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Labourers in Strokestown, Roscommon in 1820/21

Small Sources 58: This is a list of 66 farm and garden workers on the Pakenham-Mahon estate in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon   in 1821.  It is a small book included in a file  entitled ‘Wages book of the Pakenham – Mahon estate‘  in the National Library of Ireland, Ms. 2598.  The book was apparently kept by the foreman,  who was Andrew Golden,  and each page is strangely headed ‘How employed daily hire‘ (see above),  followed by the list of hired men and boys; the specific tasks undertaken by each on the  day;  their pay  and,  at the end,  a total of the number of hired men and boys.  Examples are above and at the end of the blog.   The tasks vary significantly each day apart from the 3 Mahon boys who are consistently engaged in weeding,  and the four  who are listed as ‘Garden men’ who are also uniquely engaged in the garden. Those indicated as  ‘Reaping oats in Newtown Park‘ were hired only for this one harvest day and are not regular employees.  For the others only one or two sample tasks are listed from a wide variety indicated in the account.   Wages per day also varied widely from 3 pence for the ‘weeding boys’ to 1 shilling and 6 pence for the ploughman Ed. McGovern but note that he may have been employed with his horse, which was common.  The rate per day for men is 9 pence, which is comparable to that seen in other sources, e.g. 8 pence per day for Lord Louth’s Labourers  in 1801;  or 10 pence/day in Doneraile in 1840.

This estate dates back to 1666 when Captain Nicholas Mahon was granted over 2,700 acres in  Roscommon.   By the 1870s his successors held almost 27,000 acres in county Roscommon.    Strokestown Park, the family home,  was occupied by the family until 1981.  Thanks to  philanthropy by a local garage-proprietor,  the Westward group, and Government support, it has been transformed into the Strokestown Famine Museum.    It is well worth a visit by anyone interested in ‘big houses’ or the Great Famine era.    The Museum  contains most of the  documents (18,000 items) from the estate,  while the National Library has a further 5,000.  A full account of the estate history, and of the estate papers,   is here.

There are also some interesting and unusual family names within the list including Finny (not usually found in this area).  Among the locally common names are Boland, Carley, McDermott, Duffy and Connor.   Some common abbreviations of first names are used, such as And. = Andrew; Anth. = Anthony;  Domk. = Dominic;   Ed. = Edward; Michl. = Michael; Thos. = Thomas;  Patt or Pat = Patrick; Richd. = Richard; Steph. = Stephen;  Wm. = William;

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. 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 this estate. We can also obtain images of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘RoscSS58’ in the subject line.

Surname

Bolland  (usually spelled Boland)
Bolland
Bolland
Brannon  (usually  Brennan)
Brannon
Brannon
Brannon
Brannon
Brown
Byrne
Cannon
Carley
Carley
Carley
Cassidy
Clabby
Connelly
Connor       (O’Connor)
Connor
Duffy
Duffy
Finny
Finny
Gibbons
Gibbons
Gibbons
Gill
Golden
Golden
H..dg..n?
Haily
Hedgun
Henry
Kelly
Kelly
Kenney
Kenney
Kenny
Lannon (also spelled Lannin)
Leonard
Mahon
Mahon
Mahon
Mahon
McDermott
McDermott
McDermott
McDermott
McDermott
McGovern
McGovern
McGovern
McGovern
McOwen?
McOwen?
Morrin
Nary  (usually spelled Narry)
Nary
Ne…ey
Niland
Nixon
Nixon
Reilly ?
Ryan
Shaknessy   (Shaughnessy)
Sweeny
Tatton ?

First Name

Patt
Peter?
James
Anth.
Wm.
Ed.
J.
B.
Thady
Michl.
Owen
Michl.
John
And.
Domk.
Nichls.
John
Owen
Jas.
Domk.
Thos.
John
Patt.
Patt
Wm.
Thos.
And.
John
And.
James
Ed.
Michl.
John
Thos.
Michl.
James
John
Patt
Michl.
Patt
Thos.
James
Steph.
John
Michael
Miles
Patt
W?
Bryan
Ed.
Patt
John

Michael
Thos.
Pat
Ed.
Jas.
Peter
Tim
Thos.
John
Ed.
Thos.
Wm.
John
Arthur

Example of tasks undertaken

Cutting sods
Cutting sods
Cutting sods
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Garden Men
Haymaker
Making hay
Hay men
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Hay men
Weeding oats
Pulling Turnips (boy)
Sinking post for gate
Pruning trees in castles
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Making hay
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Weeding oats
Weeding oats
Grinding malt
Garden men
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Haymaker
Weeding oats
Haymaker
Weeding Oats
Garden Men
Preparing parts for Iron Gate
Foreman
Cutting sods
Sinking post for gate
Haymaker
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Garden Men
Pulling Turnips (boy)
In office yard
Drawing sand
Making hay
Garden men
Attending thatcher
Weeding boys
Weeding boys
In stables
Weeding boys
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Hay men
Garden Men
Spreading gravel
Ploughing
Pulling turnips
Pulling Turnips (boy)
Hauling turnips
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Reaping oats in Newtown Park
Haymaker
Making hay
Weeding oats /Pulling turnips
Mowing
Thatcher
Garden men
Haymaker
Cutting sods
Reaping oats in Newtown Park

Extract from ‘Wages book’ showing names  and jobs undertaken: Ploughing, Garden men, Planting potatoes, Drawing sand, Pulling turnips, ‘In office yard’ and ‘in stables’.

Some of the genealogy guides available from Flyleaf Press – see HERE for full details.

 

Jim Ryan

About Jim Ryan

Dr Jim Ryan is a writer and publisher on Irish genealogy. His book ‘Irish Records’ (Ancestry Inc., now Turner Publishing) is a standard guide. His other books include: Tracing your Dublin Ancestors (Flyleaf Press 2009); Irish Church Records (Flyleaf 2001); Sources for Irish Family History (Flyleaf 2001), and Tracing Sligo Ancestors (Flyleaf 2012). He has lectured extensively at genealogy meetings and his research interests include church records and Rentals. He writes blogs and articles for In-Depth Genealogist (http://theindepthgenealogist.com), and also a blog for www.flyleafpress.ie.

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