Brennan Families Identified as being from the Townland of Cloonard, Tibohine Civil Parish, County Roscommon, Ireland

The Town of Cloonard was composed of 355 acres when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted around 1857. It lies within Frenchpark Barony, Tibohine Civil Parish, Castlereagh Poor Law Union, Fairymount electoral division in Loughglynn Roman Catholic Parish.

Of the 20 Brennan Families that I identified in the Loughglynn Roman Catholic Parish records on LDS Microfilm # 989753, only one Brennan family specifically mentioned the townland of Cloonard. The records for the family of Pat Brennan and Maria Cunningham acknowledged Cloonard as their home Townland in the baptisms of their children. Michael was baptized on May 24, 1833, Jacobum on November 17, 1835 and Martinam on October 22, 1839. Of interest is that there were Tiernan sponsors for each of their baptisms and Maria Brennan was a sponsor for the baptism of Martin.

I have found relatively few death records in the Irish microfilm that I have gone through in the past several years, but the Loughglynn film was an exception. For the Townland of Cloonard the deaths of four Brennans were noted: Catherina Tiernan alias Brennan on June 2, 1852 at the age of 70; Tommy Brennan on October 28, 1876 at the age of 74; Patt Brennan on October 25, 1878 at the age of 42 and Thomas Brennan (Pat) on June 12, 1881 at the age of 16. I believe that Thomas was likely the son of Pat in the above noted record.

There was a Thoma Tiernan and Catherine Brennan family and a Jno McDermott and Bgd Tiernan family in the Loughglynn church records, but a townland of origin was not given. Keeping in mind that Tiernans were witnesses to all three of Pat Brennan and Maria Cunningham children's baptisms, I think it is highly likely that Thoma Tiernan and Catherine Brennan and Jno McDermott and Bgd Tiernan were also in Cloonard. Thoma Tiernan and Catherine Brennan's children were as follows: Patritius was baptised on September 5, 1826 (with Michael Brennan and Maria Brennan Sponsors) and Thoma was baptized on what appears to be January 14, 1821 (Daniel Cahelan and Catherine Cahelan sponsors). Cath Brenan was a sponsor in the 1826 baptism of a child born to Jno McDermott and Bgd Tiernan.

The 1901 Ireland census showed only two Brennans in Cloonard: Ellen Brennan, a 52 year old widow who was born in County Roscommon and her daughter Bridget an unmarried 22 year old who was also born in County Roscommon. (National Archives of Ireland, 2007, 1901 Census Cloonard).

The Griffith's Valuation that was conducted for Tibohine Civil Parish, Cloonard showed only one Brennan holding a parcel in this area: Patk Brennan, parcel 11a held a house, office and Land (13 acres) valued at 8 pounds and 15 shillings. His landlord was Lord John De Freyne. I believe that this is most likely the Patrick listed in the correspondence below with 12 children. (Griffith, Richard, 1847-1864, Tibohine Civil Parish (Cloonard).

The National Library of Ireland has a manuscript NLI Ms.907 covering the rental estates of Lord De Frayne in Counties Leitrim and Roscommon for years 1875-77 that may be of value in tracing this family if they held the parcel that long. The valuation office cancelled books held in Dublin covering Fairymount electoral division may also yield valuable clues on the disposition of this parcel over the years. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to look at either while I was in Dublin in September 2011. Copies can be obtained from these sources by contacted the NLI and the Valuation Office in Dublin.

According to correspondence I noted in an official publication from Castlereagh March 6, 1847 on "Measures Adopted for the Relief of Distress in Ireland," there was a notation made by Captain Burmester, the inspecting officer in County Roscommon regarding the relief works in the Barony of French Park that mentioned men who had returned from working on the Cloonard River. According to this correspondence, Pat Brennan of Cloonard was acknowledged as having just over 22 acres, a correction to the 12 acres that was apparently noted in their books. It goes on further to say that Pat Brennan was a "very poor man having 12 in family to support, and although he possesses about 10 irish acres, he is not able to support his family without relief employment." (Great Britain, 1847, p. 233-234).

This is a work in progress! I will add to it as I uncover more Brennan families with a proven connection to this area. Please contact me if you feel you have Brennan, Coffey, Corcoran or Gahagans from Cloonard or the surrounding townlands or if you have feedback or suggestions that might enhance this compilation. I would love to hear from you.