Small Sources 46: This rental is from the estate of the Earl of Drogheda in Monasterevin and Fonstown, Co. Kildare in 1772. The original is in the National Library of Ireland (Ms. 12,722) and the document images (created by Ancestor Network) are reproduced through their courtesy. Our article on rentals and their significance for family history is available here. This rental contains 161 names of tenants in three areas: 119 tenants in the town and surroundings of Monasterevin (spelled Monastereven in this record); 41 tenants in Fontstown (or Fonstown) and one in Cadamstown. For each tenant there is a description and/or location of the property they held, the rent due and payment made (see illustration below). A full description of rental formats and practices, and on the useful family information they can provide, is in our blog Rentals as a resource for Irish family history. Some tenants held several properties, and many of the Fontstown tenants are substantial land-holders, or ‘strong farmers’ as they might have been called. The painting in the montage above is ‘The Strong Farmer‘ by Jack B Yeats. The rents paid vary from £157 (Francis Browne) to 7 shillings and 6 pence (Maurice Fitzgerald). Note also that some of the properties are bog-land, which would have been used for turf by local residents.
Fontstown is a civil parish south-east of Monasterevin and a mainly agricultural area. Monasterevin is a small town dating back to the 7th century, which developed as a market town and also had a large brewery and distillery. It was also located on the main road to the southwest and thereby had a significant trade from passing travellers, which continued until recent times. For many Irish people, Monasterevin is associated only with traffic! However, back in the 18th century, the Moore family (Earls of Drogheda) developed the town, including the layout of its streets. They also built their residence Moore Abbey nearby in 1760. The construction of the Grand Canal through the town in 1768 further developed the area. The period in which this record was compiled would therefore have been a prosperous one for most residents. At the time of this record, the estate was held by Charles Moore, the 6th Earl of Drogheda, who also owned many other properties in Kildare and neighbouring counties.
Some names are repeated several times as tenants on different properties but are only listed once below within each area. If you are interested in information on specific families listed, some may be included in our e-book title ‘Sources for Irish Family History 2021 which lists 6,500 books and articles on over 2,500 Irish families. The sources listed contain a wealth of information on the history and genealogy of the listed families. The full details of the book are described in one of our blogs.
Some name abbreviations are also used in the manuscript: including Wm. = William; Edwd. = Edward; and Saml. = Samuel; Danl = Daniel. Other more unusual abbreviations are explained below where they occur. Note that several tenants are listed as ‘Esq.’ meaning Esquire, which was a title of respect for men of higher social rank, e.g. landed gentry above the rank of gentleman.
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. We can also obtain images of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘Kildare46’ in the subject line. We also publish ‘A Guide to Tracing your Kildare Ancestors‘ (see above) co-written by three eminent local historians and genealogists. It is available here.
The tenants are listed below as in the rental document, which is divided by the property locatopn
Alexand. Sparrow (see Note 5 below)
Augs. McDonaugh (Augustus)
Barthw. Hyland (Bartholomew)
Byrne & White
Christr. Cox (Christopher)
Corns. Lawler (Cornelius)
Edward Wale ? Esq. (See note 3 below)
Francis Browne Esq.
Gabl. Dolan (Gabriel)
Hugh Dempsey Partners
James Mouls Reps. (possibly a variant of Moyles)
John Brown’s Reps.
John Cullen’s Reps
John Lennox’s Reps.
Laurence Rooke (see note 1 below)
Laurence Wax ?
Mau. Fitzgerald (Maurice)
Neb. Flinter (see note 2 below)
Nichs. Goslin (Nicholas)
Rev. Saml. Preston
Richd. Broughall’s Reps.
Susa. Christian (Susanna)
Thos. Dugan’s Reps.
Timy. Dugan’s Reps (Timothy)
Manor of Cadamstown tenants
Manor of Fonstown (or Fontstown) tenants
Edwd. Wale Esq. (see note 3 below)
Arthur Kinsula (usually spelled Kinsella)
Maurice Kinsula (usually spelled Kinsella)
Mark Cross (see note 4 below)
Garrt. Kinsula (Garret; surname is usually spelled Kinsella)
Heffernon & Nowland
Keran Kelly ( a variant of Kieran or Ciaran, a common Irish name)
Henry (Henny?) Kelly
John Ryan’s Reps.
(1) A Laurence Rooke obtained a Licence to marry Elizabeth Hutchinson in 1767 according to the records of Dublin Diocese accessed on Findmypast.
(2) According to the Kildare Local history website Nabuchadneezer (also Nebuchadezer) Flinter was the proprietor of an inn in the town of Monasterevin in the 1750s. Betham’s Abstracts show a death of Nebuchadnezar Flinter in 1772. (How many Nebuchadnezar Flinters can there be !!).
(3) Edward Wale, a Lieuteant in 8th Dragoons, died intestate in 1769 according to the records of Dublin Diocese accessed on Findmypast
(4) A Mark Cross and Ann Allcock obtained a licence to marry in 1767 according to the records of Dublin Diocese accessed on Findmypast
(5) Alexander Sparrow is mentioned as an employee of the Excise Office in a list published in 1773 in the Journal of the House of Commons of the Kingdom of Ireland, Volume 16
We also publish ‘A Guide to Tracing your KildareAncestors‘
by local historians Mario Corrigan and James Durney, and genealogist Karel Kiely.
The book is a comprehensive guide to research on finding ancestors in Kildare.
It is available from here.
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