Burke’s Irish Landed Gentry (1912), which states that Thomas James Nash was in possession of Finnstown, suggests that he also held lands at Rockfield and Tullig in Co. Cork and at Seamount in Howth.

The Nash family originated in County Limerick where James Nash was living at Ballycullen in 1630. James married Anne Harrold and had two sons – James, who succeeded to Ballycullen and was ancestor of the actor, J. Carroll Naish, and Patrick, from whom the Finnstown branch descend. In 1690, Patrick married a daughter of Richard Purcell of Cork and settled near Kanturk. Their son John settled at Rockfield (or Ballyheen) in County Cork and married Mary Barry, daughter and co-heir of Jonas Barry of Cork. On 16th August 1733, Mary’s sister and co-heir, Eliza, married Francis Yelverton and settled in the Blackwater Valley.

John and Mary Nash’s second son was Thomas Nash of Rockfield, Kanturk, County Cork. On 21st January 1777, he married Barbara O’Callaghan, daughter of Denis O’Callaghan of Glynn, Co. Cork. Her mother Mary was a daughter of Robert O’Callaghan of Clonmeen, Co. Cork and widow of a wealthy Cork landowner, Henry Daunt of Kilcascan Castle. Thomas and Barbara had six sons. The eldest, John Nash, succeeded to Rockfield and remained an attorney until his death in August 1832. The youngest, James Nash, lived at Tullig House in County Cork’s Mill Street and, on 29th July 1826, married Anne Cudmore, daughter of Christopher Cudmore.