Translation: a place abounding in brambles
The Down Survey: The Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever detailed land survey on a national scale anywhere in the world. The survey is a cadastral survey of Ireland and was so called simply by its topographic details all laid down by admeasurement on maps. It was carried out by William Petty an English scientist in 1655 and 1656. The survey sought to measure all the land to be forfeited by the Catholic Irish, in order to facilitate it’s redistribution to merchant adventurers and English officers and soldiers in Oliver Cromwell’s army. It was to repay them and the many English politicians and adventurers who had funded Cromwell’s military campaign in Ireland.
The Down Survey name for the townland of Drishaghaun was Drissaghane. It is in the half barony of Rosse (sic), in the parish of Rosse and in County Galway. In 1641 (pre Cromwell) the owner was James Darcy, a catholic. In 1670 (post Cromwell) the land was in protestant ownership of College of Dublin. There were 1,211 plantation acres of unprofitable land; 265 plantation acres of profitable land, and this amount was forfeited.
O’Donovan’s Field Name Books 1838: John O’Donovan tells us the standard name for the townland was Drishaghaun.
Other forms of the name: Drishaghaun, Driseachán, Drishaghaun (By Surveyors Sketch Map), Driskaahaun (County Map), Drishughaun (Local), Drishughaun (Mearsman), Drishichane (Rev. Michael Heraghty P.P.) Drishahane (Tithe Ledger).
Description: The proprietor was James Gildea, Esq., Clooncormack, near Hollymount, County Mayo. The agent was Thomas Fair, Esq., Roundfort also near Hollymount. The rent was £45 per year and the County Cess of 11¼d was paid per acre for 42 acres. The soil was all mountainous with some steep heath and rough pasture and part mixed with some tillage. There were arable mountain crops of oats and potatoes; some middling and part very bad. Drishaghaun is a village with no antiquities.
Situation: It is a central townland, bounded on the north by Lough Mask and the townland of Toorloggagh, on the west by Baureewaugh and to the south by Crumlin East. It is bounded on the west and on the east by Boohaun. It is in the barony of Ross and is in County Galway.
Griffith’s Valuation 1849: Drishaghaun can be found on Ordnance Survey Sheet 27. According to Griffith’s Valuation James Gildea (sic) owned 512 acres and 19 perches of land contained in plot 1.
Plot 1: Joseph Blake was the sole occupier of 512 acres and 19 perches of land that had an annual valuation of £35 and 10 shillings. He had a herd’s house that was valued at 5 shillings. His total annual valuation of ratable property was £35 and 15 shillings and this rent was payable to James Gildea.
1901 Census: Constable Patrick McShane collected the census return for Drishaghaun in the sub district of America Hut on the 4th April 1901. There were only two houses in the townland and one was uninhabited. Ten people lived in Drishaghaun; five males and five females; all were born in County Galway and were Roman Catholic. Farming was their way of life.
No 1: Mary O’Brien (66) a widow was the head of this household and lived here with her four sons, one daughter, her daughter in law and three grandchildren. Michael (42), Denis (38), Martin (28) and Catherine (30) were not married. John (40), his wife Ellen (35) and their children Mary (3) and John (1) and Mary’s granddaughter Mary Feerick (19) were recorded here. Ellen and Mary Feerick could read and write and were bilingual; Mary senior and her family could not read and they spoke Irish only. The house was 2nd class with three windows to the front and ten members occupied three rooms. There were six outbuildings on the property; a stable, two cow houses, a calf house, a piggery and a barn.
No 2: Was listed as an uninhabited dwelling. Michael Gibbons was the name of the landholder where the house was situated.
1911 Census: Constable Patrick Breheny (sic) enumerated the census for Drishaghaun in the electoral district of Cong on the 15th of April 1911. Four houses were inhabited; three had perishable roofs that were presumably thatch, one had a slate roof and all were 2nd class dwellings. Sixteen people resided in the townland; ten males and six females. Farming was the main occupation.
(Denis O’Brien in No3 and Martin O’Brien in No 4 were most likely resident in No 1 in 1901; if so, there are age differences in the records).
Ten years on, the census was expanded to include the following: Particulars as to Marriage / completed years the present marriage has lasted / children born alive to present marriage and children still living.
No 1: John O’Brien (57) and his wife Ellen (49) born in County Mayo, were married for fourteen years and they had three children, two were still living. Mary (13) and John (11) were scholars. John’s brother Michael (60), a single man was a farm labourer. John and his brother could not read and they spoke Irish only. His wife and children could read and write; mother and daughter were bilingual while young John spoke Irish only. The house was 2nd class with two windows in front and five people occupied three rooms. They had a stable, a cow house and a calf house on the property.
No 2: John Gibbons (36) was married to Julia (23) for five years and they had three children; Mary (4), Pat (2) and John (1) year old. Farming was their livelihood. Michael Carney (38) a single man was a boarder with the family and he was a farm labourer. John and his wife could read and write, their four year old daughter Mary was a scholar and she could read. Michael could not read and he spoke Irish only. The house was 2nd class with three windows in front and six people occupied three rooms. They had four outbuildings on the premises; a stable, a cow house, a calf house and a piggery.
No 3: Denis O’Brien (57) and his wife Mary (30) were married for five years and they had a son Michael who was (4) years old. Denis could not read and he spoke Irish only. Mary could read and write and she was bilingual. The house was 2nd class with three windows in front and the family had three rooms. They had a stable, a cow house and a barn on the premises.
No 4: Martin O’Brien (47) was married to Nora (20) who was born in County Mayo for three years. The couple did not have children in 1911. Martin could not read and he spoke Irish only; Nora could read and write and was bilingual. The house was 2nd class with three windows to the front and they had three rooms. Farming was their occupation and they had a stable, a cow house and a shed on the property.