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Drumboy is a townland of 273 statute acres 3 roods and 1 perch in County Armagh on the border (the River Fane) with Co Monaghan not far from the village of Cullaville. It is bounded on the north by Clonalig, on the east, south and southwest by Co Monaghan and on the northwest by Annaghgad. In the Tithe Applotment Books of 1828 the total area is shown as 130 acres 3 roods and 17 perches (Plantation Irish measure)

Name of Townland

Druim-Buí, "The yellow ridge" (1).

Until 1864 official records show slightly different spelling - 1664 (Drombee); 1766 and 1828 (Drumbee); 1864 onwards (Drumboy). It is still known locally as Drumbee.

There are five townlands called 'Drumboy' in Ireland. They are in Counties Armagh (1), Donegal (2), Fermanagh and Leitrim.

Ordnanace Survey Name Books: Creggan Parish (2)

DRUMBOY (OSNB ii 30): A large portion of bog & uncultivated ground, besides) a quantity of water. There are only very narrow bridal lanes thro' it. The County meer runs along its S.W. side. The land is very inferior in quality producing miserable crops. The dwellings very poor. A large fort with [text breaks off].
It contains 273..3..1 of which 82..0..36 is uncultivated and Bog, & 6..2..0 water.

Griffiths Valuation records Denis Kelly as the owner of the townland. It also records 11 acres of bog. Of the 23 land holdings recorded, 12 were of less than ten acres, five were between ten and 20 acres and six were of 20 or more acres.

Census of Ireland 1901

The Census enumerated 58 people in 15 households; a ratio of 3.9 persons per household. The households occupied a total of 30 rooms; a ratio of two rooms per household and 1.9 people per room. Of the 15 houses, 10 were thatched. One house had 3 rooms, 13 had 2 rooms and one had one room. One family of five people occupied the single room dwelling and there was a family of 11 people in a two-roomed house.

Native Irish Speakers

Of the 15 households enumerated in the Census, five contained at least one native Irish speaker. 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 with the exception of Mary McKenna, born in Co. Monaghan

  • Mary Harvey, mother of Patrick Harvey, widow, 70
  • Hugh Campbell, farmer, 82
  • Phillip Kelly, stonemason and farmer, 60
  • Edward McKenna, farmer, 69
    and his wife Mary, 60
  • Ann Gartland, farmer, widow, 60

* Of the group, four could both read and write, one could read only and one 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 27 23 22 24 17 16 15 14 12 13 12
People 151 114 107 113 98 76 69 59 40 42 57
People per house 5.6 5.0 4.9 4.7 5.8 4.8 4.6 4.2 3.3 3.2 4.8

In the period of 110 years, the number of households more than halved (55%) and the population dropped by 62% - almost two thirds. The largest drop (54%) was in the second half of the nineteenth century reflecting the continuing effects of the Great Famine and lack of rural employment opportunities.

Family Connections

My paternal Great grandfather was Edward McKenna. Many of the families of Cairns, Callan, Casey, Collins, Conlon, Devlin, Donnelly, Duffy, Hearty, Keenan, Kelly, McAlister, Murphy, Quigley, Richardson, Watters in South Armagh, Fitzpatrick and McArdle in Co Monaghan and others such as Adler, Bryars, Durkan, Hart, Maddock, Martinez, McGuill, Murray, Rowland - scattered throughout the world share a common ancestor in Edward McKenna, listed here in 1864 and 1901. There are two James McKennas recorded in the Tithe Applotment Books. It is likely that they are the same person as the McKenna land was in different locations in Drumboy. For example there are also two Patt Breens and two Edward Gartlands. James is probably Edward's father. It seems likely that the Edward McKenna recorded in Griffiths is the same as the Edward McKenna in the 1901 Census as he would have been about 30 at the time the report was compiled, and his eldest daughter, Brigid, was born the year it was published. Edward died in 1901 without heir (his only son, James - probably named after his grandfather - died in infancy in 1872) and the name finally died out in Drumboy when his widow (Mary Brady from Keenoge, Co Monaghan) sold the land and went to live with her daughter, Rose Keenan, in Crossmaglen. It is probable that Ross McKenna (1766) was also an ancestor, possibly, given the 62 year gap, James' grandfather.

Names of 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 landholders that 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.

Hearth Money Rolls Census of Creggan Tithe Applotment Books Griffiths Valuation Census of Ireland Census of Ireland First NI Revaluation Second Revaluation
1664 1766 1828 1864 1901 1911 1935 1957 1966
Households/Land Households Households Households Households Households Households
Turlagh McCardle Bryan Burn Patt Breen Alice Begley Edward Breen Edward Breen Edward Breen Hugh Campbell Hugh Campbell
James O Mulberan F. Campbell Patt Breen Eleanor Breen Hugh Campbell Patrick Campbell Patrick Campbell James Farrell James Farrell
Patte McCunigan Patrick Campbell Patt Callan Bridget Campbell Ann Gartland John Gartland John Gartland Margaret Gartland Margaret Gartland
Bryan O Mulbern Edward Carragher Matthew Campbell Hugh Campbell Margaret Harvey James Harvey James Harvey M. Holland John Kelly
Patrick Hughes Thomas Campbell Thomas Fitzsimons Patrick Harvey Margaret Harvey Patrick Harvey (James) John Kelly Thomas Mackin
Ross McKenna Thomas Fitzsimons Thomas Gartland Jun Patrick Hughes Mary Harvey Patrick Harvey (Pat) Thomas Mackin O.A. Meegan
Robert Watters Edward Gartland James Harvey Phillip Kelly Patrick Keenan Mary Hughes O.A. Meegan Michael McCreesh
Edward Gartland John Harvey Patrick McGeeney Philip Kelly Michael McCreesh Michael McCreesh Bernard McGeeney
James Gartland Patrick Harvey Edward McKenna Patrick McGeeney Patrick McGeeney Bernard McGeeney Bridget Nugent
James Harvassey Bryan Hughes Bernard Nugent Mary Nugent Thomas Nugent Michael McMahon Charles O'Neill
Patt Harvassey James Hughes John O'Neill John O'Neill Mary Watters Bridget Nugent
Patt Harvassey (Tailor) Mary Hughes Owen O'Neill Owen O'Neill Patrick Watters Charles O'Neill
Thomas Harvassey Patrick Hughes James Watters Owen Watters
Widow Harvassey Denis Kelly Owen Watters Patrick Watters Land Land Land
Michael Hughes Philip Kelly Patrick Watters Hugh Campbell John Gartland John Gartland
Stephen Hughes Hugh McGill John Collins Harry Kearns Harry Kearns
Widow Kelly Edward McKenna Michael Kearns Gerald McCreesh (C'mone) John Kelly
James McKenna Hugh McParland John O'Neill Thomas Nugent Michael McMahon
James McKenna Patrick Nugent Margaret F. Quigley Thomas Nugent
Charles O'Neill Charles O'Neill Mary Watters Margaret F. Quigley
Hugh O'Neill Francis O'Neill Patrick Watters
John O'Neill John Watters
Terence O'Neill Patrick Watters
Michael Stephens
William Stephens Land
John Waters Mary Harvey
Thomas Gartland Sen

1. Hugh Macauley, "Creggan", Journal of Creggan Local History Society, No.6 1992 p.37
2. G. Jarvis (up to 1835) as compiled by A.J. Hughes in Seanchas Ard Mhacha Vol 15 No 1 1992 pp 97 - 112.
[Back to Townlands of Creggan]

Last Updated on 6 October 2004
Email: pdevlinz@btinternet.com

© Patrick Devlin 2004