Townland Notes 1901 Census Naran, Inishkeel, Co Donegal

This article was written by Frank Shovlin and forms part of the Donegal Genealogy Resources Website

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The census of population taken on 31st March 1901 and it is the first comprehensive record of the people of Narin.


No 1. The Hotel (Narin Inn) Proprietor Hugh McLoone. Present Mary Anne Boyle a domestic servant and Edward Mullen a commercial traveller. The building had 7/9 rooms with eight windows in the front.


No2. Cornelius McCole 90 and sons Bernard 32 and Patrick 29 with daughter Annie 26. This house was probably opposite the hotel where his grandson Cornie lived in recent years.


No 3 John McCole 35, a blacksmith, his wife Bridget 30 with Mary7, Bernard 5, Catherine 3 and Neil 1 Month. This family lived where The Cope now stands. Neil moved to Glenties and his family are still there. Barney was hired in Aaron Scott’s and also moved to Glenties.


No 4 Ellen McLoone 52 with family Rose 30, Hugh 29, Bridget 26 and Patrick 21. They were known as the “Jeckies” and they had two houses west of The Cope. Mary Ellen who married John Lafferty was the last of them.


No 5 Hugh McLoone 86 with his wife Rose 62 and family Michael 34 and Sarah 23. This was the proprietor of The Hotel. His house, known to me as Mickey’s was behind Rankin’s present home. Hugh had other family, not present, including Cass who in later years owned Ardmore.


No 6 Patrick Boyle 33, with siblings Annie 35, and Hugh 32, with Mary Ward 60, widow. These were the people who Peter the Bridge always referred to as “The Boyles of Narin”. Mary Ward was their aunt. The family home was where John Joe Doherty and Ann now live. Their mother, not present, was a Dunleavy from Meenahalla. They owned about two thirds of Inniskeel Island.


No 7  Neil Boyle 62 and his wife Bridget 57 with James and Patrick both 24, Mary Ann 20, Neil 15 and Thomas Boyle aged 67 whose relationship is not given. Neil was the great grandfather of the present Patrick. James who appears to have been a twin moved to The Hillhead where his family still reside,


No 8  This was the only unoccupied house detailed in the Census. It was the home of Mary Ward already mentioned at No 6. This house was on the property now owned by Geoffrey Boyle, no relation.


No 9 Mary McNelis 63 with son James 33 (Jimmy Slow) and Bridget 22 This was the family of Tessie who was there in my childhood. They lived west of the present Patrick Boyle. The lady, Mary Anne Boyle at No 7 lived beside Tessie in the 50’s Jimmy was a postman who delivered mail, on foot, up as far as Charlie Total’s.


No 10   This was a public house in the name of John Boyle (Andy Cunningham’s) The people present were John 28 and sister Bridget 60, described as Publican. This was the lady known to all as Biddy Boyle. She and John were siblings of “The Boyles of Narin” at No 6.


No 11 Annie Long age 70 with sons John 38 and Robert 28, her sister Mary Scott 60 and servants Kate Elliott 25 and Joseph Conaghan 15. These people were described as Protestant Episcopalians except Joe Conaghan who was a Catholic. Joe was from The Hillhead and I remember him very well. The Longs lived where Mrs Patterson now has a house. In the 50’s the remains of their forge were still there with what was left of a wagonette (an old horse-drawn passenger vehicle) John had one of the first motor cars for hire in Narin. When I was growing up the house next door was known as Scott’s Old House.


No 12 John Scott 78 and his wife aged 70, children, Aaron 29 and Catherine25. I presume that they lived next to Long’s. Aaron later inherited the house at the top of “The Nook” which I will discuss later under No 19.


No 13 James Shovelin 50 and his wife Annie 52 with their children Rose 21, Bridget 18, Agnes 16 and Susan 14, also Margaret 12. This house was in Churchtown east of the present Ballmore Cottage and at right angles to it. Rose married Peter McLoone (The Bridge). Bridget married Joe Boyle (McGlynn) while Agnes went to nurse in Glasgow and married Mick Aspel from whom are descended the McGregor and Philbin families who now own Ballmore House and Ballmore Cottage.


No 14. Jane Cooper a widow aged 78 with son Thomas 36 a gardener, born in Derry and granddaughter Ruby Wallace, born in Mayo. They lived at The Nook in a house owned by John Porter which still exists.


No 15 Hannah Boyle 70 with son John and daughter Mary and nephew Stephen McCole 4. This was John Lemin’s and it was south of James Long’s. A brother of John (not present here) came home later and built a new house which is still there.


No 16 Margaret Boyle 60 an unmarried seamstress lived in another house owned by John Porter. This house may have been west of James Long’s


No 17 Condy McHugh aged 68 lived where Andrew and Sarah Barred lived recently. The Barretts moved from Iniskeel Island in 1903 and bought Condy’s property. There is a little field at the bottom of “The Nook” which is still known as Condy’s Park.


No 18 Charles Morrow aged 38 and his wife Isabella 36 with family Bessie 8, John 6, Isabel 4, James 2 and Margaret 1.   They had a servant Ellen Boyle aged 70 who was deaf and dumb. At this time the family lived in the Church of Ireland National School between The Church and Iniskeel Hall. The Morrows subsequently built Ardmore in about 1904 and prior to 1901 they lived in James Long’s house while he was in America. Charles was born in Ballyerin and Isabella was Scott from Mullavea. Isabella was the teacher in Inniskeel National School. The family moved to Belfast in the 1920s.


No 19 Elizabeth Scott 70 a widow, although Nesbitt Scott who was not present was given as head of the family. Elizabeth had two servants Rose McHugh 50 and James Billingston 16. James’ name may have been Billingsley? Elizabeth occupied the house at the top of The Nook. She was the only person in Narin recorded as a Presbyterian.


No 20 Mary McCahill aged 60, a seamstress, not married. She lived in a house owned by James Moore at The Back Road. She was probably poor and lived in a house which was not built of stone or concrete. It was probably built of sods with  a thatched roof with one window and one room.


No21 Margaret Cunningham 54 with sisters Elizabeth Moore 52 and Alicia Moore 50. They were Protestants and all described as seamstresses. It has been suggested to me that they might have lived where Dan the Cope’s now stands.


No 22 James Moore 66 with his family, Patrick 24, Mary Jane 18, Susan 16, Thomas 14, Alice 12 and John 10. Patrick was the father off Fr. Leo, and Packie while Mary Jane was the mother of Jack Craig and Una Murrin.


No 23. John Scott 36, a postman with Catherine Breslin 38 described as a cousin and a seamstress. John Married Annie Mc Cole (See No 2.) The property was inherited by Tommy McCole and his wife Bridget Whyte. It is the site next to Benny Quinn.


No 24  James Long 41 and Annie 30(she was known as Nancy) They were the grandparents of James Elliott our postman and they lived in the second house south of the Church of Ireland.


The total number present was 90, of whom 60 were Catholics, one was a Presbyterian and the remainder were Protestant Episcopalians. The basic settlement structure of 1857 remained with the majority of Catholics in Irishtown and the Protestants in Churchtown. There was still no settlement on the Strand Road.


Of the twenty four houses only one was not built of stone or concrete (N0 20) and all except seven were slated which is at odds with the evidence of the CDB report a few years earlier.. It appears to me that only 4 of the 24 are now represented in Narin. They are No 7, the Boyles represented by Patrick and Kay and the Boyles at the Hillhead. No 13 The Shovelins by  the McGregors and Philbins. No 23 The Moores by Packie and Fr. Leo and by Jack Craig and Una. No 24 by James Elliott (The Longs)


Only two people recorded were born outside Co.Donegal and they were both in the Cooper household No 14.


James Long was the only one that I am aware of who was a returned emigrant.

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Lindel Buckley

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