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Extract from Books of Survey and Distribution (1680) for Killarney

Patrick Kissane contributes this information about the Books of Distribution and Survey and a transcription of the Survey for Killarney, presented in the table below.

The Books of Survey and Distribution were compiled around 1680. Their main function was to serve as a basis for the taxing of ownership of land. To this end, a list of landowners and their holdings was compiled. It was the Land Registry of its day. The records were compiled on a barony and parish basis. The records for Killarney are for the parish of Killarney. The book was written in copperplate handwriting.

A copy of the Books of Distribution and Survey is kept at the National Archives in Dublin and a copy at the National Library in Dublin. Extracts can be obtained by mail on payment of a small fee.

Under the Brehon law, the clan was regarded as the owner of the land. But under the English common law, the chieftain was regarded as the owner of the land.

During the 100 years to 1680, there had been two confiscations of land and a partial reversal. The first confiscation occurred after the Earl of Desmond's rebellion in 1584. At that time, the land in the Killarney area was owned by the O' Donoghues. The land of the O' Donoghues was confiscated. A large part of the confiscated land was given to the McCarthys who had taken no part in the rebellion.The remainder of the O' Donoghues land was given to Sir Valentine Browne. Later the McCarthys sold to Sir Valentine Brown some of the confiscated O' Donoghue land that they had received (including Ross Castle).

Most of the land mentioned in the Killarney extract is situated to the east of the present Killarney town. These lands would have been owned by the O' Donoghue of the Glen branch of the O' Donoghue clan. Even today, many of the persons resident in this area are named O' Donoghue.

Although all of the McCarthy lands was confiscated in the Cromwellian Plantation, some of the lands were restored to the McCarthys on the restoration of Charles II in 1660. The restored lands included Pallas, Muckross, Cahernane and Castlelough. Some of these lands, including the castle at Castlelough, remained in the ownership of the McCarthy family until the late 18th century when they were sold by them. The last McCarthy, Florence or Finneen McCarthy, who had a credible claim to be regarded as McCarthy Mor died in London in 1640. The suffix Mor (big) indicates that the person was chieftain of the clan. McCarthy Mor was forced to spend 40 years in exile in London. He wrote a history of Ireland while there, usually called The McCarthy Book. Donal McCarthy of Castlelough (called "Dan the Feathers") also claimed to be McCarthy Mor. His lands were confiscated and then restored.

Sir Valentine Browne was appointed Auditor-General of Ireland in the mid-sixteenth century and later Surveyor-General. He seems to have carried out his duties so well that he was given a large portion of the land confiscated from the O' Donoghues in 1584. In all, there were 11 Brownes between 1584 and 1952. They later became Earls of Kenmare. Throughout all of this time, they adhered to the Catholic religion. The line and title became extinct in 1952 with the death of the last Lord Kenmare. The present-day State-owned Killarney National Park comprises much of the land owned by the O' Donoghues.

The Lord Kerry mentioned was Patrick FitzMaurice, 19th Baron of Kerry.

The Theo Jones mentioned was Theophilus Jones. He had been a member of Cromwell's Parliament and became Governor of Dublin. He was instrumental in bringing about the Restoration of Charles II.

In the 17th century, Killarney town was not much more than a village with one main street, viz. Main Street.

The records are shown in six columns. Measurements are by acres, roods and perches. Some names have changed since the book was written. Where able to confirm a name or location, it is listed in brackets after the 17th century name. However some of the names mentioned are no longer in use and have no present-day equivalents.

  1. The owner in 1641 i.e. prior to the Insurrection and Cromwellian plantation.
  2. A description of the land: it is mainly a geographical place-name.
  3. Unprofitable land e.g. bogs, mountains, lakes etc.
  4. Profitable land e.g. arable and grazing land.
  5. Acreage transferred. The acres are Plantation acres which equalled 1.62 of a statute acre.
  6. The name of the owner in 1680 i.e. after a) the Plantation and b) the Restoration (which reversed some of the Plantation). However in many cases it shows Sir Valentine Browne as both the old owner and the new owner, that is, no change.
Owner 1641 Land Description Land Unprofitable
Land Profitable
Acres Transferred
Owner 1680
Sir Valentine Browne Pnepne   032:2:00 032:2:00 Sir Valentine Browne
The Same Bog in ye Same 152:0:0     "
The Same In ye Same   056:2:10   "
The Same KilleeLane  (Killteelene)   187:0:0 187:0:0 "
The Same Davy Donnelly   91:1:10 91:1:10 "
The Same BallyCasheen (Ballycasheen)   177:0:35 177:0:35 "
The Same In ye Same   12:1:00 12:1: 00 "
The Same In ye Same   2:0:0 2:0:0 "
The Same Teernabeull (Tiernaboul)   70:0:37 70:0:37 "
The Same Mounish (Minish)   221:2:28 221:2:28 "
The Same In ye Same   067:2:10 067:2:10 "
The Same Drumachvaney (Drumachvane)
part of Mounish (Minish)
  130:1:13 130:1:13 "
The Same Rosse (the town and lands of Rosse)   92:0:0 92:0:0 "
The Same West Bealagtcomon (West Beallaghcoman)   105:2:10 105:2:10 "
The Same In ye Same   74:0:0 74:0:0 "
The Same In ye Same   107:0:0 107:0:0 "
The Same Middle Bealagtcomon (Beallaghcoman)   145:2:0 145:2:0 "
The Same In ye Same   288:1:25 288:1:25 "
The Same In ye Same   78:0:0 78:0:0 "
The Same In ye Same   3:2: 00 3:2:00 "
Sir Valentine Browne Inisfallen (Inisfallen island)   13:0:0 13:0:0 "
The Same Barenasnaroe
(the mountains & glens of Barnosna)
  3052:2:12 3052:2:12 "
The Same Kilbreanmore (Kilbrean Mor)   223:3:30 223:3:30 "
The Same In ye Same   25:0:0 25:0:0 "
The Same In ye Same   08:2:10 08:2:10 "
The Same Drumhale (Drumhall)   51:0:0 51:0:0 "
The Same Kippagh (Kippagh)   82:0:0 82:0:0 "
The Same Knocknahone (Knockahone)   488:0:0 488:0:0 "
The Same Knockashaboda.Of ye Same. (Knockashaboda)   91:2:04 91:2:04 "
The Same In ye Same   64:0:0 64:0:0 "
The Same Knockaluckick (Knockaluckigg)(nock   133:2:23 133:2:23 "
The Same In ye Same   110:2:10 110:2:10 "
The Same Maininamuckie (Monanemucky)   189:0:35 189:0:35 "
The Same In Ye Same   97:0:0 97:0:0 "
The Same Lissavegeene (Lissivigeen)   357:1:15 357:1:15 "
The Same In Ye Same   20:0:0 20:0:0 "
The Same Inchee (Inchy)   180:3:25 180:3:25 "
The Same In ye Same   15:2:0 15:2:0 "
Sir Valentine Browne Sheheere (Sheheere)   65:1:02 65:1:02 "
The Same GortDrumohier. (Gortdromakiery)
Culiormny (Coolromony)
  975:0:0 975:0:0 "
The Same In ye Same   1345:1:34 1345:1:34 "
The Same Unprofitable Mountaine 1005:0:05     "
Daniel M McCarthymore
(Donal McCarthy Mor)
Cahereene   301:1:07 301:1:07 Sir Valentine Brown
Dame Sarah Carty
(Dame Sarah McCarthy)
The Same Drumhumper (Drumhumper)   97:0:36 97:0:36 "
The Same Drumuske   172:0:0 172:0:0 "
The Same A Bogg 4:0:0      
The Same Trillaghbegg   191:0:0 191:0:0 Dame Sarah Carty
The Same Course pasture   3:0:0 3:0:0 "
Donagh M Finine Cluligg   237:0:0 237:0:0 Katherine Jones
The Same In ye Same   64:0:0 64:0:0 "
Donagh Finin Carthy
(also known as Florence McCarthy)
Ballyspillane (Ballyspillane)   17:2:14 17:2:14 Theo Jones
Jeofry o donaghy
(Geoffrey O' Donoghue)
Bealagheemon east   255:0:0 25:0:19
Katherin Jones
Theo Jones
The Same In ye Same   473:0:3 473:0:3 Sir Valentine Brown
The Same In ye Same   50:0:0 50:0:0 "
The Same In ye Same   51:0:0 51:0:0 "
The Same In ye Same   17:0:0 17:0:0 "
The Same In ye Same   5:2:0 5:2:0 "
Sir Valentine Browne Teagh   237:1:6 237:1:6 "
The Same Scartlea (Scartlea)   46:11:09 46:11:09 "
The Same Gortunigg   69:3:05 69:3:05 "
The Same In ye Same   8:0:0 8:0:0 "
Gleab Land
(Glebe land i.e. church land)
In this Parish   51:0:0 51:0:0 Gleab Land
Daniell McCarthymore Coolebegg (Coolebegg)   52:3:28 52:3:28 Dame Sarah Carty
The Same Muckeris (Muckross)   107:3:24 107:3:24 "
The Same In ye Same   150:0:0 150:0:0 "
The Same Bogg In ye Same 12:0:0      
The Same Cranagh (Cranagh)   113:0:0 113:0:0 "
The Same unprofitable Mountain 300:0:0      
Sir Valentine Browne Glanna (Glanna)   198:0:0 198:0:0 Sir Valentine Brown
The Same Carrahaislaugh (Carahaislaigh)   190:1:18 1901:1:18 "
The Same In ye Same   152:0:0 152:0:0 "
The Same In ye Same   6:0:0 6:0:0 "
Lord Kerry a Prot. his land   579:0:0 579:0:0 Protestant Land.
not seized or sequestred
The Same. Prot. their land   1037:0:0 1037:0:0 "
Protestant Land unforfeited   1375:0:0 1375:0:0 "

This page created January 15, 2013 for County Kerry, Ireland, at and Ireland Genealogy Project.


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