Tenants of Sarsfield Estate, Cork 1817-23

easbySmall Sources No. 76.  This is a list of 72 tenants of the Sarsfield Estate in Co. Cork in the period 1817-23.   It is in a leather rental book among the Sarsfield estate papers in the National Library of Ireland.   The specific file reference is NLI Ms 3638.  The Sarsfield family were prominent in the county since medieval times and had several properties south and west of the current city of Cork. Many of them served as High Sheriffs and Mayors of Cork city during the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.  The family inherited Doughcloyne House,  the  home of the Ronayne family, and other property,  through several inter-marriages between the families.

The rental covers several properties in the  extended Sarsfield estates in Cork including in the following townlands and also  in Youghal town:

  • Doughcloyne itself  (which included Doughcloyne House). Doughcloyne is a peculiarly-shaped  townland in the Civil Parish of St. Finbarr’s and is now in the suburbs of Cork city.   See here for a map.
  • Kilmoney  (spelled Kilmony in the rental).  This was the location of the main Sarsfield residence, which still exists
  • Ronayne’s Court:    A residence in the townland of Monfieldstown, south of Cork city which passed to the Sarsfields through marriage.
  • Killeenreendowney.   A townland in the Civil Parish of St. Finbarrs in the south of Cork City.    There were only 2 tenants on this property.
  • Cahugal.   This is very probably the townland of Cahergal in St. Anne’s Shandon Civil parish.  It had only 1 tenant.
  • Quois Quiney.   This is almost certainly the townland of Cuskinny,  which was the location of the French family residence. Savage French was the only tenant of this property in the rental.  There  are other references to a spelling form similar to this for the townland in the database.   The tenant, Savage French,  was a prominent local person who also appears in our blog on Cork City Tenants 1784-1826.
  • Youghal.    Youghall  (now usually spelled Youghal)  is a town on the coast of East Cork,  but there is no information on the specific location of this property, which had only 6 tenants.
Fig. 1. Debit page of Francis Dillon’s account, showing the payments due on his tenancy.

Rentals are the records of the landlord on tenants, their holdings,  and their payments.  Although these might appear to be purely business records,  many contain rich family information.  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.

The Sarsfield rental is set out in the Debit/Contra format,  i.e. each tenant’s record is set out on two pages:  the Debit side indicates the payments due, and the Contra shows the payments made.    For example Fig. 1 shows the Debit page for Francis Dillon, a tenant in the Kilmony estate, for 1817 and 1818.    Fig 2 is the matching Contra page showing the payments made.  Here we see payments by 8 different individuals.  This demonstrates  a feature of Irish rentals, which is that the nominal tenant often acts on behalf of a group of partners.  In this case Francis Dillon is the nominal tenant, but the rent is contributed by all members of the partnership.  The list of the 8  members of Franci Dillon’s partnership is at the end of the  list below headed  “Payees for Francis Dillon holding“.  A similar list for the account of John Twomey is also provided below.   Further information on tenants who are partners of the tenants listed below may be available within their individual accounts.

Fig. 2. Contra page of account showing payments made by tenants.

The list below has been mainly put together from the index to the rental,  but also from  a list of all of the tenants,  their annual rent payment and the location of their holding.  In some cases it is clear that the tenancy is for a partnership (John Twomey and partners,  or Scannell & Murphy) but not in all.   In a few cases (e.g. Denis Canty,  Revd. Harris)  it has not  been possible to establish the location of the holdings.

The names in the rental are generally those associated with County Cork including Condon, Mahoney, O’Leary, Riordan, Murphy, Twomey, Canty and Creedon.  Other less common names found in this rental are Bonwell, Bleasby, Howes and Heard.   Further information on some of the families listed may be included in our publication ‘Sources for Irish Family History 2021‘ which lists books and articles on over 2,500 Irish families.  This e-book is a listing or bibliography of 6,500 books, articles etc  on 2,500 Irish families. These sources have been collected from local history journals, genealogy magazines, library catalogues and published book lists.

Ancestor Network also publish ‘A Guide to Tracing your Cork Ancestors‘ which outlines all of the records available for research in Cork City and county and where they can be accessed.  We also offer our blog readers 1 free hour of research by a professional family historian to conduct further study on the individuals below, or on other tenants of the estate. We can also obtain images of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘Cork72’ in the subject line of a message.

The list below shows the tenant name; and the location of the holding (if known).  At the end of the main list are two sub-lists showing the persons cited in the accounts of Francis Dillon and John Twomey as explained above.

Tenant Name  /  Location of property (where specified)

Bleasby, Samuel                 Coal Quay  (Cork City)
Bonwell, J, Executors of..
Canty, Denis
Casey, Wm. & sons               Doughcloyne
Condon, John                       Youghall
Cullinane, Michael & Catherine
Daly, Jeremiah & Chars.
Devine, D.                           Doughcloyne
Dillon, Francis                    Doughcloyne
Duff, Simon                       Doughcloyne
Ellis, John                          Cahugal (probably townland of Cahergal,St F innbar’s Civil parish)
Fortune, Margaret                   Youghall
French, Savage                       Quois Quiney (strangely,  this is a variant spellling of Cuskinny)
French, Thos. George              Ronayne’s Grove
Fudge, George                    Youghall
Goss, Jane                          Youghall
Gould, George                    Kinsale
Harris, Revd. James
Hayes, David                     Youghall
Heard, Jno. Edwd.             Kinsale
Hoey, Isaac                    Kinsale
Hore, Deane (spelled Hoare on 1 page)
Howes, Andrew            Kinsale
Kearney, James            Kinsale
King, John                    Doughcloyne
Leary, Tim. ( O’Leary in list of payers)   Killeenreendowney
Lecky, John                   Youghall
Lomasney, Jeremiah              Youghall
Lyons, John                       Doughcloyne
Mahony, Danl.                    Doughcloyne
McCarthy & Sons                   Doughcloyne
McCarthy, Owen                    Doughcloyne
McDaniel, D.                      Doughcloyne
Mulcahy, Cors.                    Doughcloyne
Mulcahy, Cornelius
Murphy, Thos.                      Doughcloyne
Murphy, Timothy                    Doughcloyne
O’Brien, Mich. (O’Brion on list of payers)     Killeenreendowney
O’Leary, Tim. (spelled Leary in index)            Killeenreendowney

Riordan & Barrett                    Doughcloyne
Roberts, Michael           Doughcloyne
Ruddock, Geo.               Kinsale
Ryan, P.                          Doughcloyne
Sarsfield, James
Sarsfield, Philip
Scannell & Murphy                  Doughcloyne
Semple, James                   Kinsale
Sheppard, Patrick
Stack, Richd.                      Ronayne’s court
Swiney, Redmond                 Youghall
Twomey, Jno. & partners                    Doughcloyne
Williams, John
Williams, Thomas    (on list of payers)

Payees for Francis Dillon holding  (see introduction for explanation)
Cullinane, Denis
Murphy, Ellen
Creedon, John
Scannell, Wm.
Jennings, Henry
Lane, James
Scannell, Wm.
Murphy, Tom

Payees for John Twomey holding   ( ”  )

Twomey, James
Twomey, William
Twomey, John
Twomey, Tom
Canty, John
Canty, Michael
Twomey, Tom and Pat

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Further Cork and General articles in our series on Irish Family History sources:

Cork Sources