Crossmolina Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Brennan Surname in Griffith's Valuation, County Mayo, Ireland

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

Crossmolina Civil Parish falls within Tirawley Barony and has 123 Townlands if you include the islands documented as occupied in Griffith's Valuation. This Civil Parish is part of Crossmolina Roman Catholic Parish that was formed in 1831. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 88). When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Crossmolina Civil Parish in 1856, there were Roman Catholic Chapels in the Townland of Cartrongilbert (in the Town of Crossmolina), the Townland of Keenagh Beg and Kilmurry More. There was a Church of unknown affiliation in the Townland of Crossmolina and a Methodist Meeting House in the Town of Crossmolina that is incorporated into the Townland of Crossmolina. Graveyards were present in the Townlands of Crossmolina and Kilmurry More. Church records for Crossmolina Roman Catholic Parish are available on microfilm number 1279204 (covering the years 1831-1913 on item number 22) and microfilm number 897365 that covers the Church of Ireland records on item 7 (covering the years 1768-1817). The Church of Ireland Parish covering Crossmolina Civil Parish was formed much earlier in 1768. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 88).

As early as 1633 Lord Dillon obtained a patent for a market and fair for the Civil Parish of Crossmolina and George Gore obtained another in 1729. As of 1852 fairs were being held 12 different times in the year. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 87). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, Crossmolina was noted as having a Market or Fair for Cattle, and fairs were held on May 24, September 13, and December 17. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 45, 47-52).

From a commercial perspective most of the economic activity appears to have taken place in the Town of Crossmolina that is incorporated into the Townlands of Crossmolina, Cartrongilbert and Knockalegan, as well as the Townlands of Kilmurry More and Lecarrow. The Town of Kilmurry More had the Land for Tolls and Customs of Fairs and Lecarrow had a "Fairgreen" as well as the Tolls and Customs of Fairs. The section of the Town of Crossmolina within the Town of Cartrongilbert had a Tolls and Customs of Markets and Fairs as well. This is significantly more designated areas for markets and fairs than I have seen in most other Civil Parishes in County Mayo. In the mid 19th century Crossmolina was considered one of County Mayo's major market towns. I have done a specific page on the Town of Crossmolina in my County Mayo Major Market Town section. Other Townlands in Crossmolina Civil Parish with economic activity were Ballycarroon with a Corn Mill (out of repair), Ballyscanlan with a Miller's House, Corn and Tuck Mills, Carrowgarve North with a Corn Mill, Cartrongilbert with a Quarry and the Town of Crossmolina within its borders had the Petty Sessions Court House, an office (store) and the Dispensary. The Townland of Carrowkilleen had a Forge, Crossmolina had a Gate Lodge and the Town of Crossmolina within its borders had a Forge, Pound and Ruins. The Townland of Keenagh Beg had a Corn Mill, as did Keenagh More, Kildavaroge had a Farmhouse, Knockglass had a Turbary and Knockalegan (the Town of Crossmolina) had a Constabulary Barracks, Revenue Police Barracks and Ruins. The Townland of Mullenmore North had Tuck Mills, Mullenmore South had an Orchard, Polladoohy had a Turbary, Prospect had a Gate Lodge and there were Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Ballymoneen, Ballynacloy, Ballyneety, Bengeery, Carrowgarve North, Cartrongilbert, Cloonawillin, Coolnabinnia, Creevy, Crossmolina, Derreen, Fotish, Freeheen, Garraunard, Gortnahurra Lower, Gortnalyer, Killacorraun, Killeen, Kilmurry Beg, Kinard, Knockalegan, Knockbaun, Knocknahorna, Lecarrowcloghagh, Mullenmore North, Owenboy, Shanvolahan, Tawnaghs, Tooreen, Tristia and Tubbrid Beg. This large 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, National Schoolhouses are noted in Attishane in the northernmost part of this Civil Parish, Cabragh in the southeastern part of the Civil Parish, Letterbrick, Rathmacostello in the southwestern section, and Rathmore that is in the northwest section of Crossmolina Civil Parish. There was also a National Male Schoolhouse, a National Female Schoolhouse and a Church Education Society Schoolhouse in the Townland of Crossmolina. Finally, the Townland of Glebe had a CE Society Schoolhouse as well. The Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis identifies 6 different "Hedge Schools" in this Civil Parish in addition to the others mentioned above. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 438).

Bog area was documented in the Townlands of Tobermore and Kinard in the Griffith's Valuation in 1856. The amount of bog in this Civil Parish appears to be much more extensive than this documentation would seem to suggest. According to Samuel Lewis in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland," there was 24,300 statute acres in Crossmolina Civil Parish, "1/3 of which is arable land; the remainder is bog and mountain, the greater part reclaimable." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 438).

Crossmolina Civil Parish is one of County Mayo's larger Civil Parishes with many different Landlords. Sir Wm Roger Palmer Bart was the most often named landlord followed by Mervyn Pratt and Godfrey Fetherstone and the Earl of Arran. The Statistical Survey of County Mayo refers to the Earl of Arran and Roger Palmer of Palmerstown as Absentee Landlords of Tyrawley Barony.There was a Roger Palmer of Carrowmore listed as a Resident Landlord of Tyrawley Barony. (I am not sure if they are one and the same). Godfrey Fetherstone and Mervyn Pratt were not mentioned in this resource. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 100-101).

Hussey De Burgh compiled "The Landowners of Ireland" in 1878. This resource covered landlords with 500 acres or property valued at 500 pounds or more in Ireland. In his publication, Sir Wm Roger Palmer Bart is listed as having 80,990 acres in County Mayo, 4,202 in Dublin and 9570 acres in County Sligo. Kenagh Lodge at Castlebar, County Mayo was noted as his County Mayo residence. He also had other residences in Dublin and England. Mervyn Pratt another prevalent landlord in this Civil Parish was educated in Dublin and Oxford. His residence was listed for County Mayo at Enniscoe, Crossmolina. He also had residences in County Meath, County Cavan and Dublin. He held 17,955 acres in County Mayo, 8,095 in County Cavan and 1,014 in County Meath. Godfrey Fetherstone (listed as Fetherston-Haugh, Godfrey) had a residence in Dublin and Glanmore, Crossmolina, County Mayo. He held 9,261 acres in County Mayo and 1,016 acres in County Westmeath. Finally the Earl of Arran (a.k.a Phillip York Gore, the 4th Earl) had a residence at Castle Gore, County Mayo and held 29,644 acres in County Mayo and 6,883 in County Donegal. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007, p. 11, 55, 361, 375).

Crossmolina Civil Parish saw a massive population decline during and after the peak famine years. In 1841 there were 12,221 people residing in this Civil Parish, decreasing to 7,236 in 1851. By the year 1911 there were only 4,065 people remaining in Crossmolina Civil Parish. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7).