Kilmaclasser Civil Parish 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 Kilmaclasser Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1855.

Kilmaclasser Civil Parish falls within the Barony of Burrishoole, has 27 Townlands and is part of Kilmeena Roman Catholic Parish. Kilmeena Catholic Parish was formed in 1858. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 89). Unfortunately for all of us, the LDS church doesn't have any microfilm from this Catholic Parish.

The only Catholic Chapel documented in this Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted was in the Townland of Fahy More, and the only graveyard was in Rushbrook. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003).

I was unable to find any patent applications for fairs or markets for Kilmaclasser Civil Parish Townlands, and there were no "Fair Greens" or Tolls of Markets and Fairs" in this Parish. Fortunately, Kilmaclasser was only 4 miles away from the Town of Newport-Pratt, a major market town in County Mayo in the 19th century. I saw very little in the way of economic activity in this small Civil Parish. Samuel Lewis mentions the presence of a "Bleach Green" in Kilmaclasser. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 163). I didn't see one noted on the Griffith's Valuation, but bleach greens usually use lime to bleach grey cloth for the linen industry. The Townland of Aghagowla Beg houses a Constabulary Force Barracks; there was an orchard in the Townland of Brockagh, and a forge in the Townland of Clooncanavan. Herd's Houses were present in the Townlands of Aghagowla More, Derryribbeen, Fahy Beg, Gokrtnaclassagh, Knockmoyleen, Knockmuinard, Slinaun and Tawnyemon; a Shepherd's House was present in Fahy More; a Steward's House was present in Brockagh and a Farmhouse was noted in Cuiltrean.

As far as education goes, there was a National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Fahy More and a Church Education Society Schoolhouse in the Townland of Slinaun. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilmaclasser). Samuel Lewis mentions one private and two public schools in his 1837 "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" for Kilmaclasser Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 163).

This Civil Parish appears to have large amounts of bog area with 16 bog parcels in the Townland of Slinaunroe alone. Five different lakes, but no rivers were identified throughout the parish.

It is evident from the Griffith's Valuation for Kilmaclasser Civil Parish that the Earl of Lucan was the dominant landlord in this area. He was the representative landlord for 21 of the 27 Townlands. Mathew Gibbons was the primary landlord for three Townlands, William Levingston represented two and Sir Wm Roger Palmer Bt represented the Townland of Clooncanavan. The Earl of Lucan had a residence at Castlbar House and held 60, 570 acres in County Mayo; Sir Wm Roger Palmer Bt resided in Dublin and London and held 80,990 acres in County Mayo. (Local Govt Board, Ireland; 1876, p. 310,311). I was unable to find a listing for Mathew Gibbons or William Levingston in this compilation which included Landowners in Ireland with one acre and upwards.

The population of Kilmaclasser dropped during the peak famine years from 3,548 in 1841 to 1,614 in 1851. By the year 1911 there were only 1,131 people remaining in this Civil Parish. (O'hara, 1982, p. 7).