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.
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
* Of the group, two could both read and write, four could read only and seven could neither read nor write.
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.
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.
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|
|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|
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.
Last Updated on 6 October 2004
© Patrick Devlin 2004