Ballymore Manor tenants in 1782 and 1789

Vol. 6 No. 3 - 2005

Ballymore Manor tenants in 1782 and 1789

by Alfred Gracey

The Manor of Ballymore in the late 18th Century encompassed the town of Tanderagee and eleven adjacent townlands. Its main tenants, with their dues, are listed in the estate’s account book.

TThe lessors were Lady Bernard & Mrs Francis St John. I have transcribed base data from FHL BRITISH microfilm 1278332, items 11 &12, which was filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1984, from the original held by Armagh County Museum. The transcript may be accessed on the website of Craigavon Historical Society. It shows forenames and surnames of the (chief) tenant for each parcel of land, and the rent due for each.

The rent amount shown is for a full year. It was collected in two parts, on the first of May and November. The original contains additional data on arrears, and other notes. This article takes a brief look at the Manor’s income and the tenants’ name distribution.

Total Rents of Ballymore for May & November
Upper Towns£200£200£0£0
Net totals£2,223£2,437£198£114
Note: Townland subtotals are rounded to nearest £
Preliminary economic analysis

Net receipts increased by 8.6% over 7 years. Arrears due represent 8% of the total but only 5% was received. This signals that all tenants were under pressure to perform, and that about 5% were in financial distress.

Today’s value of these rents can be estimated with the help of factors on http://eh.nat/hmit. The purchasing power of the British pound in 1785 is about 84 times greater than today (2004). Average real earnings in the UK today are about 11 times greater than in 1785.

Tenant names

Data is listed below in the sequence – Townland name: number of tenants in 1782: unique surnames in 1782 + new names in 1789: number of tenants in 1789. Minor spelling variants have been ignored.

Ballymore: 43: Beggs Bennet Brown Campbell Colthurst Corner Craig Creery Crozier Cupples Evans Feriss Glen Greacy Hare Hull Maginnes Matthews McCan McElroy McGlead Mortimer Mullagan Mullon Patton Purdy Rice Straton Tegart Wallace Wilson + Greenaway Harvey Hutcheson Loftie Maynes McKavitt Overend Pepper Roach Sinton: 42.

Cargins: 35: Alexander? Allen Annet Barnet Casady Cherry Cullon Davis Dolson Feriss Feron Fryars Gaddis Girvin Gorman Gribbon Heathwood Irwin Jackson Loftie McDonnell Monaghan Orr Overend Parker Ridpath Sefton Toale Toner + Bennet Brown Dobson Ferguson Johnston McCormick Morgan Pedlow Reily Wallace Weily: 34.

Corearnagh: 1: Moody + (): 1.

Corinshonagh: 1: Covey + (): 1.

Crewbeg: 11: Conolley Flack Kerr Marshal Moody Rea Turner Turner Wilson Young + Boardman Burnes Neilson: 10.

Derryallen: 18: Beggs Campbell Cullon Glen Hughes McCarlon McConnell McGlead Morrison Parker Price Rice Robinson Rogan? Shannon White + Alexander Cotter Gallagher May McCartney McGuill McQuoan: 19.

Lisbane: 7: Atkinson Calop Campbell Cloughley Feron Hale Purday + Aston Hanlon Hare McComb Neil: 10.

Mullaghglass: 27: Black Cherry Cloughley Creely Crothers Duffy Ewart Gibson Hamilton Harvey Little Loughlin Magill Mallon McBurney Middleton Mullagan Neil Neiper Ridpath Sefton Thadford + Campbell Girvin Hare Whitten Kelly McCollough McQuoan O'Hara Overend Chenney Wilson: 36.

Mullahead: 31: Blacker Christy Cornwall Cupples Dorsay Ewings Gerrard Greacy Hanlon Hunter Johnston Kenney Lawrison Lewis Maginness McArdell McAteer McConnell McCreight McDonnell Nickle Quin Snowden Sympson + Babe? Dixon Mathers Neil Patt[inson?] Reynolds McDonnell Kittle: 36.

Tanderagee: 52: Allen Anderson Beggs Bennet Black Brown Collyer Cosins Cox Craig Davis Dolson Evans Feriss Gaddis Girvin Glen Graham Greer Hagan Harden Harvey Hughes Hutchison Lee Lindsay Logan Loyd Luke Mark Martin Matthews McKelvy Montgomery Moore Morrison Murphy Parker Purdy Robinson Ross Shannon Trouton Turnley Wallace Watts Whealy + Creery Garden Hardey Patterson Rice Sinton: 53.

Tullyhappies: 1: Blacker + (): 1.

Tullyhue: 38: Bennet Cavanagh Cullon Davis Ewings Feriss Gamble Girvin Gold Gorman Greer Heak Hear Lee Liggot McAlinden McDonnell Mills Parker Pattison Pepper Robinson Ross Conlon Summers Toal Watson Whitten Williams + Brown Cimmons Craig Cupples Hare Heak Lynden Rice Trotter Whealey 33.


The surnames seem predominantly of English provenance (over 2/3), followed by Irish (1/5) and Scots (1/10), with a few Welsh.

Across the Manor, the following 28 tenant surnames occurring in 1782 were absent in 1789: Calop Cassady Campbell Colthurst Dorsay Gamble Gibson Gorman Graham Hear Heathwood Hull Jackson Kenney Kerr Lewis Lindsay Loyd Mallon Marshall Matthews McAlinden McCarlon Mortimer Summers Sympson Toner Watts. About a quarter of those names probably remain lost to the Manor even today.

Given that the 1782 roll shows about 160 unique surnames, and 34 new surnames appear in 1789, the overall change of names is 38% across the seven years. This average turnover of 5.4% per year corresponds to those in arrears with their rent. The economic and social reasons for this turnover remain to be explored. For example, of the 10 widows mentioned in 1789, 6 were new since 1782.

The very small change in the number of tenants per townland implies that the boundaries of parcels of land remained fixed. Some tenant families took several small parcels, at rents around £5 to £15, for vigorous sons seeking independence. For example, on 30 April 1788 in Ballymore, Thomas Greacy leased 6 acres 3 roods with a house and two sheds for the lives of himself and his son John aged 17 years, for a rent of £7/13/6 yearly. This parcel was previously occupied by Murtagh McGlead. On the same day he leased an adjacent parcel of 17 acres for the lives of himself and his second son Thomas aged 15 years, for £11/4/0 yearly.

Only a few tenants show large lump rents (Blacker £120, Parker £90, Covey £60, Overend £45, Feriss £40, £35): these probably sublet.

By 2005, the small parcels of land have been consolidated into larger economic units, and some have been covered with Tanderagee’s housing. For example, Thomas Greacy’s 20 acres taken in 1788 have accreted adjacent parcels once held by Purday, Patton, Craig, Grimason and Mathers. These compose the 100 acre home farm around the ancient rath on Ballymore Road.

In the townlands of Ballymore and Mullahead, only the names of Gracey, Hanlon, Maginnis and Mathers have persisted on their farms. But many of their neighbours have merely relocated from other parts of the Manor or adjacent manors. The continuity of so many surnames through more than two centuries demonstrates that today’s residents of Ballymore Manor have deep roots and enduring destiny.

© Alfred Gracey 2005.