Among the graves in St. Colmcille's churchyard, Swords, Fingal, Ireland which are connected to the matrilineal side of my family tree stands this headstone erected to the memory of my great-great granduncle Andrew J. Kettle, son of Thomas Kettle and Alice O'Kavanaugh Kettle and brother to my maternal great-great grandmother Mary Kettle Fitzpatrick.
Andrew J. Kettle was born September 1833 near Swords at Drynam. He was one of the founding members of the Land League, which fought to obtain for Irish farmers, the three 'F's: Fixity of Tenure, Fair Rent, and Free Sale. He worked very closely with Isaac Butt and Charles Stewart Parnell, and in time came to be known as Parnell's right hand man.
In 1879, Kettle presided over the inaugural meeting of the Land League in Dublin at which Charles Stewart Parnell was appointed president. Kettle was appointed as its first treasurer and secretary. During the Land League campaign, he was imprisoned in Kilmainham for six months. In 1881 he was one of the signatories of the “No Rent Manifesto". His epitaph, written by his son Tom was, “None served Ireland better, few served her as well”. Andrew J. Kettle died 22 September 1916. His memoir, "The Material for Victory", was edited and published posthumously by his son Lawrence J. Kettle. It provides many details about my family history on the matrilineal side.
To view the graves of his sister and parents visit 'On a flesh and bone foundation: An Irish History'
To view the post which details my discovery of these ancestors visit 'The magic of research after midnight: Finding the graves of my Great-Great-Great Grandparents, and uncovering another history'
All materials ©Copyright J. Geraghty-Gorman