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.)