Had Not seen entries for  dancing before maybe an early intimation of Riverdance.

One of those who features is the Rev. Cyril Du Cros and his wife.  He died 1965 aged 84, a graduate of TCD, Rector of Dunmanway early 1950s.  The name looks Huguenot, his father was a physician born in Co. Clare.

From a Canadian Durrus descendant:

“These agricultural records catch information like: farm names and addresses, products being grown, hand crafts, home skills and their value to daily living. 

How I wish I could slip into the crowd, see the prize-winning turnips and brown soda bread, maybe pick up a heritage knit pair of socks if there were any for sale.  

History is fed by the little details- these agricultural show booklets  capture home, farm, and community life for 170 years. 

It made me realize how many skills that were put on display actually allowed my ancestors to survive. 

They had to leave their homeland  for Canada, America, Australia and whatever places they could go. Refugees from the times of famine, disease, political upheavals brought few possessions with them. 

But those who could make, and grow, and cook, and spin the kinds of things on display at shows had an arsenal of skills to keep them alive. To allow them to flourish.  

I used to think that some of the early shanties and shelters must have been pretty bleak. And many of them were for a time. But immigrants who could fashion and grow these types of goods from a bit of land and some shared resources could also grow  sustainable communities. No wonder the snapshots early censuses give reflect huge transformations in such a few decades. Ten years from shanty to farmhouse, crops livestock. Another decade and the children are  families living on a nearby plot of land. 

I was sure that my Irish ancestors were farming people when I first started researching. 

All I had on paper were some names, dates and “ from Skibbereen” The last dozen years have produced data, and also enough neighbouring connections to provide evidences of just where some of them came from, despite their being limited paper documentation in the Irish archives.