Kilturra Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Brennan Surname in Griffith's Valuation, County Mayo, Ireland

The largest portion of Kilturra Civil Parish lies in County Sligo in the Barony of Corran. The smaller portion that lies within County Mayo is within Costello Barony. The County Mayo section of Kilturra Civil Parish is composed of only 4 Townlands, although Ballindoo (Doocastle), one of the four, is quite large in comparison to the average Townland size in County Mayo.

Bunninadden Roman Catholic Parish is the ecclesiastical Parish of which Kilturra is a part. It is also referred to as Kilshalvey or Kilshalvey, Kilturra and Cloonoghill. The Roman Catholic Parish of Kilshalvey was formed in 1840. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 89). The Civil Parishes of Kilshalvy and Cloonoghill are part of this parish as well. There were no Roman Catholic Chapels noted in the Griffith's Valuation for Kilturra Civil Parish. The County Sligo section of this Civil Parish had Catholic Chapels in the Townlands of Killavil and Bunnanadden. There was one graveyard present in the Townland of Ballindoo (Doocastle).

Church Records for this Civil Parish are covered on LDS microfilm number 1279233 items 10 and 11 (Baptisms 1840-1908; 1860-1876) and Microfilm number 926018 (Baptisms 1842-1877, 1833-1840; marriages for Chapel at Toomore, 1833-1840; marriages for Kilshalvey, Kilturra and Cloonaghill 1840-1876). Keep in mind that only a small portion of Kilturra is in County Mayo, the majority is in County Sligo. Kilshalvey and Cloonaghill are in County Sligo.

From an economic standpoint, there was next to nothing documented in the Griffith's Valuation for Kilturra Civil Parish, only a corn mill in the Townland of Flughany. I couldn't find any patent applications for fairs or markets and there were no "fair greens" or "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" noted on the Griffith's Valuation for Kilturra Civil Parish either. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilturra).

As far as education goes, there was one Board of Education National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Ballindoo (Doocastle) that lies in the northern-most part of this Civil Parish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilturra). Samuel Lewis mentions 2 private schools in Kilturra Civil Parish in his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 216).

Three landlords were represented on all but two parcels: Joseph M McDonnell, Denis O'Connor and Mathew O'Connor. I couldn't find any of these three landlords in the Local Government Board of Ireland Publication "Return of Owners of Land of One Acre and Upwards" that was compiled in 1876. Samuel Lewis does mention Doocastle as being the "seat of J.M McDonnel, Esq". (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 215). There is a Denis O'Connor who resides on Corrig Avenue in Kingstown and holds land in Counties Meath and Roscommon, that is listed in "The Landowners of Ireland," a publication by Hussey De Burgh in 1878, that is part of the Archive CD books Ireland collection, but I am uncertain if this is the same Denis O'Connor. The "Landowners of Ireland" publication lists owners of estates of 500 acres or 500 pounds and upwards in Ireland.

The population of this Civil Parish changed very little during the famine in contrast to most of the others in County Mayo. According to figures in Bernard O'Hara's book "Mayo Aspects of Its Heritage," the portion of Kilturra Civil Parish in County Mayo had 1350 people in 1841, 1023 in 1851, and 1269 in 1881. The most significant drop was noted over the next 100 years where the population dropped to only 275. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 8).

The only Brennans documented in Kilturra Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856 were Mary and James Brennan in the Townland of Ballindoo (Doocastle).

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)
Balllindoo (Doocastle) 37a Brennan, Mary McDonnell, Joseph M. Land and House 0-3-37 1-5-0 ( total for this and her property below) none
Ballindoo (Doocastle) 38 Brennan, Mary same Land 1-2-20 same none
Ballindoo (Doocastle) 79c Brennan, James same Land and House 4-1-12 0-5-0 two others

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