This is a fast-paced fictional biography of one of my Trant ancestors, Hope Minnie Trant. I chose the subtitle based on the number and type of careers in which she excelled. While we as 21st century women in America enjoy the hard-earned benefits from the Women’s Movements of the 20th century, the opportunities for women in other parts of the world can be quite meager, if at all. Such was not the case for Hope who’s from the south of Ireland but held residences in England, France, and South Africa at different points in her life.
Through my research into Irish history, I discovered that women’s rights in Ireland actually can be traced back to medieval Gaelic Ireland. A woman who married then could both retain her maiden name and her property while those who lived in England and Europe could not.
Hope was born and spent her childhood and adolescence at Dovea House, her family’s estate which had been in the Trant family for around a hundred years (1837-1940’s) and is still in use. It is located in Thurles, County Tipperary. County Kerry in southwest Ireland is the location where the Trants lived and were landed gentry for approximately 800 years. A fort on the southwest coast was named “Cahiratrant” meaning Fort of the Trants and is thought to be where they first landed in Ireland as part of the Viking invasions.
Initially, John Trant purchased the land and a house in 1837 while also restoring Killahara, a towerhouse castle near Dovea. During the restoration of Killahara, he reportedly became tired of the project and turned his attention to developing the community at Thurles to benefit the many people who worked at the Dovea estate, some of whom John had brought from the United Kingdom. He subsequently built a church and stores to house clothing, dry goods, a bakery and other buildings the townspeople would need.
So by the time of Hope’s birth in 1888, she was quite blessed to live in the “Big House” as it was sometimes called.