JOHN O'DONOVAN, EsQ., LL.D.
JOHN O'Donovan, the great Irish scholar and topographer, was born in
Attateemore, parish of Slieverue, Co. Kilkenny', not in the year 1809, as
he himself states over and over again in his writings, but in the year 1806
The following is the entry of his baptism, copied from the Baptismal Register of his native
Attitimore, 26th July, 1806 Bap. jno. :
par. Edmond Donnevan & Ellenor Haberlan.
Sps. Edmond Wall & Ellenor Neal.
[Officiating priest :1 J. Fitzpatrick, P.P."
Whatever affluence his forefathers may have
possessed, his parents, at the time of his birth or soon after, were quite
landless and reduced to great poverty. On the death of his father, July 29th1817 he removed
from Attateemore to the house of his brother, William, who lived on a farm
in the neighbouring townland of Ballarourach. Here he remained for
some years, during which his brother had him sent to school and grounded in
the rudiments as far as circumstances permitted.
About 1822 he started a school on his own account in his native district,
and soon gathered round him a number of pupils, several of whom were older
in years than himself. Of the alumni of this modest academy the last
survivor was blind old Peter Grant, of Ballyrahan, Glenmore, whom the
writer met on two occasions, in the year 1900 and who spoke of his old
master, " poor Johnnie Donovan," with the greatest admiration and