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I am searching for more information about Alexander and Samuel Parks who are listed in the 1815 Freeholders list as living in Lisnagat, with tenure for the lives of Alexander, Samuel and James Parks. Samuel Parks is also in the 1825 1827, 1830 & 1832 Freeholders lists in Lisnagat. By 1832 the tenure is only for Samuel Parks. 

In 1832 another Samuel Parks is in Lurgiross [sic. Lurgyross] Townland, Loughilly Parish. Could this be the same Samuel Parks or is it unlikely for the same person to have holdings in two separate parishes? I have information about a Samuel Parks, tailor, b. about 1794, d. 1887 in Lurgyross, wife Jane b. about 1795, d. 1875, Lurgyross. 

Thanks for any help.



O Culver

Thursday 6th Apr 2023, 03:16PM

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  • Lisnagat and Lurgyross are townlands, quite close to each other. It is possible there was one Samuel; possible there were two.


    Thursday 6th Apr 2023, 04:47PM
  • The tithes for 1834 list Samuel Parks in Lisnagat. That indicates he was almost certainly a farmer. (The tithes were a tax on land. So labourers, tailors and other tradesmen didn’t normally appear in the tithes).

    That the other freeholders you mentioned (who were evidently also folk with land) are gone by 1832 suggests they had either died or left the area.

    A tailor wouldn’t normally be in the freeholders list as he wouldn’t have the land or other assets to qualify. Nor normally would he also be a farmer. So 2 different Samuels there I think.

    PRONI names index records that Samuel Parks, farmer, of Lisnagat had probate granted in 1839. (His actual will/probate file was lost in the 1922 fire).

    Newry Examiner of 5th Dec 1838 lists Robert & Samuel Parks of Lisnagat in the Freeholders list.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 6th Apr 2023, 05:17PM
  • Thank you for this information, Patricia and Elwyn. It is helpful to have the background information about the significance of the various sources. 

    Is it possible to speculate on the relationship of the three "Lives" - Alexander, Samuel and James Parks? 

    In 1815 Alexander and Samuel are listed separately as Freeholder's, both with tenure of "Alexander, Samuel and James Parks. Could they represent a father, son and grandson? 

    In 1825 only Samuel is listed as a freeholder but the tenure is "Alexander, Samuel and Alexander Parks." (I think the second Alexander may be a copyist's error as the 1827 tenure is again "Alex Saml & Jas Parks."

    Could there be rent books for this period in the Earl of Gosford's Papers that would yield more information?


    O Culver

    Friday 7th Apr 2023, 02:43PM
  • Olivia,

    3 lives leases represented a gamble for landlord and tenant. The lease went on for a specified period eg 20 or 31 years or until the last of the 3 lives had died whichever was the longer.  No-one knew how long it might actually last. But it offered security of tenure and a fixed rent to the tenant and theoretically a reliable income for the landlord.  In general, with lives you chose people who were young. Your children or neighbours children were popular for obvious reasons.  Hopefully at least one of them would make it to 70. As were Royalty as they were reckoned to live a long time due to good food and good medical treatment.  So you often see the Prince of Wales as one of the lives. Puzzling till you understand why he was named in a lease in Ireland.

    They also had to be traceable, so it was possible to say whether they were alive or dead. So if not a publicly famous person like the Prince of Wales, it would normally be someone living nearby.  (Sometimes when a named life emigrated, you see an amendment to a lease to insert a new life. This would often be because it might not be easy to trace the original life overseas.).

    I wouldn’t like to speculate how Alexander, Samuel & James were related, save commenting that they are likely to be younger folk rather than older. Not much to be gained by putting a 70 year old on a 3 lives lease.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 7th Apr 2023, 03:38PM

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