By Lawrence B. Christmas©


February, 2007    

Captain Thomas Christmas (1622-1703/4) was a pivotal character in the Christmas family history.  He made his mark by establishing, in the mid 1600’s, what was to become the prosperous and socially prominent Waterford (Ireland) branch of the family.  In this respect, he set a precedent for his descendent, Capt. John Christmas, who in the 1790’s, established the notable Danish branch of the Christmas family.  Their stories are similar too in that each man lived through periods of war.  

Thomas Christmas was christened in Guildford, Surrey, England in 1622.[1]  He married Elizabeth Gamon of Barnstaple who bore him nine children.  Thomas, too, was  one of nine children including an older brother, Richard, who was a Bristol merchant with business interests in Waterford, Ireland.   

Burke’s Irish Landed Gentry, 1863, page 245, contains the following passage:  

            “Thomas Christmas of Waterford, merchant, mayor of that city in 1664, and high-sheriff of the county of Waterford, 1678, made his will 30 May, 1699, and it was proved 16 Feb. 1704.  

An article in the U.K.’s Country Life[2] magazine contained the following reference to the Christmas family of Ireland:  

“Both houses at Whitfield were built by the Christmases, a family of Waterford merchants turned country gentlemen.  Their place of origin was Bristol, a city which for many centuries had a close trading connection with the City of Waterford.  In 1656 Richard Christmas, merchant of Bristol, petitioned the government to allow his Waterford representative Edward Browne, “Irish Papist,” to stay in the town.  This was during the Cromwellian period when, in theory at any rate, all Catholics had been expelled from Waterford.  The effect on its population was disastrous, and a determined effort was made to attract English settlers to the half-deserted town.  Browne seems to have got his permit[3] (he was still in Waterford in 1663), but in addition one of the Christmas family crossed over and settled permanently in Ireland.”  

“In a survey of the City of Waterford made about 1663, Thomas Christmas (probably the son of Richard[4]) is shown owning considerable house property.  It included “a dwelling house at ye East End of ye key, stone walls and slated” which no doubt was where he lived.  He prospered in Waterford, and was elected mayor in 1664; his son Richard was mayor in 1695 and MP for the City from 1695 to 1713; his grandson Thomas was mayor in 1715 and 1725 and followed his father as MP for the city.  The Christmases achieved the traditional social climb: they made a fortune as merchants, invested it in land, cut their links with trade and became “county” rather than “city.”  

            While Thomas was clearly identified as a “merchant” this did not mean he could not also present himself as a “gentleman.”  One historian writes: “That a man might be a merchant and a gentleman or an esquire was still debatable ground in the early 17th century, but it was not a new thing.”[5]  Among the many references to Thomas in  the Council Records of the Corporation of Waterford 1662-1700,   the title “Esq.” was used, although infrequently.   In that document he was normally identified as Alderman Thomas Christmas while the clerk or recorder, in later years, often substituted the title “captain”.                        

             According to the “Country Life” article, Thomas’ first child, Richard, purchased Whitfield Court outside Waterford.  The property was once the site of a castle and, later, of the first Whitfield mansion built by Richard Christmas and then abandoned when a main road from Waterford was built nearby.  A second mansion, built in the 1840’s and described in detail in the “Country Life” article, still existed in 2005 within the same large property.  It was scheduled to become a clubhouse for a new golf course and residential development then under construction.


Thomas in the English Civil War (1642-1651) ? 

            It is not known when Thomas first arrived at Barnstaple, where he presumably met his wife to be.  If he arrived in Barnstaple during the 1640’s, it might have been in time for him to participate in either or both of the two major English Civil War battles fought in that area.  First was the Battle of Stratton of May 16, 1643 in which Hopton’s Cornish army defeated the Parliamentarians from Devonshire.   Second was the Battle of Torrington of February 16, 1646 in which the Royalists were defeated.  Fought within 25 miles of Barnstaple, this second battle proved practically fatal to the Royalist cause in the west of England.[6]   

It is also possible that Thomas was involved in the important Royalist’ victory at Bristol in July of 1643 since that is where his older brother lived.   But since the first child of Thomas and Elizabeth was supposedly not born until 1661, Thomas’ first meeting with Elizabeth (and his first visit to Barnstaple) may not have taken place until the late 1650’s, well after the above mentioned battles (no record of their marriage has yet been found).    

One can speculate that the first meeting between Thomas and Elizabeth took place as a result of his activities as a merchant in Waterford.  Having established himself in Waterford in the 1640’s and 50’s, and following the example of his older brother who was engaged in trading between Bristol and Waterford,  Thomas may have met Elizabeth while trading from his base in Waterford with merchants in the English port city of Barnstaple.  This theory is supported by the article in Notes and Queries stating that Thomas’ father-in-law, James Gamon, was a Barnstaple merchant.  Certainly the business connections between Thomas’ family and Barnstaple remained strong as evidenced by the number of his children who eventually settled there.  

Finally, The National Archives at Kew has a web page which gives a number of sources listing Civil War soldiers. [7]   An examination of these sources may reveal whether Thomas fought in the English Civil War.


Thomas in the “Wars of  Ireland? (1641-1649)?

Whether or not Thomas participated in the English Civil War, evidence that he served in the military in Ireland at some time in the 1640’s is found in Burke’s Irish Landed Gentry[8]    Section 10 ,  The “’Forty-Nine” Officers,  lists a “Thomas Christmas, merchant,” as among those who benefited from “adjudications (regarding) the Arrears of the Commissioned Officers who served Charles II, or Charles I, in the Wars of Ireland, before the 5th day of June 1649.”   

            Another source presented the matter a little differently:  

 “According to (Charles II’ declaration of 1660) the “adventurers,” the officers and men of the Parliamentary army retained their possessions in Ireland, while officers in Ormonde’s Royalist army, who had served under him up to 1649 (hence the term “forty-nine officers; in that year the majority of the defeated English Royalists left Ireland and the resistance to Cromwell’s troops was continued mainly by Irish rebels), received compensation out of the same fund of confiscated Irish lands.”[9]  

            Thomas’ activities from 1640 to 1649 must remain a matter of speculation. But one can at least contemplate the political environment in which Thomas would have found himself in Waterford during that period.  

            “In the eleventh and succeeding centuries the merchants in the towns, both on the continent and in England, consistently and staunchly supported the monarchy in its struggle against the feudal magnates. The power of those magnates was in the end effectively curbed by the alliance between king and merchants, the king’s peace was increasingly established throughout the land, and the merchants were  assured of the conditions of law and order necessary to the pursuit and expansion of their trading activities. The monarchs expressed their gratitude to the towns by means of charters whose primary purpose was the stimulation of trade, and the towns remained faithful and unwavering in their support of and to loyalty to the monarch. . . . .”  

            “Waterford fits perfectly into this pattern of loyalty to and patronage by the crown.  . . . Like their fellow-colonists, the lords and gentry of the Pale, they reluctantly joined hands with the Irish forces in the 1640’, holding their city for their king, undeviating in their loyalty amid the maelstrom of the confused and contradictory policies of the Confederate period.  They successfully withstood a siege by the parliamentary army under Cromwell, but were compelled to surrender to Ireton in the following year, 1650.” [10]  

             One can also study the history of the Civil War in Ireland in order to get a sense of what Thomas may have faced during that tumultuous period.  What follows in that regard, except where otherwise indicated, was taken from Ireland from Independence to Occupation: 1641-1660, edited by Jane Ohlmeyer (Cambridge 1995.)  

The dates of Thomas’ arrival and departure from Ireland during the decade of the 1640’s would have made a substantial difference in regard to the nature of his experiences there.  There were, in fact, four different armies waging war in Ireland during this period:  the Irish Confederates forces composed of  Irish and “old English” Catholics,  the 12th Earl of Ormonde’s (Protestant) Royalist army, the Parliamentary forces led by Cromwell and others in Ireland, and armies sent from Scotland (the Protestant Royalists and/or Convenanters.)  

Had Thomas been present in Ireland beginning October of 1641 (he would have been only 19 years of age) he might have witnessed the Irish Catholic uprising during which Protestant settlers all over Ireland were under attack.  According to a BBC history web page, current estimates of Protestant deaths during the uprising, including both civilians and combatants, have been set at 12,000.  But had Thomas been living in Waterford at that time, he probably would have been relatively safe as most of the attacks took place in more rural settings and in the northern province of Ulster.  Thereafter and until September of 1643 when a cease-fire was agreed to between the Earl of Ormonde, representing Charles I, and the Irish Catholic Confederates, Thomas might have experienced actual combat.  

After 1643 and until 1649 when Ormonde’s army joined forces with the Irish Confederates against a Parliamentarian army stationed in Dublin, Thomas might have avoided combat simply because Ormande’s forces “engaged in little fighting after 1643.”[11]   However, Ormande’s Royalists did see action outside Dublin later in 1649.  

In fact, had Thomas been an officer in Ormonde’s army in 1649 he could have participated in the Battle of Rathmines and Baggotrath wherein the Royalists and their Irish Catholic allies were soundly defeated on the outskirts of Dublin by a smaller but more disciplined force of Parliamentarians.  Or later, Thomas might have been in Waterford when it was successfully enduring a siege by Cromwell’s forces only to be defeated soon after by Ireton’s army.  

While the initial attacks by Cromwell’s invading army upon Drogheda and Wexford have been aptly described as massacres, the later siege of Waterford was thwarted largely due to disease and food shortages suffered by the Cromwellians.  It was not until the following year that Waterford surrendered.  Major General Ireton, leader of the attacking force, later reported:  

“There marched out about 700 men, well armed, and townsmen more numerous than we believed, and the town better fortified in all parts and more difficult to attempt than our forces conceived, there being many stores sufficient to have maintained them a longer time.”[12]  

Given that Thomas has been identified among the “49 Officers” as a “merchant,” in a listing prepared after the Restoration, suggests the possibility that during the 1640’s he served in a supply capacity rather than as a combatant.   As noted earlier,  the records of the Waterford Corporation sometimes identified him as “Captain.”  Apparently this was a reference to his officer rank in the Royalist Army.  

            It may be significant that among the family possessions passed down from the Christmas family of Waterford to relatives living in Canada was a portrait of a “Lady Ormande.” The portrait is now in the possession of Marion Achurch  – a photocopy of which can be found in the author’s files.  

Thomas in Ireland (1650-1659)

            According to the 1659 census, the County of Waterford had a population of 11,639 of whom only 712 were English, the rest Irish.   The city of Waterford was recorded as having a population count of 1647 of whom only 637 were English.  These counts are now thought to be on the low side.[13]  It is also very likely that these numbers were much higher prior to The Irish Wars that took place during the 1640’s and prior to Oliver Cromwell’s subsequent mandate that Irish Catholics relocate to more remote parts of Ireland.   But the 1659 census does suggest that at least some of the Irish Catholics never left and/or were able to return.  

The 1650’s chapter of Thomas’ life is not at all clear. The 1659 census lists a Thomas Christmas, Merchant, as a “Titulado”[14]  This tells us that his status as a property owner in Ireland commenced sometime before the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, and that his property acquisitions in Ireland were not limited to awards given to “49 Officers” as described above.   The census was probably taken between 1658 and 1659.   

The author queried the Waterford City Achivist, Donal Moore, regarding Thomas’ ownership of Waterford property prior to the Restoration.  Mr. Donal responded by email that “at first glance I cannot find any references to Thomas in the 1654 (Civil) Survey.”

 [15]     He added that given the “series of conflicts with changing alliances” that took place during the 1640’s in Ireland, “it would not have been the least bit unusual for Thomas or anyone of his ilk to change their allegiance at least once during the period”, i.e. thereby obtaining property as a late supporter of Cromwell.   

Still, if Thomas was awarded property as a Royalist officer after the Restoration, it is hard to believe he could have also received property prior to the Restoration as compensation for belatedly joining Cromwell’s army.  The author’s theory, supported by the general history of this period, is that Thomas managed to purchase rights to certain Irish properties confiscated by Cromwell’s government and initially awarded to Cromwell soldiers and officers in lieu of back pay.  It was Cromwell’s hope that these men would then settle in Ireland.   Instead, many members of Cromwell’s army chose to sell their properties, or property rights, to any qualified buyer. [16]  Being English and Protestant helped Thomas qualify.  But where did he get the funds?  Possible answers include profits he may have made as a merchant during the previous decade and a half and/or help from his family including his brother, the Bristol merchant who was then engaged in business dealings in Waterford.  

Thomas in the 1660’s and Beyond

On record as a property owner by at least the late 1650’s, Thomas had almost certainly become a resident of Waterford by 1660.  Yet the family tree provided by Brian Christmas gives birth dates for three of the sons (Richard, James, and William), implying they were born in Barnstaple in 1661, 1662 and 1674 respectively.  It appears far more likely that all of these children were actually born in Ireland where most birth records covering this period have been destroyed.  Moreover, the parish records for Barnstaple and Bideford, as provided by the LDS Family History Center in Salt Lake City, fail to show that any of these three sons were baptized in those parishes during that period.            

Further evidence of Thomas’ presence in Waterford by 1660 can be found in the records of the “Poll Money” ordinances where he is listed as one of the Commissioners responsible for overseeing the Royal Tax for Waterford City in both 1660 and 1661.[17]  

            Evidence regarding Thomas’ life beginning in 1662 is found in the records of the Waterford Corporation.[18]  Fortunately, these records were republished in 1964.  They start with a meeting of the Council dated September 29, 1662 with Alderman Christmas shown as present, and they end with the Council meeting of April 16, 1700 where, again, he was recorded as being present.  

            There are two gaps in the published Council meeting records during the intervening years.  The first gap commenced after the meeting of January 28, 1663 and ended with the meeting of January 25, 1667. It can be assumed that Alderman Christmas continued to serve throughout the period of this gap in the records.  For it was during that period that Alderman Christmas served as mayor of Waterford, or more precisely during the year 1664.  This is verified by the Calendar of State Papers, Ireland (1663-1665) which refers to a letter from the mayor of Waterford, Thomas Christmas, complaining of a pirated ship operating in the city’s harbor.  

            The second gap in the record begins after the meeting of March 27, 1688 and continues until the meeting of September 29, 1690. During this second gap a corporation constituted according to the provisions of James II’s charter of 1688, and including Catholics as aldermen, replaced the earlier all-Protestant corporation.  

“The Waterford Corporation was the city’s governing body by royal charter from 1215 onwards. Waterford is one of the oldest self-governing cities in Europe. The Great Charter of 1626 formed the basis for city government until the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act, 1840. There would have been a small body of electors for both the Corporation and Parliament. Waterford city would have returned two members to the Dublin Parliament until 1800.”[19]  

            The Waterford Corporation in the 1660’s was the equivalent of today’s municipal government.  Its members were initially appointed when the king approved the charter while subsequent changes in membership of the aldermanic council and the common council were at least partly at the discretion of the councils. The Waterford Corporation was responsible for the city’s policing, military defenses, water supply, the regulation of commerce including currency and commodity prices, the management of property, the operation of a hospital and a home for lepers, care for the poor, etc.             

            The Council Books of the Waterford Corporation include a large number of references to Alderman Thomas Christmas and his sons.  Most noteworthy are the following:


  1. The Council Books contain frequent references to Alderman (Captain) Christmas, together with other aldermen and citizens (normally limited to those granted the “freedom of the city” which meant taking the “oath of supremacy”, i.e. being Protestant), obtaining long-term leases of properties belonging to the Waterford Corporation.  Lease holders could then collect rents from the occupants of these properties – mostly homes and farms.  It would seem, therefore, that little if any capital was required as a prerequisite for building a real estate portfolio.


  1. Thomas Christmas is referred to as “high sheriff” (p. 177-1289). July 23, 1678.


  1. Thomas Christmas’ most noted role as an alderman occurred in 1680 when he presented a paper accusing another Alderman, Major Rickards, of ten offenses encompassing theft, fraud, and embezzlement.  As a result of the subsequent investigation, fully reported in the Council records, Alderman Rickards was, on September 29, 1680, expelled from the Council, only to be returned to his seat by William III upon the restoration of the Protestant corporation in July of 1690.  However, his name cannot be found on the Council’s records after May of 1693.


  1. Alderman Thomas Christmas is appointed to serve a year’s term as master of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost. (p. 247-1647) November 13, 1685.


  1. John and Charles Christmas are “admitted free of the city and sworn accordingly.” (p. 271-1765) February 22, 1686.  Additional advantages of being a “Freeman” included being allowed function as a merchant exempt from local customs dues imposed by the Waterford Corporation.[20]


  1. Thomas and his son, Richard Christmas, are both appointed to the re-established Protestant Council at the same meeting where Rickards is returned to office. (p.283) July 28, 1690.


  1. Mr. James Christmas is elected a member of the (common?) council. (p. 311- 1978) Nov. 1, 1693.


  1. Richard Christmas becomes mayor-elect (p.323-2030) June 29, 1695.


  1. Three Christmases (Alderman Thomas and his two sons, Mayor Richard and common council member James) attend Council meeting together.[21] (324—2035)

      October 7, 1695.


Thomas’ Last Will

            Thomas Christmas recorded a lengthy last will on March 30, 1699.  A copy can be found in the Devon Record Office, Barnstaple, England.  In the document, Thomas identifies himself as a merchant of the City of Waterford.  He names his first son, Richard, as his executor and then proceeds to distribute his numerous possessions.   Richard is, by far, the principal beneficiary, receiving nine properties (farms?) totaling 1691 acres together with sums of money.   James is also frequently mentioned, possibly due to being “next in line” after Richard.  William, who was then fifth of the still living sons gets fairly frequent mention perhaps because of both his presence in Ireland and his profession as a scholar.  John and Joseph, third and fourth living sons, respectively, are given relatively slight mention.   

            Thomas leaves to Richard “my now dwelling home which I bought from the Earle of Stratford Agents together with my new built house adjoining . . . on the ground of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost . . . .  

            Finally, Thomas states his desire to be buried “in the burying place which I bought in the Cathedrall in this Citty and near the body of Elizabeth my loving wife.”    

            Thomas Christmas died in 1703 or 1704 and was buried in the family tomb at the site of the original Waterford Cathedral together with his wife, Elizabeth.  

  In the City of Waterford one can still visit Christ Church and view the tomb containing the remains of Thomas and Elizabeth Christmas.  The author sent email of inquiry to Christ Church and received the following response:  

“You are correct the present Christ Church was built in 1773 so the tomb you are referring to now lies outside the Cathedral. It has a long inscription about Thomas’s wife Elizabeth she died on 22nd Feb 1677 aged 37.  It mentions Thomas being an alderman and merchant and her children Richard James John Charles William Joseph Mary Elizabeth and Margaret.  Elizabeth died in childbirth the dates you gave for the birth of Thomas’s three sons tie in with this time. There are no other Christmas memorials in the Cathedral and no reference to any other member of the family being interred in this tomb.  Hope this helps you.


Yours Erica Fay  (email to Lawrence Christmas dated April 7, 2007)  


Ancestors of Thomas Christmas:  

             (parents) Thomas Christmas (b. 1580) of Worplesdon or Guildford, Surrey, and Elizabeth Cale.....(m. 1603)  

(grand parents) Thomas Christmas (b.1543) of Worplesdon, Surrey, England and Joan Purs .....(m. 1564)  

(great grand parents)  Thomas Christmas (1520/2-1587) clothier of Guildford or Perryhill, Surrey, and Joan or Johane Inwood (m. 1543; d. 1592)  

(great great  grand parents)  Henry Christmas (1493-1550) m. Julia (1514)


Siblings of Thomas Christmas

Elizabeth, b. April 8, 1604  

Joan, b. Oct. 27, 1605, d. infant  

Marjorie, b. Nov. 9, 1606   

Joan, b. Aug. 28, 1608  

Anne, b. Jan. 13, 1610  

Emme, b. Jan 17, 1612  

Richard, b. Nov. 12, 1615  

Alice, b. Aug. 9, 1618  


Children of Thomas Christmas and Elizabeth Gamon  

Richard (1661-1723) Member of Irish Parliament; High Sheriff of Waterford, 1686 or 1695 (not confirmed by Waterford Corporation Council Records.) Married to Susanna Alland in 1683.  Richard’s grandson, Thomas (1721-1749), marries Lady Catharine Beresford, daughter of the Earl of Tyronne, but he dies a year later.  Richard’s granddaughter, Catherine Christmas, was wrongly reputed to be the mother or grandmother of Capt. John Christmas of Denmark.  She, in fact, married into the prominent Gorges family of Ireland.  

James  (1662-1704)  Merchant of Barnstaple (?), marries Susanna Rolle in 1696  

John  Probably born in Ireland but later became a merchant in Barnstaple where he was buried on Sept. 16, 1714.  He first marries Elizabeth Parminter.  Then he marries Margaret Rolle in 1693.   They were to become the great grandparents of Capt. John Christmas Smith, founder of the Danish branch of the Christmas family.  

Rolle is a famous name in Devonshire. At the time of the civil war “Sir Samuel Rolle (or Rolls as at that time it was indifferently spelt) of Heanton Sachville, knight, the head of a younger branch of Rolle of Stevenstone.  One of the Members for the county of Devon in the Long Parliament.  Some literary moles of the last century imagined that they had discovered in him the original of the character of Sir Hudibres in Butler’s immortal satire. . . . “[22]  There is also a Rolle road in Torrington, site of the Civil War battle.  

Charles buried in Barnstaple, May 10 1688  

Joseph William, Junior Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin; will proved 1703  

William, born in 1674;  attended Oxford for two years before returning to Ireland where, in 1690 he was admitted to Dublin University.  He subsequently earned BA, LLB, and MA degrees there and became a Fellow in 1697.   

Mary (Maria?), unmarried, buried in Barnstaple January 21, 1681/2  

Margaret, unmarried, buried at Barnstaple, 8 Oct., 1725;  

Elizabeth, married John Hallam of Waterford; will proved 1712  


Further Questions and Commentary by LBC  

                A number of questions come to mind to which answers might still be found:  

1.  When and in what capacity did Thomas Christmas serve in Ormande’s Royalist Army in Ireland through 1649.  

2.  Is there any evidence that he continued to live in Ireland immediately after 1649, perhaps in Waterford during the siege of that city and/or at any time prior to becoming an owner of Irish property according to the census of 1659 while the Cromwellians governed Ireland?  

3.  How familiar was Capt. John Christmas (Smith) of Bideford and Copenhagen with the Christmas family of Waterford?   One piece of evidence that the Barnstaple and Waterford branches of the family stayed in contact is found in the will of another John Christmas of Barnstaple, grandson of Sir Thomas and brother of Jane Christmas.  Jane was the grandmother of John Christmas Smith.  In the above mentioned will, recorded in Barnstaple in 1737, bequests are granted by John to his nephew Edward Smith, “son of my sister Jane Smith” and father of John Christmas Smith, but also to “my kinsman Thomas Christmas of Waterford in his kingdom of Ireland.”   So it can be assumed that John Christmas Smith, during his childhood, heard stories regarding the Christmas family of Waterford handed down from his grandmother, Jane, and his great uncle, John Christmas of Barnstaple.  Further, when John Christmas (Smith) names one of his own sons George Beresford Christmas, he proves his awareness of the social prominence of the Christmas family of Waterford including the generation contemporary with that of his own parents.  


Additional Sources: 


Christmas Family Tree by Henry and Brian Christmas

Christmas Family Tree bequested by, J.F. Chanter, 1939, Exeter City Library

Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, July 9, 1910

Tim Sandberg’s Genealogical Database

Will of Thomas Christmas, 1587

Will of Thomas Christmas 1699

Will of John Christmas, 1737


Hayes – Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization, the Bentham’s manuscripts including abstracts of wills covering the period 1600 to 1799.  See document 164, National Archives of Ireland.


Further Research Possibilities

The National Archives of Ireland, the Waterford Archives, and the National Library of Ireland deserve much greater attention than the author of this paper has been able to give.  An initial guide to what may be available can be found in the two-volume Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research  by Margaret Dickson Falley, Virginia 1962.  

 The National Archives of the U.K., located at Kew, West London, should also be visited  

  Among the records worth seeking at each of the four sites mentioned above would be those pertaining to Irish property ownership and to English military records.  Particular documents deserving further study include the Irish Parliamentary Register and Calendars of State Papers for Ireland and for the U.K. plus The Civil Survey 1654-1656 of Waterford (Volume VI.)   

Additionally the Carte Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, may be a useful source.  

 The Kilkenny castle in Ireland, once belonging to the Butler family (Kilkenny was the headquarters of the Irish Confederation), was supposed to have contained a significant archives.  That archives has subsequently been relocated to the National Library of Ireland.  Much of its contents pertain to the Irish Confederation including the calendar of the manuscripts of the Marquess of Ormonde (Vol.2 of “new series” concentrates on the years 1641-50.)


[1] lists a Thomas Christmas, born 1622, died Feb. 1704, Waterford Ireland. . 

[2]  Girouard, Mark, “Whitfield Court, Co. Waterford” ,  Country Life,    Sept. 7, 1967, UK

[3] This account is confirmed in Prendergast, John P. The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, 1865, page 224.

[4] Contrary to the article quoted above, the family tree prepared by Henry and Brian Christmas identifies the Thomas Christmas who first moved to Waterford as the younger brother, not the son, of Richard Christmas of Bristol (1615-1679.) 

[5] P.R. Newman,  “The Royalist Officer Corps 1642-1660” Historical Journal 26, 1983”, p. 949

[6] Cotton, Richard W. Banstaple and the Northern part of Devonshire during the Great Civil War, 1642-1646.  London, Unwin, 1889.  558 p.  Newberry Library  F4590185.2

[7]  See “Civil War Soldiers 1642-1660” Military Records Information 3

[8]  Irish Landed Gentry, Ancestry.Com.UK  page 378

[9] Engels,  History of Ireland 1870;  (See Marxists Internet Archive,  note 272.  based upon Mathew O’Conor’s  The History of The Irish Catholics.

[10] Pender, Seamus,  “Waterford Merchants Abroad”, O’Donnell Memorial lecture delivered at University Commege, Cork, April 7,1964.

[11]   O Siochru, Michael,  editor Kingdoms in Crisis: Ireland in the 1640’s, ,  Four Courts  Press,  page 13, 

[12] Ellis, Peter Berresford, Hell or Connaught!; The Cromwellian Colonisation of Ireland 1652-1660.

[13] Moore, Donal, Waterford City Archivist. Emails to Lawrence Christmas December 21, 2006 and February 20, 2007.  The introduction (by Pender) to the 1659 Census links it to subsequent “Poll Tax Ordinances” which applied only to those over 15 years of age and excluded persons of the lowest “ranks” and so, perhaps, the Census also excluded such persons. 

[14] Pender, Seamus (Ed), A Census of Ireland Circa 1659 (Dublin, 2002.)  “The term ‘Titulado’, . . . is best explained as referring to the principal person or persons of standing in any particular locality; such a person could have been of either sex, a nobleman, baronet, gentleman, esquire, military officer, or adventurer; . . . ‘titulado’ and ‘land-owner’ are not necessarily synonymous terms.”  P. v.

[15] Simington, R.C., The Civil Survey 1654-1656, Volume VI (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 1942.)

[16] Ellis,  Op. Cit..  p.23.  Donal Moore, in an email to the author dated February 20, states: “As for Christmas buying land from Cromwellian solider, this is very possible & plausible.”  His email goes on to give an example where this sort of transaction occurred between Cromwellian soldiersand to a Waterford Brewer.

[17] Pender, Op.Cit. “A Census of Ireland Circa 1659 With Supplementary Material from the Poll Money Ordinances.”

[18] Pender, Seamus (ed.) Council Books of the Waterford Corporation, 1662-1700  Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 1964.

[19]  Moore, Op. Cit,  December 21, 2006

[20]  Moore, Op. Cit.  December 21, 2006 

[21]  Moore,  Op. Cit.  December 21, 2006,   “Common Councilors sat with the Mayor and Aldermen (senior councilors) as one body and could vote.  They also carried out administrative functions.  

 [22] Cotton,  ibid. pp.54-55.  Other references are found in Cotton to the involvement of Colonel Rolle in the Civil War.