The Wakefields of Ireland

Part 1

Excerpts from the

Wakefield Memorial

by Dr. Homer Wakefield

With introduction and comments by

Lionel Nebeker


The most complete and authoritative book ever researched and published regarding our ealiest Wakefield ancestors was:

Wakefield Memorial

Comprising an Historical, Genealogical and Biographical Register

of the Name and Family of Wakefield

by Homer Wakefield, M.D.

This work was privately printed by the compiler in Bloomington, Ill. 1897, a copy of which was purchased by my mother and then given to me.  In this exhaustive work, the author provides a surprising amount of detail on each of the various Wakefield family lines that existed in the United States at that time.  Chapter X of this work is entitled: “The Anglo-Irish American family, a consolidation of the posterity of the emigrants, Matthew, David, and Andrew Wakefield”.

Because this book is out of print, and the details provided are so valuable to our family, we will present here actual photo copies of a few pages that pertain to our direct family line.   But, since we are not presenting all of Dr. Homer Wakefield’s book, we have chosen to call this brief presentation: The Wakefields of Ireland. 

Before we insert these pages from Dr. Wakefield’s book, we should remember that beginning in about 1610 King James I began the “plantations of Ireland” by offering large tracts of land to English and Scottish protestants if they would move to Ireland to dominate the rebellious Catholics.  Such plantations were most eagerly taken up by younger sons of landed gentry who were not likely to receive their fathers’ inheritances and so viewed this offer as a way to come up with their own estates.  These efforts were most “successful” in Ulster (northern Ireland) bringing about the split between the Republic of Ireland which occupies most of the Island, from Northern Ireland, which is still a part of the United Kingdom with the protestants in control and the Catholics still resenting that presence to this very day. 

We believe that it was as a part of this plantation effort, in the early to mid 1600’s, that our first Wakefield ancestor (probably John Wakefield) came from Yorkshire County in northern England, to accept a grant of land from King Charles I.  It also appears that he was most likely an officer in the English army, and had relocated to Ireland by, or before, 1637.  It is not currently known just where in Ireland these Wakefields resided, but it seems likely that their home was in Ulster (northern Ireland).  They had not yet received the Wakefield lands that are still possessed by a descendent in County Galway today.  That event occured following the Battle of Aughrim in 1691 and more will be given on that event in part 2 of this web-site.   (The hand written notes on some of the pages are by Maxine Wakefield Nebeker.)

This last page has been included primarily due to the comments of Maxine Nebeker who noted the similarity in the photo above, of Samuel Wakefield, to that of his great-nephew, Joseph Buck Wakefield.  Joseph Buck Wakefield was Maxine’s Grandfather.  She knew him personally and lived in the same town.  We do not have a photo of Joseph’s father, John Fleming Wakeifled, nor of his grandfather, Thomas Wakefield, but since the above photo of Thomas’ brother Samuel shows such a strong family resemblance to our Joseph Buck Wakefield, then one might surmise that our John & Thomas may also have looked something like the man pictured above.