Antoinette Lydon

Glassillaun 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: Glas Oileán

Translation: green island

Civil Parish: Kilcummin View all place names in this civil parish.

Glassillaun is in the Electoral Division of Crumpaun, in Civil Parish of Kilcummin, in the Barony of Moycullen, in the County of Galway

Other Forms of the Name with authority source (if provided) in italics:


Glas Oileán

Glas Oileán

Gloss Illaun Boundary Surveyor

Gloss Illaun

or Green Island Local

Glassillain is an island that contains 4 acres of pasture, belonging to the townland of Carrowroe West.

Situation: A small island which belongs to Carhoorooa West townland, as also does Illaun Rooa, 10 chains N.W. of Illaunrooa.

Griffith’s Valuation

In Griffith’s Valuation the area in Glassillaun was a total of 4 acres, 0 rood & 2 perch of land.

Occupier: Tenant of Carrowroe West.

Immediate Lessor: James S Lambert & illaunroe (islands)

 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 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, subdividing and reorganizing the boundaries of some existing Unions, particularly in the west of the country created an additional 33 Unions.

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

What is a townland?

A townland 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 of 1169


Glasillaun is in Carrowroe West townland.

Population & Census Information

1841-1911 Census

No one lived on the island from 1841 to 1911.

Valuation of the island in 1881 & 1891 was £1 0s 0d.


It is located at 53° 17′ 45″ N, 9° 37′ 0″ W.

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 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

Galway Library Website

This page was added on 12/09/2016.

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