Annagh Civil Parish Characteristics, County Mayo, Ireland

Annagh Civil Parish falls within Costello Barony. This Civil Parish shares a border with both County Roscommon and County Galway and has 76 Townlands and one major Town, Ballyhaunis. Ballyhaunis is incorporated into the Townlands of Abbeyquarter and Hazelhill that are in the northern part of Annagh Civil parish.

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1856, Annagh Civil Parish had Roman Catholic Churches in Friarsground, Hazelhill and Lugboy Demesne. There were graveyards in the Townlands of Coolnafarna, Friarsground and Kildarra. Annagh Civil Parish is part of Ballyhaunis Roman Catholic Parish.

As early as 1751, William Knox applied for a patent for a market and fairs in the Town of Ballyhaunis. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 85). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, Ballyhaunis did not have a designated market for grain, but it did have a market or fair for cattle. Fairs were held on June 1, July 2, September 22 and October 29 in Ballyhaunis. (McParlan, 1802;2007, p. 37, 46, 47-50). I have compiled a separate sheet on the Town of Ballyhaunis in my Market Towns section.

Apparently the name Annagh in Irish is Eanagh that means low marshy ground. (Quinn, 1996, Vol. 1, Chapter 39, p. 266). I observed that bog area was documented in the towns of Cloontumper, Derrynacong, Kiltybo and Levallyroe.

In "The History of Mayo," Volume one it was mentioned "Ballyhaunis Augustinian Abbey and Banada (in County Sligo and close to the Mayo border) had close associations, frequently exchanging Friars and Monks. "Ballyhaunis survived the persecutions and Suppressions being the only one of the ancient abbeys surviving in the County." (Quinn, Volume 1, Chapter 39, p. 269). I think if I had an ancestor in this civil parish I would check the Sligo parish records as well. It was a harrowing time to be a priest practicing the Catholic Religion in this area: There were priest hunters about so services were held in an assortment of places such as barns, fields, on mountainsides and bog areas under cover of nightfall.

As far as education goes, there was a National Schoolhouse in the Townland of Lugboy Demesne. Samuel Lewis described 8 pay schools in this "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" that was published in 1837. (Lewis, 1837;2005, p. 29).

From an economic perspective, the Town of Ballyhaunis, as mentioned above was a fairly significant market town in the mid 19th century. I didn't see a Fair green or a Tolls of Customs and Fairs in the Griffith's Valuation for this Civil Parish, but a patent was obtained in the mid 1700's and fairs were held. There were many corn mills and kilns in this Civil Parish including the Townland of Agloragh with a Corn and Tuck Mill, Ballybaun with a Corn Mill and Store, Ballaveel with a Corn Mill and Kiln, Carrow Beg with a Corn Mill and Kilns, Cloonbullig with a Corn Mill, Coolnafarna with a Corn Mill and Kiln, Corraun with a Corn Mill and Kilns, Garraun with a Corn Mill, Levallyroe with a Corn Mill and Kilns and Spaddagh with a Corn Mill. This is significantly more Corn Mills that I have seen in most Civil Parishes I have looked at. There were herd's houses in the Townlands of Carrowkeel West, Carrowneden, Churchpark, Cloonbullig, Cloontumper, Hazelhill and Lisduff that would seem to indicate a fair amount of useable pastureland. There was a Forge in the Townlands of Grallagh, Hazelhill, Lisduff and Scregg and a plantation in the Townland of Pollacapul. A pound in the Townland of Ballykilleen was the only other item of real interest. (Griffith, 1847-1864, 2003, Annagh).

A large variety of Landlords are represented in this Civil Parish including Viscount Dillon, John and Mary Bermingham, John N Farrell, Reps James Browne, Phillip Taaffee among others. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Annagh).

The population of Annagh Civil Parish dropped during and after the peak famine years like many other parishes in County Mayo. In 1841 the population of Annagh Civil Parish was 7904, dropping to 6105 in 1851 and by 1911 this number was down to 4916. Even more striking is that by 1979 this number was 2,175. (O'Hara, 1982, p. 7).