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Cregganduff is a townland of 574 statute acres 3 roods and 38 perches in County Armagh about two miles east of Crossmaglen on the road to Newry. It is bounded on the north by Freeduff and Tullynavall, on the east by Lurgancullenboy, on the south by Cregganbane and on the west by Cloghoge. In the Tithe Applotment Books of 1828 the total area of the townland is recorded as 320 acres 3 roods and 32 perches (Plantation Irish measure).

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 DUFF (OSNB ii 16): There are several portions of bog in this td.. the remainder is under tillage, but the soil is of inferior quality growing light crops. There are several connecting bye roads in this Td. for the convenience of the inhabitants who are very numerous here but their dwellings are rather wretched. The S.W. corner comes down to the village of Creggan.
It contains 574..3..78 of which 59..1..11 is uncultivated and Bog.

Griffiths Valuation records the owner of most of the townland as John J. Biggar with the exception of seven houses and 16 acres belonging to Patrick Murphy. A National School House and a forge (Patrick Murphy) is recorded. Of the 50 land holdings listed, 24 were of less than ten acres, 18 were between ten and twenty acres and eight were of 20 or more acres.

Also at the time of the Valuation the Dundalk Silver, Lead and Copper Mining Company had a mine in the townland. It did not prosper and was closed without making a profit.

Census of Ireland 1901 - Native Irish Speakers

Of the 27 households enumerated, 17 contained at least one native Irish speaker - a total of 23 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.

  • Patrick Dobbs, pedlar, 70,
    and his wife Catherine, 60
  • Terence McParland, farmer, 60
  • Patrick Murphy, farmer, 70
  • Mary Moley, farmer's wife, 70
  • Mary Daly, cottier, 65
  • Anne Gill, farmer, 50
  • Margaret Murphy, farmer, 40
  • Mary Mallon, farmer, widow, 65
  • Thomas Quinn, farmer, 70
  • Alice Bennett, seamstress, widow, 80
  • Thomas McKenna, farmer, aged 37
    and his wife Catherine, 30
  • Bridget Murphy, farmer, widow, 75
  • Neil Jeffers, farmer, aged 70
    and his wife Mary, 58
  • Neil Galloghly, farmer, aged 68
    and his wife Hannah, 70
  • James Crummie, farmer, aged 60
    and his wife Bridget, 55
  • Anne Quigley, farmer, widow, 66
  • Patrick Moley, farmer, aged 45
    and his wife Mary, 40
* The average age of the Irish speakers was 60; oldest 80, youngest 30
* Of the group, 10 could read and write, four could read only and nine 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 72 59 60 55 52 48 38 33 31 32 30
People 393 252 291 266 256 199 156 129 129 115 93
People per house 5.5 4.3 4.9 4.8 4.9 4.1 4.1 3.9 4.2 3.6 3.1

In the period of 110 years, the number of households more than halved halved but the population dropped by 76% - more than threequarters. There was a reduction of 141 people (35%) between 1841 and 1851, clearly as a result of the Great Famine. The decline continued for the next century reflecting the continuing effects of the Famine and emigration. As can be seen from the House and Landholder lists, the number of houses in the townland was recovering in the second half of the twentieth century development due to rural redevelopment.

Family Connections

My family lived in the townland between 1952 and 1971, when my parents went to live with my sister, May Treanor, in Preston, Lancashire. As a boy, Creggan graveyard, just down the road in Cregganbane was a favourite place of mine and I often rested on the O'Neill slab, unaware of the vault beneath. From there I went to the Abbey Grammer School in Newry and while working in Newry until I married in 1961.

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
Cormack Grimes Cormick Bennett Patrick Begley Patrick Conlon Bridget Byrne John Barry John Barry
Daniel Moley John Bennett John Carty Richard Conlon Patrick Carraher Owen Burns - Burke
Francis McShane John Bennett James Carragher James Crummie Patrick Conlon James Carragher - Burns
John Grimes Michael Caherty Richard Conlon Mary Daly Thomas Conlon Patrick Clarke Patrick Burns
Matthew Jeffers Owen Callaghan Eliza Craig Patrick Dobbs Michael Daly Richard Conlon Kevin Burns
Neese Moley Michael Conlon Neill Crommie James Fisher Michael Daly John Cowan - Callan
Patrick Moley Patt Craig James Curnew Neil Galloghly Owen Gallogly Michael Daly Patrick Clarke
Teage Moley Neale Crummy Peter Daly Ann Gill Thomas Grant Edward Devlin Richard Conlon
Terence Hillick Philip Daily Mary Dillon Thomas Hearty John Hearty Patrick Donaghy T. Conlon
Widow Moley Thomas Duffy Neill English Neil Jeffers Bernard Jeffers Patrick Donaghy John Cowan
Bryan Golligly Bryan Foggie Samuel Jeffers Ellen Johnston Thomas Grant Michael Daly
Bryan Golligly Margaret Graham Terence Larkin Patrick Largy Richard Harvey Edward Devlin
Arthur Graham Mary Graham ?? McClure Terence Larkin Frank Hughes P. Donaghy
Felix Graham Owen Graham Catherine McKeown Thomas Loughran J. Jeffers Patrick Donaghy
James Hearty Patrick Hagarty George McLean Alexander Lowe Annie Kearns Patrick Donaghy
Patt Hearty James Hearty Mary McParland John Lynch Thomas Keeley - Gallagher
George Hughes James Hearty Arthur Moley Thomas McKenna Elizabeth Largey Patrick Hearty
Matthew Jeffers Bryan Jeffers James Moley Bernard McParland Peter Larkin Frank Hughes
Frank Keeran Samuel Jeffers Patrick Moley Edward Moley Alexander Lowe Annie Kearns
James Kelly Patrick Larkin Bridget Murphy Michael Moley Felix Loye Thomas Keeley
Patt Largy James Loughran Catherine Murphy Michael Moley Mary K. Loye Elizabeth Largey
Edward Larkin Patrick Loughran Mary Murphy Reps Patrick Moley Emily Lynch Mary K. Loye
David Lockhart Patrick Mallon Patrick Murphy James Murphy Michael Mallie Alexander Lowe
Ferfus McLeane Bryan Magee Anne Quigley Mary Murphy Kevin McGahon Michael Mallie
Edward McMahon William McClane Rose Quigley Patrick J. Murphy Thomas McKenna - Marks
Bernard McParland Roger McDonnell Bernard Quinn Patrick Murphy Bernard McParland William Robert McBride
Francis McKenna Edward McGurk Terence McParland Patrick Murphy (Owen) Elizabeth McQuillan - McConnell
James McKenna Patrick McGurk Patrick Quigley Edward Moley Kevin McGahon
Patt McKenna Bryan McFarlan Patrick Quinn Emily Moley Thomas McKenna
Patt McKenna Owen McKenna Michael Reel Michael Moley Elizabeth McQuillan
Widow McKenna Letty McLoughlin Patrick Traynor Michael Morrison Emily Moley
Terence McSherry Patrick McMahon   J. Murphy Michael Moley
James Marks Alicia Moley Land &c John Murphy Michael Morrison
James Marks Arthur Moley Peter Byrne Patrick F. Murphy John Murphy
James Marks James Moley Mary Halligan Patrick Murphy Michael John Murphy
James Marks John Moley James Hearty Patrick Murphy (Owen) Patrick Murphy
Patt Mines Paul Moley Reps. Thomas Hearty Margaret Quigley Patrick Murphy (Owen)
Patt Mines Arthur Murphy William McBride Peter Reel (Carnally) - O'Hagan
Arthur Moley Arthur Murphy Mary McDermott Mary Rooney Patrick Quigley
Edward Moley Christopher Murphy John Moley Jn. Stephen Stephenson - Reel
James Moley John Murphy James Quigley Stephen Stephenson Peter Reel (Carnally)
John Moley Michael Murphy William Quigley C. Stephens Michael Rooney
Owen Moley Patrick Murphy   Cecil Stevens Stephen Stephenson
Anthony Murphy Patrick Murphy (Tom)   Bernard Trainor Cecil Stevens
Arthur Murphy Francis O'Neill   Alice Traynor - Toner
Charles Murphy Mary O'Neill     Bernard Trainor
Daniel Murphy William Quigley     Malachi Trainor
Michael Murphy Bryan Quinn      
Owen Murphy (Charles) Charles Quinn   Land Land
Peter Murphy Thomas Simmons   Peter Byrne Felix Burns
Thomas Murphy James Traynor   Richard Gerrard Conlon Richard Gerrard Conlon
Thomas Murphy   Maj. F.E. Eastwood Patrick Crawley
John Nelson (?Wilson) Land   T. Grant Maj. F.E. Eastwood
Widow O'Neale Michael Conlon   Mary Halligan Travers Ferguson
Charles Quinne Bryan Hughes   James Hearty Peter Hearty
Jonathan Smith Patrick Larkin   P. Largey Richard Kearns
John Stitt Patrick Murphy   P. Largy Hugh Largey
James Waters William McClane   James McDermott Hugh Largy
    William Stitt     James McKeown (Lisseraw) P. Largy
          Michael Murphy Edward Moley
          R.J. Murphy Francis Murphy
          John Quinn John Quinn
          Joseph Quigley Peter Reel

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