From Pat Purcell Papers.
Planting and Registering Trees in Ireland.
By the end of the 17th century a great
deal of Ireland's natural woodland had been cut down and timber was
beginning to be in short supply. Sir William Petty suggested that two
million trees should be planted. It would appear that over 200,000 (two
hundred thousand) trees were "planted" in Carlow between 1770 and 1890!
In 1698, the first of seventeen Acts was
applied to Ireland to enforce, or at least to encourage, the planting of
trees. The provisions of the 1765 Act stated that, on the expiration of
his lease, a tenant could claim for the value of the trees that he had
planted, provided that he certified this planting and then lodged the
certificate with the clerk of the peace for the county. This exercise
resulted in the Register of Trees which have survived for various
counties in Ireland. The registrations were recorded at the quarter
sessions and published in The Dublin Gazette.
Subsequently this information was entered
in the ledger entitled Register of Trees into which, depending on the
diligence of the Justice of the Peace, the original affidavits were
copied out in full or in summary form.
This information can be useful to
genealogists interested in a particular family who had long-established
roots in a particular townland or county.
Michael Purcell believes that many of the
trees claimed for during this period were not planted, the application
was a means of availing of the grant, all one needed was a friendly
Justice of the Peace or a fellow Magistrate to witness your signature on
claiming the grant.
Sources: Crown and Peace Records, Public Record Office of
Northern Ireland, Pat Purcell Papers, Browne-Clayton Archive.
- Transcribed by M. Purcell c2011.
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- © 2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects,