Category Archives: Places

The auld sod ~ continued

Following up from yesterday’s post about my great great great grandfather Michael Rourke’s farm in Ballymacdonnell, I’m now looking at the Rourkes who are living there at the time of the 1901 Irish census.

These are the family members listed on the census return1:

Bridget Rourke Head of Family 53 Farmer Widow
Michael Rourke Son 27 Farmer’s Son Not Married
John Rourke Son 24 Farmer’s Son Not Married
Timothy Rourke Son 18 Farmer’s Son Not Married
Julia Rourke Daughter 16 Farmer’s Daughter Not Married

Trying to read the scan of the family tree I have, I can make out a Jeremiah, brother of my Bartholomew, both of whom were Michael Rourke’s sons. Jeremiah married Bridget O’Loughlin, and their children were:

  • Michael b.1873
  • John (Jack) b. 1874
  • Timothy b. 1876
  • Bartholomew b. 1878
  • Catherine b. 1884
  • Julia b.1886

Going back to the baptism records2, I found the following children listed for Jeremiah Rourke and Bridget Loughlin (with their approximate age in 1901, given a birth date a month or two previous to baptism):

  • Michael – 29 Oct 1873 (27) – mother: Margaret Loughlin
  • John – 31 Dec 1875 (25)
  • Bartholomew – 16 Jan 1878 (23)
  • Catherine – 30 May 1880 (20) – mother: Bridget Loughten
  • Timothy – 28 Sep 1882 (18)
  • Julia – 15 Jun 1885 (15)
  • Jeremiah – 23 Jan 1888 (13)

Hurrah! This looks like the same family. Not sure where Bartholomew is on census night, and Catherine may be married by this time. Doesn’t look good for poor young Jeremiah – hopefully he’s having a sleepover at a friend’s place. But he’s also missing on the family tree…

So, were they living in the same house? It’s hard to be certain, without visiting Ballymacdonnell and asking the locals (which I’d love to do at some point!). In 1901 there were three houses inhabited in Ballymacdonnell, and from the census return (Form B1 – House and Building return), all three look to be similar in size and state, being classed as “2nd class”, with Bridget’s being perhaps a little smaller.

What was the house like that Bridget and her family were in? The walls were “stone, brick or concrete”, the roof was “thatch, wood or perishable material”, and there were three windows at the front of the house. The family of five were living in three rooms. Also on their property were eight outbuildings, detailed in Form B2 – Return of Out-Offices and Farm-Steadings: 1 stable, 2 cow houses, 1 calf house, 1 dairy, 1 piggery, 1 barn, and 1 shed.

When I came to recheck the map of Ballymacdonnell from Griffith’s Valuation today, I discovered something I had completely missed before! It is laid over the modern map, and using a slider widget at the top right hand side, you can switch between the old and modern maps. How cool is that!!??

Ballymacdonnell - Primary Valuation map3

Ballymacdonnell - Primary Valuation map

Ballymacdonnell - Primary Valuation map and Google maps satellite image

Ballymacdonnell - Primary Valuation map and Google maps satellite image

Ballymacdonnell -  Google maps satellite image4

Ballymacdonnell - Google maps satellite image

There are still buildings there, maybe even the original house.  Next task is to check the household in the 1911 census.

Griffith’s Valuation material (digital images and index) is Copyright of (c)2003 OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland

  1. Census of Ireland 1901, Kerry, Kilfelim, Ballymacdonnell, House no 3, Bridget Rourke; digital image, The National Archives of Ireland, Census of Ireland 1901/1911 (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ : accessed 05 Mar 2011).
  2. Dept of Tourism, Culture & Sport. “Search Church Records”. Database of transcriptions, church records for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry. Irish Genealogy. (http://www.irishgenealogy.ie/ : accessed 05 Mar 2011).
  3. Griffith, Richard. General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland… County of Kerry (Dublin: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1861), for Michael Rourke, occupier, Lot 3, Ballymacdonnell (townland), Killeentierna (parish), Trughanacmy (barony); “Griffith’s Valuation,” digital images, Ask About Ireland (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml : accessed 06 Mar 2011).
  4. Google Maps, Ballymacdonnell, satellite image; digital image, Ask About Ireland (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml : accessed 06 Mar 2011).

The auld sod

After I found the baptism records of all those Rourkes,  I wanted to find the place where the family was living.  I had the name of the parish and the townland, so thought I’d have a good chance of finding them in Griffith’s Valuation.

From the Ask About Ireland website:

The Primary Valuation was the first full-scale valuation of property in Ireland. It was overseen by Richard Griffith and was published between 1847 and 1864. It is one of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical sources.1

I know that my family was definitely in the area around this time because of the baptism dates, so I did a search by name on “Rourke” within the parish of Killeentierna. No result. So I tried a place name search on the townland “Ballymacdonnell” instead – result! A Michael Roarke [sic] occupied property lot number 3 – I hadn’t found him initially because of the (transcribed) spelling of his name.
Primary Valuation - headings: Map refs, Names of Townlands and Occupies, Names of Immedidate Lessors, Description of Tenement, Area, Rateable Annual Valuation of Land and Buildings

Primary Valuation - Ballymacdonnell2

Primary Valuation - Ballymacdonnell

 

The Valuation lists the main occupier of the property, not necessarily ‘head of household’ like the census reports. In the report above, Michael’s holding of “House, office, and land” is 37 acres, 2 roods and 21 perches in size. An “office” is a term used to describe “factories, mills and farm outbuildings such as a stable, turf shed, cow barn, corn shed, or piggery.”3 Michael had one office apparently – I wonder what it was?

The taxable value of the property is an estimate of the income the property could generate in a year. The state of the buildings on the property, and the quality and location of the land were all taken into account. The value of Michael’s property, land and buildings combined, was £28 15s. which equates to the spending power of today’s £1,682.74. 4 That doesn’t sound a lot!

The other thing I noted from the report is that in neighbouring lots were two Callaghans – Jeremiah and Michael. Could they be Michael’s brothers-in-law?

Primary Valuation - Ballymacdonnell - Map5

Primary Valuation - Ballymacdonnell - Map. The thicker red lines denote the townland boundaries. Lot 1 of Ballymacdonnell is to the right at the top of the map, below that is Lot 3 and then 2B, and Lots 2A and 4 are over to the left.

 

At this time in Ballymacdonnell there are four lots: two with one house (lots 2 & 3), one with no house (lot 4), and one with two houses (lot 1). From the notation in the far left column, John Griffin occupies 1a, the farmer’s house on lot 1, and Mortimer Flynn occupies 1b, a labourer’s or cottager’s house. As John Griffin is listed in the “Immediate Lessers” column beside lot 1b, it is likely that Griffin was subletting the “House and garden” to Flynn.

I’m interested in the houses because there’s a Rourke family living in Ballymacdonnell in the 1901 census. Are they on the same farm, and in the same house? Are they “my” Rourkes?

Tune in tomorrow!

Note:
1 acre = 4 roods = 40 square perches

Griffith’s Valuation material (digital images and index) is Copyright of (c)2003 OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland

  1. Ask About Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml : accessed 12 Nov 2010).
  2. Griffith, Richard. General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland… County of Kerry (Dublin: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1861), for Michael Rourke, occupier, Lot 3, Ballymacdonnell (townland), Killeentierna (parish), Trughanacmy (barony); “Griffith’s Valuation,” digital images, Ask About Ireland (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml : accessed 12 Nov 2010).
  3. Ask About Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation – Understanding the Valuation and Maps (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/irish-genealogy/understanding-the-valuati/ : accessed 05 Mar 2011).
  4. The National Archives, Currency converter (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency/default0.asp#mid : accessed 05 Mar 2011).
  5. Griffith, General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland… County of Kerry.

Postcard from… Wellington, New Zealand

City and Harbour, Wellington NZ

City and Harbour, Wellington NZ 4073

This postcard is one of many in an album that belonged to my paternal grandparents. I’m not sure of the date of this, perhaps 1950s or 60s? Hopefully I’ll be able to find out a bit more when I talk to my father, who has the album now.

We arrived in Auckland yesterday, after 26 hours in the air.  Despite travelling with three young kids, it didn’t seem to take long at all.  Can’t imagine spending three months in a boat (unless it was a fancy cruise ship).

Today we have a short one hour flight to Wellington – will be fantastic to see my home town again!

And down the road to Yalding

Today was a beautiful sunny day (for a change) and just the day to take a trip down to Yalding, Henry Richard Florey’s birthplace.  I’ve driven through it several times, but never walked around.

Yalding is a village and part of Yalding civil parish in the Maidstone District of Kent, England. The village is situated six miles south-west of Maidstone at a point where the Rivers Teise and Beult join the River Medway.1

From Twyford Bridge, looking towards the High Street, with St Peter and St Paul's Church on the right.

From Twyford Bridge, looking towards the High Street, with St Peter and St Paul's Church on the right

St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yalding

St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yalding

St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yalding

St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yalding

Gravestones, St Peter and Paul's Church, Yalding

Gravestones, St Peter and Paul's Church, Yalding

Interior, St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yalding

Interior, St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yalding

Gravestones, St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yalding

Gravestones, St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yalding

  1. Wikipedia, “Yalding”, article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yalding : accessed 08 Jan 2011).