Labourers in Doneraile, Cork in 1839/40

Small Sources 29.   This list shows Labourers on the Doneraile Estate in Cork in 1839/40. It includes 21 men, 2 boys and 1 woman.    The names were extracted from a document among the Doneraile Papers  in the National Library of Ireland entitled “Workmen’s accounts book, 18 May 1839 -25 Apr. 1840”  (Ms. 19,726) which shows the dates worked and payments made to each worker.  Our female readers may be interested to know that the payment for the solitary female worker, Johanna Glynn,  was 6 pence per day, whereas the men were paid 10 pence and even the boys received 6.5 pence per day.

These were the permanent workers on the estate, as distinct from day-labourers.  This can be determined by the fact that most also appear in an 1847  Valuation of Doneraile town as residents of estate workers cottages in Mallow lane.  This document, a House Book compiled during the Valuation of Doneraile Town, can be accessed on the Find My Past website.  The page of the Valuation contains a note ‘This is the South side of Mallow Lane, Lord Doneraile’s workers’ and it is also noted that the workers paid no rent. The estate had leases on many properties in Doneraile town and this line of cottages was apparently allocated to the workers.   The date of this valuation is also significant as it shows that all of these workers survived the Great Famine which lasted from 1845-1847.

The valuation of Doneraile was also useful in interpreting names in the accounts record. The handwriting in this record is difficult to decipher in many places and the names are listed as spelled, noting that the writing is difficult to interpret in places. Notes on possible other interpretations are included.  Note that the author makes a very ornate capital ‘M’ which makes ‘Mullane’ appear to be ‘O’Mullane’ etc.    The abbreviations are included as used e.g.  Ml.  = Michael, Wm.  = William, Ths. = Thomas  etc .  The spelling of several of the names has been clarified by reference to the Valuation document.  For instance Herhilly is actually Herlehy  (or Herlihy). many of the names are common in Cork, including Murphy, Crimmin, Duane and Roche.    The Griffith Valuation, conducted in 1851 approximately, includes 8 of the same individuals and several other households of the same names.

The Doneraile estate was owned by the St. Leger family.  An account of their association with the town can be found here.  The grounds and garden of the estate are now a public park and €1.6m was provided by government to renovate the  house, Doneraile Court, which is now open to visitors – see here.   Flyleaf Press have also published the third edition of the acclaimed guide to researching families in this county  – ‘Tracing your Cork Ancestors‘  by Tony McCarthy and Tim Cadogan,  which is also available as an e-book.

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, please outline your requirements to us:  Click here and quote ‘CorkSS69’ in the subject line.  We will let you know what we might be able to do for you. Ancestor Network will also 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.


All of these are listed in the workmen’s accounts.  On the right is indicated the other records in which they were found at the Mallow Lane address in Doneraile.

Wm. ??                                 (name indecipherable)
Wm. Murphy                      (Listed in 1847 valuation and Griffith Valuation)
Tim Shea ?
Maurice Carroll                  (Listed in 1847 valuation and Griffith Valuation)
Wm Stackpoole                  (Listed in 1847 valuation)
Patt Stack                            (Listed in 1847 valuation and Griffith Valuation)
David Crimin                       (Daniel ?; (Listed as Crimmins in Griffith Valuation)
Ml. Herhilly                          (probably Herlehy; Listed in 1847 valuation and Griffith Valuation)
Ths. Cummons                   (Cummins?)
John Duane                         (Listed in 1847 valuation)
Patt Glynn                           (seems to be Glyinn; Listed in 1847 valuation and Griffith Valuation)
Wm. Murphy
Tim Mullane
John Walsh
Tim Shine
Humphr. Shea                    (probably Humphrey; Listed in 1847 valuation)
Wm. Crimin                         (Listed in 1847 valuation and Griffith Valuation)
John Shea                            (Listed in 1847 valuation)
Ml. Herhilly                         (probably Herlehy – based on Valuation Office list)
Tim Hannlon


Patt Roche                           (Listed in 1847 valuation and Griffith Valuation)
Shee                                     (Could be variant of O’Shea or Sheehy)


Johanna Glynn

Fig 1. Extract from Workmens’ accounts book from Doneraile Papers: 1839 – 1840. NLI Ms. 19, 726

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