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Mounthill is a townland of 526 statute acres 1 rood and 3 perches in County Armagh about three south-east of Crossmaglen on the Creggan-Ballsmill Road. It is bounded on the north by Lurgancullenboy, on the east by Glassdrummond, by the west by Cornoonagh and on the south by County Louth in the Republic of Ireland.

Name of townland

The original name of the townland was Ballynaghy but was changed in the eithteenth centure to take its name from The Rev Hill, who appears in the 1766 Census of Creggan (here in bold). Mounthill was also the birthplace of the renowned Gaelic poet Art McCooey whose birth house is still standing, though in ruins. The James McCooy in the 1766 Census was his father.

Sources of Information

Information about the townland was extracted from the following sources -

  • Census of Creggan 1766
  • Tithe Applotment Books 1828
  • Townland Valuation 1837
  • Griffiths Valuation 1854
  • Census of Ireland 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911, 1926, 1937, 1951
  • First Northern Ireland General Revaluation 1935
  • Second Revaluation 1957


Annual Rateable Valuation of Townland
Year 1828 1837 1851 1854 1935 1957 1972
Valuation 259-8-4 293-15-8 242-10-0 289-9-0 298-0-0 355-5-0 365-75

In the Tithe Applotment Books of 1828 the total acerage is shown as 315 acres and 30 roods (Irish). The Half Yearly Rectorial Tithe was 12-19-5.

The 1837 Townland Valuation recorded only houses worth 5 or more a year. There were two such houses in the townland -

Samuel Coulter and
William Dowdall

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 the owner of the land as Edward Hill.

The distribution of the land holdings by acreage, in 1854 and 1935 is set out in the following table.

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

The 1957 land holdings were not counted.

Census of Ireland 1901

The Census enumerated 90 people in 30 households; a ratio of 3 people per household. The households occupied a total of 64 rooms; a ratio of 2.1 rooms per household and 1.4 people per room. One of the households had 4 rooms, six had 3 rooms, 19 had 2 rooms and four had but one room. Twenty four (80%) of the houses were thatched.

Native Irish Speakers

Of the 30 households enumerated in the Census, 19 contained at least one native Irish speaker - 31 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 John Kirk, Bridget Kirk, Mary Kirk and Catherine Kirk, all born in Co. Louth.

  • Susan Doyle, farmer, widow, 65
    and her sisters Catherine Lavelle, 67
    and Rose Bannican, retired farmer, 82
  • Francis Kirk, farmer, 60
    and his wife Mary, 58
  • Catherine McCooey, farmer, widow, 68
  • James Flynn, farm labourer, 50
  • Patrick Caherty, farmer, 74
    and his wife Mary, 60
  • Arthur Kirk, farmer, 46
    and Jane Kirk housekeeper, 36
    and nephew John, scholar, 10
  • Peter Kieran, farmer
    and his wife Margaret, 68
  • Patrick Kirk, farmer, 60
  • Thomas Kirk, farmer, 58
  • Patrick Woods, farmer, 69
  • Anne Lambe, farmer, widow, 70
    and her sister Catherine Murphy, widow, 64
  • Owen Kirk, farmer, 48
  • Anne Sheridan, retired charwoman, 62
  • Peter Woods, farmer, 75
  • Thomas Kirk, farmer, 65
    and his wife Bridget, 62
  • Patrick McArdle, farmer, 80
    and his wife Anne, 55
  • Owen Kirk, farmer, 70
    his wife mary,55
    and son Bernard, farm labourer, 33
  • Catherine Kirk, farmer, widow, 75
  • Bryan McArdle, farmer, 70
* The average age of the Irish speakers was 61; oldest 82, youngest 33
* Of the group, 12 could read and write, five could read and 14 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 53 51 41 41 39 33 31 26 20 17 15
People 270 214 193 188 167 132 93 83 84 67 54
People per house 5.1 4.2 4.7 4.6 4.3 4.0 3.0 3.2 4.2 3.9 3.6

In the period of 110 years, the number of households dropped by 72% and the population by 80%. The initial fall of 29% between 1841 and 1961, was followed by a steady decline for the following 90 years.

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.

Census of Creggan Tithe Applotment Books Griffiths Valuation Census of Ireland First NI Revaluation Second revaluation
1766 1828 1854 1901 1935 1957 1972
Households/Land Households Households Households Households Households
John Coulter James Caherty James Caherty Patrick Caherty James Conlon Catherine Conlon Catherine Conlon
Widow Coulter Matthew Coleman Peter Coleman James Conlon Mary Conlon James Conlon James Conlon
Rev Mr Hill Francis Conlan Bridget Conlon Michael Conlon Michael Conlon James Conlon Michael Conlon (Mason)
Patrick Kirk Jun. Patt Conlon Patrick Conlan Susan Doyle Patrick Conlan Michael Conlon (Mason) Patrick Eastwood
Patrick Kirk Sen Patt Conlon Bernard Finnegan James Flynn Patrick Doyle Patrick Conlon Reps. Denis Kernan
Art Lamb John Coulter Denis Harvesy Patrick Flynn James Eastwood Patrick Eastwood Peter Lamb
Bryen Lamb John Coulter Jun Hugh Harvesy Peter Kieran Denis Kernan Reps. Denis Kernan Elizabeth McArdle
Owen Lamb Samuel Coulter Daniel Kieran Patrick Kieran Bridget Kirk Bridget Kirk P. NcArdle
Patrick Lamb John Cudden Francis Kieran Arthur Kirk Owen Kirk Owen Kirk Annie McCudden
James McCooy Messrs Dowdals Peter Kieran Catherine Kirk Annie Lamb Annie Lamb Henry McElroy
Bryan McElkeran Bryan Harvesy Bernard Kirk Francis Kirk Bernard McArdle Elizabeth McArdle J. McElroy
Cormick McIlroy Daniel Harvesy James Kirk Owen Kirk John McArdle P. NcArdle Edward Sheridan
Giles McShane Daniel Harvesy John Kirk Owen Kirk Peter McArdle Owen McCudden Rose Shoulder
Henry McShane Denis Harvesy Mary Kirk Patrick Kirk Owen McCudden Henry McElroy Margaret Woods
Patrick Smith Peter Keenan Patrick Kirk Thomas Kirk Charles McElroy J. McElroy  
Bryan Keiran Thomas Kirk (Pat) Thomas Kirk Patrick Morgan Patrick Morgan Land
Peter Keiran Thomas Kirk (Rose) Annie Lambe Francis Sheridan E. Sheridan James Conlon
Bryan Kirk Bryan Lamb Mary Lambe Bernard Shoulder Francis Sheridan Patrick Conlon
John Kirk Owen Lamb Rose Lambe Mary Woods Rose Shoulder Thomas Garvey
Patrick Kirk Patrick Lamb Bryan McArdle Owen Woods Margaret Woods Patrick Grant
Rose Kirk James Lavill Margaret McArdle     Patrick Kiernan (Crossmaglen)
Widow Kirk Thomas Lavill Patrick McArdle Land Land John McArdle
Arthur Lamb Bryan McArdle Catherine McCooey John Conlon Thomas Conlon Partick McArdle
Arthur Lamb Catherine McArdle Mary McCooey Thomas Conlon Patrick Grant Patrick McConville
John Lamb James McArdle Mary McCudden Dennis Kiernan (Crossmaglen) Patrick Kiernan (Crossmaglen) Bridget McCooey
Michael Lamb Owen McArdle Samuel Park Arthur Kirk Winifred Kirk Henry McElroy
Owen Lamb Catherine McCabe Annie Sheridan James Kirk Patrick McConville John McElroy
Owen Lamb John McCoey Peter Shoulder Mary Kirk Bridget McCooey Henry McIlroy
Owen Lamb Terence McCoey Patrick Woods Winifred Kirk John McElroy James McMahon
Peter Lamb William McCudden Peter Woods Patrick McConville Michael McGinnis Peter Gerard Quinn
James Laville James McDonnell Bridget McCooey Henry McIlroy E. Sheridan
Thomas Laville Laurence McDonnell Michael McGinnis James McMahon  
Patt McArdle Margaret McElroy James McMahon John Quinn  
Francis McCabe Anne McShane John Quinn    
Arthur McCooey Catherine McShane      
John McCooey Thomas Woods      
Terence McCooey      
James McConville Land      
John McConville John Conlon      
Hugh McDonnell John Lamb      
James McDonnell      
Patt McDonnell      
Charles McElroy      
Patt McGinnis      
Catherine McShane      
Peter McShane      
Thomas Woods      

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Last Updated on 1 January 2003

© Patrick Devlin 2003