b. abt 1800 Ireland or Scotland
d. 1880 Hortland, Kildare, Ireland
This is my g. g. grandfather on my mothers, father’s side. Not much is known of John and a few cousins in Ireland are trying to gather information, however, no information as to where he was born or his life before working at Hortland have been uncovered. (I’m probably going to have to go to Ireland myself to find his life story, that’s right, a genealogical trip.)
It is rumored that he may originally have been from Scotland and came to Ireland for work with his brother name Morgan, however, there is no proof of a Morgan, yet all family members have mentioned him in there search notes.
The 1824 Griffiths Valuation: Ireland – John Stewart is listed as working for Sir Josiah Hort of Hortland, County Kildare, Ireland (John would be 24 years at this time). He then is referenced in the Tithe Aplotment Books of 1833 and later in Griffiths Valuation of the 1850’s as a tenant in Hortland, land lord, Sir William Hort. In looking for old records of John’s arrival in Ireland, he is not recorded in the 1835 Kildare Voters Registry: (having a vote to own land worth £20), so he may have been living in the area but he is not listed.
At some point John Stewart married Rosanne (unknown surname), and they lived as tenants on the Hortland Land and worked their own little farm. Our family always knew of the stories of the Hortland and John working the hard farm land because he gave the land and the little cottage to his son (we believe only son) Richard Stewart (b. 1842, Kildare, Ireland) that would be my great grandfather. It was never known if Richard had siblings because according to my grandfather no one ever came around.
The Stewart family in 1912 outside the house in Hortland
This photograph shows from left to right: Albert, Harold, Herbert, Richard, George (back), Francis (nee Dillon), Robert, Florence & Frances – the little one closes to Richard is my grandfather Herbert, he was the youngest and would have been about 4 years. Richard and Frances had 12 children total – eight boys and four girls; showing in this photo are the younger seven Stewart children.
After John’s death, his grandson Harold was clearing out his belongings and came across a letter he had written in 1880 to Sir Fenton Hort regarding the little house and the farm land. It is unknown to this day what the cause of this letter was, perhaps John was delinquent on his rent and temporarily lost the land.
Letter from John Steward (t) to Captain Fenton John Hort; below
Donadea, Kilcock, Co. Kildare
– Sept 28 – 1880
I beg to say I am with my daughter in donadea since las night. My heart is breaking for leaving my little home after my toilings in it for 47 years would your Honour be so kind as to leave me the little place to myself and my daughter Jane, as I think it very hard to let a stranger have the fruits of my hard industry after such a long period and I will get security that the rent will be paid as usual. I hope your Honour will secure some of the cattle for me for which I consider I have a perfect right to.
I made an agreement with my son when he was getting married the cattle was to be his and I was to be treated right for which the first broke their agreement.
Your Humble Servant
John Steward , Donadea
PS Would your Honour be so good as to let me know what I best do. J. S.
It is safe to say that that Captain Hort assented to his request and the Steward(t) acquired Hortland Farm back and left it to his only son.
This letter was a great find for the Stewart clan, it identified a daughter Jane Stewart that was living in Donadea in 1880; It is signed with the last name Steward, yes with a d not a t. And it reflects the amount of years that John worked on this land as 47 years, which tells us he’s been a tenant on Hortland since 1833. He however worked for the Hort family before he was a tenant per the 1824 Griffith Value, Ireland. Perhaps he was living in town or with a family member.
In Donadea there is a grave stone in St. Michael’s & All Angles Churchyard in Milliscent; The inscription reads: Henry Manders b. 1846 married 1871 d. 1832 & Jane Manders (nee Stewart) b. 1849 d. 1832; This has not been confirmed as John’s daughter, however we are all hopeful to find burial records that tie Jane to John Stewart and possible give us all a little more information in the lives of John & Rose Stewart.
I would love to find the Hortland Estate records (if there are such items).
Oh, yes, the house is still in the family, my cousin lives & runs his business from the save structure, on the same land has our g.g.grandfather worked & raised his family.
Death Record Information for John & Rose Stewart
10/9/1880 Death Record #102 Kilcock, Celbridge, Kildare – John Stewart; widower; 80yrs; place of death Hortland; natural cause of death due to old age.
5/24/1878 Death Record #Kilcochronic bronchitisck, Celbridge, Kildare- Rose Stewart; wife of John Stewart, farmer; place of death Hortland;
No information as to where they were buried or which church provided services, so many unanswered questions.