independent

Wednesday 19 June 2019

New Yeats booklet details the family links to Sligo and afar

A new tourist information booklet detailing the connection between the Yeats family and Sligo has been launched by Sligo Tidy Towns.

'The Yeats Family Sligo Connections' is not about poems, painting or business but a record of the families, where they met and how, who they married and where they lived in Sligo, according to Peter Tiernan, Chairman of the Sligo Tidy Towns at the launch at the Yeats Memorial Building, Hyde Bridge.

"One thing that stood out for me was the obvious vigour and energy of the Yeats, Pollexfens and Middleton families, whether they were involved in poetry, painting or running a large milling and shipping business. I discovered as I went along, was that while WB Yeats great Grandfather, Parson John Yeats was Rector in Drumcliffe Church, in the first half of the 19th century, the family base was County Down, where the father of WB and his siblings, John Butler Yeats, was born. John Butler Yeats attended second level school on the Isle of Man. Two of the Pollexfen's sons from Sligo were there at the same time. George Pollexfen and John B Yeats became friends, and John B came on a visit to Sligo in 1862. There he met George's sister Susan Mary Pollexfen. The pair were married a year later in St John's Church, Sligo. They were the parents of WB, Jack B, Susan Mary (Lily) and Elizabeth Corbet (Lolly). Were it not for that chance meeting of students from Sligo and Down on the Isle of Man, we would never have a Yeats Country in Sligo."

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