Cornamona, Cor na Móna (leagan Gaeilge)
Meaning: Round Hill of the Bog.
According to O’Donovan’s Field Name Books 1838, the standard name of this village was Cornamona. Cor na Móna was its official name as Gaeilge. The townland had several other names too: Curnamona (Boundary Surveyors Sketch Map), Carranamona (County Map), Curnamona (Meresmen, also Local, County Cess Collector and Rev. Michael Waldron, P.P.). Some other placenames in or near the townland are Bilberry Island, Curnamona village, Curnamona Bridge and Curnamona River and Roeillaun.
The village is situate in the South side of the Parish (of Cong). It is bounded on the North by the townlands of Corrig (sic) Middle, Corrig West and on the West by Dooghta. Bounded on the South by Lough Corrib and Dooris (sic) and on the East by Dooris. It is in the Barony of Ross and in County Galway.
The Down Survey:
While this gives us no information at present on this village, we know that the neighbouring townland, Carrick West was owned by the Catholic Teige O’Flaharty in 1641 and that in 1670 it was owned by The College of Dublin (Protestant) and the Provost John Brown, also protestant. This college is now known as Trinity College Dublin. There were 444 plantation acres of unprofitable land, the same number of acres of profitable and and an equal number of acres forfeited.
O’ Donovan’s Field Names Books:
The village of Cornamona held 333 acres, 0 roods and 25 perches, according to both Donovan’s Survey (1838) and the Griffith’s Valuation (1850’s). The bulked rent according also to Griffiths was £23. 5s. payable to Sir Richard O’Donnel, Newport via his agent Alexander Clandenning, Esq., Newport.
O ‘Donovan described the soil as part light, arable, mountain. There were crops of oats and potatoes, though these were light. There was some mixed and heathy pasture together with a tract of bog. He stated that Curnamona (sic) village was small and scattered. The bridge (Curnamona Bridge) meres between this townland and Corrig (sic) West. The river was called Cornamona River (it is also known as the Dubhachta River, which flows down the mountains from Crimlin, through Dubhachta and out into Lough Corrib from the village).
Griffiths Valuation 1855:
The islands of White Goat Island, Bilberry Island and Ruaillaun belong to this village also. Griffiths told us that there were four small islands in Lough Corrib belonging to Benjamin L. Guinness of no agricultural value and that these amounted to just 3 roods and 23 perches. The immediate lessor of the whole village was B.L. Guinness except for the National School, for which rent was paid to Rev. Peter Waldron.
Parcel 1 comprised 110 acres, 2 roods and 29 perches and contained five occupiers:
Thomas Sullivan paid a rateable Annual Valuation of £3. 7s. for the land and offices, together with a further 8s. for the house.
Patrick Fitzhenry also paid £3.7s for his land and offices and a further 8s. for his house.
Thomas Walsh also paid £3.7s for his land and offices, though his house exacted an annual rate of 5s.
Myles Varley, on the other hand paid £5.1s. for the offices and land and a further 7s. for the building.
John Molloy held less land under tenancy and his rateable annual valuation was just £1. 15s, although his building was at a rate of 10s. annually.
The total acreage these families occupied was 110 acres, 2 roods and 20 perches.
The National School was owned by the Reverend Peter Waldron and the annual valuation for the property was £1. 10s. 0d.
Plot numbered 2 was occupied by two families:
Martin Sullivan’s rent was £2. 0. 0. for the land and £0.15s. for the house and outbuildings/offices.
William Berney (sic) paid £2. 8s. 0d. for his acreage and £0. 7s. 0d. for his house and offices.
These two occupiers of plot 2 farmed an acreage of 56 acres, 0 roods and 26 perches. The rents were paid to Benjamin L. Guinness, or his agent. Attached also to this plot we have a building “c”, Church Education Society’s school, on which the annual rate of £1. 0s. 0d. was levied by and paid to Guinness also.
Plot numbered 3 was an area of 166 acres, 3 roods and 38 perches, described as bog, pasture and the annual rent of £2. 0s. 0d. was paid in fee by Guinness.
This census indicates that there were 12 buildings in this village, two of which were the National School and the Roman Catholic Chapel, both of which were unoccupied. The RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) Hut housed 4 officers. Of the 52 persons resident in this village, there were 10 families, with 22 males and 30 females, according to the Form N – Enumerator’s Abstract for a Townland. Form B.2. (Return of Out-Offices and Farm-Steadings) indicates that there were 5 stables, 8 cow houses, 1 calf house, 4 piggeries, 1 barn and 1 forge. Unless otherwise stated, all were born in County Galway and all were Roman Catholic.
Stephen A. Molloy (house 1), a farmer and his wife Honora, aged 41 and 31 respectively, had three children at the time: Patrick aged 9; Mary aged 6 and the infant Anne who was 4 months. All except the baby could read and write and spoke both Irish and English. Stephen’s father John, a widower, resided with the family and could also read and write and speak both Irish and English. John was 87 years old in 1901 (Born therefore in 1814, and it is extraordinary that he spoke both languages and could read and write). They were all Roman Catholic and were all born in County Galway. The house is described as a private dwelling and was listed as 2nd class. There were four rooms with six residents. They had a stable, a cow house and a piggery.
Margaret Jennings was listed as the occupant of building number 2 in this Census. Margaret, aged 60, was a widow, with no occupation. She was unable to read and spoke only Irish. Her two children, Bridget, aged 17 and Mary, aged 14 were both able to read and write and spoke both Irish and English. They were all born in County Galway and were all Roman Catholic. Her home was classed in the 4th class category and all three family members lived in the one room. There were no sheds or outhouses. Margaret’s landlord was Stephen Molloy.
The family of John Sullivan, a farmer and widower aged 50 years lived in house number 3. They were all Church of Ireland. John could read and write and spoke both Irish and English, as did his family: Michael was 21 years and Thomas 19 years, his only daughter Mary was 15 years old. At the time of the Census John’s sister Bridget Rae was at the residence, Bridget could read and write and spoke both Irish and English. She was 52 years old. John’s residence was 3rd class and included a stable and a cow house. There were two rooms for the five residents.
Thomas and Bridget Walsh were listed as dwelling in house number 4. Thomas, aged 80 was a farmer and blacksmith. He was unable to read and write and spoke only Irish. Bridget, also 80, could neither read nor write and spoke Irish. Their daughter Mary a spinster, aged 40 was similarly challenged with literacy and also spoke only Irish. Another daughter, Maggie, aged 30 was married and spoke English and Irish and could both read and write. A grandson, Stephen aged 20, not married, could not read or write and spoke only Irish. Mary Fitzhenry, aged 17, listed as a grand-daughter could read and write and spoke English and Irish. The dwelling place was a one room, one window house, 3rd class, with a cowhouse and a forge.
House number 5 was the dwelling place of Mary Fitzhenry and her family. Mary was 60 years old, a widow and a farmer. She could neither read or write and spoke only Irish. Her son John and his wife Mary, both aged 30, resided with her and could both read and write, and both spoke both Irish and English. Mary’s three grandchildren also lived in this 3rd class house. Six persons were living in three rooms. They were Patrick, aged 5, Bridget aged 4 and the infant Mary aged 1 year. The children couldn’t read or write, though they spoke both Irish and English. It is likely that the children had not yet attended school. The handwriting on the census form, indicates that it may have been filled in by either her son John or his wife Mary, as this handwriting differs from that of the Enumerator, William Ruane, Constable. Mary’s “X” is witnessed by the same hand that filled in the census.
Patrick Burke and his wife Catherine lived in house number 6. Patrick was 60 years old and Catherine was 58. Their 3 children, Sarah, aged 19, Mark, aged 17 and Honor, aged 15 resided with them and while the parents could neither read nor write, the children could. All members of the family spoke Irish and English. Theirs was a 3rd class house, with two rooms. Their only outhouse was a cow shed.
The Varilly family lived in house number 7. This building is now “Tí Mháille” in the village of Corr na Móna. Mary Varilly, head of the family, was a farmer and publican. Mary was 40 years old at the time of the census. She lived with her three children, Mary aged 18; Myles aged 16 and Bridget aged 15. They could all read and write and all spoke both Irish and English. At the time of the census, Bridget Lowery, a niece aged 7 who could also read and write, was resident in the house. Their farm servant, William Laffey was 30 years old, could not read nor write, but also spoke both Irish and English. William was 30 years old, not married. The house was 2nd class, with 7 rooms for the six occupants. There were extensive out-buildings attached to this residence: a stable; a cow house; a calf house; a piggery and a barn.
The lone occupant of house number 8 was Jane Sullivan, aged 67, a widow. Jane could both read and write and spoke both Irish and English. She listed her occupation as Postmistress and Farmer. She was Church of Ireland and was born in County Mayo. Jane had three outbuildings: a stable; a cow house and a piggery. Hers was a 2nd class house with three rooms.
House number 9 was the residence of John and Elizabeth Lowry, aged 45 and 30 respectively. They lived with their 7 children: Mary L. aged 10; Lizzie M. aged 9; Delia A. aged 7; Patrick L aged 6; Michael L aged 3; Catherine A aged 1 and James M. aged 2 months. Their General Servant & Domestic, Bridget Coyne lived with them. Bridget was 16 years old. They could all read and write too and all spoke Irish and English, except for the five youngest children, although Delia and Patrick could read and only spoke English. Theirs was a 2nd class house with 4 rooms for the 10 occupants. Their property also had a stable and a cow house and the return lists Jane Sullivan as landlord of this property.
The Royal Irish Constabulary Hut housed 3 Constables and 1 Acting Sergeant. The names of these officers are not given, just the initials. However, we can deduct from the persons signing the numerous census forms that we had: John Lennon, Acting Sergeant, aged 41, not married and from County Monaghan; William Ruane, a Constable, aged 26 also not married and from County Galway. Constable Ruane it seems was responsible for much of the paper work relating to this census in this particular village. The other two constables were J.B. aged 30, from County Westmeath and E.M. aged 23 from County Down. Each of these men was Roman Catholic, not married and they could all read and write. The hut was on the lands of Jane Sullivan.
Census 1911: Ten years later the census questions were expanded to include the following: Particulars as to Marriage (which included – Completed years the present marriage has lasted; Children born alive to present marriage; total children born alive to this marriage and children still living); If Deaf and Dumb; Dumb only; Blind; Imbecile or Idiot; Lunatic; and the enumerator’s numbering for the houses of the families in Corr na Móna were altered from those of the 1901 Census.
The Stephen Molloy household was now numbered 3. Stephen was 53 and Honora was 42. Patrick was 19 and Mary 16, Anne Maria was now 10. Michael, the youngest was 5 and reportedly could read and write and spoke both English and Irish. Grandfather John had obviously passed away. The marriage had lasted 21 years and while 10 children had been born of the marriage, only 4 had survived. The house was listed 2nd class, and had a cow house, a piggery and a barn. They had a lodger at this point though, Madge Deuny Sheridan from County Donegal, single and a lace instructress, also Roman Catholic. Madge was 24 and could read and write, but she spoke no Irish. It might be interesting to find out what part of Donegal she came from, in 1911, or indeed in 1901, in that she spoke no Irish. More research needs to be done, and indeed will be done, on the Lace School.
The Jennings family are not recorded in this latter census.
John O’Sullivan, formerly in house number 3 in the Census of 1901 and was now listed in house number 9, and was recorded as John Sullivan. John’s family recorded that they were Church of Ireland in 1901, they now recorded their religion as Protestant Episcopalian. John, aged 76 was widowed and by 1911 living with his sister Bridget Rea, aged 82, also widowed. They could read and write and spoke both Irish and English. John’s son Thomas H was aged 28 and was married less than one year to Mary O’Sullivan, a Roman Catholic, also aged 28 and born in County Kerry. John’s house was 2nd class, had a cow house and a piggery.
The Thomas Walsh family, formerly in house numbered 4 of the 1901 census were not recorded in 1911.
Mary Fitzhenry’s house number was now recorded as number 8, formerly numbered 5. Mary’s age was recorded as 80 years, although she was just 60 in the previous census. Mary still could not read and spoke only Irish. Her son, John stated that his age was 50 (though 10 years earlier it was 30), and his wife Mary was now 38 years old. John could not read though he claimed he could do so in the previous census. Their marriage had lasted 16 years and of the 8 children born alive to the present marriage, 7 were still living. Their children, Pat, now 16, Mary 12, Michael 10, Kathleen 7, Thomas 5, Maggie 3 and baby Annie aged 6months. Clearly Bridget who was 4 years old in the 1901 census may have died in the meantime. All of the children, except for the youngest three could read and write and spoke Irish and English. The 3 year old Maggie was recorded as speaking English only. The dwelling place was still 2nd class with a cow barn, a piggery and a fowl house. This latter was clearly a new addition. Once again, Mary put her mark to the census return which was witnessed by Constable Thomas Fallon.
Patrick Burke’s family, formerly of number 6, was resident in house number 2. His age was 73 and that of his wife Catherine, 75. Neither read or wrote and spoke both Irish and English. In the census of 1901, Patrick was 60 and Catherine was 58. The only child resident with them was John, aged 33, who could read and write and spoke both English and Irish. The marriage lasted 40 years and of the 8 children born to that marriage, 7 survived. They still had a cow house and a piggery and lived in a 2nd class house. The census form was clearly filled out by the witnessing Constable Thomas Fallon, as is indicated by the handwriting.
Mary Varrilly’s family was listed as house number 1 in the 1911 census. This house was enumerated as house number 7 in the 1901 Census. Her children Mary aged 26, Myles aged 25 and Bridget aged 23 still lived with her and were none of them married. Her niece, Bridget Lowery, aged 16 by now, was still resident with the family. Their servant, John Varrilly was aged 72. All were able to read and write and spoke both English and Irish. Form B2 – Return of out-offices and farm-steadings – record an expansion on the 1901 Census. They had by now a stable, a coach house, cow house, calf house, piggery, barn and a store. It was still a 2nd class house.
Jane Sullivan’s census return does not appear in 1911. She had been the Postmistress in 1901.
Charles O’Sullivan was now the Postmaster in Corr Na Móna, in the house now numbered 4. Charles was 58 years old and his wife Jane was 46. There were 8 children resident with them. William, 21, a motor mechanic was born in County Clare, as was Margaret, aged 19 who was assisting in the Post Office. Thomas, aged 17 who was assisting on the farm was born in County Cork. Charles, aged 15, a scholar was born in County Kerry and so was Michael, aged 14. The three younger children, Bernard, aged 6, Violet aged 3 and the infant Ivy Matilda, 4 months old were all born in County Galway. Charles religion was Church of Ireland, Episcopal as were all of his children. His wife Jane was Presbyterian, and she was born in Londonderry. They had been married for 23 years and of the 13 children born to them, 10 were still alive. Charles was a Pensioner from the Royal Irish Constabulary and lists his other occupations as Postmaster and Farmer. He was born in County Galway.
John and Eliza Lowrey were recorded as being resident in house numbered 5, formerly house number 9. It is interesting to note the different spelling of their name in this census return. Their daughter Delia Agnes was by now 17 years old. Patrick J was 15, Michael J was 12 and Kathleen Ann was 11. In the 1901 Census return for this family, this daughter was called Catherine A. Their twin sons, Peter Thomas and Edward Francis were both 4 years old. The marriage has survived 22 years and all 11 of the children born alive were still living. Their outhouses were now a cow house and a piggery and the house was still 2nd class. Rents were paid to Lord Ardilaun.
Honora Quigley was resident in house numbered 6. She was 65 years old, widowed and an ex National Teacher. Her daughter Elizabeth lived with her and was 26 years of age. Elizabeth was now the National Teacher. On the day of the return, 2nd April 1911, Mary Josephine Beamish was visiting the family. Mary Josephine was 27 years old, an unemployed National Teacher, a Roman Catholic and born in County Cork. Theirs was a 2nd class house. Honora retired in 1905 and Lizzie was then appointed Principal of the National School. Honora’s husband Thomas Quigley had been principal in Corr na Móna National School at the time of his death in 1893. Rent was paid to Lord Ardilaun.
Reverend Peter Curran C.C. lived in house number 7, with his 18 year old servant, Bridget Curran. Peter was aged 36 and was born in County Mayo, Bridget was born in County Galway. His house was 2nd class with three outbuildings; a cow house, a piggery and a fowl house.
House numbered 10 was the residence of Margaret Fitzhenry (60 years) and her son Stephen Walsh aged 10. Margaret was a widow and a farmer, could read and write. Her son Stephen could not read. Theirs was a 2nd class house with a cow house and a piggery.
The Royal Irish Constabulary hut housed 4 officers. The Sergeant was J. Shanley, a 48 year old widower from County Leitrim. Constable Thomas Fallon, it seems, was the person whose signature we find on each of the returns. Thomas was 25, a farmer’s son from County Roscommon. Constable T.C. was 22 years old, also a farmer’s son from County Roscommon and Constable RWG.H. was 20 years old, Church of Ireland, son of a postman, born in County Cavan. The other three men were Roman Catholic. Their rents were paid to Charles Sullivan.
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