Ballintober Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Coffee (Coffey, Coffy) Surname in Griffith's Valuation, County Mayo, Ireland

There were no individuals with the Coffee, Coffey or Coffy Surnames documented in Ballintober Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1857.

Ballintober Civil Parish was within Carra Barony and was part of Burriscarra and Ballintober Roman Catholic Parish. Available records for this parish cover the years 1839-1903, which is earlier than many other County Mayo Catholic Parish records. Burriscarra Civil Parish and Touaghty Civil Parish are also part of this Catholic Parish. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted, there was only one Roman Catholic Chapel, in the Townland of Killavally West and Graveyards were present in the Townlands of Ballintober, Bellaburke and Kilbree Upper. Samuel Lewis in "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" describes the Roman Catholic Chapel as being at Killavalla. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 118).

Ballintober Civil Parish contained 66 Townlands (if you include the named, occupied islands) when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1857. The vast majority of towns in this Civil Parish were quite small. I couldn't find any patent applications for fairs or markets for any of the Townlands in this Civil Parish and there were no "Fair Greens" or "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" in Ballintober Civil Parish when the Valuation took place. Ballintober Civil Parish is only 8 miles from Ballinrobe, one of County Mayo's premier 19th Century Market Towns.

There wasn't a lot of industry documented in Ballintober Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted. The Townlands of Kilbree Lower and Killavalla East each had a Corn Mill and the Townlands of Ballintober, Bohaun South and Cappacharnaun each had a Pound. The Townlands of Glasgort and Killavally West each had a Forge and there were Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Ballintober, Baunoges, Bellaburke, Bird Island, Carn, Castleburke, Cogaula, Creevagh, Croaghrimcarra, Drumneen, Kilbree Lower, Kilbree Upper, Killavally East, Killawullaun Mountain, Knockmoyleen and Pollawaddy. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Ballintober). The number of Herd's Houses would seem to indicate a fair amount of pasture/grazing area in this Civil Parish.

As far as education goes, there was a Schoolhouse in the tiny Townland of Attavally located in the Northeastern part of Ballintober Civil Parish and National Schoolhouses in the Townland of Gortbaun, (a fairly small town near the northernmost tip of Ballintober Civil Parish) and in Killavally West (one of the larger Townlands in this Civil Parish). (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Ballintober). I haven't seen anything documented about any "Hedge" Schools in Ballintober Civil Parish, but I have seen a few notations about a well-known priest hunter being active in the area.

Sir Robert Lynch Blosse Bart was far and away the predominant landlord in Ballintober Civil Parish followed by General Henry Moore, Malachy Tuohy, Viscount Avonmore and a smattering of others.

Ballintober Civil Parish saw a dramatic drop in its population during and after the peak famine years. In 1841 the population was 7,219 plunging to 3,438 in 1851. By the year 1911, the population of Ballintober Parish was down to 2,457. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7).