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Irish Genealogy


The First Census of the Fews - 1602

This document is based on "The History of the Parish of Creggan in the 17th and 18th Centuries". by Rev. L. P. Murray P.P. This history was published in the Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society in 1934. At the time of the census ten townlands of the Fews and Creggan Parish were in what is now County Louth.

In the preface to this article Fr. Murray states that the 1602 Census of the Fews had never been published. We believe that it has not been published since it appeared in Fr. Murray's history.

The Fews is a barony in South Armagh. Geographically, it roughly corresponds to Creggan parish. Turlagh MacHenry O'Neill was chief of the Fews at the time of the 1602 Census. Turlagh was half-brother to Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, by his mother. The Pale bordered the Fews to the south in Co. Louth. The English had already encroached on the portion of the Fews that extended into Louth. Hugh O'Neill was to the north and waging war against the English. Turlagh was trying to stay a middle course to keep from being overwhelmed by his stronger neighbors. Turlagh played both sides. He accepted money from the English and fought against them with Hugh. In 1602 Turlagh received an English pardon for his entire clan. This pardon was the reason for the 1602 census of the Fews, to identify the clansmen who were being pardoned. It is the earliest Irish census that is still in existence.

After 4 years of war, by the time of the census the clan is decimated. (Note: Fr. Murray says 4 years but the conflict is generally refered to as the Nine Years War.) Before the troubles started Turlagh MacHenry maintained 50 horsemen and 200 kerns. (Note: A kern is an Irish light infantry soldier.) This is documented by the English who are contributing to the maintenance of this force. When the census is taken the clan has only 20 horsemen and 21 kerns.

The census was compiled by the clan and the families are grouped together. Irish is very much the primary language of the clan. The inconsistent English spelling of family names is not an issue as the people are all primarily known by their Irish names. The census lists all the males of the clan who are capable of bearing arms and any females who were property owners "in their own right".

The occupation is given for all except a group of about 75 names/families. Fr. Murray dismisses this group as peasants or "mere tillers of the soil" and this portion of the list as "unordered". He excludes this group in his compilation of a summary list of families of the Fews.

My feeling is that this portion of the list is just as hierarchical as the rest of the list only a different criteria is being applied to determine the "order". I tend to think that property ownership is the measurement used to group this portion of the list. I think that those at the top are probably "land holders" and that they are followed by "house holders".

The continental fuedal system is never fully imported to Britain and even less so to Ireland. At this time the peasants were all free clansmen and there was peasant proprietorship of land. We know at least some of this group of clansmen were property owners because there are some women listed here.

Tenants in this society were not the "tenants-at-will" of the post-Cromwell Ireland. Some of them had extensive holdings of thousands of acres. Unfortunately the record of this census does not contain any information on property or where in the Fews these families dwelled.

Pardon To:
Tirlagh McHenry O Neale, chief of the Fues;
Sara Ny Neale, his wife;
Henry O Neale, Art O Neale [______________];
Henry O Neale )
Brian O Neale ) Sons of Donell McPhelim Roe;
Neale O Neale )
Con O Neale )
Brian O Neale ) [__________________________];
Henry O Neale )
Patrick O Neale )
_____ O Neale McBrain Ballagh )
Con O Neale McPhelim ) Gentlemen of the Fues.
Henry O Neale; )
Art O Neale;
Breen O Neale;
Phelim O Neale;
Neale O Neale McCon;
______ O Neale Mc[________];;
Brian McEghir husbandman
Aghie McEhire yeoman
Patr. roe McEhire yeoman
Coolie O Quyn husbandman
Kaele O Quyn McEdm horseman
Hugh O Quyn priest
Edm [_______] O Quyn
Kaele McArt O Quyn husbandman
Patr. O Quyn husbandman
Doncho O Quyn yeoman
Patr. Gromy O Quyn husbandman
Hugh O Quyn yeoman
Patr. O Quyn yeoman
Kale O Quyn yeoman
Glassney McShane horseman
One McShane horseman
He[_________] yeoman
Phelim McShane horseman
Neale McShane yeoman
Art McShane McOne husbandman
James McShane McOne horseman
Rorie McShane horseman
Art McTohile roe McShane husbandman
Brian Art McTorilagh McShane husbandman
Brian oge McShane husbandman
[_________]Shane horseman
Rorie McShane [_________]
Torylagh McShane yeoman
Kahere McShane horseman
Henry McShane yeoman
Henry Rawane McShane husbandman
Glessny McShane yeoman
Patr. McShane husbandman
John Shenle horseman
Patr. [________] [_________]
Feriagh McCardle husbandman
Patr. McCoolie carragh McCardle horseman
Coolie Carragh McPhillip Duffe husbandman
One McCardle horseman
Patr. Ballagh McCardle yeoman
Phillip McCardle husbandman
Conoghe McCardle horseman
Donaghe oge McCardle horseman
Feragh McCardle yeoman
Patr. McCardle priest
Patr. McCardle husbandman
Torylagh bane McCardle yeoman
Henry McCardle husbandman
Edm. bane McCardle yeoman
James McCardle McCoolie more horseman
Bryan McCardle yeoman
Torilagh McCardle yeoman
Coolie McCardle yeoman
Shane McCardle yeoman
Shane McCormack carragh McCardle husbandman
Torilagh McCardle husbandman
Frances Lewis woman
Art McMurchie McOne husbandman
Redmon McMurchie husbandman
Kilty McMurchie husbandman
One buy mor McMurchie husbandman
Phelim duff McMurchie husbandman
Donchie McMurchie McCarberagh husbandman
Patrick McMurchie husbandman
Manus McMurchie yeoman
One beddie McMurchie horseman
Torilagh McMurchie husbandman
Brian McMurchie horseman
Art McMurchie husbandman
Donogh McMurchie husbandman
Donill McMurchie McPatr. yeoman
Donill McMurchie McEdm. yeoman
Donchie McMurphie McOne husbandman
Patr. bane McMurchie yeoman
Patr. McMurchie yeoman
Donchie duff McMurchie yeoman
Patr. McNeale McMany McMurchie husbandman
Many McNele McMurchie yeoman
Phelim McNele McMurchie yeoman
One McMurchie McJames yeoman
Patr. McCormach McMurchie yeoman
Cormack McMurchie yeoman
Donchie oge McDonchie McMurchie husbandman
Donchie duff McMurchie tenant
Patr. Gromy McMurchie tenant
Shane Gromy McMurchie tenant
Coolie McGlassy McMurchie tenant
Edmund McMurchie tenant
Patrick McMurchie tenant
Donill McMurchie tenant
Moris McEvire husbandman
Torilagh McEvire husbandman
Cormack McEvire husbandman
James McEvire husbandman
Moris McCowane yeoman
James og McCowane yeoman
Shane McCowane yeoman
Rorie McCowane husbandman
Torilagh McCowane husbandman
Patr. O Brengan horseman
Patrick McGarway tenant
Doniell McGarway tenant
Brian McGarway tenant
Torilagh McGarway tenant
One McGarway tenant
Mlaghlin McGarway tenant
One McGarway tenant
Donell McGarway tenant
Nele O Lowhan husbandman
Donill O Lowhan husbandman
Murtagh O Lowhan yeoman
Donill O Lowhan yeoman
Patrick O Hullig husbandman
Mlaghlin O Hullig husbandman
Brian O Hullig husbandman
Manus O Hullig husbandman
Patr. O Hanraghtie tenants
Hugh McEvicker O Hanraghtie tenants
Hugh McPhelim O Hanraghtie tenants
One O Hanraghtie tenants
Patrick O Hanraghtie tenants
Donill O Hanraghtie tenants
Phelim O Hanraghtie tenants
James O Hanraghtie yeoman
Donill O Hanraghtie yeoman
Patrick O Hanraghtie yeoman
Gilleduff O Lorkan yeoman
Nele O Kellychan tenant
Brian O Kellychan yeoman
One O Kellychan tenant
Patr. O Kellychan tenant
One McShane O Kellychan tenant
Rorie O Kellie tenant
Brian og O Kellie tenant
Brian O Kellie tenant
Torilagh O Corry
Patr. O Corry
Many O Corry
One O Corry
Many O Hanlon tenant
Shane O Hanlon tenant
Brain O Hanlon tenant
Hugh O Hanlon tenant
Glessny O Hanlon tenant
Art McGloskie kern
Brian McGloskie kern
Mary McGloskie kern
Patr. McEldony yeoman
Shane O Boyle kern
Brian O Boyle kern
Tohile O Boyle kern
Richd. O Boyle kern
James boy McCoime kern
Donchie McCoine kern
Art McCoine kern
Patr. Gorry kern
Patrick O Hire kern
Mlaghlin McElyre kern
Patrickn McElyre kern
One oge McElane kern
Elin McElane kern
Kayle McConwayle kern
Hugh McConwayle kern
Redmond McConill tenant
Alexander McConile tenant
Gilleseoge McConile tenant
Brain McConile tenant
Art McGlaskir kern
Brian McGlaskir kern
Many McGlaskir kern
Cormock McEneny husbandman
Brian oge McEneny husbandman
Brian McEneny husbandman
Manus Cahan horseman
Dorby Cohan horseman
Garry Cahan horseman
Mlaghlin O Cawertie
Patr. O Murygan
Hugh O Haghie
Patr. O Duffedie
Rorie McGwigine
Nele McTowchie
Feagh McCronila
Donill O Culline
Hugh McEveighe
Hugh O Hanaghane
Nele O Lurkane
Rorie McSirry
Rorie McCawill
Art McHenry
Brian McHeany
Patr. O Tohile
Shane O Kenan
Patr. McEghile
Donchie McEghile
Donchan O daly
Donell O Dolan
Phelim reagh McConwell
One McConway
Murtagh McConway
Brian oge McGirraty
Patr. Modder McGerrety
Sowrly McConill
Patr. O Mollan
Terrilagh Ekeslan
One O Cumar
Thos. O Shele
Tege O Ferrall
Hugh O Ferrall
Donchie O Fearnmy
Hugh McEvard
One McEtanny
Rich. O Cahan
Donill McEcheran
Tirlagh McEcherane
Coole O Crowle
Thos. O Bwyle
Patr. O Towill McDonogh
Phelim O Tohill
Patr. McGwerke
Patr. McRorie
Phelim McElrowhe
Shane McElrowhe
Edmund O Mulish
Phillip O Mulish
Teige Moynagh
Shane McWyline
Hugh McEchalle
James buy O Calane
Mlaghlen duffe
Patr. McGillernewe
Conogher McCreverty
Patr. O Conry
Anne Geoghan alias Fitzgarrald
One oge O Haghie
Murcho O Casie
Patr. O Karewlan
Hugh McElchrive
Morris Leynagh
Edm. O Brian
Patr. McCunny
Henry O Brien
Shane duff McCoddane
James Leynagh
Cormock O Kellechan
Manus O Lennan
Nele McKinny
One McCawell
Teige O Kessidie
Finolly ny Cahir
All of the Fues;
Stephan Dowall of Dundalk Merchant
Anne Dowdall, his wife

Murder Committed before their rebellion, intrusion on Crown lands, and debts to the Crown excepted from their pardon. [Date destroyed] Lord Deputy's warrant dated 24 June 1602.


In his 1934 article, Rev. L. P. Murray P.P., counted the families (excluding O'Neills) in the census and created a summary list with totals for each family. Fr. Murray counted 6 families of McConvilles (MacConwell). Fr. Murray only included families from the first portion of the census, those with occupations listed. When we compared the census to Fr Murray's list we noticed that there were more McConville families than the 6 Fr. Murray counted. We initially thought that this was because of the various spellings of the names that Fr. Murray did not consider some of the forms as McConvilles. On closer examination we find the O'Cahans with 3 families in Fr. Murray's summary and a 4th O'Cahan in the second portion of the list. With the exception of the O'Cahans and McConvilles there is only one other family that is represented on both portions of the list.

MacEghire 3
O Quyn 11
MacShane 19
MacArdle 19
MacMurphy 35
MacEvire 4
MacCowan 5
MacGarway 8
O Lowhans 4
O Hullig 4
O Hanratty 10
O Callaghan 5
O Kellie 3
O Corry 4
O Hanlon 5
MacGloskie 3
MacEldonie 4
O Boyle 4
MacCoime 3
MacElyre 2
MacElane 2
MacConwell 6
MacEnerney 3
O Cahan 3



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Ireland: Settlement Patterns of its Surnames
Of The Children of Kneafsey
Catholic Churches in Cos. Armagh & Down with records before 1900
Protestant Churches in Cos. Armagh & Down with records before 1853