From Grand Jury Presentments KK 1832
Caption for illustration: Extract from the Grand Jury Presentments of Kilkenny in Spring 1832.
Here is Dr. James Ryan’s latest blog from In-Depth Genealogist which first appeared on http://theindepthgenealogist.
Grand Jury Presentments
As Dr James Ryan has said in previous Flyleaf Press blogs, the relative shortage of Irish sources means that every record linking a name to a place is potentially useful. He therefore offers you a few obscure possibilities from time to time. One such source is Grand Jury Presentments. Grand Juries were the forerunners of the modern County Councils. They were a panel of major landowners in each county formed to make decisions on legal and other matters. They were 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. The family history relevance is that the proposals include the names of proposed contractors. On occasion, they may also 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 GJP 1831) Read More