Translation: abounding in pebbles or sandy places
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 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.
There is no Down Survey information available for Griggins.
O’Donovan’s Field Name Books 1838: The name for this townland is Griggins and the Irish form of the name is Grigaoinacha that translates as abounding in pebbles or sandy places.
Other forms of the name: Griggins, Grigaoinacha, Griogaonacha, Greggins (Boundary Surveyors Sketch Map), Griggins (County Cess Collector), Grigeenagha (Local), Griggins (Rev. Michael Heraty P.P.), Griggins (Tithe Ledger).
Description: The proprietor was Sir Richard O’Donnell, Esq., Newport, and the agents were Alexander Clandenning, Esq., Wesport and Alexander Lambert, Ballinrobe. The land was all held under lease by tenants. The rent was £87.13.10 per year. The soil was all mountainous; part steep green and mixed pasture with some arable at the valley, also a little tillage. The crops were middling. The Co. Cess of 11¼d was paid per acre for 81 acres.
A bridge conveying a mountain stream running between Griggins and Kilmilkin forms the boundary between these townlands.
Lugree / Log Righ meaning hollow of the Kings is described as a village situated in Griggins.
Situation: It is a central townland; bounded on the north by the townland of Gowlaun, west by Muntierowen East, Lee and Derreen, south by Derreen and Kelmilkin and on the east by Breenaun, Cammanagh and Currareevaugh. It is in the barony of Ross and is in County Galway.
(Ordnance Survey Sheet 12 & 25).
According to Griffith’s Valuation 1849, Griggins had an area of 1,513 acres and one rood. The land value at the time was £67.4.2.
Benjamin L. Guinness was the landlord and he had 1,513 acres, 2 roods and 32 perches of land leased out in five plots; the rent was paid to him unless otherwise stated. Plot 5 was sublet between two tenants.
Plot 1: John King had a herd’s house, offices and land. He had a large holding that contained 734 acres and 2 roods of land with an annual valuation of £30; the buildings had an annual valuation of 10 shillings. His total annual rent was £30 and 10 shillings.
Plot 2: Denis Kane had a house and land leased from John King. His portion of land measured 6 acres, 2 roods and 32 perches and it had an annual valuation of £1 and 10 shillings; the house was valued at 5 shillings. His total annual valuation was £1 and 15 shillings and this was payable to John King.
Plot 3: Michael Lally had a house, office and land. He had 131 acres and 4 perches of land that had an annual valuation of £14; the buildings were valued at £1 and 10 shillings. His total annual rent was £15 and 10 shillings.
Plot 4: Patrick Joyce had a herd’s house and land. He had 116 acres, 3 roods and 17 perches of land that had an annual valuation of £14; the buildings were valued at 10 shillings. His total annual rent was £14 and 10 shillings.
Plot 5: contained 524 acres, 2 roods and 19 perches of land (mountain). This was held in equal shares between Michael Lally and Patrick Joyce and each paid an annual rent of £8 and 10 shillings each for their entitlement.
Constable John Phelan collected the census return for Griggins in the electoral district of Letterbrickaun on the 3rd April 1901. There were three dwellings here at the time; two were 2nd class and one was 3rd class with a perishable roof that was presumably thatch. There were sixteen inhabitants; ten males and six females. All were Roman Catholic and were born in Co. Galway.
No1: John Joyce (63) a farmer, his wife Cecelia (56) and their four children lived here. Ellen (24) was a farmer’s daughter; Michael (23), Paul (18) and Thomas (16) were farmer’s sons. John’s two nieces; Anne Joyce (19) and Julia Joyce (3) and Peter Joyce (18) who was a farm servant were also recorded on the census return. Peter could not read; the rest of the household could read and write and all but Julia were bilingual. The house was 2nd class with five windows to the front and nine people occupied seven rooms. The four outbuildings contained a stable, a cow house, a calf house and a piggery.
No 2: Bridget Joyce (50) a shepherdess was a widow. Her sons Michael (26) and Martin (18) were shepherds. Bridget could not read while her sons could read and write and all spoke Irish and English. The house was 2nd class with two windows in front and the mother and her sons occupied three rooms. They had a piggery on the holding.
No 3: Stephen Joyce (29), his wife Mary (26) and their sons Stephen (4) and Patrick (1) were resident here. Stephen was a shepherd and he could not read; Mary could read and write and both were bilingual. The house was 3rd class with two windows in front and the couple and their children occupied two rooms. They had a piggery on the premises. Lord Ardilaun was the name of the landholder where the house was situated.
Constable Patrick Henaghan the enumerator collected the census return for Griggins on the 13th of April 1911. There were three houses in Griggins at the time; one 1st class; one 2nd class and one 3rd class dwelling, two had perishable roofs that were most likely thatch. Eighteen people resided here; eleven males and seven females. All were Roman Catholic. 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.
No1: Stephen Joyce (36) a shepherd was married to Mary (36) for fifteen years and they had seven children; six were still living. Stephen (14), Patrick (11), Mary (8) and John (6) were scholars; Walter was (4) and the infant Bridget (7) months old. The parents and scholars from age eight upwards could read and write; the parents and two eldest sons were bilingual. This may indicate that English was the language of the home. The house was 3rd class with two windows in front and the family of eight occupied three rooms. They had a cow house on the holding.
No 2: Bartley Keane (69) a shepherd and his wife Anne (73) were married for forty-four years and they had eight children. Michael (27) an agricultural labourer is the only one present in 1911. None could read; all were bilingual. The house was 2nd class with three windows in front and three people occupied five rooms. They had a cow house and a calf house on the premises.
No 3: John Joyce (75) was a magistrate and a farmer. He was married to Cecelia (68) for nineteen years. On the census return, under the column heading ‘children born alive’ was written “None’. However, Tobias Paul (29) a petty sessions clerk and Thomas (27) a farmer’s son are listed. John’s granddaughter, Margaret Begley (19) born in Co. Mayo had no occupation listed; Bridget Malley (78) was a widow and a domestic servant; James Heraty (sic) (21) was a general servant and all were occupants of this house. John, Cecelia and their family could read and write; Bridget and James could read; all but Margaret spoke Irish and English. The house was 1st class with six windows in front and seven people occupied nine rooms. There was a variety of out offices on the property; a stable, a coach house, a cow house, a calf house, a dairy, a piggery and a fowl house.
John Joyce of Griggins was the name of the landholder where all three houses were situated.