Kilbelfad Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Corcoran Surname in Griffith's Valuation

Kilbelfad Civil Parish falls within Tirawley Barony and had 39 Townlands (counting the named, occupied Islands in Lough Conn) when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856. Kilbelfad Civil Parish is part of Backs Roman Catholic Parish. Backs (Rathduff) was formed in 1848 and Backs (Knockmore) was formed in 1854. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 88). Ballynahaglish Civil Parish is also included in this Roman Catholic Parish. The Catholic Parish is sometimes referred to as Ballynahaglish. Church records for this Catholic Parish are included on microfilm number 1279205 and cover the years 1829-1880. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856 for Kilbelfad Civil Parish there were no documented Catholic Chapels or Churches of other affiliation and only one Graveyard in the Townland of Glebe. Samuel Lewis, in "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland," acknowledges two chapels for this Catholic Parish, one at Knockmore and one at Gallows Hill. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 52). Knockmore is in Ballynahaglish Civil Parish. I couldn't find a "Gallow's Hill" in County Mayo in the General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland, but a notation in the reference "A Various Country Essays in Mayo History" would seem to indicate that Gallows Hill is in Kilbelfad Civil Parish. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 87-88). Apparently Kilbelfad Civil Parish was named after Bishop Bale Fadh, a Roman Catholic Priest who avoided detection by priest hunters via hiding on one of the Islands in Lough Conn

I couldn't find any fair or market patent applications for any of the Townlands in Kilbelfad Civil Parish that were listed in Griffith's Valuation. There was however, a listing for fairs being held without a patent in the Town of Gallowshill by the year 1750. The essay Development of the Mayo Economy, 1700-1850 goes on further to mention the following: "The parish of Kilbelfad includes Deel Castle, where after 1818 James Cuffe claimed the tolls: was this an attempt to give Gallows Hill a less unattractive name?" (Gillespie, Crawford, 1987, p. 87-88).

When the Statistical Survey of Mayo was conducted in 1802 the Town of Gallowshill is noted as having fairs on June 8, August 17, November 8 and December 20. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 48-51).

From an economic perspective there was very little documented in the Griffith's Valuation for this Civil Parish. There were no "Fair Greens" or "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" noted in any of the Townlands in this parish. Kilbelfad Civil Parish is only 4 miles from the Town of Ballina, one of the major market towns of County Mayo in the 19th century. There were no Forges, Corn Mills or Tuck Mills and little other commercial activity in Kilbelfad Civil Parish. Herd's Houses were present in the Townlands of Cappanaglogh and Cloghans and that was the extent of all that was documented for this parish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilbelfad).

There were no designated "Bog" parcels in the Kilbelfad Griffith's Valuation, and only one lake, Lough Allick in the Townland of Cloonyvollow; however, Samuel Lewis noted that there was "an abundance of good bog" in Kilbelfad Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 52).

As far as education goes, there was only one School noted in the Griffith's Valuation for Kilbelfad Civil Parish, a National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Tawnaghmore.

Honorable Edward S Perry was far and away the most prevalent Landlord documented in Griffith's Valuation for this Civil Parish, with The Earl of Arran, Captain Oliver Jackson, Lord Clanmorris and a smattering of others covering the rest of the parcels. Lord Clanmorris appears to cover most of the Islands in Lough Conn. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilbelfad).

Hussey De Burgh's compilation "The Landowners of Ireland," was created in 1878 and covers Landlords with over 500 acres or land valued at over 500 pounds. The Earl of Arran, Captain Oliver Jackson and Lord Clanmorris were included in this compilation. I couldn't find a listing for the Honorable Edward S. Perry. The Earl of Arran (Phillip York Gore, the 4th Earl) held 29,644 acres in County Mayo, and 6,883 in County Donegal. His residence in County Mayo was at Castle Gore. Captain Oliver Jackson (Oliver Vaughan) held 3,234 acres in County Mayo and his residence was at Carrowmore, Ballina. Lord Clanmorris (John George Barry Bingham, 5th Baron) has 12,337 acres in County Mayo, 5,295 in Galway and 479 acres in Galway Town. His County Mayo residence was at New Brook, Ballyglass. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007, p. 11, 82, 234).

The population of Kilbelfad Civil Parish declined during and after the peak famine years like many others in County Mayo, dropping from 3,681 in 1841 to 2,296 in 1851. By the year 1911, the population of this Civil Parish was down to 1,640 and was only 989 as of 1979.

There was only one Corcoran documented in Kilbelfad Civil Parish when Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856, Patrick Corcoran in The Townland of Newtown, centrally located in the middle of the parish.

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)
Newtown 8 Corcoran, Patrick Perry, Honorable Edward S Land, House and Offices 32-3-31 19-5-0 none

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