Captain William Fitzmaurice: A County Mayo Landlord in the 19th Century.

Captain William Fitzmaurice was the primary Landlord in the following Townlands in Balla Civil Parish, Clanmorris Barony: Ballymacneogh, Legaturrin and Ballykerrigan.

I only found one notation on the estate of Captain William Fitzmaurice in J. F. Quinn's "History of Mayo". It indicated that he was a rate defaulter, owing a large amount of money for his property in Balla Civil Parish. (the date is not given for this notation, but it would appear to have occurred sometime in the 1850's). (Quinn, 1996, Vol 4, Ch 10, p. 314). Captain William Fitzmaurice was not included in the "Return of Owners of Land of one Acre and Upwards in the Several, Counties, Counties of Cities, and Counties of Towns in Ireland" that was compiled by the Local Government Board in 1876. This would seem to indicate that his estate was sold prior to this (most likely in the Encumbered Estates Court that was in operation through 1858 or in the Landed Estates Court that operated after that).

Special kudos go to Catherine Young, an Australian Genealogist and descendent of Captain William Fitzmaurice who has generously shared the following details on her ancestor:

  1. The Townland of Lagaturn (aka Lagaturrin, Lagatoirn) was in the Fitzmaurice family for centuries. Her research suggests that Lagaturn as well as the other Townlands were relinquished sometime in the 1860's and the railways used some of his land. Lagaturn House was later occupied by Dr. Alexander Henry (according to Catherine, his son Sir Edward Richard Henry was involved with the invention of Finger Printing).
  2. Captain William Fitzmaurice died January 18, 1869 at 6 Prospect Place in Bedminster, Counties of Bristol and Sumerset, England at the age of 68. She has definitive proof via a death certificate. Of interest is that his occupation is listed as Captain of the 4th Light Dragoons.
  3. Captain Fitzmaurice's children, George Robert and Mark relocated to Australia and his youngest son Albert was a Seaman traveling to a host of ports Australia, New Zealand, England and the U.S.

I have found information on Landlords quite difficult to come by, especially from across the pond. This contribution from Catherine is greatly appreciated!

Francesca Visetti of Italy, another descendant of William Fitzmaurice, graciously shared the following information: George Robert his son, went to Australia and married Mary Torode from France. They had 3 children: Beatrice who was married to Adam Lind Leslie, Lansdowne who was married to Beatrice M Collins and Alice who married Hugh Dixson. Alice and Hugh's son, Hugh Fitzmaurice Dixon was Francesca's grandfather. When Hugh Dixson died, Hugh F. was 14 years old and went back to England with his mother; some years later he met Rose Osborn who later became his wife. They had two daughters Pamela Mary and Elizabeth Anne. According to Francesca, Hugh Fitzmaurice served in WWI, wanted to be sent to the front line, but was instead made a radio operator (because of his background as an engineer). Special thanks to Francesca for sharing some great information filling in many of the blanks of this important landlord's descendants in Mayo history.