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

Drum Civil Parish falls within Carra Barony and is part of Balla and Manulla Roman Catholic Parish. This Catholic Parish was formed in 1837. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 88). Balla Civil Parish and Manulla Civil Parish were also part of this Catholic Parish. There must have been some shifting at some time between Balla and Manulla Catholic Parish and Mayo Abbey Parish to the southeast because Brian Smith in his book "Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors" refers to the Catholic Parish that includes Balla Civil Parish as Balla, Manulla, Drum and Roslee. The microfilm that covers Balla and Manulla Catholic Parish records is microfilm number 1279209 and 979698. The records in the beginning of item three of film 1279209 are titled "Balla Marriages Union of Balla-Drum, Roslea and Minolla." This would seem to indicate that records from Rosslee might be in this Catholic Parish instead of or in addition to Mayo Abbey Parish. Drum is sometimes referred to as Drummonahan. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 509).

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1857 for Drum Civil Parish there was a Catholic Chapel in the Townland of Cuillare and a Church of undocumented affiliation in the Townland of Glebe. Graveyards were present in the Townlands of Elmhall and Gweeshadan. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Drum).

A patent to hold markets and fairs was obtained for the Townland of Dunnamona as early as 1609 by Humphrey Reynolds. Sir James Craig acquired another in 1628. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 87). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, Donamona was listed as having Markets or Fairs for Cattle, and fairs were listed as being held on May 26 and October 18. (McParlan 1802; 2007, p. 46-51).

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Drum Civil Parish in 1857, the Townland of Doonnamona was designated as having a "Fair Green" and a "Tolls and Customs of Fairs." From an economic perspective there wasn't a whole lot documented in this Civil Parish. There were Forges in the Townlands of Cuillare, Curry and Lisrobert, a Corn Mill, Kiln and Constabulary Barracks in the Townland of Drum (Knockatemple) and Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Ballaghfarna, Drum (Knockatemple), Elmhall, Gweeshadan, Kilbrenan, Knockbaun, Knockboy, Knocknaveagh, Lagakilleen, Lisblowick, Loona Beg and Loona More. The large number of Herd's Houses would seem to indicate a fair amount of pasture, grazing area in this Civil Parish.

I didn't see any designated "Bog" parcels noted in the Griffith's Valuation for Drum Civil Parish; however, Samuel Lewis noted, "great tracts of grazing land might be obtained by draining the neighboring bogs, and deepening the channel of the river." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 510).

As far as education goes, there were National Schoolhouses in the Townlands of Ballycarra, Deerpark Upper and Killeen. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Drum). I haven't read any descriptions of Hedge Schools in this area.

Numerous Landlords were represented in Drum Civil Parish in the Griffith's Valuation, but Capt St. George Cuff and Patrick Crean Lynch were by far the most prevalent with Henry Shaw Jones and Sir Robt Lynch Blosse Bart being the two others most commonly documented. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Drum).

When Hussey De Burgh compiled his "The Landlords of Ireland" in 1878, Capt St George Cuff was listed as residing at Deel Castle, Balina, County Mayo and in Dublin. He held 3,205 acres in County Mayo. Patrick Crean Lynch's residence was listed as being in Clogher House, Ballyglass, County Sligo. He held 2,337 acres in County Mayo. Henry Shaw Jones was not listed in this resource. This compilation covers landlords in Ireland who owned over 500 acres or land that was valued at over 500 pounds. Sir Robert Lynch Blosse Bt was listed as residing at Athavallie House, Balla. He held 17,555 acres in County Mayo. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007. p. 110, 283, 284).

Drum Civil Parish saw a significant population decline during and after the peak famine years. In 1841 the population was listed at 4,127, dropping to 2,732 in 1851. By the year 1911 there were only 1,635 people living in Drum Civil Parish. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7).

There are Brennans present in 12 different Townlands in Drum Civil Parish. What is interesting is that these 12 Brennans are divided in two clear clusters. In the northernmost part of Drum Civil Parish in Derreen are Patrick, John and Michael Brennan and their neighbors next door to the East in Kilnageer are James, Honor and Michael Brennan. The second cluster of Brennans are in the southern part of Drum Civil Parish in 10 Townlands that are clustered close together, they are Patrick Brennan in Carrowjames, just to the south of him are Patrick Brennan in Carrowmore North and Thomas Brennan in Corrabaun. Just to the east of Thomas in Drumcorrabaun is Patrick Brennan and just south of Patrick is Patrick Brennan in Doonnamona. The last of the Brennans are just south of these Townlands in Lissalacaun (Thomas), Fortlawn (Thomas), Drum (Thomas with four parcels and is landlord for another), Kileen (Thomas) and (Thomas Jas), and finally the southernmost Brennan Townland of Knockboy with John, James and Michael. James is also a Landlord for one tenant in this Townland. I think that the close proximity of these Townlands within these two clusters would significantly increase the probability of some family line connections within them.

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)
Carrowjames 1m Brennan, Patrick Jones, Eliza Mary Land and House 176-0-3 4-2-0 15 others -(whole town)
Carrowmore North 1 Brennan, Patrick Lynch, Patrick Crean Land 143-0-17 3-16-0 4 others
Corrabaun 6 Brennan, Thomas Lynch, Patrick C Land 1-1-35 0-1-0 none
Derreen 1c Brennan, Patrick Cuffe, Capt St George Land and House 80-2-26 2-3-0 John and 7 others
Derreen 1g Brennan, John same Land, House and Office same 3-17-0 Patrick and 7 others
Derreen 1i Brennan, Michael same House   0-5-0 none
Doonnamona 4a Brennan, Patrick Lynch, Patrick C Land, House and Office 2-0-3 18-0-0 for this and next parcel none
Doonnamona 5 Brennan, Patrick same Land 36-0-32 same none
Drum or Knockatemple 4a Brennan, Thomas Lynch, Patrick C Land 38-2-26 15-10-0 none
Drum or Knockatemple 5 Brennan, Thomas same Land 0-2-31 0-9-0 none
Drum or Knockatemple 6 Brennan, Thomas same Land 1-3-21 0-9-0 none
Drum or Knockatemple 7a Brennan, Thomas same Land, House and Office 0-2-31 3-10-0 none
Drum or Knockatemple 4b McGuinness, Mrs. Brennan, Thomas House   0-5-0 none
Drumcorrabaun 12 Brennan, Patrick Lynch, Patrick C Land 8-0-18 4-10-0 none
Fortlawn 2 Brennan, Thomas Lynch, Patrick Crean Land 0-2-0 0-8-0 none
Killeen 1a Brennan, Thomas Lynch, Patrick C Land and Offices 43-1-13 24-0-0 none
Killeen 2b Brennan, Thos. (Jas) same Land and House 52-1-25 4-8-0 5 others
Kilnageer 1h Brennan, James Cuffe, Capt St. George Land, House and Office 134-3-38 6-14-0 Honor, Michael and 9 others
Kilnageer 1i Brennan, Honor same Land, House and Office same 4-4-0 James, Michael and 9 others
Kilnageer 1k Brennan, Michael same Land and Office same 2-15-0 James, Honor and 9 others
Knockboy 6e Brennan, John Lynch, Patrick C Land and House 112-0-6 6-9-0 James, Michael and 7 others
Knockboy 6f Brennan, James same Land, House and Office 112-0-6 9-14-0 John, Michael and 7 others
Knockboy 6g Brennan, Michael same Land, House and Office 112-0-6 6-10-0 John, James and 7 others
Knockboy 6k Flaherty, Daniel Brennan, James House   0-7-0 none
Lissalacaun 3 Brennan, Thomas Lynch, Patrick C Land 107-3-37 45-0-0 none

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