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

There were no individuals with the Brennan surname documented in Crossboyne Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856.

Crossboyne Civil Parish falls within Clanmorris Barony and is part of Crossboyne and Taugheen Roman Catholic Parish that was formed in 1862. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 88). Tagheen Civil Parish is also part of this Roman Catholic Parish. Catholic Church Records for this parish are covered on microfilm number 1279211. This film covers the years 1791-1913 (far earlier than most parishes in County Mayo). When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Crossboyne Civil Parish in 1856, Roman Catholic Chapels were present in the Townlands of Ballindine North, Ballyglass and Burris. There was also a church of undocumented affiliation in the Townland of Crossboyne, and the only Graveyard in Crossboyne Civil Parish was noted there as well. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Crossboyne). In Samuel Lewis' "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" he refers to the Roman Catholic Divisions of Crossboyne as being part of 2 districts: Crossboyne and Ballindangan. Crossboyne included part of Crossboyne Parish and all of Taugheen Parish. He mentioned one chapel in the Townland of Crossboyne in the Crossboyne District and two other chapels in the Ballindangan District, one in Ballindangan and one at Drymills. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 437). I couldn't find "Drymills" listed among the Townlands of Crossboyne Civil Parish, or in the General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland, perhaps it is a smaller Town in this parish.

Crossboyne Civil Parish was only 2 miles from the Town of Claremorris (Clare), one of the premier market towns in County Mayo in the 19th Century. Sir James Craig obtained a patent for markets and fairs for Ballindine (Ballindangan) a significant market town of its own, as early as 1627. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 84). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, the Town of Ballindangan (Ballindine) had a market or fair for cattle and fairs were held on July 22, October 11, and December 7. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 46, 47-51).

The Town of Ballindine is incorporated into three different Townlands: Ballindine East, Ballindine North and Newtown South. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856 for Crossboyne Civil Parish, there was a "Fair Green" and a "Tolls and Customs of Fairs and Markets" in the Town of Ballindine that is incorporated into the Townland of Ballindine East. There were also the Guardians of the Poor of Claremorris Union Dispensary, Grand Jury of County Mayo Petit Sessions and a Pound. The Town of Ballindine was also part of Ballindine North, the location of the Constabulary Force Police Barracks. Although Crossboyne was a rather large Civil Parish with 78 Townlands at the time the Griffith's Valuation was conducted, there was really little else of commercial interest outside the Town of Ballindine. There was a Corn Mill in the Townland of Leedaun, a Plantation in the Townland of Curraghadooey and Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Ballindell East, Ballindine West, Ballyglass, Caltragh, Carrowconor, Carrownlough, Carrownskehaun, Castlemagarretpark New, Castlereagh, Cloonmore, Coolmakean, Coolroe, Drumady, Drummin North, Garryduff South, Gortanierin, Heath, Killeenrevagh, Lawaus, Lisduff, Lugalisheen North and South, Roosky, Rushbrook East, Seefin and Treangarve. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Crossboyne). The large number of herd's houses would seem to indicate a fairly large amount of pasture/grazing area in Crossboyne Civil Parish.

As far as education goes, there were Board of Education National Schoolhouses in the Townlands of Ballindine North and one in the Town of Ballindine that is part of Ballindine North. There was also a Knitting School in this part of the Town of Ballindine. This is the only Knitting School that I have seen documented in the County Mayo Griffith's Valuation thus far. There was also a Schoolhouse in the Townland of Crossboyne.

There were some documented "Bog" parcels and a portion of Clare Lough and Drumady Lough noted in Crossboyne Civil Parish. According to Samuel Lewis in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" there "plenty of bog for fuel" in Crossboyne Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 437).

Numerous landlords were represented in Crossboyne Civil Parish in the Griffith's Valuation, but Hon Geoffrey Browne and Lord Oranmore were far and away the most prevalent more distantly followed by Robert Fair and Martin Glynn. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Crossboyne). According to Samuel Lewis, the Townland of Castlemagarett was the seat of Lord Oranmore. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 437). Hussey De Burgh compiled "The Landowners of Ireland" in 1878. This compilation included landlords holding over 500 acres in Ireland. I was unable to find entries for Robert Fair, Martin Glynn or specifically Hon. Geoffrey Browne. The entry for Lord Oranmore was a bit puzzling. Lord Oranmore is listed as "Oranmore and Browne." Lord Oranmore is introduced as Lord Geoffrey Dominick Augustus Frederick Gutherie, the 2nd Baron. He held 4,243 acres in County Mayo and 1,818 in County Westmeath. His residence is County Mayo is listed as Castle Macgarrett, Claremorris and he has a residence in Dublin as well. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007, p. 354). In the Griffith's Valuation Lord Oranmore and Hon. Geoffrey Browne are listed as two separate individuals but the description in Hussey De Burgh's compilation makes me wonder if they could possibly be one in the same. Further research is definitely necessary in regard to this. To further cloud the issue, in the Statistical Survey of County Mayo conducted in 1802, Colonel Browne is listed as being a Resident of Castlemagarrett in Clanmorris Barony and is "occasionally with his regiment." (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 103). So are Hon. Geoffrey Browne and Lord Oranmore, both listed as being at Castlmagarrett (one source in 1802 and one in 1837) one and the same person? If so then why would they be listed separately in the Griffith's Valuation?

Crossboyne Civil Parish saw a significant population decline during and after the peak famine years. In 1841 there were 6,702 people living in the Crossboyne area, dropping to 4,963 in 1851. By the year 1911 there were only 2,570 people remaining in this Civil Parish. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7).