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The County Library

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Local History Book on the Parish of Cashel in Longford

   When you’re out and about Ireland, don’t forget to stop at the County Library.  Every Library is different and you don’t know what you’ll find until you check.  I had reviewed the holdings of the Longford Library before I left home and was intrigued by their reference to “Estate Records.”  There was a story that Pat Moughty had been evicted from his land in Barnacor and that’s how he ended up in Westmeath.  

   Like most places in Ireland, the Library doesn’t have a specific address and the Library wasn’t embedded in my GPS.  Once I got to Longford Town, I pulled over and asked where the Library was located.  Just go down about past the light and through the arch on the right I was told.  The arch, was simply an alley (very narrow) between two buildings connected by a walkway.  Of course I missed it the first time and had to go through town, turn around and head back.  The alley opened up to a large parking lot for a supermarket and in the back was the small Library.  When I checked at the desk I was told the Archives were in another building across the parking lot.  The Archives housed a substantial collection of local history and genealogy books as well as some original records.  One wall contained the original Workhouse Registers for the three locations in Longford, although you had to use them on microfilm.  Same with the maps.  Unfortunately, the small estate collection they had did not cover the landlords listed in Griffith’s Valuation for the estates where my ancestors lived.  

   But there were lots of local history books that I hadn’t seen in the US.  One of the books listed the changes in the estate ownership between the Tithe and Griffith’s and I discovered one Moughty was on the King Harmon estate during the Tithe.  I had overheard the Archivist talking to another patron about the records they had for King Harmon but when I checked they only had personal papers after 1850…to late for me.  The Archivist did say that the rent books for the estate were at the National Library, so that’s a possibility for next week.  I spent about two hours in the Archives and then went back to the Library for another hour of online newspaper research into the local papers.

James, Thomas, Michael Legal

   When I met with the cousins on Sunday night, they had told me that their father, along with his two brothers had become “wards of the state” after their father died in 1911.  A newspaper clipping showed up in the legal notices in 1915 that I plan to follow up on that in Dublin as well.  

   A few years ago, I also had the opportunity to visit the Leitrim County Library.  They have a large wall of index cards for the local newspapers. So when you’re traveling in Ireland check out the County Library.  You never know what you’ll find until you look.

2012-07-18 21.58.17

   Happy Hunting!


© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2017