Tenants of Crosbie Estate in Ardfert, Kerry 1805-12

Small Sources No. 60: This is a list of 109 tenants of the Crosbie Estate in North Kerry for the period 1805-1812. The original document is in the National Library of Ireland (NLI Ms. 5033).  It is a ledger which, in addition to the index below, also contains the details of tenants’ accounts.  These are in the Debit/Contra format, (see our article on Rentals here for an explanation). Each account specifies the location of the holding and the rents due and received.   It also specifies the leases under which each tenant held their land, most of which date back to the late 1700s. These are mainly ‘leases for lives’ (see above Rentals article for an explanation) under which the lease lasts until the death of the last of three persons specified by the tenant. This is valuable as the lives are often of family members. Some examples are in Figure 1 below.  This is the right page of a double-page entry in which the tenant’s name and rent details are on the left page.   To demonstrate the genealogical information available,  the top line shows that the three specified lives for a lease of 27 Nov. 1780 are ‘Lessee,  Margaret and Daniel his children‘  (The ‘lessee’ is the person taking the lease); the entry at 22 Dec. 1780 reads ‘Lessee, Sarah his wife and James their eldest son‘.  Perhaps the best example of valuable family information  is the entry for  17 July 1782 which indicates the lives as ‘John Giles about 14,  Jane 18 and Arabella 15, children of lessee‘.  In summary, this record contains a wealth of detailed information on the families of the tenants.

A flavour of the great divide in lifestyles between landlords and their tenants is in our blog entitled ‘Eye-witnesses to our ancestors which summarises the accounts of travellers to Ireland in the period covered by this document.

Two related families of  Crosbies were influential landlords in  North Kerry from the 17th to 19th centuries,  i.e. the Crosbies of Ballyheigue,  and the  Crosbies of Ardfert.  A brief on their respective estates is here.    The Ardfert Crosbies (whose rental is the subject of this blog)  received the title Earl of Glandore in the 1770s.  During the mid-1800s they held almost 10,000 acres in the parishes of Ardfert, Kilflynn, Killahan and O’Dorney, barony of Clanmaurice.  At the time of this record the landlord was John Crosbie,  2nd Earl of Glandore (pictured above). Many of these tenants are ‘middlemen’ who rented large holdings from the Crosbie estate and then sublet smaller portions to their under-tenants. There are several rare and  interesting family names listed and notes are included below on some of these.  One of these is Rev Nicholas Nelan,  who managed to be both a Catholic Parish priest and a local magistrate,  an unusual combination at this period of Irish history.  Thanks to Kay Caball for pointing me to this information.    The images of the documents above and below were created by Ancestor Network from items in the National Library of Ireland and are reproduced here through their courtesy.

Other Kerry records we have published in our blogs include lists of tenants of:    Sandes estate in North Kerry 1797 – 1828Trant Estate in Dingle in 1791Earl of Listowel 1755;  a list of Tarbert  schoolchildren in 1809;  and petitioners of Daniel O’Connell 1828.

The list includes a range of interesting names,  including some typical of Kerry  (e.g. Fitzgerald,  McElligott, Stack, Sullivan etc) while others are rare names in Ireland such as Tidmarsh, Barbaz, Cluse, Sells and Whetstone.  If you are interested in information on specific families,  our e-book title ‘Sources for Irish Family History 2021  lists 6,500  books and articles on over 2,500  Irish families.  The sources listed contain a wealth of information in the form of articles and books. The full details are described in one of a blog.

Ancestor Network will also offer 1 free hour of research by a professional researcher to conduct further research on these individuals, or on other tenants of this estate, noting (as shown in the example below) that many other family members or local people may be listed within the detail of the accounts. We can also obtain images of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘KerrySS60’ in the subject line. We also publish ‘Finding your Ancestors in Kerry‘  (above left)  by local historian Kay Caball.  It is available here.

Name of tenant.        (comments by author in italics) 

Barbaz, Louis                   (rare name – Mary Barbaz occupied the townland of Larha  in Griffith Valuation)
Barry, James
Beehane, Michl. & Margaret           (usually spelled Behan)
Brenan, John                                     (usually spelled Brennan)
Casey, Reps. John
Chute, Richard
Cluse, George                           (rare name, found in several parts of Ireland in very small numbers) 
Collis, Reps. John
Collis, Rev. Samuel
Commane, William                (rare name derived from the Gaelic  Ó Comáin, also anglicised as Cummins) 
Connor, Barthw.
Connor, John
Connor, Thomas
Corridon, James          (rare name  from  Gaelic  Ó’Corradáin; only found in N. Kerry & W. Limerick)
Cotter, Patrick
Crosbie, William
Culen, David                    (usually spelled Cullen)
Daly, John
Deady, Owen                 (rare name derived from Gaelic  Ó Déadaigh and exclusively found in Munster)
Dillane, Darby
Dillon, Michael
Dooley, David
Dowling, John
Dowling, Lodwick                  (Lodowick Dowling of  Knockenagh  registered a son, also Lodowick, in 1866) 
Dowling, Thomas
Dowling, Thomas
Drew, John
Dulhunty, Michael                    (usually spelled Delahunty – not common in this area)
Dun, Assignees of Michl.
Dunlevie, Rev. Stephen            (usually spelled Dunleavy)
Eagar, Robert
Eaton, Simon
Edge, William
Egan, John
Evans, George
Farran, tenants                    (group of small tenants, probably  in  townland of Farran CP of  O’Dorney)
Felan, John                                (usually spelled Phelan – very common in Leinster, but not in Kerry)
Fitzgerald, Michael
Fitzgerald, Richard
Fitzmaurice, John
Flaherty, Bryan
Flaherty, John
Fleming, John
Fleming, William
Fuller, Thomas
Gilbert, Henry
Gilbert, John
Graves, The Revd. Dean
Gready, Richard             (an uncommon variant of Grady)
Griffin, Daniel
Griffin, Dennis
Harnett, Robert Fuller
Harty, Edmond
Healy, Reps. John
Hickson, James for Mce? H. of Dingle
Hickson, Robert Dingle
Hickson, Robert Tralee
Huddy,  Assignees of John
Hudson, Edmond
Lalor, John                        (a variant of Lawlor – locally common name) 
Lalor, Patrick
Lalor, Thomas
Lalor, Thomas (John)
Lawlor, Anne Widow            (locally common name)
Lawlor, Hugh
Lawlor, John
Lawlor, John Junr.
Lawlor, Michael
Lawlor, Patrick
Leahy, Patrick
Leyne, Maurice                   (a variant of Lane, from the Gaelic Ó Laighin.  Common in Munster)
Lovett, Joseph
Marshall, Ralph                 (of Callinafercy; was High Sheriff of Kerry in 1799)
McCarthy, Charles
McCarthy, Darby
McElligott, John
McElligott, Reps. Garrett
McEllistrum, Edmond
McEllistrum, Robert
Moylan, Dennis
Nelan, Rev. Nicholas                    (See here for some family lore on this person and the Nelan family)
Nelan,  Patrick
Nowlan, James
Parker, Thomas
Parker, Thomas
Perryman, Darby
Pierce, Garrett                                 (usually spelled Pierse in Kerry)
Pierce, Garrett                                 (perhaps the same person as above, but separate accounts) 
Pierce, Thomas
Raymond, Reps. Samuel
Sells, James                                                    (rare name – also found in Wexford and Kilkenny)
Shanahan, Edmond                                     (very common Kerry name) 
Shanahan, Patrick of Thomas Clu..met..g              (probably townland of Cloonametagh, CP of O’Dorney)
Shanahan, Reps of Patrick Laceamore                   (probably townland of Lackamore, CP of O’Dorney)
Shanahan, Reps. Patrick Michl. Liscreen               (probably townland of Lissireen, CP of Kiltomy)
Shanahan, Thomas tolls of A? Laceamore             (probably townland of Lackamore, CP of O’Dorney)
Sheahan, Patrick
Shell, James
Stack, Edmond
Sullivan, Daniel                    (very common Kerry name) 
Sullivan, Daniel
Sullivan, John
Sullivan, Revd. Timothy
Sullivan, Timothy
Tidmarsh, James        (This man was trading as a Woolen and Linen Draper in Tralee in 1824)
Twiss, Robert
Whetstone, Patrick
Williams, Joseph
Wilson, William

Figure 1.  Extract from accounts;  this is the right side of a two-page record.  The tenant names and rent details are on the left side and this page provides lease details  including start date, and defined lives for lease duration, many of which are family members. Courtesy of National Library of Ireland Ms 5033.

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

Kerry Sources