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CHAPTER FOUR

The Elusive Townland of Carricknaveagh 

    The Townland of Carricknaveagh[1] is as elusive as the man known as Humphry Thomson Breakey though its very existence is intertwined with Mr. Breakey’s ancestors, as well as himself.  Yet, it, like Mr. H. T. Breakey, remains a partial mystery.

            On 10 May, 1968, Dr. Edward P. Breakey solicited from the Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Ireland, a copy (No. 460) of a Memorial (dated 1767) of a deed bearing the date 18 July 1764 between the Reverend Robert Smith of Dillon, Barony of Lekale, County Down of the one part and William Breakey Junr of Lisgillan, Barony of Cremorne, County Monaghan of the other part.  This deed of lease was for “…that part of Carrickneveagh remaining of the lower half Tate[2] of Carrickneveagh joining Mr. W.….lying and being in the Estate of Ballibea in the County of Monaghan (Nettie C. Breakey to author, received ?).

            Nearly one hundred years later, in 1853, Humphry Thomson Breakey was advised a good title might be made for a portion of land containing 272 acres Irish plantation measure in the Townland of Carricknaveagh …”situate lying and being in the Estate of Ballybay in the County of Monaghan…”(Murnane to author 1986). See: “Statement of Title of William Johnston….”

            Wishing to pursue further the location of this Townland, the author utilized the following resource: General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland - Based on the Census of Ireland for the Year 1851[3].  Two Townlands by such name were noted:

                        No. of sheet of the Ordnance Survey Maps…..………….33

                        Townland and Towns…………………….. Carricknaveagh

                        Area in Statute Acres…………………... A 337 -  R 1 – P 6

                        County……………………………………………….Cavan

                        Barony………………………………………    Castlerahan

                        Parish…………………………………………….Killinkere

                        Poor Law Union in 1857…………………….Bailieborough

                        Townland Census of 1851 Part I………….Vol. III  Page 68

 

                        No. of Sheet of the Ordnance Survey Maps……………...15

                        Townland and Town………………………...….Carnaveagh

                        Area in Statute Acres    ………………....A 969 – R 1 – P 36

                        County…………………………………...………….…Down

                        Barony…………………………………....Castlereagh Upper

                        Parish………………………………………...…..….Killaney

                         Poor Law Union in 1857……………………..…..….Lisburn

                        Townland Census for 1851 Part I    ……....Vol. III  Page 165

 

            Entertaining the thought that perhaps there had been a Townland name change, I conducted an Internet search and came up with the “IreAtlas Townland Database.”  After completing and submitting a search form for Carrickna(e)veagh in County Monaghan, the results came back negative.  However, I did contact Sean Ruad, Project Director, with further inquiries.

            On 27 December 1999, he replied: “I find no mention of a Carricknaveagh in County Monaghan at any time…the townland name Carnaveagh in County Monaghan goes back at least as far as the Petty Mss. Barony Maps of 1655-59 wherein is spelled Carneueagh, at least that’s how it appears in my extract.”

            On 28 December, 1999, Sean replied further:  “Noting that the acreage given for Carricknaveagh in this document is 272 while the acreage noted in the 1851 Index for Carnaveagh is 458, is it possible that the former is a part of the latter?; one “plantation” out of some number of farms that made up the whole townland….the similarity of the place names would certainly indicate that they might have been in, if not of, the same area – Carnaveagh, ‘a heap of stones (or pile of rocks) of the ravens’ (usually indicating a man-made pile for a marker) and Carricknaveagh, ‘the rock of the ravens’ (usually a natural formation, an individual large rock or flat rocky area)”4 

                        *                                  *                                  *                                  *

    As I conclude this chapter, the location of that elusive Townland of Carricknaveagh continues to remain a mystery.


 

[1] In some documents the Townland is referred to as Carricknaveagh; in others, Carrickneveagh.  Throughout this chapter the author will utilize whichever manner of reference is found in the original document under discussion.

[2] Tate: “a measure of land, an English word meaning 60 native Irish acres…the word occurs chiefly in Fermanagh, Monaghan and Tyrone.  From The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, Joyce, P. W., 1869. (Sean Ruad to author, 28 Dec 1999).

[3] Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. (1984)  General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland-Based on the Census of Ireland for the Year 1851. Baltimore, MD. p. 205.

4 Taken from Joyce, P. W. The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, 1869.