Bohan Family, Windfield Demesne.

Descendants recently visited from England and Wicklow.

Jimmy Laffey

Bohan Descendants Visit.

Tony Bohan, Katie Bayer, Patsy Bayer and Maureen McKeown pictured in front of the original Bohan herd’s house at Windfield Demesne.

It was great to be able to meet and greet descendants of the Bohan family of Windfield Demesne, as they made a nostalgic visit this week to the original homestead and to meet some friends and relations. The Bohans came to this locality in the early 1800s, from the Headford area, and operated as herds for various landowners of the Windfield Estate. This did not spare many of them from the need to emigrate and ended up crossing the Irish sea. This recent visit included Patsy Bayer, a daughter of Stephen Bohan (born 1907), her first cousins Tony Bohan and his sister Maureen McKeown, children of Richard Bohan (born 1904). Patsy, accompanied by her daughter, Katie, now resides in Hertfordshire while Tony and Maureen live in Bray and Greystones respectively. Their grandfather, also a Stephen (born 1870) married Bridget Hansberry from Coolourty and they had a family of ten in total and all of whom emigrated with the exception of Pat, who remained on the farm to raise his own family of twelve children with his wife Agnes Dempsey.

The group visited their cousins Mary Bohan at Windfield Demesne and Christy Healy and his family in Abbert where they exchanged many family stories. They also visited the original Bohan home, which remains extant though derelict. This was once a most impressive two- storey structure, considering it was built in the early 1800s, with dormer windows protruding from the slated roof. It is in a most remote location and while this was particularly suitable for animal husbandry of the vast demesne it also made it difficult to raise a family and attend schools with very difficult access routes. The families would cope admirably with these difficulties as they all attended Ballinruane National School.

Pictured in Slough in the 1940s – Sis (Mary Kate) Bohan at the back with her sister Nora in front (with floral dress) and Mary Burke’s late mother, Margaret McHugh (nee Kelly) on the left.

They were based in Tuam for the duration of their stay and visited the family burial plots in Killererin and Menlough as they enjoyed a meal and a chat in the Red Gap, Barnadearg, before returning home. They expressed their gratitude to Mary Burke, of the Tuam Herald, whom they met in Tuam and Mary provided them with heretofore unknown information regarding their parents Enfield residences in the 1930s as Mary’s late mother, Margaret McHugh (nee Kelly) had become friends with their aunts, Sis (Mary Kate) and Nora in Slough, in the 1940s.

This page was added on 05/07/2023.

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