Books on the Carden Family

Most of this website is taken up with information about CARDEN OF BARNANE, issued by Arthur Carden in 2004.

Readers may like to know that he has issued several additional books since then, of which CARDEN OF EAST KENT and CARDEN OF TONBRIDGE are described below. For an up to date list of his Carden family history books, please visit his blog at or the printer Lulu from whom most of them are available remarkably cheaply, being printed to order in the country concerned. Orders may be directed to Lulu or to Arthur Carden at the address below

CARDEN OF EAST KENT is a 98-page book with over 50 illustrations containing information about members of the Carden family who are thought to be descended from a William Cardon who arrived in England with William the Conqueror in 1066. It mostly concerns about 400 Cardens from about 1700 to the present day, for each of whom there is a mini-biography and sometimes a photograph. About 30 of these are descended from a John William Viscardini who changed his name to Carden in rather curious circumstances in about 1920. There is a chapter on the Carden family of Minster in Kent, important in Elizabethan times.

CARDEN OF TONBRIDGE has over 180 pages and a great many illustrations. It mostly concerns 700 Cardens, many still living in Sussex or Kent, thought to be descended from the ancient Carden or Cawarden family which existed in Cheshire before the time of William the Conqueror. They have a DNA ‘signature’ shared with many Cardens throughout the world but totally different from that of the Cardens of East Kent.

A few copies are still available of CARDEN MISCELLANY 3 and of CARDEN GATHERING 1998 and draft chapters have been written on many individual branches: these are available on request. Plans for additional books the first of which is likely to be CARDEN OF TEMPLEMORE appear on Arthur Carden’s family history blog at and readers may also like to visit for more information about research into the Carden name.

History of the Barnane estate in County Tipperary, Ireland
together with information about the 200 known Carden descendants of the original Jonathan Carden of Barnane, born about 1675

Book cover - click for larger view (~580K)
By Arthur E Carden
ISBN: 0-9547947-0-2

The above book was published in July 2004. It is available directly from the author, from Lulu, from Walsh & Son, Main Street, Templemore, Co. Tipperary, and from other booksellers. It is also available from the Tipperary County Libraries in Thurles and Templemore, from the British Library and from the library of the Society of Genealogists.

The original printing of 200 copies was rapidly sold, and as of early 2007 only about 50 copies of the third printing (with a number of corrections and additions) remain. A supplement is likely to be issued soon.

Brief details

The book has 360 A4 pages and about 250 black-and-white illustrations.  It is paperback with colour illustrations on the front and back covers.  The front cover (reproduced above) shows the wonderful 1773 map of the estate which was found in a lawyer’s office in Dublin in 1995, together with over 100 important deeds which are listed and summarised in the book.

A prologue Barnane before the Cardens gives some background about Cromwell’s savage suppression in 1650 of the Irish Rebellion, and tells how Barnane was confiscated from the O’Meagher family which held the land from the earl of Ormond.  Barnane was granted to an ‘adventurer’ and was leased in 1701 to Jonathan Carden, eldest son of John Carden of Templemore.

The origins of the Cardens of Tipperary are still obscure, but DNA evidence proves that without a doubt they are descended from the Carden/Cawarden family of Cheshire which existed in the thirteenth century.  The Tipperary Cardens may have come via Lincolnshire, and appear to have lived for a while in County Carlow.

A biography is given of each of the seven Cardens who held Barnane in succession until the last died in 1932.  Perhaps the most famous (or notorious) of these was John Rutter Carden (1811-1866), who evicted many of his tenants from the estate and was shot at on several occasions, earning the nickname “woodcock” because the bullets always missed him (though one of his stewards was murdered).  Though he was a prominent and wealthy landlord and a Deputy Lieutenant of the county, he was convicted in 1854 of attempting to abduct a certain Miss Eleanor Arbuthnot, and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.  Of great interest are the 80 or more letters he wrote from gaol to his friend Lord Donoughmore, published here for the first time.

Other fascinating paragraphs cover the successive houses at Barnane, the family graveyard, the model farm, events which took place on the slopes of the Devil’s Bit which is a famous mountain forming part of the estate, the impact of the Fenians, United Irish League and other groups who challenged the Cardens, and much else besides.

The book also contains relevant extracts from the Tithe Applotments, Griffith’s, the 1901 census and other sources.

There is a comprehensive series of indexes, of places, tenants and servants, Cardens, people with other surnames, etc.

Who’s Who chapters

A major part of the book consists of mini-biographies of all known descendants of the original Jonathan Carden including Admiral Sir Sackville Carden of the Dardanelles, Sir Lionel Carden who was an influential diplomat, and others.

Of particular interest is the coverage of the Australian branch of the family, whose connection with Barnane was not conclusively proved until recent DNA evidence was obtained.

Likely readers

It is thought that the following may wish to obtain copies of the book.

Family members interested in their ancestry. Some have said they wish to treat the book as a family heirloom for the interest of future generations.

Members of linked families. There is much of interest in the book for members of other Tipperary families such the Willingtons and of course those linked to the Templemore, Fishmoyne and other Carden estates – and indeed those descended from the Cardens of Co. Mayo and Co. Sligo, even though they have recently been proved to be unconnected with the Tipperary Cardens.  Members of the Disney, Rutter, Burrowes and other collateral familes may also wish to see the book.

Local historians. A great deal of help has been received from local historians such as Nancy Murphy, Daniel Grace and others, and it is believed that this book will be essential reading for local historians.

Residents of the area. Undoubtedly many of those now living in or near Barnane will find the book fascinating.


For more information please contact the author/publisher,

Arthur E Carden, 5 Parkfield, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 2BG, England
(replace the "(at)" with an "@" sign)

Last updated: 29th March, 2010