According to the book "Carlow to Lanark"(C2L) Thomas Tennant married Judith Butler and had 6 children the earliest identified birth being Richard in 1749 making Judith born between 1705 and 1733. Thomas and Judith are buried in the churchyard at Aghade but so far the grave has not been found.
Butler information can be found at the Butler Society Website ie www.butler-soc.org
Sir Richard Butler(1699-1771) the first inhabitant of Ballintemple House near Aghade was a descendant of the Duke of Ormonde and related to several Butler's with the christian name Pierce. However no connection to Judith or Pierce Tennant can be proved absolutely.His wife Henrietta Percy had daughters Ann (1731), Henrietta (1733), Elinor or Eleanor (1738), Jane (1748), Francis (1732), Hannah (1740). Source Sir John Butler via Shirley Miller then via my contact Vivian Bethinger.So no mention of a Judith. I suspect that Judith was from another branch of the Butler family. Sir Richard's home would not be Ballintemple at the time of Judith's birth as it was not built. Sir Richard (5th Bt) was the son of James Butler of Clonachona. Clonachona is another name for Broomville the adjacent estate to Ballintemple. James was a brother of the 4th Baronet (Probably, Sir Pierce Butler of Garryhunden). Their father (3rd Bt) certainly lived at Garryhunden which was some 15 miles away. So you see there was a complex web of Butler family homes with Broomville perhaps being key for Judith. Sir Richard's brother was William (d1737, m 1731). Judith's estimated DOB makes her a possible daughter for William but no proof though William's wife was called Anne Pierce and one of Judith's daughters was called Ann. i.e. Judith would have been Sir Richard's niece not daughter.
Prior to emigrating to Canada Judith's son Thomas(1755-1821) was Factor to the estate of Captain Butler. It is always possible that he was headman because of being related by marriage. Certainly he was wealthy enough to have a daughter privately educated and to take additional people to Canada (servants?). Sir Richard would be dead and his son a Knight by the time Thomas was old enough to be Factor so its not clear who Capt.Butler was. Perhaps he resided at Broomville (Clonachona) the adjacent Butler estate. Sir Richard's brother William lived there but died in 1737. Interestingly William's wife Anne(m1731) had the surname Pierce and it is possible datewise that Judith was their daughter. But Judith did not name a son Pierce, my ancestor Pierce was the age to be her grandson. The source of the marriage date is Q36 on the Butler Society web site.The book C2L says she was disinherited on marriage so perhaps understandable not to name a child Pierce at this time.
Hypotheses(1): William Butler (d1737) married Anne Pierce in 1731(fact). If they had a daughter Judith born c1732 she would have been the right age to marry Thomas Tennant and have son Richard (b1749).
Hypotheses(2): Page 8 of C2L ref 14 tells us that a Dean Pierce married a Judith Tennant in 1780. No date is known for the death of Thomas Tennant but if Judith was widowed then she would be aged about 48 in 1780. I have always been aware that the christian name Pierce was not used by other Tennant branches thus spoiling the logic of my argument that children were named Pierce in honour of the Butler connection. However if widow Judith Tennant married Dean Pierce in 1780 (too old to have a son by Dean) then they may have called the next grandchild, Pierce(b1783). The will of Dean Pierce would be interesting!Additionally there was a catholic Butler clan in Tullow. Also a Thomas Butler (d 1753) 2nd son of Viscount Lanesborough had a wife Mary Cummin whose paternal aunt and gt aunt were both called Judith. This info is chiefly sourced from the Butler Society web site (Q36 & Q10). In spite of all the evidence above, experience says that saying your grandmother was an heiress helps to make a campfire story more interesting!
Children: See the page for spouse, Thomas.
To me, as an American, it is interesting that if Judith is, in fact, a daughter, then her brother (and son of Sir Richard Butler) was the famous (in America) Pierce Butler, who had been a Major in the British military, stationed here for some time, and upon rotation of his regiment back to the U.K., he sold his commission and immigrated back to the U.S., married well in Charleston, sc and was both the President of the Constitutional Convention of 1789, as well as a signer of our U.S. constitution! To me, that's BIG STUFF! He is buried in Philadelphia, where he died in 1822. It is interesting to think that he was likely the brother of 'our' Judith Butler. The dates are right, and it seems highly probable to me'
(2)Terry Lipscomb tells me that in the Pierce Butler letterbooks at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, there is a letter from Pierce Butler dated from Philidelphia, July 29th 1799, around the time of the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. It is addressed to his sister Frances Butler in Dublin. One sentence reads:- "The very oppresive act you mention from the agent of Sir Richd to Robt Tennant, is so much in unison with the conduct of too many of the landlords in Ireland, that it may afford to your mind, one cause for the present disturbances." Pierce is refering to a nephew that he particularly disliked, Sir Richard Butler the 7th Bnt and member of Parliament for Carlow.
Return to the Tennant Index Page