Labourers in Kilcavan Parish, Wexford 1850.

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Small Sources 5:  This is a small list we found in research on Wexford families. It shows 37  labourers or workmen on the Thomas Meyler Estate in the townland of Harristown, Parish of Kilcavan, Wexford in 1850.  It is in a Workmen’s account book which shows the dates worked and payments made to each worker in May 1850. Payments vary from 4d (pence) to 12d (12 pence,  which equals 1 shilling) per day.  The women are paid 4d  and most males paid 6d plus.  This is low in comparison to wages seen in other sources, e.g. 8 pence per day for Lord Louth’s Labourers in 1801; or 10 pence/day for labourers in Doneraile in 1840.  Another blog on labourers in Roscommon in 1820/21 shows a rate per day for men of  9 pence.  However, this was just after the Great Famine,  and a time of great depression in Ireland.

Lists of workmen are useful as the individuals listed are often difficult to find in the records.  This is because some are not householders but rather lodged with their farmer employers.  They will therefore not appear on land records.    They are arranged in couples or family groups  with one page per individual or group (with some exceptions as in the illustration).  Many of the names are common Wexford names such as Roach  (usually spelled Roche),  Redmond, Corish, Cleary and Howlin.  Note that Flyleaf Press publish ‘Sources for Family and Local History‘ which lists some 6,500 books and articles on 2,500 Irish families,  including several families of these names.

The original of this rental is in National Library of Ireland Ms. 5356. As usual, if you make a connection with anyone on this list, we would be interested to hear. 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 ‘Wexford SS5’ in the subject line.

Name                                                                        Author Notes 

Mary Bryan
James and Pat Butler (Jim in some entries)
Owen, Bid and Nell Carroll
James and John Cleary
Ally and Mary Cleary
Anne Corish
Jim Dorney
Peter Finn
Richard French
Nichl.  Howlin
James Kaine                                                    (usually spelled Keane)
Thomas and Nelly Kelly
Paddy Kelly (Mower)
Andy Kelly
John Murphy
John McDaniel and Cath Scallan
Mary Maloy                                                          (usually spelled Molloy)
Philip, Mary and Ally Moran
Nichl. Murphy
Paddy Redmond
Thomas Roach                                                      (usually spelled Roche)
Paddy Roach                                                                           ”
Ann and Pat Roach                                                              ”
Dolly Walsh
James Walsh
Richd. Westnot
Richd. Williams

Extract from the weekly roster of labourers on Meyler Estate. Courtesy of NLI (Ms. 5356)

Other articles in our series on Irish Family Sources:


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