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Home: Surnames: Persse Family Genealogy Forum

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Posted by: Andrew Caddell Date: March 15, 2001 at 10:28:45

Hello there Charlotte

My name is Andrew Caddell and I am writing from Ottawa Canada. I think I have a bit of a tresure trove for you. My grandfather, William Persse Caddell, was the son of Anna Matilda Persse of Galway who married my great grandfather, Henry Caddell, in Kotigiri, India. She was Lady Gergory's first cousin and her father, Thomas Moore Persse,was the Mayor of Galway for several years, after returning from the United States where he helped rin the family whisky business. She gave the name Persse to threee of her six sons, and all considered themselves very Irish. Two were rugby stars and played for Ireland.

On his return from Amercia in the 1860s, Thomas Moore Persse built a fabulous mansion, which he called "Mount Vernon" after Washington's home, and which is based on it, even down to the cherry wood used in the interior and brought by boat from Virginia. It is now "Mount St. Mary's", the home of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Galway.

I have photos and a published history of the house and of Thomas Moore Persse(from a collaboration between myself and the diocese of Galway) which I can send from home. I am currently at university where I am doing a Master's in Journalism.

I have Irish citizenship through my grandfather, who died in 1947 so we never met. He emigrated to Canada after graduation as an engineer from Trinity in Dublin. To keep the Persse name going in the Caddell family, he named my uncle "Charlie" Charles Ogden Persse Caddell. I have a cousin John Persse Caddell and my own son Jack is Jonathan Michael Persse Caddell.

I have travelled extensively in Ireland, as my wife was posted in Geneva from 1995 to 2000. Last spring we all went, and Jack kissed the Blarney stone and saw the family home in Galway. As well, we were told of another home, NewParkhosue in Ennis, which was owned by Thomas Moore Persse. We went there, and met Declan Barron, who has an extensive library of Persse history AND a book of ltters from my ggggrandfater to his sons in America. His e-mail is

I hope this is a start. For an incomplete but quite thorough history of the Persse family check Burke's Irish peerage. Colin Smythe, a bookseller in the UK is fascinated by the Persses and has republished Lady Gregory's diaries.

In closing, I want to tell you that when we went to the Lady Gregory museum at Kiltartan Cross in Gort and to Coole Park my son Jack, said to the curators, "My name is Jack Michael Persee Caddell" and the response was "Well, if you are a Persse, you are very welcome here." We were later told we were the first Persses who were not direct descendants of Lady Gregory to visit at Kiltartan Cross, which is a great museum.

Finally, as my great gradnmotehr used to tell her children, "You are a Persse and you are Irish." So Happy St. Pricks's Day to all of us.


Andrew Caddell


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