Gortnagier West

Gortnagier West (Leagan Gaeilge – Gort na gCaor Thiar): The townland of Gortnagier West is situated one kilometre south of Glenamaddy Town on the western side of the Kilkerrin Road in north-east County Galway. The Irish form of the townland name translates as ‘The West Field of the Berries’, gort is Irish for field, caor means berry and thiar means west. Patrick Knight in his ‘History of the Parish of Boyounagh’ stated – “The earliest spelling I have seen of Gortnagier is that of the “Composcion Booke of Conagh” when the English scribe spelled it phonetically ‘Gortnagyer’ (Gortnagadhar) ‘The Field of Dogs’. Other forms of the townland name listed in O’Donovan’s Field Name Books are Gortnagere, Gortnageer and Gurtnageer West.
Distinctive Features:
• The 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map shows a Ringfort and a Pound in the townland.
• There were only two houses located in the townland in 1840.
1656-58 Down Survey: The Down Survey name of the townland is given as Gortnagere. The owner is given as Sir Oliver St. George who was a Catholic. The unprofitable land in the townland amounted to 3 plantation acres. The profitable land came to 88 plantation acres. The 88 profitable acres were forfeited in accordance with the terms of the Comwellian Act of Settlement.

1823 – 1838 Tithe Applotment Books: Surviving documentation of the Tithe Applotment Books is in poor condition making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to decipher the names of landholders. In so far as it can be ascertained the Catholic landholder in the townland of Gortnagier who paid the tithe (tax) levied to support the Established Church (Church of Ireland) was John Divilly. A copy of the original Down Survey record indicates that West Gortnagier was not distinguished from East Gortnagier for the purpose of tithe collection but considering the information available in Griffith’s Valuation in 1856 regarding the occupiers of townlands it is reasonable to assume that John Divilly is the person associated with West Gortnagier and John Reilly with East Gortnagier in the 1830s. Protestant occupiers of agricultural holdings were exempt from this tax.
1838 O’Donovan’s Field Name Books: O’Donovan describes the townland as follows – “There are three portions of bog in this townland. They are not of much extent and are situated at the West and East boundaries. Centre of road from Moylough and Castleblakney to Glenamadda form the East boundary. The remainder of the land is tillage and pasture.”
1856 Griffith’s Valuation: The townland covers an area of 99 acres 2 roods 38 perches and the total rateable valuation of the land and buildings combined amounted to £42 0s 0d.
At the time of Griffith’s Valuation there was only one occupier in the townland of Gortnagier West whose name was Divilly. The landlord was Sir George Shee.
Adjoining Townlands: The following townlands share a border with Gortnagier West:- GlenamaddyGortnagier East, Kiltullagh, Shannagh Beg and Scotland.

Census Records: Population and Household data for the townland of Gortnagier West:

Census Years 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 2011
Population 12   4 9 10 8 11 10 26
Households 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 8

Glenamaddy and the Irish Folklore Collections:

The article posted on this website under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab provides an overview of the folklore material submitted by Glenamaddy parishioners to the National Folklore Commission, now known as the Irish Folklore Collections. It also explains the background to the 1937 Schools’ Collection (Bailiúchán na Scol) project which has good representation from a parish perspective

The Irish Folklore Collections housed in the Folklore Department of University College Dublin contain a treasure trove of folklore material, some of which is accessible online. Both the Main Manuscript Collection and the Schools’ Collection contain a considerable number of submissions from collectors and informants who resided in the parish of Glenamaddy. The quick reference directories featured in the ‘Parish > Townlands’ section of this website complement the user-friendly search features of the dúcas.ie website and are helpful in tracking Schools’ Collection submissions associated with townlands. Submissions are categorised under – School, Teacher, Language, Volume Number, Page Number, Collector, Collector’s Townland, Informant and Informant’s Townland. Where applicable, Schools’ Collection directories showing online townland-related submissions appear at the end of the following townland posts on this website – Ballinapeaka, Ballinastack, Barna, Boyounagh More (Middletown), Bushtwon, Cashel, Classaghroe, Cloonacross, Clooncon East, Clooncon West, Cloonkeen, Cultiafadda, Eskeromullacaun (Esker), Felimspark, Glenamaddy, Gortaganny, Gortnagier, Kiltullagh, Knockauns, Lisheenaheltia, Loughpark, Meelick, Scotland, Shannagh More, Stonetown and Woodfield.

Schools’ Collection Townland-Related Quick Reference Directory:

Parish folklore submissions contained in the Schools’ Collection are also accessible online via the following links:-

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 1 – https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613680

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 2https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613681 

Glenamaddy Girls’ National School https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613677

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 1https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613678

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 2https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613679 

Gort na Léime National School – Part 1https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4569061   

Gort na Léime National School – Part 2https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4569062 

Lisheenaheltia Girls’ National Schoolhttps://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613675 

Lisheenaheltia Boys’ National Schoolhttps://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4613676    

Glenamaddy submissions which form part of the Main Manuscript Collection are not posted online but may be examined in the reading room of the Folklore Department in U.C.D., Belfield, Dublin 4. Typed versions of some of the parish contributions contained in the Main Manuscript Collection are published under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab on this website.   

Quick Reference Directory of Glenamaddy folklore submissions in the Main Manuscript Collection:-

Author: Pat Keaveny


Townlands in County Galway

1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map

Place Name Books of Galway

The Down Survey of Ireland

The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837

Griffith Valuation – Ask About Ireland

Central Statistics Office

National Archives: Census Reports 1901/1911

Essex University: Historic Population Census Reports

Historic Environment Viewfinder

History of the Parish of Boyounagh. Patrick Knight