Gleanbeg East

An Gleann Beag Thoir

Teresa Philbin

Teresa Philbin

Translation:  the small glen or valley


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 admeasurements 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 its 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.

There is no Down Survey information for this townland.

O’Donovan’s Field Name Books 1838:   John O’Donovan tells us the standard name for the townland was Glenbeg and the Irish form of the name was An Gleann Beag and this translates as the small valley or glen.

Other forms of the name:  Glenbeg, An Gleann Beag, Glanbeg East, By Surveyors Sketch Map, Glanbeg East, County Cess Collector, Glanbeg, County Map, Glanbeg East, Local, Glanbeg East, Mearsman, Glanbeg East, Rev. Michael Heraghty, P.P. and Glanbeg East, Tithe Ledger.

Description:  The proprietor was James Gildea, Esq., Clooncormack, near Hollymount and the agent was Thomas Fair, Esquire of Roundfort.  The land was all held under lease for rent of 18 shillings per year.  A great part of the soil was steep and rough heath, some mixed towards the valley with a little arable that produced crops of oats and potatoes that were not good.  The County Assessment of 11¼ d was paid yearly for … (no acreage is given).  Glenbeg is a village with no antiquities.  There are two islands: Lauck- na-Guellugh Dhuff island, Leac na gCailleach Dubh (Flag of the Black Nuns) and Barrig Liam a phuth – island, Carraigin Uilliam a Phota (William Pott’s little rock).

Situation:  Glenbeg East is in the south east side of the parish, it is bounded on the north by Lough Mask, on the west by Glanbeg West and to the south and east by Kilbride.  It is in the barony of Ross in County Galway.

Griffith’s Valuation 1849:  Glenbeg can be found on Ordnance Survey Sheet 13; it had an area of 144 acres, 1 rood and 11 perches.  The land value at the time was £13.19.4.

James Gildea was the immediate lessor of the land that was held in three divisions by tenants bearing the same surname.  It was divided into Plot 1(a) 1(b) and 1(c)

Plot 1(a):  Michael O’Brien had a house, office and land.  The land had an annual valuation of £6 and the buildings were valued at 10 shillings.  Michael’s total annual rent was £6 and 10 shillings.

Plot 1(b):  John O’Brien had a house and land.  The land had an annual valuation of £4 and the house was valued at 5 shillings.  John’s total annual rent was £4 and 5 shillings.

Plot 1(c):  William O’Brien had a house and land.  His portion of land had an annual valuation of £2 and the house was valued at 5 shillings. William’s total annual rent was £2 and 5 shillings.

1901 Census: Glenbeg East is in the electoral division of Owenbrinn and the sub – district of Derrypark.  The census return was witnessed by Constable Martin Higgins and was collected by him on the 5th April 1901.  There was only one house in Glenbeg east at the time, a 3rd class dwelling with a perishable roof that was most likely thatch.

No 1:  Martin Joyce (50) a farmer and his wife Bridget (48) and their three sons were the occupants of this house. John (25), Pat (17) and Mark (12) had no occupation listed.  The parents and John could not read; Pat and Mark could read and write.  Bridget spoke Irish only; her husband and sons were bilingual.  The house had two windows in front and the family of five occupied two rooms.  They had three outbuildings on the holding that contained a stable, a cow house and a piggery.

Colonel H. T. Clement was the name of the landholder where this house was situated.


1911 Census:  Constable John Reilly the enumerator collected the census for Glenbeg East on the 11th April 1911. There were two houses in the townland at the time; one was 2nd class, and one was a 3rd class dwelling, both had perishable roofs that were most likely thatch.

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.  It reveals that many families experienced the loss of one or more children.

No 1:  Martin Joyce (69) and his wife Bridget (68) were married of forty-five years and they had nine children; eight still lived.  Their son Mark (26) a farmer’s son was the only one listed in this census record.  He was not married at the time.  Martin and Bridget could not read and Mark could read and write.  Bridget spoke Irish only; her husband and son were bilingual.  The house was 3rd class with two windows in front.  The couple and their son occupied three rooms.  They had a cow house and a piggery on the property.

No 2:  John Joyce (38) a farmer was married to Mary (36) for seven years and they had four children; Bridget (6), Mary (4), Kate (3) and an infant son Stephen who was (6) months old.  John and Mary were born in Co. Galway; their children were born in Co. Mayo. John could not read; Mary could read and write, and the couple and their older children spoke Irish and English.  The house was 2nd class with three windows to the front and the family of six occupied three rooms.  They had a cow house and a piggery on the holding.

This page was added on 15/12/2020.

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