The list below are the signatories to a letter of 1828 petitioning Daniel O’Connell (local lawyer and politician, and leader of the Catholic Emancipation movement – see here) to represent the tenants of Sliebheena (near Castleisland, Co. Kerry) in a legal action to resist their eviction from their homes. An extract reads “the glaringness of the wrong offered us is obvious to anybody. They first squeezed what they could out of us by wheedling and Lamh Laidir* and now they proceed to heave us out …. And they will do so unless that chivalrous generosity for which you are so eminently distinguished will make you advocate our cause..”. The letter is designed to appeal to his pity, as are the descriptions of the signatories – see below. (* literally ‘strong hand’ – meaning strong-arm tactics). The names are listed as given and there are some clear misspellings (e.g. Dinnis) and the descriptions are also as given (e.g. ‘miserably poor widower’).
The original is in National Library of Ireland Ms 16,635. At this period, landlords had complete power over tenants and could effectively evict without cause. A description of estate management practices is in our article on Rentals.
Ancestor Network will offer 1 free hour of research by a professional researcher to conduct further research on these individuals or obtain copies. Click here and quote ‘Kerry Petioners offer’ in the subject line. Note also that Flyleaf Press, the publishing arm of Ancestor Network, publish ‘Finding your Ancestors in Kerry‘ by local genealogist Kay Caball.
Name and description given in the document. (author comments in brackets)
Hanna McCarthy – Widow
Richard McCarthy – Orphan
Cherry McCarthy – “
Justin McCarthy – “
Charles McCarthy – “
Purdon McCarthy – “
Dinnis Flynn – Miserably poor widower
Mary Flynn – Helpless orphans
Catherine Flynn – “
Michael Flynn – “
Nelly Flynn – “
Gubblay (?)Flynn – “ (possibly Gobnet – a local name)
Margaret O’Brien – Widow and mother of young orphans
Peggy ..annon (?) – “
Mary Moriarty – “
Francis Lawson – Widowed father of 8 orphans
John O’Connor – Father of a numerous young family
John Lawson – Old father of six and seven children each
Stephen Lawson – “
Florence McCarthy sen. – “
Michael O’Daly – Needy labourers with families
Timothy O’Connor – “
Michael Brosnan – “
Christopher Harold – “
Other articles in our series on Irish Family Sources:
- Petty Sessions– the records of local courts
- 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?
- Catholic Church Records
- Travellers’ accounts of Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries
- Census returns in Gaelic or Irish language
- 50+ blogs with names extracted from manuscript source. A handy map index to these is available here.