Traveller graves, Ireland

Charles Cowling

 

Click on the photo to make it bigger. Note the address on the headstone — for a Traveller. Anyone know why?

 

Thanks to Phoebe Hoare for this

 

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sandra mcdonaghEvelynJohn MaughanRichard Rawlinsoncharles Recent comment authors

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sandra mcdonagh
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sandra mcdonagh

That grave belongings to my father god rest him.. we put de address on the graves cause its just how we do it and it let the traveller family no what genertions de are.. why do you wanna no so much y they put address on them….

John Maughan
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John Maughan

My name is john Maughan my mothers people are buried in tuam co Galway and in that grave yard for settled and travellers the address is on the biggest majority of them and in Cavan where my fathers people are buried it is almost the same for travellers except for the house number but on some settled people the whole lot is on the headstone like a lot of places back the country

Evelyn
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That’s really interesting John, thanks for the insight – it’s lovely to learn about differing cultures and customs. Maybe it’s because people often moved away to find work or get married? I noticed that in Yorkshire they seem to put the place of birth on a headstone if it’s different from where the person was living when they died.

Richard Rawlinson
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Richard Rawlinson

Phoebe, I hope your research unearths the reason for the address, you’ve made us curious. Interesting that the practice is not exclusive to Travellers in Ireland. Perhaps it’s because they go in for hereditary family names – Seamus McDonagh I, II, II, IV – across several generations and so they differentiate each other by address. But surely this could also be achieved by dates. Not so relevant but the term Traveller can be a misnomer as they often settle with a fixed address in their own village rather than drift as nomads. In your research have you noticed how short… Read more »

Phoebe Hoare
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Phoebe Hoare

This was the reply from the funeral director…doesn’t say why but I shall interrogate him when I see him next! On the headstone most people put their address on it not just the travellers, but it is usually the address of the first person in the grave and then just the names of the other people who are also buried in the grave if it’s a family plot. It could read like this………… Matt Cooper Arden Rd, Tullamore. 14th June 1932. His wife Ann 18th May 1937. Their son Liam 24th March 1998 His wife Mary 28th August 2000

Phoebe Hoare
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Phoebe Hoare

This is the reply I got from Pavee Point in Dublin (Travelling community centre), I had a think about it but, as for as I know, this is common to all graveyards in the country and to both Travellers and the majority population. It might be one particular graveyard that you are thinking of that is very new, but certainly as far as I can remember the address is always on the headstone. I have to say I’ve never come across addresses on settled Irish headstones in the years I have been cruising round graveyards (doesn’t meant to say they… Read more »

Jenny Uzzell
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I think these are beautiful! No idea about the address, sorry 🙂

Phoebe Hoare
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Phoebe Hoare

Emails have been sent to various dissertation contacts, hopefully they aren’t sick of me by now and answer back! It’s pretty intriguing.