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

Manulla Civil Parish falls within Carra Barony. Balla and Manulla Roman Catholic Parish include Manulla Civil Parish as well as the Civil Parishes of Drum and Balla. I have seen Manulla sometimes referred to as Minolla.

Manulla saw the seeds of a linen colony developing in the 1730's as Presbyterian weavers became established (at Browns Village near Manulla). I was surprised to see that Manulla had a Custom Free Fair by the year 1750. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 74). The statistical survey of County Mayo that was conducted in 1802 showed "Minolla" had fairs on June 2 and November 3. There were no documented cattle or grain fairs noted in this resource for Minolla (Manulla). (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 37-38, 45-51). Manulla, located between Castlebar and Claremorris (2 major market towns) is only 8 miles from Hollymount, a smaller but significant market town. Samuel Lewis stated that Minolla had a patent for fairs. (Lewis, 1837;1884, p. 372). I didn't see a name associated with obtaining a patent in this resource or in the book "A Various Country - Essays in Mayo History 1500-1900 that has a detailed chapter by W. H Crawford that includes the markets and fairs of County Mayo.

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Manulla Civil Parish in 1857, Manulla had a total of 28 Townlands, most of which were quite small. The Townland of Manulla and the Village of Manulla that is integrated within it is far and away the largest Townland in this Civil Parish. I didn't see any documented "Fair Greens" or "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" in Manulla Townland, Manulla Village or anywhere else in this Civil Parish. From an economic perspective, there is really very little documented in the Griffith's Valuation for any of the Townlands in Manulla Civil Parish. The Townland of Burris had a Mill, Kiln and Herd's House. There appear to be more Herd's Houses than in many other parishes I have taken a look at including: Burris, Barrackland, Carrowntober Eighter, Creggaunboy, Derreen, Knockmore Eighter, Prison South, Rush Hill and Skiddernagh.

There were no Churches documented in the Valuation for Manulla Civil Parish, but there were Graveyards in the Townlands of Creaghanboy and Rinnahulty.

As far as education goes, there was a National Schoolhouse documented in the Village of Manulla, and one in the Townland of Prison East. Samuel Lewis mentions three private schools in his 1837 "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 372).

There were no designated "Bog" parcels in this Civil Parish, but there were many lakes spread throughout the parish such as Carrowmore Lough, Walshpool Lough, Loughnabricken Lough, Lough Naminnoo, Derreen Lough and Lakeland Lough.

Lord Kilmaine was the predominant Landlord represented in the Manulla Civil Parish Griffith's Valuation, followed by Sir Comptom Domville Bart and a smattering of others. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Manulla).

The population of the Civil Parish of Manulla was 2336 in 1841 in the years preceding the worst famine years. That number dropped to 1387 in 1851, went up slightly in the next several decades, but by the year 1911 that number had dropped back to 1,002. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 8).

The Surname Brennan was documented in two different Townlands of Manulla Civil Parish, James Brennan in Lisnolan and James Brennan in Smuttanagh. These two Townlands are next to each other in the southern tip of Manulla Civil Parish.

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)
Lisnolan 6 Brennan, James Domville, Sir Compton, Bart Land 6-1-21 4-5-0 none
Smuttanagh 3a Brennan, James Domville, Sir Compton, Bart Land, House and Offices 16-2-9 7-15-0 none