Descendants of William J. MURPHY (to contribute information, please email

Third Generation

3. William John MURPHY (John , William J. ) was born in 1846 in probably Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He died in 1932 in probably Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

At the time of his second marriage, in 1896, William was living in Old Grange, Clonea, Co. Waterford. Later he and his wife, Mary, lived in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, where William ran The Clonmel Nationalist newspaper, which was established in 1890. He was manager, editor and publisher of the newspaper - and possibly its founder - and it is thought he owned the building in which the newspaper was printed. The paper is still in business and is now just called The Nationalist.  

We know from family sources that William had been studying for a degree in horticulture when he lost a hand in an agricultural accident. Unable to continue his studies he turned to journalism. He was arrested some time later (year unknown) for writing allegedly inflammatory nationalist articles - possibly in The Clonmel Nationalist - which in turn apparently led to an attack of some kind on the Irish parliament by the Irish Parliamentary Party. Unfortunately we have not managed to come across any further details of the incident, and there is a possibility that it was another nationalist journalist at the time named William Martin Murphy (1844-1919) who wrote the articles that led to the attack. However, the Wikipedia page on The Nationalist tells us that "It was formed to represent the views of the nationalist community in Tipperary, which led to the first editor been jailed under the Coercion Act on charges that he had intimidated a cattle dealer for taking a farm from which tenants had been evicted". Any information in this regard, or anything further on our William's involvement in nationalist affairs, would be much appreciated. If you can help, please contact

We do know that our William was influential in getting the statue of "The '98 Man", commemorating those nationalists involved in the 1798 Rebellion, erected in Clonmel. The statue, in front of the town hall, was unveiled in 1904.

William married 'UNKNOWN'. 'UNKNOWN' died before 6 Oct 1896.

William also married Mary Margaret CHEASTY, daughter of John CHEASTY and Brigid FLAHAVAN, on 6 Oct 1896 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Waterford. Mary was born about 12 May 1867 in Co. Waterford. She was christened on 14 May 1867 in Clonea & Rathcormac, Co. Waterford. She died on 21 Dec 1933 in Irishtown, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. She was buried in Clonea, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Waterford.

The sponsor at Mary's baptism was J. Anna Flahavan.

Mary was William's second wife. At the time of her marriage in 1898 Mary was living in Mothel, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Waterford and was working as a housekeeper. According to the 1911 census, Mary and William had had five children born alive, all of whom survived to adulthood.

Marriage Notes:

The witnesses at William and Mary's marriage were Brendan J. Long (an editor at the Clonmel Nationalist newspaper) and Mary Flahavan.

William and Mary had the following children.

  11 F i
Marion Delia MURPHY was born on 19 Jul 1898 in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. She died on 11 May 1983 in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. She was buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

After leaving school Marion went to London to work, living initially in the Kensington/Brook Green area. She later returned to Ireland where she worked as an official in the Office of Public Works. After their marriage in 1936, she and her French husband, Louis, lived in Dublin before moving to London around 1939. Marion and Louis had no children. Marion moved back to Ireland after Louis' death in 1944, living for many years in a flat on St. Stephen's Green. She died at a nursing home in Thurles aged about 85.

It is not known how Marion and Louis met. Apparently Marion was a friend of Louis' sisters but it is not known if she knew them before she met Louis. We do know that Marion received part of her education in France and perhaps she met the sisters through school. Another possibility is that the couple met through Kathleen Clarke, who was Louis' Dublin landlady and a friend of Marion's, but we do not know if the friendship between Marion and Kathleen came about before or after Marion and Louis met. There has also been speculation that they may have met through contact between Louis and Marion's father, a staunch nationalist, in connection with political matters.
Marion married Louis Napoléon LE ROUX on 20 Jul 1936 in St. Andrew's Church, Westland Row, Dublin. Louis was born in 1890 in Pleudaniel, Brittany, France. He died on 5 Aug 1944 in Middlesex Hospital, Marylebone, London. He was buried on 10 Aug 1944 in Surbiton Cemetery, Surrey.

Apparently it was Louis himself who added Napoléon to his first name, and it appears that neither his wife nor the Le Roux family were ever quite sure why he did this. The name given on his marriage and death records is, however, Louis Marie Le Roux.  

Louis was a journalist, author and fervent supporter of the Breton separatist movement. He worked as either a bookkeeper or private secretary to Breton nationalist and writer Taldir Jaffrennou and wrote for a number of Breton separatist publications, including the bilingual (French/Breton) newspaper Ar Bobl of which he was also a sub-editor. In 1911 he co-founded, with Camille Le Mercier d'Erm, the Parti National Breton (Breton Nationalist Party).

It is said that Louis fled France for Switzerland in 1913 to avoid conscription into the French army and that attempts were made to extradite him back to France. However, letters written to a friend, Paul Buchet, whom Louis first met around 1910 when both were doing compulsory military service in Saint-Malo, suggest that this was not the case. The letters, sent from Paris during 1913 and in early 1914, clearly show Louis’ intention to move to England in the near future. There is no mention of conscription or Switzerland, rather there are several references to the English lessons he was taking during 1913 in preparation for the move. He finally decided on 28 January 1914 to move to London the following week, following the end of a love affair with a woman who he felt had treated him badly. Lodgings in London were organised (in the home of a Mrs. Goode of 10 Burnley Road, Stockwell) and there is no reason to indicate he did not make the journey. It is of course possible Louis was conscripted once war broke out, and fled to Switzerland at that point, or maybe attempts were made to extradite him back to France from England.   

Regarding Louis' whereabouts during the war, it is thought that he visited Ireland for the first time in 1914, and we know that he served in the British Army from June 1916 until September 1917 when he was discharged on medical grounds. It is also known that he visited Ireland in 1919 when he spoke at a conference in Dublin hosted by the Irish Literary Society. In 1922 he was still living in London, working as private secretary to the British Labour politician (later prime minister) Ramsay MacDonald, whose papers he was translating into French.

Louis returned to Ireland in 1930 to visit the grave of United Irishmen leader Wolfe Tone (in Bodenstown Cemetery in Co. Kildare). He was still living in London in 1932 and it is thought that he moved to Ireland around 1933, lodging for a number of years in the Dublin home of Kathleen Clarke, widow of Tom Clarke, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. Through republican contacts he found work with the Irish Hospitals' Trust (founded to provide funds, by means of a sweepstake system, for hospitals in Ireland). His job, in the Trust's Foreign Department, apparently involved the clandestine distribution of sweepstake tickets, through a republican network, in the United States where such lotteries were illegal at the time.

It is likely that Louis met Irish-born Marion Murphy, whom he would marry in 1936, shortly before leaving England for Ireland, or very soon therafter, because in 1932 or 1933 he was accompanied by a young Irishwoman on a 'Tro Breizh' pilgrimage in Brittany (that follows a route linking the seven Breton towns associated with Brittany's seven founding saints).

Due to economic cutbacks at the outbreak of World War II, Louis lost his job at the Irish Hospitals' Trust and, in 1939 or 1940, he and Marion reluctantly left Ireland to live in London. There he worked as an assistant to future Conservative prime minister Harold Macmillan. In 1944, however, Louis died following a German bombing raid. There are conflicting accounts of the exact circumstances of his death. According to one family source, Louis suffered a heart attack following a German attack. Another family member has told me he died from head injuries received when a building collapsed during a German raid, while Presse d'Armor journalist Dimitri Rouchon-Borie, in his 2008 article, 'Qui était donc Louis Napoléon Le Roux ?', tells us that Louis was in hospital in London suffering from a severe bout of flu and was killed when a V2 bomb was dropped on the building. And according to Louis' obituary in the Irish Press, he died "after a short illness". What is certain is that Louis died in the Middlesex Hospital in London. His address at the time of his death was 14 Prince of Wales Terrace, Kensington, London.

Louis' best-known work was a biography of Irish nationalist Padraic Pearse, 'L'Irlande Militante : La vie de Patrice Pearse', published in France in 1932 and translated into English shortly afterwards. It is believed the publication of this book may have been a factor in Louis being granted Irish citizenship in 1932. Other published works included several articles for the republican newpaper An Phoblacht in the early 1930s, and the publication in 1936 of 'Tom Clarke and the Irish Freedom Movement'. Louis also compiled a biography of the Limerick Fenian John Daly (an uncle of Kathleen, Tom Clarke’s widow), which remains unpublished.

In 2008 the Irish government purchased Louis' private papers from Marion's family. These documents are historically significant in that they provide fresh material relating to Irish republicanism in the early part of the 20th century. Now in the National Library in Dublin, the papers include correspondence with several leading republicans, including a number of survivors of the 1916 Rising. Many of these correspondents had provided Louis with information for his articles and biographies, but because of the risks to their security, Louis was at the time unable to reveal his sources in his published works; such secrecy is no longer necessary.

Many thanks go to Bob Boles and Didier Longuèvre for much of the above information. Further details on Louis' life and involvement in nationalist affairs may be found in Éamon Ó Ciosáin's article entitled 'La Bretagne et l'Irlande pendant l'entre-deux guerres (Première partie)', published (in French) in the Spring 1988 edition of the Breton historical journal Dalc'homp Soñj.

+ 12 M ii Patrick (Paddy) Joseph MURPHY was born on 15 Mar 1900. He died in 1984.
+ 13 F iii Margaret (Pearlie) M. J. MURPHY was born on 25 Sep 1902. She died about 2004.
+ 14 F iv Alice MURPHY was born on 27 Feb 1905. She died in 1975.
  15 F v
Georgina (Ena) MURPHY was born on 18 Mar 1907 in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. She died in 1975 in Ireland.

Ena moved to England as a young woman. She lived in Chelsea area of London, Chertsey and Esher in Surrey and West Wittering in West Sussex before returning to Ireland after the death of her husband, Toby. Back in Ireland, Ena lived with her brother John in Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
Georgina married John Raymond (Toby) ASHWELL-COOKE, son of John Arthur COOKE and Frances Elizabeth ASHWELL, on 4 Mar 1937 in St. Mary Magdalen's Church, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. John was born on 5 Jan 1907 in Cheshire. He died in 1971 in Horsham, West Sussex.

Toby was born with just the Cooke surname, Ashwell (his mother's maiden name) being a middle name. The Ashwell and Cooke names were later hyphenated, giving a new surname. His mother also used the Ashwell-Cooke name as she died as Frances Ashwell-Cooke. Toby was the youngest son in the Ashwell-Cooke family.

The Electoral Register of 1933 tells us that Toby was living at the time at 4 Half Moon St. in Westminster, London. He and his wife, Ena, married in 1937 in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, where his father was living at the time.

Toby was aviation expert. He was a qualified pilot with his own small plane, a founder of the London Gliding Club and author of a number of technical books on aviation, including 'Motorless Flight' (1932).

Toby and Ena had no children.

  16 M vi
John MURPHY was born on 16 Sep 1911 in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He died in 2006.

John never married. After living for many years in London he returned to Ireland, settling in Greystones, Co. Wicklow with his sister Ena. John died at the age of 95.

8. Mary MURPHY (John , William J. ) was born about 29 Mar 1857 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. She was christened on 29 Mar 1857 in Myshall, Co. Carlow. She died on 2 Apr 1932 in Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

Sponsors at Mary's christening were John MacDonald and Margaret MacDonald.

Mary died of stomach cancer.

Mary married Malachy RYAN, son of Loughlin RYAN and Bridget NOLAN, on 21 Jun 1887 in Dublin North registration district. Malachy was born about 1850 in probably Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He died on 28 Mar 1924 in Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

It is not known if Malachy had siblings.

Like his father before him, Malachy was headmaster of Garryhill School, a primary school located about 100 yards from the cottage where Malachy lived. Malachy also taught Greek and Latin to students wishing to study for the priesthood. He and his family also ran the local post office.

According to the 1911 census, Malachy and his wife, Mary, had been married 23 years and had six children born alive, all six of whom were alive at the time of the census.

Malachy's death certificate tells us that he died of 'senile decay'. His son Loughlin was present when his father died.

They had the following children.

  17 M i
Loughlin RYAN was born on 19 May 1888 in Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He was christened on 20 May 1888 in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. He died on 21 Sep 1955 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He was buried in Drumphea Church Cemetery, Co. Carlow.

Sponsors at Loughlin's baptism were Michael Nolan and Bridget Murphy.

Loughlin, who never married, farmed in Knocklonogad in Garryhill.
  18 M ii
John RYAN was born about 6 Apr 1890 in Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He was christened on 6 Apr 1890 in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. He died on 2 Apr 1916.

Sponsors at John's baptism were Patrick Murphy and Anne McNally.

John became a primary school teacher and taught at Garryhill School for only one year before his death, just short of his 26th birthday.
  19 F iii
Bridget (Bridie) RYAN (Sr. Gertrude) was born about 13 Mar 1892 in Garryhill, Co. Carlow. She was christened on 13 Mar 1892 in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. She died on 4 Oct 1969 in St. Leo's Convent of Mercy, Carlow. She was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Carlow.

Sponsors at Bridie's baptism were Michael Kelly and Bridget Hogan.

Bridie entered the convent, joining the Mercy order and becoming Sr. Gertrude. She lived in Carlow.
+ 20 M iv Thomas (Tom) P. RYAN was born about 22 Jul 1894. He died in early 1940s.
+ 21 F v Mary Brigid RYAN was born on 24 Mar 1898. She died on 18 Nov 1950.
+ 22 M vi Patrick (Paddy) L. RYAN was born about 21 Oct 1900. He died on 16 Apr 1973.

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