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

Turlough Civil Parish is within Carra Barony and is part of Parke Roman Catholic Parish. (Mitchell, 2002, p. 122, 125). The Catholic Parish for this Civil Parish has changed over the years, as it was part of Turlough Catholic Parish in 1847 (Mitchell, 1988, p. 90). The available Catholic Church records cover the years 1847-1911. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1857, there were Roman Catholic Chapels in the Townlands of Crumlin and Park and a Church of undocumented affiliation in the Townland of Drumdaff. There was also a Presbyterian Meeting House and a Methodist Meeting House in the Townland of Turlough. The only Graveyard noted in this Civil Parish was noted in the Townland of Turlough. This was a large Parish with 78 Townlands when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted.

I couldn't find a patent application for fairs or markets for Turlough Civil Parish, but the Statistical Survey of County Mayo that was conducted in 1802 shows fairs being held in the Townland of Turlough on May 10 and August 17. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 47-51). Turlough Civil Parish is only 3 miles from Castlebar, one of the premier County Mayo Market Towns of the 19th century.

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1857, the Townland of Turlough was documented as having the "Tolls and Customs of Fairs" and a Forge. The Town of Leckneen had a Bleaching (I assume this is a bleaching green), Corn and Flour Mill. The Townland of Ballyguin had a Corn and Tuck Mill and a Kiln, Carrowkeel had a Corn Mill, Cloghadockan had a Corn Mill and Kiln, and Ross East had a Forge. The Townland of Knockaglana had a Constabulary Barrack as did Crillaun and the Townland of Ross West had a Pound. There were Herd's Houses in the Townlands of Boyogonnell, Capparanhy,Clogher, Cloontubbrid, Gortnafolla, Knockaglana, Laughill, Lugganashlere, Monumentpark, Tawnykinaff and Turlough. The large number of Herd's Houses would seem to indicate that there is significant pasture/grazing area in this Civil Parish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Turlough).

As far as education goes, there were two National Schoolhouse documented in the Griffith's Valuation for Turlough Civil Parish, one in the Townland of Caurans Upper (Oughterard) and one in the Townland of Lugnavaddoge. There was also a Presbyterian Schoolhouse and a Hibernian Bible Society Schoolhouse in the Townland of Turlough. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Turlough). When Samuel Lewis composed his "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland in 1837 he described 8 public schools, a "School at Meaghanny supported by the Rev. Mr. Allen, and one by the Rev. Mr. Grale." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 662).

The Earl of Lucan was far and away the dominant landlord in Turlough Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted, followed by Charles L Fitzgerald and more distantly by Richard D'arcy, Countess of Norbury and Bridget Irwin among others.

Turlough Civil Parish had a very significant population decline during the peak famine years, dropping from 7,430 in 1841 to 4,516 in 1851. By the year 1911 the population of this area was down to 4,368. What is interesting is that the population decline leveled off after the huge initial drop, actually increasing in 1871 and 1881 before dropping again. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 8). Many other Civil Parishes in County Mayo had continued significant population decline in the late 19th century.

The Surname Corcoran was documented in three different Townlands in Turlough Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1857, Patrick Corcoran in the Townland of Commauns; James Corcoran, James Corcoran (son of James) and John Corcoran in the Townland of Derrynamuck, and James Corcoran in the Townland of Sranalee. All three of these Townlands are more centrally located in this Civil Parish, on the western border. Sranalee and Derrynamuck are next to each other. Commauns is northwest of Sranalee and Derrynamuck, separated from them by several Townlands.

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)
Commauns 1b Corcoran, Patrick Lucan, Earl of Land, House and Office 300-3-36 6-12-0 3 others
Derrynamuck 1a Corcoran, James Kearney, William Land, House and Office 10-2-37 5-0-0 none
Derrynamuck 2a Corcoran, James (Jas) same Land 0-1-25 0-4-0 none
Derrynamuck 3 Corcoran, John same Land 102-2-15 0-5-0 James Corcoran (Jas) and 5 others
Derrynamuck 3 Corcoran, James (Jas) same Land same 0-1-0 John Corcoran and 5 others
Sranalee 1a Corcoran, James Kearney, William Land, House and Office 183-0-18 5-0-0 6 others (the whole town)

(Griffith, 1847-1864; Turlough).