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

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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.

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Rental of Monasterevin and Fontstown, Kildare in 1772

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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

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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.

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Rentals as a resource for Irish family history

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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

Rental of Cloncurry Estate in Limerick in 1818.

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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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