John McCullagh May 6, 2007
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Gabe Sheridan sent us more details of family history which we consider worth reproducing. Perhaps the new historical information of greatest interest is that some Bagenal descendants opted for the democratic Republicanism of the United Irishmen of the last decade of the eighteenth century! Indeed at least one was put to death for his stance. 

Gabriel Sheridan writes ……..

My great great grandmother was Jane Sargeant (various spellings).  She was born in 1800 in Clonmel. This was almost a century after the last of the Bagenals ruled in Newry – but the extended family had still a foothold in other regions of Ireland.

Her family is quite interesting.  She became a Catholic when she married John Coumans.  They had seven children, five of them who were born in New Brunswick, and the last two were born in Ellice township, North Easthope, Huron (now Perth County), Ontario.  This is located right outside of Stratford, Ontario.  I and my siblings are descended from their fifth child, Elizabeth Coumans who was born on May 28, 1836 outside of Fredericton, New Brunswick, and who was baptised at St. Dunstan’s Catholic Church in Fredericton.

When Elizabeth was just one, the family moved to a one hundred acre farm in Ellice township next to Thomas Sargeant, Jane’s brother, who himself had a two hundred acre farm there.  What is fascinating about the Sargint/Sargeants is that Jane, her brother Thomas, and her brother, William Beauchamp Sargeant/Sargint all married Catholics, even though they were raised Church of Ireland/England.  William Beauchamp Sargeant (the Beauchamp is from his mother’s maiden name, she was Catherine Beauchamp) was the first resident of Stratford, Ontario, and he started a tavern there which he named the "Shakespeare Inn".  He and his wife, the former Alicia Reeves of Youghal, County Cork, had married in Ireland, and she was the first Catholic in the area formerly known as "The Queen’s Bush"!

Taking a hint form the tavern, the village name was changed to Stratford, and it is now the home of the largest Shakespeare Festival in Canada (strange how little things can make quite a difference).

Jane’s brother Thomas Sargeant married Margaret Anglin, also a Catholic, and also from County Tipperary. Both brothers had left Canada and returned to Ireland to marry their wives.  My great great grandmother, Jane Sargeant was the daughter of John Sargint/Sargeant and Catherine Beauchamp.  John Sargeant’s parents were Richard Sargint/Sargeant and Mary Bagenal who had married in May 1771, at Ardfinan, Cahir, County Tipperary in the Chruch of Ireland there.   I think that the Beauchamp’s descend from John Beauchamp of County Carlow, a Protestant who would claim to be from an English family (obviously Norman) that fought on both sides of the War of the Roses. 

This family of County Carlow intermarried with my family of Sargeant’s and are of Dunleckney Castle there. The Beauchamp’s are from Warwick Castle in England, not too far from Stratford on Avon.  This is likely the reason for the naming of the Shakespeare Inn in what is now Stratford, Ontario.

Jane Sargeant Coumans died at age 90 on March 2, 1890 and is buried with her husband at St. Mary Immaculate’s Church in Chepstow, Bruce County, Grenock township, Ontario. The land for the church and cemetery was given by my family.   It is a beautiful Catholic Church designed by an Irish cousin named Mullins.  Ironically, in Canada, the seven children of John Coumans and Jane Sargeant each were able, as Catholics, to acquire at least one hundred acre farms, at a time when this was against the law in their own native country of Ireland.  Most of the children then immigrated to the United States, to the states of Michigan, Illinois, and Kansas, with their families.  Their daughter, Elizabeth Coumans married Patrick Toohey, Jr, who had been born outside Crossmolina, County Mayo, Ireland in 1832, and had immigrated with his parents in 1840 to South Burgess,(about 30 miles outside of the present Ottawa, Canada, in Ontario.  They married in 1857 in Guelph, Ontario at St. Mary Immaulate Church, and their daguther, Jane Toohey was my grandmother. 

She married Timothy Patrick Sheridan, and I descend from their son, Thomas Michael Sheridan who married Beatrice Trudeau.(yes, cousin of the former Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau). I am one of fourteen children(number ten), and my sister, Margaret Mary(always called Fudgie) is at present the Mother General of the Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, and her name is Mother Mary Quentin Sheridan, R.S.M.  I am an attorney practicing in both Oregon and Washington States.

Our line of Bagenal/Bagnals come from George Bagnal, son of Dudley, through his son, Thomas Bagenal.  Thomas along with his wife, five children, and his invalid brother Nicholas, were all banished to Conaught (To Hell or Conaught), and Thomas’s brother Walter was hanged, and his brother Dudley fled to France, where he died there. (His sons however, descended into Dunleckney Castle – see their brochure there for information on this line).

They had all supported the Catholic cause, and James II.  Through the help of Ann Mathews, who was a Catholic and Jacobite, and niece of George Baganel, the family was able to leave Galway, and enter into County Tipperary.  Thomas was banned from returning to the kingdom of Leinster, where his family castle was located, in the village where the John F. Kennedy family originated.  He died in County Tipperary, and is buried at St. Michan’s C of Ireland Church in Dublin.

From this line of Thomas Bagenal, I descend from the Butler’s (the Earls of Ormonde), through Joan Butler, and from the Fitzgeralds, and even the Cavanaugh’s who had killed the first Bagenal to leave Newry and come to County Carlow (‘Be careful who you hate, your children will marry them’ –that’s the Irish phrase I think of!).

 On the Sheridan side, my great grandfather, Patrick Sheridan was a gardener for the late Edwin Quinn, Lord Dunraven, at Adare,County Limerick.  Edwin became a Catholic – much to the horror of his wife and son at the time my family lived there.  Patrick Sheridan married Ellen O’Brien, from the townland of CastleRoberts, near Adare.  She had come to the United States in the 1840’s and worked as a maid in West Chester, New York for one dollar per week.  She was able to bring her brothers, Patrick and John O’Brien, and her sister Mary, to the United States.  They all are buried in Gagetown, Tuscola County, Michigan at St. Agatha’s Catholic cemetery,  next to a beautiful church also designed by the same Mr. Mullins from Chepstow, Bruce County, Ontario.  Ellen O’Brien and Patrick Sheridan were married by Archbishop LeFevre at S Peter’s and S Paul’s Catholic Church, still standing, on East Jefferson St. in Detroit, Michigan on April 10, 1855.  Our family had a mass and celebration for their 150th anniversary two years ago there. 

The Bagenals in Counties Tipperary and Carlow are all my family, and all descend from Nicholas Bagenal from Newry.  The O’Brien’s all descend from Brian Boru, and my Sheridan’s, through my DNA analysis, it turns out, are mostly closely related to the Fitzpatricks.  This is believed to come from the Shera’s or McShera’s who are really MacGuillopadriac’s from a line of Sherade MacGuillopatrick and all out of County Offlay. They are all Catholics on my side.

 The Griffiths’s, wife of Nicolas Bagenal, are Welsh and related to the Tudors, and such connections probably worked well for Nicholas Bagenal and his Protestant descendents.  Tudor was utilized as a first name for one of the lines of the Griffith‘s family.


I have found on line at google, type in Jebb, John A speech on the characters and deaths of the Rev. John William Reid and John Sargint, Esq.  It is about my great great great grandfather, delivered on Wednesday the 12th of December 1798 at the Historical Society for the University of Dublin. He was a lawyer like I am. I do not know the circumstances of his death during the rebellion of 1798.

It may be interesting to look into the families of Beauchamps, Bagenal/Bagnals and Harveys of Dunleckney.   These Bagenals, all descended from George Bagenal as I do, inherited the County Carlow property of Dudley (killed by the Cavanaughs). However, almost all the family was Catholic, even with a Mother Superior of the Sisters of the Poor Clares. To inherit property, one son became a Protestant, but even this did not prevent his heirs from fighting for Irish freedom in the Uprising of 1798, where his descendant, Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey was executed.  He was a Protestant, and one of the founders of United Irishmen.  There are all sorts of Catholic Bagenals descended from this line of George, including my family. I hope to find out if John Sargint, also descended in this line, died Nov 9, 1798, had joined his cousin in this 1798 revolt.     GS

… Armagh City Crest …

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