Kilcolman Civil Parish, Clanmorris Barony and the Incidence of the Brennan Surname in Griffith's Valuation

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Kilcolman Civil Parish, Clanmorris Barony in 1856, there were 83 Townlands (if you don't include the 28 Townlands that were transferred from County Mayo to County Roscommon in the Local Government Act that took place in Ireland in 1898). These 28 Townlands are covered on the Kilcolman, Costello Barony Townland page that I have created. I will include more information on these Townlands and others that were transferred to Sligo and Galway as well in a future addition to the research aids section. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Kilcolman Civil parish in 1856, there were two separate areas described: Kilcolman and Kilcolman (part of). They have used this category in other Civil Parishes like Kilbeagh where the "Kilbeagh (part of)" category covered 5 Townlands that were transferred to County Roscommon as well.

Kilcolman Civil Parish is part of Clanmorris Barony in County Mayo, and is included in Castlemore and Kilcolman Roman Catholic Parish. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856 for Kilcolman Civil Parish, the Townland of Clare was the obvious hub of economic activity and the largest population center of the parish. There was a Workhouse, a Tolls and Customs of Fairs and Markets, a Roman Catholic Chapel on Chapel Lane, a Church on Church Street, a Schoolhouse and an Education society Schoolhouse, Female and Male National Schoolhouses, a Sessions House, Constabulary Barracks and a forge. James D. Browne was the primary Landlord represented in this Town. (Griffith, 1847-1864, Kilcolman). The section on Clare in "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland," acknowledges that the Wesleyan Methodists had a place of worship in the Town of Claremorris as well (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p.64). (Perhaps this is the church noted on Church Street without a denomination associated with it in the Griffith's Valuation). Slater's National Commercial Directory of Ireland, 1846 described a "lately established dispensary" as well. (Slater, 1846, p. 116). I have created a specific page on the Market Town of Clare with a few more details than are given here. The Townlands of Murneen North and Ballyfarnagh have National Schoolhouses in addition to those listed above. In "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland," Samuel Lewis acknowledges 3 public schools and 9 private schools in this Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 64).

Other commercial activity noted in Townlands of this parish were as follows: Cartronnacross, Cuilmore, Eskerlevalley and Gortnaraha had Corn Mills, Cuiltybo had a Mill, Claremount had a Gate Lodge, and Drumneen South and Lugatemple each had a Forge. Finally, Herd's Houses were present in the Townlands of Ballyglass, Ballykinava, Ballynabrehon North and South, Ballynastangford Upper, Bellfield, Castlegar, Clare, Cloonboy, Cloontooa, Cloonycollaran, Drumagh, Drumneen (Prendergast), Eskerlevalley, Garryredmond, Gortnaraha, Lisbaun, Murneen South, Rockfield and Tawnagh. This rather large number of Herd's Houses would seem to indicate that there was a fair amount of pasture/grazing area in this Civil Parish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilcolman).

There were no "bog" areas designated in the Griffith's Valuation, but the following Lakes were noted: Lough Namannagh, Carrigeen Lough, Clare Lough and Mayfield Lough. Samuel Lewis described the land in Kilcolman Civil Parish, Clanmorris Barony, as "1/3 is arable, 1/4 pasture, and the remainder waste and bog." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 64).

According to the book "A Various Country," Sir W. Parsons applied for and obtained a patent for a market and three fairs in 1622 for Claremorris (Togherclare or Clare), with seven fairs total by the early 19th century. (Gillespie, 1987, p. 86). When the Statistical Survey of Mayo was conducted in 1802, the Town of Clare had a market for grains (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p.37) and fairs were held on May 24 and June 22 (McParlan, 1802, 2007, p. 86). (This is 5 less than noted in the book "A Various Country." When Samuel Lewis conducted his first edition of his renowned "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland," in 1837, he mentioned the Town of Clare as having "...3 additional fairs on August 17, September 27 and November 23." (Lewis, 1837; 2005, p. 336).

A Vast array of landlords were represented in Kilcolman Civil Parish Griffith's Valuation, but Lord Oranmore, Edward G Bell, James D. Browne and Sir Robert Blosse Bt were noted more than the rest. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilcolman). I found the following information on Kilcolman Landlords in Hussey De Burgh's compilation "The Landowners of Ireland (1878), which covers landlords holding more than 500 acres or having land valued at over 500 pounds. Lord Oranmore (Lord Oranmore and Browne; Geoffrey Dominick Augustus Frederick Guthrie, 2nd Baron) resided in Castle Macgarret, Claremorris, County Mayo and held 4,243 acres in County Mayo and 1,818 in County Westmeath. Edward G Bell held 1,636 acres in County Mayo. His "reps" are listed as residing in Castleconnel, County Limerick. James D Browne was listed as residing in London at 39 Rutland Gate; he held 3,629 acres in County Mayo. Finally, Sir Robert Blosse Bart is listed as residing at Athavallie House, Balla and held 17,555 acres in County Mayo. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007, p. 28, 56, 284, 354).

Of all the Civil Parishes that I have been researching thus far, this one is by far the most confusing with a large number of Townlands from Kilcolman being transferred to County Roscommon in 1898, and the parish being split between Clanmorris Barony and Costello Barony, County Mayo, Frenchpark, County Roscommon and Coolavin, County Sligo. (O'hara, 1982, p. 9). Because the surname mix I am researching (Brennan, Corcoran, Coffey and Geoghagan) are represented in both the County Mayo and County Roscommon portion of Kilcolmon, I have added incentive to research the County Roscommon border parish records as well.

There were Brennans documented in four different Townlands in Kilcolman Civil Parish. I am going to cover only the Brennans noted in the Kilcolman Civil Parish section of Griffith's Valuation on this page. There are Brennans present in four different Townlands that were part of the transfer to County Roscommon in 1898 (Ballaghaderreen, Ballyoughter, Creggan and Drumacoo). I will cover these in the Kilcolman, Costello Barony Townlands page of this website.

Patrick Brennan occupied land in the Townland of Carrownaskeha that is located in the southern portion of Kilcolman Civil Parish. Bridget and John Brennan were present in the Townland of Clare that borders Carrownaskeha on the northwest. Clare was the most densely populated area in Kilcolman Civil Parish. Martin and John Brennan were documented in the Townland of Drumkeen that borders Clare on the northeast. John Brennan was present in the Townland of Lisduff that lies just south of Clare and also borders Carrownaskeha. These six Brennans may be in four different Townlands, but they are all clustered together in close proximity in the southwestern portion of Kilcolman Civil Parish. I would think the likelihood would be great that there may be some relationship between them due to their relatively short distance from each other.

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)
Carrownasheha 1b,c Brennan, Patrick Browne, James D. Land and Two Cottages 44-2-25 3-5-0 2 others
Clare 7c Brennan, Bridget Quinn, John House   0-6-0 none
Clare 102a Brennan, John Browne, James D. Land and House 5-3-22 1-6-0 none
Drumkeen 1a Brennan, Martin Treston, John Land and House 159-2-2 42-5-0 John Brennan
Drumkeen 1b Brennan, John same Land and House same 42-10-0 Martin Brennan
Lisduff 6a,b Brennan, John Browne, James D. Land and Two Cottages 8-2-11 4-14-0 none

(Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilcolman (Clanmorris Barony).