Emma Ruane/Heritage Office, Galway County Council
Civil Parish of Kilbegnet
Gortmorris is situated in the civil parish of Kilbegnet, Barony of Ballymoe, County Galway. The townland is located at the Northern boundary of Kilbegnet, joining the parish of Ballynakill.
The Down Survey Map states the Down Survey name of Gortmorris was Gortnabase and Cultampan. The 1670 (Post Cromwell) owner of Gortmorris was Sir Ulick Bourke (Catholic). There were 145 plantation acres of unprofitable land and 263 plantation acres of profitable land. 263 plantations acres were forfeited.
O’Donovan’s Field Name Books indicates there are two small portions of bog located close to the Northern boundary. Saint Michael’s well can be found in the North Eastern part of Gortmorris. There are two roads passing through the townland from the Northern boundary, one travels in a South West direction and the other in a South East direction. Tillage and pasture form the remainder of the land.
According to the 1851 census, Gortmorris consists of 215 acres, 3 roods and 30 perches. The 1841 population was a total of 62 people, 26 were male and 36 were female. There were 12 houses in 1841, all of which were occupied. By 1851, the population had decreased to 15 people, 8 were male and 7 were female. There 4 houses in 1851 were each occupied. The poor law valuation rate paid ij 1851 was £86-0-0.
According to Griffith’s Valuation, Patrick O’Connor was the immediate lessor of the land. Patrick O’Connor kept 202 acres, 0 roods and 11 perches of herd’s house, office and land as well as a cottier’s house in fee for a total of £98-0-0. John Hurley leased from Patrick O’Connor 13 acres, 3 roods and 19 perches of house and land for £5-0-0. The total annual valuation of rateable property was £103-0-0.
There was only 1 household in Gortmorris in 1901. The house was headed by Mary Toolin. There was a total of 5 people, 2 males and 3 females. They were each born in County Galway and each were Roman Catholic. The house was listed as a private dwelling and there were 4 farm steadings. The census forms were collected on the 6th of April.
Mary Toolin (50) was a widowed farmer who lived with her 4 children, Michal [sic] (20), John (17), Nora (18) and Maggie (12). Michal and John were listed as farmer’s sons, while Nora was a farmer’s daughter. Maggie was a scholar. All members of the family could read and write. Mary spoke Irish and English, while no language was recorded for her children suggesting they spoke English only. The Toolin family lived in a 2nd class house with 4 front window and 4 rooms. Perishable material was used for the walls and the roof of the house. Mary owned the land on which her house was situated along with 1 stable, 1 cow house, 1 piggery and 1 barn.
There was just 1 house in Gortmorris in 1911 and it had 5 occupants, 2 of whom were male and 3 were female. Mary Toolan was the head of the household. Each person was born in County Galway and each were Roman Catholic. The house was listed a private dwelling and there were 4 farm steadings. The census forms were collected on the 7th of April.
Mary Toolan (62) was a widow who lived with her married son Michael (31), daughter-in-law Mary (28), grandson John (8 months) and unmarried daughter Margaret (20). Michael and Mary (20) had been married for 3 years and had 1 son in 1911. Mary and her son Michael worked as farmers and Margaret was listed as a farmer’s daughter. All members of the household could read and write, except naturally baby John. No language was listed for any member of the family, suggesting they spoke English only. The family lived in a 2nd class house with 4 front windows and 4 rooms. The walls of the house were made of permanent material, while the roof was made of perishable material. Mary owned the land on which her house was situated along with 1 stable, 1 cow house, 1 piggery and 1 barn.