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I discovered that my great-great-grandfather had died in a workhouse and that his death had been registered by the matron.
I also became fascinated by the buildings after seeing an old Victorian Ordnance Survey map of the town where I then lived.
Hello, I'm Peter Higginbotham, the creator of this web site.
(My contact information is given on a separate page.) I first became interested in workhouses while researching my family history.
The farmers are left behind, living alone with their parents - living in a pre-1950s era.
These rural men can grow up lacking the social skills necessary to court a partner, leaving city women to refer to them as "mammy's boys".
This gave rise to the adage: "Protestants marry early for love, Catholics marry late for land".
In addition, many small holdings were too isolated for the men and women to meet members of the opposite sex. Each county would support perhaps three or four of these individuals.
The famous Irish playwright John B Keane once summed up this blighted life, saying: "There are thousands of elderly bachelors in Kerry and hereabouts who have never once lain with a woman." Daly says that there are 28 men to every one woman living in the county, many like his neighbour.
In earlier times these bachelor farmers would have relied on the services of an uncle, brother-in-law or some other male relative to arrange a marriage with a local girl.
However, farmers who were dependent on the death of their parents for the inheritance of a small farm were often unable to marry young.
Daly launches into Gaelic upon answering each and every call.
Everyone wants, it seems, to speak to "The Matchmaker".Age and looks are of no particular concern, only that he must be a gentleman. I shall be visiting Lahinch in October." The pink paper enfolds a grainy colour photo of a grey-haired woman, standing in front of a fountain.