James Lafferty Nos. 10 & 37 in 1831 "Census"

Joe Doherty and I walked around Gorteade with the Griffith's Printed Valuation of 1859 and the accompanying map and we repeopled that landscape with the occupiers of land listed in the source. We could then match the names and places we discovered for 1859 with the lists of names in the Tithe Book and the 1831 "Census" We also had input from Joe's cousin, Danny Crilly. In retrospect I now realise that I should have taken more photos. Our first "stop" was at a house occupied by a lady called Lizzie Kearney. The photo below was taken [c.1970] from the Keady Road at a point near the farm of Archibald Kane Sen.- see map. Below that photo is another photo which was taken c.2010 - 140 years later from more or less the same place.

This photograph below was taken in 2010. Notice part of Lizzie Kearney's house at the end of the lane. The rest of the house is blocked by trees.


Above is a photo of Lizzie Kearney's house taken c.1970. Lizzie was six months old when the 1911 Census was taken. Her mother was Mary Ann Lafferty [born 1873] who married James Kearney from the adjoining townland of Keady.

Lizzie's grandfather was Hugh Lafferty and her great grandfather was probably the James Lafferty who was listed in the 1831"Census" as living in House No. 37 in Gorteade and who also had an uninhabited house, No. 10, towards the "top" of the townland. Unfortunately I have no details on James Laverty's family, other than the fact that in 1831 the family consisted of 3 males and 5 females. This suggests that James and his wife had 2 sons and 4 daughters. Based on the later evidence we have on Hugh Lafferty, I am fairly sure that the Hugh Lafferty [Laferty] who was listed in the 1859 Griffith's Valuation living at No. 6Ba on the Valuation Map - was not one of the two 1831 sons. Further evidence from the 1901 and 1911 Census support this assertion. Hugh gave his age as 65 in the 1901 Census and an age of 77 in the 1911 Census. This would suggest an age of 87 when he died in 1921. To complicate matters further, his son, Patrick, gave his father's age as 74 when he died in 1921. I think Hugh was probably in his eighties when he died. Certainly all of this evidence suggests that Hugh was born after the 1831 "Census".

The evidence as to whether or not James Laverty of House No. 37 in 1831 was the father of the Hugh Lafferty occupying the same house in 1859 [6Ba] is circumstantial. The only other piece of evidence that I was able to find was the forename of Hugh's first child. Hugh Lafferty married in 1863, a year or so before compulsory registration of all marriages in 1864. Therefore, we have only a Church Record of his marriage. A civil marriage would have given the name of his father. Unfortunately pre 1864 Catholic Church Marriage Registers rarely gave the names of the fathers of the bride and groom. However, there was a tradition that the first male child born to a couple was usually named after his grandfather. Here is the the Baptismal Record from the National Library of Ireland - Catholic Parish Registers.

As you can see, I relied heavily on later marriages and deaths data - and this was the case in all of the family "stories". For the earlier period 1800-1830 I had to rely, entirely, on the Tithe Applotment Book of 1828 which, unfortunately, comes at the end of the period.. The Tithe Book lists three Laverty "families" - John Laverty, James Laverty and Hugh Laverty. John and James are listed in the 1831 Census. The Hugh of 1828 cannot be the Hugh I have referred to above, and no Hugh Laverty is listed in the 1831 Census. I think, somehow, James "inherited" the two houses - the inhabited house No. 37 and the unoccupied house No. 10 in the 1831 "Census". Clearly, this particular Hugh had gone by 1831 and I have no idea why this happened.

Lizzie Kearney' grandfather Hugh had, at least, 9 children. By 1901/1911 only three lived in 6Ba - Mary Ann [born 1873] who married James Kearney - Patrick [born 8th July 1872] - and Frank [born 13 Aug. 1878]. Patrick and Frank did not marry - a common practice in many farms during the later part of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. Frank was the last male to own the Lafferty farm. He was dead by 1964 and in that year the house and farm became the property of the Lizzie Kearney I met c.1970.

Below are the details of marriages and deaths relevant to the Lafferty "story. Note that there is also a John Lafferty listed in the 1859 Griffith's Valuation living at No. 19 on the Valuation Map. [House No. 16 in the 1831 "Census]. John and James of 1831 might have been related, but I have no hard evidence to support such a view.

John had a family of 4 males and 3 females. I have no genealogical information on this particular person. Again, there is no pre 1831 data available. Also, I was not able to find any marriage or death details on this John Lafferty. Working back from the death of a Patrick Lafferty in 1903, who had married a Catherine Crilly from Keady in 1865, and who had a son, John, who married an Ann Crilly from Tirgarvil in 1887 - we see the tradition of the first male child being named after his grandfather. Patrick [already dead by 1831 Census, or alive as one of the 4 males in John's house and grandfather of Patrick] - followed by John, head of household in 1831 - followed by his son Patrick born c.1831 - followed by John born c.1868, who married Ann Crilly from Tirgarvil. To some extent this is simply speculation on my part. A descendant of this particular family might have oral evidence relating to the family in the 1830s.

Rather like the Lizzie Kearney "story" this farm passed to Michael McQuillan who married Mary Jane Lafferty, daughter of Patrick and a brother of John. Click here to see these changes in the Valuation Revision Books. Mary Jane's brother, John, went to live, first as a labourer in Upperland and, later, to Tirgarvil where he was a Bleach Green Worker in Clarke's of Upperlands factory. Because he was a Bleach Green Worker he would have been able to obtain one of the Clarke houses.

Copyright 2018 W. Macafee.