Seskin (or Sheskin as it is written in the Census) is on the south-western side of Carrick Beg and it’s elevated location commands a spectacular view over the town. It is accessed by the road travelling parallel to the Coolnamuck Rd. on the way to Ballyknock. Like many of the other Dowley families in the Carrick-on-Suir area, the Seskin Dowleys were farmers.
However, I have only limited information on the Seskin family and some of this information can not be verified. It is assumed that they were a separated branch of the Carrick Dowleys and not related to the other seven families. Most of the information on the Seskin Dowleys has been obtained from the family grave adjoining St. Mollerans’s Church in Carrick-Beg and the census of 1901 and 1911. At the time of the 1911 census there were thirteen houses in the Seskin area and the Dowleys were the second largest house after J. Ernest Grubb. The 1911 census also confirms that they had a large number of farm buildings and three servants. This, together with an imposing tombstone in St. Mollerans would suggest that they were a relative affluent family.
Patrick Dowley (1795-1859): This first Seskin Dowley that we have information is Patrick who was born in 1795. From the inscription on the gravestone in St. Mollerans we know that he was married and had at least one son, Fr. John Dowley. What is strange is that the name of Patrick’s wife is not included on this gravestone. The fact that there were further generations of Seskin Dowleys confirms that there was another son and we assume that this was Michael.
Michael Dowley (1800-1859): The inscription on the gravestone confirms that Michael was Patrick’s brother. Michael lived in Carrick-on-Suir rather than Seskin and we assume that he was single.
John Dowley (1826-1894): John became a catholic priest in the Dioceses of Waterford and Lismore. He was appointed as parish priest to the Dunhill/Fenor parish on January 3rd, 1875. He was responsible for building the Parochial House and Church in Dunhill as well as the teachers house and Church in Fenor. He died in 1894 (registered in Kilmacthomas) and is buried in Dunhill.
Michael Dowley (????-????): I am assuming that John’s younger brother was Michael and I am further assuming that he is the same Michael that married Anne Carroll in Clonmel in 1864. What is strange is that neither appear on the family grave in St. Mollerans. Whoever the parents were, they had five children (Bridie, Patrick, Mary Anne, Allice and Nellie).
Patrick Dowley (1869-1932): Patrick was the only son in the family and was given as a farmer and head of the family in the 1911 census. The same census gives Patrick as 42 years old and single. As he was still unmarried at this late stage in his life and was living with two sisters I can only assume that he remained single and that this was the end of the Dowley line in Seskin.
The Female Seskin Dowleys: According to the 1911 census, Bridget and Mary were both single and living with their brother Pat. As they were 44 and 39 years old respectively it is unlikely that they ever married. Alice appears only in the 1901 census and may have subsequently got married. As Nellie does not appear in either census it can be assumed that she had died or was already married by 1901.
Leslie J. Dowley