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.
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.
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.
Crehelp (Crehelp CP) County Wicklow
Thos. & Anth. Metcalf
Pat & Edward Sinnott
James Toole & Kelly
Patrick Kade ??
Widow of Hugh Byrne Senior
Solomon Robert ??
Martin and John Murray
Headon & Gainer
James M. Lynch
Doyle and Quinn
Michael Reddy & Nowlan
Pat and Michael Donahoe
Lemonstown (Crehelp CP) Wicklow
Edward & Pat Field
James Mooney & Miles Nugent
Newtown (Hollywood CP) Wicklow
James M Lynch
Mrs. Cavanagh (possibly Maurice)
Killerk (Hollywood CP) Wicklow. see Here
James Kelly & James Clarke
Kinselatown (Crehelp CP) Wicklow (Kinselastown)
Widow of John Keough
Sheanabeg (Ballykine CP) Wicklow See here. This parish is in central Wicklow
Athgarvin (Hollywood CP) Wicklow (Athgarvan)
Banagroe (Hollywood CP) Wicklow (Bannagroe)
Mathew Coogan Esq
Robert Gunn Esq
Swordlestown (Killashee CP) Kildare (see here)
Widow Finnegan’s son-in-law
Alleganstown (Ballymore Eustace CP) KD (Alligonstown)
Mrs. Murphy (possibly Maurice)
Killishee (Kill CP) Kildare (Killashee)
Ballybought (Ballymore Eustace CP) Kildare
Widow of John Neill
Michael and George Mulloy
Patrick Doyle, Grove
James M Lynch
Ballymore Eustace (Ballymore Eustace CP) KD
Earl of Mt. Cashel
Broadleas Commons (Ballymore Eustace CP) Kildare
Jas. M. Lynch
The images above were created by Ancestor Network and are reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland. Ancestor Network conducts research on all Irish family history sources and archives. 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.
Further articles in our series on Irish Family History sources include:
- Petty Sessions– the records of local courts
- Catholic Church records
- Grand Jury Presentments – records of local councils on payments for public works and staff
- Rentals – management of tenants by estates and the records created
- Middle names – the use (or non-use) of second or middle names in Irish records
- How comprehensive are Irish Civil Records?
- Census returns in Gaelic or Irish language
- 70+ blogs with names extracted from manuscript sources from many counties. A handy map index to these is available here.