Schoolchildren in Tarbert, Co. Kerry in 1809

Small Sources 2:  This is a list of 39 schoolchildren in Tarbert, Co. Kerry in 1809.  The original is in the National Library of Ireland among the Dr. Michael Quane Papers (Ms. 17,935) which are titled  ‘Letters and papers of Commissioners of Education in Ireland relating to Erasmus Smith foundations’.   The document is a single page headed  ‘A list of the Scholars educating (sic) at the English school founded at Tarbert by the Governors of Erasmus Smith’s Schools. May 1809‘ and is  signed by Aust? Martin,  who may have been the teacher.

This school was established by the Erasmus Smith foundation which was set up in the 17th century to educate Protestant children.  The original purpose defined by Erasmus Smith himself, for the schools he supported in Ireland,  was that the schools should teach   “fear of God and good literature and to speak the English tongue“.
It was later taken over by the Commissioners of Education in Ireland, established in 1831 for the purpose of  education of the poor in Ireland. They provided  grants to existing schools for the payment of teachers and the provision of equipment and also to provide for the building of new schools, to appoint and pay inspectors and to establish a model school for the training of teachers.  Tarbert was one of the schools they supported. The architectural plans for the school are available on-line through the Digital Repository of Ireland.

Flyleaf Press, the publishing arm of Ancestor Network,   publish ‘Tracing your Ancestors in Kerry‘  by local historian Kay Caball which details the sources available for research in Kerry and how to use them to best effect.

The names of the scholars are varied and it is not clear if the school catered for any particular community.   They include names that are relatively common in the area such as Kelly, Finucane, Dillane, Supple and Enright,  but also names that are not usually found in Ireland such as Ware, Eggleston and Nott.   An unusual name on the list is ‘Fowlone’,  a variant of Folan according to  Further Kerry  sources are available in other blogs in this series – see below.  If you make a connection, we would love to hear about it.

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. 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. 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 ‘Kerry SS2′  in the subject line.


Mary Kelly
Sarah Fowlone (?)
James Fowlone (?)
Michael Finucane
Ann Finucan

Catherine Finucane
Elizabeth McCormick
Catherine Ware
Mary Ware
James Supple
John Eggleston
Hannah Nott
Charles Conner
Mary Conner
George Ware
William Dillane
Margaret Dillane
Michl. Dillane
John Dillane
William Murray
John Enright
Edmond Fowlone (?)
John Finucane
Michael Finucane
William Cummins
Pat Cummins
Margaret Cummins
Abigail Murray
A list of Free Boys
Francis Kelly
Thos. Kelly
Willm. King
David Ferguson
Henry McCormick
John Nott
Thos. Nott
Thos. Murray
Charles Murray
Thos. Ware
George Farrel
The signature at the base of the appears to be Aust (?) Martin, who is presumably the teacher.
Fig 2. List of the boys and girls at the school


Further articles in our series on Irish Family History sources include:

Kerry Sources