Author: email from Julian Walton 14/11/2008
Text: THE O'DONEL CONNECTION
Edwyn Thomas, only son of Rev. Edwyn Thomas II rector of Carlingford (1808-1869), went to Co. Mayo as agent to Sir George O'Donel of Newport House, 5th Bart. He lived at Rahins and became a JP and DL. In 1883 he married his employer's niece Melicent O'Donel, only child of Captain Richard O'Donel (1834-1867).
Melicent was born about 1862. On her uncle's death without issue in 1889 she succeeded to Newport House and estate. Edwyn and Melicent reverted to her maiden name of O'Donel. They had one child, George, born 1884, who in 1914 married Violet, only daughter of George C. Braddell of Newlands, Ferns. On the outbreak of the Great War he enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers, became a captain, was decorated with the MC, and was killed in action in 1915.
Edwyn died in ....? Melicent lived on into old age, her letters to the Thomas family becoming more spidery and incoherent towards the end. She died in 1933. Newport House passed to the Symes family. It is now a hotel.
Lydia and her cousins the Lawders kept in touch with Melicent, and with former servants at the house after her death. The last letter from Newport, dated 1941, is a sad request from the lodge-keeper's daughter imploring Lydia to send some old clothes.
And here is a summary of the Thomas genealogy:
GENEALOGY OF THE THOMAS FAMILY
George Thomas of Athlone, gent (late 17th century) was father of:
REV. WALTER THOMAS I, born c. 1674. Archdeacon of Killaloe 1714. Treasurer of Cashel 1722. He was father of:
2. REV. GEORGE THOMAS (see below).
REV. GEORGE THOMAS, Treasurer of Cashel 1737-1768. Died March 1768.
Married (1) 1737 Henrietta Warren (died May 1749), by whom he had issue:
2. REV. WALTER THOMAS II, born 1738, of Dromore and Raphoe dioceses, died 1796 (?). Married (1) 9 July 1770 Jane Adams of Rathfarnham; (2) 2 July 1788 Martha Thomas of Arklow.
Rev. George married (2) 12 Sept. 1755 Mary (died 27 March 1795), dau. of William Armstrong of Farney Castle and Mount Heaton, King's Co. (BIFR 1976), and of Mary, 3rd dau. and co-heir of Francis Heaton of Mount Heaton (hence the use of Heaton as an additional christian name by the Thomas family) by whom he had issue:
3. William, born 1759.
4. Henrietta, born 1760.
5. John, born 1762, 67th Foot. [Lydia's rough ped. lists here: Mary, Jane, John]
6. Francis Heaton of Letterkenny, 16th Foot, unmarried. His will dated 1823 leaves all his property to the children of his youngest brother.
7. REV. EDWYN THOMAS I (see below).
REV. EDWYN THOMAS I, born 1767, rector of Ballynacourty, co. Kerry, 1797-1841, died 15 Dec. 1847 aged 81.
Married 1798 Jane, 4th dau. of Robert Reeves of Blessington, co. Clare, by whom he had issue (with 5 other children: Eliza, Mary, Martha, Diana and Walter):
REV. FRANCIS HEATON THOMAS, of whom presently.
REV. EDWYN THOMAS II, born 1808?, rector of Carlingford 1866-1869, died 15 March1869. Married Eliza (died 14 June1885), dau. of John George of Cahore, Co. Wexford (BLGI 1958), by whom he had issue:
Edwyn, born 1851,of Newport House co. Mayo. Married 27 June 1883 Melicent O'Donel (see that family) and changed his name to O'Donel.
Jane Eliza, married 2 Nov. 1872 James Ormsby Lawder of Lawderdale, Finagh, co. Leitrim, by whom she had issue:
Cecil Edward (Lawder), born 6 May 1877, lieutenant in RFA.
Violet (Lawder), died young 15 Dec. 1889.
Pearl Edith (Lawder).
Diana Georgina, died unmarried in London, 9 Feb. 1909.
"His youngest dau. Catherine Georgina m., 13 May 1843, George Croker MD of Burren Regh co. Down."
REV. FRANCIS HEATON THOMAS, born 1804?, rector of Kilfithmone co. Tipperary, died 1889.
Married (1) 30 July 1833 Rebecca Mary (born 12 Nov. 1808, died 24 March 1863), dau. of Rev. Edward Lloyd of Abington co. Limerick; (2) Fanny Jane, died s.p. 23 Nov. 1888.
By his first wife he had issue:
1. Rebecca Letitia, married General Frederick Daniell (see that family).
2. Frances Elizabeth (Fanny), m. Gerald Eyre of Prospect House, Ballycumber, King's Co. She died 2 July 1909. He died 1910? Their son Richard was born 3 Feb. 1876.
3. Dania ("Aunt Dania", unmarried, died 1915.
4. Alice ("Aunt Alice"), unmarried, died 1908.
5. Jane, died young 1848.
6. EDWYN THOMAS, of whom presently.
EDWYN THOMAS of Killoskehane Castle co. Tipperary, born 1834?, died 29 Oct. 1878. Lieutenant, 1st West Indian (83rd) Regt; Major, Co. Dublin Militia, 1873.
Married 10 April 1872 Frances Banks (see that family) (died 17 March 1918), by whom he had issue:
1. Frances Alice Dania (Cesca), born 20 April 1873, nurse in Dublin, died unm. 1943.
2. REV. EDWYN FRANCIS HEATON THOMAS (of whom presently).
3. Lydia (Minnie), born 21 Dec. 1875, died unmarried 17 Jan. 1967.
REV. EDWYN FRANCIS HEATON THOMAS (Teddy), born 17 Sept. 1874, died 8 July 1923.
Married (1) August 1909 Helen Constance (d. 1915), dau. of William Basil Orpin and widow of Robert Norman-Thompson of Kendlestown House, Co. Wicklow (d. 1901).
Married (2) 13 Jan. 1920 Juliet Helen, dau. of Charles Lloyd Severn of Broadlands, Ferndown, Dorset (d. 31 Dec. 1958), by whom he had issue:
Frances Juliet Peggie (Pegeen), born Feb. 1921, married 1978 Larry Macalister, widower (father of Gillian, Adam and Râoisâin).