Irish name: Baile Roboc Beag
English name: Balrobuck Beg
Meaning: The small town(land) of Roboc. Robac is a personal name: Rob (pet form of Robert) +” -ac”, diminutive suffix common amongst the Anglo-Normans. Possibly named after Sir Robuck Lynch.
Area: 336 acres, 0 roods and 17 perches.
Other Names: The townland is often referred to as “Ballybeg”, while Balrobuck More is often to as “Balrobuck”.
Field Names: Ballygaddy; Ballynagian (from catalogue accompanying sale of Lynch Encumbered Estate, 1876).
Other Landmarks: Townland contains a Caher (a ringfort). “On a gentle E-facing slope. Roughly circular ringfort (D c. 40m) defined by a degraded bank of earth and stone which is visible only at NE. Elsewhere the monument is obscured by dense blackthorn growth. The above description is derived from the published ‘Archaeological Inventory of County Galway Vol. II – North Galway’. Compiled by Olive Alcock, Kathy de hÓra and Paul Gosling (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1999). Date of upload: 05 August 2010.” [Extract from Geohive.ie Map of National Monuments. Feature is located at eastern boundary of the townland.]
1. Thatched Cottage: “Detached four-bay single-storey vernacular house, built c.1800, having single-storey twentieth-century lean-to to rear. Pitched thatched roof with decorative knotting to raised ridge, wire mesh to eaves, and rendered chimney stack. Rendered walls. Square-headed window openings with two-over-two pane timber sliding sash windows with painted stone sills. Square-headed glazed timber battened half-door to entrance. House set back from road with garden and random rubble drystone boundary wall to rear. Single-storey outbuilding to south-east having pitched corrugated-iron roof, and yard to front.”
2. Thatched Cottage: “Detached four-bay, single-storey vernacular house, built c.1800, with dormer attic, having single-storey late twentieth-century extension to north-east gable. Pitched thatched roof with decorative knotting to ridge, low rendered chimneystack and rendered stone copings. Rendered walls. Square-headed window openings with relacement uPVC windows and doors, and painted stone sills. Single-storey outbuilding to south-west with monopitch corrugated-iron roof and lime-rendered random rubble walls. Set in field with laneway flanked by field stone wall and having yard to front.”
3. Thatched Cottage: “ Detached three-bay single-storey vernacular house, built c.1800, with dormer attic, and having single-bay two-storey addition to west end, and single-storey late twentieth-century extension to rear. Pitched thatched roof with raised ridge, wire mesh to eaves, and painted stone copings and scrolled bargeboards to gable end of older part. Lime-rendered random rubble stone walls. Square-headed window openings with painted stone heads and sills, external decorative timber shutters, and replacement timber windows. Square-headed glazed timber sheeted door. Set parallel to road with low rendered boundary wall with square piers and timber gate to front at roadside. Single-storey outbuilding to rear having monopitch corrugated-iron roof and lime-rendered random rubble stone walls, with garden also to rear.”
4. Thatched Cottage: “Detached four-bay single-storey vernacular house, built c.1800, with dormer attic, and incorporating outbuilding to south end under same roof. Slightly lower return addition to rear. Pitched thatched roof with decorative knotting to ridge, wire mesh to eaves, rendered chimneystack, dormer window with slate roof to rear, and rendered stone copings. Rendered walls with render plinth, parallel quoins to front of house part, and eaves course. Rear addition has pitched slate roof not tied into thatched roof, and rendered walls. Square-headed openings with decorative render surrounds having stone insets, replacement timber windows and replacement uPVC door. Set parallel to road with garden to front enclosed by low rendered wall, rendered piers and metal garden gate. Single-storey outbuildings to north-west and south-west, former having pitched corrugated-iron roof, and latter having slate roof.”
Information from O’Donovan’s Field Name Books
Note: No distinction is made between Balrobuck More and Balrobuck Beg in the notes. The list of Other Names below probably refers to Balrobuck More mostly.
Other names: Balrobuck. Baile Roboc – Roboc’s town, Robucks Town, Balrobuck, Balrubbuckmore (B. S. Sketch Map), Ballarubbagh, straggled village (B. S. Sketch Map), Ballrubbagh (Barony Map), Ballyrobuck after Robuck Lynch (Cahill Esq., Annaghdown), Ballerobuck (County Book), Ballyroebuck (County Book), Ballrubbagh (County Map), Balrubuck in the whole (High Constable 1838), Ballyrobug (Inq. Temp. Eliz.), Balrobuck (Inq. Temp. Inc. I), Balrubbughbeg (Local), Balrubbuck (Local), Ballrubbugh (Local), Balroubuckmore (Rector of Annaghdown), Balroubuckbeg (Rector of Annaghdown).
Description: H.[Unable to read.] Blake Esq., Loughrea, proprietor. All under tillage except about 9 acres subject to Winter floods.
Situation: It is situated 1/2 mile N. W. of Currandulla Chapel. Bounded N. by Balrobbuckbeg. South by Currandulla. East by [Unable to read.][Unable to read.][Unable to read.]loughgorriv. West by Grange.
Name: Balrobuck Beg
1651 Owners(s): Lynch, Sir Roebuck (Catholic)
1670 Owner(s): O’Neil, John (Catholic)
County: Galway; Barony: Clare; Parish: Annaghdoon
1841: 32 inhabited houses + 0 uninhabited house, 190 people (92 male, 98 female)
1851: 23 inhabited houses + 1 uninhabited house, 122 people (56 male, 66 female)
1861: 27 inbabited houses + 1 uninhabited house, 146 people (70 male, 76 female)
1871: 25 inhabited houses + 1 uninhabited house, 124 people (68 male, 56 female)
1881: 24 inhabited houses + 0 uninhabited houses, 134 people (64 male, 70 female)
1891: 20 inhabited houses + 0 uninhabited houses, 93 people (43 male, 50 female)
1901: 17 inhabited houses + 2 uninhabited houses, 78 people (41 male, 37 female)
1911: 17 inhabited houses + 0 uninhabited houses, 83 people (43 male, 40 female)
2011: 51 houses (3 vacant), 153 people (83 male, 70 female)
The Tithe Applotment Books do not record the names of any tenants in Balrobuckbeg. They record several subdenominations of the townland: Turlough Park, Ballygaddy, Sedgy Moor and Wet Bottom. The total levy was £14 0s 7d.
1840 Griffith’s House Books & 1855 Griffith’s Valuation
In 1855 Griffith’s Valuation, the following 18 people rented houses and land from Mark Lynch:
Michael Ford, Patrick Spelman, Mary Burke, Patrick Burke, John Boyle, Jeremiah Ford, Mary Murphy, John Shaughnessy, Martin Lenihan, Timothy Hanley, James Glavin, Michael Grealy, Matthias Curran, Michael Curran, Patrick Hessian, Martin Burke, Dominick Sweeny, Thomas Divilly and Patrick Boyle (Land only).
The 1853 Field Books record the following as also renting houses in Balrobuckbeg: Mary McCue (2l), Martin Higgins (2m), Margaret Kilkelly (2n), James Mactighe (2o), John Cowen (3b),
Sale in Encumbered Estates Court, 1876
The townland of Balrobuckbeg (referred to as Balrobuck) was offered for sale at the Land Judges Court on 28 April 1876, along with the lands of Glenrevagh and Richardbee. These lands were in the possession of the Assignees of Anthony Lynch (i.e., the Revd. John Darcy and others).
The following people were listed as tenants with dwellings and/or land in Balrobuck Beg in the 1876 sale catalogue: Timothy Hanley, Mark Devany, Patrick H. Burke, Darby Forde, John Boyle, William H. Burke, Mary Lenighan, Thomas Burke (late John A. Burke), John F. Burke, George Tyrrell, James McTighue, Mary Murphy, James Glavin, Dominick Sweeny, Patrick Hession, Michael Curran, Martin Forde, Patrick Forde, John Cowan, William Curran, Martin Burke, John Forde, Thomas Divilley and John Diviley.
The lands were sold “subject to the perpetual annuity of £36 18s. 6d. sterling, payable to Thomas Skerrett, a lunatic, under the will of Mary Skerrett, dated the 16th of September, 1803, and to the sum of £4 10s. 5d. for Quit Rent, and to the sum of £15 5s. 8d. per annum Tithe-rent charge.”
The 1901 Census of Ireland records the following 78 individuals living in 17 households in Balrobuck Beg.
- John Devilly (79), a widower [died 1906?] [wife Mary née Lynch], lived with his son, Thomas (32) and daughter-in-law, Mary (28) [possibly née Flaherty, Balrobuckmore]. [Note: Thomas and Mary Devilly are listed in the 1911 census in Balrobuck More, house 17. This is probably an error because they appear in the Valuation Office Cancellation Books as having a House, Office and Lands in Balrobuck Beg.]
- Stephen Forde (46) lived with his wife, Winifrid (46) [née Bohan, Ballinvoher], sons, John (18), Tatt (16), Thomas (9) and daughter, Bridget (20).
- William Curran (75) lived with his wife, Mary (60) [née Killilea], sons, John (23), William (21) and daughter, Mary (25).
- Mary Curran (68) [née Boyle, widow of Michael Curran, noted as 2nd cousins in Marriage Record], lived with sons, Mathew (43), John (42) and daughter, Catherine (23).
- Margaret Hessian (60) [née Flaherty, widow of Patrick Hessian], lived with her daughter, Margaret Moylan (32), son-in-law, Patrick Moylan (40) [Cloonleenaun], grandson, Patrick (1) and granddaughter, Mary (2) Moylan.
- Mary Sweeney (35), [née Cahill, Tonemace; widow of John Sweeney who died 1894], lived with son James (6), daughter, Julia (7) and brother-in-law, Bernard Sweeney (32), unmarried.
- Patrick Burke (80) lived with his wife, Mary (76) [née Costello], son, John (43), daughter-in-law, Winnie (38) [née Burke], grandsons, Patrick (10), John (8), Michael (1), granddaughters, Mary (20), Delia (18), Katie (17), Maggie (15) and Norah (13).
- Michael Kavanagh (65), married, lived with son, Michael (27), daughter-in-law, Margaret (26) [née Lardner, Gortroe] and grandson, James (1).
- Bridget Forde (45), married [husband, Thomas Forde, 2nd Cousins], lived with sons, Michael (18), John (12), daughters, Mary (20) and Celia (10).
- John Hanly (25) lived with his wife, Kate (23) [née Burke, Balrobuckbeg] and son, Patrick (2).
- Timothy [Thady] Hanly (63) [a Tailor] lived with his wife, Margaret (60), [Duggan, Lackagh Parish], sons, Michael (22), Timothy (18) and daughter, Ellen (18).
- Mark Devaney (76) lived with his wife, Mary (66) [née Cunningham], son, Michael (25) and daughter, Norah (22).
- Nancy [Anne] Dooley (60) [née Murphy, Balrobuckbeg; widow of Edmund Dooley, Balrobuckbeg], lived with sons, James (24), Michael (17) and daughter, Maggie (20).
- Martin Tyrrell (33) lived with his wife, Mary (32) [née Mulroyan, Adregoole], sons, James (5) and Patrick (2).
- John Mc Teigue (55), a widower [wife Bridget Curran], lived with daughters, Bridget (6), Mary (5) and sister, Ellen Mc Teigue (40), a widow.
- Kate Burke (45) [née Kavanagh, Cuttenty; widow of Thomas Burke], lived with sons, Patrick (14) and Michael (10).
- William Kavanagh (60) [a Carpenter from Balrobuckmore] lived with his wife, Ellen (58) [nee Coyne (Cowen), Balrobuckbeg] and daughter, Margaret (19).
There were twelve second class houses and five third class houses listed in the 1901 census returns. All houses had roofs made of thatch, wood or other perishable material and all had walls of stone, brick or concrete. Twelve houses had 3 windows on the front, three had 2 windows and two had 1 windows.
There were still 17 households with a total of 83 individuals in Balrobuck Beg recorded in the 1911 Census of Ireland.
- Margaret Hessian (80) [house 5 in 1901] [née Flaherty, widow of Patrick Hessian], lived with her daughter, Margaret Moylan (50), son-in-law, Pat Moylan (57) [Cloonlinane], grandson, Patrick (11) and granddaughters, Mary (12) and Ellen (9) Moylan.
- Nancy Dooly (74) [house 13 in 1901] [née Murphy, Balrobuckbeg; widow of Edmund Dooley, Balrobuckbeg] lived with her son, Michael (28) and her daughter, Margaret (30).
- Michael Kavanagh (38) [house 8 in 1901] lived with his wife Margaret (36) [née Lardner, Gortroe], sons, James (10), Peter (new born), daughters, Julia (6) and Delia (2).
- John Hanly (35) [house 10 in 1901] lived with his wife Kate (33) [née Burke, Balrobuckbeg], sons, Pat (12), John (10), Thos (8), Michael (2), daughters, Mary (7) and Margaret (5).
- Kate Burke (65) [née Kavanagh, Cuttenty; widow of Thomas Burke] [house 16 in 1901] lived with sons, Patt (25) and Michael (21).
- John Mctighe (65) a widower [wife Bridget Curran], [house 15 in 1901] lived with daughters, Mary (18), Bridget (17) and sister, Ellen (69), a widow.
- Martin Tyrrell (46) [house 14 in 1901] lived with his wife, Mary (44) [née Mulroyan, Adregoole], sons, James (15), Patrick (12), George (6), Thomas (new born) and daughter, Mary (8).
- Mary Sweeney (47) [house 6 in 1901] [née Cahill, Tonemace; widow of John Sweeney who died 1894] lived with son, Jas (16), daughter (Julia (17) and brother-in-law, Brian Sweeney (46), unmarried.
- Mary Curran (82) [house 4 in 1901] [née Boyle, widow of Michael Curran, noted as 2nd cousins in Marriage Record] lived with sons, Mat (54), John (50) and daughter, Catherine (34).
- Thady Hanley (73) [house 11 in 1901], now a widower, lived with his sons, Michael (31), Thady (29) and daughter, Ellen (33).
- William Hanrahan (50) [possibly house 1 in 1901] lived with his wife, Margaret (40).
- John Burke (55) [house 7 in 1901] lived with his wife, Winnifred (54) [née Burke], sons, Patrick (21), John (18), Michael (11), daughters, Maggie (25), Norah (23), Mary Cunningham (33) [wife of Andrew Cunningham, Bunnatubber], grandson, Michael Cunningham (4), granddaughters, Delia (6), Mary (3) and Winnifred (1).
- Stephen Forde (58) [house 2 in 1901] lived with his wife, Winniefred (57) [née Bohan, Ballinvoher, Caherlistrane], sons, John (30), Pat (27) and Thomas (18).
- Mary Devaney (77) [house 12 in 1901], now a widow, lived with son, Michael (38) and daughter, Nora (30).
- Thomas Forde (64) [house 9 in 1901] lived with his wife, Bridget (60) [née Forde, second cousins], son, John (23) and daughter, Celia (20).
- William Curran (88) [house 3 in 1901] lived with his wife, Mary (72) [née Killilea], son, John (40) and daughter-in-law, Nonnie (30).
- William Cavanagh (72) [house 17 in 1901] [a carpenter from Balrobuckmore] lived with his wife, Ellen (70) [nee Coyne (Cowen), Balrobuckbeg], daughter, Mary Cavanagh (32) and grandson, John Cavanagh (7).
There were twelve second class houses and five third class houses listed in the 1911 census returns. All houses had roofs made of thatch, wood or other perishable material and all had walls of stone, brick or concrete. Two houses had 4 windows on the front (Mary Curran & Wm. Curran), eleven had 3 windows and four had 2 windows. There were 13 stables, 17 cow houses, 16 piggeries, 12 barns, 5 turf houses and 12 cart houses.