Lifestyle

Hidden treasure

By Laura Briggs

The plot has thickened again in the Purcell family’s history since a family reunion was held last year.

Tatura’s Bill Purcell has dug deeper, finding hidden treasure.

Since the family reunion Mr Purcell has made contact with a second-cousin in Queensland and discovered the family’s connection to a castle he visited in Ireland in 1996.

Mr Purcell said the television program Who Do You Think You Are? could not hold a candle to the stories in his family’s history.

‘‘Up until two years ago we didn’t know where we belonged and after a bit of intensive research and hard work I’ve been able to track down which Purcell we belong to,’’ he said.

‘‘Following on from the reunion, I was able to contact a second-cousin in Queensland and she had this manuscript and I said ‘can I borrow it, I want to print it’,’’ he said.

When Mr Purcell travelled to Ireland more than 20 years ago, his daughter Kerri Purcell took a photograph of Purcell Castle in the town of Loughmore.

‘‘We had no idea what the connection was at the time,’’ he said.

The manuscript states the origin of the Purcells of Kilkenny: Sir Hugh Purcell, who was slain by the men of Waterford, had two sons from whom all the Kilkenny Purcells are descended.

‘‘So all the Purcells from Kilkenny, us included, all came from these two guys way back in 1185,’’ Mr Purcell said.

Mr Purcell has since printed a number of copies of the manuscript into book form, Purcell Family History – Ireland 1185-1985, including the history of Loughmore Castle, for all Purcells to enjoy and treasure.

The preface states ‘‘Loughmore Castle is, undoubtedly, the most outstanding and best-known feature on the Loughmore landscape’’.

‘‘The base was 10feet thick, to stop it from being knocked down; they had this castle for over 400 years, that’s how slow history was in those days; and there’s a few bits of interesting history in there,’’ Mr Purcell said.

For more information or a copy of Purcell Family History – Ireland 1185-1985, phone Bill Purcell on 0419335241 or email purcent@bigpond.net.au