Mary Ann Piper born 1821

Mary Ann Piper was born 5 Oct 1821 at Portland, Portumna, the daughter of Charles Piper and Ann Brown. Charles Piper (a farmer) and Ann Brown were married in 1819 (family record). He worked for the Butler Stoney family who owned Portland House. Trenchs owned lands at Redwood, Lorrha containing some 338 acres, which could have been the reason that Grants from Shinrone were in Lorrha. The Pipers were of German extraction, from the Palatine settlement at Rathkeale (originally Pfeiffer). It is not known how the Pipers came to move from Rathkeale to Portland, Portumna. The other possibility, which at the moment I consider more likely is that the marriage of her parents and the birth of Mary Ann Piper took place at Uskane parish, near Shinrone (and that family information merely assumed her birth at Portland, Portumna)

Again it is not known how she met her husband Stephen Grant in the middle 1830's. I suspect the common factor was the landlord, the widespread Trench family who owned land around Shinrone (Cangort and Sopwell) and in Lorrha (Redwood Estate). The Pipers have now disappeared from Tipperary

Portland House, Portumna in 2008

Mary Ann Piper was only 16 when she married my g-g-grandfather Stephen Grant on 2nd December 1837. They lived at Towra near Shinrone, Offaly, until 1840 and their first two children were born there. We do not know where the other children were born, but we do have their dates of birth from family records. From the fact that their son John was living in Balinasloe when he married in 1863, it looks as if the family might have been at Balinasloe from 1840 until 1868, when Stephen is first noted as a tenant at Kilconnel, Co Galway.

Stephen became gatekeeper on the estate, and the family lived in the little castellated gate lodge, known locally as Grants Castle. Their children left home in rapid succession around this time. Son John around 1865 to Durham in England, followed by brothers Charles (soon after 1867), Richard (before 1870) and Stephen (late 1870s). My great grandfather Thomas joined the Dublin Metropolitan Police in 1871. William also went to Dublin, Anne to the USA. James went to Australia around 1875.

Gate lodge at Woodlawn in 2008

When Stephen died in 1886, his wife Mary Ann lived on in the gate lodge until she died in 1913. Their two youngest, and unmarried children, Robert and Elizabeth stayed on there until Robert's death in 1935. Elizabeth then moved out, staying with her brother Thomas (my great grandfather) in Dublin until his death in 1940. The family's connection with Woodlawn ceased then.

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