THE GUIDER FAMILY OF IRELAND 
AND THE UNITED STATES: 1994

 

Based on an original chart provided by John Byrne and on research provided by David Bakewell, John Bryden, James Meehan, James Ryan, and Karl Siewers.

 

Prepared by Karl Siewers

 

In the 1840's, six energized Irish giants, and their mother, made the quantum leap from Ireland to America, built neighboring log cabins (or other style houses) in Iowa's Allamakee County, and created a new life style for themselves and their descendants. The six were John, Ann, Michael, Margaret, Daniel and James Guider and their mother Anna Whelan Guider. Their father Michael (b.1785) had recently died during the Irish Potato Famine, which was then rampant, and the son (Thomas Guider) of their father's first marriage seems to have inherited their father's small landholding; their oldest brother of the second marriage (Patrick Guider, b.1819) remained in Ireland, perhaps receiving a share of their father's estate. An eighth brother William Guider (b.1830) died young in Ireland, probably in the 1830's.

 

The accompanying genealogical clan chart contains the 1,000 descendants of the six Guider adventurers that landed in Allamakee County, Iowa USA, and a very small part (100) of the very extensive number of identified and chronicled relatives in Ireland. In travelling to Allamakee County the adventurers probably took various paths across the United States. For example, John Guider's daughter Ann, who later married James Curran, is said to have been born in Kentucky, and Margaret Guider (b.1826) was married to Patrick Ryan in Cincinnati [presumably enroute to Heffron's Landing near Wexford, Iowa]. But they ended up so that in 1872 five of them had adjoining farms in Lafayette Township of Allamakee County and one (Margaret) had a farm in nearby Taylor Township.

 

Where ever they first landed they probably built log cabins; it is known, for example, that Margaret Guider's husband (Patrick Ryan) built a log cabin on his farm and that Margaret's children were born in this log cabin. The locations of these six farms in 1872 are shown in the accompanying maps; with the maps there is a description of the further evolution of the locations of the farms.

 

James Meehan (a Guider descendant) of Ireland has done a great amount of research on the history of the Guider family (sometimes spelled "Guidera" by some members of the family in Ireland); he interviewed just about everybody in Ireland who might have known anything about the family. In 1993, James Meehan met with John Bryden (also a Guider descendant) of England who has also done very extensive research on the Guider family. James Meehan and John Bryden pooled their information and came up with the following historical summary:

James Meehan has gleaned that the original Guiders in Ireland came from France and were gardners. There are three possibilities regarding their traveling to Ireland - 1) either they were actual working gardners who might have been Huguenot refugees (although this does not seem a strong possibility); or, 2) they worked for a nobleman who had estates both in France and Ireland; or, 3) they might have been landscapers brought to work on a big estate.

Also, John Bryden has found a belief among Irish Guiders that all branches that have developed in the last 200 years or so, are descended from a family that lived at Knock, near Roscrea, around the early 18th century. Furthermore, close comparison by John Bryden, of large numbers of photographs of Australian Guiders, Irish Guiders and U.S. Guiders have shown remarkable physical similarities, to such an extent that there can be but little doubt that all are related.

The oldest known Guider ancestor or relative of John Bryden was Michael Guider (b.1785) who had a brother, John. They came from Knock to Graffin/Clonmore in the early 1800's. It is possible that they may have gotten their land, or the money to pay for it, by being bailiffs or stewards for some wealthy landowner. Their father, probably "Thomas" or "Patrick", because of the names they gave their own sons [a standard practice in that time], almost certainly had one brother, possibly called "Tim" or "Michael", and probably other brothers. These other brothers and/or their uncles, may well account for the other Guider family branches. This "Tim" or "Michael" is certainly the ancestor of the current Knock Guiders (of which James Meehan is part).

[Ed. Note: John Egan, also a Guider/Clarke descendant, and a Tipperary County Commissioner, is the present owner of Inch House, which has been a residence of the Ryan, Guider, Ragget, Fogarty clans as far back as the late 1600's. Jim Ryan's research obtained from James Conden of Thurles (a Ryan descendant) locates a Nicholas Ryan (b.ca.1650), son of Daniel Ryan (b.ca.1630) and Frances Ragget (whose will was probated July 1706), and her father was Patrick Ragget of Inch House, Tipperary. Again, because of name similarity and geographical location, we reasonably believe that this Nicholas could have been the gr., gr., gr., grandfather of our Nicholas Ryan. And that Ryan lineage goes back to the 1500's!;JMR]

John Bryden has compiled a chart (included in these exhibits) to show the relationships between the various Guider branches they have researched.

Regarding the Ireland landholdings of Michael Guider (b.1785), it is thought that he perhaps shared 11 acres of land at Graffin Townland near Clonmore with his brother John.

 

[Ed Note: The Tithe Applotment Records of 1827 (copy in exhibits) definitely shows the 11 acres of John & Michael Guider as lot #76 of Graffin Townland. Additional specific plots are listed for Jim Ryan (#74), Widow Whelan (#80), John & Widow Whelan (#84), James Whelan (#85), Dennis Whelan (#86), and John Whelan (#88). In addition the Primary Valuation of Tenements records of 1859 for Graffin Townland show numerous Occupiers and Lessors of Ginders (common misspelling of handwritten "Guider"), Ryans, Whelans, Phelans (misspelling of Whelan), etc. Ordnance Survey maps obtained at the Land Office in Dublin show the specific locations of each of these holdings. JMR]

A poignant story: Anna Whelan Guider (b.Tipperary,IRE), the mother of eight children, including Margaret Guider (b.1826,Clonmore), died in Allamakee County, Iowa in the early 1860's, in the farm home of her son James, who at that time was unmarried; she is buried in the Wexford Cemetery. Her grandson, Michael Guider (b.1856), a small boy at the time (the son of Anna's son John, who lived across the road from James's farm) slept with his grandmother the night she died; he had only one boot on when he discovered her death and ran all the way home with one boot.

(File: GUIDER)