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Glassdrumman (known locally as "Glassdrummond") is one of the largest townlands in South Armagh (1136 statute acres). In the Tithe Applotment Books the total area is given as 660 acres and 11 perches (Plantation Irish measure). It is about three and a half miles from Crossmaglen on the Creggan-Ballsmill road. It is bounded on the north by Lurgancullenboy, Carnally and Legmoylin, on the east by Tullydonnell O'Callaghan, Tullydonnell Gage and Ballynaclosha, on the south by County Louth and on the west by Mounthill. It has a small lake and an area of bogland. On a rocky outcrop above the lake was the castle of the O'Neills, which guarded the flat approches from County Louth into the hilly and wooded Fews. The castle was sacked in 1642 and finally demolished about 1700. Not a trace remains as its stones were used by one "Patchey" Murphy to "build a house" and "make a piece of road", according to a local tradition in the early 20th century recorded by L.P.Murray in his "History of the Parish of Creggan in the 17th and 18th Centuries". There is a Patrick Murphy recorded in the 1766 Cenus - see below. The townland had a National School and Catholic Chapel. The old chapel (built in the 1770s) was replaced by a new one in 1932 using stones from Ravensdale House, Co. Louth and rebuilding its fine Italian Tower as the church bell tower. The Primary School remains but on a different site.

Name of townland

Glas-Droman, "The green ridge" (1).

There are 17 townlands called 'Glasdrumman' in Ireland. They are in Counties Armagh (2), Cavan (3), Down (3), Fermanagh (4), Leitrim (3), Monaghan (1) and Roscommon (1).

Ordnanace Survey Name Books: Creggan Parish (2)

GLASDRUMANN (OSNB ii 34): A large portion of this td. is bog, uncultivated ground and water. The road from Balls Mill to Creggan Village runs thro' it. The village called Balls-Mill is partly in the S.E. corner of this td. There is a good R.C. Chapel in the N.W. The soil ...
It contains 1137..3..9 of which 53..3..36 is uncultivated and Bog, & 19.0.35 water

Griffiths Valuation (1854) records that apart from 57 acres owned by James Jeffers, the townland was owned by John J. Bigger and James Eastwood.

Griffiths also records a Police Barracks, office and garden in the townland.

Census of Ireland 1901

The Census enumerated 254 persons in 62 households; a ratio of 4.1 people per household. The households occupied a total of 165 rooms; a ratio of 2.7 rooms per household, and 1.5 persons per room. Of the 62 housholds enumerated, nine had a single room, 32 had two, 10 had three and 11 had 4 or more.

Native Irish Speakers

Of the 62 households, 33 contained at least one native Irish speaker - a total of 50 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, with the exception of Patrick Kerley and Patrick Lynch, both born in Co. Louth.

  • Margaret Batterton, farmer, 60
  • Patrick McShane, farmer, 65
  • Mary Hollywood, farmer, 53
    and her neice Mary Quinn, domestic servant, 22
  • John Quinn, farmer, 70
  • James Hollywood, flex scutcher, 62
  • Bernard Garland, farmer, 60
  • Margaret Grant, farmer, 55
  • Thomas Agnew, farmer, 60
    and his son Patrick, 32
    and daughter Mary, domestic, 23
  • Owen Callaghan, farmer, 67
  • Peter Hollywood, farmer, 80
  • Susan Agnew, farmer, 55
  • Owen McKevitt, farmer, 67
    and his brother Patrick, 77
  • Patrick Kerley, agricultural labourer, 55
    and his wife Catherine, 54
  • Patrick Garvey, farmer, 66
    and his wife Catherine, 54
  • Patrick Lynch, farmer, 65
  • Bridget Grant, farmers wife, 52
  • Patrick Murphy, farmer, 65
    and his nephew Owen Murphy, farmer, 40
  • Patrick Garland, farmer, 66
  • Edward Kelly, farmer, 99
    and his wife, Annie,66
  • James Garvey, farmer, 40
    and his sister Annie Garvey, 49
  • Mary Quinn, farmer, 60
    and her son Patrick, farmer, 35
  • Patrick McAleavey, farmer, 86
    and his wife [illegible], housekeeper, 72
  • Sarah McConville, farmer's wife, 53
  • Patrick McNally, farmer, 50
  • John Agnew, farmer, 63
    and his wife Mary, 56
  • Patrick Murphy, farmer, 70
  • James Burns, farmer, 67
    and his wife Mary, 60
  • John Hearty, farmer, 60
    and his wife Catherine, 69
  • Elizabeth Hollywood, farmer, 60
  • Bridget Kirk, farmer's wife, 49
  • Patrick Finnegan, farmer, 63
    and his wife Rose, 58
  • Thomas Kerley, farmer, 50
  • James McArdle, farmer, 63
    and his sister Rose, 65
  • Mary Duffy, farm labourer's wife, 50.
* The average age of the group was 59; the oldest was 99, the youngest 22.
* Of the group, 17 could read and write, seven could read only and 26 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 103 83 80 83 69 68 62 56 51 54 45
People 549 387 337 355 325 324 260 233 198 155 159
People per house 5.3 4.7 4.2 4.3 4.7 4.8 4.2 4.2 3.9 2.9 3.5

In the period of 110 years, the number of households more than halved (56%) but the population dropped by 71%, almost three quarters. The reduction of 162, (30%) in the 10 years to 1851 directly reflects the effects of the Great Famine and the continuing population loss over the following century was due to emigration and the lack of rural employment opportunities.

Family Connections

My Great Grandmother, Brigid Quinn, was born and lived all her 103 years of her life here. My grandfather, Johnny Boyle, worked on the construction of the new chapel - he had the contract to prepare the site. (See article by Seamus Murphy in "Creggan", the Journal of the Creggan Local History Society, Issue No. 10 - 2001/2002, page 9.) My family attended Glassdrumman chapel until we moved to Cregganbane in 1952 and I was an altar boy there for a couple of years. My sisters and I all attended Glassdrumman Primary School. My Boyle and Quinn ancestors are buried in the graveyard.

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.

In the Tithe Applotment Books it is possible that the same person appears more than once for different parcels of land.

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 Roll Census of Creggan Tithe Applotment Books Griffiths Valuation Census of Ireland First NI Revaluation Second Revaluation
1664 1766 1828 1854 1901 1935 1957 1972
Glasdroman Glassdrimman Glassdrummond Glassdrumman Glassdrumman Glassdrumman Glassdrumman Glassdrumman
Households/Land Households Households Households Households Households
Thomas Ball Partick Banaghan Patt Agnew Agnew Henry John Agnew John Agnew Bernard Callaghan Michael Boyle
Ralph Brunt James Bellew Peter Agnew Agnew John Susan Agnew William Batterton Owen Callaghan Bernard Callaghan
Bryan McGowbi Anthony Gernon Henry Agnew Agnew Mary Thomas Agnew Peter Boyle Bernard Campbell Joseph Callaghan
Patrick Laverty Thomas Agnew Agnew Patrick Margaret Batterton John Byrne Teresa Campbell Bernard Campbell
John Lindon Widow Agnew Agnew Thomas James Burns Bernard Callaghan Bridget Conlon Teresa Campbell
James McConwall William Batterton Callaghan Thomas John Caherty Owen Callaghan Patrick Conlon Bridget Conlon
Edward McLeane Thomas Campbell Carragher Patrick Owen Callaghan Patrick Callaghan Agnes Coulter Patrick Conlon
Owen McShane Owen Crilly Conlon John Michael Conlon Mary Conlon Michael Creegan Michael Creegan
Patrick McShane Francis Eastwood Coulter John Patrick Conlon Sarah Conlon and Bridget Laverty J. Cumisky J. Cumisky
Phimemy McShane James Eastwood Crolly Thomas Emily Coulter Samuel Coulter John Finnegan Margaret Donnelly
Richard McShane John Eastwood Cunningham Bridget Mary Duffy John Finnegan Patrick Garland John Finnegan
Terence McShane John Finegan Devitt Ellen Patrick Finnegan Patrick Garland Bernard Garvey Patrick Garland
Neal Muinagh Francis Forde Esq English Edward Bernard Garland Thomas Garland Michael Garvey Bernard Garvey
Patrick Muinagh Owen Garvey Finnegan Rose Patrick Garland Bernard Garvey Jack Grant Thomas Garvey
Patrick Murphy Michael Hearty Garvey Patrick Bernard Garvey James Garvey John Grant Jack Grant
Francis O'Neill Edward Hill Grant Michael Bernard Garvey Thomas Garvey Mary Graymand Mary Graymand
James Smith William Hill Grant Patrick # James Garvey Thomas P. Garvey John J. Johnston Thomas Anthony Kieran
Nicholas Trener William Hill Hollywood Judith Patrick Garvey John Grant R. Kelly Annie Hoey
William Johnston Jeffers James James Grant Patrick Grant Thomas Kiernan Patrick J. King
William Keasy Johnston John Margaret Grant Margaret Holloway Owen Kirk Joseph Kirk
Bryan Kelly Kelly Bryan Thomas Grant Sarah Hollywood Reps Mary Kirk Patrick Loye
Hugh (Cane) Kelly Kelly Hugh Thomas Grant John Jeffers Patrick Loye Mary Lynch
Patt Kelly Kelly Laurence # John Hearty John T. Johnston Mary Lynch Mary McArdle
Patt E. Kelly Kelly Patrick Elizabeth Hollywood Bernard Kelly Reps Edward McAleavey Patrick McConville
John Kerley Kirk Owen James Hollywood Mary A. Kelly Neil McClean Catherine McCoy
John Kirk Lavill Mary Mary Hollywood Mary Kerley Patrick McConville Rev. Francis McFadden
Widow Kirk Magennis Patrick Peter Hollywood Owen Kirk Catherine McCoy Bridget T. McGahan
Denis Lavill McAlester James Mary Jackson Michael Lynch John McCoy (Carnally) O. McKevitt
Betty Livings and Son McClane Fergus Anne Jeffers Patrick Lynch Bridget T. McGahan Bridget McMahon
James McCardle McCoey James * Lizzie Johnston Edward McAleavy Peter McGahan Oliver McShane
James McCardle McCoey Patrick * Edward Kelly Evelyn McAnally O. McKevitt Peter Moynes
Laurence McCardle McKeon Felix John Kelly John McClean Bridget McMahon Bernard Moynes
Patt McCardle McMahon Owen Thomas Kerley Patrick McConville Mary McShane Mary E. Murray
Patt McCardle McPartlin Catherine Thomas Kerley Kathleen McCoy Bernard Moynes Hugh O'Hanlon
James McDonnell McPArtlin Elizabeth Mary Kirk Peter McGahon James Moynes Michael Quinn
Arthur McElroy McShane Elizabeth John Kirk Thomas McGahon Jun. Kate & Margaret Moynes Peter Gerard Quinn
Felix McKeone McShane Michael Patrick Kirk John McGinn Mary E. Murray Michael Reel
Francis McKeone McShane Neil John Lowe Mary McKevitt Hugh O'Hanlon Peter Reel
Francis McKeone McShane Owen Patrick Lynas Kate McShane John Quinn Bernard Smyth
Widow McLean McShane Terence Rose Mallon Annie Moynes Patrick Quinn Bernard Smyth Jn.
Philip McParland McShane Terence Patrick McAleary Patrick Moynes Michael Reel Michael Smith
Edward McShane Murphy Arthur Margaret McAllister Joseph Murphy Peter Reel Daniel Traynor
Patt McShane Murphy Arthur Ellen McArdle Bridget Quinn Patrick Rowland  
Patt McShane Murphy Bryan James McArdle John Quinn Bernard Smyth Land
Peter McShane Murphy Eliza James McArdle George Rowland Michael Smith James Casey
Terence McShane Murphy Francis John McClean Bernard Traynor Daniel Traynor Patrick Conlon Jr.
Thomas McShane Murphy Thomas James McConville   Patrick Traynor James Daly
Thomas McShane Mynes Bryan Hugh McCoy Land   Francis Fegan
Thomas McShane Mynes John Thomas McGahan Reps. Thomas Agnew Land Ellen Garvey
Bryan Mines O'Donnell Owen John McGinn Thomas Agnew James Casey M. Garvey
Owen Mines O'Neill John Owen McKevitt Patrick Carty Patrick Conlon Jr. Thomas Garvey
Widow Mines Quinn Bryan Patrick McNally Samuel Coulter Samuel Coulter Joseph Grant
Roger Money (?) Quinn Patrick Patrick McShane Thomas Cunningham James Daly Patrick Grant
Francis Mulligan Sloan John Catherine Mines Annie Duffy Francis Fegan Patrick Hearty
Arthur Murphy Traynor Mary Patrick Mines Kate Farrell Ellen Garvey James Kirk
Arthur Murphy   Rose Mines Anne Garvey M. Garvey James Lavelle
Francis Murphy   Bridgit Mullen Catherine Harty Joseph Grant James McArdle
Patt Murphy Land Patrick Murphy James Kirk Patrick Grant Edward McCann
Patt Murphy Bigger John J. Patrick Murphy Lawrance Kirk Patrick Hearty John McCoy (Carnally)
Peter Murphy Eastwood James John Quinn James Lavelle James Lavelle Patrick McCoy
Robert Murphy Finnegan Thomas Mary Quinn Patrick Loy James McArdle Thomas McCoy (Tom)
Hugh Nowlan Harty James William Rowland Ellen McArdle Edward McCann Brian McEldrew
John O'Neill Hill Edward Hugh McCoy Patrick McCoy Bridget McGahan
Jane Parson Hill Mary Thomas McCoy Thomas McCoy (Tom) Robert McGlough
Began Quinn Kirk John John McShane Bridget McGahan Ann McMahon
Bryan Quinn Murphy Peter Arthur Murphy Robert McGlough John Joseph McShane
Edward Quinn Francis Murphy Ann McMahon Oliver McShane
Edward Quinn Patrick Quinn Thomas McShane James Murphy
Patt Quinn * Shared house Thomas Traynor William McShane Hugh O'Hanlon
John Sloan # Shared house   James Murphy Mary Rogers
            Hugh O'Hanlon James Sands
            Thomas Traynor (Tom) Thomas Traynor (Tom)
            Charles Webb Charles Webb

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 10 October 2004
Email: pdevlinz@btinternet.com
© Patrick Devlin 2004