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.
Patt Bergan (now more usually spelled Bergin)
Thos., Patk. and John Doolan
Edwd Fougarty (probably a variant of Fogarty)
John Grace and Brothers
James and Martin Gorman
Danl. and Thos. Gorman
John Malone and son
Patt Mulltilly (a rare name derived from Gaelic O’Maoltuile and often anglicised as Tully)
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 Sutliffe (the name Sutly appears in later RC records in Ballinakill)
James & Michl. Wall
Andrew Phelan and Son
James Ruth & Son
John Grace and Sons
Mn. ? Edwards
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
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 2021
a guide to 6,500 books, monographs and periodical papers on 2,500 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.
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