Kilmoremoy Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Gahagan (Goaghan, Goghan, Geoghegan, Gaughan) Surname in Griffith's Valuation, County Mayo, Ireland

Kilmoremoy Civil Parish falls primary in Tirawley Barony, County Mayo; however, a small portion is part of Tyreragh Barony in County Sligo. There are 18 Townlands in Kilmoremoy Civil Parish which sounds quite small in contrast to others in County Mayo; however, the Townland of Ballina and the town of Ballina within its borders is quite large and an obvious hub of economic activity for the area.

Kilmoremoy Civil Parish is part of Kilmoremoy Roman Catholic Parish that was formed in 1823. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 89). It is also referred to as Ballina Roman Catholic Parish. Church records for this parish are covered on LDS microfilm #1279204 that covers baptisms 1823-1836 and 1850-1867, marriages 1823-1842 and 1849-1868, and deaths 1823-1842. LDS Microfilm # 1279205 covers baptisms 1868-1879. The LDS church has parish register printouts for marriages from 1770-1823. Due to the early nature of these records they may be from the Church of England parish records; the Kilmoremoy Parish Church of England Records are also available on Microfilm #897365. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Kilmoremoy Civil Parish in 1856, there were no documented Roman Catholic Chapels; however, there was a Convent of the Sisters of Mercy in the Townland of Ballina, a Presbyterian Church, Baptist Preaching House and Methodist Chapel in the Town of Ballina that lies within the Townland of Ballina. The only Graveyard noted in the Griffith's Valuation for Kilmoremoy was in the Townland of Ardoughan.

Seventeen of the eighteen Townlands in Killmoremoy were quite small, but Ballina, a major seaport on the River Moy, was one of the premier market towns of County Mayo, Ireland in the 19th Century. Ballina was quite competitive with Westport, the other economic powerhouse in County Mayo at that time. In "A Statistical Survey of the County Mayo" - 1802, a notation is made that the River Moy that runs up to Ballina from the Atlantic Ocean could allow heavily laden ships to reach Ballina if the river was deepened in one section. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 94). The River Moy is what separates Ballina in County Mayo from County Sligo. (Slater, 1846; 2005, p. 103). Ballina is located within County Mayo's corridor of commercial activity. I have created a specific page on Ballina in my County Mayo Market Towns Section.

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Kilmoremoy Civil Parish in 1856, the Townland of Ballina had a Dispensary, Union Workhouse, Fever Hospital, gatelodge, a brickfield and stores. The Town of Ballina, within its borders, had two banks, the Provincial and National Bank, a stamp office, coach office, stables, a market stall, Custom House, an old Ball Room, several bonding stores and an assortment of other stores on Knox Street. There were a large amount of stores throughout the Town of Ballina, numerous kilns including a lime kiln, several documented forges, a market, shambles, a large number of ruins, police barracks, a quarry that is not worked and one that is operational (the first I have seen anywhere in County Mayo). The Town of Ballina had a Tolls and Customs of Fairs and Markets (Col F.A. Knox Gore and the Earl of Arran were the Landlords for this) a Courthouse, Bridewell and the only churches in Kilmoremoy Civil Parish. I didn't see any "bog" parcels or lakes documented in Griffith's Valuation for Kilmoremoy Civil Parish, but the River Moy was mentioned in regard to the Salmon Fishery. In contrast, Samuel Lewis, in his book a Topographical Dictionary of Ireland acknowledges a lot of bog area in Kilmoremoy Civil Parish. There was relatively little commercial activity in the 17 other Townlands in this Civil Parish. The Townland of Belleek had a Gatehouse and there were Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Gorteen, Knocklehaugh and Laghtadawannagh. The Townland of Mullauns also shared a portion of the Town of Ballina. There was a workshop, corn mill, kilns and a Storehouse in the Mullauns portion of the Town of Ballina. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilmoremoy).

There were patents obtained by Lord Tirawley in the 1700's for a fair and market, and by 1750, Ballina had two fairs. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 84). When the Statistical Survey of Mayo was conducted in 1802, there was a Market for Grain in Ballina and fairs were held on May 12 and August 12. (McParlan, 1802, p. 37, 48, 49). Ardnaree was not listed as a Townland in Kilmoremoy when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted; however it is considered part of Ballina, Mayo today. Samuel Lewis in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" described an unfinished Roman Catholic Chapel in Ardnaree as well. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 189). Sir Thomas Burke applied for a patent to hold fairs in Ardnaree as early as 1612, (Gillespie, Crawford, 1987, p. 83). When the Statistical Survey of Mayo was conducted in 1802 Ardnaree is listed as having fairs on June 21, October 11 and December 13. (McParlan, 1802, p. 48, 50, 51). Both Ardnaree and Ballina were very close to the County Sligo border with County Mayo. Portions of the Parish of Castleconer (in Sligo very close to Ballina/Ardnaree) were transferred to County Mayo in 1898. I am unsure of the boundaries of this transfer and which townlands were included.

As far as education goes, there was a National Schoolhouse in the Town of Ballina on Arthur Street and a schoolhouse associated with the Presbyterian Church on Charles Street. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilmoremoy). According to Samuel Lewis in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" there were 8 public schools and 9 private schools in Kilmoremoy Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 189).

A multitude of different landlords were represented in Kilmoremoy Civil Parish, but Col. F.A. Knox Gore was far and away the most prevalent. Three different Atkinson's, (Robert, Charles and William), Thos and Geo Bewry, Robert Moore, The Earl of Arran, Mary Joyner, John McHugh and a host of others acted as Landlords in this area.

According to the "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" by Samuel Lewis, Col. F.A. Knox Gore resided at Belleek Abbey on the banks of the River Moy and E Howley, Esq. resided at Belleek Castle. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 189). The 1876 publication of "Return of Owners of Land of One Acre and Upwards..." listed the Reps of Sir A Francis Gore, Bart as residing at Belleek Castle in Ballina and holding 4415 acres in County Mayo. I believe this is the same F.A. Knox Gore that is described above and is far and away the most prevalent landlord in Kilmoremoy Civil Parish. Robert Atkinson is also listed in the above-mentioned compilation, residing in Ballina with 287 acres in County Mayo. I couldn't find a listing for Charles Atkinson, William Atkinson, John McHugh, Mary Joyner or Robert Moore, other prominent landlords in this parish. There were several Robert Moores, but none that held land in County Mayo. There was a listing for a Geo Bewry whose residence was in England and held 12 acres in County Mayo, but there was no listing for Thos Bewry. The Earl of Arran (also known as Phillip York Gore) resided at Castlegore, Mayo and held 29,644 acres in that County. (Local Govt Board, 1876, p. 309, 307). A compilation of Mayo Estates 1838-1876 in "A Various Country - Essays in Mayo History 1500-1900" lists Arthur Knox Gore having 10.8 (per 1000 statute acres) primarily in the Tyrawley and Burrishoole Barony (County Mayo), and the Earl of Arran held 33.1 (per 1000 Statute acres) primarily in Tyrawley Barony, County Mayo. (Gillespie, McCabe, 1987, p. 110). I have created a page on the Earl of Arran in my Landlords of County Mayo section of this website and will be adding pages on the others in the future.

According to Bernard O'Hara's compilations in his book "Mayo Aspects of Its Heritage," the population of Kilmoremoy saw a drop of more than 2000 between 1841 and 1881. Keeping in mind the fact that Townlands were transferred from County Sligo's Tireragh Barony to Kilmoremoy after 1898, there were 9,387 living in Kilmormoy by 1979 (compared to 7,028 in 1841 prior to the famine and the transfer). (O'Hara, 1982, p. 8).

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."

Regarding the map reference numbers for the Town of Ballina: The map reference number that is given on the griffiths valuation for the Gaughans in the Town of Ballina is -17, -12 etc. The 12 was part of the map reference number given on the Ask about Ireland website in the publication details section. I am unsure where the number 12 is extracted from. If you feel that your Gaughan family is in the Town of Ballina, be sure to verify this map reference number.

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)
Ballina Townland- Town of Ballina, Castle Road 12?-17 Gaughan, Anthony Joyner, Mary House and Garden 0-0-34 2-0-0 none
Ballina Townland- Town of Ballina, Brook St 12?-14 Gaughan, Richard Brady, John House, Yard and Garden 0-0-18 1-5-0 none
Ballina Townland, Town of Ballina, Bohernasop 12?-37 Canavan, Michael Gaughan, Richard House, Yard, Garden 0-0-18 0-15-0 none
Ballina Townland, Town of Ballina, Bohernasop 12?-38 Coleman, Eleanor Gaughan, Richard House, Yard and Garden 0-0-15 0-15-0 none
Ballina Townland, Town of Ballina, Bohernasop 12?-39 Flynn, Martin Gaughan, Richard House, Yard and Garden 0-0-18 0-15-0 none
Ballina Townland, Town of Ballina, Bohernasop 12?-99 Gaughan, William Joyner, Mary Office and Garden 0-0-30 1-5-0 none
Ballina Townland, Town of Ballina, Lower Piper Hill 12?-44 Gaughan, Michael Lawton, John House (in rere)?   0-10-0 none
Ballina Townland, Town of Ballina, Arran St 12?-10 Gaughan, William (Mathew Corcoran on same St) Jones, Thomas House and Yard   3-15-0 none
Ballina Townland, Town of Ballina, Ball-Alley Lane 12?-5 Gaughan, Richard Bewry, Thomas and Geo House   0-8-0 none
Farrannoo 9 Gaughan, James Gore, Col F.A. Knox Land 13-0-32 7-16-0 none
Laghtada-wannagh 3f Gaughan, Jane (3h is Patrick Brennan) Gore, Col. F.A. Knox Garden, House and Office 0-2-16 1-0-0 none

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