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The townland of Rathkeelan contains just short of 12 statute acres of the town of Crossmaglen. This page is about the part Crossmaglen that is in the townland.

The origin of the name 'Crossmaglen' is uncertain. It has been interpreted by John Donaldson as "The cross of the shading plain", and by Hugh Macauley as "McGlynn's crossroads". According to LP Murray, writing in Vol VIII, No. 2 of the 1934 Journal of the County Louth Archeological Society -

"The village of Crossmaglen is of modern growth....In the local folklore it was merely famed for a well-known ale-house or shebeen - kept by a man named Lennon. It will be noted that the 1766 Census gives Owen Lennon among the ---- inhabitants - and his house (or shebeen), which was probably at the crossroads, was the origin of the variant Cros Mhig Lionnáin. If the village is really named after a family, we would be select the McCleans or MacClanes. There are no Flynns, and but one Lennon, in the Fews in 1602; but the MacClanes were numerous in all the Census lists...."

In the Tithe Applotment Books 1828 the area of the townland is given as 192 acres 1 rood and 13 perches (Irish). The Half Yearly Rectorial Tithe was 8-0-0.

Annual Rateable Valuation of Townland
Year 1828 1837 1851 1864 1935 1957 1971
Valuation 160-0-0 195-7-5 235-0-0 292-10-0 450-10-0 1663-10-0 2582-6-0

The 1837 Townland Valuation recorded only houses worth 5 or more a year. There is a substantial list of property owners recorded in respect of Crossmaglen. Also recorded is a statement that there were 58 houses exempt. That this mainly refers to the Town of Crossmaglen is testified, not only by the numbers involved but also by reference to an unfinished meeting house. It is not possible to distinguish those properties appropriate to the townland of Crossmaglen alone, or that part of the town situated in Rathkeelan. Therefore the 1837 list is contained in the Crossmaglen Town Page.

The increase in value 1957-1971 reflects the development of a housing estate, Rathview Park, Crossmaglen, within the townland.

The table shows the names listed in the the townland from the following sources -

  • Griffiths Valuation 1864
  • Census of Ireland 1901
  • First Northern Ireland Revaluation 1935
  • Second Revaluation 1956/7

Included here are the names of those listed in the 1864 and subsequent Valuations and the 1901 Census in the part of the town of Crossmaglen - the Castleblaney and Newtownhamilton (or Carran) Roads - situated in Rathkeelan.

The Third Revaluation (1975) did not identify property by townlands. Instead, it used the new Post Office system of road names and postcodes. It can therefore not be used to continue this series of household, land and property censuses. To get as close as possible to the present, the position in the townland at the date of the last recorded revision of the Second Revaluation is presented.

Griffiths Valuation records that the land was owned by Thomas P. Ball, who also owned most of the town and townland of Crossmaglen.

Census of Ireland 1901

The Census enumerated 125 persons in 32 households; a ratio of 3.9 people per household. The households occupied a total of 87 rooms, a ratio of 2.7 rooms per household and 1.5 people per room.

Native Irish Speakers

Of the 32 households enumerated in the Census, ten contained at least one native Irish speaker - 12 in all. Since theirs was the last generation to have been born into a predominently Irish speaking environment, their names, occupations and ages are recorded here. All were born in Co. Armagh with the exception of Rose Malone, James Garvey and Catherine O'Hare, born in Co. Monaghan.

    Castleblaney Street

    • Mary McKeone, wife of Felix, 58
    • Rose Malone, housekeeper, 80
    • Alice McQuillan, housekeeper, 70
    • John Nugent, retired Head Constable, RIC, 65
    • James Garvey, retired from Ordnance Survey, CS Department, 77

    Newtown Street
    • James McGuirk, basket maker, 66
    • James Grant, general labourer, 68
      and his wife Alice,66
    • Catherine O'Hare, farmer, 79
    • Frank Quinn, joiner, 62
      and his wife Nancy, 60
    • Mary Malone, wife of Michael, 60
* The average age of the group was 68; oldest 80, youngest 58
* Of the group, five could both read and write five could read and two could neither read nor write.

Household Changes

The following table shows the changes in household density between 1864 and 1971.

1864 1901 1935 1957 1971
36 32 36 72 95

All the Valuations since Griffiths identified those with houses and those who while living elsewhere leased or owned land there. The Census of Ireland enumerated only households in the townland. In this small area there was little "leased-only" land and these small plots (of one or two roods), have been identified in the lists. Unlike the scheme adopted in the townlands, the names are not listed alphabetically and the following table reproduces the order in which they appear in the records.

Griffiths Valuation Census of Ireland First NI Revaluation Second Revaluation
1864 1901 1935 1957 1970
Newtown-Road Newtown-Street Newtown-Street Newtown-Street Newtown-Street
McDonald Jeremiah (land) McGurk James Eardly Thomas Clarke P. Clarke P.
Duffy Thomas Early patrick Hughes Joseph McShane P. Morris Bernard
Wade John Hughes Mary Tavey John White E. Donaghy Thomas (land)
Cowan James Grant James Hughes Peter Hughes P. White Sarah
Quinn Charles (garden) O'Hare Catherine Collins Joseph Collins Bridget White Sarah
McDonnell Anne (garden) McKenna Ellen Hughes Patrick Brennan Jack Teelan Patrick
McShane Mary Burns Michael O'Hare Dennis O'Hare Dennis Teelan Patrick (workshop)
Quinn Francis Rush James Donaghy John (land) Donaghy Thomas (land) Teelin Patrick (offices)
Cumiskey James Harvey Mary Donaghy John (land) Boyle Alice Morris Mary
Kane Patrick Cumiskey Alice Carragher Mary Hearty Bridget Morris Patrick
Cumiskey Owen Quinn Francis White Sarah White J. McConville Malachy
Rush Judith Norton William White James Evans P. Harvey Rose
Burns Michael McCardle Francis Fisher John Hughes Kathleen McShane Thomas
Burns Patrick Malone Michael Marmion Peter McConville Patrick Quinn Patrick
Murphy Patrick Woods Michael Quinn Peter J. Hughes Thomas Creaney J.
Courtney Mary Cane Margaret McArdle Francis Byrne T. (workshop) Collins Leo
Delany Margaret McCardle Catherine Byrne Terence (workshop) Hughes Thomas (offices) McEnany Elizabeth
Gilmore Thomas Delaney Bridget Morris Mary Morris Mary Byrne Terence
O'Hare James   McConville James Morris Patrick Cassidy Bernard (house & garage)
O'Hare Thomas Castleblaney Street * Harvey Thomas McConville Malachy McQuaid Margaret
Malone Edward McEntee Thomas McShane Bernard Harvey Rose  
Reilly Thomas Quinn Mary Quinn Patrick McShane Bernard Castleblaney Street
McGuirk Thomas Rice Catherine Kelly Mary Quinn Patrick  
Kelly John McKeown Felix Eardley Patrick Creaney J. Catherine McArdle
Connolly Patrick Connolly Patrick McEnany John (offices) Hughes Margaret McArdle Patrick (bookmaker's office)
  Kelly Hugh Byrne Terence McEnany Elizabeth Rice Mary
Castleblaney Road Malone Rose Kearney Susan (land) Byrne Terence Hanratty Felix
McGill James McQuillan Alice Martin Patrick Cassidy Bernard (garage) Larkin Bernard
Donnelly Thomas Nugent John Kirk Joseph Short Thomas Kieran Thomas
National School House Grant Michael   McQuaid Margaret Grant Rosemary
McCabe Patrick McCabe Patrick Castleblaney Street   Grant Michael
McQuirk Thomas Donnelly Mary McArdle Michael Castleblaney Street Connolly Bridget
Lennon Anne Garvey James McQuaid John McArdle Patrick Connolly Patrick
McQuillan Peter McCardle Edward Donnelly Thomas Rice Mary Morgan Elizabeth (offices)
Murtagh Catherine   Callaghan Bridget Hanratty Felix Kernan Patrick *
Morris Thomas (land) * North St Rathkeenan in Census Crossmaglen School Larkin Bernard Kernan Joseph *
Coleman Anne   McCabe Bridget McCabe Bridget Grant Mary (land)
McCormick Francis   Grant Thomas Grant Rosemary  
    Grant Mary Grant Bridget Rathview Park
    Connolly Elizabeth Connolly Bridget Rush ?
    McQuillan Winifred Connolly Winifred Clarke ?
    Morgan Elizabeth Morgan Elizabeth Martin Patrick
    Grant Mary (land) Kernan Patrick * McNamee Thomas
      Kernan Joseph * Cumiskey Elizabeth
      Grant Mary (land) Martin John
        McKeown James
      * sharing house Evans Thomas
        Collins Joseph
      Rathview Park Hughes Laurence
      Rush ? McShane Patrick
      Clarke ? Clarke Peter
      Martin Patrick Ahern Patrick
      McNamee Thomas McShane Bernard
      Cumiskey Elizabeth Evans Patrick J.
      Martin John Morgan James
      McKeown James McGee Shaun
      Evans Thomas Blair Eugene
      Collins Joseph Frew T.
      Hughes Laurence McMullan P.
      McShane Patrick Brennan Malachy
      Clarke Peter Collins B.
      Ahern Patrick O'Hare D.
      McShane Bernard McQuaid J.
      Evans Patrick J. Clarke M.
      Morgan James Rush K.
      Armstrong Charles McEntee P.
      McGee Shaun McGuinness M.
      O'Brien Michael O'Callaghan M.
      Kinvin Mary McKeown James
      Brennan John Clarke Patrick
      Shields Francis Johnston J.
      Flynn Vincent Shields Patrick
      Donnelly Peter O'Brien Michael
      Shields Gerrard Kinvin Mary
      Hughes Michael Brennan John
      Cumiskey Eamon Shields Francis
      Brennan Joseph Flynn Vincent
      Flynn John Donnelly Peter
      Hughes Edward Shields Gerrard
      Short Thomas Hughes Michael
      Clarke Thomas Cumiskey Eamon
      Hughes James Brennan Joseph
      Robb Thomas Flynn John
      Maguire Patrick Hughes Edward
        Short Thomas
        Clarke Thomas
        Hughes James
        Robb Thomas
        Maguire Patrick
        Greenfield James
        Dunwoody J.
        Beacom G.
        Burke Desmond
        McGuigan J.
        O'Neill M.
        Magee J.C.
        O'Brien M.
        Murtagh B
        Armstrong Charles
        McConville S.
        McShane K.
        Lyons M.
        Martin M.
        Shields George
        Shields P.
        Burke D.
        Martin M.
        * shared ownweship

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Last Updated on 2 January 2003

© Patrick Devlin 2003