Compiled primarily from two lectures delivered by the author, the Very Reverend Francis Burke, Loch Ce and its Annals: North Roscommon and the Dioceses of Elphin in Times of Old, was first published in 1895. From the beginning Burke makes it very clear that he holds a deep affection for the area and that one of the major motivations behind the book was the "tiresome and uninviting" nature of the ancient manuscript records "The Annals of Loch Ce".
The majority of the introduction to this text is a description of history behind the ancient Annals and the contents. He charts the compilation of the manuscript beginning with Bryan MacDermot between 1585 and 1592 through to how the manuscript ended up at Trinity College in 1766. The contents of the ancient manuscript begin with the year 1014 and conclude in the year 1590. And according to Burke many of the records of the manuscript concern "tales of hostings, plunderings and depredations on the part of chieftains and kings against each other".
The remaining 7 chapters deal with more specific events, places and people from the Annals. While much of what follows is an ecclesiastical history, covering topics like Saint Columba, the Cistercians, the Archdeacon of Elphin and the general importance of the diocese of Elphin, other topics covered include the local chieftains and their seats of power, as well as a discussion of the general state of affairs in North Roscommon and the neighbouring district through out the middle ages. The publication concludes with an index and is augmented by 12 illustrations over its 163 pages.
For an area of Ireland that records are scarce for, Loch Ce and its Annals is a very important publication and essential reading for anyone researching North Roscommon and the Diocese of Elphin.
Government census taking began in the early nineteenth century in Ireland. The first, and partial, census was carried out in 1813. This was followed in 1821 with the first complete countrywide census on 28 May. A new census was taken every 10 years after this date, up to 1911. The census for 1921 was never carried out because of the disarray caused by the War of Independence. Censuses for what is now the Republic of Ireland began in 1926.
The aim of the census was to understand the size and make-up of the Irish population to better inform government policy. As a consequence the range of questions asked, and information gathered, in each of the census returns 1821-1911 varied. In general they got progressively more detailed as new issues were felt important enough to analyse statistically.
The majority of Irish census returns from the nineteenth century were destroyed. The 1861-91 census returns were officially destroyed in their entirety, partly because of paper shortages at the outbreak of the World War in 1914. Earlier returns (1813-51) were mostly destroyed with the destruction of the Public Record Office at the outset of the Civil War in 1922.
But the statistical results from all these census returns were compiled into tables and printed for circulation among civil servants and politicians. From 1851 to 1911 these statistical tables and accompanying analysis were printed in a volume for each county for each year. It is these county reports that are reproduced here on CD-ROM or digital download.
Initially these tables recorded the numbers, ages and gender of the population by townland, civil parish and barony. These figures are important as they describe the changing circumstances of each district in Ireland and provide contextual information for family and social history. The reports usually list the change in population over the previous 10 years, so at a glance you can see the impact of the Famine in the 1851 reports. From 1871 the information gathered increased dramatically, and tables of statistics concerning "conjugal condition" (i.e. marital status), occupation, location of birth, disability, religious profession, education, emigration and foreigners appear.
The reports are far more than dry statistical tables. With this information the experience and composition of a townland can be tracked over the decades. Families and individuals were part of a wider townland community, and knowing that history can help researchers assess the social environment of a family. This provides essential background and context for any family history.
This collection of official census reports for County Roscommon includes the following years: 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911. Together these reports come to 687 pages.
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The Irish Statistical Survey was carried out under the direction of the Royal Dublin Society. Each county was surveyed with the aim of determining the 'actual state, capabilities and defects of agriculture, manufactures and rural economy'. In practice the surveys contained a vast quantity of local information on almost every aspect of the county surveyed. Because these studies were carried out under central direction the quality of the information provided is good, and given their early date, they remain an invaluable source for the study of each county. They record many details about conditions in pre-Famine Ireland, including social and economic conditions, the growth of population and poverty, education, religion, history, the Irish language and local customs.
Amongst the last of the Statistical Surveys published, 1832, Isaac Weld's survey of Roscommon is one of the longest and most detailed of the series. The Statistical Survey of Roscommon covers the same topics as the previous surveys; Weld divides his survey down to Barony level. Covering the baronies of Boyle, Roscommon, Ballintobber, Athlone, as well as the half baronies of Ballymoe and Moycarne, the survey stretches to over 800 pages. That information is supplemented with approximately 80 pages of statistical tables and further information. The general observations of the author paint a picture of "wretchedness". The first part of the Appendix is a fascinating 27-page history of the Arigna Iron and Coal Company and another 46 pages on the bogs and how best to deal with them. The Statistical Survey of Roscommon is an intriguing publication for the Connaught County on the eve of the Famine.
This is one of earliest full commercial directories of Ireland, and includes over 220 urban centres throughout the island. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, tradesmen, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland. There is a description of each Province and town as well. This was Pigot's much-expanded second edition (the previous version dated 1820) and is now extremely rare.
This title includes the Introductory sections, and the Connaught section only.
Lewis gives details about every parish, town and village in Ireland, including numbers of inhabitants, the economy, history, topography, religion and parish structures, administration and courts, schools, and much more. He also gives the names of the principal inhabitants (generally landlords, merchants and professionals).
This Dictionary is in four parts:
· Preface & Subscribers
· Volume 1: A-G
· Volume 2: H-Z
· Volume 3: Maps
The Maps are in full colour, making this source one of the most important for research on Ireland.
This superb book includes a full commercial directory for the entire country. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, trades, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland. Slater took over Pigot's important publication of commercial directories of Ireland, and this was the first instalment. It has almost twice as much detail as its predecessor (published in 1824), and is now an extremely rare item.
For those familiar with the study of Irish history and in particular Irish genealogy, directories such as Slater's are a vital research tool. Each town and village contained in the Directory is introduced by its geographical location in relation to its nearest railway station together with population statistics derived from the 1861 Census of Ireland as well as a brief geographical and topographical description. The Directory provides the names and addresses of the principal private residents, together with those engaged in commercial and agricultural activity as well as the presence and location of religious, commercial and public institutions.
This publication reproduces just the Province of Connaught section of Slater's 1870 Royal National Directory of Ireland. This directory is one of only nine national directories for Ireland published prior to 1900 and an essential research tool for the study of Irish genealogy and history.
This superb book includes a full commercial directory for the entire country. Organised by Province, and then town, it lists all the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, trades, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland.
This is the third edition of Slaters, for the year 1881, and contains 1,580 pages of information including a large-scale map of Ireland.
Published by HMSO from evidence given to both house of Parliament in February 1893 by Assistant Commissioner Mr. Arthur Wilson Cox, the full title of this publication gives some idea as to its nature and scope:
'Royal Commission on Labour: The Agricultural Labourer. Vol. IV. Ireland, Part IV, Reports by Mr. Arthur Wilson Cox, (Assistant Commissioner) upon certain selected districts in counties Cork, Mayo, Roscommon & Westmeath'.
In fact, the information presented in the 146 page Report was taken from the Commission's Surveys of four Poor Law Unions, namely Wesport, Castlereagh, Skibbereen and Delvin and is one of a number of similar reports into the state of agricultural labourers that taken with the reports that covered the remainder of the county constitutes one of the most detailed investigations into the conditions of agricultural labourer in Ireland ever undertaken. The evidence presented in the Reports derived from a plethora of sources, which give both this and the Commission's conclusions great validity. Amongst the sources from which evidence was garnered were secretaries of local labour leagues, land agents and landlords, independent witnesses, Poor Law Union Guardians, parish priests as well as personal interviews by the Commissioner and his agents. These interviews included visiting labourers' cottages in each of the subdistricts of the unions surveyed and much of the firsthand evidence gathered revealed the depressing conditions experienced by the rural and urban labourer alike.
The scope of the Commission's inquiry was as far-reaching as were its final conclusions. The specific areas of inquiry for volume IV part IV were voluminous and taken with the conclusions covered 108 areas of specific enquiry. The main headings of the inquiry for part IV were as follows: Part I, which set out the conditions of the inquiry for part IV and included descriptions of the Poor Law Unions examined, money expended by the Unions, the general conditions of labourers, population, earnings, congestion and rates of emigration. Part II dealt specifically with the supply of labour and made inquiry into areas such as the impact of mechanisation, numbers employed in the past decade, employment of women and the efficiency of labour. Part III considered conditions of engagement and included inquiries into the effects of diet, tea and alchahol drinking and seasonal hours worked in all sectors of the rural economy. Part IV details wages and earnings of the agricultural labourer and under 25 subheadings analysis in considerable details wage as opposed to incomes in kind experienced in the four Unions visited by the Commissioner's of Inquiry. Part V examined the conditions of accommodation and part VI the types and usage of lands leased by the rural labourer. Part VII examined the role played in the rural economy by benefit societys and trade unions whereas part VIII reported on the relations between employer and employee. The report concluded in parts IX and X by comparing the overall conditions of agricultural labourers in the Poor Law Unions of Westport, Castlereagh, Skibbereen and Delvin with those in Norfolk and Suffolk, England.
These areas of inquiry differed only slightly from areas of inquiry conducted into the conditions of agricultural labourer in other parts of the country, but part IV did consider the most areas of agrarian society were examined by the Commission.
In short, the Commission probed into every conceivable aspect of labourer's lives and probably extended its scope beyond its original remit by inquiring into the conditions and circumstances of town labourers, miners and women labourers both town and country. Taken as a whole the 1893 Royal Commission on Labour provides provides some of the best social, economic and historical data available for the labouring classes of Ireland towards the end of the 19th century and will be a useful time for academics and those simply interested in the socio-economic conditions experienced by much of the population of Ireland in the 1890s.
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This publication reproduces just the Province of Connaught section of Slater's 1894 Royal National Directory of Ireland. This directory is one of only nine national directories for Ireland published prior to 1900. Apart from the fulsome coverage given-over to Ireland's four major cities, Slater's also provides information on the principal private and commercial residents (including farmers) of the larger towns and villages. As a fully searchable CD-Rom, the publication of Slater's Royal National Directory of Ireland is an essential research aid that must grace the shelves of anybody interested in the people and institutions of Ireland.
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