John Whelan was born in 1826 in Wexford, Ireland. Based on his age on his death record9, there are four possible records for his birth that I was able to locate. The first is the least likely, parents James and Mary1, this John was born in September in the parish of Borris in Kildare and Leighton. The second John was born in Gorey, Kilanerin to parents Peter and Rose2 in January of 1826. The other two birth records are both from March of 1826. There are also both from Templetown. The first was born on the 16 March and has parents Michael and Honora3; and the second was born on the 18 March and has parents Thomas and Catherine4. All of these births are within the Wexford county, but none are near Enniscorthy or Templeshannon where we know he lived in later years. The best match with respect to children naming convention could be Thomas and Catherine or Michael and Honora; however, none match exactly with the children that are known. It is even possible, though highly unlikely (based on moving patterns pre-famine), that he was born in another county.
There were quite a few John Whelan’s in the petty session registers for Wexford. There was a carpenter, labourer, tailor, servant, reverend and farmer as well as the John Whelan that was a baker. There were also a number of reasons for John Whelan to be listed as well, everything from non-payment of the poor rate and loan to quite a few drunk mentions. However, we can only be sure of our John Whelan when we see baker attached. So, we have the following information about John Whelan from the petty sessions:
In 1853, John Whelan, a baker was one of three defendants, the others being a shoemaker and a shopkeeper who were taken to court for not paying their required loan in the amount of 4 pounds, 13 shillings and 4 pence to the Enniscorthy Loan Society5. Loan societies, such as the one is Enniscorthy, were set up before and during the Irish Famine. They were set up to assist and support poor tradesmen. The court found that they were required to pay the amounts.
Two years later, in 1855, John Whelan, a baker, was taken to court by John O’Farrell who claimed that Mr. Whelan had failed to return his possessions when he quit being a weekly tenant6. The court found that John needed to return the possessions to Mr. O’Farrell.
In 1873, John Whelan of Templeshannon, complained that Martin Connolly was verbally abusive towards him7. Those charges were dismissed.
In 1874, John Whelan of Templeshannon, charged that Brian Maguire owed him 10 shillings for work and labour done as a baker8. He did not show up for court, so the charges were dropped. Likely because closing his work and showing up for court would have cost him more than the 10 shillings he was owed.
John married Catherine Tumbleton in the 1840s. Genealogy information from others indicates that Catherine had brought a daughter Elizabeth to the marriage. John and Catherine had five children: John (1849), Mary (1851), Michael (1853), Thomas (1855) and Edward (1861).
There is no record of John Whelan and his family in the 1861 Enniscorthy Roman Catholic census, although there were Tumbletons and Whelans found.
John lived in Templeshannon (or Shannon) from at least 1873 until his death at the age of 59 on 7 June 1885. He died there of a hemorrhage lasting four months. At that time he was a widower.
1Baptisms (NCR) Ireland. (1826) Borris, Kildare and Leighton, Wexford. 29 September 1826. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed September 2019.
2Baptisms (NCR) Ireland (1826) Gorey, Kilanerin, Wexford. 6 January 1826. http://www.rootsireland.ie : accessed September 2019.
3Baptisms (NCR) Ireland (1826) St. James and Templetown, Ferns Wexford. 17 March 1826 (birth 16March). http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed September 2019.
4Baptisms (NCR) Ireland (1826) St. James and Templetown, Ferns Wexford. 20 March 1826 (birth 18 March). http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed September 2019.
5Ireland Petty Sessions Court Register. (1853). Wexford. 14 March 1853. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed September 2019.
6Ireland Petty Sessions Court Register. (1855). Wexford. 24 December 1855. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed September 2019.
7Ireland Petty Sessions Court Register. (1873). Wexford. 1 September 1873. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed September 2019.
8Ireland Petty Sessions Court Register. (1874). Wexford. 20 April 1874. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed September 2019.
9Deaths (CR) Ireland. 1885. Enniscorthy, Wexford. 7 June 1885. WHELAN, John. https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details-civil/bd984d5900166?b=https%3A%2F%2Fcivilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie%2Fchurchrecords%2Fcivil-perform-search.jsp%3Fnamefm%3DJohn%26namel%3DWhelan%26location%3DEnniscorthy%26yyfrom%3D1885%26yyto%3D1885%26type%3DD%26submit%3DSearch : accessed September 2019.