Ballygurraun is situated 1½ mile W. S.W. of Athenry bounded on the North by Poulnagrough, West by Rathmorrissy, South by Gortruah and Cloghraun and on the East by Newford, Ballygarraun and Ballygurraun North.
The Down Survey map provides no record of this townland and indicates the map of the barony of Athenry was destroyed in 1711.
O’Donovan’s Field Name books provide various spellings for this townland: Ballygurraun West,
Ballygurraun West B. S. Sketch Map, Ballygurraun Barony Map, Ballygurraun County Map, Ballygurrane Vestry Book 1826.
According to Griffith’s Valuation 1855, James Perry leased tenements to John Carey and Thomas Carey. James Perry and the Mid.G.W.Railway Co. were cited as being ‘in Fee’. In fee were freehold tenures, derived from a grant from the crown.
John Carey paid rent of £1-17-0 for 3 acres, 2 roods, and 15 perches of land. Thomas Carey paid £6-0-0 of tax for 9 acres, 2 roods, and 23 perches of house offices and land. James Perry paid £97-0-0 for land (193 acres, 2 roods, and 5 perches), a steward’s house, offices and land (35 acres, 1 rood, and 34 perches) along with two cottiers’ houses. The Mid.G.W.Railway Co. paid £9-7-0 for their Railway comprised of 8 acres, 2 roods, and 30 perches.
1901 Census There were 2 households in Balyygarraun West in 1901. 2 individuals were listed as head of household, William Ramsay and John Niland. A total of 12 inhabitants were recorded, 4 male and 8 female. All but 4 residents were from County Galway, William Ramsay and his wife Mary came from Scotland while his daughter and niece were from ‘Kings County’ (Offaly). Everyone was Roman Catholic except for 5 people in the Ramsay household. The census forms which were collected on the 3rd April showed that both houses were inhabited and were private dwellings. Both house walls were constructed from stone, brick or concrete while the roofs were made from slate, iron, or tiles.
William Ramsay (64) was a farm Steward, he was married to Mary (55) and they lived with their 2 daughters Mary P (25), and Minnie C (15). They also resided with William’s niece Agnes Wyber (21), and Servant Maggie Finn (19). All relatives to Willliam were presbyterian and everyone in the house was able to both read and write. All four young women were single. William and Mary originated from Scotland and Mary P and Agnes originated from ‘County Kings’ (Offaly). All 6 lived in a 9 room, 1st class house with 6 front windows. JP. Goodbody owned the land William’s house and 13 out-offices/ farm steadings resided on.
John Niland (38) was listed in the census as an agricultural labourer. He was married to Ellen (31) whose occupation was inserted as a general domestic servant. They resided with their 2 sons Henry (5) a scholar, and Willie (2). They also lived with their daughter Sarah (3) and niece Mary Anne (6). The parents could speak Irish and English and were able to read and write, while the 2 eldest children could only read. JP. Goodbody owned the land John’s 3 roomed, 2nd class house with 3 front windows resided on.
There were 9 households in Ballygarraun West in 1911. There were 56 inhabitants, 38 were male and 18 were female. 46 of the occupants were Roman Catholic, 1 protestant, 7 male Presbyterians, and 2 female. All of the inhabitants in the townland originally came from Co. Galway unless specifically noted otherwise below. The census forms which were collected on the 15th April 1911, showed that all houses were listed as private dwellings except for 1 police hut where the RIC officers resided. Each house roof was made of slate, Iron, or tiles, while all of the walls were made from stone, brick, or concrete. The Department of Agriculture owned all the holding in which the heads of households built their houses and out-offices.
W, J (43) was a sergeant in the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary), he was originally a farmer’s son and originated from County Armagh. G.W (33), J.M (30), M.GJ (26), and B.J (30) were all constables in the RIC. M.GJ was a protestant and a member of the Church of Ireland, while the rest were Roman Catholic. All 5 of them were single and could read and write. All were farmer’s sons before they joined the RIC but M.GJ whose last profession was a gardener. J.M was born in County Mayo and the remaining three were born in County Tipperary. Sergeant John Wade was the head of the house and all 5 of the men lived in a 2 roomed, 2nd class house with 2 front windows. It was noted in the census as a police Hut rather than private dwelling.
There was also a Form G- College and Boarding School Return. All 13 boys boarding were Roman Catholic, able to read and write, and spoke Irish and English. Patrick M Coyne (19), Leo M Duignan (18) from Glasgow, Frank Coyne (19) from Mayo, Patrick J O Connor (23) from Roscommon, Martin J Hessian (18), Michael J Daly (18) from CO. Clare, Mathew Farell (19), Henry J Connon (17) from Co. Mayo, Patrick J Hopkins (18) from Co. Roscommon, Michael O Callaghan (19) from Co. Clare and John F Fishe [SIC] from Co. Mayo were all pupils. Patrick Ward (21) from Co. Mayo and John Halleran (21) were both Foremen. All 13 boys lived in 7 rooms. It was a 1st class building with 6 front windows. Patrick Ward was the head of the house.
William J Mc Gaw (39) was a presbyterian superintendent at the agricultural station in Athenry. He was originally from Co. Antrim. Edward Gallagher (43) was a senior inspector for the department of agriculture, Ireland. He came from Co. Donegal. John O Mahony (28) was a clerk from Co. Roscommon. Kate Mc Cabe (25) was a housekeeper and domestic servant from Co. Cavan. Mary Dobbyn (26) was a cook and domestic servant from Kildare. Lastly, Delia O’Brien (19) was a general domestic servant who unlike all the rest in the house could not both read and write, but only read. They lived in a 2nd class house with 4 front windows and 6 rooms.
P John Christy (51) was a married steward. Christy, his wife Elizabeth Agnes (44), and servant Mary Trehey (78) all originated from Limerick City. Christy and his wife had been married for 19 years and had 3 children together, 1 of which was still alive in 1911. They could read and write but his unmarried servant could not. John Christy’s 1st class house was composed of 7 rooms and had 8 front windows.
William Laing (34) was a cattle Herder. He lived with his wife of 10 years, Bella (32), and 6 children. 5 sons Alexander (9), Francis (8), William (6), Ian (2), Lewis (10 months), and 1 daughter Agnes (5). All inhabitants above 6 years of age could read and write. All but the youngest son Lewis originated from Scotland and everyone in the family was noted as Presbyterian. They all occupied 6 rooms of their 2nd class house with 4 front-facing windows.
James Dobbyn (30) was listed as a yardman. He had been married for 2 years to Norah (29) and had 2 children, James (1) and Thomas (2 months). Both husband and wife could read and write. The family of 4 lived in a 2nd class house with 4 rooms and 3 front windows.
Barthley Croinn (53) was cited as a general labourer. He had been married to Catherine for 20 years in 1911 during which time they had 12 children together, 11 still alive in 1911. 5 boys Joseph (19), Patrick (18), Thomas (16), Barthley (3), and James (1) along with 6 girls Annie (15), Mary (13), Catherine (11), Josephine (9), Florence (8) and Margaret (5). The mother was from Co. Leitrim, the youngest James was born in Co. Galway, the next 4 youngest’s after James were born in Co. Roscommon. Everyone in the family above the age of 8 could read and write but Annie, who could not read. The 13 of them lived in 4 rooms. They had a 2nd class house with 3 front windows.
Martin Mc Grath (31) was a farm labourer who was married to Mary (23) for 2 years. They had 2 children together Mary (1) and Bridgey (under 1 month). Martin could read and write while Mary could read but not write. They spoke both Irish and English. The 4 lived in a 2nd class house with 4 rooms and 3 front windows.