This interview begins with a look at Jim Wallace’s family tree. He gives an account of how his ancestors arrived in Stonecarthy, his father’s close encounter with the Black and Tans, and the circumstances leading up to this attack. A story was told about a double-barrelled shotgun given to his grandfather, William Wallace, by the local landlord, Lord Mountgarrett, a Butler of Kilkenny Castle. Later, the origins of local place names were explained.
A second visit to the Wallace farm proved to be a worthwhile experience. We walked up a narrow boreen to a place called Knockdrinagh Hill, a place which is mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters. Jim remembers when this area was covered with furze, it was then part of the Floodhall estate. It was taken over in 1937 by the Land Commission and planted by the Forestry Commission. In this recording, Jim points to a field on the foothills which was exchanged for one sack of yellow meal during the Famine. This story was told to Jim in the 1940s, by an elderly woman who was then in her 80s, and who had known the family involved. Our conversation ended with the story of the seven wells.
Keywords: farming, Irish Land Commission, Floodhall Estate, Forestry Commission, the Great Famine, place names