Addergoole Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Brennan Surname in Griffith's Valuation

Addergoole Civil Parish is located in Tirawley Barony and is part of Lahardane Roman Catholic Parish. Church microfilm is available on Lahardane Roman Catholic Parish covering the years 1840-1880. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1857, there were 55 Townlands including the named occupied island in Beltra Lough.

The Griffith's Valuation for Addergoole Civil Parish showed Roman Catholic Chapels in the Townlands of Gortnaheltia and Lahardaun. There was a church (undocumented affiliation) in the Townland of Curraghmore and Graveyards were noted in the Townlands of Addergoole (Knockmaria) and Ballyteige.

The Townland of Lahardane (Lahardaun) had a documented "Fair Green" and "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" according to the Griffith's Valuation. The Statistical Survey of County Mayo that was conducted in 1802 didn't mention Lahardane as having a market for grains, cattle or other fairs. Lahardane is mentioned as having fairs on June 29 and August 15 of the 1845 Thom's Directory, but they were no longer mentioned in the report that came out in 1852-1853. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p.88). I couldn't find any patent applications for fairs or markets for Lahardane or any other Townlands in Addergoole Civil Parish.

As far as education goes, Addergoole Civil Parish had National Schoolhouses in the Townlands of Cloondaff, Lahardaun, Massbrook Lower and Pollawaria. When Samuel Lewis compiled "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" he identified 2 public schools and 6 hedge schools for Addergoole Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 10).

From an economic standpoint, Lahardaun would probably be considered the hub of this Civil Parish with its Fair Green and Tolls and Customs of Fairs. The Townland of Addergoole (also known as Knockmaria) had a Forge and a Pound, Ballyduffy had a Corn Mill and a Forge, and Bracklagh had a Corn Mill and Frieze Mills. The Townland of Claggarnagh East had a Forge, Tobernaveen had two Forges, Doonbredia had a Pound, and there were Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Addergoole, Ballymoyock, Boghadoon, Bracklagh, Caffoley, Claggarnagh West, Cuilkillew, Dervin, Gortnaheltia and Letterkeeghaun. This would seem to indicate that the area had significant pasture, grazing land. One item that I haven't seen mentioned before in the Griffith's Valuation were "Wood rangers Houses" that were found in the Townlands of Boghadoon, Carrickbarrett, and Prughlish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Addergoole).

A variety of different Landlords were represented in Addergoole Civil Parish in the Griffith's Valuation, but Col. Charles Knox, Mervyn Pratt and Walter Bourke were the most prevalent, followed by the Earl of Arran, Chas and Bernard Coyne and Sir W. H Palmer Bt among others.

The population of Addergoole Civil Parish dropped substantially during and after the peak famine years like many other Civil Parishes in County Mayo. The population of Addergoole in 1841 was 7,379, dropping to 5,085 in 1851. By the year 1911 that number had dropped further to 3,496 and was only 1,586 in 1979. (O'Hara, 1984, p. 7).

I have found the Surname Brennan in only one Townland in Addergoole Civil Parish. In 1857 when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Addergoole, both John Brennan and Edmond Brennan were living a townland called Massbrook Lower. The Poor Law Union District covering this townland is Castlebar Union. Massbrook Lower is located in the lower half of Addergoole Civil Parish and it borders Levally Lough. There is a National Schoolhouse in Massbrook Lower.

There is one caveat to keep in mind when looking at these findings from the Griffith's Valuation: The Griffith's Valuation only includes the individuals (occupiers) who own, lease or rent a parcel. For instance it will list a householder but not the individuals who live with him. It was common in County Mayo for individuals to share parcels, particularly of land (The Rundale system of communal land sharing). Sometimes the whole town shared one parcel of land. Shared parcels may or may not be with related individuals. Just because an individual is a lone occupier of a parcel does not mean that he is living in (house) or tilling (garden) this parcel alone. He may have numerous family members living with him, but they will not be listed unless they actually lease or own the parcel. Occupiers who sublet their acreage of land or houses to others will be listed as landlords.

For helpful details on how to interpret the following records, please take a look at the page I created on "Deciphering Griffith's Valuation."

Townland Map Ref Number Occupier Landlord or his rep Property Type Area in Acres, Roods and Perches a-r-p Total Valuation in pounds, shillings and pence Shared with (other occupiers)
Massbrook Lower 5b Brennan, John Jones, Thomas Land and House 59-3-36 2-3-0 one
Massbrook Lower 7a Brennan, Edmond same Land and House 58-3-38 1-14-0 two

(Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Addergoole).