Walsh - Comte de Serrant - The French Connection
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Walsh de Serrant
Le Raccordement Français (The French Connection)

Following the Jacobite defeat in Ireland by Williamite forces, marked by the capitulation of Limerick in 1691, the pick and flower of the 14,000 Irish troops fighting for the cause of James II (Catholic King of England - deposed in 1688) elected to leave their native land and seek their fortune on the continent of Europe. Nearly 12,000 left for France with their commander General Patrick Sarsfield to join King James in exile. Many went on to fight in Spain, Austria and Russia. In the Austrian Army, 11 different men named Walsh became Field Marshals or Generals there.

Of those who went to France was the family of James Walsh of Ballynacooly in County Kilkenny. James, and/or his son Philip, was cited for having transported King James II on board his ship from Kinsale, County Cork to France in July, 1690. Having forfeited his estates in Kilkenny in 1665, James Walsh was to become a captain in the French navy. His son, Philip (1666-1708), was a shipbuilder in St. Malo, France, and his grandson, Anthony Walsh was famous for transporting the Prince of Wales, Charles Edward Stuart, to Scotland in 1745. For this Anthony (Antione) earned the title of the first Earl Walsh.

This Walsh family was later distinguished in France as Counts and Viscounts "de Serrant." François Jacques (James Francis) Walsh was the son of Philip and a brother to Anthony (above). In 1749, James Francis purchased Le Chateau De Serrant from the Duchese d'Estrees. He obtained recognition of noble birth with his brothers Patrick and Philip in 1754, and was created Comte (Count) de Serrant by Louis XV in 1754/1755.

From the descendants of James Francis (François-jacques) the "Comte de Serrant" lineage extended into the twentieth century. The lineage traces its ancestors back beyond James of Ballynacooly to Walter Walsh of Castle Hoel, and back to Philip Bretnagh (Walsh) who distinguished himself in the Cambro-Norman campaigns in Ireland during the latter part of the twelfth century.

Coat of Arms of Walsh de Serrant en Irlande et en Poitou:
D'argent au chevron de gueules, accompagné de trois phéons de sable.

Comte Walsh de Serrant (birth-death)

1754-1782:   François-jacques Walsh de Serrant (1704-1782)
1782-1817:   Antoine Joseph Philippe Walsh de Serrant (1744-1817)
1817-1825:   Édouard Gauthier Walsh de Serrant (1771-1825)
1831-1836:   Théobald Gauthier Walsh de Serrant (1796-1836)
1836-1843:   Gaston Jean Philippe Walsh de Serrant (1824-1843)
1843-1894:   Ludovic Charles Walsh de Serrant (1831-1894)
1894-1895:   Henry Joseph Albert Walsh de Serrant (1823-1895)
1895-1912:   Paul Walsh de Serrant (1827-1912)
1912-1933: Edgard Walsh de Serrant (1856-1933)
1933-1967:   Patrice Walsh de Serrant (1886-1967)
1967-2002:   Albéric Walsh de Serrant (1920-2002)
2002:   Paul-Antoine Walsh de Serrant (1959- )

Walsh of Ballynacooly

The Walshs of Ballynacooly, County Kilkenny, Ireland were descended from the Walshs of Castlehale. Among the sons of Walter Walsh of Castlehale (died 1619) and Ellice Butler was a third son named James Walsh. James of Ballynacooly was born in the late 1500's and married Anne, the daughter of John Tobin of Cumshinagh. Their son, Richard Walsh of Ballynacooly, who was still living in 1638, married Elizabeth Sutton, daughter of Thomas. The eldest son of Richard and Elizabeth, Patrick, was disinherited (for reasons unknown to this author) from the family estate, and in turn another son, John Walsh of Ballynacooly succeeded his elder brother Patrick. John married Mary Schattick, daughter of Thomas, and it was their son James Walsh of Ballynacooly who lived to see his estates forfeited in 1665 after the time of Cromwell's invasion. James, mentioned at the top of this page, was a Captain in the French navy, having adopted that country following the defeat of Charles II.

A Possible Walsh de Serrant Genealogie

 1 Philip Bretnagh, a nephew of Rees ap Griffith, Prince of South Wales  
 2 Howel (or Hoyle) Bretnagh, who built Castle Hoel
 3 Griffin Bretnagh  
 4 Adam Bretnagh (1st degree) m. Catherin BURKE 
 5 Walter Bretnagh !1327 of Castelhowel m. Cecilia O'DEMPSIE
 6 Robert Bretnagh of Castelhowell m. Eleanor O'CAROLL
 7 Philip Bretnagh of Castelhowell m. Mary O'CONNOR
 8 Walter Bretnagh of Castelhowell m. Catherine BUTLER
 9 Edmund Bretnagh Walsh +1443 m. Joan BUTLER of Poulisherry
10 Robert Bretnagh Walsh +10/12/1501 m. Catherin POWER of Donhill
11 Walter Walsh of Castelhowell +1537  
12 Edmund Bretnagh Walsh, m. 1° ??, m. 2° Margaret FITZGERALD +1560, d. of the earl of Kildare's second son
13 Robert Walsh, lord Shancahir +18/10/1557, m. Helen Tobin of Cumshinagh
14 Walter Walsh +1619, m. Ellis Butler, d. of 1st Viscount of Mountgarret
15 James Walsh of Ballynacooly, m. Anne Tobin of Cumshinagh 
16 Richard Walsh of Ballynacooly, m. Elizabeth Sutton
17 John Walsh of Ballynacooly, m. Mary Schattick
18 James Walsh of Ballynacooly, m. Margaret Walsh of Carrickmines
19 Philip Walsh +1708, m. Anne Whyte
20 Anthony or Antoine, Earl Walsh +1763, m. Marie O'Sheill of Nantes
20 James Francis or François Jacques Walsh, 1st Comte de Serrant +1782, m. Mary Harper
A Royalist Family and Charles Edward Stuart, Edinburgh, William Brown, 1904.

The preceding article was compiled by Dennis J. Walsh, © 2009

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Monday, 24-Aug-2009 20:28:24 MDT