Gilsenan Family Genealogy Forum
I did find a number of Gilsenans listed around Country Meath. I found one in Tipperary and another in Limerick. Interestingly, I recently worked for a month in Shannon and drove to Kilrush in Country Clare one Saturday. I visited Scattery Island where the St. Senan monastary sits. Being a blundering American, I asked about Gilsenans to half the locals there and they thought I was crazy. No Gilsenans where all of his followers were supposed to have gone for refuge!
In the mid-50's, my father received a letter from a Gilshannon (he thinks) in Bree just south of Dublin. I also have the deed to the "Gilshenan" family farm near Clinton, Iowa signed in 1846 by then Secretary of the Interior, James J. Polk who later became President.
Regarding the affinity with the arts ... My father's father was an orthopedic surgeon and strongly discouraged the arts as idle folly. My granfather's sibling too were quite anti-arts. So, what became of my father but a song and dance man on broadway! In fact, rent the movie "Drop Dead Gorgeous" if you have a chance. My Father, Thomas, is the Undertaker in the movie. It's his only work in cinema and is not one I would recommend as good art. But, it's one way to see what a possible relative looks like. I turned to sports and Jazz rather than the theater. My father would love to learn more about the Gilsenan arts history.