Small Sources 16: This list is of 26 persons who purchased flax seed from the Monteagle estate in the Shanagolden area of county Limerick in 1808. The estate was owned by the Spring-Rice family whose titles included Lord Monteagle. This list is from the correspondence of Stephen Edward Rice and the original is in the National Library of Ireland (NLI Ms 605A). In this period there were many incentives for farmers to grow flax as a means of developing the linen industry. The heading on the list states that 124 pottles of flax seed were sold at 1 shilling 7 pence halfpenny per pottle on 15th May 1808. (A pottle is an old measure of liquid equalling a half-gallon). Each purchaser bought from 2 to 7 pottles. These people would clearly have had access to land for planting and were probably tenants of the Monteagle estate. Note that eight of the purchasers are women. Many of the stages in the making of linen, particularly spinning, provided employment for women in the home. Growing of the flax would therefore have been of direct interest to women in the area. In areas where wool was not common, flax-growing provided a means of production of cloth for households.
The names include many that are common in Limerick and North Kerry including Madigan, McMahon, Flanagan, O’Brien, but also a few less common names such as Hassett and Collis. Further information on some of these families may be available through our e-book title ‘Sources for Irish Family History 2021‘. It lists 6,500 books and articles written about specific Irish families. It provides access to a wealth of published information on about 2,500 Irish families.
The images of the document above and below were created by Ancestor Network in the National Library of Ireland and are reproduced here through their courtesy. If you need help in following up on anything related to this source, or any other Irish research, you can outline your requirements here and we will let you know what we might be able to do for you. 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 this estate. We can also obtain images of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘Limerick SS16’ in the subject line.
M. Mc Mahon
Arthur Hassett (?)
Further Limerick and general articles in our series on Irish Family History sources include:
- 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
- 70+ blogs with names extracted from manuscript sources from many counties (including Cork). A handy map index to these is available here.
- Tenants of the Considine Estate in Limerick & Tipperary 1830
- Rental of Cloncurry Estate in Limerick in 1818.
- Farmers in Castletown, Co Limerick in 1848/49
- Labourers in Shanagolden, Co. Limerick 1808.