One thing I don’t really do very often is actually tell the story of my ancestors. But this one I found quite interesting was the story of my great grandmother. (NOTE: Cáit is the Irish for Kate which is a version of Catherine)

So let’s start as the very beginning (as Julie Andrews said “a very good place to start!) Born Catherine Mary Fraher on August 30th 1896 in Dungarvan, the third and final child to local figure, draper and hurler Daniel “Dan” Fraher (he’s a tale!) and Mary Walsh, she was raised in Grattan Square, Dungarvan with her father when tragedy struck the Fraher family when her mother Mary was admitted to St. John’s Hill Asylum (now St. Otteran’s Hospital) in 1898 and ended up dying there in 1914 only aged 49. She ended up going to St. Ita’s in Ranelagh in the 1900s. I’m unsure of what happened in these time periods as I’m unable to find her in the 1901 or 1911 census. (I have a suspicion about where she is in the 1911 Census but it’s not digitised)

She married Patrick “Pax” Whelan, a Commander in the I.R.A (Irish Republican Army) down in Dungarvan on January 14th 1921. They had a coin with their names as Gaeilge (in Irish) and the date which my grandmother Kathleen made into a necklace!

Annoyingly I’m struggling to fill in the gaps but Cáit (as she was known) had joined Cumann na mBan – a female auxiliary to the Irish volunteers but at the time of writing I’m still trying to discover more about her career with that orgnanisation.

She went on to have four children with Pax and would pass away on August 2nd 1941 aged only 44.

Cáit with my grandmother Kathleen circa. 1939 – Image credit: Daniel Loftus (Daniel’s Genealogy)