Author Topic: Interesting Neighbours  (Read 875 times)

Offline MrMontgomery1207

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Interesting Neighbours
« on: Friday 07 May 21 14:26 BST (UK) »
I found my 4x great grandfather on the Griffith's valuation with an interesting land layout.

He is neighbours with a Margaret Finnegan (who also rents three seperate pieces of land) on all of his properties spread out across Clonmellon and Kilrush Lower. However, he is recorded as owning what appears to be a house (judging from the map) on her land, and herself a house on his land! Both of them then own seperate fields. What could be going on here? Cohabiting, perhaps? A tax scheme?  - photos attached.

Offline culbaire

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Re: Interesting Neighbours
« Reply #1 on: Friday 07 May 21 21:13 BST (UK) »
Note that all the holdings you are asking about mention land only. (Neither is there any valuation given to buildings contained on the land). The small piece of ground in other person's holding is only 8 perches ie just over 200 square metres (ie 10m x 20m). In Clonmellon Chartres land would seem to be landlocked. Could the 8 perches have been part of a right of way? No idea of why the small area in Kilrush lower. Note that the surname is given in Clonmellon as Chartres, in Kilrush it is Charters.

Offline Kiltaglassan

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Re: Interesting Neighbours
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 08 May 21 08:18 BST (UK) »

Agree with what culbaire has said.

Here's the link to more information on the Westmeath board-
https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=848230.0


Researching: Cuthbertson Co. Derry, Scotland & Australia; Hunter Co. Derry; Jackson Co. Derry, Scotland & Canada; Scott Co. Derry; Neilly Co. Antrim & USA; McCurdy Co. Antrim; Nixon Co. Cavan, Co. Donegal, Canada & USA; Ryan & Noble Co. Sligo


Online Maiden Stone

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Re: Interesting Neighbours
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 08 May 21 12:54 BST (UK) »
However, he is recorded as owning what appears to be a house (judging from the map) on her land, and herself a house on his land! Both of them then own seperate fields.

They were tenants not owners. Most land in Ireland wasn't owned by ordinary people then.

Added: Information about Griffith's Valuation on Irish Genealogy Toolkit:
"Griffith's Valuation - a mid-19th century gem"
https://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/griffiths-valuation.html
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Offline MrMontgomery1207

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Re: Interesting Neighbours
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 08 May 21 18:05 BST (UK) »
Hey all! Appreciate the answers.

I am aware of the surname difference although am sure they are the same person. Even in later years it differs in records between Charters/Chartres for the same person at the same address.

Also apologies for my incorrect terminology, I am aware they are tenants. However that is still confusing, why choose to rent land in the middle of someone else's?

And thanks for the suggestion of right of way, I hadn't thought of that! Although you're right, it wouldn't explain the land in Kilrush Lower...

I haven't any information on James Charters other than his name and the name's of two of his sons, Ralph and John. Not sure what connection Margaret Finnegan could have to them.

Online Maiden Stone

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Re: Interesting Neighbours
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 09 May 21 14:33 BST (UK) »
The small piece of ground in other person's holding is only 8 perches ie just over 200 square metres (ie 10m x 20m). In Clonmellon Chartres land would seem to be landlocked. Could the 8 perches have been part of a right of way? No idea of why the small area in Kilrush lower.

James Charters' 8 perches of land (39a) in Clonmellon townland seems to be next to a road. For comparison, the standard size of an allotment in the U.K. is 10 poles or perches. Big enough to grow enough food to feed a family, about the size of a medium-sized garden.
National Allotment Society https://www.nsalg.org.uk/allotment-info
There's a linear feature on the map next to Margaret Finnegan's holding of 1 rood in Kilrush Lower (10a).
Again for comparison, a tithe map drawn c.1840 for a farm in England which was occupied by my family in 20thC. shows a big meadow was divided into 2 portions. Householders of 2 farms a short distance away occupied 2 of the portions. There were several springs in the meadow. It's possible that the occupiers of the other 2 farmhouses had those strips of land so they could each access a supply of fresh water.

However that is still confusing, why choose to rent land in the middle of someone else's?

Choices may have been limited. If a piece of land became available and if a person could pay the rent, they would be pleased to have it. James Charters had 16+ acres over his 3 holdings. Margaret Finnegan had 8+ acres.
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Offline MrMontgomery1207

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Re: Interesting Neighbours
« Reply #6 on: Monday 10 May 21 14:02 BST (UK) »
James Charters' 8 perches of land (39a) in Clonmellon townland seems to be next to a road. For comparison, the standard size of an allotment in the U.K. is 10 poles or perches. Big enough to grow enough food to feed a family, about the size of a medium-sized garden.

Choices may have been limited. If a piece of land became available and if a person could pay the rent, they would be pleased to have it. James Charters had 16+ acres over his 3 holdings. Margaret Finnegan had 8+ acres.

Thank you very much for the informative and lengthy reply! It was a very interesting read and I appreciate you attaching your own findings, as I was wondering whether it happened often.

I was mainly trying to understand why they would have rented land in the other person's land on both instances, rather than just remaining seperate. Margaret Finnegan's holding in Kilrush Lower is roughly the opposite side of the town without a direct road connection, it seems.

Following the linear feature to 10a, it appears there's a sort of shed/house on the map that I'm not quite sure what it is, but it is recorded as land. Any idea what that might be?

Thanks for the help  ;D

Offline aghadowey

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Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!

Online Maiden Stone

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Re: Interesting Neighbours
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 11 May 21 14:01 BST (UK) »
I was mainly trying to understand why they would have rented land in the other person's land on both instances, rather than just remaining seperate. Margaret Finnegan's holding in Kilrush Lower is roughly the opposite side of the town without a direct road connection, it seems.

This article is a brief overview of changes in land occupation. The author has written a book about land in Ireland.
"Land distribution in Ireland in the twentieth century"
https://iale.uk/land-distribution-ireland-twentieth-century
A section of the article discusses the rundale system of land occupation and fragmentation of plots. Westmeath is mentioned.
Another short section mentions building or improving farm access roads and fences.

As for Margaret Finnegan's land not having road access:
A road would take up land which could be be used for growing crops or grazing animals.
She probably had no need for a road. There would have been footpaths. If she owned or borrowed a donkey, she could lead it across or around a field. She could lead or drive a cow, if she had one, to & from the grazing.

2 of my ancestors in Mayo each had a few acres of bog in an adjoining townland. They would have cut turf (peat) there for fuel. They grew crops and grazed animals on their larger land holdings in their own townlands. 
Cowban