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The townland of Dorsey has a number of divisions eg Dorsey Cavan O'Hanlon, Dorsey Hearty, Dorsey Mullaghglass, Dorsey McDonald and Dorsey McIvor, some now known by other names. The total area of these parts is about 2,500 statute acres. Dorsey McIvor, now called simply Dorsey is, at 1310 statute acres and 10 perches, the largest townland in the Parish. The other divisions are in the parish of Newtownhamilton. Dorsey lies about four miles northeast of Crossmaglen, mostly to the left of the the A29 from Newtownhamilton to Dundalk. It is bounded on the north by Tullyvallen (Tipping) East, Drumaltnamuck, Finiskin and Dorsey Cavan O'Hanlon (Roxborough), on the east by Ummericam, on the south by Carnally and Lurgancullenboy and on the west by Tullynavall.

In the 1828 Tithe Applotment Books the total area of the townland is shown as 834 acres 2 roods and 13 perches (Irish). This is the equivalent of 1351 statute acres. The Townland Valuation of 1837 gives the area as 1423 statute acres 2 roods and 15 perches. Clearly different measurement methods were used, or different areas covered.

Name of townland

The name of the townland means "The doors or gateways (to Eamhain Macha)". There is other townland of that name in Ireland.

The townland contains a large dun, or raised rampart, (The Dorsey), now much deteriorated, some parts of which have been dated to 140 BC or earlier, some of the same timescale as Navan Fort (Eamhain Macha). Many archeological investigations have been documented. According to Tempest, writing in the County Louth Archeological Journal in 1930, the Dorsey was "a fortified frontier post...of the Kingdom whose capital was Emain Macha", blocking an important historic route or pass into southern Armagh, and built at a time when Ulaidh's power was the strongest. Later threats to Ulaidh from the south may have caused the Dorsey to be incorporated into a larger defensive system known as the "Black Pig's Dyke" which stretches west from that point. The Creggan Local History Society has published two articles on the Dorsey in its Journal "Creggan" - "The Dorsey Ramparts" by Michael McShane - No 2 - 1987 page 3, and "The Dorsey since Tempest's 1930 Description.." by C.J. Lynn, No 9 - 1999/2000 page 86.

Sources of Information

Information about the townland was extracted from the following sources -

  • Hearth Money Roll of the Fews 1664
  • Census of Creggan 1766
  • Tithe Applotment Books 1828
  • Townland Valuation 1837
  • Griffiths Valuation 1864
  • Census of Ireland 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911, 1926, 1937, 1951
  • The First Northern Ireland General Revaluation 1935
  • Second Revaluation 1957


Annual Rateable Valuation of the Townland
Year 1828 1837 1851 1864 1935 1957 1971
Valuation 663-10-10 766-4-11 796-15-0 888-5-0 983-0-0 1116-10-0 1179-5-0

The Townland Valuation of 1837 recorded only those houses with an annual value of 5 or more. Only two such properties were listed -

Rev. Michael Gallagher
Richard Jeffers

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.

In Griffiths Valuation the owner of the townland, with the exception of some houses and a few acres, was Walter McGeough Bond. There was a National School House and a Corn-mill and kiln (Richard Jeffers).

The distribution of the land holdings by acerage in 1864 and 1935 is set out in the following table.

  Holdings - number by acreage
  Less than 10 10 to 19 20 and over Total

Census of Ireland 1901

In the 1901 Census, 434 people were enumerated in 97 households, an average of 4.5 people per household. The total number of rooms was 214, an average of 2.2 rooms per household, giving an average density of 2 people per room. Three households of ten people and two of 11 people each lived in two rooms. Of There were 362 oubuildings, an average of 3.7 per household. Of the 97 houses, 38 (39%) were thatched. The accommodation was comprised of 12 households with four or more rooms, 5 with three rooms, 66 with 2 rooms and 14 with a single room.

Native Irish Speakers

Of the 97 households enumerated in the Census, 21 contained at least one native Irish speaker - 33 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 Thomas Connolly, born Co. Monaghan.

  • Bridget McCreesh, farmer, 70
  • Felix Hanratty, farmer, 72
  • Mary Caffery, farmer, widow, 75
  • Annie Hanratty, retired farmer, widow, 70
  • Margaret McShane, mother of Henry, retired farmer, 82
    and Edward Caragher, uncle of Henry, farm servant, 76
  • Mary Conlon, wife of Edward, house industries, 49
    Minnie Conlon, her daughter, house industries, 18
    and a boarder, Thomas Connolly, teacher, 24
  • Bernard O'Hanlom, farmer, 60
  • Michael Crilly, farmer, 33
    and his mother Mary, housekeeper, 66
  • Bernard Muckian, retired teacher, 70
    and his wife Catherine, teacher, 61
  • Felix Kelly, farmer, 51
    and his sister, Bridget, housekeeper, 37
  • Patrick Hearty, farmer, 66
    and his wife Mary, 60
  • Thomas Mackin, farmer, 56
    his wife Rose, 52
    daughters, Mary, domestic servant, 26
    and Bridget, scholar, 9
    and son John, farmer, 21
  • Peter Dollaghan, farmer, 66
  • Bridget Murphy, sister of Laurence McGorman, 60
  • Bernard Muckien, farmer, 60
  • Michael Reynolds, farmer, 64
  • John Loye, farmer, 61
  • John McGahran, farmer, 60
  • Francis Caragher, farmer, 39
    and his wife Katie, 34
  • Peter Donaghy, farmer, 65
  • Patrick Kelly, farmer, 64
* The average age of the group was ; the oldest was 54, the youngest was 9.
* Of the group, 22 could read and write, one could read only and 10 could neither read nor write.

Population Decline

The following table sets out the number of houses and population enumerated in the townland in each of the 11 Censuses held between 1841 and 1951.

  1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926 1937 1951
Houses 166 165 147 130 122 105 97 81 75 74 71
People 984 800 732 684 569 534 452 346 289 249 263
People per house 5.9 4.8 5.0 5.3 4.7 5.1 4.7 4.3 3.9 3.4 3.7

In the period of 110 years, the number of households more than halved (57%) and the population dropped by 73%. In the ten years to 1851 (the famine years) the townland lost 184 of its people. Thereafter the population fell at a constant rate until the 1920s when the fall slowed.

Names of House and land Holders

All the Valuations since Griffiths identified those with houses in the townland and those who while living elsewhere leased or owned land there. The Census of Ireland enumerated only households in the townland. The following table uses this approach.

Although the data is not strictly comparable since the information was gathered for different purposes and used varying criteria, it provides a comparison of the names listed in the townland at the different periods. While we can not discern the direct lines of descent it is clear that many are from the same families.

Hearth Money Rolls Census of Creggan Tithe Applotment Books Griffiths Valuation Census of Ireland First NI Revaluation Second Revaluation
1664 1766 1828 1864 1901 1935 1957 1970
Dorsy Darsy Darsey Darsy Dorsey Dorsey Dorsey Dorsey
Households/Land Households Households Households Households Households
George Bleeke Edmund Burn John Armstrong John Bennett Denis Bennet Joseph Bennett Joseph Bennett Joseph Bennett
Cullow McGorman James Burn Dennis Bennett Edward Blacker Edward Blacker Michael Blacker Edward Blacker Edward Blacker
William McGorman John Caffry Hugh Bennet John Brannigan Bridget Branaghan John Burns William Burns James Burns
Patte McIgallogly Christopher Callaghan Thomas Burns Bridget Burns John Burns Bridget Caffrey Eugene Carey William Burns
Patte McManus Daniel Callaghan Widow Burns Mary Burns Samuel Burns Michael Callaghan Alice Casey Francis Casey
Artt McMurphy Robert Henry Patt Caffry Samuel Burns Mary Caffrey John Campbell Francis Casey Francis Casey
Henry McMurphy James Herety Francis Callaghan Thomas Caffrey James Caherty Alice Casey James Casey Isabella Casey
Shane O'Cullein (?) Owen Herety Owen Callaghan John Callaghan Frs. Carragher Francis Casey Josephine Casey Josephine Casey
Turlagh O'Heartye Bryan Hughs James Casey Henry Caraher Owen Casey Jamers Casey Letitia Clarke ? Conlon
Hugh O'Lavvan Edward Hughs Thomas Casey Daniel Casey Thomas Casey John Clarke Bernard Conlon Felix Connolly
Shane O'Moony Patt Hughs James Connell Francis Casey Edward Conlon Bernard Conlon Felix Connolly Peter Crilly
John Jeffers Michael Connolly James Casey Hugh Connel Felix Connolly Owen Connolly Alphonsus Donnelly
John Johnston Samuel Coulter Thomas Casey Robert Coulter Thomas Connolly Peter Crilly Michael Hanratty
William Johnston Jun Widow Coulter Anne Connell Bridget McCreesh Mary E. Crilly James Crummy John Harte
William Johnston Sen Patt Crilly Michael Connolly Michael Crilly Peter Duffy Peter Duffy ? Hartnell
Patrick Kelly Jun Patt Crilly Terence Corr Peter Dollaghan James Fegan Francis Garland Bernard Hearty
Patrick Kelly Sen Francis Donaghy Samuel Coulter Peter Donaghy Francis Garland John Harte Francis Hearty
Widow Kelly Patt Donaghy Samuel Coulter Edward Duffy Edward Gorman Bernard Hearty Francis Hearty
Francis Loy James Donnelly Patrick Donaghy Patrick Gartland Edward Gorman Francis Hearty James Hearty
Owen Makkin Bryan Dullahan Peter Donaghy Annie Hanratty Margaret Hanratty Francis Hearty Michael Hearty (Owen)
Patt McCave James Dullahan James Dullaghan Felix Hanratty John Harte James Hearty Peter Hearty
John McCreese Andrew Fegan John Dullaghan Francis Hearty Francis Hearty Michael Hearty (Owen) Samuel Henry
Hugh McElroy John Fegan Loughlin Fegan Michael Hearty Francis Hearty Peter Hearty ? Hughes
Patrick McGorman Loughlin Fegan Peter Fegan Patrick Hearty James Hearty George Henry John Hughes
William Middleton Patt Fegan John Friel Patrick Hearty Michael Hearty Samuel Henry John Hughes
Bryan Moley Thomas Frazier Mary Freel David Henery Michael Hearty John Hughes Mary Johnston
Neese Moley Thomas Freel Francis Garland Robert Henery Micheal Hearty (Owen) Mary Johnston James P. Kelly
Patrick Murphy Redmond Garvey John Garvey Robert Howel Peter Hearty James P. Kelly Thomas Kelly (Upper)
Daniel Rice Hugh Hanlon Owen Garvey Francis Hughes David Henry Thomas Kelly (Upper) James Lennon
Jonathan Smith Bryan Hanratty James Gorman James Hughes Samuel Henry James Kernan Bridget Loy
James Stoker Arthur Hearty Felix Hanratty Mary Hughes John Hughes James Lennon Bridget Loye
Owen Hearty Hugh Hanratty Patrick Hughes Margaret Hughes Annie Loy Francis P. Loye
Patt Hearty James Henry Peter Hughes Mary Hughes Bridget Loy John Loy Sen
James Henry John Henry Margaret Johnston Patrick Johnston John Loy Sen Annie Mackin
John Henry Arthur Herley Felix Kelly Jun John Kelly Patrick Loy Michael Mackin
Francis Hughes Bernard Herty Sen Patrick Kelly Patrick Kelly (James) Terence Loy Owen Mackin
Patt Hughes Francis Herty Patrick Kelly Thomas Kelly Felix Mackin Patrick Mackin
Stephen Hughes Mary Herty Patrick Kelly Francis Kernan George Mackin Vincent Mackin
Widow Hughes Mary Herty Patrick Kelly John Loy Michael Mackin Francis Malone
William Hudson Patrick Herty Peter Kelly Jun Michael Loy Peter J. Mackin Leslie Martin
John Jeffers Bryan Hughes Peter Kelly Sen. Michael Loy Vincent Mackin Seamus Maguire
Elizabeth Johnston Michael Hughes Terence Kelly Patrick Loy Vincent Mackin Joseph Maloney
James Johnston Patrick Hughes John Kieran Terence Loy Joseph Malone Michael McCann
Peter Johnston Philip Hughes John Kilroy Edward Macken Joseph Maloney Kathleen McConville
William Johnston Stephen Hughes John Lamb Felix Macken Sen. Owen Martin James McGahan
Francis Kearnan Francis Johnston Francis Loy George Macken Mary McBarron P. McGahan
Bryan Kelly James Johnston John Loy Patrick Macken Michael McCann John McGuinness
Bryan Kelly Christopher Kelly Mick Loy Patrick Macken James P. McConville Patrick McKeever
Christoper Kelly James Kelly (Felix) Peter Loy Patrick Macken (Rose) John McCoy Elizabeth McQuillan
Felix Kelly Owen Kelly Edward Macken Rose Macken Henry McDermott Mary B. Moley
Patt Kelly Patrick Kelly Bridget Mackin Stephen Macken James McGahan Michael Moley
Widow Kelly Terence Kelly Bridget Mackin Thomas Macken (Hugh) P. McGahan Jean Murphy
Bryan Lennan James Kernan Felix Mackin Joseph Malone John McGuinness Thomas Quigley
Peter Loughran Margaret Lennon Felix Mackin Patrick McCann Patrick McKeever Stephen Quinn
Bryan Loy James Loughran Hugh Mackin James McConville Susan McKeown M.J. Reel
Francis Loy Felix Loy James Mackin Patrick McCoy Annie Moley Oliver Reel
John Loy Peter Loughran Margaret Mackin Henry McDermott Michael Moley S. Reel
Patt Loye Michael Loy Margaret Mackin Thomas McElroy F. Muckian Susan Reel
Peter Loy Patrick Loy Mary Mackin Patrick McGahran J. Murphy Patrick Reynolds
Anne Mackin Patrick Loy Mary Mackin John McGuinness Owen Murphy David Smyth
Bryan Mackin Terence Loy Patrick Mackin Patrick McKeever Reps Edward O'Gorman George Wylie
Felix Mackin Anne Macken Thomas Mackin Michael McKeown Reps Edward O'Gorman  
James Mackin Felix Macken Thomas Mackin Michael Moley Thomas Quigley Land
Michael Mackin Hugh Macken Joe Malone Bryan Muckian Stephen Quinn Anthony Burns
Michael Mackin James Macken Michael McCann James Murphy John Reel Thomas Caffrey
Patt Mackin John Macken Patrick McCoy John O'Hanlon M.J. Reel Patrick Casey
Peter Mackin Michael Macken Mary McCreesh Thomas Quigley Susan Reel Peter J. Casey
Philip Mackin Patrick Macken Joseph McDermot Stephen Quinn Patrick Reynolds Owen Connolly
Stephen Mackin Patrick Macken (John) John McGhran John Reel Annie Rooney John Duffy
Thomas Mackin Terence Macken Laurence McGorman Patrick Reynolds George Wylie John Duffy Jun.
Widow Mackin Matthew Mailew Bridget McKinley Bernard Rooney   Michael Hanratty
Widow Mackin Moses McCann Rose McKinley Richard Stokes Land Felix Hearty
William Mackin James McCoy Henry McMahon John Wiley Thomas Caffrey Michael Hearty
Andrew Maguill John McCoy Henry McShane   John Callaghan Michael John Hearty
Laurence Maguill Anne McCreesh Mary Moley Land F. Campbell Reps. Peter Kelly
Laurence McBennet Michael McCreesh Bernard Muckien John Caffrey Patrick Casey James P. Lennon
Moses McCann Owen McCreesh Bernard Muckien Patrick Casey Peter J. Casey Joseph Lennon
Edward McCoy Henry McDermott Michael Muckien Patrick Conlon Francis Clay Patrick Gerard Loy
Widow McCoy Michael and John McElroy Frank Murry James Grant James Crummie James A. Loy
James McCreesh Michael McEnteer Jun Michael Murry Owen Hearty Christiana Donnelly Owen J. Loy
Michael McCreesh Michael McEnteer Sen Michael O'Callaghan Thomas Henry John Duffy Felix Mackin
Patt McCreesh John McGahran Bernard O'Hanlon Patrick Kierns Felix Hearty Michel Mackin (Stephen)
Joseph McDermot Bridget McGill Mary O'Neil Bridget Kelly Michael John Hearty Peter J. Mackin
William McDermot Bridget McGill Bridget Quigley Thomas Loughran James Henry Thomas Mackin
Cormick McElroy John McKenley Michael Quinn Anne Loy Reps. Peter Kelly Mary McBarron
Widow McElroy Patrick McKenley Jun Owen Quinn James Loy Joseph Lennon James P. McConville
Michael McEntee Patrick McKenley Sen Patt Quinn Felix Macken Owen J. Loy Denis McConville
George McFarland Bryan Moley Patrick Reel John Macken Michel Mackin (Stephen) Henry McDermott
Laurence McGorman Catherine Mooney Michael Reynolds Michael Macken Peter J.. Mackin (Tullynavall) Eamon McGuinness
Michael McGorman John Mooney Patrick Reynolds Michael Macken (Stephen) Peter Mackin Susan McKeown
James McKinley Bernard Muckian Bernard Runey John McCoy Thomas Mackin Annie Moley
John McKinley John & Patrick Muckian Alis Short Francis Muckian Reps. Patrick McConville Bernard Murchan
Michael McKinley Owen Muckian John Waters Bernard Murchan John McCoy Edward O'Gorman
Fergus McVeigh Patrick Muckian Michael Waters Mary O'Hanlon Bernard Murchan James O'Gorman
Patt McVeigh Patrick Muckian Hugh Ward Francis O'Neill Mary O'Callaghan John O'Neill
Patt McVeigh Thomas Muckian Mary Wiley John O'Neill Edward O'Gorman Thomas F. O'Neill
James McWilkin James Murray Aley Woods Thomas F. O'Neill John O'Neill Thomas O'Neill
Bryan Meegan Michael Murphy Edward Quigley Thomas F. O'Neill Annie Rooney
Peter Meegan Owen Murray William Quigley Thomas O'Neill John Roy Sen.
Thomas Meegan Hugh O'Hanlon Michael Quinn James Quigley Victor Wilson
William Middleton Michael O'Hare Owen Quinn John Reel  
John Moley Thomas O'Hare Bridget Reel John Roy Sen.  
John Moley Charles O'Neill Herbert Stokes    
Hugh Money Hugh O'Neill      
James Money Edward Quigley      
Henry Muckean John Quigley      
Patt Muckean Owen Quigley      
Widow Muckean Patrick Quigley      
Michael Murphy Michael Quinn      
Daniel Murry Michael Reynolds      
Bryan O'Hanlon Owen Reynolds      
Widow O'Hanlon Peter Rice      
Bryan O'Heir Frances Rooney      
Neal O'Neal James Rowland      
John O'Neille Patrick Short      
Edward Quigley Robert Stokes      
Widow Quigley Bridget Waters      
Felix Quin John Waters      
Felix Quin Michael Waters      
Felix Quinn George Wiley      
Michael Quin James Wilkinson      
Henry Reynolds Ann Woods      
Henry Reynolds Anne Woods      
James Reynolds      
James Rowland Land      
Bryan Runy Laurence Boyle      
Peter Runy Francis Casey      
Widow Short John Garvey      
Peter Water Richard Jeffers      
Patt Waters Patrick Loy      
Michael Waters Stephen Macken      
Patt Watters Michael Macken      
Michael Woods Patrick Macken      
Owen Woods Peter Macken      
Terence Macken      
Patrick McGill      
Bernard Muckian      
Owen Muckian      
Francis O'Neill      
Francis O'Neill      
Michael O'Hare      

[Back to Townlands Timeline]

Last Updated on 31 December 2002

© Patrick Devlin 2002