KILBOY is nestled among the Slieveardagh Hills in the Parish of Graystown and a short distance from Killenaule in County Tipperary.  It adjoins the townland of Graystown, once a medieval settlement with a castle which now stands in ruins.


It was here where JOHN PERRY settled sometime in the 1750s.  Who John’s parents were and where he came from is still unclear but it is certain that no Perrys had lived or leased lands at Kilboy before this time.


The first actual record we have found regarding John is a post-marriage settlement from 1763 in which he receives lands at Graystown from his father in-law. [1]  John married MARY HUGHES the eldest daughter of John & Ann Hughes and sister of Mathew Hughes and it is apparent that they were already married when this deed was drawn up.  In fact, if the IGI entry for one of their sons is correct they must actually have married many years earlier which make us wonder why this settlement was drawn up so many years later.


John and Mary had children but at this time we can only confirm, with certainty, one son named HENRY who is thought to have been born around 1759.  A marriage settlement for Henry identifies 2 probable brothers and a group of adjacent gravestones identify 3 more persons that could be siblings.  These probable siblings were: John, who also held title to some of the Graystown lands, William of Cattaganstown, who was a witness to Henry’s marriage settlement,  Mathew of Mountaylor,  Sarah who married Garret Hayes and Mary of Cattaganstown.  Both Cattaganstown and Mountaylor are very close to Kilboy and Graystown.  The family homestead was built at Kilboy where Henry later lived with his family and the other sons built homes in the neighbouring townlands.






The origins of John Perry of Kilboy, has been and still is, the focus of our current research – our “brick wall” so to say.  Predominant names among his male descendants are John, Samuel, William, Richard, Henry, Mathew and Thomas and because the Irish used specific naming patterns we can conclude that the names ‘Mathew’ and ‘Thomas’ were ‘married into the family’. Is it a coincidence that, with the exception of Henry, all other names are the same as those used in the Perry families of Woodrooff and Cork?  Could John descend from the Perrys of Woodrooff ?


Perhaps we are barking up the wrong tree …but there are some discoveries that add fuel to this theory.


Samuel Perry of Cork’s eldest son was also a John and referred to as ‘eldest son & heir’ in a land deed from 1743.  If this John was the eldest son why is he not mentioned in any family documents, trees or the Perry family pedigrees published in Burke’s Landed Gentry?  His brother's, William of Woodrooff and Richard of Cork, are extensively documented.  Samuel Perry married in 1721 and son John was likely between 18 and 21 years of age in 1743 in order to be involved in his father’s land transaction.  John was still living in 1759 and he, and his “natural daughter Nelly” were left a bequest from his uncle John at Woodrooff. [2]  There were no other John Perrys in the Woodrooff family alive in 1759. It looks like John may have been disinherited and vanished into thin air.


At the same time “our” John Perry pops out of nowhere and settles at Kilboy very well being the same person. 


In the biography of Samuel Perry of Wisconsin it also mentions a “grand-uncle” of Woodrooff who was high sheriff in Tipperary and this would be referring to William Perry of Woodrooff who was high sheriff in 1828.  Perhaps his name was thrown in to make Samuel’s ancestry sound more influential but who knows … perhaps the family at Kilboy descend from the Woodrooff family.


Unfortunately, with most Irish records having been destroyed in the 1920s we might never get to the bottom of this although DNA testing may be of some help.




JOHN PERRY of Kilboy is recorded a being an Esquire when he was admitted to the Corporation of Freeman of Fethard in 1775 but the title wasn’t passed on and his descendants became farmers - quite a contrast to the Woodrooff Perrys who were part of the established gentry.  When John died or where he is buried is unknown.


John’s son HENRY married ANN TOPPIN [3] , daughter of Thomas Toppin of Buffana, in 1786 and of this union were 8 children who survived to maturity.




MARY PERRY was the eldest child being born around 1788.  She married FRANCIS THOMPSON in 1808 and they had the children Henry, James, Frank, Mary, Ann and Susan.  Daughter Ann married Robert Sparrow around 1844 and their daughter Frances Maria Sparrow was born in1845.  Poor Ann was left a widow the following year and emigrated to Grey County, Ontario, Canada where her parents were likely already living.   There she remarried John Sutcliffe, a native of Coolquil, Tipperary in 1857.  Mary (Perry) Thompson died in 1873 and her husband in 1871.  They are buried in Grace Anglican Cemetery in Sullivan Township, Grey Co. along with Ann, who died in 1904, and husband John Sutcliffe who died in 1893.


CAPT. JOHN PERRY was the second child and eldest son of Henry and Anne and was born in 1791.  He was a cavalry officer in the British service and said to have been, “ 6 feet in height, and broad in proportion ….”. [4]  He was the one who took over the family farm when his father died.  In 1815 he married SUSAN ELIZABETH MINCHIN, daughter of Edward Minchin and Elizabeth Hunt and they had 10 children.  Family lore describes John as being such a “crank” that all his children ran away and his wife died of a broken heart.  There must be some truth to this tale because 4 sons emigrated to Wisconsin, the youngest having stowed away on the ship his brother was sailing on, and in his will he basically disowns 8 of his 10 child bequeathing them each 1 shilling.  John died in 1872 and is thought to be buried in the vault at Ballinure cemetery.  It is unknown when his wife died but interesting to note that she was buried with her parents at Lanespark Cemetery and not with her husband.


John and Elizabeth’s children were:


v     EDWARD Perry  - of whom nothing is know.  He inherits 1 shilling from his father in 1872 but his whereabouts are unknown.  There is some speculation that he could be the Edward Perry living at Liscannor in Co. Clare at this time but there is no proof.


v     HENRY MINCHIN, the 2nd son also disappears but turns up again living in Bitton near Bristol in England as a private tutor in the 1880 census.  His student is a young lad named Glencairn Dunsmuir Gun Cuninghame who turns out to be a descendant of the Pery family of Limerick and the Earl’s of Glencairn.  We certainly wonder how Henry found this job.  In 1882, at the age of 55, Henry married the wealthy widow ANNA SLATTER DREW (nee OLDLAND) who was 80 years old.  I have no idea (other than her wealth) what would have motivated such a marriage but Anna died 3 years later and probably left Henry with a good chuck of money.  After her death Henry disappears and we have no idea where he ended up or died.


v     THOMAS PERRY was the next child of John and Susan and remained on the family farm in Kilboy until his death in 1904.  He was crippled and walked with crutches and was known as a talented-fiddler throughout the area.  In fact, the whole Perry family were remembered as great musicians.  It is thought Thomas died a bachelor but some family notes from the 1960s have surfaced stating that he had 10 children who all went to England.  If this is true then we have no idea who he married or who his children were. This information may or may not be correct.


v     WILLIAM MINCHIN was born in 1829 and inherited the family farm and properties and was the last of the Perry line to have lived at Kilboy.   He married his cousin, MARY ANNE NORRIS who was the daughter of William Norris and Eliza Perry.  Mary Anne was an expert healer and renowned throughout the area for her herbal remedies and potions.  This couple did not have any children although rumours exist that William actually did father children with someone else.  This must still be investigated.  William died in 1907 and in his will his wife was given a life-long right to dwell at Kilboy but the title and properties were left to his cousin Col. Samuel Henry Perry in Liverpool.  It is said his widow was so upset with this that she packed her belongings, the furniture and plate and returned to her family birthplace of Horse & Jockey where she died in 1924.


v     JOHN, SAMUEL, (b.1835), MATTHEW (b.1836) and RICHARD M. (b.1840) were the 4 youngest sons and all emigrated to Wisconsin in the mid 1850s.  Matthew and Richard were the first to go with young Richard being the above mentioned stow-away.  They apparently spent some time in Canada with their uncle Richard and were then joined by John & Samuel who came over to find them.  After some time they continued to Wisconsin.  JOHN is thought to have gone to California sometime later where all traces of him were lost.   SAMUEL married Elizabeth McCormick in 1860 and became a prosperous and influential citizen in Ahnapee, Kewaunee County.  He died there in 1906.  Richard and Matthew ended up living at Forestville in Door County.  MATTHEW married Henrietta Machinsky in 1867 and died in 1915 and RICHARD M .married Annie Knop in 1867 and died in 1899.  The latter 3 brothers all left issue.


v     ANNE was the eldest daughter of Capt. John Perry and Susan Elizabeth Minchin.  She married the widower THOMAS SUTCLIFFE of Coolquil in 1855 who was many years her senior.  They had a least 3 children:  Thomas (ca. 1856), Susan (1860) and John  (ca. 1861).  Susan Sutcliffe married Thomas Fitzgerald in 1884 and they had 6 children.  She was left a widow in 1899 and died in 1962 at the ripe old age of 102.  She is buried with her mother and grandmother at Lanespark Cemetery.  Her brother John Sutcliffe married a woman named Susan and is listed living in Crohane with a 1-year year-old son Thomas in the 1901 census.  Nothing else is known about them.


v     ELIZABETH was the youngest daughter in this family and was also left 1 shilling because she went to live with her sister without her father’s permission.  She never married and is living with her nephew John Sutcliffe and his family in the 1901 census. 


THOMAS was the second son of Henry Perry & Anne Toppin and emigrated to Canada, likely with his elder sister Mary Thompson.  We have found no trace of him in Canada and it is possible he died young or moved elsewhere.


HENRY was the next son and is thought to have married SARAH NICHOLSON in 1818.  This is not certain.  He inherited the land at Graystown which were passed down to his son Thomas.  Thomas (1826-1904) married Maria Sparrow, the daughter of John Sparrow of Shauakyle in 1863.  Maria died in 1923 and they are both buried at Ballinure Graveyard.  Henry & Maria had no children and the residue of the estate was left to Maria’s nieces and nephews, the Doyles, Humphreys and Sparrows.


RICHARD PERRY was born in 1797 and married SUSANNAH PROCTOR in 1821.  They emigrated to Lloydtown, Ontario, Canada in 1831 with their first four children: John, Henry, Anne and Hannah and Susannah’s young niece Susannah Lee .   3-year-old Hannah died on the voyage to Canada.  In Canada 6 more children were born.  Details of Richard and Susannah and their family can be found under, The Perry’s of Lloydtown.


ELIZA (1802-1888) was the 2nd daughter of Henry and Anne Perry.  She married WILLIAM NORRIS in 1833.   They had at least one daughter and she was the ‘healer’ Mary Anne Norris who married her cousin William Minchin Perry.   Eliza and her husband are also buried at Ballinure.


WILLIAM was the youngest son and was born in 1808.  He moved to Moorehill near Strancally in Waterford where he worked as a police officer and prison warden.  He married BRIDGET EMILY BARNIDGE, daughter of John Barnidge, at Kilwatermoy, Waterford in 1849.  William died 1872 in Waterford and his widow passed away in London in November 1912.  They had the following 8 children:


v     COL. SAMUEL HENRY was born 1851 at Strancally in Waterford.  In 1875 he married ELIZA ANN PENISTON, the daughter of James & Mary Anne Peniston, and about the same time moved to Bidston, Birkenhead, England where he founded S.H. Perry & Co. Ltd and ran a very successful business as a provision merchant.   He was also a Colonel of the 9th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool Regiment and chairman of the Lancaster Rifle Association.  Col. Sam was the one who kept ties with all the relations and visited his cousins in Ireland, Wisconsin & Canada several times.  He inherited the Kilboy house and property from William Minchin Perry and he did his best to keep the property in the family, which he eventually passed on, to his cousin Susan Fitzgerald for a yearly fee.  It is told he contacted relatives in America asking if they would take the property but no one wanted to return to Ireland.  Samuel and Eliza had 3 children:

Ø      WILLIAM HENRY (1876-1965) was the eldest son and a prominent churchman in the Liverpool and Birkenhead regions.  He married Jane Ellen Turner 1909 in Liverpool and they had one son, Samuel John Peniston who was born in 1910. 


Ø      DOROTHY MARY (Dolly) (1890 – 1952) was their 2nd child and she fell in love with her Canadian cousin Horace Perry Bond who had been stationed in England during the First World War.  They married in 1919 and Dorothy accompanied her husband back to Canada as a war bride.  It became a tragic and unhappy marriage and Dorothy eventually returned to England where she later died.  They had no children.


Ø      SAMUEL THOMAS JAMES (Jim) (1893-1981) was the last child of Samuel and Eliza and married Edith Valerie Cooper 1916 in Liverpool.  Jim was also in the 9th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool Regiment and was active in WW1 where he was wounded and became a prisoner of war in Germany towards the end of the war.  He continued his military career after the war and was a chairman of the Liverpool Rifle Association for almost half a century.   Samuel Thomas James and his wife Edith had 3 children: Jean Valerie, Vivienne Janette and James Stuart.


v     ISABELLA (1856-1860) – died as a child


v     LOUISE B. (1856 -) married ALEXANDER DAWSON around 1879 in London.  Her husband was a native of Fermanagh, Ireland.  They had 10 children: William James, Mary, Elizabeth, Robert Henry, Mary Louisa, John, Dorothy, Grace Annie, Alice Isabella and Anne Florence – all born in Highgate, England.  Any information on this family would be greatly appreciated.


v     WILLIAM DE LACY (1858-1916) married ANN MANNERS in 1886 and died 1916 in Southport, England.  They had no children.


v     EMILY (1863-1951) – married DAVID HEINRICH RUEGG of Zurich, Switzerland and they had 9 children: Susie (1885), Louise (1887), Harry (1889), Emily (1891), Charles (1892-1956), Max (1895), Alice 1896-1922), Grace Bridget (1898-1978) and Olive (1905-1974).  Louise married Franz Wachsmuth and lived near Heidelberg, Germany.  In a letter to her uncle in 1938 she asks for assistance in collecting documents and tracing her Perry family roots as her two sons have been called to do military service in Germany and have to prove that their earlier relations had not been “Israelites”.  Apparently sufficient documents proving their ancestry were found and this was likely the first research family research ever done on the Perry family of Kilboy.  It must have been a very frightening time though.


v     MATHEW (1864) – died as an infant.


v     ISABEL E. (Bella) (1868-1947) married a MR: HIGGIE in Glasgow, Scotland and had two daughters, Eva and Irene.  Irene married a Dr. J.W. Clark in England and may have been a doctor herself.  Not much is known about this line.


v     ELIZA ANN (1858) married THOMAS INCH 1889 in London and they had 4 children; Thomas, Percy, Beatrice and Angela.

UNKNOWN child.  Family records tell us that Henry Perry and Ann Toppin had eight children who all survived to maturity.  7 have now been identified and one is still a mystery.  If this child were a male it is highly likely he was named Samuel or Mathew as these names are among 3 lines of Henry’s grandchildren but not among his own known children.

[1] Registry of Deeds, Dublin - # 222 105 146513

[2] Betham’s Extract’s of Wills – Perry, John – Woodroofe, co. Tipp., gent.

[3] Index to Marriage License Bonds – Cashel & Emly

[4] Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Kewaunee, Brown & Door, Wisconsin, published by J.H. Beers & Co 1895