Small Sources No. 77: This is a list of 97 tenants on the Dublin estate of James Stewart from 1797 to 1807. The estate consisted of a mix of urban and rural properties, including Molesworth and Kildare streets in Dublin city and 4 townlands in north county Dublin. The original documents are in the National Library of Ireland (reference NLI Ms. 5944 and 5945) and consist of half-yearly rental records from 1797 to 1807. The format of the city and county rentals are shown in Figs. 1 and 2 below. A full description of rentals and the useful family information they can provide is in our blog “Rentals as a resource for Irish family history” which is available here. As in most rentals, name abbreviations are widely used: Matw. is Matthew, Wm. is William., Richd. is Richard etc.
The identity of the estate owner James Stewart is not certain, but it is possible that he was James Stewart from Tyrone, a member of the British Parliament who married Elizabeth Moleworth, a grand-daughter of John Molesworth, the developer of Molesworth street. The Stewart family also had strong connections with the constituency of Swords, Co. Dublin in which the rural townlands are located. This may explain how these properties came to be in the possession of James Stewart. Observations or corrections on this suggestion would be welcome.
The centre city tenants, particularly those on Molesworth Street, are a mix of very well-to-do citizens including Lord O’Neill, Lady Rossmore and the Duke of Leinster. The rural tenants would appear to be farmers.
The properties are described below:
- Kildare Street. This street is now mainly Government buildings, including Leinster House which houses the Dáil (the Irish Parliament), and the National Library where this document is kept. In the period 1797-1805 it was a mix of residences and offices. It intersects with Molesworth street below.
- Molesworth Street. Like Kildare Street, it is now a very prestigious business street with a mix of modern and period buildings, but in the period of this document it was mainly residences.
- Frederick Street. It intersects with Molesworth street below and now houses businesses and a few shops. A history of the street and some illustrations are on the Dublin Civic Trust website.
- Ballyboughal townlands. The estate also has properties in 4 rural townlands around the village of Ballyboughal in the North of County Dublin. See an extract in Fig. 2. These are Gerrardstown, Ellistown, Ballyboghil and Dooroge. A townland is the smallest division of land in Ireland. They are of ancient origin, hugely variable in size, and irregular in shape. You can find further details on them in our blog – Know your place.
The list of tenant names, particularly those in the city properties, include many that are unusual in Ireland, such as Eaton, Kemmis, Ryves, Vavasour, Hankinson and Ould. Note also that there is significant variation in the spelling of some names from year to year and it appears (from the handwriting) that the accounts were drawn up by different people over the period. For instance, there are 5 different variants of the name Garstine – Gaston in the different rental lists. Further information on some of the families listed may be included in our publication Sources for Irish Family History which lists books and articles on over 2,500 Irish families.
Ancestor Network also publish ‘A Guide to Tracing your Dublin Ancestors‘ by James Ryan and Brian Smith, (see cover below) which provides guidance and sources for researching ancestors from the county. We also offer readers 1 free hour of research by a professional family historian to conduct further study on these individuals, or on other tenants of the estate. We can also obtain images of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘DublinSS7……’ in the subject line.
The tenants are listed below by the location of their holding. Although most tenants were present for the entire period 1797-1807, new tenants are indicated by the date from which they became tenants. In some cases it is possible to determine personal information from the rental information. For instance Richard Eatons is present in 1797-98, but in 1799 the tenant is ‘Executors of Richard Eatons’ indicating that he had died. Similarly Patrick Byrne was a tenant in 1797 but was replaced by ‘Patrick Byrne’s widow’ in 1798.<
Archdall, Col. N?
Duke of Leinster
Eatons, Richd. Esq. (Exors of.. in 1799)
French, Robt. Esq.
Kemmis, Thos. Esq. (Listed as an attorney in Wilson’s Dublin Directory 1808)
Lees, John C.
Oglivie, Wm. Esq. (Spelled Ogilvie in 1799)
O’Grady, (no first name) (1805, 1806)
Rossmore, Lady by Pat Sandys
Black, Thos. Esq.
Dane, Lady by Geo. Palmer (in 1805)
Deey, Christopher (in 1799)
Desy, Christ. (in 1797, ’78)
English, … (1805)
Ffolliott, Mrs. L.
Fitzpatrick, John (1805)
Foot, Reps. of Jeffrey by M Kerr
Garsten Jno. (1799) (spelling variations are shown below)
Garstin, Jno. (1806)
Garstine, Jno. (1805)
Garstone John (1798)
Gaston, Jno. Esq. (1798)
Gavan, Revd. J. (1806)
Gavane, Revd. J.
Hamilton, Alderman (Alderman Carleton in 1799)
Hamilton, J C? by Doctor Hopkins
Hamilton, Reps of Thos.
Hankinson, Reps. J. by Mrs Hamilton (.. by W. Rawlins 1806)
Hon. City of Dublin by Alderman Carleton
Kingsbury, Thomas (from 1799)
Lloyd, John (1805)
Maglone, John by S Bibby (1805) Possibly a variant of McGlynn?
Nowlan, Anthony (1805)
Nunn, Richard (1805)
Quinn, H G ? by James Sims ( .. Symes in 1806)
Quinn, Reps of Dr.
Rudd, Ben by Ben Kearny (1805)
Saurin, Lewis (in 1806)
Saurine, ? Willm.
Shaw, Mrs. By Crow (1805)
Shaw, Robert (1805)
Spring, James (1805)
Weld, Edmd. Esq.
Wilson, Mrs. Elizabeth
Nunn, Richard (.. by W T English in 1799)
Reps of F. Ould (..by John Lloyd in 1799)
Rudd, Stephen (Reps of.. in 1798, 99)
Rudd, Stephen, by James Davis
Desey, Christopher Esq
Foot, Reps of Jeffry Foot
Townlands in North county Dublin
Doorage (accepted spelling is now Dooroge)
Byrne, Patrick’s widow (from 1799 – same holding as above)
Hamilton, Mrs in 1799-1802
Hamilton, William (from 1803 – same holding as above)
Monaghan, Mrs. Mary
Sweetman, Laurance (from 1804 – same holding as above)
Ballyboughall (townland is now spelled Ballyboghill)
Curtis, Robt. Esq
Finn, Thos. (gone after 1799)
Mason, Nicholas (Reps of… in 1798, ’99, 1803, )
Gearradstown ? (very probably Gerrardstown townland, North of Ballyboughal village)
Ellistown (townland just north of Ballyboughal village)
Curtis, Robt. Esq
The images were created by Ancestor Network and are reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland. 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.
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 record
- How comprehensive are Irish Civil Records?
- Census returns in Gaelic or Irish language
- 70+ blogs with names extracted from manuscript sources from many counties. A handy map index to these is available here.