Tuesday, March 14, 2023

I Attend Lectures At the National Archives of Ireland, And So Can You


     It's true, you can!  I'm a faithful reader of Clare Santry's Irish Genealogy News blog which covers all things pertaining to Irish genealogical research, from databases to site updates, to bargains. Pickings have been slim since covid reared its ugly head, but one helpful thing that did come out of the lock downs was an increase in Zoom accessible lectures.  A while ago on Clare's site I noticed one such talk sponsored by the Archives titled, From Tithes to Griffith's: Property and Valuation Records, given by professional genealogist Michael Walsh and now available at You Tube.  As I happened to currently be working in just that area of my research, I decided to give it a go.

      I've been fruitlessly searching for my third-great-grandfather Michael Hoar/O'Hora, of  Ricketstown, County Carlow, in the Tithe Applotment Books ever since they came online in 2012.  I've found a John "Hoar", another variation, in Ricketstown but no Michael, whose children's baptism records give his address as that place. The tithe book of the Civil Parish of Rahill in County Carlow contains part of Ricketstown; the other part of the townland lies in the Civil Parish of Kineagh, County Carlow.  I cannot find it, and Lord knows I've looked!  

John Hoar in the Rahill Parish book, mistakenly indexed as Hoan at the Archives

     Once again, I pulled up the Kineagh book.  It had 131 images online at Family Search, not bad, may as well look at them all.  The first pages seemed to be a protracted argument about who should get the cash from the tithes, but then the image below came up. Take a look at the heading, it reads, "Particulars of Rent-Charge payable to Thomas G. Maple in lieu of Composition...".  What did that mean? Typically, it would have read just, "Annual Composition", though all the tithe books are a little different.  There was no standard form used, each locality designed thier own format.

Ricketstown is the last entry in the Kineagh Parish book, person liable for rent-charge is J. Hutchinson


            This page was followed by more discussion of who was entitled to benefit from the tithes, then suddenly, I found myself in County Cork.  Seems it also has a parish by the name of Kineagh.  Returning to the page, it appears J. Hutchinson, in the third column, was responsible for Ricketstown's tithes so possibly no list of occupiers was done?  Maybe that professional genealogist could help.

     I've hesitated in the past to try these lectures. Attempting to calculate the time differences and navigate the intricacies of Zoom, along with my aversion to attempting anything that might cause me frustration, (like computers) intimidated me a bit.  However, this proved literally painless.  I reserved my "ticket", followed the instructions emailed to me, and I was in like Flynn.  I really didn't even read the instructions closely, which for me is always a last resort, and it still worked.  Kudos to the Archives.

     The program was enjoyable, and it felt quite glamorous to be attending an academic lecture.  I even learned a few things.  There was a Q & A session afterwards, but unfortunately my question about the phrase, "in lieu of composition", wasn't chosen.  

     I remain completely confused by all this, the description at Family Search says the year of the Kineagh book is unknown, but it appears to be post 1837.  For years the british had been floating bills to change how tithes were collected, hoping Catholic tenants could be mollified by lowering their tithes and rolling them into their rent payments. That became law in 1838 and would explain the use of the term, "Rent-Charge", on the document.  Still, I came across a book done in 1850 which still listed occupiers at that late date.  All I know is that the names of Ricketstown residents in Kineagh are missing.  I'm not quite ready to give up though, maybe I should be looking in the Cork film?




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