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Nicholas Forrestal

The Lineage of Mullennahone

Pedigree of Nicholas Forrestal of New Ross 1820-1877

Nicholas Forrestal was a New Ross merchant who emigrated to America with his wife Ann Cantwell and their twins Bridget and William, he is the progenitor of the Forrestal lineages of Milwaukee, WI, and Aurora, IL, USA. Nicholas was the son of James Forrestal of Bahana, St Mullins, Co. Carlow and his wife of Bridget Jordan, the daughter of Francis Jordan and Mary Kavanagh of Inch, Borris, Co. Carlow.

Nicholas was the grandson of James Forstall, a New Ross merchant who held lands at Bahana, St. Mullins, Co. Carlow (d. 1793) and Elizabeth Lawlor (d. 1790). Nicholas was the great-grandson of Nicholas Forstall of New Ross, son of Pierce Forstall or Forrestal, Gent, of Carrickcloney Castle (d. 1683) and Mary Aylward of Aylwardstown. Elizabeth Lawlor, Nicholas’s grandmother, was the daughter of Stephen Lawlor, a land surveyor who held a residence at Mohullen, Borris, Co. Carlow, and Mary Kavanagh, daughter of Simon Kavanagh of Inch, Borris, Co. Carlow and Helena Grace of Gracefield, Co. Laois.

The Inch Kavanagh lineage, from which Nicholas was doubly descended, were the progeny of Gerald Kavanagh of Ballybrannagh, son of Brian mac Cahir MacMurrough Kavanagh of Polmonty Castle (d. 1578), Chief of Slíocht Diarmada Laimhdeirg. Gerald’s grandson, the son of Tirlough, was Simon Kavanagh, Gent, of Seskin, a Jacobite Captain who fought at the Battle of the Boyne. Simon built a Mansion house at Inch where his descendants lived in the 18th century. Simon’s son, Gerald Kavanagh of Inch, married Elizabeth Butler of Munphin, Co. Wexford.

Nicholas Forrestal of New Ross

The grave of Nicholas Forristal or Forrestal of New Ross (1820-1877), son of James Forstall or Forrestal of Bahana and Bridget Jordan. Nicholas’s grave marker commemorates Nicholas and his wife Ann, in addition to their sons William and Charles. This photo was taken by Nadeen Sobottka.

Nicholas Forrestal and Ann Cantwell had several sons (James, John, William, Richard, Nicholas, Charles, and James the younger) and at least three daughters (Bridget, Mary, and Elizabeth). William Forrestal, the eldest surviving son (the first two sons that are known, James and John, died as infants in Ireland) was principal of Forrestal Bros, the family firm which held large labor contracts in Milwaukee, Superior, Duluth and St. Paul. Forrestal Bros built the Milwaukee Flushing tunnel in 1888 which was the largest labor contract on record for Milwaukee at the time. The couples son Richard William Forrestal (1861-1913) served as a head contractor for the firm and ran a saloon in St. Paul, MN. James Forrestal, the youngest son (James sharing the same name as grandfather and sibling who died an infant, thus keeping the first name in the family) was involved as a principal shareholder with his eldest brother William in Forrestal Bros.

Richard William Forrestal (1861-1913) was wed to Margaret Rossiter Kiely, the daughter of John Kiely of Waterford and Margaret Kehoe or Keogh of Milwaukee. Margaret was the daughter of Paul Kehoe and Mary Rossiter; her sister Bridget, was wed to William James Aylward (1839-1911), a Great Lakes shipbuilder, shipyard owner, and ship captain. William James Aylward and Bridget Kehoe were the parents of William James Aylward (1875-1936), a WWI artist who illustrated The Sea Wolf and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.  Paul Kehoe or Keogh, the father of Bridget and her sister Margaret, was the son of John Kehoe, and grandson of Paul Kehoe, Gent, of Nash Castle, Newbawn, Co. Wexford. Paul held Nash Castle through Gerald Kavanagh, Gent, of Ballybeg and Marley, grandson of the aforementioned Gerald Kavanagh, Gent, of Inch.

Gerald Kavanagh of Ballybeg, Co. Carlow was an uncle of General Thomas Cloney, insurgent leader of the 1798 Rebellion in Wexford. General Thomas Cloney’s relative Edmond Kavanagh of Turra, St. Mullins was the brother of Michael Kavanagh of Ballynacoolagh, Co. Wexford whose son Art Kavanagh was a New Ross merchant and held lands in St. Mullins parish at Turra, Ballynacoolagh, and Ballyleigh, in addition to Mountgarret (near Mountgarret Castle), near New Ross, in Co. Wexford and Ballymitty, in the barony of Shelmaliere West in south Wexford.

Art Kavanagh became godfather to Nicholas Forrestal in 1820 and was the brother of Catherine Kavanagh of Ballynacoolagh, who was the wife of John Kavanagh of Bauck, St. Mullins, Co. Carlow. Art’s son Patrick Kavanagh of New Ross was wed to Judith Walsh of Castlegannon, Ballyhale, Co. Kilkenny whose brother Joseph Walsh wed Judith Forstall of Castlebanny, Ballyhale, Co. Kilkenny, sister of Peter Forstall, Gent, of Castlebanny. Art’s daughter Bridget Kavanagh, was wed to Richard Phelan of Ballymartin, the son of Andrew Phelan and Eleanor Cantwell, and grandson of Richard Phelan of Mullennahone, Co. Kilkenny, and Mary Cody of Carrickcloney, Co. Kilkenny whose cousin William Cody of Gurteens, was the son of John Cody of Rochestown, Co. Kilkenny.

Art Kavanagh’s first cousin was Morgan Kavanagh, merchant of New Ross, son of Dudley Kavanagh of Turra. Morgan’s eldest son, also named Dudley, served as godfather to Nicholas Forrestal’s sister Elizabeth (the namesake of her grandmother Elizabeth Lawlor), baptized in 1823. Art Kavanagh’s wife was Anstasia Mehan, the daughter Patrick Mehan of Rosbercon (who held property at Redhouse, New Ross) and Mary Reilly of Ballyrowragh, Slieverue, Co. Kilkenny. Mary’s sister Catherine Reilly was wed to Nicholas Henneberry of Ringville, Co. Kilkenny, whose son Patrick possessed leases on the former Forstall lands of Ringville, Ballinlaw, and Rochestown Co. Kilkenny, and was father of Nicholas Henneberry, who was godson of the aforementioned Patrick Kavanagh (Patrick Henneberry’s second cousin), son of the aforementioned Art Kavanagh and Mary Mehan.

Richard William Forrestal (1861-1913) and Margaret Rossiter Kiely were the parents of Richard William Forrestal II (1902-1980), Paul Patrick Forrestal (1899-1981), and John Joseph Forrestal of New Orleans (1890-1962), including several other children. John Joseph Forrestal (the eldest son) was wed to Estelle Forster of Fall River, MA, the daughter of Benjamin Ashworth Forster, president and founder of Forster Textile Mills; John and Estelle were the parents of Richard William Forrestal III (1924-2020) whose descendants reside in Ireland, Austria, and the United States.

The chart below is from the most recent edition of The Lineage of Mullennahone 1571-1855 published in September of 2022. The book includes hundreds of footnotes, references, and crucial evidence pertaining to the Mullennahone and Carrickcloney Forstall or Forrestal lineage and their descendants.

Copyright © 2022 Michael Forrestal Keller