The Guider Family Of North Tipperary
Amboseli, England, 1990
Ever since I became interested in Family History,I have been particularly intrigued by the surname of one of my Irish Great-Grandmothers, Mary GUIDER. This is partly because of the rarity of the name and also to the fact that a relation on this side of the family, has two
separate lines of GUIDER descent, through her father John Guider, and her maternal Grandmother, Mary Guider (my Great-Grandmother).
Additionally, there are a number of rather romantic Family Stories about origins from French Huguenots or survivors from the Spanish Armada! These may well be possibilities as there are recorded instances of the name Guider or one of its more common variants, Guidera, in Spain from the 13th C. onwards and in France, Germany etc from the 15th C.
Since starting my research, I have discovered that some years ago a distant Guider relation wrote a historical novel set in the Penal Times in Ireland called The Big Wind, in which the Guider family appears.I have been told that this novel was based, at least partly, on historical research, but I have not yet been able to follow this up.
Discussions with family members have,unfortunately revealed very little about the family before the First World War, other than the fact that there are a variety of spellings of the name- but this will be common experience for all Family Historians.
I was fortunate that my Mary Guider did not marry until 1873 and so I was able to get a copy of her Marriage Certificate from Dublin. Civil Registration of BMDs did not effectively start in Ireland until 1864, although some earlier Protestant Marriages were recorded by the Civil Authorities. This birth certificate told me that Mary's father was Thomas Guider-Farmer.
At the same time I was able to examine in London a microfilm of the Census of Ireland for 1901 (N. Tipperary), the earliest complete Census of Ireland to survive the 1922 Civil War. This was obtained through the Mormon Family History Library in South Kensington whose
staff have been most helpful and who have, or can obtain microfilms of many other Irish Church or Civil records.
I extracted all Guider and variant entries from the 1901 Census for a large area of N.Tipperary - some 15 separate households, and from discussions with relatives was able to identify many of them as being directly related to me and to each other. In the absence of Census returns for Ireland pre-l90l, the Griffiths Valuation of 1850/51 and the Tithe Applotment Land Valuation returns of 1815-30 are extremely useful to Family Historians, especially those interested in relatively rare names in the areas concerned. These list the names of all owners and occupier/tenants of land throughout Ireland by Civil Parish and Townland. Also valuable are the Poor Law Rating lists. The Mormon libraries have or can obtain copies of all of these records.
In my case, these records revealed two groups of GUIDER families in adjacent Tipperary Civil Parishes, Bourney and Killavinoge (now known as Clonmore), this was consistent with previous findings. Note that many modern R.C. Parish boundaries are often co-terminous with the old Civil parish boundaries, themselves derived from the Pre-Reformation Parish boundaries.
In my research, little more could be done without a visit to Ireland. While there, various graveyards were searched for monumental inscriptions, and very useful information was obtained.
However I learned later, that in the area concerned there are a number of little known graveyards which are well off the beaten track, where almost certainly there are ancestors buried! - Work here for the next visit!.
The District Registrar of ENDs in Thurles was most helpful and I spent an absorbing day being allowed to search all the original Registers of BMDs for the District, going back to 1864. This yielded much data, including the rather poignant experience of seeing the original signatures of Grandparents I had never known.I was able to obtain from this source, quite a lot of data on Guiders who had been born before 1800.
However, for R.C.families in Ireland, as mine are, the main source of information for Family History in the 19th. C. is the relevant R.C. Parish Register(s). Fortunately, for the northernmost Deanery of the Arch Diocese of Cashel, which includes much of the area where the Guiders lived, all the R.C. Parish Registers of Baptisms and Marriages have been transcribed and indexed, and can be inspected, also in Thurles.
I was thus able to extract all Guider entries back to ca. 1915 for Clonmore (Templemore R.C.Parish and adjacent Parishes. The R.C. parish of Bourney, however lies in the Diocese of Killaloe, and I have not yet been able to get access to the relevant Parish Registers.
From all the above information I was able to trace my ancestry back to a Michael Guider (3x Great-Grandfather) who appeared to have been born before 1790, and to trace most of the main branches of the family down to the present day I have not yet, however, been able to find the link with the Guiders of the Bourney area. Most of the Guiders I have been able to contact say that they were told by older generations, that all the Guiders originated in the Bourney area.
The story does not end there. In 1987 I entered my Guider interest in the 1988 Genealogical Research Directory, and when this was published was disappointed to find that my entry was the only one for that name.
In the meantime I noted that my ancestor Michael Guider had married twice. He had one son, Thomas,from whom I descend, and at least 8 children by his second marriage.
However apart from the records of the second marriage and the subsequent baptisms, I could find nothing more about this second family, none of them seem to have died or married or done anything in the area. Out of the blue I had a letter from a Guider family in
Australia, in belated response to my GRD entry. So far we have been unable to establish a connection between our two families even though their respective ancestors were living only 6 miles apart in N.Tipperary in the 1840's.
They did however give me the name of an American they had been in contact with, without success, who was interested in Guiders associated with The Devil's Bit. This I knew was a local landmark near my mother's home town so I was quite excited.
On making contact with the U.S.A., I found that the person concerned was at the centre of a group of Family Historians who were all descended from, or were related to, 3x Great-Grandfather Michael's second marriage.
Apparently, on his death, my ancestor Thomas, inherited his father's small landholding, and Michael's second wife and her children emigrated to Iowa, U.S.A., at the time of the Great Irish Famine.
The remarkable thing is that my American relations have done no work at all on Irish records, but the original emigrants took information with them, which their descendants had preserved and it tallies in every detail with the work I have done from The Irish Records.
I have learned that Michael Guider was born in 1785, but not unfortunately who his parents were. The American researchers have amassed details of virtually every single descendant of the original Guider immigrants- there are hundreds, if not thousands of them, and I have been sent a computer print-out, listing all of them, which is over 30ft. long!
I have also been sent large numbers of press cuttings and photographs. Close examination of these, and comparison of them with photographs of my own Guider relations and of the Australian Guiders, shows remarkable physical similarities, to such an extent that there can be but little doubt that all are related. This gives credence to the belief among the Irish Guiders that all branches that have developed in the last 200 years or so, are descended from a family who lived at Knock, near Roscrea, around the early 18th C.
Irish Catholic Family History is notoriously difficult before the start of the R.C. Parish registers ca. l800,with very few before then and some starting later. However there are a number of other known sources as yet largely untapped by me, e.g. the Registry of
Deeds and the Wills, both in Dublin, and I have a splendid base of information from which to work so there are some hopes of further progress.
One intriguing piece of information has recently come to light the list of the Popish inhabitants of the Barony of Ikerrin for 1768 lists one Tady Guidry living in the Bourney Civil Parish - could he be a Guider ancestor??
In conclusion, perhaps I should mention that I am also working on other families in my mother's ancestry in the same area, namely the Ryans of Templemore and Loughmore, the Burkes of Loughmore, the Clarkes, Delahuntys and Mernes of Clonmore and the Ryans of Graffin. I would be be pleased to hear from any readers researching in these
names or areas.
John A.Bryden 1990.
Warlingham, Surrey, England