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Tithe Records for Donagheady Parish, 1833-4

Compiled & Submitted by Dr. William Roulston
Research Director, Ulster Historical Foundation, Belfast
 

Extracted with permission from the author’s book Three Centuries of Life in a Tyrone Parish: a History of Donagheady from 1600-1900 (2010) available as a hard copy from BooksIreland or as an ebook from UlsterHeritage

In 1823, in response to growing agitation over tithes, the Composition Act was passed which stipulated that henceforth all tithes due to the Church of Ireland were to be paid in money rather than in kind. This necessitated a complete valuation of all tithable land in Ireland. The results of this valuation are contained in the tithe applotment books which list the names of tithe-payers by townland. Donagheady is one of the very few parishes in Northern Ireland for which there is no tithe applotment book. Why this should have been so is not clear.

Although there is no tithe applotment book for Donagheady, there is, however, a collection of documents in the National Library of Ireland in Dublin relating to the assessment of tithes in the parish (MS 17,990). The first of these documents is dated 9 September 1826 and concerns the nomination by the Rev. Charles Douglas of Earlsgift of Robert Howard Nolan Esq. of Londonderry as his commissioner to fix and ascertain jointly with a commissioner appointed by the select vestry a composition for all the tithe of the parish with the exception of the glebe-lands. The other documents in the collection are certificates of composition for tithes in the parish. Twenty-five of these are from 1833, with a further one from 1834. The table below lists the names of the tithe-payers and the lands upon which the tithe was charged.

 

TITHE-PAYERS IN DONAGHEADY PARISH IN 1833-4

Date Land Name
29 April 1833 Ardcame, Bunowen, Fawney, Leitrim Anthony Babington, agent to Sir James Robertson Bruce
20 June 1833 Altrest Robert Stewart
26 June 1833 Leat William Kane
26 June 1833 Altrest Andrew Brown
26 June 1833 Aughtermoy Andrew and Alexander Bairde
26 June 1833 Killenny John Latta
26 June 1833 Glencush, including the subdivisions of Silverhill and Ballanamoney James and Robert McCrea
27 June 1833 Ardmore Archibald McMorris
27 June 1833 Altrest Alexander Brown
28 June 1833 Moyagh, Gloudstown, Stranabrosney, Ballinabuoy James McCrea of Foyle St, Londonderry, and Robert McCrea, both merchants
17 July 1833 Tirconnelly John Walker
18 July 1833 Ardmore John McMorris
24 July 1833 Binnelly Robert Craig of Ballymaclanagan
15 August 1833 Glencush Ephraim McMorris
28 August 1833 Gortmonley James Hall
20 September 1833 Ardmore John McMorris
28 September 1833 Altrest Robert Alexander
17 October 1833 Altrest Robert Stevenson
17 October 1833 Altrest John Stevenson
18 October 1833 Irish and Scotch Lisnarrow, Claggan, Tirconnelly Samuel Jack
18 October 1833 Drummond, Barran Robert Smyley of Camus
23 October 1833 Ardmore William Downing
30 October 1833 Gortmonley James Hall
30 October 1833 Not specified Earl of Belmore
30 October 1833 Gortmonley Samuel and James Hall
31 March 1834 Upper Aughafad James Henderson

 

The agreements with the Rev. Douglas seem to have been made with either the outright owner of the lands or someone who enjoyed a perpetual lease or a lease for lives renewable forever of them. The townlands of Altrest, Ardmore and Gortmonley were all part of the freehold of Dullerton, though no certificate for the townland of Dullerton is in the collection. No agreement with the Marquess of Abercorn for his lands in the manor of Dunnalong has survived, though that is not to say that one was not drawn up.