Updated: Dec 18, 2020
The news in 2018 that little-known Irish woman Elizabeth O'Kelly (née Sykes) had left 30 million euros to several Irish charities in her will has generated a great deal of interest in her life. To accompany Rosita Boland's detailed Irish Times article on this unassuming Irish philanthropist, Historyeye charts her family tree back to her four times great-grandfather, the
Rev. Edward Synge, Bishop of Elphin, whose recently published letters to his daughter, Alice, shed a vivid light on father/daughter relationships in 18th century Ireland. Elizabeth O'Kelly's Irish roots derive from her paternal grandmother, Catherine Cooper, whose family were associated with Dunboden Park, Westmeath, and with Markree Castle, Sligo. Ironically during the 19th century several members of this family were involved in a Chancery dispute over an ancestor’s will connected to the Sligo estate.
Elizabeth O'Kelly was laid to rest at Moyglare Cemetery, Maynooth. Her papers have been donated to Maynooth University Archives.