Kilcommon Civil Parish, (Kilmaine Barony) and the Incidence of the Coffee (Coffey, Coffy) Surname in Griffith's Valuation

There were no individuals with the Coffee, Coffey or Coffy Surname documented in Kilcommon Civil Parish, Kilmaine Barony when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted between 1856 and 1857.

There are two Kilcommon Civil Parishes in County Mayo, Kilcommon- Erris in Erris Barony and Kilcommon in Kilmaine Barony that sits next to Crossboyne. The Kilcommon in Kilmaine Barony is the focus of this description. Kilcommon Civil Parish is part of Kilcommon-Robeen Roman Catholic Parish or Roundfort Catholic Parish as it is referred to in the microfilm. Kilcommon Civil Parish has 58 Townlands including a significant market town, Hollymount that is part of the Townlands of Hollymount Demesne and Kilrush.

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted between 1856 and 1857 in Kilcommon Civil Parish, there were Roman Catholic Chapels in the Townlands of Carrowmore and Rahard, and Graveyards in the Townlands of Hollymount Demesne and Kilcommon. A Church of undocumented affiliation was noted in the Townland of Hollymount Demesne and a Presbyterian Church was present in the Town of Hollymount that is part of the Townland of Kilrush.

As far as education goes, the Griffith's Valuation documented a Church Education Society Schoolhouse in the Townland of Greaghans, an Irish Reformations Society School House as well as another Church Reformation Society Schoolhouse in the Town of Hollymount that lies within the Townland of Kilrush. There is a great article entitled "Pre National School Education in the Parishes of Kilcommon and Robeen by Gerard M Delaney that gives a thorough synopsis of the educational system in this parish. He mentions the Kilrush school in the town of Hollymount, a school just two miles south of there at Roundfort, where there was a Catholic Church, one in Hollymount (I am unsure if this is Hollymount Demesne or not) a school at Roos, one in Lissatava, a small school in the Catholic Church in Robeen and finally one in Coolyloughnane. (Delaney, 1988). These are amazing details that I have not seen elsewhere.

From an economic standpoint, the Town of Hollymount within the Townland of Kilrush was the primary focus of commercial activity when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted between 1856 and 1857. According to the Book "A Various Country- Essays in Mayo History 1500-1900" Sir Thomas Vesey acquired a patent to hold a market and fairs in the town of Hollymount in 1734. (Gillespie, Moran, 1987, p. 88). I have included more specific details on the Town of Hollymount in my County Mayo Market Towns section.

The portion of the Town of Hollymount that is within the Townland of Kilrush appears to be the hub of commerce for Kilcommon Civil Parish. According to the Griffith's Valuation for this Civil Parish there was a Market House and Tolls of Fairs and Crane, a Constabulary Barrack, Court House and a Dispensary. The Townland of Annefield and Roos each had a forge, and the Townland of Lehinch Demesne had a bleach green as well as a gamekeeper's house. I have seen more herd's houses In Kilcommon Civil Parish, Kilmaine Barony, than in any other Civil Parish I have researched thus far. This would seem to indicate a fair amount of pasture/grazing area in this Civil Parish. Herd's Houses were present in the Townlands of Annefield, Ardkill, Ballymangan, Ballyweela, Boleymeelagh, Brittas, Clogher, Cloonanaff, Coolaghbaun, Coolcon, Davros, Frenchgrove, Garreens, Kilcommon, Killeenrevagh, Knockalegan, Lehinch Demesne, Pollaweela, Robeenard, Shantallow, Skealoghan, Tawnaghbaun and Thomastown. There were no documented mills or other signs of commercial activity that I noted. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilcommon, Kilmaine Barony).

Several lakes appear to be present in Kilcommon Civil Parish and I only noted 3 "bog" parcels in the Griffith's Valuation, they were in the Townland of Garrymore.

A vast array of landlords are represented in Kilcommon Civil Parish Griffith's Valuation, but Thomas S Lindsay was the most prevalent, followed by David W. Rutledge, Benjamin Jennings, Charles Blake and James Lynch. Other familiar landlords noted were Lord Clanmorris and the Marquess of Sligo. (Griffith, Kilcommon, 2003). The following information is gleaned from Hussey De Burgh's compilation "The Landowners of Ireland." (1878) that lists landlords in Ireland holding more than 500 acres or holding land valued at more than 500 pounds. I was unable to find a listing for Thomas S Lindsay and the only James Lynch that was listed was a resident of Salt Hill, Galway (his only acreage listed was in County Galway. As far as Benjamin Jennings is concerned, there was a Charles Bingham Jennings that resided at Mount Jennings in Hollymount, holding 1702 acres in County Mayo. I don't know if this is a coincidence (Hollymount location) or if it could possibly him. More research is warranted. Captain David Ruttledge held 4,329 acres in County Mayo and 2,059 acres in County Mayo and Charles Blake held 274 acres in County Mayo, 125 in Galway Town and 164 in Tipperary. Lord Clanmorris (John George Barry Bingham, 5th Baron) wasn't one of the most prevalent landlords in this Civil Parish, but he dominated many others with 12,337 acres in County Mayo, 5,295 acres in Galway and 479 in Galway Town. Lord Clanmorris had a Mayo residence at New Brock, Ballyglass. The Marquis of Sligo was among the largest landowners in County Mayo with 114,881 acres. He was the 3rd Marquis of Sligo (a.k.a. George John Browne) and resided at Westport House, Westport County Mayo. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007, p. 37, 82, 283, 286, 298, 415).

Kilcommon Civil Parish in Kilmaine Barony had a population drop of more than 2000 between the years of 1841(7,456) and 1851(5,255). By the year 1911 the population in Kilcommon Civil Parish in Kilmaine Barony was down to 2,505. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7). The population drop in the later decades of the 19th century was as significant a drop as during the peak famine years. This trend was repeated in many other Civil Parishes in County Mayo as well.