Ballysakeery Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Gahagan (Goaghan, Goghan, Gaughan, Geoghegan) Surname in Griffith's Valuation

Ballysakeery Civil Parish falls within Tirawley Barony and is part of Ballysokeary Roman Catholic Parish (also referred to as Cooneal Parish). The records available for this Catholic Parish cover the years 1862-1897 on microfilm numbers 1279204 and 1279205. Ballysakeary Roman Catholic Parish was established in 1843 (Mitchell, 1988, p. 87). When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in Ballysakeery Civil Parish in 1856, there were 47 Townlands including the named, occupied islands. There was one Roman Catholic Chapel in the Townland of Coonealmore, a Church of undocumented affiliation in Lisglennon, a Presbyterian Meeting House in Mullafarry and a Methodist Meeting House in the Townland of Cloonshinnagh. The only Graveyard was noted in the Townland of Ballysakeery where there was also land designated for a "Glebe." (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Ballysakeery). Samuel Lewis in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" mentioned that there was a place of worship in Ballysakeery for Baptists as well. (Lewis, 1837; 2005, p. 121).

I couldn't find any patent applications for Fairs or Markets for any Townlands in Ballysakeery Civil Parish. There were no "Fair Greens" or "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" noted for any Townlands in the Griffith's Valuation. Overall there was very little commercial activity in this parish. Ballysakeery Civil Parish was only 2 1/2 miles from the Town of Killala, a premier market town in County Mayo in the 19th century. The Tideway of the River Moy was noted as the location for a Salmon Fishery (it wasn't mentioned with the other major fisheries in the Statistical Survey of County Mayo that was conducted in 1802. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 95-96). There was a Pound in the Townland of Cloonshinnagh, a Forge in the Townland of Derreens and a Steward's House in Rathglass East. There were Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Balloughadalla and Rosserk (few compared to many other parishes that most probably had more pasture/grazing land). There were no Corn Mills, Tuck Mills or Kilns in this Civil Parish. The three largest Townlands were Ballybroony that was centrally located, Ballymackeehola in the southwest quadrant and Rathoma just to the north of Ballymakeehola. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Ballysakeery).

One lake, Mullafarry Lough was present in Ballysakeery Civil Parish, as was the Tideway to the River Moy Salmon Fishery, but the River Moy wasn't mentioned as passing through any of the Townlands. There were no designated "Bog" parcels noted in Griffith's Valuation, but Samuel Lewis in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" mentions Ballysakeery as having very large tracts of irreclaimable bog area. (Lewis, 1837; 2005, p. 120).

As far as education goes, there was a Schoolhouse in the Townland of Cloonshinnagh and a Church Education Society Schoolhouse in the Townland of Lisglennon. In the 1837 "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland," Samuel Lewis describes five public schools as well as two hedge schools. (Lewis, 1827; 2005, p. 121).

The Earl of Arran was far and away the predominant landlord in Ballysakeery Civil Parish, distantly followed by Col. Arthur Knox Gore, Annesley Knox, Sir Wm R Palmer Bart and a smattering of others. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Ballysakeery). The Earl of Arran was listed as an absentee landlord in the Statistical Survey of County Mayo in 1802 as was Major John Knox. (Mcparlan, 1802; 2007, p. 100).

The population of Ballysakeery Civil Parish dropped by more than 50% between 1841 (6,034) and 1851 (2,951) and by the year 1911 there was only 1,520 people remaining in Ballysakeery Civil Parish. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7).

The two surnames Gaughan and Goughan were both documented in the Townland of Coonealcauraun when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856 for Ballysakeery Civil Parish. Bridget Gaughan had one parcel and Patrick Goughan had two parcels.

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)
Coonealcauraun 1a Gaughan, Bridget Knox, John Land, House and Office 40-3-19 9-15-0 one other
Coonealcauraun 13a Goughan, Patrick same Land, House and Offices 15-1-4 5-4-0 none
Coonealcauraun 15 Goughan, Patrick same Land 19-1-23 0-8-0 one other

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