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Cregganbane Glebe is a townland of just over 584 statute acres in County Armagh about a mile and a half east of Crossmaglen on the road to Newry. The Tithe Applotment Books show the area to be 215 acres and 1 rood (Plantation Irish measure). It is bounded on the north by Cregganduff, on the east by Lurgancullenboy, on the south by Cornonagh and Drumbally and on the west by Urcher. The townland contains Creggan Church and Graveyard. Creggan Bridge, above the only waterfall on the Creggan river, stands at the head of an area of woodlands, known locally as "The Lawns", through which the river runs, and now known as "Poets Glen". The former manse has been demolished. The Church stands on the edge of a rocky cliff above the river and is the resting place, in a recently discovered vault, of the last of the O'Neill clan who dominated the Fews between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. The graveyard contains memorials to two of the Gaelic Poets, Patrick Mac aLiondan and Art Mac Cooey, as well as the grave of the famous poet and outlaw Seamus Mor McMurphy. There is a very active local history society; The Creggan Local History Society.

Name of Townland

John Donaldson says that "This townland, from which the parish of Creggan takes its name, is now divided into two - the one half being laid off for the glebe. The Rector's division became better cultivated than the rest of the townland, and received the name of Creggan-ban, or white Creggan; but the remaining part, now set to tenents, is equally as rocky and uncultivable as Cregganduff, or Black Creggan, the name by which the other half of the townland is distinguished." (1)

Ordnanace Survey Name Books: Creggan Parish (2)

CREGGAN BANE GLEBE (OSNB ii 12): This td. is the Glebe of the Parish. The village of Creggan. Church, Parsonage and school are all in it. It is the handsomest spot in the parish beside the village of Creggan.. A rapid river runs thro' a glen by the church, its banks are well wooded .... ornamental clumps giving it a very gay appearance.
It contains 586..2..9 of which 61..3..22 is uncultivated and bog, and 1..0..32 water.

Griffiths Valuation records the owner of the townland as Rev. William Barlow, with the exception of 411/2 acres belonging to Rev. Alex. H. Synge and 81/2 owned by Peter Wade. Of the 56 land holdings recorded, 41 were of less than ten acres, 11 were between ten and 20 acres and four were of 20 or more acres.

Census of Ireland 1901

The Census enumerated 206 people in 48 households; a ratio of 4.3 people per household. The households occupied a total of 144 rooms; a ratio of 3 rooms per household and 0.7 people per room. One household occupied 18 rooms, one occupied 6 rooms, two occupied 5 rooms, eight occupied 4 rooms, nine occupied 3 rooms, 24 occupied 2 rooms and three occupied one room. Nineteen of the houses were thatched.

Native Irish Speakers

Of the 48 households enumerated, 12 contained at least one native Irish speaker - a total of 16 in all. Since theirs was the last generation to have been born into a predominently Irish speaking environment, their names, occupations and ages are recorded here. All were born in Co. Armagh.

  • Peter Hearty, farmer, 62
    and his wife Mary, 65
  • Michael McCann, farmer, 75
    and his wife Ellen, 70
  • Owen Hearty, farmer, 76
    and his wife Ann, 74
  • Anne Griffin, farmer, widow, 57
  • Bryan Byrne, farmer, 57
    and his sister Catherine, 69
  • Francis Campbell, farmer, 60
  • Ellen Short, farmer, 84
  • Thomas Loy, farmer, 54
  • Thomas Loye, farmer, 62
  • Bryan Hearty, farmer, 95
  • Patrick Hearty, farmer and mason, 60
* The average age of the Irish speakers was 67; oldest 95, youngest 54
* Of the group, seven could read and write, four could read only and five could neither read nor write.

Population Decline

The following table sets out the number of houses and population enumerated in the townland in each of the 11 Censuses held between 1841 and 1951.

  1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926 1937 1951
Houses 80 72 63 60 57 51 48 42 36 36 34
People 419 382 317 296 276 223 202 169 150 121 111
People per house 5.2 5.3 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.4 4.2 4.0 4.2 3.4 3.3

In the period of 110 years, the number of households redduced by 58% while the population dropped by 73.5% - almost threequarters. The population halved between 1841 and 1901 and halved again by 1951, reflecting in the first place the continuing effects of the Great Famine and later the lack of rural employment opportunities, leading to emigration.

Family Connections

My family lived briefly in the townland for just over a year in 1951 and 1952 before moving to Cregganduff. The E. Devlin listed in 1957 is my father but we had been gone from there for five years.

House and Land Holders

All the Valuations since Griffiths identified those with houses in the townland and those who while living elsewhere leased or owned land there. The Census of Ireland enumerated only households in the townland. The following table uses this approach.

Although the data is not strictly comparable since the information was gathered for different purposes and used varying criteria, the details provide a comparison of the names of house and land holders who were listed in the Townland at the different periods. While we can not discern the direct lines of descent it is clear that many are from the same families.

Census of Creggan Tithe Applotment Books Griffiths Valuation Census of Ireland First NI Revaluation Second Revaluation
1766 1828 1864 1901 1935 1957 1970
Households/Land Households Households Households Households Households
Bryan Garvy Noble Armstrong Rev William Barlow William Beattie Henry Begley Henry Begley (Michael) T.W.R. Atkins
Daniel Garvy Daniel Begley William Beattie John Begley Margaret Begley Patrick Begley Henry Begley (Michael)
James Garvy Widow Begley Briget Begley Margaret Begley Michael Byrne Reps. Henry Begley John G. Begley
Owen Garvy Bryan Burns Daniel Begley Michael Begley Peter Byrne Catherine Burke Felix Burns
Robert Garvy Felix Burns James Begley Catherine Burns Reps. Michael Campbell Peter Byrne Rev. J.J. Donnelly
Michael Herety Thomas Burns John Begley John Burns Martha Gibson Rosetta Byrne Annie Hearty
Cormick Hirety Bryan Connolly Michael Begley Owen Burns Joseph Griffin E. Devlin Francis Hearty
Daniel Hirety Hugh Duffy Thomas Burns Bryan Byrne James Hearty Rev. J.J. Donnelly Owen Hearty
James Hirety Samuel Gilmer Bryan Byrne Francis Campbell Michael Hearty Elizabeth Finnegan Owen Hearty (Neddy)
John Hirety Matthew Griffin Felix Byrne Mary Fee Owen Hearty (Kane) Joseph Griffin Patrick Hearty
Peter Hirety Bernard Hearty Peter Byrne Robert Gibson Owen Hearty (Mason) Alice Hearty Peter Hearty
Rodger McLeane Daniel Hearty Jun. John Callaghan Anne Griffin Owen Hearty (Neddy) Annie Hearty Patrick Hearty (Peter)
Bryan McShane Daniel Hearty Sen. Bridget Connolly Anne Hearty Peter Hearty Francis Hearty Peter Hearty (Mason)
Patrick Mulligan Francis Hearty James Cooke Bryan Hearty Peter Hearty (Carragher) Mary Hearty (Owen) Patrick Kelly
Daniel Murry Francis Hearty Jun. William Davitt John Hearty Peter Hearty (Mason) Patrick Hearty (Neddy) Michael Largy
Edward Murtagh Francis Hearty Sen. Anne Donnelly Mary Hearty Reps. Francis Hearty Patrick Hearty (Peter) Thomas Loy (Bridget)
John (Edward) Hearty Mary Duffy Owen Hearty Patrick Kelly Peter Hearty (Mason) John Loye
John Hearty (Bridge) Michael Griffin Owen Hearty Michael Largy T. Hoey Samuel McCullagh
Michael Hearty Rose Harvey Patrick Hearty Bridget Loy Patrick Kelly Bridget McShane
Patt Hearty Bryan Hearty Patrick Hearty Mary Loy Michael Largy Stephen McShane
Patt Hearty Edward Hearty Peter Hearty James Mallon John Loy Patrick Murray
Peter Hearty Francis Hearty Thomas Hearty Patrick Martin Thomas Loy (Bridget) Catherine Sloan
Thomas Hearty Michael Hearty Thomas Hearty Kate McArdle Thomas Lowe Elizabeth Wilkinson
Jeremiah Jeffers Owen Hearty Thomas Hughes George McCullagh Mary J. Marks Major Michael J. Wright
John Jeffers Patrick Hearty John Jeffers Mary McDermott Thomas McCormack  
Michael Kelly Patrick Hearty Richard Jeffers Thomas McGurk George McCullagh Land &c
Thomas Kelly Peter Hearty Samuel Jeffers Michael McShane James McDermott Ellen Begley
Michael Largey Bernard Hughes Alfred Wade Johnston Rev. John Molloy P. McQuillan Peter Burke
Owen Lafferty Jeremiah Jeffers Michael Kelly Alicia Murphy Stephen McShane Kevin Burns
Patt Lennan John Jeffers William Kelly Anne Murphy Annie McShane Thomas Campbell
Peter Lennan Thomas Kelly James Largey Elizabeth Murray Patrick Murray David Gilmore
Phelix Loy William Kelly Patrick Laverty James O'Hagan Rev. Maurice Noel Agnes Hearty
Patt McDaniel James Laverty John Loye   Catherine Sloan Bridget A. Hearty
Fergus McLean Michael Loy Thomas Loy Land &c Elizabeth Wilkinson Peter Hearty
John McLean Patrick Loy Thomas Loye Rose Duffy   Reps Frank Hearty
Henry McShane Thomas Loy Michael McCann David Gilmore Land &c Thomas Hearty
Thomas McShane Michael McCann Peter McCreesh Reps. Ellen Harvessy Sarah Armstrong Anne Jeffers
Patt Mulligan Fergus McClean Anne McGurk Francis Hearty Ellen Begley James Lamb
Rev N. Murphy Robert McCoy Anne McShane John Loy Patrick Begley Owen Boyle
Henry Murry Peter McDonnell Michael Mulligan Patrick Loy J. Burns Hugh Largy
Bernard Murtagh Edward McShane John Murtagh Michael Mulligan Thomas Campbell Bridget Loy
James Murtagh Hugh McShane Mary Murtagh Reps. Margaret Wright David Gilmore John Loy
John Short Patrick McShane James Murray   Agnes Hearty John Loy (Bridget)
Elizabeth Stokes Thomas McShane William Patton   Bridget A. Hearty Patrick Loy
Andrew Taffe Patrick Moley Ellen Short   Bridget Hearty Thomas Loy (Bridget)
Peter Wade Michael Mulligan jun. Patrick Rice   F. Hearty John McGuinness (Monog)
Robert G. Wallace Michael Mulligan sen. Michael Wade   James Hearty George Stokes
William Wright Patrick Murray Margaret Wright   Peter Hearty Malachi Treanor
Anne Murtagh   Reps Frank Hearty James Wade
Edward Murtagh   Thomas Hearty James Wade
Edward Murtagh   Anne Jeffers  
Patrick Shane   Margaret Kellly  
Patrick Short   Robert Lamb  
George Stokes   Hugh Largy  
John Tipping   Bridget Loy  
James Wade   John Loy  
Margaret White   John Loy (Bridget)  
John Wright   Patrick Loy  
William Wright     Thomas Loy (Bridget)  
          Richard Rowland (Forge)  
    Leased land     George Stokes  
    Patrick Begley     Patrick Treanor  
    Samuel Gilmore     James Wade  
    Michael Largy     Mary Wright  
    Edward McGuirk     Olive & Marina Wright  

1. 'Account of the Barony of Upper Fews" 1838, Note 6 p.102
2. G. Jarvis (up to 1835) as compiled by A.J. Hughes in Seanchas Ard Mhacha Vol 15 No 1 1992 pp 97 - 112.
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Last Updated on 6 October 2004
Email: pdevlinz@btinternet.com

© Patrick Devlin 2004