Antoinette Lydon

Music by Ardvarna & Friends

Ardvarna is in the civil parish of Kilcummin. The civil Parish corresponds with the following Church of Ireland parish of Kilcummin, Galway West. In general the civil parish and the Church of Ireland parish are the same as is the case in the Kilcummin Oughterard area.

Irish Form of Name: Ard Bhearna and Bearna Ard

Translation: high gap

Ardvarna is in the Electoral Division of Oughterard, in Civil Parish of Kilcummin, in the Barony of Moycullen, in the County of Galway

Other Forms of the Name:

  • Ardvarna
  • Ard Bhearna and Bearna Ard
  • Ard Bearna Gap
  • Bearna Árd

Other placenames in this townland:

Some other placenames in or near this townland are:

  • Ardvarna House (house) A neat house of 2 stories, the residence of Vignolles, Esq., R.M. 1838.

Ardvarna is in the Electoral Division of Oughterard, in Civil Parish of Kilcummin, in the Barony of Moycullen, in the County of Galway


Ardvarna has good land. It contains 18¼ acres, all arable with the exception of some ornamental ground, and a few patches of plantation. Ardvarna House is situated near its western boundary. The centre of the Galway and Oughterard road forms the N. Eastern boundary of this townland.


Ardvarna borders the following other townlands:


Captain O’Flahertie, Esq., Lemonfield, Proprietor.

O’Flahertie (Lemonfield) – The O’Flaherties of Lemonfield are descended from the O’Flaherties of Aughnanure Castle near Oughterard, county Galway. Their estate was in the parish of Kilcummin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, and Lemonfield, close to the village of Oughterard, was their seat from the mid 18th century. There are some 17th and 19th century records relating to them in the Westport Papers. The O’Flahertie estate of over 4500 acres was advertised for sale in 1854 and a reduced acreage of 2346 acres in 1864. Both rentals included lead mines and a black marble quarry. The Irish Times reports that the 1864 sale saw many of the lots bought by a Mr. Carpenter. In the 1870s the O’Flaherties owned 2340 acres in county Galway. By March 1916 they had accepted offers from the Congested Districts’ Board for parts of their estate.

The family spelt the name O‘fflahertie.

Captain O’Flaherty of Lemonfield

Information from the Down Survey Website:

The Down Survey website will tell you who owned this townland in 1641 (pre Cromwell) and in 1671 (post Cromwell).

Down Survey website

Townland of ARDVARNA

Down Survey Name: Mountain

1670 Owner(s): Martin, Richard (Catholic); Clanrickard, Earl of (Protestant)

County: Galway

Barony: Muckullin

Parish: Killcumyn

Griffiths Valuation 1850’s

In Griffith’s Valuation the area was 18 acres 3 rood 29 perch with a land value of £12 10s 0d.

Value of Buildings was £16 0s 0d, and the total value is £28 10s 0d.

Occupiers of the Land:  John Scully

Immediate Lessor: Geo. F O’Flahertie

Out Offices and Land

The out office was a farm building, a cow house, piggery or barn. The land was very poor and sterile and people were always poverty-stricken. At this time most tenants were trying to eke out a living on 5 acres or less and a farmer needed at least 15.3 acres to survive.

Poor Law Union Ireland

In Ireland the Poor Relief Act of 1838 divided into districts or “unions” in which the local taxable inhabitants were to be financially responsible for all paupers in the area. In 1898 the Poor Law Union was adopted as the basic administrative division in place of the civil parish and barony. Further subdivision into 828 registration districts and 3,751 district electoral divisions followed. Townlands were not arranged according to these divisions with parish and barony retained as a means to make comparisons with records gathered before 1898.

The 1838 Act

The main provisions of the 1838 Act were:

  • The extension of the existing Poor Law Commissioners’ powers to Ireland, with the appointment of Assistant Commissioners who were to implement the Act in Ireland.
  • The division of the country into Poor Law Unions based on Irish electoral divisions which were themselves made up from townlands.
  • The creation of a Board of Guardians for each Union, two-thirds of whom were to be elected, the other third to be appointed ex officio.
  • The setting up of a workhouse in each Union.
  • The collection of a local poor-rate to finance the system.
  • Assistance for emigration.

Initially, 130 Unions were created, based upon 2,049 electoral divisions. The divisions were composed of townlands, a peculiarly Irish unit, traditionally of 120 Irish acres in area. (Between 1848 and 1850, an additional 33 Unions were created by subdividing and reorganizing the boundaries of some existing Unions, particularly in the west of the country.

Boards of Guardians were elected annually on 25th March. Only rate-payers were eligible for election, which effectively disenfranchised most of the native Irish who were usually tenants at this time. Rate-payers were allowed between one and six votes depending on the size of a valuation of their property.

Population & Census Information

You can retrieve a list of people who lived in this townland from 1827 to 1911. This list is compiled from the following resources.

  • The Tithe Applotment Books
  • Griffith’s Valuation
  • 1901 Census
  • 1911 Census

List of nineteenth century and early twentieth century inhabitants.

Census 1841-1891 

1841 – 1 house with 13 people

1851 – 2 houses with 11 people

1861 – 1 house with 10 people

1871 – 1 house with 1 people

1881 – 1 house with 2 people (2 females). There was 10 outbuildings. Total Valuation of Houses & Lands £28 10s 0d.

1891 – 1 house with 6 people (2 males/4 females). There was 5 Outbuildings. Total Valuation of Houses & Lands £28 10s 0d.


A town land is one of the smallest land divisions in Ireland. They range in size from a few acres to thousands of acres. Many are Gaelic in origin, but some came into existence after the Norman invasion 1169. Ardvarna is a townland.

Census 1901 Ardvarna

This is a return of the member of the family, their Visitors, Boarders, and Servants who slept or abode in their house on the night of 31st of March 1901 in Ardvarna. There was 1 house listed in the townland of Ardvarna. Of the people living in Ardvarna 7 (3 females/3 males) all were Roman Catholics.

The people that lived in Ardvarna were born in Co. Galway & Co. Kerry, Co. Clare.

There were a total of 7 farm buildings and out offices which included stable,coach house, harness room, cow house, fowl house, Barn & Turf house.

Class of House:The class of house depended on the materials used in the roof, walls, number of rooms and number of front windows. A 1st class house was considered the highest standard.

Walls of the houses: The walls were of stone, brick, and concrete or of mud, wood or other perishable material. The house in Ardvarna was built of stone, brick or concrete. There were no mud cabins.

Enumerators Extract

House & Building Returns

Out Office & Farm Steadings

House 1

Bartholomew S Mangan aged 40 was head of the family; married to Delia M aged 30, they lived with their children St. George A aged 2 & Mary Celentina aged 2, Jane M Ferris aged 19, Annie McNamara aged 23 & Michael Fahy aged 19.

Bartholomew was a M D, M Ch, Mao, R. U. I. he was born in Killorglin Co. Kerry. Delia M was born in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare. George & Mary Celentina were born in Oughterard. Jane was a nursery governess/domestic servant, she was born in Oughterard. Annie was a general domestic servant, unable to make out the place entered as her place of birth. Michael was a coachman/domestic servant; he was born in Co. Galway.

They lived in a 1st class house with 5 rooms and 7 front windows. They also had stable, coach house, harness room, cow house, fowl house, Barn & Turf house. This premise was a Private Dwelling.

Census 1911 Ardvarna

This is a return of the Members of the families in Ardvarna, their visitors, boarders and servants who slept or abode in the house on the night of Sunday 2nd April 1911.

There were 2 houses listed in the Townland of Ardvarna. Of the people living in Ardvarna all 4(2 males/2 females) were Protestant Episcopalian.

People that lived in Ardvarna were born included Co.Tipperary. There were a total of 1 farm buildings and out offices which included was a shed.

Enumerators Extract

House & Building Returns

Out Office & Farm Steadings

House 1

Thomas Allen aged 50 was head of the family, married to Jane aged 48, they lived with their children Robert aged 28 & Maggie aged 18 both single.

Thomas was a gardener; Robert was a groom. The entire family could read & write; they were born in Co. Tipperary and Protestant Episcopalian.

Thomas & Jane were married for 30 years; they had 6 children with all 6 still living at the time of the census.

They lived in a 2nd class house with 2 rooms and 2 front windows. They had a shed.

Major B. Hallingsheas was the landlord of this property.

House 2 was uninhabited

Church records of births, deaths and marriages:

Church records of births, deaths and marriages are available online at To search these records you will need to know the ‘church parish’ rather than the ‘civil parish’. (The civil parish is the pre-reformation parish and was frequently used as a unit of administration in the past.)

Ardvarna is in the civil parish of Kilcummin.

Catholic parish:

This civil parish corresponds with the following Roman Catholic parish or parishes.

  • Clonbern & Kilkerrin in Galway East.
  • Carraroe in Galway West.
  • Kilannin in Galway West.
  • Kilcummin/Oughterard in Galway West.
  • Rosmuc in Galway West.

Church of Ireland parish:

This civil parish corresponds with the following Church of Ireland parish.

  • Kilcummin in Galway West.

In general, the civil parish and the Church of Ireland parish are the same, but, this is not always the case.


It is located at 53° 25′ 30″ N, 9° 18′ 49″ W

Ireland was first mapped in the 1840s. These original maps are available online.


Below is a link to the Ordnance Survey of Ireland website. It displays the original OS map that was created in the 1840s.


Information from Google Maps:

You can use this link to find this townland on Google Maps.

Google Maps

Information from the National Monuments Service:

Archaeological map from the National Monuments Service

Link to website 

Galway Library Website 

This page was added on 04/02/2015.

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