Tenants of the Roebeck Estate Wicklow/Kildare 1820-’40

Small Sources 71.   This is a list of 133 tenants on the estate of Baron de Roebeck on the Wicklow – Kildare border.  It includes properties  in 12 townlands in these counties, but particularly in Crehelp and Lemonstown  in Co. Wicklow,  and Ballybought and Swordlestown in Co. Kildare.    The original document is a single roll approx 0.8 x 1.5m size (reference Ms. L 129)which is among the papers of the De Roebeck Estate in the National Library of Ireland.  Baron de Robeck (sometimes spelled Roebeck) is a title of the Irish Fock family which has its origins in Sweden.  They settled in Ireland in the late 18th century and acquired estates by purchase and by marriage.  At the time of this rental,  the estate owner was John Michael Henry Fock, the Third Baron De Robeck (1790-1856).  He is seen in the heading above in his military uniform.

The rental is divided into columns (see Fig. 2) listing:   Location of holding  (headed ‘Lands’); Tenant names;  Arable acres;  Date of  lease;  Term granted  (i.e. years); names and description of lives (see below);  Rent payable,  and Observations.  The date of compilation of the rental document is not given but it is likely to be early 1840s, as the leases are almost all in the range 1820s and ’30s.  Although there are only 124 properties listed, 9  are partnerships of two named persons.    There are no less than 8 widows among the tenants, none of whom are given first names.

Fig 1. The legend on the top of the Rental roll.

There are several parts of the rental that contain information of potential genealogical value.  The core information,  as in all rentals, is  a named person and the probable period of their occupation of the holding.  The latter is shown by the lease dates, almost all of which are in the 1820s and 30’s.   Most leases are for a period of years,  but most of the leases are also for ‘lives’, which was common at the time.  The practice on this estate was to give a lease for a period of years (usually 31 years)  OR  for the lives of specified individuals.  In other words, the lease would last for the longer of these two options.   The lives cited are generally family members, so these details may  provide valuable leads.   For instance,  the lease held by ‘Widow Toole’ in Ballybought is for ‘31 years or the life of Laurence Toole, son to lessee‘;  the lease of Maurice Philipps, also of Ballybought,  is for 31 years or the life of ‘Michael Walsh, nephew to lessee‘; and the lease of John Quin of Alleganstown,  is for 31 years or the ‘lives of John and Michael Quin, sons to lessee‘.

Finally,  the observations column contains miscellaneous notes made by the estate agent.  A small number of these have family relevance.   For instance,  the observation on Edward Nowlan of Crehelp is  ‘Nowlan is married to Headon’s widow‘ whereas the observation on Widow Cunningham of Kinselatown is … ‘She is now married to a man of the name of Doyle…’.  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.

Fig. 2. Part of the top of the rental showing 6 of the columns of information. NLI Ms L129

The names in the rental are generally those associated with the Wicklow-Kildare border area,  such as Walsh, Keough (usually spelled Keogh),  Doyle, Nowlan,  (O’) Toole and Kelly.  Other less common names found in this region are Metcalf, Galbally and Ayres.   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.

Ancestor Network also publish ‘A Guide to Tracing your Kildare Ancestors‘ by Mario Corrigan et al which outlines all of the records available for research in Kildare county and where they can be accessed.  We do not, as yet, have a similar guide for Wicklow.

Ancestor Network will 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 ‘WW-KD71’ in the subject line.

The list of tenants is below by County and then by Townland.   For each townland it provides the  Civil Parish in which it is located and the current spelling of the townland name if different from the currently accepted form.  For instance Kinselatown is now spelled Kinselastown.  A link to the description and map location of some of the townlands is also provided. For further information on placenames and practices see our blog  Know your place.

Wicklow townlands

Crehelp             (Crehelp CP) County Wicklow

Thos. & Anth. Metcalf
Daniel Hogan
Philip Mulloy
Thomas Walsh
John Walsh

Edward Leigh
James Walsh
Pat & Edward  Sinnott
Thomas Barrett
Patrick Lamb
Patrick Lynch
James Keough
James Toole & Kelly
Patrick Kade ??
Thomas Keough
Widow of Hugh Byrne Senior
Solomon Robert ??
Luke Murphy
Widow Galbally
Laurence Nugent
James Doyle
Richard Kelly
Edward Nowlan
Patrick Keough
Martin and John Murray
Headon & Gainer
James M. Lynch
William Keough

John Byrne
Widow Toole
Widow Maher
Doyle and Quinn
Patrick Finlay
Widow Doogan
Daniel Mangan
Michael Reddy & Nowlan
Pat and Michael Donahoe
Edward Leigh
Timothy Kennedy
John Kean
William Graydon
Terence Nowlan

Lemonstown    (Crehelp CP) Wicklow

irish-family-historyJames Costelloe
John Ayres
Henry McDaniel
Widow Gallagher
Mathew McAtee
Patrick Coleman
Peter Walsh
Michl. Murray
Henry Brien
Patrick Mullally
Edward & Pat Field
Thomas Metcalf
James Coogan
James Mooney & Miles Nugent
Patrick Healy

Newtown    (Hollywood CP) Wicklow

James M Lynch
Mrs. Cavanagh    (possibly Maurice)
Michael Connor

Killerk   (Hollywood CP) Wicklow.  see Here

James Kelly & James Clarke

Kinselatown    (Crehelp CP) Wicklow (Kinselastown)

Widow of John Keough
Thomas Keough
Laurence Kelly
Widow Cunningham

Sheanabeg   (Ballykine CP) Wicklow   See here.  This parish is in central Wicklow

Widow McGuirke
James Just
James Ellis

Athgarvin     (Hollywood CP)  Wicklow   (Athgarvan)

James Conroy
Patrick Philips
Edward Fields

Banagroe     (Hollywood CP) Wicklow   (Bannagroe)

Peter Doyle
Widow Molyneux
Mathew Coogan Esq


Robert Gunn Esq

Kildare townlands

Swordlestown  (Killashee CP)  Kildare   (see here)

Richard Fegan
Thomas Gallagher
(Fox Cover)
Thomas Behan
John Nowlan
John Murphy
James Mangan
John Cavanagh
Michl. Mangan
James Moore
Luke Reilly
Stephen Brophy
James Slattery
Philip Doyle
Patrick Costelloe
John Winn
Denis Kealy
Patrick Malone
Patrick Walsh
Thomas Dowling
John McGar
Bridget Kean
Widow Mulloy
Laurence Flood
Widow Murphy
Thomas Byrne
Widow Power
Widow Finnegan’s son-in-law

Alleganstown (Ballymore Eustace CP) KD  (Alligonstown)

John Quin
James Dixon
Mrs. Murphy  (possibly Maurice)

Killishee     (Kill CP) Kildare  (Killashee)

William Graydon
Terence Nowlan

Ballybought (Ballymore Eustace CP) Kildare 

Widow of John Neill
Michael Doyle
Michael and George Mulloy
Maurice Philipps
Patrick Doyle, Grove
Charles Brien
James Mooney
Maurice Philipps
James M Lynch
Widow Toole
Patrick Mullally
Patrick Connolly
John Kearn

Ballymore Eustace (Ballymore Eustace CP) KD

Earl of Mt. Cashel

Broadleas Commons (Ballymore Eustace CP) Kildare 

Jas. M. Lynch

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