Meelick Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Brennan Surname in Griffith's Valuation

Meelick Civil Parish is within Gallen Barony and is part of Meelick and Kilconduff Roman Catholic Parish. Kilconduff Civil Parish and Kilmovee Civil Parish are also included in this Catholic Parish. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in Meelick Civil Parish in 1856, there were 33 Townlands. It appears that Swinford Roman Catholic Parish later became part of Kilconduff Catholic Parish.

The only Roman Catholic Chapel that was documented in Meelick Civil Parish was noted in the Townland of Killeen and the only Graveyard was in the Townland of Meelick. The River Moy runs through six different Townlands in this parish and what I believe is the River Gweestion? runs through the Townland of Laghtmacdurkan. There were designated "bog" parcels in the Townlands of Lislackagh and Clooneen.

As far as education goes, there was a Board of Education National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Killeen. Samuel Lewis described two different private schools in Meelick Civil Parish in his 1837 "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 365).

From an economic perspective, I didn't find any designated "Fair Greens" or Tolls and Customs of Fairs" in any of the Townlands in this Civil Parish and I couldn't find any requests for patents for fairs or markets in Meelick Civil Parish either. Meelick Civil Parish was located only 4 miles from Swinford, a major market town. There were Corn Mills in the Townlands of Bothaul, Esker and Lisbrogan. There was a bog (Turbary) in the Townland of Clooneen and Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Ardhoom, Ballymiles, Carrowbaun, Clooninshin and Cloonygowan indicative of usable land for pasture and grazing. "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" mentions a coalmine that was not in use and a stone quarry as well in Meelick Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 365).

A variety of different landlords were represented in Meelick Civil Parish Griffith's Valuation, but Robert Rutledge, George H Jackson, Sir William H R Palmer, Bart and George Henry Moore were the primary landlords in the majority of the Townlands. Robert Rutledge according to "The Landowners of Ireland" 1878 held 1949 acres in County Mayo. (De Burgh, 1878, 2007, p. 398).

The population of Meelick Civil Parish declined during the famine years and beyond like many Civil Parishes in County Mayo. There were 3915 individuals present in Meelick Civil Parish in 1841, falling to 2692 in 1851, 2483 by 1911 and another substantial drop, 835 by 1979. (O'Hara, 1982, p.8).

The Brennan Surname was documented in two different Townlands in Meelick Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856. John Brennan had a parcel in the Townland of Ballinvoher and Bridget Brennan had a parcel in Carrowbaun. These two Townlands are located in the eastern portion of Meelick Civil Parish and are separated by one Townland, Lislachagh.

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)
Ballinvoher 1d Brennan, John Rutledge, Robert Land and House 41-1-32 5-10-0 four others
Carrowbaun 8a Brennan, Bridget Baxter, Edward Land, House and Office 9-2-17 4-15-0 none

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