Caher – Cathair – A Stone Fort – An Chathair

The standard name given in the Ordnance Survey Name Books was Caher; the Irish form was Cathair, meaning a stone fort.  George D.H. Kirkaldy and Rev. Francis Coghlan both used this form of the name.  Its current official name is An Chathair.


The townland of Caher lies between Ardane, Hearnesbrook Demesne, Killimor and Boleybeg, Ballycahill and Cloonconabeg, and Clooncona.  It contained one house, a fir plantation on its west side, several trees, hedgerows and all arable land.

Census 1841, 1851

According to the census statistics the townland contained no house or population in 1841 or 1851.

Griffith’s Valuation 1855

The acreage as given in Griffith’s Valuation was fifty eight acres, one rood and twelve perches, and the townland contained one house, owned by George D.H. Kirkaldy and leased to John Kelly with a small amount of land, while George D.H. Kirkaldy retained fifty four acres, three roods and nine perches for himself.

Census 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891

It should be noted that there was still one house in the townland in 1861, occupied by six people, but the census statistics of 1871, 1881 and 1891 do not indicate the presence of any people or houses in the townland.

1901 Census

Messrs Hunter and McKoy (McCoy) of Hearnsbrook were recorded as the landholders in the 1901 census, and Michael Kelly and his family of eight occupied the house.

Michael Kelly

Michael Kelly is listed in Form A in the 1901 census as head of family in the townland of Caher.  He was a 48 year old agricultural labourer and married to Mary who was 37.  Neither person could read.  They had 6 children and 4 were scholars.  The scholars were: Patrick aged 15, who could read and write, Mary aged 13, could also read and write, Annie aged 7, could read and Maggie aged 5, could not read.  Their 2 younger children were Thomas aged 3 and Michael was 4.

Form B 1 – House and Building Return shows Hunter & McKoy of Hearnsbrook were the landholders on whose land Michael Kelly’s 3rd class private dwelling was built.  The walls were of stone/brick or concrete and the roof was thatch or wood.  It had 2 front windows and they occupied 2 rooms.

Form B 1 – Return of Out-Offices and Farm-Steadings shows their only out-office was a fowl house.

The census form was collected on 8th April.  Michael Kelly’s mark x was witnessed by Constable, Michael Mulligan, who was also the Enumerator.

1911 Census

Michael Kelly

Form A of the census return shows that 6 members of the Kelly family resided in Caher in 1911.  Head of family was Michael Kelly a 60 year old farm labourer.  He was married for 26 years to Mary and had 7 living children.  Their daughters, Annie, aged 17, Margaret, aged 15, sons Thomas, aged 13 and Michael, aged 11 were scholars.  They all could read and write and all spoke Irish and English.  The family were Roman Catholic and were all born in Co. Galway.

Form B 1 shows that Messrs. Hunter & McCoy were the landholders on whose land their 3rd class private dwelling was built.  The walls were of stone/brick or concrete and the roof was thatch or wood.  It had 2 front windows and the family occupied 3 rooms.

Form B 2 shows they had 1 out-office: a piggery.

Michael signed the census form and it was collected on 11th April.  William Pender, Constable, was the Enumerator.

This page was added on 16/02/2017.

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