Drumloman Parish, notes on the 1821 Census

Drumloman Parish, notes on the 1821 Census


This article, by John P. Wilson, first appeared in Breifne 1963 (Vol.2 No. 6, pp 238-247). We would like to thank Cumann Seanchais Bhreifne for permitting us to re-publish the piece here. This is a very comprehensive analysis of the 1821 census return for the parish of Dromloman which extracts the salient points contained within the vast quantity of information which can be gleaned from the records. A very useful table is provided towards the end which lists the surnames of each townland.

1821 Census Parish of Drumloman by John P. Wilson

The 1821 census was “taken under Act 55 George II c.120 by enumerators appointed by local magistrates acting under the direction of the Chief Secretary. This act was passed owing to the unsatisfactory results obtained under the previous one”.

A copy of the census is available for fourteen parishes of Co. Cavan, Drumloman is one of these parishes. The census is of the civil parish of Drumloman. The modern Catholic parish of Drumloman North, better known as the parish of Mullahoran, is completely covered in the census. Drumloman South is now joined with the Catholic parish of Ballymachugh. This was done about the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1865 Dr. Kilduff. Catholic Bishop of Ardagh, took Clonlohan, Killykeen, Muckram, Clonoose Mor and Clonoose Beag from Drumloman North and added them to Drumloman South. Fifteen of the townlands, therefore, listed below now belong to the Catholic parish of Ballymachugh and Drumloman South.

The enumerator’s (or copyist’s?) work is in some respects unsatisfactory. He omits the names of two townlands and the names of a number of householders; he enters the names of four householders in Caronagh Lower twice; he makes no mention of licensed premises in the parish; he lists 51 householders as farmers but neglects to give the area of their farms in the appropriate column; he doesn’t give any totals and he doesn’t give his own name. On the credit side it must be said that his entries are clear and legible.

On the top of the page of the manuscript the name of the townland is given. The double page of the manuscript has seven divisions. (1) Here an arbitrary number is given to each house. (2) In this column the number of storeys in each house is given. (3) Here the name of the householder is given and the names of all the occupants of the house and their relationship to the householder. (4) Gives the age of each person listed. In column (5) the occupation (if any) of the person is given. (6) Where the householder is a farmer the number of acres held is given in this column. One large column (7) is left for observations. It is noteworthy that the religion of the different families is not given.

In the forty townlands covered in this census we find the spellings of five townlands completely different from those used nowadays. The census taker’s rendering does not even approximate to the current pronunciation which in turn is not always the same as current spelling. His spelling of surnames is at times peculiar, at times inconsistent, and at other times he tries to reproduce popular pronunciation. His spelling of Kane as Cain suggests that the magistrates appointed a man who was familiar with the Bible.

Column 2

Of the 1,706 houses listed none had more than one storey. Not even Mark Kerre whom he listed as Esq., had a two-storey house. The condition of the houses is not commented on. In one case a family is said to be “nearly destitute of any covering”. It is not clear whether he refers to housing or clothing.

Column 3

As well as the householder’s name and those of his/her blood and marriage relations, servants’ names are given. Craftsmen working in the house are listed and lodgers are mentioned. 146 widows and 80 widowers are given as householders (roughly 13% of the total). There are few bachelor householders.

Column 4

One remarkable feature of this column is the early marriage age for girls which can be deduced from a study of the ages given for parents and children. If the ages given are reasonably accurate then some girls were married at 13 years : 14, 15 and 16 were common marrying ages. The average age of marrying for eleven wives taken at random from different townlands (allowing one year only until the birth of the first child) was not quite 19 1/2  years. Eleven husbands averaged 25 years at marriage.

Column 5

One priest and two teachers are mentioned. The priest, Rev. John Egan, lived in Dundevan where he possessed a house with 12 acres of land. The two teachers named were Peter Keegan of Kilgola and Peter Smyth of Clonkiffer. The recording of schools and schoolteachers is unsatisfactory. He gives teachers for Kilgola and Clonkiffer but does not mention their schools or attendances; elsewhere he gives the names of the schools but does not mention the teachers. Fortunately we have more complete evidence concerning schools about this time from other sources. The occupation of 718 householders is given as farming. This amounts to 42% (approximately) of all householders. Some farmers were also weavers; there are labourers; labourers and weavers. There are some pensioners listed; some of these were labourers or farmers as well. There were two flaxdressers, four carpenters, two wheelwrights and four coopers. There were two millers, one spinner and sewer whose daughter was a mantuamaker (sic); seven taylors (sic); two blacksmiths; one nailor; one land-surveyor; five shoemakers; one stuccoman and plaist- (illegible) probably plasterer. There were apprentice weavers and shoemakers and an apprentice blacksmith. There is no mention of publicans although they existed. There were three professional beggars.

Column 6

The enumerator fails to record the size of 51 farms of a total of 718. Of the 667 acreages given only 49 were of 20 acres and over; 502 were of 10 acres and under and 244 of these were of 5 acres and under. Subdivision of the land was common and kept the size of holdings small. In the townland of Kilgola (population 341) out of 71 householders listed only thirteen held land. Of these two had two acres each. One had 3 ½  acres, one 4 acres, one 4 ½  acres, two had six acres and one had eight acres.

Column 7

It is regrettable that very little use is made of this column. An occasional personal remark (cf. Mr. Spinks’ remark in the Kilbride volume) would have been refreshing. The following extracts refer to the schools. There is evidence that the record is incomplete and it is very probably not accurate,[1]

(1) Pollabawn: ‘In this town there is a school containing school containing 35 males and 15 females.

(2) Mullyhorn : “In this town there is a popish chapel and school containing 35 males and 15 females”.

(3) Killydriam : “In this town there is a school containing 36 males and 14 females”.

(4) Drumhowna : “In this town there is a chapel and school containing 50 males and 10 females”.

(5) Carigakilliu : “In this town there is a school containing 40 males and 26 females”.

The ages of children under one year are given in this column. Reference is made to previous marriages and family, of husband or wife. There is mention of a foundling child and of a woman’s husband being “absent from her”. Twinns (sic) get honourable mention also. If a house is not occupied the word “waste” is written opposite the house number in this column. The total population of Drumloman parish was 7,028. The population of the area now covered by the Catholic parish of Drumloman North (Mullahoran) was 4,638.


TownlandHousesTotal PopulationNames of Householders
Bawn956Reilly (2), Smyth (2). Cunningham, Gear, Clarke, Coyle, Wallace.
Clonkiffer91544Reilly (11), Cummiskey (7), Mc- Cabe (7), Smyth (6), Dawson (5), Sheridan (5), Fitzsimons (5). Flynn (3), Murphy (3), Kiernan (3), Feagan (2), Gafney (2) Clarke (2), Potters (2), Do(w)lan (2), Lynch (2), Hagan (2), Brady (2), Fry, Mulloy, Cullen, Coyle, McFaddin, Flood, Duffy, McDermott, Donoho, Drum, Gorman, Doyle, McEnerny, Hughes, McGrath, Briody, Donnellan, Hinds, Hartin, Earley.
Pollabawn20123Smyth (6), Connel (3), Murphy (3), ‘Ballasty, Donnellan, Brady, Cummiskey. Drurn, Kiery, Cunningham, MacNamee.
Cartonfree32201Fitzsimons (4), Dalton (6), Hierry (3), Reilly (3), Smyth (2), Farrel, Mathews, Caffray. Reynolds, Galligan, Conlan, Caldwell, Lynch, Feagan (2), Drum, Healy, Finn, Brimers.
Tullygullion22140Reilly (8), Hiery (2), Tuites (2). McGinnis (2), Fitzsimons, Dalton, Maguire, Dermody, Martin, McCabe, Coyle, Farrel.
Mullyhorn71428Smyth (11), Briody (7), Sheridan (6), Donaho (5), Lynch (3), Tiarney (3), Toole (3), Cullin (2). Halton (2), Farrelly (2), Dalton (2), Kelly (2), Cummiskey (2), Cain (2), Keogh (2), Sweeny (2), Hand, M GarryGafney, Campbell, Maguire, McAvinnue, M Guire, Dolan, Daly. Connelly, Hannon, Keogan, Reilly, Durkin, Creighton.
Killyogan79445Smyth (13), Reilly (8), Sheridan (5), Coyle (Coil) (5), McCabe (5), Lynch (4), Doyle (3), Kiernan (3), Gray (2), Donaho (2), Brady (2), Keagher (2), Brogan (2), Sweeny, Dineher, Keogan Don nellan, Dinniny, White, Feagan, Farrelly, Agnew, Flanagan, Col. lagan, Briody, Mulligan, McElarny. Ronan, Galligan, McArdell, Dermody. Dolan, M Cormick, Durkin.
Dundavan1799Briody (5), Reily (2), Hanway. Keogh, Harmon, Maginnis, Gorman, Fitzsimons, Lynch, Rev. John Egan, Cullin, Nolan.
Callanagh69345Reilly (24), Donaho (4), Byrne (4), Smyth (3), McDonnell/McDawel (3), Brennan (3). Brady (2), McEnerny (2), Black (2), McCabe (2), Briody (2), McGaughran (2), Donnelly, Boylan, Toole, Kelaher, Jackson, Cain, Parsons, Maguire, Kiernan, McManus.
Clonlohan52301Reilly (8), Briody (7). Smyth (5), Brady (4), Daly (3), Hall (2), McDowell (2), Coile (2), Keoghy, Plunket, Galligan, Divine, Lahy, Feagan, Morrow, Lynch, Cullin, Sheridan, Bran, Rorke, Gainer, Connelly, Donahoo, McGawran, Finnegan, Masterson, McEnerny.
Clonnuse40228Reilly (7), Lynch (4), Coil (4), Brady (3), Gafney (3), Gain(n)er (2), Caffray (2), Feagan, Dolan, McKeon, Hartin, Fay, McCormick, Fitzsimons, Dobson, McCabe, McNerney.
Killydriam22138Reilly (6) Gilroy? (3), Keogan (2), Lynch (2), Brennan, Faughlohan, Cawley. Beard, Vallally, McCabe, Geoghagan, McClean.
Legwee2414Gibney (4), Reilly (3), Smyth (2), Daly (2), Sheridan (2), Cullin (2), Galligan, Corr, Walsh, Cronan, O’Hara, Dolan, Briody.
Killydoon1165Sheridan (2), M Cahill (2), Gaynor (2), Reilly, Coyle, Wilson. Collam, Alexander- (no surname given).
Drumcorr1463M Cann (2), M Cahill, Callary, Galligan, Flood, Dineher, Smyth, Cullin, Donaho.
Drumhowna1787Reilly (4), Lynch (3), Sheridan, Dalton, Kiernan, McKenna, Coyle, Victory, Smyth, Frazier, Dease.
Grousehall1485Reilly (2), Bignall, Donnellan, Gafny, Drum, Smyth, Cruise, Garney, Cunningham, Cullanan, Calary, Victory, Hannon.
Drumbannon954Wilson (3), Cain, Lohan, Galligan, Daly, Dolan, Hannon.
Drumhowragh35170Reilly (5), Mulligan (4), Smith (3), Halton (2). O’Hara (2), McCabe (2), Brady (2), Olivil, Cummisky. Lee, Donahoo, Hughes, Masterson, Beatty, Finnegan, Lynch, Maguire, Sheridan, Dalton, McViety, Duffy, Moore.
Loughdavin26188Keoghy (6), Brady (5), Cruddan (3). Crossan (2), Mulligan (2). Finnegan, Beatly. Reilly. Corr, Fitzpatrick, MGaughran, Col. gan, McIntyre.
Drumbrockless36104Reilly (8), Brady (7), M Clean (3), Cambell (2) Cummiskey (2), Smyth (2), McElarny, Ricky, Byran, M Cann, Dinehar, Cassidy, Bartly, M Glise, Dowd, Curra-(i)n (2), Courtnay.
Drumgore31160Reilly (9), Kiernan (6), Brady (2), Beatty (2), Sheridan (2), Callahan, Halton, Kennedy, O Bryne, Mulhollan, Carroline, Maginnis, Flood, Burns, Galligan.
Lysinny22156Reilly (5), Lanktree (4), Donoho (3), Kiernan, Beatty, Keogh, Kelly, Brady, Black, Reel, McEever, Dignan, Masterson.
Kilsarrin38191Sweeny (5), Coyle (Coile) (4), Donaho (3), Dowal/Dowel (2), Brennan (2), Reilly (2), Smyth (2), Bird (2), Cahil (2), Rabbit, M Guire, Conaty, M. Gaughran, Sheridan, Daly, Donnellan, Farrel, McManus, Farrel, McEvoy, Woods, Lynch, Dease.
Caronagh Lower26152Reilly (5), Donaho (4). Smyth (3), Lynch (2) Sheridan, Colwell, Flood, Dermody, Galligan, Briody, McCabe, Hartin, M Cahill, Flood, Divine, Donnellan.
Caronagh Upper21133Reilly (3), Nixon (3), Cummiskey (3), Bignal (3), Hartin (2), Lynch Rigby, Dermody, Quinn, M Gawran, Bartly.
Minagh Lower30163Smyth (9). Briody (2), Brady (2) Caffry (2), Sheridan, Reynolds, Hallon, Mulligan, Clinton, Danaho, Coyle, Masterson, Lee, Dermody, Gafney, McKenna, M’Canna, Gorman, Keoghy
Minagh Upper47241Reilly (5), Smyth (5), McEnerny (5), Fitzsimons (4), Donaho (4), Gainey (3) Coil (3), Sheridan (3), Cullin, Farrel, M Guire, McBrine, M Canna, Keoghy, Briody, Martin, Connor, McDowel, Cassidy, McNally, Doyle, Drum, McElarny.
Cortrasona642Murphy (3), Flood (2), Coyle.
Toghernaross36179Smyth (5), Reilly (5), Keoghy (4), Dona(g)ho (2), Brady (2), Coille) (2), Cooke, McElarny, Fay, Bray, Heuny, Gaynor, Reynolds, Martin, Victory. Gorman, Newman, M’Ginn, Seery. M’Cue, Carrolan.
Freeduff26145Reilly (2), Coil (2), Tierny (2). Cain, Sheridan, Malowney, Keoghy. Magee, Farrelly Smyth, Boylan, Moore, Cassidy, Donnellan, Armstrong, Dignan, Donnelly, Gilchriest, McElarny, Gray, Galligan, Cullin, McDowell.
Killyboy1481Donnellan (3), Cruise (2), Coyle (2), McManus, McCabe, Banks, Reilly, Farrel, Cruice?, Shaffry.
Killyboy Lower20125Reilly (7). Lynch (2), Stratford, Heany, Donnelly, Cooke, Dunleavy, Ryal, Murray, Boylan. Stone, Clarke, Gilchriest.
Carigakilliu37191Smyth (6), Keoghy (5), Reilly (4). Coil (3). Flood (2), Cooke (2). Sheridan (2). Cafiry, O’Neal, Neal, Russel, Bray, Black, Dolan; Dermody, Carly, Brady, Maguire, Linahan, Betty.
Lisnadara22114Thomson (6) Arkins, Dignan Donaho, Farrel, Beatly, Cooke, Connolly, McElarny, Reele, Martin, Dease, Cain, Dermody, Cruise.
Carrigabawn1378Dinniny (5), Nealon, Cain, Flinn, Reilly, Coyle, Black, Dermody, Keogh.
Carrick26157Reilly (5), Dermody (5), Reynolds (2), Lee (2), Dunleavy (2), M’Gaughran, Mannin, Coyle (2), Hislan, Dinniny, Kiernan, Cullin (2), Boylan.
Magheraboy50291Reilly (8), Coyle (6), Dinniny (5), Smyth (5), M’Manus (4), M’Canna (3), Plunket (3), Cullin (2). Clinton (2), Donagho (2), Grehan (2), Flood, M Kenna, Boylan, Mulligan, Nicholls, Hannon, Cooke, McGinnis.
Magheraboy Lower1279Lynch (5), Linahan, Keogh, Kerre Esq., Cruise, Donagho, Smyth, Boylan.
Kilgola71341Fegan (5), Coyle (5), Boylan (4), Walker (4), Stratford (3), Reilly (2), Murry (2), Dermody (2), McDowell (2), Baxter (2), Atkins (2). Kilday, Keogh, Fifher, Muldoon, McElarny, Cary, Masterson Brady, Elliott, Murphy, McEnroe, M’Gee, Dowlan, Keegan, Flyn, Glinn, Anderson, M Connel, Chambers, Donnelly, Wheeler, Burnet, Naughton, Bignal, Cummiskey, Rogers, Caffry, McManus, Moroe, Naughtin, Dowd, Delmor, Toole, Smyth, Guthry, McNally, Ball, McTeague.
Drumlumman Parish Census 1821

Drumlumman Parish Census 1821

Thesis on the 1821 Census for the parish of Drumlumman (Drumlomman).