Townlands of Kilcrohane, West Cork.

Townlands of Kilcrohane, West Cork.




Deeds, Rent Charges, Durrus, Bantry, from early 18th Century.

Deeds, Rent Charges, Durrus, Bantry, from early 18th Century.

This is only scratching the surface but gives an indication of the information contained in property deeds. Often leases for example are for three lives so the tenant, his youngest son and another young child often related.  Also locations townland given.

A feature which will surprise many is the emergence in the late 18th and early 19th century of local substantial Protestant and Catholic tenant farmer and merchants who lend to local landlord families who are often virtually penniless.  This is probably connected with the boom of the Napoleonic Wars.

Many of the property transactions of the White/Bantry estate are in the Boole Library of UCC or in the National Archives in Dublin.

The Kenmare Estate extends as far as Newtown in Bantry and many transactions are contained in its records which are available online free at the Irish Manuscripts Commission website under digital editions.

Many of the smaller local estates were sold in the 1850s under the Landed Estates Courts. They were later acquired by the Irish Land Commission. This was one of the world’s largest mass legal property transfers. They have 8 million records of these and other estates in a warehouse in Portlaoise.  At present there is no public access to these records. Among these records are a lot of pre 1707 land records (when the Registry of Deeds was established).

The Bandon Estate recovered the Durrus lands from the Evansons c1850 and detailed records of the estate are at the Cork Archives but not catalogued in detail.

A lot of the deeds referred to here have been transcribed by volunteers at the Registry of Deeds Project.  One of the main workers in this area is Ron Price of Belfast.  He is a descendant of the marriage of Michael Sullivan/O’Sullivan (Hurrig) and Mary Vickery of Whiddy Island in 1777.  This is the Tedagh branch of the O’Sullivans

(McLysaght Analecta Hibernia, No. 14, 1944, Transcriptions, Conor Papers, Manch, Kinsale Corporation from 1594.)


Deeds, Rent Charges, Durrus, Bantry, from early 18th Century.





Summer White House of President William Howard Taft, Beverly, Massachusetts (owned by Robert Dawson Evans, son of Captain John Evans of Brahalish, Durrus, West Cork).

Summer White House of President William Howard Taft, Beverly, Massachusetts (owned by Robert Dawson Evans, son of Captain John Evans of Brahalish, Durrus, West Cork).


Courtesy Peter Murphy



Durrus  Townlands, Brahalish to left:



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Frank Croston 1852-1921, Probably born Reenaccapall. Parish of Kilcrohane, West Cork, Major Real Estate Developer of High Quality Commercial and Residential Property, Rochester, New York, Republican Party Activist. Varian Brush Making Family Possible Origin, Rooska, Bantry.

Robert D. Evans, owner and former occupant of the estate at Beverly on which president Taft and family are passing the summer, died at 10:30 last evening at the Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital, as a result of complications involving an internal trouble, supplemented by two broken ribs, due to a fall from his horse last Thursday. Mrs. Evans and her sister Miss A. W. Hunt were present when he breathed his last.
Mr. Evans did not realize the seriousness of his condition till three days after his fall from his horse. On Sunday, the doctors decided that an operation for colotomy was necessary, and he was taken to the hospital, where the operation was performed immediately upon his arrival. The operation took 45 minutes. The patient recovered satisfactorily from the anesthetic, but the doctors thought both Monday and Tuesday that the chances were against his recovery.
President Taft was unaware that Mr. Evans, his landlord, was ill until he arrived at Beverly, Sunday, and he was greatly surprised, and upon hearing that the patient was in the hospital, he at once sent his aide, Capt. Butt, to convey his sympathy to Mrs. Evans, and to tell her he hoped for a speedy recovery for her husband.
Robert D. Evans, millionaire, captain of industry, art connoisseur and owner of Stetson Cottage at Beverly, which President Taft is now occupying, was born about 60 years ago in St. John N. B. When very young, however he came with his family to Boston, where he has lived ever since.
Entering business at the bottom rung of the ladder, a clerk of the Eagle Rubber Company, he learned the business when it was in its infancy, and in a few years started out for himself in the firm of Clapp, Evans & Co.
His first ventures meeting with great success he took a leading part in the organization of the American Rubber Company and became its largest stockholder. When that Corporation in turn was absorbed by the United States Rubber Company he was made the latter company’s president, and to him is due much of its great and constant success.
Meanwhile, as if the confines of one great industry were too limited for his powers, he became interested in mining, and in 1899, having amassed a large fortune, he reorganized the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company, and became its president. And only a few months ago he made a spectacular retirement from his position in the company, after a long fight with its controlling management, selling 100,000 shares of its stock for the lump sum of.
Shortly after entering into these mining ventures he turned his attention also to gold dredging, the great possibilities of which he saw and became one of the principles in the [Y]uba Dredging Company, the largest concern of its kind in the world.
Two years ago he was unanimously elected trustee of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, a fitting tribute to his own great interest in art of every kind. In his beautiful home at the corner of Commonwealth Ave. and Gloucester St. is one of the finest private art collections in Boston.
The house is filled with works of masters of various schools with particular prominence given to Sir Joshua Reynolds, Romney, Nattier, Sir Thomas Lawrence and other painters of beautiful women. A gem of his collection is the splendid painting made about 1637 by Van Dyke of Beatrice de Cusance, Princess de Cante-Croix, Duchess of Lorraine, a portrait made familiar by many reproductions.
The drawing room of the house contains many masterpieces of the more modern schools, notably the famous “Carthage” of Turner, in which it is said the artist wish to be buried considering it his masterpiece. Another Turner, two Corots, three Mauves, and others of the Barbizon school by Daubigny and Millet, hanging alongside works of Alma Tadema, Constable, Diaz, Cazin, Innes and many other illustrious artists.
The halls, hung with rare tapestries, contains still other pictures, among them a fine Perugino, secured recently from Italy, and a painting by Puvis de Chavannes made before he began mural decoration.
In addition to his Boston home Mr. Evans owns large estates in Beverly, and it was as his tenant that President Taft came to occupy the Stetson Cottage for the summer.





Irish in Durrus 1930s from Seosamh Ó Drisceoil (Joe O’Driscoll) N.T. (National Teacher) and others

It is sometime said that in the 19th century people in areas such as West Cork continued to speak Irish but through the medium of the English Language.  Sentence structure, idiom, syntax, accent and words sound alien to speakers of English from England or the USA. To a limited extent this is still true.


Many of the words listed are peppered through ordinary conversation and people are unaware of their origin.

McCarthy Genealogy: From Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation by John O’Hart

West Cork History

McCarthy Genealogy: From Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation by John O’Hart

« MacBrody | Book Contents | MacCarthy Reagh (No.2) »
Line of Heber | Heber Genealogies
Arms: A stag trippant, attired and unguled or. Crest: A dexter arm in armour ppr. cuffed ar. erect and couped at the wrist, holding in the hand a lizard, both also ppr. Supporters: Two angels ppr. vested ar. habited gu. winged or, each holding in the exterior hand a shield, thereon a human head affronted erased. Motto: Forti et fideli nihil difficile.
FAILBHE FLANN, son of Aodh Dubh, who is No. 94 on the “Line of Heber” (ante), was the ancestor of “MacCarthy Mór.” From him the pedigree of the family is as follows:
95. Failbhe Flann (d. A.D. 633): son of Aodh Dubh; was the 16th Christian King of Munster, and reigned 40…

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1821, 1848.  Antiquarian Queries, to John Windele, Cork, from William M. O’Hea, Castle Salem,  (Rosscarbery), Lady Bernard, Zachariah C. Hawkes, antiquarian and farmer, of Moneens, Bandon, Roger Downing, Bantry

1821, 1848.  Antiquarian Queries, to John Windele, Cork, from William M. O’Hea, Castle Salem,  (Rosscarbery), Lady Bernard, Zachariah C. Hawkes, [antiquarian and farmer, of Moneens, Bandon.

The Royal Irish Academy have a manuscript collection of John Windele’s correspondence almost 4,000 items. Many relate to Ogham Stones,Round Towers, Ancient Remains but also of legal nature, he ran the Sheriff’s Office in Cork. He had a wide range of correspondents including Robert McAdam, of Belfast founder of the Sirocco Works. He alos features in another collection in the RIA that of the Rev. Graves in letters to and from Dr. John O’Donovan.


Roger Downing

Proposing Resolution Bantry Catholic Meeting 1826.  1826, as Roger R. Downing, Gent with Paul John Kingston, Gent, witness to Clerk/Young deed. Slater 1846 Tobacco Manufacturer, Main St.  Described as wily Kerryman. Brother of Timothy McCarthy Downing, born Kenmare, Skibbereen Solicitor, MP. and landowner. The discovery of this object (The Brahalish Brooch) was first reported to John Windele by one of   He reported the find of the Brahalish Hoard in Durrus to John Windle 1843. In a letter dated 4 January 1843, he states ‘You have at top, the size of the piece of Gold found at Brahalish, 4 Mile Water, it weighs 3⅝ ozs avoirdupois Wt. both ends are in the form of a Cup; with a narrow Carving inside of the edges, the outside of the ends, and the greater part if not the entire of the handle are carved as above;You will perceive by the Size and Wt. of the article that it is not Solid, the oining being visible on the inside of the handle, it appears to be of thepurest gold; I need not say that the finder sets a great value on his God Send; he says he is certain of finding more of it; that he dreamt 30 years since that there was gold hidden where he found this article. It would not astonish me, if he rooted up half his farm in search of the precious metal. If this Article lies in your way and that I can be of any assistance in purchasing it, I am at your service. Comment Windele notes that the finder’s name was Owen Sullivan (referred to as Eugene Sullivan by Roger Downing) and that the find-place was the site of an ancient fort, the article having been found under the root of a hawthorn. 1863, Bantry Quarter Sessions, Grand Jury  Windle correspondence.  Correspondence between John Windele, antiquarian, County Sheriff’s Office, Cork and Roger Downing, of Bantry, Co. Cork, concerning a prospectus for Windele‘s ‘Historical and descriptive notices of the city of Cork and its vicinity ; Gougaun-Barra, Glengariff, and Killarney’ where Downing outlines apparent omissions of sites of antiquarian interest in areas covered by Windele in his work, specifically castles in the Blackwater area. Windele thanks Downing for the information, regretting it is too late to include the sites in his work. Windele invites Downing to become a correspondent in order to continue informing him of interesting sites in Kenmare. letter, to John Windele, antiquarian, of Blair’s Castle, Sunday’s Well, Cork, from R[oger] Downing, of Bantry, Co. Cork, in which he notifies Windele of his having sent him a salmon. Letter to John Windele, antiquarian of Blairs Castle, Sunday’s Well, Cork from Roger Downing, Bantry, Co. Cork, in which Downing refers to his employment of a young painter to copy the coat of arms of O’Sullivan at Dunkerron Castle and outlines his intention to compile a list of battles associated with Ardtully castle and Ardea Castle (Beara, Co. Cork).


12 L 5/66CollectionWindele MSSTitle or Description Letter from John Windele, antiquarian, County Sheriff’s Office, Cork to Roger Downing, of Bantry, Co. Cork, asking his advice on the quickest route from Bantry to Skellig and an approximation of how long such a journey would take.AuthorWindele, John, 1801-1865.Date

3 August 1839







22:37 (19 hours ago)


Manuscripts icon Correspondence between John Windele, antiquarian, of Sunday’s Well, Cork, and Lady Catherine Bernard, Countess of Bandon, of Castle Bernard, concerning her queries regarding some of the antiquities in the Bernard collection and their exhibition at a meeting of the Cork Cuvierian Society.
Bernard, Catherine, Lady; Windele, John, 1801-1865.
14 February-22 April 1848
4 B 7/75




Manuscripts icon Copy letter, to Zachariah C. Hawkes, antiquarian, of Moneens, Bandon, Co. Cork, from John Windele, antiquarian, of Sunday’s Well, Cork, in which he refers to reports of ancient forts located in the vicinity of Killaminogue, Co. Cork.
Windele, John, 1801-1865.
20 October 1848
4 B 8/42

1843. Pre Famine Statistical Survey of Parish of Kilmurray, Co. Cork, Prepared and Present to British Association Meeting Cork 1843 by Father John Kelleher, Curate.

West Cork History

1843.  Pre Famine Statistical Survey of Parish of Kilmurray, Co. Cork, Prepared and Present to British Association Meeting Cork 1843 by Father John Kelleher, Curate.

Father Kelleher highly active with Father Quin of Durrus adn Father Barry of Bantry in anti tithe activities.  Organiser of Catholic rent and Repeal meetings.  Unusual as post ordination studied in Rome.  The likes of father Kelleher were silenced from political activity from the 1870s by Cardinal Cullen.

Colleges Attended

St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth Co Kildare, Ireland

Details Of Ordination

St. Mary’s Cathedral, Cork



Kinsale PP : 10/1853 – 19/3/1875

Dunmanway PP : 1849 – 10/1853

Goleen PP : 1848 – 1849

Cathedral CC : 1847 – 1848

Kilmurry CC : 1841 – 1847

Kinsale CC : 1839 – 1841

Kilmurry CC – 1839

Muintir Bhaire CC

Post-Graduate Studies/Irish College. Rome


He was appointed Chancellor of the newly-established Cathedral Chapter on the…

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