[Home] [Introduction] [Family Gateway] [South Armagh] [County Down] [Song and Story] [Local News] [Site Map] Guestbook [Links] [What's New?]

tullydonnell gage


Tullydonnell Gage (257 statute acres 1 rood and 15 perches), lies about five miles due east of Crossmaglen straddling the A29 from Newtownhamilton to Dundalk about two and a half and a half south of Ford's Cross. In the Tithe Applotment Books of 1828 the area was recorded as 137 acres 2 roods and 19 perches (Plantation Irish measure). It is bounded on the north by Tullydonnell (O'Callaghan), on the east by Carrive (in Mullaghbawn Parish), on the south by Ballynaclosha and on the west by Glassdrumman. It is separated from the Co Louth border by the small (140 acre) townland of Ballynaclosha.

Name of townland

Tullach Dónail, "Daniel's hill of O'Donnell's hill" (1).

According to a local historian, Jem Murphy RIP, the original name of the townland was Alt na sharragh "The height of the foxes".

There are five townlands called 'Tullydonnell' in Ireland. They are in Counties Armagh (2), Louth (1) and Donegall (Tullydonnell Upper and Tullydonnell Lower).

John Donaldson, in his 'Account of the Barony of Upper Fews" (1838), says

"There are three townlands of the name of Tullydonnell which take their name from their former proprietors - to wit, Tullydonnell Nixon, Tullydonnell Gage and Tullydonnell Tichburn or Ballinaclosh." (Note 16 p.103)

The Creggan 1766 Census is of a single townland. If we assume that subsequently the townland was split between the different owners, then Tullydonnell (Nixon) and Tullydonnell (O'Callaghan) are the same. Tullydonnell Gage remains as before and Tullydonnell Tichburn is Ballynaclosha.

The 1664 and 1766 details are included in both the Tullydonnell (Gage) and Tullydonnell (O'Callaghan) pages.

Ordnanace Survey Name Books: Creggan Parish (2)

TULLYDONNELL GAUGE (OSNB ii 48): Almost adjoining the N. of Balls-Mill Village. It is well lain out with bye roads. There are three old forts in It. Principally under tillage. Held in small tenures. The dwellings are numerous but very poor.
It contains 257.1.15.

By Griffiths Valuation (1854) the whole of the townland was owned by John Murphy who was not living there. Of the 22 land holdings, 14 were of less than 10 acres, five were between ten and 20 acres and three were of 20 or more acres.

Census of Ireland 1901 and 1911

In the 1901 Census the 17 households enumerated contained 90 people occupying 47 rooms - an average of 4.5 persons per household and 1.9 persons per room. Sixteen of the households occupied houses with two rooms, two with three rooms, one with four rooms and one with five rooms. Twelve of the houses were thatched.

In the 1911 Census the 20 households enumerated contained 99 people occupying 58 rooms - an average of 5 persons per household and 1.7 persons per room. Eight of the households occupied houses with two rooms, nine with three rooms, two with four rooms and one with seven rooms. Seven of the houses were thatched - five fewer in ten years.

Native Irish Speakers

Of the 17 households enumerated in 1901, 11 contained at least one native Irish speaker - a total of 20 in all. Since theirs was the last generation to have been born into a predominently Irish speaking environment, their names are recorded here. All were born in Co. Armagh with the exception of Rosey McMahon, born in Co. Louth -

  • Rosey McMahon, framer, widow, aged 70
  • Rosey Duffy, farmer, widow, aged 50
  • Edward Hollywood, farmer, aged 59 and his wife Bridget, aged 62
  • Catherine Garland, farmer, widow, aged 53
  • Patrick Smith, farmer, aged 60 and his wife Elizabeth, aged 55
  • Joseph Murphy, framer, aged 60
  • Denis Lavelle, National Teacher and shopkeeper, aged 45 and his daugher Mary Anne (9), sons John (4) and Denis (3) and farm servant Michael Mooney, (60)
  • Michael Hearty, agricultural labourer, aged 52
  • Patrick Murphy, farmer, aged 70 and his wife Bridget, aged 60
  • John Boyle, farmer, aged 69 and his wife Jane, aged 70
  • Thomas Campbell, farmer, aged 80 and his wife Margaret, aged 60
* The average age of the Irish speakers was 50. Without the three Lavelle children, it was 57.5
* Of the group, 11 could read and write, three could read only and six 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 25 28 21 23 23 20 20 20 19 20 19
People 134 131 98 105 124 106 88 98 97 79 80
People per house 5.4 4.7 4.7 4.6 5.4 5.3 4.4 4.9 5.1 4.0 4.2

In the period of 110 years, the number of households reduced by 24% and the population by 40% - modest in comparison with other townlands. After the initial losses caused by the Great Famine there was a modest revival in the final decades of the 19th century followed by a gradual loss of population to emigration.

Family Connections

It is possible that the Thomas Boyle in the 1766 Creggan Census was an ancestor. My Great Grandfather was John Boyle. The John and Michael Boyle of the 1901 Census were brothers. The Edward Boyle of Griffiths Valuation was their uncle. Edward had "Ned Boyle's Loanan" named after him as his house was at the foot of the lane. John and Michaels father was Terence Boyle from Legmoylin (brother of Edward).

John married Jane Murphy from the townland. Her father was Felix Murphy. On Felix's death part of his farm was passed to John in 1982. The title to the land was obtained in 1907 it and remains in the family today.

In 1859 Terence rented 15 acres in the townland from John Murphy. By 1873 Terence had died and in 1880 the farm was registered to his son Michael Boyle, who, in 1883, also acquired four acres of Edward's land (but not the house). Michael's daughter, Alice, died in the tragic circumstances described in Tullydonnell Tragedy. Michael's land was passed to his son-in-law, James Dolan, and registered in the Valuation records, first to Bernard Boyle in 1943 and then to Peter Boyle in 1946.

Names of House and Land Holders

All the valuations since Griffiths distinguish between those with houses in the townland and those, living elsewhere, who 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.

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 1854 1901 1911 1935 1957 1969
Households/Land Households Households Households Households Households Households
Patte McCardill Thomas Boyle Widow Garland Edward Boyle John Boyle John Boyle John Boyle John Boyle Peter Boyle
Hugh Campbell Owen Garvey Peter Boyle John Boyle John Boyle John Boyle P. Boyle Thomas Campbell
Hugh Fegan Rose Grant Hugh Campbell Michael Boyle Michael Boyle Thomas Campbell Thomas Campbell Charles Duffy
James Garvy Bryan Holywood Margaret Duffy Thomas Campbell Thomas Campbell Charles Duffy Thomas Campbell Jun. Alicia Lavelle
Michael Gernon Michael Hughes Anthony Garland Rosy Duffy Charles Duffy Anthony Garland Charles Duffy P. Lavelle
Richard Gernon James Johnston Henry Garland Catherine Garland Catherine Garland John Hanlon Anthony Garland Patrick Lavelle
Art Hughs Richard Johnston Patrick Lavill Edward Hollywood Bridget Hanlon Henry Holywood Alicia Lavelle Edward McCann
Edmund Kelly Richard Johnston Laurence McCoey Denis Lavelle Edward Hollywood Edward Keenan P. Lavelle T. McKenna
Patrick Kelly William Johnston Hugh McMahon John Lavelle Denis Lavelle Denis Lavelle Patrick Lavelle James McMahon
Neal Kelly William Johnston Felix Murphy Rose McMahon John Lavelle Edward McCann Edward McCann Julia Murphy
Terence Kelly Bryan McElroy Michael Murphy Joseph Murphy Bernard McCabe Lawrence McElroy T. McKenna Margaret Murphy
Cormack Lavill Patt McElroy Michael Murphy Patrick Murphy Bernard McElroy James McMahon James McMahon Michael Murphy
Patrick Maly Arthur Murphy Owen Murphy Patrick Murphy James McMahon Bridget Murphy (Carpenter) Margaret Murphy Josephine Rowland
Henry McArdle Felix Murphy Peter Murphy Brigid O'Hanlon Ann Murphy Michael Murphy Michael Murphy Eugene Smyth
Cormick McCaherky Henry Murphy Edward Smith Bernard Smith Brigid Murphy Michael Murphy Michael Murphy Patrick Smyth
Hugh McCann John Murphy James Smith John Smith Joseph Murphy Peter Murphy Peter Murphy  
Bryan McElroy Michael Murphy Owen Smyth Patrick Smith Patrick Murphy Owen Smith Josephine Rowland  
Art McShane Patt Murphy James Traynor Bernard Smith Patrick Smith Patrick Smyth  
Hugh McShane Peter Murphy Land Elizabeth Smith Thomas Traynor    
James Moan Peter Murphy James Murphy Patrick Smith Land Land Land
Bryan Murphy Peter Murphy John Murphy James Dolan Reps. Henry Hollywood Thomas Campbell Jun.
Charles Murphy Terence Murphy Patrick Quinn Patrick Lavelle Owen McCann Rose Finnegan
Dennis Murphy Thomas Murphy Francis Traynor Owen McCann Peter McGahon Reps. Henry Hollywood
James Murphy Thomas Murphy Philip Traynor Peter McGahon Lawrence Murphy Frank McArdle
Patrick Murphy Widow Murphy Joseph Murphy Bernard Smith Owen McCann
Widow Murphy Bryan Smith Owen Traynor (Frank) Francis Traynor Peter Murphy
Hugh Rice Edward Smith     Bernard Smith
Widow Robb Edward Smith      
Widow Roddy Hugh Smith      
Nesse Short James Smith      
John Smith John Tallon Esq.      
Thomas Smith Philip Treanor      
Patrick Trenor      

1. Hugh Macauley, "Creggan", Journal of Creggan Local History Society, No.6 1992 p.38
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 11 October 2004
Email: pdevlinz@btinternet.com
© Patrick Devlin 2004