Breaghwy Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Corcoran Surname in Griffith's Valuation

Breaghwy Civil Parish is located in the center of Carra Barony and is part of Castlebar Roman Catholic Parish (also referred to as Aglish, Ballyheane and Breaghwy Catholic Parish). This Catholic Parish is covered by microfilm numbers: 1279211, 1279212, 1279260 and 1279261 covering a range of years between 1824-1984 depending on the film you request. I have seen Breaghwy referred to as both Breaffy and Breaghwee. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Breaghwy Civil Parish in 1857, there was a Catholic Chapel in the Townland of Breaghwy and a Graveyard in the Townland of Demesne. Aglish Civil Parish and Ballyhean Civil Parish are also part of this Roman Catholic Parish.

I couldn't find any patent applications for fairs or markets in any of the Townlands in Breaghwy Civil Parish. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Breaghwy Civil Parish there were no documented "Fair Greens" or "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" in any of the Townlands. From a commercial standpoint there was very little documented in this Civil Parish: There was a Gate Lodge in the Townland of Demesne, but there were no Corn Mills, Tuck Mills or Kilns, Pounds or Military Barracks in Breaghwy Civil Parish. Herd's Houses were present in the Townlands of Balloor, Barney, Cottage, Creggannavar, Drumaleheen, Keelkill, Kilkenny, Kilknock, Knocknageehy, Knockrawer, Lightford, Lisgowel, Lisnaran and Pollanaskan. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Breaghwy). This appears to be a higher percentage of Herd's Houses than many Parishes I have looked at and would seem to indicate a significant amount of pasture/grazing area in this Parish. Samuel Lewis in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" describes Breaghwy Civil Parish as having a large quantity of bog area. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 223). There were no designated "Bog" parcels in the Griffith's Valuation for this Parish. "A very considerable river, called the Minola" bordered this parish." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 223). I found it interesting that no rivers or lakes were mentioned in the Griffith's Valuation for Breaghwy Civil Parish.

As far as education goes, there was a National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Breaghwy. According to Samuel Lewis in his 1837 "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland." there was a School in the Townland of Lightfoot and two others as well. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 223). The Griffith's Valuation done in 1857 doesn't mention this School in Lightfoot.

John William Rhodes was the most prevalent landlord in Breaghwy Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted, followed by the Earl of Lucan, Richard D' Arcy, the Earl of Erne and a smattering of others. Hussey De Burgh's "The Landowners of Ireland" compiled in 1878, lists the Landowners of Ireland having 500 acres and upwards. John William Rhodes and Richard D' Arcy were not included in this compilation. The Earl of Lucan (also known as George Charles Bingham) held 60, 570 acres in County Mayo and 32 acres in Dublin as well. The Earl of Erne (also known as John Crighton) held 2184 acres in County Mayo, 1,966 in County Sligo, 4,826 in County Donegal and 31,389 in County Fermanagh. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007, p. 148, 280). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, Lord Erne and Lord Lucan are both listed as non-resident landlords of Carra Barony. (McParlan, 1802, 2007, p. 105).

The Population of Breaghwy Civil Parish dropped by more than 50% between 1841 (2,452) and 1851 (1,136). By the year 1911, there were only 692 people remaining in this Civil Parish. The famine years and those that followed took a heavy toll on this Civil Parish as it did many others in County Mayo.

Corcorans were present in two different townlands in Breaghwy Civil Parish, Patrick Corcoran in Breandrum (Windsor) a Townland in the northern most part of the parish that borders Aglish Civil Parish and Turlough Civil Parish, and Patrick Corcoran in Cloontybaunan which borders Breandrum on the southwest.

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)
Breandrum 2a Corcoran, Patrick McAlpine, Col. James Land, House and Office 53-2-22 3-0-0 none
Cloontybaunan 2 Corcoran, Patrick Lucan, Earl of Land 15-2-6 7-10-0 none

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