Report from the

Irish Palatines Tercentenary

Rathkeale, County Limerick, Ireland

4 September Through 13 September, 2009

Irish Palatine Special Interest Group

To assist Irish Palatines in learning about their genealogy and connecting with other Irish Palatines

Ontario Genealogical Society

Go to OGS

                                                    Bally Organ in the green hills *

    As we gathered in the beautiful green rolling hills where our ancestors settled 300 years ago, there was a clear sense of coming home. For many of us this was amplified by greeting cousins and friends whom we met 5 years ago in the Palatinate or by remembering previous visits to Rathkeale.

Quickly we met new friends and more cousins. Truly, a joyous celebration was beginning.

* All photos by Bob Fizzell

Carolyn Heald               Christy Switzer                   Billie Martin

    There were many highlights in this celebration, and I will try to share a few with you. Probably the

most meaningful for the participants were when we walked in the footsteps of our ancestors and sat

in their churches. These two aspects were brought together in the dedication of a memorial stone at

the site of the Killeheen Preaching House. With the Reverend Dudley Levistone Cooney officiating,

we heard a brief history of the Methodist preaching house and school that stood along Killeheen

Lane and served our ancestors. The newly cleared ground and the beautiful memorial brought out

not just our tour group, but many other people from the vicinity who shared in the Palatine


    Following the ceremony, we walked down the Lane as the original settlers must have done, passing

farms of Teskeys who have farmed this land for 300 years.

    We attended services at the Embury-Heck Methodist Church in Ballingrane the first Sunday and at

the Rathkeale Church of Ireland on the second Sunday. The cemeteries of these churches hold

many of our ancestors and provide both genealogical information and a sense of connectedness. At

the Ballingrane service, we were treated to lunch by the congregation and many Palatines who came

from miles away to meet us. For me, it was a chance to meet three cousins whom I had not known


Embury Heck Memorial MethodistChurch

Rathkeale Church of Ireland

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This celebration was produced by the

Irish Palatine Center, Rathkeale, Ireland as one in its on-going series of activities for Irish Palatines.

To be informed about IPA activities and to receive their Journal, join today.

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