Friday, November 1, 2019

Thomas Mullarney of Wicklow

My 4th great grandfather was Thomas Mullarney of Ballymanus Upper Townland, in the Glenealy Parish of County Wicklow.  He was born around 1808 and died around 1877. 

In 1835, in Old St. Michael's of Rathdrum (church is no longer there), he was married to Elizabeth Ellis, and they were both living in Garrymore, Ballinacor, Wicklow at the time. 

It's unclear when they moved to Ballymanus, and became caretakers of one of Daniel Tighe's properties there, but it was certainly between 1835 and 1841.

I learned of this ancestor upon a trip to Ireland in October 2019, by procuring the death record of known ancestor Sarah Mullarney-Howlett, who was mother to my 2nd great grandmother, Lizzie Howlett-Leonard.  On Sarah's death certificate, it stated she died in Ballymanus Townland, and was wife of schoolteacher (Thomas Howlett).  This was a revelation to me, as all my Irish ancestral research had, up to that point, been confined to North County Dublin.

Once I studied a bit more about Sarah, I learned that her parents were Thomas Mullarney and Elizabeth Ellis, also of Wicklow.  The 1852 Griffith's Valuation matched up the name Thomas Mullarney, at House Lot 3 of Ballymanus Upper:

I paid a visit to the Valuation Office in Dublin, and managed to get a nice copy of the Valuation Map for Glenealy Parish, which was used for the above valuation document:

Griffith's Valuation Map
Thomas Mullarney Lot (See Arrow at the bottom)
Click to Enlarge

Ballymanus Upper/Glenealy
2019 Aerial
(See Yellow Pin for Mullarney Lot)
Is an old house still there?

I was also able to look through the old cancellation books, to run the full chain of title from 1842-1978.  The landlord for the Mullarney House was Daniel Tighe, who was also a neighboring landowner/tenant (as you can see from the above roster).  The Mullarney lot was measured at 9 acres, 3 roods, and 0 perches (about the size of ten football fields).  The 9 acre land was long valued at 5 pounds sterling (inclusive of house).  The house situated on it was always known as the "Woodranger's House" in these cancellation books.  I would be very curious to learn which house this is, and if it's still there.  As of 1978, the house lot had been subdivided onto a smaller land, and was then owned by a Bernard Kelly.

In researching the other small number of Mullarneys living in Glenealy Parish during this time, I've come to believe that Thomas had brother named James (1823), and a daughter or niece named Eliza (1845).  Eliza had her own child in the Rathdrum Workhouse, named William in 1868 - no father listed, and Mullarney was listed as Eliza's maiden name.

Thomas was listed as caretaker of this particular property of Tighe's, and he appears in many petty court sessions in Ballymanus/Glenealy, where he complained of trespassers and thieves:
  • In March of 1841, Thomas witnessed Francis and Dennis Toole trespassing on his tenant property, breaking a fence, and apparently stealing holly crops.
  • Also in March of 1841, Thomas witnessed Phillip Doolin breaking a fence and stealing oak crops.
  • In January of 1842, Thomas witnessed Mary Toole and Elizabeth Dowdall breaking the fence and stealing oak plants.
  • In June of 1842, Thomas witnessed Luke Cullen stealing sod and a horse from his tenant property.
  • October 1842, Thomas witnessed John Fitzpatrick stealing oak trees from his tenant property.
  • In 1851, Thomas witnessed Keven Develin stealing heath from his tenant property.
  • March of 1854, John Beety stole oak trees
  • Sept 1857 and in June of 1862, Thomas was charged for allowing his mare to wander out into the street.
  • October 1857, Thomas was accused by a local tailor Richard Byrne of threatening his life.
  • April of 1860, Thomas witnessed the trespass of cattle onto his tenant lands, said cattle owned by James Bradshaw
  • In January of 1865, Thomas owed Joseph Cowley for goods.
  • June of 1866, Thomas stood up as witness for his son William Mullarney, who was accused of assaulting Mary Kerwin.  William served a week of hard labor.  William was also charged with assaulting George Booth in March of that year, and George Byrne in October of that year.  This may be the same William who died in Rathdrum 1871.
  • August of 1867, Thomas was charged with public drunkenness, and had to pay a fine of one shilling.
  • July 1868, Thomas was charged with having an unlicensed dog.  He licensed a male greyhound two days later
  • March 1869, licensed a slate mongrel.
  • July 1871, licensed a black sheepdog.
  • June 1873, public drunkenness again.
  • March 1874, licensed a brown mastiff.
  • March 1876, licensed a black sheepdog
Whom I believe to be Thomas' brother or father, James Mullarney of Ballymanus, had a few run-ins with the law:
  • In May of 1842, James trespassed onto Daniel Tighe's woods property in Ballymanus, and was convicted.  He had to stay in prison for a fortnight and pay a fine.
  • In July of 1864, he struck Martin Cullen on the public road in Glenealy, and had to stay in jail for a week and pay a fine.
  • In 1866, he landed in prison (unknown charge)
William Mullarney, mentioned above, who had spent a week in jail for assault, and who might be little brother or nephew to Thomas, also had a record:
  • One Eliza Mullarney had a child named William in the Rathdrum Workhouse on 19 Feb 1868.  No father listed.  Was this a child of William's?  Or was this Eliza the same who was wife to Thomas?
  • April and May of 1869, William was arrested twice for assaulting George Loftus Booth, although the cases were dismissed.
By 1877, Daniel Tighe's son, James, acquired title to the land, and most all other land in the Parish,  and at that point, Thomas Mullarney drifts off of title.  He had clearly lost the lease by then.  What is not so clear is what happened to him after that, or when he died.

Thomas Mullarney and his wife Elizabeth had five known children:
  • My ancestor Sarah Mullarney-Howlett (1836-1865).  Sarah died quite young, of tuberculosis, about two years after giving birth to my 2nd great grandmother, Lizzie Howlett-Leonard (pictured below).
  • Patrick Mullarney (1844-1906).  Patrick was a national schoolteacher, just like Sarah's husband, Thomas Howlett.  Patrick was also schoolmaster of Glencullen National School in South Dublin from 1881-1894.
  • William Mullarney (1850-1871).  William was a troublemaker, and often accused of assaulting people.  He died quite young at Rathdrum, after one year of decline, and the informant on the death record was his brother Patrick.
  • John Mullarney (1852-1901).  John had a large family and lived in Georges Quay of Dublin City.
  • Thomas Mullarney (1854-1873).  Died as a teenager.

(ABOUT 1883)

Given that his wife Elizabeth died in 1892, a widow, at aged 82, it seems reasonable to believe that Thomas Mullarney was born around 1808 (Wicklow parish baptismal records from that period are hard to find online), and could have died around 1877, some point after he lost the lease to the Tighe family.

Thomas was born about ten years after the execution of Billy Byrne of Ballymanus, who put this townland into history.  I wonder if his parents knew Billy (or were somehow related to him)?

Patrick and his family lived in Glencullen, Rathdown, South County Dublin (just a bit north of Wicklow), so perhaps Thomas died in that area too.


1901 and 1911 Irish Censuses
Wicklow Cancellation/Revision Books
Griffith's Valuation
Catholic Parish Registers (Wicklow and Dublin)
Civil Birth, Marriage and Death Records
Petty Court Sessions (Wicklow)
Dog License Registers (Wicklow)
National School Salary Books (Wicklow and Dublin)

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