Biggera Beg / Bigire Beag
Compiled by Paul Greaney
Irish name: Bigire Beag
English name: Biggera Beg
Meaning: The small furrow or burden
Area: 362 acres, 1 rood, and 36 perches
Information from O’Donovan’s Field Name Books
Description: Proprietor Martin Blake, Esq., Ballyglunin. All under tillage except a portion of rocky ground in the south end of the townland.
Other Names: Bigeire, Biggera (B. S. Sketch Map), Biggary (County Books), Biggerybeg (Crampton Esq., Cahermorris), Bigarrey (High Constable, 1838), Begery (Inq. Temp. ? I), Biggery (Inq. Temp. ? I), Biggery (Inq. Temp. Eliz.), Biggory (Local), Buigary (Rector of Anaghdown).
1841: 9 houses, 63 people (30 male, 33 female)
1851: 7 houses, 46 people (26 male, 20 female)
1861: 5 houses, 37 people (17 male, 20 female)
1871: 4 houses, 31 people (16 male, 15 female)
1881: 4 houses, 29 people (18 male, 11 female)
1891: 4 houses, 24 people (10 male, 14 female)
1901: 4 houses, 16 people (8 male, 8 female)
1911: 4 houses, 24 people (11 male, 13 female)
2011: 10 houses, 31 people (15 male, 16 female)
The Tithe Applotment Books record B. Newcomen Esq. as occupier of 200 acres in Biggory (sic.). No distinction is made between Biggera More and Biggera Beg.
The 1853 Valuation House Book for Biggera Beg records Sally Keady as occupier of a house; Denis Kirwan Esq as occupier of a vacant house; Mary Nolan, John Glynn, and Michael Mohan each held a house and offices, while Arthur Gough held a National School House and offices.
Griffith’s Valuation (1855) records Mary Nolan, John Glynn, and Michael Mohan each occupying a house, offices and land; Patrick Fahy occupied a cottier’s house and land; Arthur Gough occupied of a National agricultural school-house, offices and land; while Patrick McCue, James Costello, and Martin Quinn each held land.
The 1901 Census of Ireland records the following four households in Biggera Beg.
- Mary Nolan (60) [née Kennedy], farmer’s wife, widow; her sons John (37), William (30), farmer’s sons; daughter-in-law Mary (40) [née McHugh], farmer’s daughter; and grandchildren Willie (10), John (7), scholars, and Katie (4), infant.
- Winifred McHugh (60), farmer’s wife, widow; and her son Patrick (33), farmer’s son.
- Mary Moghan (60), farmer, widow; her sons Martin (35), John (28), farmer’s sons; and daughter Mary (30), farmer’s daughter.
- Edmond Fitzgerald (55), principal teacher, born in the Parish of Midleton, Co. Cork; his wife Kate (56), teacher, born in the Parish of Lisgoold, Co. Cork; and daughter Kate (28), teacher, born in the Parish of Rathdowney, Queen’s County [Laois].
Each house had walls of stone. Three had thatched roofs, between 2 and 4 rooms, and three front windows, and were classified as second class dwellings. The fourth house had a roof of slate, iron, or tiles, between seven and nine rooms, and six front windows, and was categorised as a first class dwelling.
The 1911 Census of Ireland records four households in Biggera Beg.
- Mary Nolan (75) [née Kennedy], widow; her sons John (48), farmer, William (45), farm labourer; daughter-in-law Mary (55) [née McHugh], married for 23 years with three children born alive and still living; and grandchildren John (17), William (20), farmer’s sons, and Kate (14).
- Patrick McHugh (47), farmer; his wife Bridget (37), married for six years with five children born alive and still living; children Winifred (5), scholar; Mary (3), Maggie (2), John (1), and Annie (6 months); and nephew Patrick Bodkin (17), farmer’s son.
- Mary Mohan (79), widow; her sons Martin (50), widower, John (39), farmer’s sons; and daughter Mary (47).
- Michael Waldron (37), National School teacher, born in Mayo; his wife Mary (36), National School teacher, married for nine years with three children born alive and two still living; children Mary (8), scholar, and Michael Jos (1); and servant Sabina Tonry (17), general servant domestic.
All four houses were recorded as second class, with between two and four rooms each. Three had thatched roofs, two of which had three front windows and the third had four. The fourth house had a roof of slate, iron or tiles and had two front windows. Castlehacket National School Ordinary is also entered on Form B1.
Out-offices and farm steadings recorded in the townland were three stables, four cow-houses, three piggeries, one fowl-house, and one barn.