Monday, February 12, 2018


Do the ghosts of the past stay on the land.  Tha day we drove through Teevinish, the townlands that the Earl of Sligo sought to rid of tenents from 1857 on, our GPS went kooky.  It sent us on a wild ride and only hours of fiddling finally returned it to normal.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Aughagower Cemetery

The tiny village of Aughagower is located just a little over 4 km from Teevinish.  In the midst of a few homes and a pub lies the remains of a medivial monestary, once a major stop on the pilgrimage route from Ballentubber to Croagh Patrick.

The monestary of , which was active into the 13th century, was according to legend founded by Saint Patrick who placed Saint Senach in charge. Remains of the monestary include: a round stone tower which was built between 973 and 1013; Dabhach Phadraig, a circular bath surrounded by a stone wall where pilgrims may have bathed their feet; the remnants of a chapel; and many medivial tombstones.

 Prior to the famine Aghagower was the center of a Aghagower parish, the home of over 12,000 people.  In 1996 there were only 796 individuals listed in the parish.

Teevinish East and West were part of the parish of Aghagower.  Judy Burke and John Walsh were married in the parish in 1865. (1)  It seems likely that she has ancestors buried in the graveyard, however like most graveyards in Ireland, stones that early, if they ever existed are seldom legible.  No Burkes early, enough in time, appear in the lists of burials found online.

(1) , Islandeady Civil Register Marriages, Vol 4 page 732 -John Walsh (aged 27) of Derrycoosh, farmer, son of Patt Walsh, married judy Bourke (aged 17) of Theevinish, daughter of ? witness: James McDonnell and Judy McDonnell.

Aughagower Graveyard  includes maps
Aughagower Cemetery - Find A Grave
Aughagower A Parish (Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837) - Library of Ireland
Aughagower - Wikipedia
Aughagower Cemetery - Drop box

Monday, November 20, 2017

Teevnish Papers

Courtesy of the National Library of IrelandMS 40,890/2(17)
With only one day to spend in the Library of Ireland, I decided to collect whatever I could on the townlands of Teevnish.  It was a fascinating journey.

I worked my way through a variety of records some dating as early as 1612. The earliest were carefully protected in mylar, but I was allowed to read them, and photograph them.  There were books and maps from the eighteenth and ninteenth centuries, and I got to touch them!

Teevnish (there are many spellings but this is the most prevalent) was conveyed by Davy Reah McPhilbin of Bownrawer to Sir Theobald Bourke on 3 Nov 1612 (MS 40,890/2(17) ).  Since our known ancestor from Teevnish is Julia Bourke (Burke) this was an interesting fact.  I don't see any family connection from Theobald, but then I don't know the history of Julia's family.  Most likely her ancestors were part of the clan that gathered around these more important Bourkes.  At this point it is just a fun connection.

By the 1800s the land was part of the holdings of the Marquis of Sligo.  At the time of the great famine, George John Browne, the 3rd Marquis was in power.  His Wikipedia page states that ...

"Browne prided himself on being an enlightened landlord. In the second year of the Great Irish Famine, Browne's tenants gathered at Westport House, the ancestral residence of the Marquesses of Sligo. Browne assured his tenants of his support for them, and proceeded to hand them guns (without regard for his own safety), enabling them to hunt for game. He also went into considerable debt in order to acquire cornmeal from the Americas, and converted most of Westport House into a soup kitchen for the starving peasants." 

The website "County Mayo Beginnings", however paints a very different picture. Using J F Quinn's "History of Mayo" written in 1931 as a major source, a picture emerges of over 1700 tenents evicted from their homes, packed into workhouses and onto immigrant ships.  And that corn...well it turns out he had to open the cornstores at the Quay to house the overflow from the workhouse due to his ejectments. The bulk of those he evicted were from the parishes of Aughagower and Louisburg. 

The 1840-1844 rent ledger for the Altamont estates contains a note for tenants dated Oct 1844 stating......

The Tenants on the Estates of the Marquess of Sligo are requested to take Notice: 1. A New Tenant will not be allowed to come upon the Estate, either to hold land himself or to reside upon the holding of another. 2. In every townland, not under lease, the holdings are to be made separate and distinct from each other, as far as possible, and each tenant or tenants to live on his or their own stripe [...] 5. Alienation, Sub-division or sub-letting will not be permitted, either to strangers or members of a family, but each holding is to be held entire by some one individual member of it, except in cases where the successor to it may wish to set apart a small portion of it for the support of his parents and for such object only, in which case such portion is at their death to revert to him, and complete the original holding...'.

This volume and other individual year collection volumes list the tenants of East Teevnish, including Henry Bourke, however, the tenants of West Teevinish in all found volumes are listed jointly as "villagers" with no breakdown of individuals.  The annual rent from the 1830s through the mid 1840s was £50, but in 1847 it increased to £100.

On 19 Oct 1857 the Marquis of Sligo and assorted other landowners filed suit against the tenants of Theevinish West, claiming they were resident on the land illegally.  One would guess they had ignored the edict of 1844.  Among the named defendants were  Michael Burke, James Bourke, Thomas Bourke, Patrick Giblin, Thomas McGuire, Bridget (widow of Austin) Giblin, Peter McLoughlin, James Scott, Patrick Duffy, James Moran, James Burke, Aply(?) Burke, Mary Burke, Bridget Burke, Austin Kerigan, James Kerigan, John Kerigan, Anthony Faden, and Judith Burke. This is the most complete listing of the tenants of the village of Teevish West found anywhere to date.  It is more inclusive than Griffith's Valuations, the only other record found that listed individual householders up to that time.

Among the notes in the lawsuit file,  is one stating that the summons to Judith Burke were delivered into the hands of her sister Mary.  As the case wore on a number of McGings, residents of neighboring Tonlagee were summoned to give evidence. 

Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland
MS Map 310 (j) L. OS Sheet 98 
Judy Bourke of Teevnish married John Walsh of Derrycoosh in 1865.  Records have suggested her parents are Patrick and Mary Burke.  Patrick is listed in Griffith's Valuations in Teevnish in 1850.  He is not on the list in 1857, however, Mary is.  The records I went through still give no definative answer to the parents of Bridget but they do support the suggestion of Pat and Mary.   The hunt is still on.  DNA has linked our ancestors to McGings, a link through the Burke family seems likely.

The Cancelled Valuation Books for Teevnish begin in 1858 and list the same main defendants as the 1857 ejectments, the books continue to 1869 when all tenants were finally evicted and the townland in it's entirety was either leased to John Egan or held by the Marquis.  

There are more records for the area.  In 1874 there was a complaint against John McGing for building an illegal wall in Teevnish West.  There are also proceedings against John Egan for non-payment of rent and there are entries in a Journal of costs for the farm at Teevnish. Unfortunately there was nothing more on the Burke families of the townland in the records I had time to go through.

Teevnish in Library of Ireland Catalog   -
Permission to use items on blog (If you want to use items from this blog, you must request permission from the library)

  • MS 40,890/2(17) Conveyance of land in quarter of Teveenish [Teevinish, barony of Burrishoole] by Davy Reagh McPhilbin of Bownrawer to Sir Theobald Bourke. 3 Nov 1612. 1 item
  • MS 40,978/13 Legal papers re ejectment on title of tenants on lands of Teevinish West. 1857, 1859. 4 items
  • MS Map 310 (j) L. OS Sheet 98 [fragment of]. Teevenish West and Tonlagee were marked-up. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Picture Milwaukee

Located in southeastern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan, the city of Milwaukee is the county seat of Milwaukee County.

LOC collections Milwaukee 1879
By 1880 it was the 17th largest city in the United States with 115,587 people.  Average life expectancy was 18 years, the result of unwashed inhabitants, unsanitary streets, unsafe foods, and often unchecked spread of disease.

The city was in debt, by 1857 they had lost 1.6 million investing in Rail Roads.  Although they built a reputation for solid conservative banking and fiscal policies in 1880 the debt amounted to $18.69 per individual, a total of $2.2 million for the entire city.

Milwaukee had 231.83 miles of streets.  150 miles were gravel and 25 miles of wood.  Asphalt which was introduced after 1871 still melted in hot weather.  Sidewalks were constructed of plank, flagstone and cement.  Street cleaning was  a problem.  Urine and manure covered the streets.  Cleaning cost the city about $53,000 a year and that did not include snow removal.  Volunteer crews shoveled to create fire lanes.

Dead animal removal cost the city about $850 a year.  The carcasses were taken by private contractors to glue factories.

In 1878 the city began regular collection of garbage and ashes at the cost of $10,000 to the city.  Collections were daily from April 20 - Oct 20 and twice a week the rest of the year. The collections wee taken to dumping grounds beyond city limits.

Liquid household wastes gathered in cesspools, privy vaults, gutters and sewers, causing danger to shallow wells. Licensed scavengers with air-tight carts cleaned out the privies between 11pm and 4 am.  Liquid waste often found its way into lakes and streams.

LOC Collections - Milwaukee  - Beck & Pauli.1882

The sewers, a systemic plan created by ES Chesbrough, consisted of vitrified earthen ware and cement pipes with manhole covers.  With a capacity for 280,000 people they ran to the Menomonee River and into Lake Michigan.  The reality is the waste backed up into the river rather than spreading through the lake.

Industrial waste and smoke were rampant, but, they were considered signs of progress and not a danger to ones health.

Before 1876 Milwaukee had a monopoly on gas lights.  Customers were charged $2.25 a month and outages and flickering were common.  Commercial enterprises were favored over individual customers.  Downtown, gas-lighters ran from pole to pole to light the street lights. When Edison perfected electric lighting Milwaukee was a quick adopter.

In 1870 the city had 42 police officers, one for every 1700 citizens, causing the mayor to claim that the city was more secure than in any other city on the continent of equal or greater size.  By 1880 the number of officers had increased to 69.  They made $800 a year and had to buy their own uniforms at a cost of about $60.  The chief made $3000 per year.  In 1880 there were 2564 arrests, 3445 lodgers in jail and the entire budget was $76000 for the year.  These were high wages, other cities in Wisconsin paid about $1 a day, but the city need to control their tough waterfront dives!

This was the city where Peter Somers (nephew of Margaret Somers Delmore) became mayor in 1890 and where Johannes Baier(l) settled with his daughter after his son John moved to Minnesota.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

An Gallán Thoir

Courtesy of
Gullane East

Gullane is prominent in the early Down’s Survey map of County Kerry, situated right in the Middle of Kil(l)conley Parish.  The earliest references I've found to East, West and Middle Gullane seem to appear to be in the Boundary Surveyor notes circa 1830, leaving the question of when they in fact were considered three separate townlands. offers two notes on the name besides the dated references.  The first says Cárta – An Gallán 9.10.00 DED and the second An Seabhac: Gallán = cloch mhór ina seasamh An Chloch Lia sa chuid thiar – Cnoc beag which translates to The Hawk: Pillar large upright stone; the Stone ? in the western part - a small hill.

Gullane East, Kerry, Ireland


·        1655       Gallane · DS[i]  The Barony of Fraght I Connor in the County of Kerry The soyle in generall is cold Boggy and Wiidy is the arable land yeing in little places invironed wth Bog and wood, corne it will yield by standing and other Manure but the Knight of Kerryes Land all along by the Feale side to Listehill and the Land of Listowell they are Rich land for Corne and also ye Mannor of Harbert is rich and dry both for corne and pastureing and lyeth very convenient bordering with the River of Shannon where the Slate, fireing, corne and all other profits may be sent by Boat to Limerick or else where there is noe River in this Barony other than is already sett forth onely the River of Galey that runs from ye County of Limerick This barony is in breadth from Listowhill the most southward part to Carrigenfoyle the Northeast part five Miles Irish and in length from the Castle of Ballysmone in the west in the Spring called Glassincarrinirily on the East tenn Irish Miles  The Down Survey of Ireland
  • ·        1660      Gallane· BSD (Ci), 145[ii]  
    ·        1671      Gallan· ASE, 47:38[iii]        
    ·        1685      Gallan · Hib. Del.[iv]           
    ·        1841      Sources from Ordnance Survey Ci063,12 There are identical references for Gullane Middle Ci063,13  and Gullane West Ci063,14
    o   Gullane etc. · OD (corr.):AL [v]              
    o   Gallán, 'a standing stone' · OD:AL[vi]
    o   Gallane · Vallancey Map:AL [vii]              
    o   Gullaun East · Buckley, Rev. J.:AL      
    o   Gullane East · Cess Coll.:AL[viii]               
    o   Gullane East · Map of Land:AL               
    o   Gullane East · Rent Receipt:AL[ix]               
    o   Gullaun East · Local:AL; BS:AL [x]
    o   Gullane East · Applot. 1839:AL[xi] 

    [i] Down Survey (Barony Maps - Hiberniae Regnum, 1654, cóipeanna a rinne an tSuirbhéireacht Ordanáis ó na bunchóipeanna i bPáras, 1908) Léarscáil Bliain foilsithe: 1655-7  The Down Survey of Ireland
    [ii] Books of Survey and Distribution (Co. Kerry) Lámhscríbhinn
    [iii] Abstracts of Grants of Lands..under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation, A.D.1666-1684 (Appendix to Fifteenth Annual Report from the Commissioners of Public Records of Ireland, 45-280; 1825) Lámhscríbhinn Bliain: 1666-84
    [iv] Hiberniæ Delineatio, William Petty Léarscáil Foilsitheoir: Irish University Press (1969)
    [v] Seán Ó Donnabháin, ceartúchán in AL/ John O'Donovan, correction in AL Faisnéiseoir
    [vi] O'Donovan (leagan Gaeilge de logainm nó nóta agus é scríofa le dúch; John O’Donovan / Seán Ó Donnabháin a scríobh de ghnáth), ex AL. A note or an Irish form of a placename in the Ordnance Survey Parish Namebooks, usually written by John O'Donovan. Lámhscríbhinn Bliain: 1838
    [viii] Cess Collector, fianaise in AL / evidence in Ordnance Survey Parish Namebooks Faisnéiseoir Bliain: c1840
    [ix] Rent Receipt, foinse in AL / source in Ordnance Survey Parish Namebooks
    [x] Foirm in úsáid áitiúil / Finné nó úsáid áitiúil de réir AL fianaise áitiúil Bliain: 1832-38; Boundary Surveyor c. 1830 as AL Lámhscríbhinn Bliain: 1830
    [xi] Applot. 1839, foinse in AL / source in Ordnance Survey Parish Namebooks. Fianaise áitiúil 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Doire Chuais

A copy of the note card used to gather references
 on Derrycoosh - courtesy of
Yes, even Derrycoosh has a multitude of spelling possibilites.  Check the concentration of Walshes in the area in 1856.  No wonder I am having so much trouble sorting them out...


Oakwood of the Cavern

Home of the Walsh Family 

References in Records

·        1611      Deirencouth Inq.(ME), I.79[i]              
·        1635      Dermgouse, the qr of Straff. Inq. ME, §309V[ii]
·        1677      Derrigoule alias Derricause alias Cornehonnell or houell 1 qr.ASE, 236[iii]     
·        1684      Derrycouse ASE, 278iv      
·        1685      Derycorsk [sic] Hib. Del.[iv]
·        1710c    Derrycause als Derrygowle als Cornehovell CRL, 2A.3.16, 74[v]    
·        1725      Derrycouse als Derrygouse als Cornhacrett  CGn., Volume 48.182.31281[vi] 
·        1725      Derricouse als Derrygouse  CGn., Volume 46.389.29042vii
·        1740c    Derrycouse, Derrygouse  CGn., Volume 123.531.86019 vii            
·        1792      Derrycause als Derrygowle  QRL, 2A.6.74, 312[vii]        
·        1811      Derrycoush  Bald Bog Map, 2[viii]              
·        1830      Derrycoush  Bald, 13[ix]    
·        1833      Derrycoush North, Derrycoush South TAB, §23[x]
·        1838      Ordnance Survey Sources ME61,27
·           Derrycoosh OD:AL [xi]
·           Doire 'cuais, 'oak wood of the cavern'OD:ALxii
·           Derrycoush  BM:AL [xii]
·           Derrycoush CM:AL[xiii]
·           Derrynacoosh  BS:AL [xiv]

Walsh Families in County Mayo -1856
Mayo County Library - Maptool

[i] Ionchoisní Chontae Mhaigh Eo/Inquisitions County Mayo I - III. Lámhscríbhinn
[ii] The Strafford Inquisition of County Mayo (RIA MS 24 E 15) Leabhar Údar: William O’Sullivan
[iii] Abstracts of Grants of Lands..under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation, A.D.1666-1684 (Appendix to Fifteenth Annual Report from the Commissioners of Public Records of Ireland, 45-280; 1825) Lámhscríbhinn 1666-84
[iv] Hiberniæ Delineatio, William Petty Léarscáil Foilsitheoir: Irish University Press (1969)
[v] Crown Rental of Lands. Lámhscríbhinn
[vi] Clárlann na nGníomhas/Registry of Deeds, Tagraítear d'imleabhar, leathanach, gníomhas.
[vii] Quit Rent Ledgers Alt irise
[viii] Map of the Bogs, Lying on the South Western Part of the County of Mayo whose waters discharge themselves into Clew Bay, Killery Harbour and Lough Mask. Léarscáil Údar: William Bald
[ix] William Bald, A Map of the Maritime County of Mayo, in 25 sheets; surveyed between 1809 and 1817 and published in 1830 Léarscáil Bliain foilsithe: 1830
[x] Tithe Composition (Applotment) Book (imleabhair lámhscríofa ó c. 1830 atá ar coimeád sa Chartlann Náisiúnta) Lámhscríbhinn Nóta: Go minic, tugtar ainm an pharóiste, nó eolas eile i gcolún na nótaí.
[xi] O'Donovan (leagan Gaeilge de logainm nó nóta agus é scríofa le dúch; John O’Donovan / Seán Ó Donnabháin a scríobh de ghnáth), ex AL. A note or an Irish form of a placename in the Ordnance Survey Parish Namebooks, usually written by John O'Donovan. Lámhscríbhinn 1838
[xii] Barony Map ex Ainmleabhar Paróiste na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis / Ordnance Survey Parish Namebook
Lámhscríbhinn Bliain foilsithe: 1830-40
[xiii] Grand Jury County Map ex Ainmleabhar Paróiste na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis / Ordnance Survey Parish Namebook Léarscáil Bliain foilsithe: 1835C
[xiv] Boundary Surveyor c. 1830 as AL Lámhscríbhinn 1830