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

Aghamore Civil Parish is located in Costello Barony and contained 74 Townlands when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856. The Majority of the Townlands are on the small side with the exception of the following: Annagh, Barnagurry, Caher, Cappagh, Carrownedan, Cartron North, Cloongawnagh-Cosgrave, Crossard, Falleighter, Liscat, Mountaincommon, Scregg and Tooreen. Several towns on the eastern most part of the Civil Parish such as Cummer and Cloongawnagh appear to share a border with County Roscommon.

Aghamore Civil Parish is part of Aghamore Roman Catholic Parish. The records for this Catholic Parish cover the period 1864-1921. The only Roman Catholic Chapel noted in the Griffith's Valuation for this Parish was in the Townland of Killeen and Graveyards were present in the Townlands of Aghamore, Carrownedan and Cloongawnagh (Cosgrave). A Burial Ground was present in the Townland of Boleyboy.

Four fairs were being held in the Townland of Ballinacostello by the late 18th century. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 84). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, Ballinacostello didn't have a market for grain or cattle, but fairs were listed as taking place on June 3, August 9, October 9 and December 16. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 47-51).

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in Aghamore Civil Parish, the Townland of Ballinacostello had a "Fair Green," a "Customs of Fairs" as well as a Corn Mill, Kilns and a Forge. From an economic perspective Ballinacostello was the hub of commercial activity for the Parish. The Townland of Aghamore was the location of the Courthouse and the Townland of Tober had a Pound. Aghataharn had a Corn Mill and Kiln, Ballyglass had a Corn Mill, Caher had a Corn Mill, Kiln and Forge, Carn Beg, Coogue South, Coolnaha North, Derynaned all had a Forge. Crossbeg had a Corn Mill and Kiln and the Townland of Rath had a Corn Mill (Gig) and Kiln. Herd's Houses were present in multiple Townlands such as Aghamore, Ballyhine, Boleyboy, Cloonturk, Coolnaha South, Derryool, Kilgariff and Woodfield. This would seem to indicate a fair amount of pasture for grazing. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Aghamore).

Multiple lakes are scattered throughout Aghamore Civil Parish, there were no Rivers and only one designated "Bog" parcel was documented in the Townland of Corhawnagh. Samuel Lewis in his book "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" describes "a considerable quantity of bog" in this Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 18).

As far as education goes, the only Schoolhouse in Aghamore Civil Parish was in the Townland of Rath. "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" describes Aghamore as having seven pay schools. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 18).

A variety of different landlords were represented in the Aghamore Civil Parish Griffith's Valuation, but Viscount Dillon was the most prevalent followed by "The Immediate Lessor", Francis R O' Grady, Mary Jane Olmsby Gore, Annsley Knox and Sir Compton Domville Bart among others.

The population of Aghamore Civil Parish declined like many other Civil Parishes in County Mayo during the famine years and beyond. In 1841 7,675 people lived in this Parish, dropping to 6,097 in 1851. By the year 1911 the population was down to 5,699, not as significant a drop as many other Civil Parishes in County Mayo. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7).

The Brennan Surname is present in 7 townlands in Aghamore Civil Parish during the Griffith's Valuation. Thomas and Edmond Brennan were documented in Barnagurry. This townland is in the western most part of Aghamore Civil Parish bordering Killedan Civil Parish. Phelan, Patrick and James Brennan were present in the Townland of Carrowneden. Carrowneden is in the more southeastern part of Aghamore Civil Parish bordering Bekan Civil Parish. Michael Brennan was found in Crossard, located in the eastern part of Aghamore Civil Parish. It also borders Bekan Civil parish like Carrowneden. Michael Brennan occupied a parcel in Derryclaha, a townland that borders Barnagurry where Thomas and Edmond Brennan lived. Mark Brennan was accounted for in Mountaincommon, one of the larger, more centrally located townlands in Aghamore Civil Parish. It lies next to Killeen where the only Catholic Church is located. Owen Brennan was documented as occupying land in Rath, a more centrally located Townland. Of note here is that Owen Brennan and Michael Walsh are also listed as the landlord for one occupier on a property designated as a schoolhouse.

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)
Barnagurry 15 Brennan, Thomas Costello, Arthur R Land and House 23-3-15 4-10-0 none
Barnagurry 17a Brennan, Edmond same Land and House 0-3-0 4-0-0 total for this and his land below none
Barnagurry 18 Brennan, Edmond same Land 23-0-18 same none
Carrowneden 14,15,16 and 17; 14a Brennan, Phelan Rutledge, Robert Land and House 1-3-35, 42-0-10, 3-1-30, 6-0-20 5-3-0 4 parcels with 2 other Brennans
Carrowneden 14,15,16 and 17; 14b Brennan, Patrick same Land and House same 5-3-0 same
Carrowneden 14,15,16 and 17 Brennan, James same Land same 4-10-0 same
Crossard 1c Brennan, Michael Dillon, Viscount Land and House 221-2-22 2-0-0 18 others
Derrybrack 1c Brennan, Bridget The Immediate Lessor Land and House 73-1-16 0-18-0 7 others (whole town)
Derryclatta 1 Brennan, Michael O Grady, Francis Land 0-2-30 0-2-0 none
Mountain Common 23a Brennan, Mark Domville Bart,Sir Compton, Land and House 15-2-0 4-15-0 none
Rath 15d Brennan, Owen The Immediate Lessor Land and House 53-0-23 5-5-0 three others
Rath 16 Brennan, Owen same Land 60-0-25 8-18-0 one other
Rath 16b Jennings, Michael Brennan, Owen and Walsh, Michael School-house   0-5-0 none

(Griffith, 1847-1864; Aghamore).