Geraldine’s parents were the English evangelical minister, Rev. David Hill Creighton, and Eliza Willis, the daughter of the Portarlington schoolmaster, Thomas Willis. They married in Portarlington, Laois, on January 31st 1810, where David Hill Creighton was stationed, and had their first daughter, Geraldine O’Moore Creighton in about 1811; she was followed by her younger sisters, Louise, who died almost immediately, Eliza Willis Creighton, Louisa Adelaide and Mary Anne.
The subject of this post is Geraldine’s name, Geraldine O’Moore, which is a mysterious choice of middle name for the daughter of a very Anglo-Irish Protestant couple at the beginning of the nineteenth century. No other members of the Willis or Creighton families carried the names ‘O’Moore’ or ‘Geraldine’ prior to our great-great-grandmother’s birth in 1811. The name itself is a highly traditional Irish Catholic name, and, given that Geraldine’s father, David Hill Creighton, had been born in Dorset, England, the couple must have had some specific reason for giving their daughter this particular name.
Irish children at that time were almost always named after an older relative or close family friend, but I’ve failed to find any close or plausible link to any member of any O’ Moore family. Perhaps a member of the O'Moore family stood as godparent to Geraldine when she was baptised?
This post, therefore, is pure speculation. If anyone out there can shed any light on this mystery, please let me know!
Geraldine is the female version of Gerald, or Gearóid, or Garrett, and the only possible link that I can find would be with Garrett O’Moore of Cloghan Castle in King’s County/Co.Offaly. The link is spurious to say the least, but, for the record and for the moment, I'll compile here what I can unearth about the O'Moore family of Cloghan Castle, bearing in mind that I've come across very few families bearing the O'Moore name.
Garrett O’Moore married a Jane Foster in 1806 - the LDS site says the marriage took place in Monkstown, South Dublin, rather than Offaly, but it wasn’t unusual for gentry types to marry in Dublin at that time. Geraldine’s mother, Eliza Willis, was the daughter of the schoolmaster, Thomas Willis, and his first wife, Betty Foster. I wonder, therefore, was Garrett O’Moore’s wife, Jane Foster, a relation of the Willis family?
The O’Moore or Moore family were an old Gaelic family of Laois who participated in the 1641 rebellion; following the uprising, their lands were confiscated, but under the Act of Settlement of 1652, they were granted land at Cloghan in the neighbouring county of Offaly.
Garrett was the son of John O’Moore of Annabeg; Garrett’s sister, Margaret, married Connor O’Kelly in 1766.
Garret O’Moore had a son, also named Garret O’Moore, who lived from 1784 till 1833 - the son’s wife was Mary Bateman, who died at Cloghan Castle, Offaly, in 1831. In February 1858, Bridget Bateman, died aged 64 - she was noted as the sister-in-law of the late O'Moore of Cloghan Castle, and as the 3rd daughter of the late John Bateman of Altavilla, Limerick, and of Oakpark, Co. Kerry. A Captain John Bateman MP of Oakpark, Tralee, died in October 1863 in Croyden. Earlier in October 1848, Mrs. Arabella Bateman of Oakpark, died aged 84; she was the widow of the late Rowland Bateman of Oakpark, and mother of the M.P. John Bateman.
In December 1827, Garrett O'Moore was selling 4000 acres of land in Mayo; his Dublin address was noted as Redesdale, Stillorgan.
From the Trinity Admission Records:
Garrett O’Moore: S.C. (Mr.Scott, Norfolk), June 12th 1802, aged 17; son of Garrett, Miles; born King’s County. BA Vern 1806. (Miles signifies that his father was of the military.)
Garrett O’Moore, SC (Mr. Eaton) July 4 1825, aged 15, son of Garrett, generous, born Dublin. BA Aest. 1830.
Hubert O’Moore, Pen (Eaton Coll.), Nov. 3 1833, aged 16, son of Garrett, generous, born King’s County. BA Aest 1834. (A brother of the above Garrett O’Moore.)
Hubert died in Dublin on October 3rd 1846.
John Edmund O’Moore, SC (Mr.Eaton), Oct 19 1829, aged 17, son of Garrett, generous, born King’s. BA AEST. 1834. (Generous means gentleman.)
John Edmund O’Moore, the son of Garrett O’Moore, was a solicitor who lived at Elm Lodge, Fairview, Dublin - he was noted there in both 1846 and 1880.
In Jersey in May 1854, the death occurred of the wife of Lieutenant-Colonel Creagh, who was noted as the eldest daughter of the late O'Moore of Cloghan Castle.
A great scandal occurred in October 1852 when the 40-yr-old Garrett O'Moore eloped with a Miss Blair, aged 17, who was then living with her mother and stepfather, Captain Meaher.
On 30th August 1864, at Sees, Normandy, Garrett O'Moore, D.L., of Cloghan Castle died aged 52, leaving a widow and young children. The remains were removed to Paris for burial.
All the land, including Cloghan Castle, of Garrett O’Moore, was put up for sale in 1852 by the Encumbered Estates Court and were subsequently purchased by the Graves family of Dublin.
Cloghan Castle was beside the river Shannon, and two miles from Banagher, Offaly. It had an excellent garden and farmyard with coach-house, stables, cow-houses, barn, piggery and fattening houses. The castle’s estate consisted of 5 acres and was advertised as ideal for shooting and fishing.
The Castle had been built in 1200 AD in the time of King John; it was four stories high. It had been taken by Sir William Russell in 1595, the Lord Deputy who put 46 of the garrison to the sword, its owner, O’Madden, having refused to surrender. The castle had been home to the family of Garrett O’Moore since Elizabethan times, he having been banished from Leix in Queen’s County.
The castle had three cellars, hall and pantry, drawing room, state bedroom, 2 other bedrooms, nursery and three servants rooms upstairs. Attached to the castle was a servants’ hall, a large loft and an unfinished water closet. There was also a new three story extension, suitable as a modern residence for a gentleman of fortune.
The adjoining land was divided into 10 separate lots, mostly tenanted by reliable people who paid their rent on time.
In 1856, No. 42 Leeson Street, Dublin, was also put up for sale - Garrett O’Moore had leased it in 1803 along with a John Scott, as trustees of Lady Dunboyne.
About five miles south-east of Cloghan is Ballyboy which was noted in 1814 as the county seat of a Thomas Foster. Portarlington is another 30 miles east of Ballyboy.
I’ll add more to this post as I discover better information....