Ireland Genealogical Projects

County Kilkenny
Down Survey - 1659


The Down Survey of Ireland was carried out by Sir William Petty on behalf of the Commonwealth government. This so called '1659 census' was in reality a poll tax, levied on every head of household counted. Despite its imperfection the poll tax provides us with an interesting view of Kilkenny's population, representing the first 'cesnus' of population ever conducted.

A total of 127 surnames representing 3,380 families were returned in the Down Survey of Co. Kilkenny, of which the name Walsh was the most popular and was found in every barony except Gowran. The popularity of the leading twenty families is shown in the table below:

No. Name # of Families Principal Barony
1. Walsh, Welsh, Welch 372 Knocktopher
2. Murphy, Morphy 282 Gowran
3. Brennan 185 Fassadinin
4. Butler 159 Gowran
5. Kelly 146 Gowran
6. Phelan 140 Fassadinin
7. Maher, Moher 125 Galmoy
8. Birne, Byrne 111 Gowran
9. Cody, Coady 93 Gowran
10. Purcell 91 Fassadinin
11. Shea, Shee 91 Kells
12. Duluny, Delaney 88 Galmoy
13. Ryan 83 Knocktopher
14. Grace 78 Crannagh
15. Brophy 63 Gowran
16. Nolan 54 Gowran
17. Dowling 53 Kilkenny City
18. Neale, Neill, O'Neil 52 Gowran
19. Lalor, Lawlor 48 Gowran
20. Donnell, O'Donnell 46 Gowran


Further analysis of Co. Kilkenny from the 1659 census is presented in the following table:

Surname # of Families
Brin 31
Keefe 30
Kevenagh 30
Farrell 29
Fitzgerald 29
Barron 28
Quiddihy 28
Bolger 26
Healy 25
Prendergast 24
Hickey 24
Coghill 23
Conway 22
Cantwell 22
Cormuke 22
Bowe 21
Hayden 21
Blanchvill 20
Howling 20
Tobin 20
Fitzpatrick 19
Duing 19
McDonagh 19
Tenane 18
Cullen 18
Bryan 17
Hennessey 17
Fleming 17
Delahunty 16
Clony 16
Aildwood 15
Archer 15
Bane 15
Dullard 15
Gerald 14
White 14
Shorthale 14
Clere 13
Clery 13
Doyle 13
Keating 12
Horogan 11
McLoughlin 11
Fanning 10
Dobbin 10
Burke 10
Joue 10
Patrick 10
Gawle 10
McShane 9
Currin 9
Muldowney 9
Roch 9
McEdmund 9
Moore 9
Smyth 9
O'Dea 8
Dalton 8
Laules 8
Heban 8
Knock 8
Dreiling 8
Conckron 8
Mulrooney 8
McDavid 7
Denn 7
Milea 7
Lorkan 7
Morish 7
McTeige 7
McPhilips 7
Archdekin 6
Brodier 6
Cragh 6
Dowley 6
Kearny 6
Loghman 6
Costigan 6
Browne 6
Britt 6
Cook 6
Rely 6
Fitzdavid 6
Cnogher 5
Mullany 5
Dunphy 5
Roe 5
McWilliam 5
Kehoe 5
Connor 5
Wall 5
Glison 5
Rooth 5
Lanagan 5
Lenan 4


Top of Page

You have been the 6441 visitor since October 1, 2001