was successfully added to your cart.

Genealogy Research App

Find Irish sources using our new APP

Genealogy Books

Tracing your roots by Irish County

Probate Genealogy

Identify heirs to an estate and provide their right to inheritance

Genealogy Research

Experts in tracing people of Irish Ancestry

Genealogy Services

Genealogy Tours, Lectures, Courses

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.

Ancestor News

Labourers and Tradesmen at Heywood, Queen’s County (Laois) in 1794

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

Small Sources No. 48.  This is a list of 78 labourers and tradesmen who worked on the Heywood Estate in Co. Laois (previously Queen’s County) in 1794. The estate is in the Civil Parish of Dysartgallen and Barony of Cullenagh. The document is a single large multi-column page headed ‘Abstract of accounts of labourers and Tradesmen with hired horses working at Heywood beginning January 1st 1794 and ending January 1st 1795’. The page indicates the trades of some but it is not clear which of the others were hired ‘with a horse’, which would have been common at the time.   Estate owners and large farmers hired men and their horses at ploughing or  harvest time for work requiring haulage, such as building.    The original document  is in the National Library of Ireland (Ms. NLI Ms 11,368) and is reproduced through their courtesy.  In 1794 Heywood House would have been the residence of Michael Frederick Trench (1746-1836) who was a barrister and also an amateur architect. He built Heywood House in 1773, and had a large local estate. His portrait is above, and a  short history of the family and estate is here.

Michael F. Trench landscaped the local area by digging lakes, and creating gardens and parks.  He also laid out the town of Ballinakill, which was part of his estate.     Some further information on the garden and landscaping is here.  He  also designed and built many other architectural features on the estate, including gates, mock castles and houses for staff and tenants. It may be that this is why there were so many trademen working on his estate in 1794.  Conditions cannot have been too bad for these workers,  as one of the entries on the account is below!


 In 1906 the Trench family commissioned the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens to design Heywood Gardens,  which are now owned and managed by the Irish government and managed by the Office of Public Works.  However, the house was destroyed in a fire in 1950. Some common name abbreviations are used, including Wm. = William; Edwd. = Edward; Andw. = Andrew, Michl. = Michael and Thos.= Thomas.   Very common names in the area include Phelan and Fitzpatrick.     Ancestor Network will offer 1 free hour of research by a professional researcher to conduct further research on these individuals, or on other tenants of the estate. Click here and quote ‘Laois SS48’ in the subject line.

Thomas Burke
Tim Brennan
Patt Bergan                                  (now more usually spelled Bergin) 
Darby Brophy
Thomas Brennan
Andw. Cullen
? Campion
Michl. Casey
John Deegan
Thos., Patk. and  John Doolan
Francis Doolan
Terence Dunne
Wm. Fitzgerald
Edwd Fougarty                      (probably a variant of Fogarty)
James Flanigan
Michael Fitzpatrick
Patt Fitzpatrick
Laurence Fitzpatrick
John Grace and Brothers
James and Martin Gorman
Danl.  and Thos. Gorman
James Hayes
John King
The Kirbys
John Malone and son
John Moran
James Mealon
Patt Mulltilly                    (a rare name derived from Gaelic O’Maoltuile and often anglicised as Tully)
Edward Mackey
Michael McDaniel
James Phelan
William and Thomas Phelan
Thos. Phelan of C: H:
Patt Phelan & Dunne
Keran Quin                         (probably a variant of Kieran or Ciaran,  now a common Irish name)
James Rourke
James Sutliffe                   (the name Sutly appears in later RC records in Ballinakill) 
James & Michl. Wall
Andrew Phelan and Son
Edward Butler
Michl. Corcoran
James Shay
Michl. Phelan
Patt Sheal

Task Work
Luke Shay
William Byrne
E. Flaherty

James Ruth & Son
John Grace and Sons
Robt. Mullock
Dan Byrne
Edwd. Phelan
Michl. Ruth
Mn. ? Edwards

Chas. Daly
Henry Eyres
James Delany
Patt Watters
John Delany
John Day
Mich. Flood
John Bruton


Sundry Tradesmen

Walter Dalton                Slater
George Forestal             Horse-shoer
Martin Ruth                    Nailer
Richd. Hancock              Saddler
Patt Comerford              Locksmith
? Costello                        Pump Boarer?
? Lynegar                        Taylor
Willm. Byrne                   for Horsework

Farm Servants
Edwd. Flaherty               Steward
Wm. Flaherty                  Herd              (i.e. looked after cattle) 
James Deegan                Servant          (meaning ‘farm-servant’ i.e. farm worker) 
Peter Dreelan                 Gardiner       (rare name; a child of  Peter Dreelan is recorded in Ballinakill in 1797)
Sandy Lawrence             do.

Others mentioned in accounts  
Casey and Hogan          Thatchers
Mr. Goss                        Shop acct.      (There are several Goss households in Ballinakill; one may be a shop)
Mr. Dunne                     do.
Galbraith                       for Malt
Mr Thompson               for Castlecool Rent
Mrs Cushen                   for one year annuity
Widow Kelly’s sons

Sources For Irish Family History

a guide to books, monographs and periodical papers on Irish families. The references cited are mainly accounts of particular family lines and vary from fond and emotional accounts of families and their ancestral homes to dispassionate, well-researched and fully documented family studies and pedigrees.

Available HERE

Tenants of the Trant Estate, Dovea, Co. Tipperary: 1815-20

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

Small Sources 47: This is a list of 94 tenants on the Trant estate in the area of Dovea in the Civil Parish of Loughmoe West, Co. Tipperary mainly in the period 1815-20.  Some accounts continue into the 1830s.    The rentals for these estates are included in the Trant Papers which are in the National Library of Ireland.  This list is from an index to a rental found among these papers (NLI Ms. 1756).     See our article here for a detailed account of rentals and their relevance.   The index includes the names of all tenants and  the page of the rental which contains their individual account.  Each of these accounts provides basic details on the rent due and the payments made.  It does not always specify the location of the holding.   An example is below, which shows the account of Patrick Cleary and others in ‘part of Killaghra‘.  Holdings by partnerships such as this are not uncommon.  Note the account of Mary Bryan below, which shows that she was paid in guineas (£1 and 1 shilling) Some common abbreviations are used, including  Thos. = Thomas;  Wm. = William;  Michl. = Michael; Edwd. = Edward; Patk = Patrick; Corns. = Cornelius;  and Danl. = Daniel.  The  images are by Ancestor Network and reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.

Read More

Rental of Monasterevin and Fontstown, Kildare in 1772

By | Genealogy Research, General Genealogy News | No Comments

Small Sources 46: This rental is from the estate of the Earl of Drogheda in Monasterevin and Fonstown, Co. Kildare in 1772. The original is in the National Library of Ireland (Ms. 12,722) and the document images (created by Ancestor Network)  are reproduced through their courtesy.  Our article on rentals and their significance for family history is available here.   This rental  contains 161 names of tenants in three areas: 119 tenants in the town and surroundings of Monasterevin (spelled Monastereven in this record); 41 tenants in Fontstown (or Fonstown) and one in Cadamstown.   For each tenant there is a description and/or location of the property they held, the rent due and payment made (see illustration below).  Some tenants held several properties, and manyof the Fontstown tenants are substantial land-holders,  or ‘strong farmers’ as they might have been called.  The painting in the montage above is ‘The Strong Farmer‘ by Jack B Yeats.   The rents paid vary from £157 (Francis Browne) to 7 shillings and 6 pence (Maurice Fitzgerald).  Note also that some of the properties are bog-land, which would have been used for turf by local residents. Read More

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.

Read More

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. Read More

Ancestor Network Book Shop

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.