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Hello! I did some research on my parents families and found that my mom's went back to Elphin. Here is the information I have, it is from the 1851 England Census. It has: Olivia Smith, head of family, widow, 47 years old and under occupation it says "Lady". She has 3 daughters and 2 sons all born in Elphin. Daughter's were; Annie age 26, nothing listed for occupation, Isabella age 14 occupation scholar, Bessie age 10 occupation scholar. Sons are: Johnny age 12 occupation scholar and Robert F. age 9 occupation scholar. Bessie is the one my mom's side of the family is from. I know nothing about the husband besides the point that in 1851 he was no longer alive. Without having the husbands first name, I'm having a terrible time finding anything out. I would like to think that in 1825-1842 there wouldn't of been many in the aristocracy in Elpin, but maybe Oliva made this information up when she moved to Bedfordshire, England, or maybe not. If anyone can help, that would be wonderful!!!! Thank you! Jennifer





Thursday 1st Mar 2018, 10:11PM

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  • Jennifer:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    I presume your Smith ancestors were Church of Ireland. The baptismal records for Elphin C of I church start in 1896. This link takes you to the status of records by parish and it appears that 19th century Elphin records were destroyed in 1922 but some records were located later…

    The records available are maintained at the Representative Church Library in Dublin.

    You may also want to contact the Elphin Branch Library and see if they have any information on the Smiths. As ana side, most of Ireland and certainly public offices will be closed thru the weekend because of Storm Emma.

    Roger McDonnell

    Elphin Branch Library

    Main Street, Elphin, Co. Roscommon, F45 VW27
    Branch Librarian: Penny Farrell
    Tel. 071 9635775

    Tuesday: Closed
    Wednesday: Closed
    Thursday: 2.30pm to 6.30pm
    Friday: 10.30am to 1.00pm and 1.30pm to 4.00pm
    Saturday: 10.30am to 1.30pm

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 2nd Mar 2018, 12:33AM
  • Hi Jennifer

    Welcome to Ireland XO's Elphin community!

    Roger's point regarding religion is an important one. Can you let us know?

    "Smith" was also used by Catholics - an anglicization of Magowan / Mac Gabhann (with literally meant son of a blacksmith) and they may have gone by this name in the early 19th century. (e.g. Smith Hill, Elphin is a translation of Ardnagowan).

    The reference to 'Lady' is unusual, and the name Olivia and Isabella would also suggest they were gentry.

    A quick look at the Tithe Applotment Books of 1835 reveals 4 "Smith" landholders...

    I think John Smith Esq. who held 95 acres in Carrownurlar and 43 acres in Emlagh, may be your man.

    By 1851, he was deceased you say, so we would expect him to be gone by the time of Griffith's Valuation in 1857. You can follow that lead, especially vis. the two townlands mentioned above by way of a free search on

    Also check out a "Mrs. Smith" letting House #24 Elphin to a John Smith in 1857. This could be Olivia (absentee landlord) letting the house and garden to a relative. In 1857, you had a small number of Smiths residing in ELPHIN and the townlands of CLOONMAHAAN and DRINAUN.

    In 1857, there was a non-resident landlord, William Smith, who held lands to the west of Elphin town at Chanterland or Windmillpark. He may have been a brother / son of John Smith Esq (and a descendant of  "the late Rev William Smith" referred to by Lewis in 1837). This William has no residence at all in Co. Roscommon (probably residing in England). I would also suggest you contact the lovely folk at Elphin Windmill who may have some more information about William Smith and whether the Rev. William Smith resided at Chanters Glebe here.

    FYI, the Rev William Smith had " a handsome monument ... recently erected to the memory of the late Rev. Wm. Smith, V. G., and master to the diocesan school, by his pupils" in the body of St Mary's Cathedral Elphin. I can't say for sure if you will find it there today. Some of the headstones have been photographed here.

    Mr. Smith "curate of Elphin, and Vicar General of the diocese of Elphin" also gets an earlier mention, in 1832, in Weld's Statistical Survey of Roscommon (Elphin page 351)


    Hope this helps!


    Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Friday 2nd Mar 2018, 04:25AM
  • Attached Files


    I have good news.  The Rev. William Smith was the key...

    Olivia was married to the Rev. Charles Smith (1801-1841) Vicar-General to the Lord Bishop of Elphin, and rector of Gort and Vulnamanha, Ireland. Charles replaced his father, the Rev. William Smith V-G Elphin upon his death in 1835. He had supported his father in teaching at the Elphin Diocesan School (the grammar school) prior to that.

    He died suddenly of Typhus fever in December 1841 leaving his wife, Olivia, destitute with 9 children (and one on the way). The 10th child, a son, matches Robert's DOB.

    All this is confirmed by the announcement of his birth in the following newspaper...

    Dublin Evening Mail - Monday 17 January 1842

    January 14. in Elphin, Olivia, relict the Rev. Charles Smith, Vicar General, of son, being the tenth child living.

    This confirms the date of birth for your Robert F. Smith was 14 January 1842.

    AND in Olivia's death notice:

    Gloucester Journal - Saturday 29 November 1873

    Smith.—Nov. 15, Bisley, in this county, Olivia, daughter the late Thomas Meredith, Esq., Cloonamahan, Sligo, and widow of the Rev. Charles Smith, M.A., Vicar General of the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland.

    Olivia's maternal grandfather was Thomas Rutledge who bought Cloonamahon when it was confiscated from the O'Harts.


    An appeal to assist Oilivia in her "destitution" was launched in December 1841 and subscriptions came in to the "Friends of the late Rev. Charles Smith Fund" across the UK and Ireland (CofI).

    Anne Smith, Olivia's second daughter, married Joseph Earle, Esq., surgeon, Brentwood in 1858:

    Durham Chronicle - Friday 06 May 1853

    At Bedford, at St. Peter’s, 28th ult., Joseph Earle, Esq., surgeon, Brentwood, third son of the late Rev. John Earle, of Walton Abbey, incumbent of Walton and Barlby, and youngest brother of the late Rev. John Earle, vicar of Aughton, East Yorkshire, to Anne, second daughter of the late Rev, Charles Smith, Vicar-General to the Lord Bishop of Elphin, and rector of Gort and Vulnamanha, Ireland.

    The birth of one of their daughters was 11 April, 1828 (Newspaper BDMs).

    Isabella Smith, Olivia's third daughter, married George Chester Wood of Brixworth Hall in 1860:

    Bedfordshire Times and Independent - Saturday 14 April 1860

    On the 12th inst., at St. Peter’s, Bedford, by the Rev. Charles Smith, brother of the bride, George Chester, youngest son of Thomas Wood, Esq., of Brixworth Hall, Northamptonshire, and Toft Monks, Norfolk, to Isabella, third daughter of the late Rev. Charles Smith, Vicar- General of the diocese of Elphin, and Rector of Gort and Kilmana, Ireland.


    The John H. Smith Esq. of Elphin, solicitor (with lands at Carrownurlar and Emlagh) was Charles' brother (Olivia's brother-in-law). He died in 1836 (survived by his wife, Hannah Mary). In 1836, together with the Lord Bishop of Elphin, John contributed £500 towards the Co. Roscommon Loan Relief Fund.

    In 1840, Rev. Charles Smith reported that the poor of Elphin were "wretched to the extreme". Charles was a peer of the Rev. John Lloyd.

    By all accounts this family were very concerned with helping relieve the poor of Elphin who were suffering long before the Great Famine.





    Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Friday 2nd Mar 2018, 09:22PM
  • Rua:

    Great research!



    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 2nd Mar 2018, 10:29PM
  • Roger - 


    My DNA results would probaby show I'm part bloodhound  ;o)


    Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Wednesday 7th Mar 2018, 11:37AM
  • Hahaha!!! I'm very excited with all you have found!!! My mom is in her upper 70's and she's not doing the best. I like to get as much information for her that I can.


    Thursday 8th Mar 2018, 12:17PM

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