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

Annagh Civil Parish falls within Costello Barony. This Civil Parish shares a border with both County Roscommon and County Galway and has 76 Townlands and one major Town, Ballyhaunis. Ballyhaunis is incorporated into the Townlands of Abbeyquarter and Hazelhill that are in the northern part of Annagh Civil parish.

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856, Annagh Civil Parish had Roman Catholic Churches in Friarsground, Hazelhill and Lugboy Demesne. There were graveyards in the Townlands of Coolnafarna, Friarsground and Kildarra. Annagh Civil Parish is part of Ballyhaunis Roman Catholic Parish.

As early as 1751, William Knox applied for a patent for a market and fairs in the Town of Ballyhaunis. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 85). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, Ballyhaunis did not have a designated market for grain, but it did have a market or fair for cattle. Fairs were held on June 1, July 2, September 22 and October 29 in Ballyhaunis. (McParlan, 1802;2007, p. 37, 46, 47-50). I have compiled a separate sheet on the Town of Ballyhaunis in my Market Towns section.

Apparently the name Annagh in Irish is Eanagh that means low marshy ground. (Quinn, 1996, Vol. 1, Chapter 39, p. 266). I observed that bog area was documented in the towns of Cloontumper, Derrynacong, Kiltybo and Levallyroe.

In "The History of Mayo," Volume one it was mentioned "Ballyhaunis Augustinian Abbey and Banada (in County Sligo and close to the Mayo border) had close associations, frequently exchanging Friars and Monks. "Ballyhaunis survived the persecutions and Suppressions being the only one of the ancient abbeys surviving in the County." (Quinn, Volume 1, Chapter 39, p. 269). I think if I had an ancestor in this civil parish I would check the Sligo parish records as well. It was a harrowing time to be a priest practicing the Catholic Religion in this area: There were priest hunters about so services were held in an assortment of places such as barns, fields, on mountainsides and bog areas under cover of nightfall.

As far as education goes, there was a National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Lugboy Demesne. Samuel Lewis described 8 pay schools in this "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" that was published in 1837. (Lewis, 1837;2005, p. 29).

From an economic perspective, the Town of Ballyhaunis, as mentioned above was a fairly significant market town in the mid 19th century. I didn't see a Fair green or a Tolls of Customs and Fairs in the Griffith's Valuation for this Civil Parish, but a patent was obtained in the mid 1700's and fairs were held. There were many corn mills and kilns in this Civil Parish including the Townland of Agloragh with a Corn and Tuck Mill, Ballybaun with a Corn Mill and Store, Ballaveel with a Corn Mill and Kiln, Carrow Beg with a Corn Mill and Kilns, Cloonbullig with a Corn Mill, Coolnafarna with a Corn Mill and Kiln, Corraun with a Corn Mill and Kilns, Garraun with a Corn Mill, Levallyroe with a Corn Mill and Kilns and Spaddagh with a Corn Mill. This is significantly more Corn Mills that I have seen in most Civil Parishes I have looked at. There were herd's houses in the Townlands of Carrowkeel West, Carrowneden, Churchpark, Cloonbullig, Cloontumper, Hazelhill and Lisduff that would seem to indicate a fair amount of useable pastureland. There was a Forge in the Townlands of Grallagh, Hazelhill, Lisduff and Scregg and a plantation in the Townland of Pollacapul. A pound in the Townland of Ballykilleen was the only other item of real interest. (Griffith, 1847-1864, 2003, Annagh).

A large variety of Landlords are represented in this Civil Parish including Viscount Dillon, John and Mary Bermingham, John N Farrell, Reps James Browne, Phillip Taaffee among others. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Annagh).

The population of Annagh Civil Parish dropped during and after the peak famine years like many other parishes in County Mayo. In 1841 the population of Annagh Civil Parish was 7904, dropping to 6105 in 1851 and by 1911 this number was down to 4916. Even more striking is that by 1979 this number was 2,175. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7).

The Brennan Surname is documented in 10 Townlands in Annagh Civil Parish. Thomas Brennan occupies a parcel in Ballyhaunis. This is one of the larger towns in this Civil Parish. John Brennan has two parcels in Carrickacat, a medium sized Townland in the more southwestern part of Annagh Civil Parish. Thomas and Hugh Brennan were both in Carrowmore West in the far southwestern part of the parish. Patrick and James Brennan were found in Drumbaun, a mid-size town in the northern part of Annagh Civil Parish. Three Brennans, Mary, John and Patrick were found in the Townland of Gorteen in the Northern section of Annagh that borders Bekan Civil Parish. John, Patrick and Martin Brennan are documented in the town of Kiltybo, a smaller town with a bog in the northern part of Annagh Civil Parish by Coolnafarna. John Brennan was found in the Townland of Leo which is below Coolnafarna and Patrick Brennan Junior and Senior were both in the Townland of Redhill in the southwestern quadrant of the parish.The Townland of Scregg had the last of the Brennans in this parish - Patrick, Catherine and Martin. Scregg borders Leo to the west.

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)
Hazel Hill Town of Ballyhaunis 14 and 15 Brennan, Thomas O Grady, Francis Rich. Land, House and Yard 1-0-25 1-5-0 none
Carrickacat 11a Brennan, John Ferrall, John Nolan Land and House 17-1-17 7-15-0 none
Carrickacat 12 Brennan, John same Land 6-2-9 1-11-0 one
Carrowmore West 1a,g Brennan, Thomas Browne, Reps James Land and House, one cottage 34-3-38 4-10-0 Hugh Brennan and 3 others
Carrowmore West 2d Brennan, Hugh same Land, House and Offices same 3-12-0 Thomas Brennan and 3 others
Drumbaun 21 Brennan, Patrick Dillon, Viscount Land, House and Office 18-0-23 3-7-0 none
Drumbaun 24 Brennan, James same Land, House and Offices 14-3-19 3-7-0 none
Gorteen 1a Brennan, Mary Taaffe, Phillip Land, House and Offices 75-1-13 6-4-0 1 Brennan and 3 others
Gorteen 1c Brennan, John same Land, House and Office same 7-0-0 1 Brennan and 3 others
Gorteen 2a Brennan, Patrick same Land and House 61-1-7 5-3-0 5 others
Kiltybo 4 Brennan, John Dillon, Viscount Land and House 11-3-31 3-2-0 none
Kiltybo 6 Brennan, Patrick same Land 10-3-0 2-2-0 none
Kiltybo 8 Brennan, Martin same Land 12-0-12 1-1-0 1other
Knockroe 1 Brennan, John Taaffe, Phillip land 1-1-3 0-5-0 none
Leo 32a Brennan, John McDermot, Thomas Land, House and Offices 27-1-33 2-7-0 2 others
Redhill 8de Brennan, Patrick Sen Ferrall, John N Land, House, Offices and one cottage 69-3-39 8-17-0 Patrick Brennan Jun and 3 others
Redhill 8 Brennan, Patrick Jun same Land same 4-3-0 with Patrick Sen and 8 others
Scregg 1d Brennan, Patrick Dillon, Viscount Land, House and Office 96-0-23 1-0-0 with Catherine and Martin Brennan and 5 others
Scregg 1e Brennan, Catherine same Land, House and Office same 0-15-0 with Patrick, Catherine and 5 others
Scregg 1f Brennan, Martin same Land, House and Office same 0-10-0 with Patrick, Martin and 5 others

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