Kildare County Council receives donation of Archival material of Drummin House

The Local Studies, Genealogy and Archives department of Kildare County Council’s Kildare Library Service is delighted to announce that it has received a substantial donation of archival material from the family and executors of the estate of the late Grattan de Courcy Wheeler (1947-2020) of Drummin House, Derrinturn, Carbury, Co. Kildare.

In 1922, Drummin House became the home of Robert Cecil (‘Diamond’) de Courcey Wheeler (1884-1956), the grandfather of Grattan, as the beneficiary of the will of Elizabeth Grattan (1833-1922). Her great great grandfather was a great uncle of Henry Grattan M.P.

The archive includes a significant quantity of 18th and 19th century papers relating to the Neales, a Quaker family who lived at Newington and Christianstown Houses. The business correspondence of Abraham Neale (1756-1813), his son, Samuel Neale (1796-1846) and grandson, Joseph Manly Neale (1837-1911) appears to make up the bulk of the material; there are also deeds, maps, and pamphlets. It is unknown why the Neale family papers were in Drummin House, but the families were connected through the marriage of Anne Jane (Annjin) Wheeler (1842-1914), an aunt of Robert de Courcy Wheeler, and Joseph Manly Neale in 1865. There is also a small amount of material relating to de Courcy Wheeler family in the 20th century.

While the Grattan family lived at Drummin House for generations, none of the archival material relates to them. The collection requires extensive cleaning and appraisal. It will then be catalogued by the county archivist and made available to researchers.

Staff from the Local Studies, Genealogy and Archives department of Kildare County Council’s Kildare Library Service were interviewed about the collection by Maurice O’Keeffe, of Irish Life and Lore, the oral history archive, who was instrumental in locating the material in the attic rooms of Drummin House and helping to ensure it was deposited in the county archive. The story of the discovery of the material and its contents is now the subject of an Irish Life and Lore podcast which is available at https://www.irishlifeandlore.com/podcast-investigating-and-archiving-the-drummin-house-papers/

Queries relating to the archive can be sent to archives@kildarecoco.ie

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