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

Tagheen Civil Parish is within Clanmorris Barony and is part of Crossboyne and Tagheen Roman Catholic Parish. The records for this Catholic Parish cover the years 1791-1913. These records begin much earlier than most other County Mayo Roman Catholic Parish records. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Tagheen Civil Parish in 1856 there was only one documented Roman Catholic Chapel in the Townland of Carrowkeel and one Graveyard in the Townland of Tagheen East. There were no other documented churches of any affiliation in this parish.

I couldn't find any patent applications for markets or fairs for any of the Townlands in Tagheen Civil Parish, and I didn't see any of the Tagheen Townlands mentioned in the Statistical Survey of County Mayo that was conducted in 1802. There were no documented "Fair Greens" or "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" in the Griffith's Valuation for any of the Townlands in Tagheen Civil Parish. Tagheen Civil Parish is located on the River Robe only 2 miles from Hollymount, a fairly significant market Town in the 19th century. I found it interesting that the River Robe wasn't mentioned in the Tagheen Civil Parish Griffith's Valuation. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Tagheen).

From an economic standpoint, there was really very little of significance in this Civil Parish. There was a Corn Mill in the Townland of Garravlagh and Plantations in the Townlands of Knockbrack and Lenanaboll. The only other items of interest were quite a few Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Ahena, Ballynew, Barreel, Belladaff, Cappagh South, Clogher More, Coarsefield, Cunlaghfadda, Devlin, Drumshinnagh and Knockrickard. This would seem to indicate a fair amount of pasture/grazing land. There were no designated "Bog" Parcels, Lakes or Rivers (not even River Robe) noted in the Griffith's Valuation for Tagheen Civil Parish. Samuel Lewis described Tagheen Civil Parish as having large tracts of Bog in "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland." He also mentioned that there was a chapel at Carramore (which wasn't noted in Griffith's Valuation in 1856). (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Tagheen).

As far as education goes, there was a Commissioners of Education Female National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Carrowkeel and they have a National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Grallagh as well. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Tagheen).

Two landlords that dominated Tagheen Civil Parish in the Griffith's Valuation were James Browne representing 19 Townlands and Patrick Lynch representing about 15. A smattering of other landlords such as Lady De Clifford, Marquis of Sligo, Sir Robert L Blosse Bt and John Fitzgerald among others was also present. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Tagheen).

The population of Tagheen Civil Parish dropped quite significantly during and after the peak famine years as it did in many other County Mayo Civil Parishes. In 1841 there wee 3,084 people in Tagheen Civil Parish, dropping to 2,051 in 1851. By the year 1911 that number had decreased to 1,075. ('OHara, 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."

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)
Sessiagh 1,2c Brennan, Patrick Lynch, Patrick C Land, House and Offices 97-2-35, 8-2-0 7-0-0 Thomas and Martin Brennan and 5 others
Sessiagh 1,2d Brennan, Thomas same Land, House and Offices same 7-0-0 Patrick and Martin Brennan and 5 others
Sessiagh 1,2e Brennan, Martin same Land and House same 6-15-0 Patrick and Thomas Brennan and 5 others

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