Curraun Beg

Text by Mary Kyne, Hyperlinks - Antoinette Lydon

Curraun Beg 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.

The Irish form of the name is: Corrán Beag – little hook

Curraun Beg is in the Electoral Division of Letterfore, in Civil Parish of Kilcummin, in the Barony of Moycullen, in the County of Galway

Other forms of name


Corrán beag

Curraunbeg Boundary Surveyor

Curranebeg Barony Cess Book

Curraun County Map

Curraunbeg Local

Curraun Barony Map


Corraun elsewhere

Description and Situation of Curraunbeg

The land was very stony and mountainous. Curraunbeg contains 147¾ acres about the ¼ is under tillage and pasture. The remainder is Rough Mountain; bog including ¼ acres of water.


In the northern part of the parish, bounded W. by Lough Corrib and N. by Shaunawagh and Lough Corrib, E. by Shannawagh and Derroura and S. by Curraun Hill.


Thomas B. Martin, Esq., Ballinahinch, Proprietor.

Martin (Ross) – The Martin family were established beside Ross Lake in the barony of Moycullen, county Galway, from the late 16th century, where they purchased land from the O’Flahertys. They were Royalist supporters and were dispossessed of their property in the city of Galway by the Cromwellians. Robert Martin received a grant of 2,909 acres in the barony of Moycullen, by patent dated 21 Aug 1677. Jasper Martin of Ross, who died in 1700, had two sons Jasper and Richard, from whom descend the two branches of the family settled at Ross and Ballynahinch. Nicholas Martin, who died in 1811, married Elizabeth O’Hara, daughter of Robert O’Hara of Lenaboy, and according to Burke’s ”Landed Gentry”, a grandniece of James O’Hara, 2nd Baron Tyrawley. Their grandson, James Martin of Ross, had sixteen children from his two marriages. His daughter, Maud, married H. Callwell and they were the parents of the author, J. M. Callwell. The youngest daughter of James Martin was Violet Florence Martin of the well known literary team Somerville and Ross. The Martins of Ross owned 5,767 acres in county Galway in the 1870s. They advertised the sale of their estate in the Landed Estates’ Court in May 1885.

Martin (Ballynahinch) – A branch of the Anglo Norman family of Martin, one of the Tribes of Galway, was granted the O’Flaherty lands in the Connemara region in the mid 17th century. This family was a junior branch of the Martins of Ross and under the Acts of Settlement was granted vast estates in counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Clare and Sligo. By a patent dated 1698 they were confirmed in the possession of their Connemara estate known as the Manor of Claremount by King William. The Westport Estate Papers document the sale of over 27,000 acres in the baronies of Moycullen and Ballynahinch by the trustees for the sale of Colonel John Browne’s estate to John Edwards for Richard Martin in 1699. The early generations of Martins lived at Birch Hall and Dangan, in the townland of Oranhill, parish of Rahoon, near Galway city. Richard Martin, better known as ‘Humanity Dick’, was the first member of the family to be reared as a Protestant. He was a famous duelist and founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ballynahinch Castle was built in the centre of his estate. His son Thomas Martin died in 1847 during the Famine and Thomas’s only daughter and heir, Mary Laetita, inherited a heavily encumbered estate. She married her cousin, Arthur Gonne Bell, and died in New York in 1850. The Martin estates were offered for sale in two sections in 1849. Their property close to Galway town included Dangan, Corcullen, Bushypark and Killeen. Their Connemara estate was acquired by the Law Life Assurance Society in 1852, to which it was heavily mortgaged. In 1853 the estate of almost 200,000 acres was surveyed by Thomas Colville Scott for a prospective buyer. Richard Martin, second son of Richard ‘Humanity Dick’ Martin of Ballynahinch, is recorded as holding five town lands in the parish of Killannin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, at the time of Griffith’s Valuation although he emigrated to Canada in 1833. He was also recorded as the occupier of Clareville, a Martin home in the village of Oughterard. Many of his descendants still reside in Canada.

Down’s Survey
Townland of CURRAUN BEG

Down Survey Name: Criggane
1641 Owner(s): McKugh, Errivan O’Flahartye (Catholic)
1670 Owner(s): Meredith, Sir Thomas (Protestant)
County: Galway
Barony: Muckullin
Parish: Killcumyn,-9.45097&z=14

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


Tithe Applotment 1829

About the Records

Tithes were a tax on agricultural produce which was payable by the occupiers of agricultural land. They were the main source of income for the parish clergy of the Church of Ireland (the largest Protestant church and the church established by law). However, in many parishes a large part of the tithes were ‘appropriate’, which meant that they were payable to a bishop, cathedral chapter or other ecclesiastical recipient, or were ‘impropriate’, which generally meant that they were payable to a local landowner. The parishes used in the Tithe Applotment Books are civil or Church of Ireland parishes, which often differ in name and territory from Catholic parishes, Acts of Parliament of 1823 and 1832 provided for the conversion of tithes into a fixed charge on land, and specified the average price of wheat or oats in the parish in the seven years before 1821 as the basis on which the tithes would be calculated. They also extended the application of tithes to pasture, where previously they had been levied only on tillage.

This change in the law resulted in the valuation of individual holdings in almost all parishes containing agricultural land, in order to assess the portion of the tithes for which each occupier of land would be liable. The apportionment was recorded for each Church of Ireland parish in a Tithe Composition Applotment Book. The information was collected and the amounts were calculated by two Parochial Commissioners, one of whom was appointed by the cess-payers of the parish and the other by the relevant Diocese of the Church of Ireland. This procedure was carried out in over 2,500 parishes between the years 1823 and 1837.

The Tithe Applotment Books are in a variety of formats, from a few pages sewn together to elaborately bound volumes. In most cases they are written in manuscript throughout, although some consist of manuscript entries on printed questionnaires. The information in the books is broadly uniform and generally includes at least the name of occupier; the size of holding, the valuation and the tithe payable. In some cases more detailed information is provided. Some volumes have maps and most have certificates and correspondence attached.

The sub-divisions of the parish were recorded. Some of these subdivisions, such as plough lands, ceased to be in official use after the six inch survey of the Ordnance Survey was completed in the 1840s. Only productive land was subject to tithe, and the books usually distinguish between this tithable land and untithable land such as roads or mountains. Tithable land was in some cases classified by quality, and a money value was given to each class. In some cases the proportion of tithe payable to the rector, vicar or lay proprietor of the tithes was set out. The column for observations was sometimes completed, with information about commonage, for example.

There are a number of other points that should be noted. The acreages given in the Tithe Applotment Books are in Irish or Plantation measure, which is 1.62 times larger than statute measure. Only occupiers of land at the time of the tithe composition are recorded, so not all heads of households living in a parish at the time are included. Only rural areas are systematically covered, although inhabitants of towns who held plots of cultivable land are included. The equivalent tax in urban areas, Minister’s Money, has left few records.

The Tithe Applotment Books are an important source of information for a wide variety of researchers of pre-Famine Ireland. They provide the first surviving national list of the occupiers of land, and are used by genealogists as a partial substitute for returns of the 1821 and 1831 censuses of population, which were destroyed in 1922. They also record information on the quality of land, and provide information on pre-Ordnance Survey territorial divisions, some of which were not recognised after the 1840s.

The National Archives hold the original Tithe Applotment Books only for the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland. The books for the six counties of Northern Ireland are held in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast. (

Tithe Applotment Books 1829 lists Patt Conneely, Stephen Haherty  (But I think this could be Faherty), Bartley Mc Donagh, James Mc Donagh and Mark Towell.

Griffiths Valuation 1850’s

In Griffith’s Valuation the area is 147acres 3roods 14perches with a land value of £6 5s 0d. Value of Building is 5s 0d, and the total value is £6 10s 0d.

Occupiers of the Land: William Murphy. Edward archer was the immediate lessor.

There was one Small Island in Lough Corrib of 10 perches of no agricultural value belonging to the tenant.


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.


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. Curraun Beg is a townland and other place names in or near this townland are:

Population & Census Return

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 – 2 houses with 11 people

1851- 2 houses with 13 people

1861 – 1 house with 5 people

1871 – No house with 0 people living in the townland.

1881 – No house with 0 people living in the townland.  Valuation of Houses & Lands £6 10s 0d

1891 – No house with 0 people living in the townland. Valuation of Houses & Lands £6 5s 0d

1901 Census Curraun Beg

There is no return for residents in this townland

1911 Census Curraun Beg

There were no residents living in Curraun Beg.

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.)

Curraun Beg 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.

Galway Library Placenames Website


It is located at 53° 28′ 57″ N, 9° 26′ 59″ W.

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


Original OS maps at the Ordnance Survey of Ireland website

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:

Google Maps


Information from the National Monuments Service:

You can use this link to view a map of archaeological features. This link brings you to a website wherein you will have to search for your townland.

Archaeological map from the National Monuments Service Website


Additional Information from ‘A Valley Remembers Glann” 2013

This hilly townland opposite the Hill of Doon lies west of Shannawagh at a sharp bend in the shoreline known as Leic. The shoreline at the Curraun townlands opposite the Hill of Doon resembles the shape of a reaping hook hence the name. There is a small lake (Lough beg) situated at its southern boundary with Currane Hill.

James 1. 1641

1641 this area was granted to Morogh Mc Rory. In the 1850’s the proprietor was Thomas B. Martin Esq.

Sometime after 1911 Philibin’s moved to Curraun Beg from Curraun More. During the 30’s the cottage there was referred as Máire Seoighe’s cottage inferring that such a person may have lived there at sometime.

There is a Triangulation Mark at 359 feet close to its border with Shannaghwagh. There are two little islands off shore in the narrows with Doon called Lackacanue (Lacha Camus) East and West. Doon rock is close by to the west. There was discussion one time to build a bridge at this point across the lake.

This area is famous for its views of the Hill of Doon. It is also well known for the roundhouse and the picturesque thatched cottage.

Cottage Rebuilt 1947

The Philibin cottage was in ruins. In 1946 Mary Bruce Wallace and her daughter Monica purchased it and rebuilt it in 1947 in a more northerly location. They named ‘Marycot”. Mary was born in 1877 into a prosperous middleclass family in Weston Super-Mare in England. She was a mystic and a gifted writer. One of her better known works ‘The Thinning of the Veil” has been published many times.

Her brother Wellesly Tudor Pole was born in 1884 and was to become ”undoubtly one of the greatest sears of his generation.’ One of the many things he achieved in his varied life was to persuade Churchill the then Prime Minister of England, to launch what became known as the ‘Big Ben Silent Minute.’ The idea was that the people of Britain would observe a minute of prayful silence every evening at 9p.m to help the War effort in a spiritual way. When the chimes rang out, (they were broadcast), over 10 million people observed the ritual regularly.

After the War when being questioned by British Intelligence a Nazi Gestapo was asked why he thought the Germans had lost the war; he stated, ‘you had a ‘weapon’ we could not counter – your silent minute.

Mary married the Rev. J. Bruce Wallace. M.A. a Presbyterian from Limafaddy whose ministry took him to Dublin and Salthill where the family settled. It was during this time on a trip to the hill of Doon they came across the Philibin cottage, purchased it from Tommy Joyce and had it rebuilt naming it ‘Marycot. Both Mary and Monica who converted to Catholicism are buried in Killcummin cemetery overlooking their beloved Lough Corrib.

Liam and Deirdre Jordan who run a Photography business in Ballinasloe now own the cottage. The Cleary family from Dublin owns the round house and uses it as a holiday home.

There is the ruins of a building south of Leic on high ground which is referred to as Paddy Sheever’s.”

This page was added on 13/02/2015.

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