Archive for the ‘Dictionaries and Surveys’ Category

Interesting observations from Mason’s 1816 publication A Statistical Account, or parochial Survey of Ireland (Vol 2) in relation to population food and fuel.


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The study of placenames has a long tradition in Ireland. Classics of the field include Joyce’s The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, among others. The standout modern day effort is the work of the Placenames Database of Ireland.

More localized and specific examples abound and one such publication is the work of William Shawn Mason. In volume two of A Statistical Account or Parochial Survey or Ireland he gives the following origins for the townlands in the civil parish of Kilmacahill.

You can also see an accompanying map from a previous post.

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The Dublin Metropolitan Police was formed in 1836 to replace the old Dublin Watch and remained in existence until it was amalgamated with An Garda Siochana in 1925.[1] An excellent publication by Jim Herlihy lists various members under different headings in the appendix. One such heading is “Ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary” and this list contains the following information:[2]

Maher, Jeremiah, DMP 144, born 1808, Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny

DMP 144 is the warrant number and all 12,566 members of the force had one.

[1] Herlihy, Jim. 2001. The Dublin Metropolitan Police: A Short History and Genealogical Guide 1836-1925. Dublin: Four Courts Press, p.xv.

[2] Ibid. p.221.

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I have previously written an article about the history of quarrying in Paulstown. Recently I came across a book from the early 19th century which goes into a little more detail about wages, costs and sales prices for Paulstown limestone in that era. [1]

You can read the book here.

[1] Wakefield, Edward. 1812. An account of Ireland: Statistical and Political Volume I. London: Longman et al. p.123.

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A selection of papers from the House of Commons published in 1820 gives some details in relation to the Protestant parishes in the Paulstown area.

In a section with the title ‘An Account of the Churches and Glebe Houses’ it is outlined that in 1806 there was new churches built in Kilmacahill, Grange Silvae and Wells. Alternatively, this could mean that a new church was built to serve these parishes.[1]

It is further outlined that the parish of Kilmacahill has a rectory and the serving rector at the time is William Latta. The parish of Grange Sylva [sic] is also mentioned and also has a rectory. The serving rector is Thomas Gough.[2]

[1] House of Commons. 1820. Miscellaneous Papers Ireland Session 21 April to 23 November 1820 Volume 9. London: House of Commons. p.336

[2] Ibid. p.320

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An interesting article that looked at the number of children born to unmarried mothers in various parishes in 18th and 19th century Ireland appeared in a 1979 edition of Irish Economic and Social History.[1] One of the parishes selected for the study was Paulstown and Goresbridge. While the overall numbers of ‘illegitimate’ births, as they were called, was very small, there was a gradual increase from 1.1% in the 1821-1830 period to 2.4% in the 1841-1850 period. Possible reasons for this increase could include an actual increase in births to unmarried mothers or decreasing social stigma when it came to recording births as outside of marriage. It also must be remembered that there could be a correlation between the higher rate of births outside of marriage and the occurrence of The Famine in the 1841-1850 period.

Years: 1821-1830 / Births: 896 / Illegitimate: 10 / Percentage: 1.1

Years: 1831-1840 / Births: 2,023 / Illegitimate: 43 / Percentage: 2.1

Years: 1841-1850 / Births: 966 / Illegitimate: 23 / Percentage: 2.4

[1][1] Connolly, S.J. 1979. Illegitimacy and Pre-Nuptial Pregnancy in Ireland Before 1864: The Evidence of Some Catholic Parish Registers in Irish Economic and Social History, Vol 6, pp.9-24

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When the Famine struck in Ireland relief committees were set up all over the country to try and help the destitute, hungry and dying. The names in the document below come from subscribers to the Paulstown Relief Fund, County of Kilkenny compiled by Samuel Jefferies of Gowran.[1] Names such as Flood, Brenan, Maher, Healy, Byrne, Drennan, Harding, Wynn and Brophy are all listed.

At the end of the list of subscribers is a short note from the fund treasurer James Maher. It reads:

I acknowledge to have received from the forgoing subscribers to the Paulstown Relief Fund the several suries(?) attached to their names making a total of £171 received by me up to this date.

James Maher


13 June 1846

Irish Famine Relief Commission Papers 1844-1847

[1] Ancestry.com Ireland Famine Relief Papers 1844-1847 from The National Archives of Ireland Incoming Letters Numerical Series RLFC3/1/ 2010 accessed 19 May 2011

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