Small Sources 71. This is a list of 83 members of a Yeoman militia group in County Carlow, Ireland in 1796. It is compiled from two related lists in the National Library of Ireland. The first is the ‘Names and townland of residence of 79 members of the First Carlow Loyal Yeomanry at its formation, Sept.1796′. The second is an ‘Attendance roll of First Carlow Cavalry; Dec. 1796 – Jan. 1797’. The format of the attendance list is shown in Fig 2 below. Both documents are in the same folder: NLI Ms. 19,083. The latter attendance list contains only 45 names and ranks but also lists 4 persons (indicated below) who are not on the first list. The first list also indicates some of these as being infantry, and the attendance list provides the rank of those included. In summary, the combined information on these lists provides names and townlands of residence for most of those listed. The more usual version of the placenames (usually townlands) listed is indicated in brackets below. All of these places are in the general vicinity of the town of Myshal, which is in the Civil Parish of Myshal and barony of Forth in Co. Carlow.
Yeomen were a form of militia, i.e., an armed group put together within an area for local defence. In the Ireland of the 18th century, they were also a force used by authorities to control sedition. Ireland at this time was a very unequal place in which the mainly Anglo-Irish estate-owners controlled almost all aspects of Irish life. Another of our articles in this series summarises the accounts of foreign visitors to Ireland during this period and later. It provides a useful background to forming an understanding of how our ancestors lived, and the role of Yeomen in society.
The specific reason for the creation of the Carlow Yeomen was the rise of the United Irishmen, a powerful political force for independence in late 18th century Ireland. They were the instigators of the 1798 Rebellion against British rule. The British government, in anticipation of this armed revolt, encouraged local gentlemen to raise cavalry troops and infantry companies in their areas. An excellent and detailed account of the issues surrounding the creation of the Yeoman corps, and their organisation, is in the journal History Ireland, and is available here. In consequence of the government encouragement, nine yeomen corps became active in County Carlow in the period leading up to 1798. Their officers were local gentry, and the lower ranks were paid, clothed and armed by government. Although this group was originally called the Carlow Yeomen (in 1796), it would appear that their name was changed to the ‘Myshal Cavalry and Infantry’ sometime before 1798, probably because another militia group also claimed the same name. This is based on the fact that a group called ‘Carlow Cavalry and Infantry’ that was active in 1798 included none of the officers listed here, whereas a group named ‘Myshal Cavalry and Infantry’ were led by the officers listed here. Presumably the name-change was to avoid confusion. The change of name to include Myshal would also make logical sense as Myshal House was the residence of their captain, Robert Cornwall. One of the epic songs about the 1798 Rebellion, called the Croppy Boy, specifically mentions the Myshal Cavalry. Many yeomen and militia, including this Myshal group. were notoriously brutal and had effective licence to arrest, punish or even execute anyone they suspected of being a rebel. The captain was Robert Cornwall, a local landlord who was zealous and cruel in dealing with local rebels and is reputed to have hanged several from a tree in front of his house.
The Yeomen members, it should be noted, are mainly gentry or other families that were loyal to the British Administration and few of the common Catholic families of Carlow are represented among the names. The list does include interesting and unusual names including the wonderfully named Cadwallader Shipley; several members of the Feltus family which, in Ireland, is only found in Carlow at this time; Lummax (probably a variant of Lomax); Elward, Dagg, Hollyman, Welwood and Witter. Flyleaf Press publish an e-book ‘Sources for Irish Family History 2021′ which provides lists of articles and books on 2,500 Irish families. This may be useful in finding further sources of information on some of the families listed.
No illustration of the Carlow (or Myshal) Yeomen uniform could be found, but it is likely to have been similar to the uniform above, from the Cork Militia of the same period.
The illustrations were created by Ancestor Network, courtesy of the National Library of Ireland. Ancestor Network will offer 1 free hour of research by a professional researcher to conduct further research on these individuals, and/or to obtain copies of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘Carlow SS71’ in the subject line. Ancestor Network conducts research on all Irish family history sources and archives. 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.
Name Residence (where provided)
John Ashmore Raheen Wood
Henry Bradley Junr. Ballynocen (Ballyknockan)
Henry Bradley Ballynocken (Ballyknockan)
Thomas Bradley Boledoorah (Booladurragh)
John Bradley Ballynocken (Ballyknockan)
Simon Bradley (no address)
William Bradley Raheenwood
Joseph Bradley (no address)
James Brenan (on attendance list only)
Patt Brenan? Zenah??
Patk Brenan Ballyknockan
William Browne Fennah
Thos. Butler Sraduf (Straduff)
John Butler Sherwood
Philip Butler Sraduff (Straduff)
Benj. Butler Castlegrace
Richd. Butler Tullow
William Butler Clonee
Willm Butler Mountpleasant
John Cleary Ballybrien
Beauchamp Colclough Kildavin
Edward Cooke Clonmore
Robert Cornwall Myshall Lodge
Thos. Dagg Mountpleasant
John Dillon Raheenwood
John Doyle Myshall
Richd. Elward Raheenwood
Edward Eustace Kilconna (Kilconner?)
Wm Eustace Kilconna “
John Faircloth (no address)
John Feltus Hollybrooke
Henry Feltus Hollybrooke
Martin Fenton (on attendance list only)
John Flinn Raheenwood
Ed. Gregory Ballynockin (Ballyknockan)
James Gregory Ballinvally
Robt. Griffith Shean
Thos. Hollyman Lun…?
Benj. James Clonee
Ralph James Clonee
Thomas James (on attendance list only)
John Jenkinson (no address)
Patt Joyce (?) Coolnacuppoge
George Keatinge L…?
George Keatinge Jr. Myshall
Michl. Kelly Myshall
Richd. Keys Ballyknockan
Andrew Lea Killane
Willm. Lea Killane
John Little Aughabog
James Lucas Ravane ??
William Lucas Clonatoos (Clonetoose)
Robert Lucas Clashganny
John Lummax Sraduff (Straduff)
Edward Malone Ballishancarra
James Minchin Ballyna?
Wm. Minchin Ballyknockan
Michl. Murphy Lumcloone
Stephen Murphy Garrahill (Garryhill)
Patrick Neal Knockdramagh (?)
Jno. Neary?? Garryhill?
Michl. Nowlan Killane
Darby Nowlan Upton
William O’Bryan Ballinvally
Geo. O’Neill Garryhill (Spelled O’Neail in foundation document)
Hugh O’Neill Newtown (Spelled O’Neail ” )
John O’Neill Myshall ( “ )
John O’Neill Myshall
William O’Neill (on attendance list only)
Wm. Payne (no address)
George Reice (on attendance list only)
Michl. Rice Crows Grove
William Rose Ballyknockan
Wm. Rose Ballyknockan
James Rose (no address)
Peter Salter Clonee
Thos. Salter Moanmore
Cadw. Shipley Shean
Nichs Shortall Kildavan (Spelled Shortle on attendance list)
Thomas Sligh (on attendance list only)
Robert Smith Myshall
Wilm. Stiles Sraduff (Straduff)
James Stiles Sraduff (Straduff)
Wm. Shets? Garryhill
Wm. Warren Upton
Samuel Watson Lumclone
Danl. Welwood Clasganny (Clashganny)
James Witter Garrihill (Garryhill)
Further 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
- 60+ blogs with names extracted from manuscript sources from many counties. A handy map index to these is available here.
- Travellers’ accounts of Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries