Killummod (Roscommon)

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Ceann Bú
Ceann Bú

Ceann Bú aka Canbo aka Cambo is the most historic townland in the civil parish of Killummod. It features the remains of a large ráth (enclosing bank of a ring-fort), 2 crannóg, a lios (enclosed courtyard within), a bailey and fortified house. A local folk-tale about hidden treasure in Canbo Fort survived well into the 1930s.


The Annals of the Four Masters [i,240] record the Battle of Canbo – Cath Cindgubha (or Cinn Bughbha) – taking place here in 617AD, where Colmán mac Cobtaigh (father of Guaire, la Ragallach mac Uatach, King of Connacht) was slain. (See also The Annals of Tigernach [p.136 xvii,176], The Annals of Ulster [p.110] and the Chronicon Scotorum [56] for the year 622AD).

The Annals of Boyle tell us Canbo was the ancient seat of the O’Farrells.  Canbo was a McDermott stronghold for centuries. The Normans left the McDermotts to their own devices.


The Annals of Loch Ce record a castle in 1536 – chaisléin Chendmhoighe – and its town being demolished by Rory Mac Dermot (Ruaidrí mac Taidhg Mic Diarmada  KM 1549-68) and Brian Ballach Mor O'Rourke (Brian Ó Ruairc ). 

During the 1540 Tudor Conquest, it passed into English hands. An Elizabethan adventurer named Crofton (who loaned money to the English crown on the promise of lands following the war) rebuilt the castle here in the style of a fortified house. This castle had an interesting twin stringcourse of brick in its walls, which was unusual for a castle of its period. (Sadly, the castle fell into ruins in the 19th century, and many of its stones were extracted by locals to build farmhouses in the area. All that remains, today, is the crumbling gable end of what was, once, a large rectangular structure).

In 1585, the castle of Castlebragade or Canbo was held by John Crofton [Freeman 1936, 164], but he had lost it to Irish rebels by 1596 [Cronin 1980, 117]. Crofton moved to Ballymurry near Roscommon town, which was later called Mote Park


In 1603 Crofton's daughter Ann Crofton (daughter of John Crofton and Jane Duke) married Josias Lambert (son of John Lambert and Margaret Carr). They resided at Canbo Castle, which Crofton had given as part of her marriage dowry. Anne and Josias had one son, John Lambert (1610-1683). Lambert had also acquired Leamgire castle (RO010-0075) in 1622. Josias Lambert died in or about 1626.  

In 1618 the “castle and lands of Canbo” were granted by King James to William O’Mulloy, knight of the shire for Co. Roscommon.  

However, Josias Lambert owned Canbo in 1635 when, Canbo castle was described as '... a fair Castle Bawn and stone house standeth' (Simington 1949, 165), but no visible surface trace of a bawn survives.  In 1641, Lambert is recorded as the owner of Canbo Castle, and 6 townlands in the parish, namely: Carrowmore, Canbo, Lisdaly, Drumerr, Drumlion and Danesfort.

In the 1659 Census, Canbo was home to a total of 11 English, and not an Irishman among them. 

Petty’s Map of 1670, clearly records Canbo's Tudor castle surrounded by sizeable lakes. By 1676 Canbo (and Lambert's other property) had passed to a Thomas Farrell of Newcastle, Co. Galway, who had disposed of it to James Farrell of Kilmore by 1681 (D'Alton 1845, 89). 


By the time of the 1749 Elphin Census, Canbo was home to 4 cottager families, all Catholic. Not an Englishman among them.

Michael & Catherine Brennan (RC) Cottier

John & Rose Brennan (RC) Cottier

Mark & Honora Carroll (RC) Cottier

John & Christina Morris (RC) Cottier

Towards the end of the 18th Century, graziers such as Collins, Elwood, and Shannon came into Canbo. The other families lived on the skirts of Drumerr bog.


When Catholic Parish Registers begin in Croghan, the following couples were baptising children in "Kenbo":

1811  Thady Dockry & Eleanor Neary (Ed Morris & Mary Neary) and in 1815 (sp Frank Rock & Catherie Neary)

1811 Thomas Collins & Mary Kelly (sp Michael Oats & Jane/Sara Collins)

1815 John Brennan & Brigid Dockry (sp Ml Dockry)

1816 Richard Elwood & Eleanor Collins

1816 Dennis Dockry & Mary Mulheran (sp Thady Dockry & Mary Conor)


In May 1829, among those seeking to register to vote were:

Patt McDermott 'of Canbo otherwise Lurgan'  


The Ordnance Survey Name Books of 1837 record: 

'At the centre of Parish. Bounded on the North by the townland of Ballinville; on the East by the townland of Drumerr and Derraun; on the South by Finner; on the East by Knockroe and Lisdaly… Contains [315] statute acres of which about 53 are bog, 7 rough pasture and 19 marsh and [57] acres water… The soil which is a strong good warm clay produces very good crops of oats, potatoes, and flax. It contains one fort. Canbo old castle is situated near the centre'. There were no houses of significant value here in 1839. 

In the mid 18th century Richard Caddell (1780-1856) succeeded to estates in counties Sligo, Roscommon, and Galway, by the will of his maternal uncle James Farrell of Kilmore, County Roscommon (on condition he adopts the O'Farrell name). Hence, Richard O'Farrell Caddell, Harbourstown House, Balbriggan, County Dublin is recorded as the owner of Canbo in the 1870s.

The 1842 Tithe Applotment Books recorded the following farmers at Canbo:

John McDermott (1811-95) & Margaret Costello [GV#1a]

Thomas Shannon (c1765-c1845) & Catherine Casey {GV2a}

Thomas Collins {GV#V3a}

Pat Collins 

John Collins [GV#7a]

Richard Elwood (1801-74) & Ellen Collins [GV#5a]

Pat Brennan  [GV#6a]

The 1857 Griffith's Valuation reveals the [location] of these farmers {or farms having passed on}:

John McDermott (1811-95) & Margaret Costello [GV#1a]

John Shannon (1815-1897) & Mary Murray {GV#2a}  remarried Eliza Dowd (1820-1902)

Andrew Collins & Margaret Dolan {GV3b}

John Collins Jr. {GV#4a}

William Elwood (1802-1900)& Mary Hanly {GV5b}

Carberry Brennan [GV# 6b]


In the 1901 Census, families that endured in Canbo included:

Peter McDermott (1844-1937) & Mary E Harte (1862-1950) of Sligo [GV#1a]

Eliza Dowd Shannon (1820-1902)  - widow of John (d.1897) and son Thomas Shannon (1839-1927)

John Collins (83) & Catherine O'Connor [GV#4a]

Pat Collins (50) widower of Mary Anne Boyd

Charles Collins (45) & Elizabeth Shannon

Margaret Hanly Collins - widow of James  - later remarried Feely

Mary Hanly Elwood - widow of William (d.1900)

Ellen Elwood - widow of Richard (d.1874)

Canbo families were interred at Killapoge Cemetery


[Reverse Genealogy by Rua Mac Diarmada 2018]

Ancestors from Canbo, Croghan?  If YES ... post your connection below ~




Canbo TL Geography Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Canbo (Croghan) PLACENAME archive Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Cambo Tithe Applotment Records 1842 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Canbo Landholders 1858 [Griffith's Valuation] Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Canbo Households 1901 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Canbo Households 1911 Ireland VIEW SOURCE

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  • This parish was covered by Carrick-on-Shannon Poor Law Union. Distressed families from this townland may have ended up in Carrick on Shannon Workhouse

    Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Friday 1st March 2019 03:43AM

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