by Nick Capriotti
Through genealogical research on Ancestry.com, I was able to find my 11th great grandfather on my father’s side named Henry Cheevers. Ancestry’s hints led me to discover that he died at a location known as “Monkstown Castle” in Dublin Ireland on June 30, 1640. Intrigued by the word “castle,” I decided to search for the castle, and I found that while there is not much left of it, it is a well-known historical monument in Dublin.
The castle was built by Cistercian monks to protect their land likely at some point during the 13thcentury, although the exact timeframe of when it was built is unknown. In 1539, the Monasteries were dissolved, and ownership of the castle was granted to Sir John Travers, master of the royal ordnance. After Sir John’s death in 1562, the castle was passed down to his granddaughter, Mary Travers. Before her death, she gave the castle to Henry Cheevers, who was her sister’s second son. Henry then passed the castle on to his son. Nothing is left of the original structure that was built by the Cistercians, and the ruins that exist today are remnants from the late 15th century.
I was completely shocked to find that my Irish ancestors owned a castle for multiple generations, and I was completely fixated on this unique aspect of my family history.