John Francis Prendergast

John Francis Prendergast (1868 – ca. 1905-1911) was born in Ireland in 1868 as we know from consistent dates in family, immigration and census records.

There were many men in Ireland about the same age named John Prendergast and they all left relatively few records that I could find, nothing so far with a clear satisfying match, so his actual backstory is for now to me a mystery. 

John Prendergast also left DNA evidence. We share DNA with families with deep roots in the region between Waterford and Cork and at least some of them were Prendergasts.

Screenshot of my community map. We share DNA with families who lived in this area between Waterford on the east and Cork on the west. Note Lismore is right in the middle.

I believe we can infer that this map represents John Francis Prendergast’s family because we know that Edith Alice Brougham’s ancestors moved to Ireland in the late 18th c. This map represents a longer history of ancestors in the area, “many hundreds of years or more” according the the website.

Despite his scant biography, John Prendergast left us Irish heritage bragging rights going back generations in the same place, but not enough to say much more about our particular Prendergast family.

John’s family, at least some of them, survived the famine and British rule and got the hell out. Bog Irish as some of my fellow Bostonians proudly say.

Typical mountain blanket bog. Source: Irish Peatland Conservation Council.

To beat the diaspora blended concoction (boilermaker, see previous post) metaphor, Mr. Prendergast is a whiskey that adds a distinctly peaty aroma with notes of straw and horse shit with a vanishing aftertaste.