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Ancestor Network Limited is a collective of Ireland’s most experienced genealogical experts. Ancestor Network, Ireland’s leading provider of professional genealogy and probate research, was established in May 2009. Ancestor Network is made up of the largest team of professional genealogists across the island of Ireland. Collectively, our genealogists have over 200 years’ research experience in Ireland and abroad.

Ancestor Network conducts Irish probate research for global heir hunter and professional legal firms. It has provided the popular genealogy advisory service at the National Library of Ireland for the past five consecutive years. It was exclusive genealogical researcher for RTÉ’s ‘The Genealogy Roadshow’ and successfully managed projects such as the Kerry Genealogy Road Show, County Monaghan Genealogy Training, and Report on Heritage and Genealogy Initiatives in Carlow. In 2014 it acquired Flyleaf Press (www.flyleaf.ie), the specialist Irish genealogy book publisher. The Company is focused on probate and individual research, education, advisory services, consultancy and e-publishing. Our genealogy and heritage services can be provided flexibly, to almost any scale, and with the broadest possible range of advisory and research skills. Our unique panel of experts can provide an unmatched experience for the customer – whether an individual or an institution.

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Some tenants of Clanricarde Estate in Loughrea, Galway in 1780

By | Genealogy Research, General Genealogy News | No Comments

Small Sources 45.   This list of 43 tenants is from a document (NLI Ms. 2119) in the Clanricarde papers in the National Library of Ireland entitled ‘List of arrears due May 1777 with the different yearly rentals from that period to November 1780 as also a list of the arrears then due … during the employment of John Nowlan as agent and receiver of rents to the Right Honourable John Smith De Burgo, Earl of Clanricarde, as extracted from his lordships ledger found in the possession of his late agent William Morrissy’.  See our article here for a detailed account of rentals and their relevance.  The document provides the names and properties as below, and also the rent, the arrears due and (for some) observations on their status. For instance in the entry for Hutchinson, who rents ‘Knowles plot’ the observation is ‘Knowles died a beggar’. Note that several tenants are listed as ‘Esq.’ meaning Esquire, which was a title of respect for men of higher social rank, e.g. landed gentry above the rank of gentleman. The rents vary widely from £275 (Peter Killkenny) to 8 shillings (James Kenny, and also John Harrison) to 4 shillings (Widow W. Hugo for a ‘cabin on the rock’).  ‘Chief Rent’  mentioned below is what is now termed Ground Rent.  Some of these people are listed in a Survey of Loughrea in 1791.

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Rentals as a resource for Irish family history

By | Genealogy Books, Genealogy Research, General Genealogy News, Uncategorized | No Comments

This article deals with rentals, a term also used in North America for hire cars,  but here referring to records of rent payments by tenants on Irish estates,  particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries.  They are a potentially valuable source of family history information that is often overlooked, mainly because very few are available  on-line.

1. Background

During the 18th and most of the 19th centuries, almost every Irish farmer and small-holder was a tenant of one of the large estates whose Anglo-Irish gentry owners controlled every aspect of Irish life. The reason for this was that successive rebellions against British administration in earlier centuries had resulted in almost all Irish land being confiscated from its historic owners.  This land was then granted to those who were proven to be loyal to British interests. These included the ‘adventurers’ who had funded the armies involved in quelling Irish  rebellions;   the soldiers who served in the armies involved (in lieu of pay);  and also others who were due favours by the British court.   These new owners (and their successors) rented the land to the existing occupiers, or in some cases (particularly Ulster) settled their new properties with immigrants from Scotland and England.  In parallel, draconian anti-Catholic legislation (called the Penal Laws) was imposed from 1703 limiting the right of Catholics to own property above a certain value;  to hold public positions; and to receive education.  The rights of Presbyterians were also curtailed.  This created a situation whereby acceptance of the role of tenant with no rights was the only option available to most Catholics.

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Rental of Cloncurry Estate in Limerick in 1818.

By | Genealogy Research, General Genealogy News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Small Sources No. 44. This is a list of 69 tenants on the Cloncurry estate  in the Civil Parish of Abington (Barony of Owneybeg) directly east of the City of Limerick. The original document is a rental in the National Library of Ireland (NLI Ms. 8183).   See our article here for a detailed account of rentals and their relevance.  The tenants are a mix of large and small tenants who together paid a total of £5,193 in rent,  but the individual holdings range in rental amounts from £1.15 shillings to £965. The size of holdings is not provided.  The record does provide the rent due and paid and any arrears.  The notes in brackets provide some additional information on local townland names.   The Abington estate comprised 1,796 acres and belonged to Lord Cloncurry, whose main estates and residence was in County Kildare.  Further information on his Limerick estate is available here.  He was a controversial figure in the Ireland of his time.  He was associated with the rebel group, the United Irishmen,  and was imprisoned on suspicion of treason in 1798.  However, he gained greater prominence after suing a friend for having an affair with his wife.  The court case proved one of the great scandals of the time.     A detailed account of the life of Lord Cloncurry and his attempts to introduce reforms to his Abington and other estates is in a Maynooth University PhD thesis available here.   This is of particular interest because it describes his efforts to ‘improve’ his estates, i.e. to provide assistance to his tenants by developing their farms and the local infrastructure.   As an ‘improving’ landlord, he gradually eliminated the ‘middle men’ on his estates.  These were large tenants who did not themselves  till the land,  but rented it in smaller lots to sub-tenants. They often charged very high rents and provided no support to their tenants.    Cloncurry got rid of these middle-men (where he legally could) so that he could deal directly with those tenants who worked the land.   It is interesting to note, for instance that in 1818 there are only 4 tenants in the townland of Mongfune below,  whereas in the Griffith Valuation (1851) he has 24 tenants in this townland.   Only one of the 1818 tenants,  Matthew Duhy,  is still present and he is himself a large farmer.   Henry White, a tenant in Knockanerry, seems  also to be a middle-man and appears in the Valuation Books of 1850 as a holder of 31 properties in this townland.

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Tenants in Inch and Holycross parishes, Tipperary 1829/30

By | Genealogy Books, Genealogy Research, General Genealogy News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Small Sources 43.   This list of 124 tenants is from a rent book of the Lidwell estate in Co. Tipperary for the period 1829-30.  The document is in the National Library of Ireland  (NLI Mss. 9480) and is titled “Brown, of Clonboy, Papers. Rentals of Cormackstown and Clonmore, Co. Tipperary, the estate of Robert Lidwell, 1826-33′.     See our article here for a detailed account of rentals and their relevance.   The Lidwells had estates in several parts of Tipperary and these are detailed in the Landed Estates Database.  One branch held properties in the townlands of Clon More (Civil Parish of Inch – approx 1200 acres) and Cormackstown (Civil Parish of Holycross – approx 600 acres), barony of Eliogarty from 1736.  The account book was apparently only a rough record made by the agent and the writing is indecipherable in places (see example at end of blog). To understand the detail it is useful to know that it was common practice for land to be rented to a group of tenants  (partners) who would then distribute the land among themselves by arrangement. The Clonmore account book usefully lists the partnerships in place in this property. (Note, however, that there is no similar list for the Cormackstown property). The Clonmore list shows that there were 18 main tenants, and that 9 of these were partnerships (four of these being partnerships among brothers).  An extract is shown below.   In the list of 124 tenants below, some of the payments are indicated as being from partners of these main tenants, e.g. John Brennan partner of Patk. Malone.  The partnership to which they belong is indicated as  ‘per’.  The rental does not indicate whether the tenants were in the Cormackstown or Clonmore property, but the location of some can be worked out from this information.

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New Title – “Tracing your Tipperary Ancestors” now available By Noreen Higgins-McHugh

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Flyleaf Press, the publishing arm of Ancestor Network, has published a comprehensive guide to all of the records available for tracing families in County Tipperary.

The book was formally launched in the Tipperary Excel Centre, Mitchell Street, Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary on Thursday, 13th December 2018 by Des Murnane, President of Tipperary Historical Society. Read More

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