Slievefin / An Sliabh Fionn
Compiled by Paul Greaney
Irish name: An Sliabh Fionn
English name: Slievefin
Meaning: the fair mountain
Area: 503 acres, 1 rood and 2 perches
Field names in this townland: None recorded.
Information from O’Donovan’s Field Name Books
Names: Slievefin, Sliabh fion, Slievfine, Sliabh fion, Slievefin (B. S. Sketch Map), Slievhin (Barony Map), Sleiphin (County Map), Slievefine (High Constable 1838), Slievsian (Inq. Temp. Ire. I.), Slievefin (Local), Sleevfin (Rector of Annaghdown).
Description: Proprietor James Blake, Esq., Waterdale. All under tillage with the exception of some bog joining its east and nth. Boundaries. There is a bye road which passes through to the W. and also forms part of its W. boundary situate ch.1½ W. of its E. boundary.
Situation: Situated ¾ of a mile E. of Annaghdown Church. Bounded on the N. by Kilgill. South by Nine Acres, Glebe, Drumbaun, Carheeny and Carraghy. E. by Carraghy and Racoona. N. by Cartron townlands.
1841: 14 houses, 95 people (51 male, 44 female)
1851: 9 houses, 34 people (23 male, 29 female)
1861: 11 houses, 57 people (25 male, 37 female)
1871: 11 houses, 63 people (31 male, 32 female)
1881: 11 houses, 50 people (26 male, 24 female)
1891: 9 houses, 50 people (25 male, 25 female)
1901: 9 houses, 62 people (38 male, 24 female)
1911: 9 houses, 74 people (39 male, 35 female)
2011: 28 houses (incl. 5 vacant), 62 people (32 male, 30 female)
The Tithe Applotment Books record the following tenants in Slievefin: Rev. R. Marlay, James Blake Esq, John Robinson, John Silk, Michael Glynn, Thomas Hynes, John Mullins, Michael Hessian, Daniel Hessian, Michael Cunningham, William Hessian, Pat Malone, and Pat Mealy. All of the foregoing held lands from P. Kirwan Esq., with James Blake Esq. holding the largest portion of 146 acres and the remaining tenants holding much smaller portions.
1840s Griffith’s House Books & 1855 Griffith’s Valuation
Griffith’s Valuation records the following heads of household in Slievefin: Thomas Hessian, Patrick Cunningham, Bridget Hessian, Mary Hessian, Johanna Morris, Ellen Hynes, and Michael Hynes. Lands were also held by Michael Hanly, William Clancy, and James Blake, who held a herd’s house and land in fee. The majority of the townland was owned by James Blake, with smaller portions in possession of Martin Kirwan and Walter Nieland. William Clancy was the immediate lessor of Ellen Hynes’s house.
No entries for Slievefin appear in the 1840s version of the Valuation Office House Books. The 1853 version of the books record Thomas Hessian, Patt Cunningham, Bridget Hessian, Mary Hessian, Ellen Hynes, Johanna Morris, and Michael Hynes as heads of household; James Blake Esqr held a herd’s house.
The 1901 Census of Ireland records nine houses in Slievefin.
- Walter Cunningham (69), farmer; his wife Bridget (58) [née Joyce]; and sons Walter (28), John (24), Stephen (20), and Thomas (14), farmer’s sons.
- Martin Hanley (55), farmer; his wife Bridget (50) [née Hughes]; sons Michael (26), farmer’s son, Matthew Martin (11), scholar; and daughters Bina (17) and Delia (15), farmer’s daughters.
- John Cunningham (39), farmer; his wife Bridget Casserly (36); daughters Delia (12), scholar, Ellen (3), and Mary (1 month); and sons Patrick (11), Michael (9), John (7), Martin (5), scholars, and Walter (2).
- John Hession (32), farmer; his wife Bridget (30) [née Burke]; son Michael (2 months); and brother Patrick (34), labourer.
- Martin O’Brien (33), farmer; his wife Bridget (28) [née Kavanagh]; sons Patrick (5), scholar, William (3), and Martin (1), farmer’s sons; aunt Bridget Hession (60), domestic assistant, not married; visitor Patrick McDonald (60), mendicant, born in King’s County, widower.
- Patrick Killilea (45), farmer; his wife Bridget (34) [née Skerritt], and children Pat (14), farmer’s son; Ellen (13), farmer’s daughter; Nora (11), Michael (9), Thomas (8), Maggie (6), scholars; Mary (5), Martin (3), and Delia (1).
- Patrick Hession (65), farmer; his wife Julia (39) [née Laffey]; and children Bridget (17), farmer’s daughter; Martin (15), farmer’s son; John (11), Maggie (9), Patrick (7), Julia (5), Thomas (4), scholars; and Daniel (1).
- James Burke (27), farmer; his wife Mary (29) [née Hynes], farmer’s wife; aunt Kate Morris (65), domestic servant, not married; and sons John (3), scholar, and Michael (1).
- John Hession (56), farmer; his wife Sarah (50) [née Hession]; and brother-in-law Timothy Hession (68), farm labourer, widower.
Seven of the houses were of the second class, with each of these having three front windows. Two houses were of the third class, having two and one front window respectively. All were constructed of stone walls and thatched roofs.
There were a total of twenty six out-offices and farm-steadings recorded in the townland: six stables, six cow-houses, five piggeries, six barns, and three sheds.
All inhabitants were recorded as having been born in Galway, except for Patrick McDonald, visitor in Martin O’Brien’s house, who was born in King’s County (Offaly). There were no monoglot Irish speakers recorded in the townland.
The 1911 Census of Ireland records nine houses in Slievefin.
- Walter Cunningham (80), farmer; his wife Bridget (69) [née Joyce], married for 48 years, with 9 children born alive and 6 still living; their sons Walter (37), farmer’s son, married; John (35), Stephen (30), and Thomas (24); daughter-in-law Bridget (33) [née Dowd], married for 3 years with one child born alive and still living; and grand-daughter Mary Cunningham (9 months).
- Bridget Hanley (69) [née Hughes], farmer, widow; her sons Michael (38), farmer’s son, married, and Martin (22), farmer’s son, single; daughter-in-law Ellen (26) [née Killilea], married for 6 years with 3 children born alive and still living; grandchildren Margaret (4), Michael (3), and Mary (2).
- John Cunningham (49), farmer; his wife Bridget (48) [née Casserly], married for 24 years with 11 children born alive and 9 still living; and children Delia (22), farmer’s daughter; Patrick (21), Michael (19), John (17), farmer’s sons; Martin (16), Eily (14), Walter (12), Mary (10), and Annie (5), scholars.
- John Hession (40), farmer; his wife Bridget (38), married for 11 years with 7 children born alive and 5 still living; son Michael (10), scholar; daughters Mary (9), Ellen (7), scholars, Bridget (4), and Margaret (2 months); and brother Patrick (43), farm servant.
- Martin O’Brien (45), farmer; his wife Bridget (38) [née Kavanagh], married for 17 years, with nine children born alive and still living; children Patrick (16), farmer’s son, William (14), Martin (12), Mary (10), Julia (8), Maggie (6), scholars, Michael (4), Lizzie (2), and Thomas (3 months); and aunt Bridget Hession (80), single.
- Patrick Killilea (56), farmer; his wife Bridget (45) [née Skerritt], married for 26 years with 14 children born alive and still living; children Michael (20), Thomas (19), farmer’s sons; Margaret (17), farmer’s daughter; Mary (15); Martin (13), Delia (11), James (9), Katie (8), Johney (7), scholars; Annie (3), and Denis (1); and sister Margert Killilea (68), single.
- Patrick Hession (75), farmer; his wife Julia (48) [née Laffey], married for 28 years with 10 children born alive and 9 still living; children Martin (25), John (2), Patrick (18), farmer’s sons; Julia (15); Thomas (13), Daniel (11), scholars; and Mary (7).
- James Burke (40), farmer; his wife Mary (55) [née Hynes], married for 13 years, with 3 children born alive and 2 still living; sons John (12) and Michael (11), scholars.
- Sarah Hession (55) [née Hession], farmer, widow.
All houses in the townland were of the second class, with walls of stone, thatched roofs, and three front windows each.
There were a total of 51 out-offices and farm-steadings recorded in the townland: eleven stables, nine cow-houses, four calf-houses, nine piggeries, three fowl-houses, seven barns, one potato-house, and seven sheds.
All inhabitants were recorded as having been born in Galway, and there were no monoglot Irish speakers in the townland.
Note: Information in squared brackets has been added by the author and does not appear in the original record.