Civil Parish Of Kilcolgan

Niamh Broderick, University of Galway

Gortroe Townland


Gortroe is a townland located in the civil parish of Kilcolgan, in the Barony of Dunkellin.

Its standard name is Gortroe, with the Irish translating to ‘red garden.’ Other forms of the name include Gurtrooa, when referring to the Clerk of the Peace or on the Sketch Map.

The proprietor for this townland was J. Bodkin, and the Agent was Dennis Bodkin. The majority of this townland was held for grazing by 1 tenant, and another tenant has 6 acres of poor soil, filled with small stones. The houses were made of stone and in tolerable repair. In the North-east corner of the townland, there was a fort.

Gortroe was situated west of the parish, bounded on the north by the parish of Drumacoo and part of townland Mulrooag East, on the east by Muggaunagh, on the south and south-east by Killeenavara parish and on the west by townland Mulrooag East.

Griffith’s Valuation

The aim of Griffith’s valuation was to produce a uniform guide to the relative value of land through Ireland, in order to decide how to pay out the Poor rate.

Griffiths Valuation has recorded of this townland was composed of 124 Acres, 2 Reeds and 22 Perches.

The land value at the time would have been £50.15s.0d

The currency measures at the time was in the form of Pounds, Shillings, Pence (£.s.d)

There were 2 separate landholders in this townland, both renting off of Robert Bodkin.

Plot 1 – Thomas Nolan – A house, offices and land – £6.15s.0d

  1. Thomas Tully – Land – £44.0s.0d



1901 Census

There was one household recorded in the townland of Gortroe, totalling a population of 7, made up of 4 males and 3 females. 3 out offices were also recorded.

House 1 – Burke – There were 7 people living in this household, all members of the Burke family. John Burke was aged 65, employed as a farmer and army pensioner, and the head of the family. Her wife was named Catherine Burke and aged 57. Together, they lived with their 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. Their sons were John (30), Richard (21) and Edward (20). They were all listed on the census as being the Farmer’s son. Their daughters were Kate (16), the farmers daughter, as well as Margaret (14), who was listed on the census as a scholar. Everyone in the household could speak Irish and English, as well as being able to read and write. In their private dwelling, there were 3 out offices, which were listed as a stable, a piggery and a barn. They occupied 3 rooms in their house, which was deemed as being 2nd class.


1911 Census

On the 1911 census, there were 4 households which were occupied, totalling a population of 21 people, 12 males and 9 females. 15 out offices were also recorded.

House 1 – Odea – 4 people were living in this house, and John Odea was the head of the family. He was 49 years old, working as a farmer. He had been married to his wife Sabrina (34) for 3 years, and they had 1 child, who was living with them. He was 2 year old Patrick Joe.  On the night of the census, there was also a visitor in the house, 27 year old Thomas Ryder, who was employed as a farmer. The entire house was born in County Galway, and all of the adults in the household could read and write, as well as speaking Irish and English. Their private dwelling had 2 out offices attached, which were listed as a stable and a cow house. The house was made from stone with a slated roof and had 3 front windows, which deemed the building to be 2nd class.

House 2 – Martyn – There were 5 people living in this residence, all members of the Martyn family. Walter Martyn was the head of the family, aged 41 and working as a farmer. He was married to his wife Mary for 7 years, at the time that the census was written. The couple had 3 children, all of whom were still alive and living in their house. Their daughters were named Mary (5) and Bridget (2). Their only son was named Michael (3). None of the children in the household were able to read or write, and only spoke English. Their house contained 4 out offices, which were a fowl house, a piggery, a stable and a cow house. They occupied 3 rooms, and their house was deemed 3rd class.

House 3 – Howley – There were 8 people living in this house. Martin Howley was the head of the family, a 65 year old farmer, who had been married to his wife for 30 years. His wife was 60 year old Mary Howley, and together they gave birth to 6 children, all of whom were still alive, and living in this household. The eldest of their children was 29 year old Martin, who was listed as a farmer. Ellie (23) had no listed occupation. Patt (22) and Michael (20) were both listed off as masons, which were construction professionals who worked with materials such as stone, concrete and tiles. Their two youngest children were Margaret (15) and John (13), who were both still in education. Only the parents of the family spoke Irish and English, with their children only speaking English. Their house had 5 out offices, including a fowl house, a barn, a piggery, a cow house and a stable. It had a slate roof with stone walls, and it was deemed 2nd class on the census.

House 4 – BurkeJohn Burke was the head of the family in the 4th house in Gortroe townland. He was a 38-year-old farmer, and had been married to his wife Marie (24) for 2 years. They didn’t have any children together and lived alongside the head of family’s brother and mother. His brother was 28-year-old Edward who was also employed as a farmer. His mother was 78-year-old Catherine, a widow with no listed occupation. Catherine was unable to read, unlike the rest of the household. All of the household spoke Irish and English, as well as being born in County Galway. Their private dwelling included 4 out offices which were a stable, a cow house, a barn and a piggery. Their family occupied 3 rooms and it was deemed 2nd class.




This page was added on 23/05/2023.

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