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drumbally

Location

Drumbally is a townland (most of it on a large drumlin) of 265 statute acres roods and 12 perches in County Armagh about a mile and a half south east of Crossmaglen on the Creggan to Ballsmills road. It is bounded on the north by Cregganbane, on the east by Cornonagh, on the south by Coolderry and on the west by Liscalgat. From the hill top there are fine views far into Counties Louth and Monaghan. In the Tithe Applotment Books 1828 the area of the townland is given as 137 acres 7 roods and 3 perches (Plantation Irish measure).

Name of townland

Druim-bhaile, "The townland on the ridge" (1).

There is no other townland of that name in Ireland.

Ordnanace Survey Name Books: Creggan Parish (2)

DRUMBALLY (OSNB ii 28): This is situated about 1/2 a mile S.E. of Creggan Village, a bye road runs E. and W. thro' it. It is chiefly under tillage in small farms. The soil, light and inferior, produces small crops. Several scattered houses having an approach or lane to them.
It contains 256..0..27 of which 20..1..30 is uncultivated and Bog.

Griffiths Valuation records Richard Allen as the owner of the townland. Of the 23 land holdings recorded, 14 were of less than 10 acres, seven were between 10 and 20 acres and two were of 20 or more acres.

Census of Ireland 1901

In the Census, 78 people were enumerated in 17 households, a ratio of 4.6 persons per household. The total number of occupied rooms was 35, a ratio of 2 per household and a density of 2.2 persons per room. Eleven of the houses were thatched.

Native Irish Speakers

Of the 17 households enumerated in the Census, 11 contained at least one native Irish speaker - 13 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 Murphy, farm labourer, 54
  • Anne Harrison, sewer, 60
  • Terence Quinn, farmer, 70
  • Ellen Hearty, farmer, widow, 60
  • Michael Hearty, farmer, 60
  • Peter McKeever, farmer, 63
  • Francis Hearty, farmer, 60
  • Robert Lambe, farmer, 80
    and his wife Mary, 60
  • Mary McShane, farmer, 40
  • Edward McGeeney, farmer, 45
    and his aunt Catherine Begley, retired farmer, widow, 80
  • John McKeever, farmer, 57
* The average age of the group was 61; eldest 80, youngest 40
* Of the group, two could both read and write, four could read only and seven 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 23 24 29 23 19 17 16 14 15 14
People 144 111 103 107 111 84 78 69 41 51 37
People per house 5.8 4.8 4.3 3.7 4.8 4.4 4.6 4.3 2.9 3.4 2.6

In the period of 110 years, the number of households reduced by 44%, while the population dropped by 74% - almost threequarters. The population halved in the 60 years between 1841 and 1901 and halved again in the following 50 years, reflecting initially the effects of the Great Famine and subsequent lack of rural employment opportunities.

Family Connections

I was born in this townland as were three of my five sisters. My parents moved here from Drumboat, in County Monaghan, in 1937. We lived in a rented house, known locally as "James Pat's" after the owner, James McShane, for the next 12 years, moving briefly to Cregganbane in 1951, before settling in Cregganduff in 1952.

Names of House and Land Holders

All the Valuation records identify separately those with houses in the townland and those who leased or owned land these while living elsewhere. The Census enumerated only those with households in the townland. The Table below sets out this information accordingly.

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
Adam Lamb Lennox Bigger Esq. Daniel Begley John Grimes Mary Burns Mary Burns James Daly
Edward Lamb Michael Casey Samuel Gilmore Ann Harrison Felix Graham Peter Byrne Agnes Hearty
Andrew McDonnell Owen Hearty Anne Hagarty Alice Hearty Edward Hearty Mary Graham Thomas Hearty
Francis McDonnell Patt Hearty (Hill) Edward Hagarty Ellen Hearty Michael Hearty Agnes Hearty Thomas Loye
James McDonnell Patt Hearty Patrick Hagarty Francis Hearty Owen Hearty Owen Hearty Michael McKeever
James McMahon Daniel Hearty Alicia Lamb Michael Hearty Thomas Hearty Owen Hearty (Frank) Hugh McShane
Edmund McShane Francis Lamb Catherine Lamb Patrick Lambe Robert Lamb Thomas Hearty M. McShane (Michael)
Patrick Moan Henry Lamb Owen Lamb Robert Lambe Michael McKeever Robert Lamb Elizabeth Murphy
James Lamb Robert Lamb Edward McGeeney Patrick McKeever Hugh Largey  
Owen Lamb Thomas Lamb John McKeever James McShane Thomas Loye Land
Patt Lamb Thomas Lamb Patrick McKeever Patrick McShane Michael McKeever Felix Burns
Thomas Lamb Manus Moan Peter McKeever Reps. Brian McShane Hugh McShane Kevin Burns
Thomas Lamb Michael Moan James McShane Bridget Murphy M. McShane (Michael) Mary Burns
Widow McArdle Patrick McGeeney Mary McShane Land Elizabeth Murphy Bridget A. Hearty (Keddy)
Peter McCanna Michael McKeown Jun Bridget Mulligan David Gilmore   Owen Hearty (Frank)
Bryan McIvor Michael McKeown Sen Patrick Murphy Thomas Harrison Land Owen Hearty (Neddy)
Bryam McKenna Mary McKenna Terence Quinn Reps. Andrew Hearty David Gilmore Peter Hearty
James McShane Catherine McShane Bridget Loy Bridget A. Hearty (Keddy) Thomas Hearty
Patt McShane James McShane James McBennett Patrick Hearty (Keddy) Thomas McCreesh
Michael Moane Hugh McWade Patrick Quinn Patrick Hearty (Keddy) Patrick Murray
Peter Toale Patrick McWade   Patrick Murray Patrick Quinn
          Patrick Quinn Major Michael Wright
    Land        
    Anne Devlin        
    Edward Murtagh        
    Dr___Scott        

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

© Patrick Devlin 2004