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Leitrim

New Title – “Tracing your Leitrim Ancestors” now available

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New Title – “Tracing your Leitrim Ancestors” now available
By Tom Coughlan

The title is a comprehensive guide to all of the records available for tracing families in County Leitrim and is filled with information on what the records contain, and how and where they can be accessed. This includes guidance on researching in Irish archives and on the many on-line sources now available. It is well illustrated with maps and with examples of the types of records to be found; and with other relevant background material. It also provides background on the social history of Leitrim and how this history has affected the keeping and survival of records. There is also a comprehensive index. This is the latest in a series of county guides published by Flyleaf Press. These include guides for Dublin, Kildare, Limerick, Sligo, Galway, Cork, Clare, Westmeath, Kerry, Limerick, Roscommon, Mayo and Donegal. Read More

Papers of Commissioners of Education in Irl re Raphoe Royal School and estate at Townavilly, Co. Donegal;  Boys and girls at Tawnavilly School 1849 NLI Ms 17960 (3)

Register of Tawnawully School, Co. Donegal 1849

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Small Sources 34.  This is a list of 59 boys and 21 girls attending Townavilly (alias Tawnawully or Tawnawilly) tenantry school in 1st May 1849.  The lists are among the papers of the Commissioners of Education in Ireland, which are in the National Library of Ireland  – Ms 17,960 (3).  The Commissioners were set up in 1813 to manage ‘endowed’ schools, i.e. those that were funded by means of rent from lands they owned. A small number of schools owned such estates, either as a result of charitable donations, or ancient land-grants from the crown.  One such was Raphoe Royal School, originally established in Donegal town in 1618, but moved to Raphoe in the 1680s.  It still exists as the Royal & Prior Comprehensive School. This blog concerns a separate ‘tenantry school’ established by the Commissioners for the children of tenants on their land. These lands were in Townavilly or Tawnawully, which is a District Electoral Division situated Northwest of Donegal Town and containing 14  townlands.  During the 1840s, which was the decade of the Great Famine, the relatively poor land was non-productive and  little income was received from the estate.  There were around 200 households on the estate at this time. The Annual Report of the Commissioners for 1848-49 notes that they had “… expended large sums in giving employment to tenantry, in squaring the farms, in building and establishing a school for them”.  However, they also reported that “ …we regret to be obliged to  report that the lawless spirit which so long prevailed in this mountainous district .. has again exhibited itself ….. we have determined to put at the disposal (of the agent) a sum of money by which he may assist in enabling such of the tenantry to emigrate as it is desirable to be removed from the estate”.  Their 1849-50 report further states that “… we have felt ourselves coerced, by the peculiarities of the estate and the tenantry resident thereon, to … assist several families in emigrating to America…. And we have further to state that a large number of children continue to receive gratuitous instruction at a school established for us for their benefit”.  Their report of 1853/4 seems to suggest that their efforts were successful as they note that the estate ‘.… long in an almost hopeless condition, appears now to hold out a prospect of improvement’.  It is not clear which of the children and their families emigrated as a result of the above inducements.  A search of the 1901 census found 13 men with the same names still living in the area.  These are listed below with their townland of residence and their age in 1901.  It is a reasonable presumption that at least the younger of these are the same people.  Based on their ages in 1901, they would have been aged between 9 and 19 when attending the school in 1849. Read More

leitrim-anc

‘Tracing your Leitrim Ancestors’ published by Flyleaf Press

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Flyleaf Press have published ‘Tracing your Leitrim  Ancestors’  by Tom Coughlan.  It is a comprehensive guide to research on the families of county Leitrim, Ireland. It sets out the records available, where they can be accessed both on-line and in archives, and how the available records can be used to best effect in genealogical or family history research.  It is fully indexed, richly illustrated with examples of the records available, and contains links to a wide range of on-line resources.     It can by purchased from here.

Tom Coughlan is a professional genealogist with a Diploma in Genealogy and Family History from University College Dublin and significant experience in conducting family history research for international clients. Although he has conducted research in almost every Irish county, his primary interest is Co.  Leitrim where his own family roots lie, and where he now lives.  In addition to research, Tom has presented genealogy courses and lectures; published articles on family history; and is a member of the expert team which provides genealogy advice to visitors to the National Library of Ireland.  He is also engaged in a long-term, wide-ranging study of aspects of Leitrim’s genealogical story. Read More

Rentals of the estate of Sir Edward O'Brien in Newmarket, Co. Clare, 1738

Rental of O’Brien estate in Newmarket, Co. Clare, 1738

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Small Sources 33:  This is a small rental of the O’Brien estate  in Newmarket Town and surrounding townlands in County Clare in 1738.     The original is a small soft-cover rental document in the Inchiquin Papers which are in the National Library of Ireland  (NLI Ms 14,431). The rental lists tenant’s name; denomination (i.e. the property rented); the rent for half-year ending November 1738; receipts; and allowances.  As is not uncommon in rentals, some receipts are made up of  several payments,  and some of these are credits for payments made by the tenant for work or supplies.  Although only 17 properties are listed, the document refers to 27 persons. The additional people are those referenced in the payments made by the tenants which are credited as part-payment of the rent.  Presumably these payments were due to be made by the landlord (Sir Edward O’Brien) but were made by the tenant on his behalf.  The denomination or property is indicated in brackets below.  Tenement in this context is another word for ‘holding’ and does not have the modern meaning. Read More

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