The Irish Branch of the Plucks : Part 2

The earliest Irish records on my database are from the Old Cemetery at Glenealy. I am not certain of the source of the information (found on Rootsweb) but it must be derived from an earlier transcription of the monumental inscriptions, as the cemetery is now reported to be semi-derelict.

Peter Pluck died 4 November 1740 aged 21
John Pluck died 1778 aged 63
Mary Pluck (wife of John) died 1785 aged 56
James Pluck died 1780 (brother of Peter) no age given.

These could be three brothers.

Two interesting points arise from this information: (1) these Plucks were sufficiently well-off to be able to afford gravestones, and (2) anyone buried in the Old Cemetery at Glenealy is almost certainly a protestant. All of the Plucks found in the 1911 Dublin census were Roman Catholics.

This could be a pointer to a fairly recent (in genealogical terms) arrival from England.

The first baptisms on my database start in Rathdrum in 1795 (see Tree 1009). Rathdrum is about 10 miles west of Wicklow, and Glenealy is roughly midway on the journey, so it is possible that the Plucks listed above actually lived in Rathdrum but buried their dead in Glenealy. I have Pluck baptisms in Rathdrum up to 1866. It was at about this time that the first Pluck baptisms began to appear in Dublin (about 25 miles north of Wicklow).

There was a small family of Plucks in Liverpool in the 1841 census: James and Bridget, with John and Timothy, presumably their sons. All were born in Ireland. Other Pluck families appear in later censuses.

There are two Pluck families with definite Irish origins in the 1880 USA census: Lawrence and Bridget (both born in Ireland) and their six children born in Pennsylvania, and Miles and Jane (both born in Ireland) with their six children born in Wisconsin.

The substantial Jersey branch is descended from William Pluck, who was born in Wicklow about 1770. He was a soldier serving in the garrison in Jersey at the time of the Napoleonic wars who married a local girl, Elizabeth Le Greslet.

I am still unsure of the origins of the Irish branch. They could be of purely Irish origin with no connection to the English branch, apart from a name, but I tend to favour origins in England. This could be as far back as the Plantations of Tudor times (c1540) which continued, on and off, until the time of Oliver Cromwell (1650). Peter Pluck, mentioned at the beginning of this section, was born in 1677. A captain Pluck, presumably from Ireland, was imprisoned in the Marshalsea in 1600 for his part in the Essex Rebellion of that year. He could have been a native of Ireland, or he could have been a soldier of fortune from England.

We are unlikely to find a definite answer unless a whole family migrated from England and we find evidence of their disappearance from England and simultaneous arrival in Ireland. The bigger the family the better.

All the evidence points to a Pluck family arriving in the Wicklow area sometime no later than 1740. If it was a single person then they would have arrived well before this date. A source in England is very likely. My database currently contains 939 records with an Irish link but only a little under half of these records are linked to trees (a record does not equate to a single person, who could well have up to a dozen records linked to them: baptism, marriage, death, censuses, children's baptisms etc). The unlinked majority are almost certainly connected, but we do not yet have the evidence. The similarity of Christian names, the identity of baptismal sponsors all point to a common ancestry.

Currently I have five unconnected Irish trees. Given time, and more data, I hope eventually to link them all into a set of interconnected trees. The table that follows outlines the present situation.

Tree No Main locations Year span No of people Head of Tree
Tree 1005 Wicklow and Jersey
Michael Pluck and Ann
Tree 1009 Wicklow and Birkenhead
Thadee Pluck and Mary Toole
Twig 5 Wicklow and Liverpool
Christopher Pluck and Mary
Twig 6 Wicklow and Dublin
Daniel Pluck and Bridget Canna
Twig 7 Dublin
Laurence Pluck and Ellen Farrell
Twig 8 Kingstown, Co Dublin
James Pluck and Anne Hogan
Twig 9 Dublin and Liverpool
Garrett Pluck and Mary Anne Brown
Twig 17 Ashton-under-Lyne
William and Bridget Pluck


DGP 25 March 2008

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