Lusmagh Fields so Green

Click on the picture to hear Johnny McEvoy sing "The Lusmagh Fields so Green."

Townlands of Lusmagh

Ballymacoolaghan, where I stayed as a child does not appear on Google Maps. It is not just the map-makers, however, who remove old names. It is the people themselves. Once upon a time, the lore of a parish was recounted from generation to generation by reference to the place-names. The lore is gone and the place names fallen into disuse.

When I was a child, playing on the road at Ballymacoolaghan, a motor-car full of people pulled up. Down rolled the window and the driver asked me where was this. I said "Ballymacoolaghan Village," and they all laughed. It was not for information they made their enquiry, but to hear me say this. Locally this place was then known simply as "The Village." Well, the village is gone. There are only 3 houses left in Ballymacoolaghan, all but one really outside the village. I now hear the place called "The Old Village."

Originally, in medieval times, a townland ("Baile Fearann") was a plot occupied by a single family or household. Other lands went by other denominations: cow-land, woodland, bogland, marshland, meadowland, waste-land, etc. This was all changed finally by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, in the 19th century, which subsumed all the traditional classifications into one definitive name "townland."

The ancient organisation was occupation of a townland by a family, with pasture-land, woodland, bogland, etc., in the surrounding area. A house-hold typically had about 30 members, headed by the Cenn Fine, or family head. People marrying into the household, whether male or female, took the family name of the household, so a particular family name was associated with a place. Those marrying out, of course, took the family name of the place they went to. This has not been the case for centuries. Surnames are taken from the male of any marriage. Households became single family units, but villages ("clacháin") became clusters of houses. The original family names of a townland are no longer known without deep research.

We know, of course, the family name of Ballymacoolaghan, because it is built into the name (Baile Mheg Úllacháin) -- The Home of Mac Coolaghan. Coolaghans are named as occupiers in ancient manuscripts, but the name has disappeared from the parish for centuries.

In the following contrived "poem," I recount some of the townland names, with some local names added (every field, and maybe every stone, within a townland had a name).

Townland Names of Lusmagh

Gortachallow, marshy field,
Clonahenogue, Corrclough.
Lavaghbeg and Gortnacrannagh,
Townland names of Lusmagh.

Kilmeelaghan and Cloghan More,
Caplevane, the elm plot;
Gortanisky, Bunrevan,
Macnahanny and Glenduff.

Kilmohunna, Kilnaglinny,
Ballynasrah and Gloster;
Beggarstown, Carrowmanagh,
Corgarve North, Fulough.

Ballymacoolahan, Coneycarn,
Shelbourne, Ballylier;
Names to turn the memory back,
To set the heart on fire.

Shanawann, Fahawann,
Collomeen, Capoge;
Local names and more.

Muckinish, Breaninish,
The islands on the Shannon.
Illaunacalliagh, Illaunachar,

Illaunglas, Illaunawatia,
Illaunaphuca too.
Illaunfada, Illaunavegagh,
Lanalla, Illaunashee.

Townlands of Lusmagh D.E.D. per 1911 Census

Click townland name for census details
Source: Census 1911; click on an item to take you to the census details for that townland.

Note: "D.E.D." stands for "District Electoral Division" (now called Electoral Division), the smallest administrative area for which statistics are kept, an area once of significance in electoral organisation, returning one representative to the Poor Law Union. Lusmagh was part of Parsonstown (now called Birr) Poor Law Union.

Townlands of Lusmagh Parish:

Lusmagh, Offaly: 
Townlands or streets.

Click on a place for records from Griffith's on Askaboutireland.
Click on '1901' or '1911' to see census records for the area.
Place name
  Ashgrove or Macnahanny 1901 1911
  Ballylier 1901 1911
  Ballymacoolaghan 1901 1911
  Ballynasrah 1901 1911
  Beggarstown 1901 1911
  Breaninch 1901 1911
  Bunrevan 1901 1911
  Cahills Islands
  Caplevane 1901 1911
  Carrowmanagh 1901 1911
  Cloghan Beg 1901 1911
  Cloghan Demesne 1901 1911
  Clonahenoge 1901 1911
  Clonrah and Glaster 1901 1911
  Cogran 1901 1911
  Coolaghansglaster 1901 1911
  Corclogh 1901 1911
  Corgarve North 1901 1911
  Corgarve South 1901 1911
  Fulough or Macnahanny 1901 1911
  Glaster 1901 1911
  Glaster and Clonrah 1901 1911
  Glenduff 1901 1911
  Gortachallow 1901 1911
  Gortanisky 1901 1911
  Gortarevan 1901 1911
  Gortnacrannagh 1901 1911
  Gortskeha 1901 1911
  Illaunnacalliagh 1901 1911
  Incherky 1901 1911
  Kilmeelchon 1901 1911
  Kilmochonna 1901 1911
  Kilnaglinny 1901 1911
  Lavagh 1901 1911
  Lavagh Beg 1901 1911
  Macnahanny or Ashgrove 1901 1911
  Macnahanny or Fulough 1901 1911
  Muckinish 1901 1911
  Newtown 1901 1911
  Newtown town 1901 1911
  Shelbourne 1901 1911
  Still Island 1901 1911
  Turnersglaster 1901 1911

Source: Irish Times: Irish Ancestors

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