Ballybackagh is situated in the civil parish of Athenry, barony of Clare, Co. Galway. It is located in 3 miles north of Athenry, bounded on the north by Lackagh Parish, on the east by Carnaun townland, south by Tubbernaveen and west by Ballanloughaun.
The Down Survey map shows no record of this townland.
O’Donovans Field Name books provides various spellings of this townland: Ballybackagh, Baile bacach and Ballybrit Creglea. According to this source, Ballybackagh was the property of Mr. Lambert. It contains 318 acres stature measure, 5/8ths of which is arable. There is a Trigonometrical Station in the southwest and it is bounded on the North by the road from Galway to Monivea.
According to Griffith’s Valuation 1855, Walter Lambert leased tenements to the following tenants, John Nolan and Thomas Blackhall. John Nolan paid a rent of £22-5-0 for 154 acres 0 roods 29 perches of herd’s house, office and land. Thomas Blackhill paid a rent of £26-0-0 for 164 acres 0 roods 34 perches of land. The total annual valuation of rateable property paid overall in Ballybackagh was £48-5-0 for 318 acres 1 rood 23 perches of herd’s house, office and land.
There were 4 household dwellings in Ballybackagh in 1901, 3 of which were in inhabited. There was a total population of 14 people, 6 were men, 8 were women. All inhabitants were born in Co. Galway and were Roman Catholic. Each house was listed as a private dwelling. There was a total of 13 farm steadings – two stables, two coach houses, two cow houses, two piggerys, two fowl houses, two barns and one turf house. The heads of the households were as follows: Henry Walsh, Michael Coffey and Margaret Butler.
Henry Walsh (36) worked as a farmer. He lived with his brother Martin (44) who also worked as a farmer and their sister Maggie (25). All three siblings were unmarried. Michael Concarr (18) also lived here and is documented as being a farmer’s servant. All residents could read and write and also speak English and Irish. They lived in a 1st class house with 7 front windows and the house had 4 rooms. Henry Walsh owned the land his house was situated on along with a stable, coach house, cow house, piggery, fowl house, barn and turf house.
Michael Coffey (55) was a farmer married to Bridget Coffey (53). They lived with their son Thomas (25), daughters Mary (27), Bridget (23), Julia (14) Maggie (12), granddaughter Bridget (2) and farm servant Pat Bolstrnne [sic] (22). Thomas was unmarried and his occupation was listed as farmers son. Their daughters were also unmarried. The three eldest daughters recorded their occupation as farmers daughters. Maggie however was a scholar. All members of the household could read and write and also speak English and Irish, except for their granddaughter. They lived in a 2nd class house with 3 front windows and 2 rooms. Michael Coffey owned the land his house was situated on along with a stable, coach house, cow house, piggery and barn.
Margaret Butler (63) was a stocking knitter. She was a widow who lived alone. She could not read. She spoke English and Irish. Henry Walsh owned the land upon which this 3rd class house was situated along with one fowl house. The house had 2 rooms and 2 front windows.
There were 3 household dwellings in Ballybackagh in 1911, 2 of which were inhabited. There was a total population of 16 people, 7 women and 9 men. All residents were Roman Catholic and born in Co. Galway. Each house was listed as a private dwelling. There was a total of 16 farm steadings – 4 stables, 2 cow houses, 2 piggerys, 2 fowl houses, 2 barns, 2 sheds, 1 store and 1 cart house. The heads of the households were Michael Coffey and Henry Walsh.
Michael Coffey (66) was a farmer married to Bridget (65). At the time of the 1911 census, they were married for 45 years, had 8 children, 8 of whom were still alive in 1911. They lived with their daughter Maggie (20) and grandson John Glynn (8). John is recorded as being a scholar. They also lived with their son Martin (27) who was also a farmer and his wife Catherine (25) who were married for 4 years in 1911. They had 2 children, Delia (15 months) and Michael (1). All the family could read and write except for Delia and Michael. Only Michael and Bridget could speak English and Irish. They lived in a 2nd class house with 3 front windows and 4 rooms. Michael Coffey owned the land his house was situated on along with 2 stables, 1 cow house, 1 piggery, 1 fowl house, 1 barn, and 1 shed.
Henry Walsh (51) was a farmer married to Margaret (30). At the time of the 1911 census, they were married for 3 years. They had one child, John (1). They also lived with Henry’s unmarried brother Martin (54) and their cousin Maggie (5). They lived with 3 servants, Catherine Farragher (18), Michael Coen (20) and Michael Newell (29) all of which were unmarried. All the members of the house could read and write and speak English and Irish except for John. They lived in a 1st class house with 6 front windows and 7 rooms. Henry owned the land upon which the house was located along with 2 stables, 1 cow house, 1 piggery, 1 fowl house, 1 barn, 1 shed,1 store and 1 cart house.