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All posts by Jim Ryan

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Our blogs list almost 3,500 new records of individuals

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Just a reminder that we have posted over 30 blogs with original records not otherwise available on-line.  These are in our ‘Small Sources’ series which lists almost 3,400 individuals from 12 counties.  These lists are items we have found among manuscript sources during our research.  Most are too small to be included in the big data-sets being put on-line by the major companies, but must nevertheless be useful to some of you out there.  We have therefore extracted the names and made them available in our blogs.  It is interesting that the biggest reactions we have had have been to some of the smallest sources.  For instance,  No. 28 below is a list of only 14 labourers in Muff, Co. Donegal,  but we had messages from 2 different people who could make a probable connection to individuals on this list.  We would be delighted to hear of any other connections you might make with individuals listed in these sources.    The Blog title, and a link to each, is below.

1:       Wexford Estate Workers and Suppliers 1856

2:       Tarbert (Co. Kerry) schoolchildren 1809

3:       Labourers in Shanagolden area, Co. Limerick, 1808.

4:       Tenants of Quansbury Estate (Galway) 1777-78.

5:       Labourers in Kilcavan Parish, Wexford 1850.

6:       Tenants on Ram Estate, Gorey, Co. Wexford in 1826

7:       Tenants of John’s Hill, Waterford 1831-40

8:       Kerry Petitioners 1828

9:       Carlow Tenants of the Knight of Kerry 1856

10:    Wexford Poor list 1813-20

11:    Kerry Tenants of the Earl of Listowel 1755.

12:    Tenants in Kilteel, Co. Kildare 1825

13:    Labourers on Vigors Estate, Burgage, Co. Carlow 1793/4

14:    Farmers in Castletown Parish, Co Limerick 1848/49.

16:    Flax Growers in Shanagolden, Limerick. 1808

17:    Tenants of Prittie Estate, Tipperary & Offaly 1826.

18:    Tipperary & Waterford tenants of Woulfe Mansfield Estate

19:    Tenants of Trant Estate, Dovea, Co. Tipperary 1837

20:    New Wexford Baptism records 1783-1790 (Kilanerin / Gorey)

20a: Tenants in Pudding Lane, Thurles, Co. Tipperary 1816/17

21.    Labourers and Tradesmen at Kilronan, Roscommon in 1846

22:    Residents of Ballyporeen Co. Tipperary 1840

23:    Waterford Tradesman in 1820s

24:    Labourers in Lismore, Waterford in 1850.

25:    Residents of Tourin townland, Waterford in 1841.

26:    Kilkenny Women Flax-spinners in 1827

27:    Tenants of Trant Estate, Dingle 1791

28:    Labourers in Muff, Co. Donegal in 1758 & 1759.

29:    Labourers in Doneraile, Cork in 1839

30:    Birr Catholic men 1834

31:     Marriages in Killanerin and Gorey, Wexford 1800-1807

32.    Tenants in NewtownBarry, Wexford in 1824

Tenants of Prittie Estate, Tipperary & Offaly 1826

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Small Sources 17:   This document lists 71 tenants on 57 holdings on the estates of Hon. Francis Prittie (Lord Dunalley)  during March and May 1826. Note that some are in joint tenancies. It indicates the townland, rent and arrears for each  (only the rent amount is shown here). The list is in the ”Dunalley Papers, of the Prittie family Lords Dunalley, 1665-1937” in the National Library of Ireland; NLI Ms 29,808 (2).   Read More

Franciscan Library. Wexford Marriages book 1800-1807

Marriages in Killanerin and Gorey, Wexford 1800-1807

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Small Sources 31: The Catholic records of Wexford in the early 1800s are particularly poor, mainly due to the destruction of Catholic churches by militia that followed the rebellion of 1798.  However, records of 144 Catholic marriages from 1800-1807 in the Parish of Kilanerin have survived in a notebook in the Franciscan Library, Killiney, Co.Dublin (Ms.C104 – Marriages). Although a monastic order, the Franciscans were the parish clergy in this county (and therefore maintained the Birth and Marriage records) until the 1840s. For more information on this archive see www.franciscans.ie/friaries/killiney. Read More

birr-reformation3

Catholic men of Birr, Kings County 1834

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Small Sources 30:  Useful records are created in all sorts of strange circumstances, and none are more unique than this one. In the 1820s a new priest, Michael Crotty was appointed to the Catholic parish of Birr, in King’s County (now Offaly).  The town was then called Parsonstown.  He turned out to be a difficult and divisive person who fell out with his bishop and the other priests of the parish.  However, he was also a charismatic and popular priest who gradually lead a significant proportion of his congregation (reportedly about 6,000) away from the Catholic Church into a separate church and attempted to take control of the parish church building.  There followed a bitter dispute between Crotty’s faction and the remaining members of the congregation that lasted several years. The dispute involved legal proceedings, military interventions and verbal and physical battles over access to the church. The breakaway congregation eventually merged with the local Presbyterian church, but almost all later drifted back to the Catholic Church and Michael Crotty eventually became an Anglican clergyman in England. Accounts of the so-called ‘Birr Reformation’ are widely available, including a book written by Michael Crotty himself which can be read on-line. Read More

Workmens'  accounts book from Doneraile Papers:  1839 -  1840.  NLI Ms. 19, 726

Labourers in Doneraile, Cork in 1839/40

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Small Sources 29.   This list shows Labourers on the Doneraile Estate in Cork in 1839/40. It includes 21 men, 2 boys and 1 woman.    The names were extracted from a document among the Doneraile Papers  in the National Library of Ireland entitled “Workmen’s accounts book, 18 May 1839 -25 Apr. 1840”  (Ms. 19,726) which shows the dates worked and payments made to each worker.  Our female readers may be interested to know that the payment for the solitary female worker, Johanna Glynn,  was 6 pence per day, whereas the men were paid 10 pence and even the boys received 6.5 pence per day.   These were the permanent workers on the estate.  This can be determined by the fact that most also appear in an 1847  Valuation of Doneraile town as residents of Mallow lane.  This document, a House Book compiled during the Valuation of Doneraile Town can be accessed on the Find My Past website.  The page of the Valuation contains a note ‘This is the South side of Mallow Lane, Lord Doneraile’s workers’ and it is also noted that the workers paid no rent. The estate had leases on many properties in Doneraile town and this line of cottages was apparently allocated to the workers.   The date of this valuation is also significant as it shows that all of these workers survived the Great Famine which lasted from 1845-1847.

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Grand Jury Presentments

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Extract from the Grand Jury Presentment for the City of Dublin 1806/7.

                                               Extract from Grand Jury Presentment of Dublin City 1806/07.

The relative shortage of Irish sources makes every record linking a name to a place useful. One of the obscure sources which can be used are the Grand Jury Presentments. Grand Juries were the forerunners of the modern County Councils. They were a panel of major landowners established in each county to make decisions on legal and other matters.  Although originally responsible only for the Justice system, but this was gradually expanded to commissioning of local public works, i.e. building of roads and bridges, and maintenance of public buildings (infirmaries, courthouses, jails etc). It funded these works by means of a county tax on land, known as a cess or ‘rates’. Catholics could not legally serve on grand juries until 1793, and even after this date the jury lists were still predominantly Protestant. They met in spring and summer, just after the regular Assizes (local court) sessions. In these sessions they would hear ‘presentments’, i.e. proposals for grants for the construction or maintenance of roads and bridges etc;  and they would also hear consider and approve payments to public officials for services rendered. The family history relevance of these documents  is that (a)  the proposals usually include the names of proposed contractors and (in some counties) the names of the persons providing services (see example from Dublin above) ; and (b)  on occasion, they specify the work to be done by reference to the property of individuals. For example ‘to build a bridge over the river Lingane at Maurice Shea’s house’ or ‘to repair .. the mail coach road.. between Timothy Duggan’s ditch and Thomas Butler’s gate, all in the townland of Ballydrihid’ (Both from Limerick Grand Jury Presentments of  1831).  These references usually include not only approved projects,  but also those proposed, but not approved, for funding.

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Labourers in Muff, Co. Donegal in 1758 & 1759.

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NLI Ms. 7885 Rental and accounts of the Hart family of Kilderry, Co. Donegal, 1757-1767 and 1796-1803.

Small Sources 28:  This little list of 14 labourers working on the farm of the Hart family of Kilderry House, near Muff, Co. Donegal in 1758 and 1759 is in the National Library of Ireland  Ms. 7885. It is interesting for several reasons, not least being that Donegal records are rare, particularly for the 18th century, and lists of labourers are even rarer.   In the book ‘The Hart family of Donegal’ by Henry Travers Hart,  the author notes that in this period  “the whole of the fields were rigidly cultivated by a staff of labourers … and by this means Kilderry House was rendered more tenantable on account of the better drainage of the soil..”.   It also notes that there were large numbers of labourers employed, so why these 14 are specifically cited in the records is not clear. It may be that they were only occasional workers.  The records show that they were paid for around 60 days within a 6-month period.

The list  is notable secondly for the occurrence of some interesting names. The forename Tadgh (pronounced teig; or hear its pronunciation here)  is not uncommon in Ireland.  Tadhg Furlong is one of the current heroes of the Irish Rugby team, for instance.   However, it is usually converted to Timothy in older records. Its popularity in some parts of Northern Ireland led to the name (rendered as Taig) being used as a pejorative term for Catholics.   The other unusual name is Nahor or Naher (spelt Knogher in this record). A Knogher Dogherty is also listed among the tenants of the estate. This name is very specific to Donegal. For instance, in the 1901 census there are only 14 persons of this name recorded, all of them in the Northern counties and 11 in Donegal. An identical name, of Biblical origin is sometimes found in non-Irish records, but is not related.

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