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

Robeen Civil Parish is part of Kilmaine Barony and has 32 Townlands excluding the unnamed islands of Lough Carra. I have seen several sources refer to Bush Island and Illanatrim as being part of Robeen Civil Parish, but they were not mentioned in the Griffith's Valuation for Robeen Civil Parish so I have not included them in my Townland list. They may be islands that were only listed as numbers in the Valuation. Robeen Civil Parish is part of Kilcommon and Roundfort Roman Catholic Parish that also includes Kilcommon Civil Parish.

The only Roman Catholic Chapel that was documented in Griffiths' Valuation for Robeen Civil Parish was in the Townland of Cashel, and the only Graveyard in the Townland of Robeen. There were no documented schools in this Civil Parsh according to the Valuation. Samuel Lewis in his Topographical Dictionary of Ireland; however, identified two public schools. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 517)

Robeen Civil Parish is only 2 miles from Hollymount, a fairly significant market town in the mid 19th century. I couldn't find documentation of anyone obtaining a patent for markets or fairs in Robeen Civil Parish and there wasn't a "Fair Green" noted in the Griffith's Valuation for this Civil Parish. I noted that Herd's Houses were present in numerous Townlands in this Civil Parish. There was a forge in the Townlands of Ballygarries and a forge and a Turbary in the Townland of Curraboy. There was little other commercial activity noted in the Griffith's Valuation for Robeen Civil Parish, just gate lodges in the Townlands of Bellanaloob and Cornfield, and a boathouse in the Townland of Cloondaver.

The Townland of Robeen sits on the River Robe, but no mention was made of this River or Bog Parcels in the Griffith's Valuation. Twelve numbered islands in Lough Carra are listed in the Valuation with Robert Rudledge holding three in fee and George Brown holding the rest. I found it interesting that Lord Clanmorris occupied a significant number of parcels of land here himself (more than seemed to occur in other Civil Parishes). He was the representative landlord in 8 Townlands, Robert Rutledge in about 10 different Townlands, Robert Fair in about four Townlands, Thomas Spencer Lindsay in about four Townlands, George Brown in the larger Townland of Brownstown (Donnageaga) and a smattering of other landlords.

According to the resource "Tracing your Irish Ancestors, estate records are accessible at the National Library of Ireland on two prominent landlords that held property in the Robeen area, Col. John Browne and Lord Clanmorris. Apparently tenants are listed in these resources. (Grenham, 2006. p. 301-302). Unfortunately, I haven't seen these available on microfilm through the family history library catalogue. If your ancestor's landlord could possibly be Col. John Browne or Lord Clanmorris, this resource could hold valuable clues for you. Lord Clanmorris (John Charles Robert Bingham, 4th Baron) became Lord Clanmorris in 1847 upon the death of his father (thus he was the acting Lord Clanmorris during the peak famine years). He held the title until his death in 1876. Lord Clanmorris held 12,337 acres in County Mayo and also had property in County Galway. (Local Govt. Board, 1876, p. 808). He was one of the primary landlords in Robeen Civil Parish.

Lord Clanmorris had two residences that I have read about, one in Newbrook (his Mayo home) that was located in Robeen Civil Parish in the Townland of Bellanaloob and Mount Pleasant (there is a Mount Pleasant in Touaghty Civil Parish just north of Robeen Civil Parish). (Quinn, 1996, Volume 2, Chapter 27, p. 309). Samuel Lewis lists 5 principal seats in Robeen Civil Parish: ..."Newbrook, the property of Lord Clanmorris...Bloomfield, of the Rev. Francis Rutledge; Beechgrove, of W. Brunach, Esq; Brownestown, of Lieut. Browne; and Togher, of G. Rutledge, Esq." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 517).

Robert Rutledge, another landlord who held considerable property in Robeen Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted had 2949 acres in County Mayo in 1878. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007, p. 398). The Rutledges represented 7 of the 32 Townlands in Robeen Civil Parish according to the Griffith's Valuation. One of them was Cornfield. They owned a large demesne in this area.

Captain David Rutledge who is represented in 6 of the 7 Townlands in which the Rutledges held property had a home in Kilrush, (Kilcommon Civil Parish) which he sold to the Congested Districts Board. (Quinn, 1996, Volume 2, Chapter 27, p. 309).

The Civil Parish of Robeen like most in County Mayo was heavily depopulated in the period during and after the famine. The population of Robeen was 3,544 in 1841, dropped to 2,522 in 1851, and was down to 1,161 by 1911 and further down to 607 in 1979. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 8).

There were Corcorans documented in two different Townlands in Robeen Civil Parish, Thomas, John, William and Mary Corcoran in the Townland of Ballygarries and Judith Corcoran in the Townland of Carrowslattery. There two Townlands are right next to each other in the central portion of Robeen Civil Parish. I would think that this would increase the probability that they might be related.

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)
Ballygarries 4a Corcoran, Thomas Fair, Robert Land, House, Office and Forge 13-1-17 3-15-0 John and William Corcoran
Ballygarries 4b Corcoran, John same Land and House same 3-10-0 Thomas and William Corcoran
Ballygarries 4 Corcoran, William same Land same 2-15-0 Thomas and John Corcoran
Ballygarries 4c Corcoran, Mary same House   0-5-0 none
Carrowslattery 2b Corcoran, Judith Conry, Anne House   0-5-0 none

(Griffiths, 1747-1864;2003. Robeen).