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spin-nli

Kilkenny Women Flax-spinners in 1827

By | Genealogy Research, General Genealogy News | No Comments
Small Sources 26.  Evidence of women in Irish genealogical sources is unfortunately sparse, and those that do occur are often listed only as e.g. ‘Widow Murphy’. We list here 83 women receiving payments in 1827 for spinning and weaving of flax. The documents are in the  Bessborough papers in the National Library of Ireland Ms 29,805 (1).   The family had very extensive estates in Kilkenny and their residence was Bessborough House at Piltown in the civil parish of Fiddown.  The house and estate are now an agricultural college    The family lived in England until 1825 when the 4th Earl of Bessborough and his wife came to live there, with their 11 children.  They were ‘improving’ landlords and encouraged local industry and crafts.   Although residences for the women are not specified, it is logical that the women lived in the immediate vicinity of the estate.  There was no practical reason why the farm management would seek flax spinners further than was necessary.  Almost all of the surnames appear locally in the Griffith Valuation returns (1850) and in the Tithe Applotment Survey.  In particular, 15 of the 83 family names appear in the neighbouring townland of Belline & Rogerstown; 6 in Tobernabrone; 6 in Banagher and 6 in Fiddown.
Flax spinning involved making yarn by spinning, or twisting, fibres of flax into a thread.  It was uniquely women’s work at the time and involved using a spinning wheel operated by a foot treadle.  The yarn was then transferred to the weaver to be woven into linen cloth.   Linen-making was popular as it provided work throughout the year, and also involved several members of the household.  Men were involved in growing and processing the flax, and in weaving.  Women were involved in the spinning and (later in the century) also in weaving.   At the period of this list (1827) the work was still done by hand.  Steam-powered spinning machines later resulted in rapid decline in hand-spinning.  Machine-spinning became centered in large Ulster mills and the cottage-industry gradually disappeared.  Weaving, on the other hand, was maintained partly because of the availability of machine-spun thread.

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tourin

Residents of Tourin townland, Waterford in 1841.

By | Genealogy Research, General Genealogy News | No Comments

Small Sources 25: This list shows 26 residents of the townland of Tourin, (in the Civil parish of Lismore and Mocollop, Co. Waterford ) in 1841. The list is on a single loose page among papers of the Devonshire Estate, which are in the National Library of Ireland (Ms. 43,781/ 3).    The legend to the list states “The above-named persons live on the lands of Tourin. B Musgrave 1841 June 3rd”. The specific purpose of the list is not clear but the Musgrave family had a residence close by, and  were building a further family house and developing a large garden at this location at this time, so it may be related to this work. This new house still exists and is now open to visitors (see http://tourin.ie/about-tourin-house).

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MS 43,760/ 31 List of labourers  (July 1850)  in accounts of Francis E. Curry for expenditure on the Duke of Devonshire’s Irish estates

Labourers in Lismore, Waterford in 1850.

By | Genealogy Research, General Genealogy News | No Comments

Small Sources 24. This small list shows 30 Labourers on the Devonshire Estate, Lismore, Co. Waterford in 1850. Lists of workmen are useful as they tend to be difficult to find in the records. The names were extracted from several documents in the a file of accounts of the Devonshire Estate in the National Library of Ireland, which show the dates worked and payments made to each worker on dates in 1850.    Most are also tenants on the estate and paying their rent through labour.    The names are listed as spelled, and with the abbreviations used, e.g. Michl. = Michael, Wm. = William etc . The originals are in National Library of Ireland Ms. 43,760/1.     Ancestor Network will offer 1 free hour of research by a professional researcher to conduct further research on these individuals or others in these estate papers and/or to obtain copies of the original. Click here and quote ‘Waterford SS24’ in the subject line.

John Power
Wm. Ahern
Jas. Nugent (Neugant in 1 list)
Michl. Roach
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NGS Quarterly review of ‘Finding your Ancestors in Kerry’

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The National Genealogical Society Quarterly recently published a review of our title ‘Finding your Ancestors in Kerry‘  by Kay Caball.  The review,  by Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann,  kindly declares the book to be  “..essential reading for any genealogist or family historian whose research focuses on (Kerry)…” and also goes on to say that  ” This book, friendly and easy to read, would appeal to any beginner.  Finding your Ancestors in Kerry also also covers enough ground to reveal documents of interest even to experienced genealogists“.     It is available here.   The book is a comprehensive guide to tracing ancestors in County Kerry.  It describes all the various sources of family history  information,  where  each of these can be accessed and how to best use them in your research.   The people of Kerry have a rich history.  Although very predominantly Gaelic,  their origins  include  Normans, English, Danish Vikings, French Huguenots and German Palatines.  All of these have contributed to the character of twentieth century Kerry.

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