Bowles DNA Project
Lord Bandon of Cork
An Exploration of Possible Connections Between The Lords of Bandon and The Gaggin Family of County Cork
Back to John Boles GagginJohn Boles Gaggin of county Cork was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Cork Artillery commanded by The Earl of Bandon. Although the Earl was four levels of command higher than Gaggin he nevertheless wrote a personal letter of reference for Gaggin vouching for his character and for the family he represented. That indicates that Lord Bandon may have had a closer connection to John Boles Gaggin than merely as his military commander. Gaggin's connection to Lord Bandon is an interesting area of exploration. The History of Bandon (county Cork) by George Bennett gives us some clues. The History contains a list of Depositions for the year 1641/42 which includes a reference to Gaggin as a townland name in Bandon parish. A reference to a Deed Memorial from 1708 mentions the sale of several townlands including Gaggin by the widow of Thomas Gookin. Gookin, being fairly similar, may have been the original form of the Gaggin family name. The Gookin family was well established in the area which included the Gaggin townland. In 1641, during William Barry's revolt, he drove away sheep and cattle belonging to Mr. Gookin. In 1649 a Captain Gookin was involved in the turning over of Bandon to Cromwell's forces. "Amongst those in this county who broke off all connection with the Royal cause, were:- Sir Hardress Waller, commander of Cork city; Captain Muschamp, commander of the Cork garrison; Thomas Bennett, governor of Baltimore Castle; Robert Salmon, of Castlehaven Castle; and Captain Robert Gookin." In 1656 Captain Robert Gookin received a grant of Abbey-Mahon and a total of 26 ploughlands in the vicinity under Cromwell's redistribution of land. ref. In the 1680's and 1690's Thomas Gookin was the Sovereign and Charles Gookin was the Burgess of the Borough of Clonakilty, co. Cork. The family continued to hold the Abbey-Mahon land under a lease from Lord Orrey until 1760. Esther Smith, the relict of Major Gookin died in 1780. This line had two sons Robert and Waller but both died childless. On Robert's death, the Gookin property was passed to the Smith family and then by marriage to the Bernard family who became the Earls of Bandon. If the Gaggins were connected to the Gookins that would provide a family connection between John Boles Gaggin and Lord Bandon. There is no mention of Gaggin as a surname in The History of Bandon, just as a townland name, but the surname was almost certainly connected to the townland name in some way as it does not seem to occur anywhere else in Ireland. In the Ballymodan Census of 1834 The Hon. William Bernard was resident at Gaggin townland and Lord Bandon lived nearby at Castle Bernard House. http://www.bandon-genealogy.com/ballymodan_protestant_census_1834.htm Supporting references from Chapter 12 and Chapter 22 of The History of Bandon
These passages document the end of the direct line of descent from Sir Vincent Gookin by 1760 after which the Gookin name became virtually extinct in county Cork. A look at The Family tree of the Gookins of Cork shows that there would also have been several minor lines of descent from Sir Vincent as well as descendants in his brother Daniel Gookin's line. But where did they all go? It's my belief that one of them may have resulted in the Gaggin family. One of those minor Gookins, Charles, received a land grant at Shanagarry in East Cork from William Penn in 1692. That is just where we find the earliest Gaggin references. So now we have the Gookin family connected to just two locations in Ireland, one in West Cork and one in East Cork, and the Gaggin name (as a townland in West Cork and as a surname in East Cork) occurring in the same two locations.