Small Sources 55: Below is a list of 148 tenants in arrears to the Bellew estate in Galway in the years 1817-1820. They are derived from several lists on loose pages among the Bellew papers in the National Library of Ireland (NLI Ms. 31,918). The Bellew family had extensive property in the parish of Moylough, county Galway since the 17th century. They founded the town of Mountbellew and built a large house nearby. By the 1870s they owned over 10,000 acres in county Galway and more in Roscommon. They retained this land until 1937, when it was taken over by the Land Commission by agreement. A book on the family and their estate entitled ‘The Bellews of Mount Bellew: A Catholic Gentry Family in 18th century Ireland‘ is available on Google Books. Another brief account of the great divide in lifestyles between landlords and their tenants is in our blog entitled ‘Eye-witnesses to our ancestors‘ which summarises the accounts of travellers to Ireland in the period covered by this document.
The documents noted above list 293 names of tenants in arrears on various dates between 1817 and 1820, and the amounts due by each. The writing is poor and some entries could not be determined. As some tenants are included on several successive lists, they have been sorted below into a single list of 152 individual persons. Some are listed in different formats in the originals (e.g. J. Burke and John Burke) but it is presumed that these are the same person. Only a few place-names are mentioned in the text, and all of those places which can be traced (e.g. Clooncallaga, Lismoyle and Tomree) are close to Mountbellew so it is likely that all of the tenants below are residents of this civil parish or of the neighbouring parishes of Moylough or Killoscobe.
The original lists also contain some interesting references as to how rents were paid. For instance, John Gerraghty and John Stanton, both sawyers (i.e. men who sawed timber as a trade) paid at least part of their rent through their professional services to the estate. Similarly, Lacky Higgins provided carriage services to the estate in lieu of his rent. An account of rental practices, including payment of rent through labour, is in our blog on rentals.
Interesting family names that occur on the list are below. The italic notes in brackets are added by Ancestor Network.
- Bollin: This is probably a variant of Boland, which is rare in this area
- Goly: A rare name derived from the Gaelic Ó Gabhlaigh & Ó Gúilidhe.
- Gormally: Probably a variant of Gormley which is very common in County Derry and surroundings.
- Tannyan: Very rare local name, anglicised as Tannion or Tanyan. From the Gaelic Ó Tannaidheáin
- Rogerson: A Norman name that is particularly found in East Galway and Roscommon
- Kilgannan: Usually spelled Kilgannon. A relatively rare name, found in this area and in Sligo.
- Laughnan: A common name but mainly spelled Loughnane; not to be confused with Loughan.
- Conachy: A name with a huge number of variant spellings but not usually found in this area.
- Finaughty: A local name with a huge number of variant spellings, including Feenaghty
- Rochfort: A relatively widespread Norman name
- Cussane: This name is mainly associated with Kerry, but a small number are found in this general region. The may be a separate family with a similar name.
- Mallady: A local name derived from the Gaelic Ó Maoiléidigh; also anglicised as Melody.
The names Conneely, Burke, Mannion, Noone, Higgins, Crehan , Tully, Curly, Forde, Fahy and Moran are all very common names in this part of Galway. Full information on distribution of names can be found in John Grenham’s excellent site. Interesting forenames include the rare Lacky. This name is almost uniquely found in Connaught. Of the 129 occurrences in the Tithe Applotments, 95% are in Connaught counties. Redmond, Connor (now very common) and Thady are also relatively uncommon names in records.
Below is the list in alphabetic order by first name. Note that some names may occur multiple times in the lists but, for convenience, are listed only once below. For instance the reference ‘Andrew or Andy or A. Kelly’ means that there are at least 3 references to an A. Kelly, Andrew Kelly or Andy Kelly and it is presumed that this is the same person. Similarly there are references to Barny Daly, Barny Daily etc.
The images were made by Ancestor Network and reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland. Another source of Galway records among our blogs is a rental from Kilconnell in 1840. 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. We can also obtain images of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘Galway SS55’ in the subject line. We also publish ‘A Guide to Tracing your Galway Ancestors‘ by local historian Peadar O’Dowd – see cover illustration above. It is available here.
Tenant names and forms in which recorded. (The italic notes are added by Author).
Andrew or Andy or A. Kelly
Anthony Kain (a variant of Cain)
Barny or Barry, Daly or Daily
Danl. Curly pr. T. Tully
Danl. Gerraghty (usually spelled Geraghty)
Danl. Kelly for Gill’s place
Denis Gormally (a variant of Gormley, which is common in this region)
Denis Geraughty (a variant of Geraghty)
Domk. Kelly (Dominick)
Edmd. Geraughty (a variant of Geraghty)
George Lohan or Loughan (Loughan is a variant of Lohan)
Gill Laughnan (..nam?) (a variant of Loughnane)
J. Conachy (see text above)
J. Duane, Timra..? (the placename is probably the townland of Tomree – see text above)
J. Fenaghty (see text above)
J? Mannion, Cloncolga (a townland, now called Clooncallaga)
James Murray or Murry (Murray is the usual spelling)
Jn. ? Loghnane (see text above)
Jno. Gerraghty, Sawyer (usually spelled Geraghty)
John or Jno. Cussane (see text above)
John Foarde or Jno. Forde (A common Galway name – usually spelled Forde)
John or Jno. Goly (very rare – see text above)
John Kilgannan (usually spelled Kilgannon)
John or Jno. Nestor
John Noon, Kilcarragh? (this place could not be found in the Mountbellew area)
John or Jno. Rock
John Stanton, by sawing
John or Jno. Tully, Rossestown (probably the townland now called Rushestown)
John or Jno. Walsh
Kelly for Gill
L. Bollin (see text above)
Lacky B? ..eggin
L. or Lacky Higgins
Laur.ce or L. Monaghan
Laurence Morahan?, Verdon (Morahan is rare name in this area. Verdon may be a residence, but nothing found)
Lenamore or Lenamore Graziers (Probably a consortium of grazing tenants – no names)
Luke or L. McGuire
Martin Finaghty or Finaughty (see text above)
Martin McLoghlin (usually spelled McLoughlin)
Michl. or M. Coffey
Michl. Gown (possibly a variant of Gowan, but not associated with this area)
Michl. Or M. Kelly
Michl. Laughnan (..nam?) (see text above)
Michl. Loughnane by M. Duane
Michl. Rogerson (see text above)
Michl. Rotchford (see text above)
Mr? Dennis Keogh
Mr. Thos. Abbott
N. Loghnane (variant of Loughnane – see text above)
Newtown M McLoghlin
Newtown or Newtown Labourers (Probably a consortium of tenants – no names)
Nick Loughnan (see text above)
Owen Glyn (usually spelled Glynn)
Owen Mallady (see text above)
P. Tannyanne (see text above)
P. Garraghty, Cloncolga (a townland, now called Clooncallaga)
Pat Rorke (usually spelled Rourke)
Patt or P. Brandon
Patt Campbol? (Possibly a variant of Campbell)
Patt or P. Coffey
Patt or P. Collins
Patt Crossby ?
Patt Devan Tum… (Probably the townland now called Tomree)
Patt Donalan (usually spelled Donnellan)
Patt Duan Tu… (Probably the townland now called Tomree)
Patt Finaghty (see text above)
Patt Geraughty (a variant of Geraghty)
Patt Kelly Blasta?? (this place could not be found)
Patt Mannion Cloncolga (a townland, now called Clooncallaga)
Patt Mc ???
Patt McIdoo? (Possibly McAdoo)
Patt Tannyane (see text above)
Patt or P. White
Peter Brannon (Probably Brennan)
Peter Gerraghty (usually spelled Geraghty)
Redmd. Ownes (probably same as above – usually spelled Owens)
Robt. Kenedy (usually spelled Kennedy)
Rt. Kennedy (Rt. is probably an abbreviation of Robert)
T. Gormally or Thady Gormally (see text above)
Thomas or Thos. Conneely
Thomas or Thos. or Tom Hopkins
Thoms. Kelly for ? Kelly
Thos. Hayden or Heyden
Thos. Monaughan (usually spelled Monaghan)
Walter or Walt Burke
Widow Monaghan by D. Cunningham (indicating that the widow’s rent was paid by D. Cunningham)
William or Wm. Mannion
Flyleaf Press publishes ‘A Guide to Tracing your Galway Ancestors‘ by eminent local historian and genealogist Peadar O’Dowd.
Some of the articles in our series on Irish Family History sources:
- Petty Sessions– the records of local courts
- Catholic Church records
- Grand Jury Presentments – records of local councils on payments for public works and staff
- Rentals – management of tenants by estates and the records created
- Middle names – the use (or non-use) of second or middle names in Irish records
- How comprehensive are Irish Civil Records?
- Census returns in Gaelic or Irish language
- 50+ blogs containing original family history material extracted from Irish manuscripts