Civil parish of Athenry

Anna Bourke/ Galway County Council Heritage Office


Cathair Fhinneiscreach, Caherfinesker

Caherfinesker is situated 3¼ miles S.W. of Athenry bounded on the North by Gurthill, West by Coldwood, South and East by Killeeneen Parish.

The Downs 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 of this townland: Caherfinesker, Cathair Fineiscreach, Caherfinisker B. S. Sketch Map, Caherfinskra Barony Map, Caherfinskra County Map, Caherfinsker Vestry Book 1826.

Griffith’s Valuation

According to Griffith’s Valuation 1855, Robert French leased tenements to Patrick Kennedy, John Kennedy, Laurence Smith, Thomas Flaherty, James Egan, Patrick Egan, Robert Johnston, Patrick Kane, John Donohoe, Patrick Elliott, Stephan O’Brien, and Winifred Nolan. Robert French’s land was held ‘in Fee’. In fee were freehold tenures, derived from a grant from the Crown. He paid £22-0-0 for 78 acres, 3 roods, and 35 perches of land.

Patrick Kenned and John Kennedy jointly leased 50 acres, 2 roods, and 26 perches of land from Robert, and both individually paid £9-15-0 in tax. Laurence Smith rented a house, offices, land and a cottier’s house for £23-15-0, which was composed of 58 acres,1 rood, and 36 perches. Thomas Flaherty’s house and land encompassed 6 acres, 1 rood, and 18 perches and he paid £3-5-0 in tax. James Egan paid £10-3-0 in tax for his house, offices, land, and wasteland enveloping 24 acres and 37 perches. Patrick Egan’s house and land included 2 roods and 32 perches of land and subsequently cost them £0-15-0 in tax. Robert Johnston’s 2 acres, 1 rood, and 9 perches of house and land cost him £1-10-0 in tax. Patrick Kane paid £0-10-0 in tax for 3 roods and 13 perches of house and land. John Donohoe’s house and land covered 4 acres, 2 roods, and 22 perches of land and cost £2-10-0 in tax. Patrick Elliot paid £0-15-0 in tax and his 3 roods and 13 perches were of land and a house. Stephen O’Brien paid tax of £4-15-0 for his house, cottier’s house, and land of 12 acres and 10 perches. Finally, Winifred Nolan paid tax of £4-10-0 for 10 acres, 2 roods, and 23 perches of land, office and house. The total annual valuation of rateable property in Caherfinesker was £93-18-0.

1901 Census

There were 7 households in Caherfinesker in 1901. There was also 7 individual who was listed as head of household. A total of 28 inhabitants were recorded, 14 male and 14 female. All residents in this townland were from County Galway and Roman Catholic. The census forms which were collected on the 1st of April showed that all the houses were inhabited, and private dwellings. The house’s walls were built from stone, brick, or concrete and the roofs were formed from thatch, wood or another perishable material, except for Walter Smith’s whose roof was composed of Slate, iron or tiles.

Margaret Donohoe (25) was a single farmer. She was able to read and write and spoke both Irish and English. She lived alone in her 2 roomed, 3rd class house with 2 front windows. Margaret owned the land her house resided on.

Thomas Flaherty (27) was a farmer. He resided with his sister Bridget (25) and brother James (23). All three were able to read and write, speak Irish and English and were single. They lived together in a 3rd class house with 2 front windows and 2 rooms. He owned the land his house, stable and piggery resided on.

Patrick Kennedy (66) was listed as a farmer. He lived with his 2 nieces Norah (50) and Mary Morrissy (46) along with his nephew Luke Kennedy (16). All were able to read and write but Mary and all spoke English and Irish. Luke was a scholar, while Norah was a housekeeper in the census. All were not married and lived in a 3 roomed, 2nd class house with 3 front windows. Patrick owned the holdings his house, 2 stables, cow house and barn dwelled.

Walter M Smith (32) was a married farmer. He lived with his 2 farm servants James Melidy [SIC](60) who was a widower and Laurence Melidy (25) who was single. All could read and write but James. All spoke both Irish and English and lived together in a 2nd class house with 7 rooms and 3 front windows. Walter owned the land his house, stable, cow house, coach house, piggery, fowl house, and barn resided on.

Thomas O’Brien (40) was a married farmer. He lived with his wife Bridget (35), 4 sons Stephen (12), Thomas (10), John (5), and Peter (4), along with this he lived with his 4 daughters Delia (9), Mary Anne (7), Norah (3), and Kate (1). Only Bridget (35) and her three eldest children could read and write. Bridget was listed as a farmer’s wife and the 3 eldest children were scholars. Thomas (40) and Bridget (35) both spoke Irish and English, but no language was listed for the children suggesting they spoke English only. The family of 10 lived in a 2 roomed, 3rd class house with 2 front facing windows. Thomas owned the land his house, cow house, and stable resided on.

John O’Brien (41) was a farmer. He was married to Kate (29), and they lived with his widowed mother Hannah (74), and 3 daughters Hannah (4), Mary Kate (3), and Margaret (7). John, Kate, and Hannah all spoke Irish and English and only John and Kate could read and write. They lived in a 3 roomed, 2nd class house with 2 front windows. John owned the land his house, stable, cow house, piggery, barn, and shed resided on.

There is no record of anyone living in the townland of Caherfinesker in the 1911 census. [1]


[1] In regards to the 1911 census in the Caherfinesker townland, there was no record of a 1911 census. People are unable to locate the return for this townland. It is not on the Galway library website or in the 1911 archive. I have hyperlinked both attachments to demonstrate.

This page was added on 07/03/2022.

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