Category Archives: Galway

River Shannon Bridge, Portumna, Co. Galway

I was driving from Nenagh up to Mayo last week when we had to stop at one point and I was thinking along the lines that we’d stopped at a train line crossing while we waited for a train to go through.  Then, as I took a photo of the river Shannon it dawned on me, “No that isn’t a train crossing in front of me, it’s the river bridge.  The road is closed because the bridge is open to allow river traffic through!”  Out of the car I got with the camera in hand of course and I took a few photos.

It’s not that they are important, it’s just that this is something that happens two or three times a day, the opening of the bridge and I just happened onto the bridge when this was happening.  I was delighted needless to say.

The photographs should have been taken in a different manner, the closed bridge should be first but I was trying to get everything in as quickly as I could.  The moving boats have all just come through the bridge opening.

Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Maps, Co. Galway

A note on Maps – particularly Irish Ordnance Survey maps (OS maps) and this probably goes for most OS maps worldwide

We all have a mobile phone today, we all have internet connections and we all think that’s going to do us as regards a map for the area we are looking at – mobile phones are great, I’ve headed off over to Galway looking for graves with my mobile showing me how to get from A to B – and then………..then the phone went and bloomin’ died on me and there I was “lost” in Galway and sin and all as it is I had all the Galway OS maps – at *home* and what good were they to me there?

I have all the OS maps for Laois, I’ve even had a few of them a few times, meaning that I buy the map, sit on the floor going through it marking off all the graveyards, churches – I have even marked the Mottes (would I know a Motte if I was standing in front of it – not on your life!!). So, I buy the map, sit down, mark off all the places I’m interested in, get into the car and set off to where-ever. I used to work it that I’d put a circle around where-ever it was I was going to go and once I’d been there then I’d put an X over the circle. Then I used to have a yellow glow marker and I’d draw along the road I’d been so that I’d know not to go there again. Gradually, when you have a map that’s handled like I handle them they disintegrate and when they do that, then all your info on the map disappears.

These Discovery Series Ordnance Survey Maps and what they tell you.

1. Churches are marked – and ones with the word church written in yellow I think. After that you get a black cross for a functioning church.
2. Graveyards are marked – Except they don’t tell you if there is a graveyard around a church, the marking is for places where the old church has disintegrated and now we have a graveyard remaining. Sometimes, you find nothing there or little there like at Ballybuggy in Rathdowney. Some graveyards are actually just an empty field
3. ‘Burial Grounds’ are marked. Thing is for the most part when you go to a Burial ground site, then all you see is a field with nothing in it.
4. Historical sites are marked, so you have castle written where a castle or it’s remnant’s stand. Mottes like I’ve mentioned are shown, also Standing stones – anything like that.
5. Caravan sites, Hostels, Public Telephones (do we still have them??), Picnic sites, camping sites, Tourist information , Viewpoints, Nature Reserves, Guards (Policemen – wow, I thought our numbers of them were decreasing!!)
6. National Monuments, Enclosures, Battlefields

I think that’s about it.

If you just look at the excerpts of the maps that I have scanned above then you will get an idea of how everything is marked on these maps. OS39: Graveyard, Bullaun stone, Church & Cross.   OS46: a cillin, Church, Friary.  OS37 : The black lines that show you the county line, a Holy well and Churchs.  OS38 : Churches, County line, caravan park, Camping site.  Google maps doesn’t show you these areas – they don’t show you where there are Churches or graveyards and I know these may not be of interest to you but then the monuments and other bits and pieces you want to see might be of interest.

How many people know of Dunamaise in County Laois? What does Google tell us of Dunamaise – one of the most incredible sites that there is in county Laois, if you come to Laois, if you are even just passing by Portlaoise, then you HAVE to fit Dunamaise into your schedule. It is incredible.

There are a number of different maps for each county. Each map will cover some or all of a bit of the county and then some of the county next door. With these maps you get to see graveyards that would lie in the county next door close to your own area of interest, these are places that you might like to visit just in case any members of your family got buried there.

Of all the maps you can get when you come to travel in any county, to my mind, these are really the maps you need. They show you everything.

For County Galway we have the following Discovery Series Ordnance Survey Maps: I’m giving you the map number, the counties it covers and the Amazon link for purchase if you wish.

37 Galway & Mayo

38 Galway & Mayo

39 Galway, Mayo & Roscommon

40 Galway, Roscommon, Westmweath, Longford

44 Galway

45 Galway

46 Galway

47 Galway, Roscommon, Westmweath, Offaly

52 Galway & Clare

53 Galway, Tipperary, Offaly

Bog Bursts, Co. Galway

A.D.1745, March 28.- Bog of Addergoole, Dunmore, County Galway-
About mid-day, after a heavy thunder-shower, about 10 acres of bog, the front of which was being cut for turf, moved forward and down the course of a stream, and subsided upon a low pasture of 30 acres by the riverside, where it spread and settled, covering the whole. The stream thus dammed back, rose till it formed a lake of 300 acres, which, by the cutting of a channel, was subsequently reduced to 50 or 60 acres. This area, together with the 30 acres of meadow over which the bog spread, has been destroyed for purposes of husbandry.

Ref: Ouseley, Trans. R.I.A., vol. ii, Science, pp. 3-5, plate I., ?1887

A.D. 1821, September.-Joyce country, County Galway.-
“Upwards of a hundred acres of land, on which crops were growing and several families resided, were heard to emit a sound resembling thunder; the earth then became convulsed, and eventually this large tract moved down towards the sea, leaving the whole route over which it passed a complete waste.

A.D. 1873. October 1.-Bog 3 miles east of Dunmore, Co. Galway.
The bog was connected with the Dunmore river by the Carrabel, a small stream. It was considerably elevated above the surrounding country, its edges presenting the appearance of high turf banks. “A farmer digging potatoes suddenly observed a brown mass slowly approaching. Leaving his spade in the ground, he went for the neighbours, and on his return the mass of moving bog had half covered his potato field, and completely hidden his corn field from sight, except a few stacks which remained on a knoll, an island in the midst of a scene of desolation.” The bog slowly flowed down the valley of the Dunmore, burying three farm houses, and covering about 300 acres of pasture and arable land, 6 feet deep. The peat was cut along a perpendicular face, 25 to 30 feet in height, which extended down to the underlying gravel. It was from this cutting that the outburst took place, The flood of peat and water moved rapidly at first, but afterwards slowly, and continued in movement for 11 days. It carried away roads and bridges. The subsided portion of the bog extended eastwards from the face of the cutting for a distance of a quarter of a mile; its greatest breadth measured also a quarter of a mile, down the middle, a valley from 20 to 25 feet deep was formed, and about the sides the crust was torn asunder. The numerous crevasses so formed were fined to the top with black peaty fluid.

Ref: Savage, ‘Picturesque Ireland’ pp. 234-235

A.D. 1890. January 27.-Bog at Loughatorick North, Co. Galway
The bog is situated in the townland of Loughatorick North, on the Slieve Aughty Mountains, nearly on the watershed, and 300 feet above Ballinlough Lake, which lies N .E., and into which the bog drains by a small river. The bog consists of two portions, separated by a narrow neck, where exposed rock was seen after the outburst. The upper and larger part is 70 acres in extent, the lower only 15 acres. The latter began to move 3 days before the upper portion; in its centre was a small lake to which an underground stream could be traced; after the outburst, this lake became dry. After a fall of snow, a sudden thaw set in on the 24th January ; three days later a movement of the bog commenced, and continued till 1st February. Great masses of peat were carried away by the black flood into Ballinlough Lake, which was nearly filled with peat and the outwashed trunks of trees. The lowlands were covered with peat over an area of 100 acres:, and for a depth of 12 inches. Traces of the flood were visible to a height of 6 or 7 feet on the trunks of trees which stood in its course. The upper part of the bog subsided from 10 to 15 feet ; its margins were much rent with fissures.

Ref: Report to the Board of Public Works, by Mr. A.T. Pentland, 24th November 1890.

Catholic Convert Rolls Explanation, Co. Galway

The ‘Act to prevent the further growth of popery’ was passed in 1703 and it made it obligatory on converts from Catholicism to Protestantism to provide proof of conformity. According to the Act a Protestant was a member of the Church of Ireland and not any other non Catholic religion.

If a Catholic ‘converted or conformed’ to Protestantism and provided this proof then being ‘enrolled’ as a Protestant all rights were restored to him. This took effect from the date of the enrolment and not the date of conversion. The Act said that:
“The said Court of Chancery is hereby required to take care that distinct rolls be kept for the enrolment of such certificates which shall publicly hang up or lie in some public office of place belonging to the said Court to be appointed, where all persons may at all reasonable times resort to and peruse the same without fee or reward, and for the enrolment of each and every such certificate the sum of six pence and no more shall be paid”.

These rolls were known as the Convert Rolls.

In order to convert the person read his renunciation of Catholicism in front of a clergyman and congregation at a public service. He then got a certificate saying he was a convert from the Bishop of the Diocese and enrolled it in the court of Chancery. The Bishops certificate was necessary until 1782 and from there on it was enough that the convert would receive the Sacrament from a Minister of the Church of Ireland, take the oath before him and file a certificate to that effect in the Court fo Chancery.

The Convert Rolls were destroyed in the fire in the Four Courts (Irish Public Records Office) in 1922. But they had been calendared and recorded (as were so many other documents). The Calendar is in two volumes, Volume 1 covers the years 1703-1789 and has about 5,500 names and Vol. 2 covers 1789-1838 with 380 names and of these there were only 73 between 1800 & 1838.

Names are entered in alphabetical order, date of enrolment and date of certification, for some the address is also lists. Most people enrolled in Dublin:

1703-1731 : 700 people enrolled, mainly people who were well off.
1732-1741: 600 people
1742-1751: 549
1752-1761: 864
1762-1771: 1,347
1772-1789: 1,421
1789: 1838: 385

Most of the converts were men, but there are about 1,500 women mentioned. Almost 600 of these are described as married with approximately 40 widows, the remainder being unspecified or spinsters, daughters of gentlemen.

The list of convert rolls was published by the Irish Manuscripts Office in 1981 and could at that time be purchased from the Government Publications Office.

The following is a selection of extracts from the calandars relating to people from Galway, giving examples of the type of information contained therein. This is not the full list for any of the surnames from Galway or with Galway connections. The word Galway, may refer to the county of Galway or the Church of Ireland Diocese of Galway. The calandars contain information on people from all Irish counties.
Adams, Isabella, spinster, Galway, cert. 15 June 1756, enrolled 5 July 1756 (A). Conformity 12 June 1756 (B)

Arcedeckne, Mathias, and Mary his wife, Carrowmore, Co Galway, cert. 9 February 1721, enrolled 23 February 1721 (A). Arcedeckne, Mathias, Co Galway, and Mary Arcedeckne, alias Hannin, his wife, conformity 21 January 1721 (B). Arcedecne, Mathew, and Mary his wife (C).

Arcedeckne, Nicholas, Clonluskeen, cert. 10 April 1733, enrolled 9 August 1733 (A). Of Clonlusket, d. Clonfert, confonnity 8 April 1733 (B).

Archdeacon, Mathew, and Mary, his wife, Co Galway, cert. and enrolled 23 September 1719 (A). Archdeacon, Mathias, gent., and Archdeacon, Mary, alias Hannin, of the Co of Galway, conformity 23 August 1719 (B). Arcedecne, Mat., and his wife, enrolled 24 September 1719 (C).(D).

Arthur, Bridget, spinster, Tuam, cert. 20 February 1745, enrolled 28 February 1745 (A). D. Tuam, conformity 26 January 1745 (B).

Arthur, Cath., cert. 11 July 1737, enrolled 13 July 1737 (A). Arthur, Mrs Aylward, John, Esq., Ballynegare, Co Galway, cert. 20 May 1725, enrolled 21 May 1725 (A). Conformity 19 May 1725 (B). (C). (0).

Barrett, Maurice, Eyrecourt, Co Galway, cert. 30 April 1741, enrolled 23 December 1741 (A). Conformity 6 December 1741, cert. 22 December 1741 (B).

Bermingham, John, Tuam, cert. 12 November 1772, enrolled 9 February 1773 (A). Gent (D).

Bermingham, Myles, Cornomanane, cert. 6 March 1731, enrolled 29 March 1732 (A). Of Cornomenane, Co Galway, conformity 6 February 1731 (B). Enrolled 19 March 1731 (C).

Bermingham, Peter, gent., cert. 28 April 1735, enrolled 6 May 1735 (A). P. Ross, d. Tuam, conformity 27 April 1735 (B). Of Keilbegg, Co Galway (D).

Beytagh, Gerald; gent., Drum, Co Galway, cert. 18 August 1753, enrolled 21 August 1753 (A). D. Tuam, conformity 17 August 1753 (B).

Blake, Andrew, Tuam, cert. and enrolled 13 December 1727 (A). Blake, Mr Andrew, of Fartaghar, d. Tuam, conformity 9 December 1727 (B). Enrolled 12 December 1727 (C).

Blake, Anthony, Esq ., Creggmore, Co Galway, cert. and enrolled 11 May 1743 (A). Conformity 14 November 1742 (B).

Blake, Anthony, Esq., Drum. Co Galway, cert. 1 October 1753, enrolled 20 October 1753 (A). Conformity 22 ApriI1753 (B). (D).

Blake, Bridget, cert. 26 August 1723, enrolled 28 August 1723 (A). D. Clonfert, conformity 17 August 1723 (B). (C).

Blake, Christian, spinster, Moorefield, Co Galway, cert. 1 June 1741, enrolled 26 October 1741 (A). Daughter to Stephen Blake of

Blake, Elizabeth, Dublin, cert. 10 June 1709, enrolled 14 December 1709 (A). Conformity 10 June 1706 (B). (C): Wife to Richard Blake, of Ardfry , Co Galway, Esq. (D).

Blake, Francis, Co Galway, cert. and enrolled 19 February 1734 (A).

Blake, Mr Francis, late of Furbough, Co Galway, conformity 17 February 1734 (B). (D).

Blakeney, Catherine, Moylough, Co Galway, cert. 18 November 1767, enrolled 20 February 1768 (A). Conformity 17 November 1767 (B).

Bodkin, Alexander, Anavally, Co Galway, cert. 31 December 1720, enrolled 2 January 1720 (A). Son to Marcus Bodkin, of Anavally , conformity 4 December 1720 (B). (C). Of Anbally (D).

Bodkin, alias Daly, Anastasia, cert. 11 December 1769, enrolled 12 February 1770 (A). Now of Dublin, conformity 11 December 1769 (B).

Bodkin, Ann-Anastasia, Galway (D).

Bodkin, Dominick, gent., Moylagh, Co Galway, cert. and enrolled 18 January 1747 (A). Conformity 13 January 1747 (B).

Bodkin, Dominick, Moylagh, Co Galway, cert. 30 October 1757, enrolled 9 November 1757 (A). P. Moylough, conformity 30 October

Bourke, James, Galway, cert. 29 April 1738, enrolled 20 May 1738 (A). Conformity 4 April 1738 (B).

Bourke, Patrick, of Derryhoyle, Co Galway, cert. 9 February 1776, enrolled 13 February 1776 (A). (D).

Brady, Michael, Dublin, cert. 2 December 1746, enrolled. 4 December 1746 (A). Confonnity 30 November 1746 (B). Late of Dublin but now of Coorheen, Co Galway (D).

Brand, Mary, spinster, Coorleen, Co Galway, cert. 4 September 1750, enrolled 4 September 1750 (A). Of Coorheen, conformity 2 September 1750 (B).

Browne, Edward, gent., Ardskea, Co Galway, cert. and enrolled 9 August 1766 (A). Now of Dublin, conformity 8 August 1766 (B). (D).

Bryan, Joseph, Eyrecourt, Co Galway, cert. 14 December 1767, enrolled 15 December 1767 (A). Conformity 13 October 1767 [bracketed with Thomas Bryan] (B). (D).
Bryan, Thomas, Eyrecourt, Co Galway, cert. 14 December 1767, enrolled 15 December 1767 (A). Conformity 13 October 1767 [bracketed with Joseph Bryan] (B). (D).

Clayton, Mary , of Gort, Co Galway, cert. 14 March 1766, enrolled 17 March 1766 (A). Conformity 9 February 1766 (B).

Coffey, Daniel, Aghrim, Co Galway, cert. 11 January 1752, enrolled 20 January 1752 (A). Conformity 15 December 1751 [bracketed. with Margaret Coffey] (B).
Coffey, Margaret, Aghrim, Co GaIway, cert. 11 January 1752, enrolled 20 January 1752 (A). Conformity 15 December 1751 [bracketed with Daniel Coffey] (B).

Colehan, John, Eyrecourt, Co Galway, cert. 14 December 1767, enrolled 17 December 1767 (A). Conformity 13 October 1767 (B). Coulahan,
John (D).

Comber, James, Corbally, Co Galway, cert. 13 February 1768, enrolled 9 February 1768 (A). Comber, Joseph, now of Corbally, conformity 1 November 1767 (B).

Conolly, James, Tuam, Co Galway, cert. 21 April 1763, enrolled 10 May 1763 (A). Conformity 15 April 1763 (A).

Gravestone References, Co. Cork

Graveyard transcriptions have a common format, they are either listed alphabetically or as they are laid out in the graveyard. Thay give the names mentioned on the stone, transcribers normally transcribe only those stones which pre-date 1901 and stones which lie in the same plot and carry post 1901 dates tend to be included.

However, one transcriber stands out above all others in this county – or has done in the past and that is Mr. Richard Henchion of Cork. I know how long it can take to simply transcribe one small graveyard to the format above. The amount of time, energy and devotion which Mr. Henchion must have given to his works that I have seen cannot possibly be imagined. People in Ireland who transcribe graveyards get no monetary reward, at times there is some government funding available. In general, those who do this, do it for the pleasure they get from it.

Mr. Henchion has described the graveyards he has transcribed and for the most part has given family histories or local lore to go with the names on the stones. You can see the years of publication here. This list is incomplete and that will be corrected.

Henchion, R. (1967): Aghinagh. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – I. – The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. LXXIII, No. 215, Pt. 1. p. 101.

Henchion R. (1978): Ballycurrany Burial Ground (Ballycurrany West). The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – XII. The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society (JCAHS), No. 238, pp. 78-82. (note: my ref differs from Grenham: No. 238 – to be checked)

Henchion, R. (1990): Ballinacurra Burial Ground (Middleton Civil Parish). The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – XVI. The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. XCV, No. 254. pp. 126

Henchion, R. (1967): Carrigrohanbeg Burial Ground. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – III. – The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. LXXIII, No. 217, Pt. 1., pp. 175-181.

Henchion, R. (1976): Clonmult Burial Ground.The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – XI. – The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. 81, pp. 94-111.

Henchion, R. (1977): Clonmult Burial Ground.The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – XI. – The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. LXXXII, No. 235, pp. 11-

Henchion, R. (1974): Dandangandonovan Burial Ground.(Killeagh parish)The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – X. – The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society, No. 229, pp. 24-58.

Henchion, R. (1969): Desertmore Burial Ground. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – IV. – The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. LXXIV, No. 219, Pt. 1., pp. 34-39. There are only six stones transcribed in this paper. The surnames are Curtis and Madras. The paper includes family histories.

Henchion, R. (1967): Kilcrea. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – II. – The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. LXXIII, No. 217, Pt. 1. p. 101.

Henchion, R. (1972): Killeagh Burial Ground. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – XIII. The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , pp. 40-64 (index) and pp.76-104.

Henchion, R. (1987): Kilmonoge Burial Ground. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – XIII. The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. XCII, No. 251, Pt. 1., pp.

Henchion, R. (1969): Kilnaglory Burial Ground. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – V. The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. LXXV, No. 221, Pt. 1., pp. 184-187 (link to surname index & one inscription)

Henchion, R. (1970): The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – VI. The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. LXXIV, No. 219, Pt. 1., p. 56

Henchion, R. (1970): Tisaxon Burial Ground. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – VII. The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. LXXIV, No. 219, Pt. 1., pp. 143-156 (Link to surname index)

Henchion, R. (1989): Cullen, Ballymartle. The Gravestone Inscriptions of Co. Cork – VII. The Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , Vol. XCLV, No. 253, Pt. 1., pp. 123-125

Ballyclough: O’Kief, Coshe Mang Vol. 8, 1965
Ballyvourney: O’Kief, Coshe, Mang. Vol. 6, 1963
Castlemagner: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Clondrohid: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Clonfert: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Clonmeen (and Lyre & Banteer): O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 7, 1964
Cullen: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Drishane: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Dromagh: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Dromtariffe: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963

Frankfield church, near Douglas – off site
Fermoy (Military stones only): Irish Sword, Nos. 51 & 53, 1977 and 1979
Inchigeela: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Kilbrin: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 8, 1965
Kilcorney: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 7, 1964
Kilcummin: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Kilnamartyra: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Kilmeen (Barony of Duhallow): O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 6, 1963
Maclonleigh: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 8, 1965
Macroom: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 8, 1965
Mallow: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 8, 1965

Roscarbery Town – old graveyard, partial transcription : John Hayes Web site
St. Finbarr’s: ‘St. Finbarr’s Cathedral’, Rev. Andrew C. Robinson, 1897
Tullylease: O’Kief, Coshe Mang., Vol. 8, 1965
Youghal (Inscriptions in the Collegiate Church): ‘The Handbook for Youghal’, W. G. Field, 1896 (reprinted 1973)

Adrigole – Some inscriptions on this site

Driscolls of Cork – Colin Fergusons web site

National University of Galway Library Archives

Have you ever had a look at any of the archives of the various universities in Ireland?

I’m just after stopping at the Archives of the National University of Galway Library (James Hardiman Library).  I’ve never done that before but, here I am and what have they got?

Civi Records – clicking on the link I get “Copies of statements made before the Council of Galway in relation to land-holding in the Province of Connacht. 26 September 1588” then I get a list of the Freemen of the town of Galway in 1720…..and as I click on each image to see the next, I find more interesting things – too many to list.

If I click on the image for the O’Connor Donelan Collection then I begin with a photo of Thomas O’Conor Donelan at about 3 yrs old, a talk on land, then a lease of 1846….more interesting material.

I haven’t actually checked to see if I can read these pages or if they can be enlarged but I do know where to go if I wanted to see the originals.

The Michael Cusack Collection : photograph of Michael c. 1870.  Who was Michael Cusack I hear some of you ask, well – he was the founder of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and as such should really be of some interest to an awful lot of sportsmen.  The minutes of the Dublin Hurling Club 1883 and lots more in this collection.

The Ritchie-Pickow collection: a photograph of the Makem family and their neighbours, taken by George Pickow at their home in Keady, County Armagh.March 1952.  The collection consists of sound recordings and photographs taken by the American folk song collector Jean Ritchie and her husband the photographer George Pickow during a field trip in 1952-53

Now that would be of interest to anyone with a musical family who may have been interviewed, photographs from all parts of Ireland.

Finally, from the 1970’s they have the “Diary of Brendan Duddy, describing outcome of meetings with British representatives and Irish Republicans. June 1975”

All in all, just these few items, a really interesting collection to be accessed.  I hope some of you go there and find more interesting items

Portumna Workhouse Photographs, Co. Galway

Yon day when I set out for Loughrea (the 2nd yon day!) and I only had the OS map for the Loughrea area so I was depending on Google maps on my Iphone to get me there and the battery died in Birr…… So, I ended up in Portumna because I figured there was sure to be a signpost for Loughrea there – and – as I drove into Portumna I thought to myself that looks like a workhouse and sure enough it was.  A workhouse which is being restored – and – I was allowed take photographs and when I was leaving I asked how close Loughrea was and a man asked me what my surname was because I said my family were from Woodford and when I told him he said “I’m your cousin!!”  I had to laugh cos that’s how easy it can be in Ireland – sometimes.  He was my father’s cousin.

Ballinasloe Roman Catholic Churches and Cemetery

On my ‘lost’ day when I was off over in Galway, in theory on my way to Loughrea I ended up in Ballinasloe *and* as I drove into Ballinasloe there was a Roman Catholic church on the side of the road, so I pulled in to take a photo or two.  Having taken my photos, I turned round and noticed the remains of an old church across the road, with gravestones around it so off over there I went.

The thing is as I got round the back of the remnants, I noticed that the gravestones continued on into the next field and then after that into another area.  As my day went on, I got to talking to some men who were working on maintaining the gravestones (voluntary capacity) and for me, that was really interesting.  It is a huge ‘cemetery’, one of the men said that he thinks it is made up of about 6 graveyards and I do have to tell you that it would take me a lot longer than one day to get all the gravestones / memorials photographed!

There are 3 churches in the complex, or, rather, the remains of 3 churches.  The oldest being down at the back.  The cemetery is across the road from the old hospital and I have some photographs of that as well but not in with this lot.

Boula Church, Co. Galway

There I was – lost! – in Co. Galway :(  I’d set off to go from Portlaoise over to Loughrea and I did not have an actual map to show me the road but I did have the OS map I needed for that area of Galway.  I was after gravestones wasn’t I and my family are from over that way….

So, I asked trusty old Google maps on my phone to direct me and even though I was not expecting it the maps told me I had to go to Birr to get to Loughrea and that was all right except for when I got to Birr, Mr. Phone died and left me on my own and that was how I got lost!  I drove into Eyrecourt thinking ok, I can take photos here, *but* no, no good thinking that, I’ve already been in Eyrecourt and have already taken photos!  No signposts telling me where Loughrea is in relation to Eyrecourt so I set out for Portumna knowing that Loughrea was right of that…….

En route to Portumna, I spotted a church.  I would have sworn it was a Protestant church except for the grotto in the garden.  No gravestones.

Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Galway


Galway, a maritime county, in the province of Connaught, is bounded on the north by the counties of Mayo and Roscommon, on the east by Roscommon, Offaly (King’s co.) and Tipperary, on the south by Clare and Galway Bay and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Its greatest length from near Eyrecourt to Aughrus point east and west is 94 miles, and its greatest breadth from near Gort in the south to near Ballymoe on the northern boundary is 53 miles.


The River Corrib which flows through Galway City was formerly called Gailleamh (from ‘Gall’ = a rock). This gave its name to the city and then to the county. A large portion of the western part of the county was anciently called Conmacne, which gave the name to Conmemacne-mara, or Connemara. The portion west of Loughs Corrib and Mask was called Iar-Connaught, or West Connaught, now applied to the Baronies of Ballinahinch, Moycullen and Ross. The portion of the county from the Shannon to Galway Bay anciently called Hy-Many, was divided between the O’Kelly’s and the O’Maddens, the latter occupying the coast portion called Sil Anmacada, and the former the baronies of Kiltartan and Dunkellin, called Aidne or Hy-Fiachrach Aidne. “Joyce’s Country” is called after a family from Wales, which settled in part of the barony of Ross, in the thirteenth century, and gradually spread over the territory between the western coast of Lough Corrib and Killary Harbour.


The finest range of Mountains in Galway are the Twelve Pins in the barony of Ballynahinch, which form a continuous range of conical peaks, extending for several miles and forming deep and fertile valleys, and many small lakes. The highest peaks are Benbaun (2,395’) and Bencorr (2,336’). Joyce’s Country consists mostly of wild and barren limestone mountains, and deep ravines. Maumtrasna (2,207’) and Devil’s Mother (2,131’) are the highest summits of the Partry Mountains, which form part of the boundary between Mayo and Galway, east of Killary Harbour. On the Clare side the Slieve Aughty range whch run for about 13 miles, the highest points being Cashlaundrumlahan (1,207) and Scalp (1,074’).

From Galway to Cashla Bay on its west, the coast line is almost unbroken, but thence to Killary Harbour there are innumerable breaks and indentations, forming many rocky promontories and very many inlets, creeks and islands. From Clifden the scenery is very fine.

The chief Headlands are Renvyle Point and Aughrus Point, Slyne Head at the turn of the coast, Mace Head and Golam Head.

The Aran Islands outside Galway Bay in the Atlantic are well known and consist of three chief islands, Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer, with a small group called the Brannach Islands. Along the coast of Ballynahinch Barony the small islands are almost innumerable. North of Inishmore are : Gorumna Island, 4 ½ miles long with Lettermullan and Lettermore on its west. St. Macdara’s Island contains the ruin of the church founded by the saint, and west of Aughrus Point is Ardoilen, which contains the ruins of a monastery founded by St. Fechin in the seventh century. Tawin island is in Galway Bay. The principal islands in Lough Corrib are Inishmacatreer, Inchnagael, Ardillaun (from which a member of the Guinness family chose his title in the peerage) and Castlekirk, which are on the ruins of an ancient castle.

Perhaps the most interesting island belonging to the county is Inishcaltra, or Holy Island in Lough Derg. This island contains a round tower, and the ruins of several ancient churches, one of which was erected or re-constructed by Brian Boru. St. Canice here founded a monastery, which became a centre of ecclesiastical learning and activity.

Bays and Harbours: Galway Bay lies between the counties of Galway and Clare. East of it are Oranmore and Aughnish Bay. West of Galway are Cashla Bay, Greatman’s Bay and Kilkieran Bay. Next are Bertraghboy Bay, Ballyconneely Bay and Mannin Bay. Near Clifden is Ardbear Bay and near Renvyle is Ballynakill Harbour. Killary Harbour and inlet, which forms part of the boundary between counties Mayo and Galway and Salrock Harbour, contain some beautiful scenery.

Rivers: The River Shannon with its expansion Lough Derg forms the boundary of the county for nearly 40 miles. The Suck which has as tributaries the Bunowen, the Clonbrock and the Shiven joins the Shannon at Shannon-Bridge. The Corrib which runs from Lough Corrib past Galway City into the Bay has good salmon fisheries. The Claregalway, the Cregg, the Black Rivers, the Owenriff and the Bealnabrack flow into Lough Corrib. The Dawros River runs into Ballinakill Harbour and the Owenglin into Ardbear Bay near Clifden.

Lough Corrib is after Lough Neagh, the largest of the Irish Lakes. Lough Mask, on the western boundary of Galway and Lough Derg on the eastern, have some splendid scenery. In Connemara there are innumerable lakes of various extents, among the largest of which are Inagh, Derryclare, Garroman, Ballynahinch, Kylemore, Shindilla, Ardderry, Anilaun and Bofin. In the south of the county lie Lough Cutra near Gort and Lough Rea near the town of that name (Loughrea).


Year Males Females Total Pop.
1821 169,503 167,871 337,374
1831 204,691 209,993 414,684
1841 219,564 220,634 440,198
1851 157,135 164,549 321,684
1861 134,057 137,421 271,478
1871 122,496 125,962 248,458
1881 120,609 121,396 242,025
1891 108,283 106,429 214,712
1901 97,923 94,626 192,549
1911 94,403 87,821 182,224
1926 88,462 80,849 169,363

Families and Houses in 1926

The number of families in the county was 29,177 the average number in each family being 4.8. The number of inhabited houses was 33,362, showing an average of 5.1 persons to each house. The special inhabitants of public institutions are omitted from these calculations.

There were in the county 27,367 Occupiers or Heads of Families, who were in occupation of less than five rooms, being 76.9% of the total for the county. Of these 988 or 3.4% of the families in the county occupied one room; 4,392 or 15.6%, two rooms; 15,229 or 52.2%, three rooms; and 6,758 or 23.1%, occupied four rooms.

There were in the county 378 tenements in which the room had only one occupant; 448 cases where the room had 2-4 occupants, 132 cases in which there were 5-7 occupants and 30 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number, including 14 cases where ten persons, and 2 cases where eleven persons occupied the same room.

Birthplace of Inhabitants

Of the population in 1926, 91.7% were born in the county or city, 6.8% in other counties in Saorstat Eireann. 0.2% in Northern Ireland, 0.6% in Great Britain, and 0.6% were born abroad.


In 1911 there were in the county 148,482 persons aged 9 years and upwards; of these 116,219 or 78.3% could read and write; 4,389 or 2.9% could read only and 27,874 or 18.8% were illiterate. As this census is the starting point where the age was raised from 5 years to 9 years; no comparison can be made with previous figures from other censuses. The report states that the percentage of those of 5 years and upwards who were unable to read and write was 33.9% in 1891, 25.4% in 1901 and in 1911 had fallen to 21%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No. of people 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
Irish only 41,512 30,239 23,911 17,646 9,442 7,811
Irish & English 124,892 109,464 131,423 107,929 99,428 90,712
Irish Total 166,404 139,703 153,334 125,575 108,870 98,523
% of population 61.3 56.2 64.2 58.5 56.5 54.1

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926 (% of population)

Religion 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926
Presbyterian 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.32 0.27 0.12
Church of Ireland 3.0 2.9 2.5 2.39 1.95 0.98
Roman Catholic 96.6 96.7 97.0 97.23 97.64 98.81
Methodist 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.08 0.04
Others 0.1 0.1 0.06 0.06 0.05

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
50,838 38,758 23,665 51,121 36,820 26,464