A Pictorial Essay

A Pictorial Essay 

    While delving into my files for research data pertinent to upcoming articles for The Breakey Collection I have happened upon several photographs that may be of interest to family members.  I will include them in this ‘photo album’ and add to the collection as more photographs come to hand.

    Further, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Ken Breakey, Portadown, Northern Ireland, for his unceasing effort and unfailing support in researching the 'clan' of Breakey.

                                                                                                Marilyn J. Breakey



Lisgillan House

Allegedly  the first [1692] Breakey homestead in County Monaghan.   

(Photographer,  source of photo and date of receipt to author is not noted.  Thatched roof is clearly evident in original photograph.)

[Editor's note: In 1983 Ian and Hazel Breakey, Breakeyville, Quebec, sent the author a packet of personal correspondence from their files. One item of correspondence, dated 9 February 1943,  was to an unidentified  Mr. Breakey from James C. Breakey, Elmore Road, Sheffield, England.  Mr. J. C. Breakey relates:  "Some time ago, I was for the first time in my life, in the old homes of our people outside the town of Ballybay in Co. Monaghan.  One of these houses is not so ancient, about 1717. The other - my branch of the family - is very ancient, it is a long high thatched house with a huge ingle-nook in the kitchen.  It has every appearance of being some three hundred years old and is said by Tom Breakey of the diary to have been built in 1692.  I can well believe this.  They are both inhabited by Breakeys, but there are no young people and one fears that in a short time these old houses may pass to strangers."]

Although no date has been provided for the event, Peadar Murnane reports that "Lisgillen was demolished because it became dilapidated" (personal correspondence to author, 26 April 2003).



      Drumskelt House built 1717

Courtesy of  Ken Breakey, photographer,  to author, October 2001.

(Ken relates: "Drumskelt House front and back; it was modernized therefore does not look as old as it is.")


Balladian Land

Courtesy of  Ken Breakey, photographer,  to author, November 2001.

Allegedly the site of the original (early 1700) Breakey homestead in Balladian.

(Ken relates: "Photo view of land where the house stood; looking from site of current bungalow which stands on top of old site.")

According to Murnane & Murnane,  "Balladian - OS. XVIII. 16.  XIX. 13  No.5 on Map. No townland of this name is mentioned on any of the old maps.  The original name was 'Dereneling', as stated on Jackson's Survey Map.  It is in the ballybetagh of Ballyloghlaghin, barony of Cremorne.  It is difficult to link the meaning of both names." From At the Ford of the Birches - The History of Ballybay, its People and Vicinity (p. 7) by Murnane, James H. & Murnane, Peadar. 1999, Monaghan, Ireland: Murnane Brothers. Reprinted by permission.


Breakey Crossroads and Breakey Bridge, County Meath

Courtesy of  Ken Breakey, photographer,  to author, October 2001.

Breakey Lough (Lake), County Meath

Courtesy of  Ken Breakey, photographer,  to author, October 2001.

Breakey Lough Little, County Meath

Courtesy of Ken Breakey, photographer, to author, October 2001.

[Editor's Note follows.]

Early family research has long associated the Breakey Crossroads, Breakey Bridge, and the townland of Bawnbreakey, all in County Meath, Ireland, with early Breakey families living in that county.  However, more current research has shown this may not be the case.

During his 1984 visit in Ireland, while researching his own Breakey family origins, Loyd 'Jack' Breakey researched a topic of interest for me: the origin of the townland known as  Bawnbreakey. The following is taken from personal correspondence to the author dated 1 June 1984, dateline Dublin:

"A librarian in Navan, Co. Meath, solved the final research problem for me.

First we had to identify the parish (civil) containing Bawnbreakey - it is Moybolque. Then he went to work in earnest.

In Ordnance Survey Field Name Book 3 of the County of Meath 1835 - 1836, #107, page 979, Parish of Moybolque regarding townland of Bawnbreakey, J. O'Donovan, a noted linguist and historian wrote, 'Bawnbreakey, Badhbhdhún Bréach-mhuighe, the Bawn (an enclosure) of Breachmhagh, i.e. of the wolf-field.  Bawnbreaghey is the ancient name, but custom now declares in favor of Bawnbreakey.'  The librarian then added that the lakes, bridge and crossroads carry the name of the townland.

I left Navan, thinking I would go photo them anyway, but finally gave up on Irish roads and headed for the Valley of the Boyne...then had the car back by the deadline."


The Valley of the  Boyne

Courtesy of Ken Breakey, photographer, to author, November 2001.

Bridge over the River Boyne from 'Williamite Encampment' side of the river

Courtesy of Ken Breakey, photographer, to author, November 2001.


The River Boyne

Courtesy of Ken Breakey, photographer, to author, December 2001