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I am researching an O Shea family in Kerry. It has been suggested that they originally lived on Tomies Mountain and then some of them moved to Knocknagowna in the early nineteenth century. I have found a number of them buried in Churchtown graveyard. Would this be a likely burial place for people from Tomies? 




Wednesday 28th Sep 2022, 01:36PM

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  • The locations are very close, the townlands of Tomies (east, west & wood) are located about 5km (~3 miles) east of Churchtown graveyard. Tomies is in Aghadoe civil parish, and Churchtown in the adjacent civil parish of Knockane. The historic maps dated c1840 show the old graveyard and ruins of the adjacent old 'Knockane church'

    Tomie's Mountain is a short distance south of the townlands of the same name and just under 8km (~5 miles)  to the south east of this Churchtown graveyard and townland.


    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 29th Sep 2022, 01:01PM
  • Shane,


    Many thanks for that help. Much appreciated. 


    Saturday 1st Oct 2022, 07:29AM
  • Hello Whitethorn,

    To add to the information that Shane Wilson kindly provided in his reply of 29 September, I found a man named Cornelius Shea leasing acreage in the townland of Tomies, Civil Parish of Aghadoe, County Kerry, in an Irish agricultural land record known as the Tithe Applotment Books.

    Shea is an alternative surname for O’Shea. See John Grenham’s website link at:

    The tithe applotments were compiled in Ireland from 1823 to 1837. For in in-depth explanation of the Tithe Applotment Books go to the following National Archives of Ireland links:

    Agricultural land holders in Ireland were not necessarily owners of the land.

    Cornelius Shea and the other landholders in the Tithe Applotment Books were known as “Occupiers.”

    The Tithe Applotment Books show that Cornelius Shea had leased 61 acres of land in Tomies with three other Occupiers. These men were John Brien, Thomas Breen, and Batt Kerisk. Batt is a nickname for Bartholomew.

    The date of the tithe record for Tomies is a span of years between 1824 and 1834.

    The Tithe Applotment Books show that Cornelius Shea and the three other Occupiers had leased 24 Acres of 1st quality land, valued at 1 Pound and 3 Shillings. They had also leased 26 Acres of 2nd quality land valued at 10 Shillings, and 11 Acres of 3rd quality land valued at 5 Pence. The total number of acres they leased in common was 61. Their tithe amount was 2 Pounds, 15 Shillings, and 3 Pence. However, this amount was noted as a ”Composition in lieu of Tithes.” What this may refer to is that the Occupiers did not pay tithes to the local Church of Ireland Archdeacon with cash money, but with some other form of payment. The payment may have been in crops.

    I am not an expert on the Tithe Applotment Books, and so for a brief definition of “Composition in lieu of Tithes,” go to link, extracted from Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd edition:

    To view a copy of the original Tithe Apploment Books for the occupiers in Tomies, go to the National Archives of Ireland link at:

    What the Tithe Applotment Books do not specify is that there were actually three townlands in the Aghadoe Civil Parish with the name of “Tomies.” These are Tomies East, Tomies West, and Tomies Wood. All three of the townlands are off the western shore of Lough Leane. They can be found in the IreAtlas Townland Data Base at:

    Tomies Mountain is not referenced in the IreAtlas.

    I believe the IreAtlas mirrors the 1861 edition of the General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes, and Baronies of Ireland, published in Dublin. In turn, the towns recorded in the General Alphabetical Index… were those that were recorded ten years earlier in the 1851 Ireland census.

    Attached to this reply is an Ordnance Survey Map in colour from the 1829 to 1841 time period, showing the townlands of Tomies East and Tomies West. Tomies Wood is not represented on the map, nor is Tomies Mountain. You can enlarge the map for better views of Tomies East and Tomies West.

    The IreAtlas referred to earlier shows that Tomies Woods is the larger of the three, at 267 acres. Tomies West is 252 acres, and Tomies East, 136 acres.

    You can see Tomies East, Tomies West, Tomies Wood, as well as Tomies Mountain on a Google Map at:

    Back at the GeoHive website, I looked for Tomies Mountain on the Ordnance Survey Map from the 1829 to 1841 time period, and found it. See the attachment.

    You had mentioned the townland of Knocknagowna. The IreAtlas Townland Data Base refers to this town as Knockagowna, in the Civil Parish of Kilbonane. See:

    Initially, I didn’t find Knockagowna recorded in the Tithe Applotment Books at the National Archives of Ireland website. Through further research however, I found that the name of the townland in the Tithe Applotment Books was spelled “Knockagounah,” rather than Knockagowna.

    I found John Shea in Knockagounah, leasing land in common with five other occupiers. These occupiers are Denis Breen, Darby McCarthy, Patrick Mahony, Catherine Mard, and Denis Gallavan. See the Tithe Applotment Book entries for the occupiers in Knockagounah at:

    Knockagounah is the last townland recorded in the Tithe Applotment page.


    I next looked for Cornelius Shea in an Irish property tax record known as Griffiths Valuation, but did not find him in Tomies East, West, or Tomies Wood. But I did find a person who was likely a relative, perhaps a son, named Daniel Shea, in Tomies West.

    Griffiths Valuation was enumerated in the 32 counties of Ireland between 1847 and 1864. The valuation for the townlands in the Aghdoe Civil Parish was completed by the year 1852, as this is the publishing date for the parish. The Griffiths valuers who visited the parish may have compiled the data in 1850 or 1851.

    Unlike a census, Griffiths Valuation did not enumerate individual members of a family, such as husband, wife, and children in a household residence. Those named in the valuation were individuals who paid to lease property, such as land, houses, and outbuildings. Each person who paid to lease the property was called an “Occupier.” The other person listed in Griffiths Valuation was the person who owned the property, or who worked as the middleman collecting the rent for the owner. This middleman was called the “Immediate Lessor.”

    You can access Griffiths Valuation transcriptions and original copies for free at the Ask About Ireland website link at:

    Griffiths Valuation shows that Daniel Shea leased a House, office, over 61 acres of land, and over 2 acres of water in Tomies West, from an Immediate Lessor named Henry A. Herbert. See the attachment.

    The land was valued at 25 Pounds and 15 Shillings. The house and office were valued at 1 Pound, 5 Shillings. No value was placed on the water. The total valuation for Daniel Shea’s property was 27 Pounds. He would have paid a percentage of the 27 Pounds toward the tax.

    An office in Griffiths Valuation could refer to an outbuilding such as a barn, stable, blacksmith shop, piggery, etc.

    Just to the left of Daniel’s name you’ll see the map reference number/letter combination, 1a. This map reference number refers to the location of Daniels property on a map of Tomies West that accompanied Griffiths Valuation. The map is attached to this reply, and shows map reference 1 toward the north-central portion of Tomies West. The lowercase letter “a” is not represented on the map. Just to the north of Daniel Shea’s property is the River Laune, which flows from Lough Leane through Tomies East, and then through Tomies West. The Lough Leane is one of the Lakes of Killarney.

    You can enlarge the map for a better view of Tomies West and map reference 1.

    Unlike the Tithe Applotmnt Books, the townland of Knockagowna, Civil Parish of Kilbonane, is spelled correctly in Griffiths Valuation, and shows that Cornelius Shea had leased a House, offices, and over 62 acres of land in Knockagowna from Henry A. Herbert, M.P., that is, Member of Parliament. This is the same Immediate Lessor for the townland of Tomies West, where Daniel Shea had leased his property.

    The total value for the Cornelius Shea lease is 16 Pounds and 15 Shillings. See the attachment.

    The map reference for Cornelius’s lease in Knockagowna is 1.

    The Griffiths Valuation map of Knockagowna is attached to this reply. Map reference 1 is toward the top of the map, just above the capital letter N.

    A Google Map shows that Knockagowna is 5.8 miles north of Tomies West by the shortest route:

    For a Google Street View near Tomies West, go to:

    Here is a Google Street View of Knockagowna:

    Cornelius Shea in Knockagowna and Daniel Shea in Tomies West may have been father and son.

    For more information about Kerry landowner, Henry A. Herbert go to the Dictionary of Irish Biography link at:

    Also see the landedestates link at:


    I found the baptism transcription for Daniel Shea, son of Cornelius Shea and Honora Shea at the free Church Records Collection.

    Daniel was baptized in the Killorglin Catholic Parish on 23 March 1823. The address of Daniel and his parents is “Tomies.” Daniel’s sponsors, that is, his godparents, were Daniel Shea and Ellen Cluvane.

    The sponsor Daniel Shea may have been Cornelius’s brother.

    A note with the transcription states the baptism was “Based on other date information,” but what this other information pertains to is not mentioned. A copy of the original baptism record does not accompany the transcription.

    The Daniel Shea in Griffiths Valuation may be Cornelius’s son, or perhaps Cornelius’s brother. But. the son Daniel would have been of legal age to lease property in Tomies in the early 1850s, as noted in Griffiths Valuation.

    You can access the baptism transcription for Daniel Shea at the following link after following the prompts:

    I also uncovered the baptism transcriptions for two of Daniel’s siblings at

    John Shea was baptized in the Killorglin Catholic Parish on 4 July 1825, “Based on other date information.”

    His parents are Cornelius Shea and Honora Shea. Their address is Tomies. The sponsors are Denis Shea and Honor Denahy. You can find this baptism transcription at the following link:

    Johanna Shea was baptized in the Killorglin Catholic Parish on 31 May 1830. Her parents are Cornelius Shea and Honora Shea of Tomies. Only the godmother is recorded. She is Honora Shea, who may have been the sister of Cornelius. You can access the baptism transcription at:

    It’s not clear in the three baptism records if Honora’s maiden name was Shea, or if she had been recorded under the surname of her husband. This prompted me to look for the Killorglin marriage for a Cornelius Shea and Honora, and found one marriage transcription.

    The transcription shows that the marriage of Cornelius Shea and Honora Shea took place in the Killorglin Catholic Parish on 6 February 1815. The address for Cornelius at the time of marriage is Gearha. No address is recorded for Honora. The witnesses to the marriage were Denis Shea and John Shea. See the marriage transcription at:

    This may be the marriage for the parents of the three Shea children noted earlier in this reply, but I can’t be 100 percent certain that it is.

    Cornelius and Honora may have been related, perhaps 3rd cousins who had shared a great great grandparent. But, they may not have been related at all.

    The marriage transcription shows that Cornelius was from Gearaha. A Google Map shows that Gearha is 14.9 miles north of Tomies West:

    For the next search I went to the National Archives of Ireland database for the 1901 and 1911 Ireland census:

    I wanted to see if any Sheas or O’Sheas were recorded in both census enumerations in Tomies East, Tomies West, Tomies Wood, or Tomies Mountain. I did not find the Shea/O’Shea surname in either the 1901 or 1911 census. It took a while to even located Tomies in the 1901 census, as the name of the townland is spelled “Toomies.”

    You can see the residents of Toomies East and Toomies West, DED (District Electoral Division of Muckross), in a transcription of the 1901 census at the following National Archives of Ireland link:

    For the residents of Tomies East and Tomies West in the 1911 census, go to:

    With Kind Regards,

    Dave Boylan


    Shane Wilson's reply to Whitethorn dated 29 September 2022
    National Archives of Ireland: The Tithe Applotment Books
    IreAtlas Townland Data Base
    General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes, and Baronies of Ireland, 1861
    GeoHive Ordnance Survey Maps
    Google Maps
    Google Street Views
    Ask About Ireland: Griffiths Valuation Church Records collection
    National Archives of Ireland: 1901 and 1911 Irish census


    Saturday 1st Oct 2022, 01:15PM
  • Dave,


    Apologies for my tardy response to all of this research and detail. Thank you so much for all of that. You have clarified quite a few things for me and I am very grateful indeed. 

    Thank you. 



    Friday 7th Oct 2022, 01:47PM
  • You're welcome Whitethorn.



    Saturday 8th Oct 2022, 08:41AM

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