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My family search started as a Covid19 lockdown project. I'm attempting now to connect with Smith relations from Offaly (Kings County) from the towns of Shinrone, Nenagh and Banagher, relations of Joshua, Ralph, William originally from Glasshouse, Kings County. A family history was publiched in 1923 detailing family births, deaths and marriages up to that date. To my knowledge there has been no updates on this book. I've searched parish records for Shinerone, however the family seems to have moved from the area in the late 1890's. I'm advised parish records for Banagher and Nenagh were destroyed in 1922.

Some members of the family immigrated to Australia, Canada and England after 1850 and has lost contact over the generations. My desire would be to somehow link up with the families that stayed in Ireland and England. I have followed a message for Dr Ralph Smith MD of the IrelandXO site, that relates to a family member that migrated to South Australia.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

p.s. the book is 'The Chronicles of a puritan family in Ireland; (Smith (formerly) of Glasshouse)'. A copy exists on - 



Justin Smith

Old wombat55

Sunday 9th Oct 2022, 08:13PM

Message Board Replies

  • Justin,

    Perhaps send your query as a letter to the editor of Laois Live / Leinster Express:  The paper is read by people throughout the midlands, and perhaps someone would know the family you are seeking.


    Sunday 9th Oct 2022, 08:19PM
  • Hi again, Justin,

    There's an Offaly Live too...  Didn't realize when I wrote the above that this paper existed.  

    Good luck.


    Sunday 9th Oct 2022, 08:21PM
  • Attached Files
    7229576.pdf (209.01 KB)

    Hi, Did a Ralph Smith pass on in December 1875 on the 24th December? see record above, last entry.

    There is an Eliza Smith in Glasshouse in the 1901 Census, she is with relatives, John and Anna Fennell.
    Are you a member of Ancestry World Wide?  
    Let me know please.



    Monday 10th Oct 2022, 03:33PM
  • Hello Justin,

    I’m not related, but after reading your message to Ireland XO dated 9 October 2022, I had accessed an Irish agricultural land record called the Tithe Applotment Books, to see if any Smiths were recorded leasing property in the townland of Glasshouse, civil parish of Kilcomin, Kings County.

    I wasn’t sure if you had been aware of the Tithe Applotment Books when looking for your Smith ancestors.

    I found that three men, Aquila, Thomas, and John Smith had all leased property in Glasshouse as recorded in the Tithe Books. The year of the tithe record is 1838.

    NOTE: Aquila or Aquilla as a first name is rare in Ireland. Its derivation is Latin, and means, “Eagle.”

    The Tithe Applotment Book page recording Aquila Smith and other tenants of Glasshouse is attached to this reply. Aquila is tenant number 88. The “Owners of Fees” of all the property in Glasshouse are Lord Rosse and M. Lloyd, Esq. They would be the owners of the property farmed by the tenants. For more information about holding property in “Fee,” go to the link at:…

    Once at the site scroll down to the “Fee Simple,” category.

    The tithe record shows that Aquila Smith held 26 Acres, 2 Roods, and 36 Perches of land in Glasshouse, with each acre valued at 1 Shilling and 8 Pence. The total amount of tithes he had to pay was 2 Pounds, 4 Shillings, and 2 Pence, which basically would be 10 percent of his farming income. The tithes went toward the upkeep of the established Church of Ireland.

    Thomas and John Smith Esq. are on a separate tithe applotment page for Glasshouse, but this tithe record shows their land was in a section of Glasshouse called Clonfad. Clonfad is the English spelling. The Irish language spelling is “Cluain Fada,” which means the “Long Meadow.”

    In the Irish language Glasshouse is “Teach na Gloine.” Thus, the land that Thomas and John Smith farmed was in a section of Glasshouse called Long Meadow.

    Thomas and John are numbers 119 and 120 in the Tithe page, which is attached to this reply. The “Owner of Fees” is dittoed from the previous page. They are the aforementioned Lord Rosse and M. Lloyd, Esq.

    Thomas Smith had 2 Acres and 2 Perches of land valued at 1 Shilling and 1 Pence per acre. His tithe payment was 3 Shillings and 4 Pence.

    John Smith Esq had 47 Acres and 16 Roods of land under tillage. Each acre was valued at 1 Shilling and 3 Pence. His tithe payment was 2 Pounds, 18 Shillings, and 10 ½ Pence.

    I accessed an Ordnance Survey Map of Glasshouse from the 1829 to 1841 time period, to see if I could locate an area of the town known as, “Clonfad.” Unfortunately I did not find Clonfad on the map of Glasshouse. The map, from the GeoHive website, is attached to this reply, and was compiled from the general time period the Smith tithe records were recorded in Glasshouse. You can enlarge the map for better viewing.

    For more information about acres, roods, and perches, go to the website link at:

    I didn’t see Aquila, Thomas, or John Smith mentioned as being recorded in the Tithe Applotment Books in Nuttall Smith’s, “The Chronicles of a puritan family in Ireland; (Smith (formerly) of Glasshouse).” You had referenced this book in your message to Ireland Reaching Out.

    Also in relation to the Tithe Applotment Books, I found landholders named Smith in Shinrone, Kings County, Banagher, Kings County, and Nenagh, Tipperary, including a W. Aquilla Smith, in Castle Street, Nenagh. These are the three other townlands you had referred to in your message at Ireland Reaching Out.

    Comprehensive information of what the Tithe Applotment Books recorded in the 32 counties of Ireland in the 1820s and 1830s, can be found at the three National Archives of Ireland links below:,,


    After finding Aquila, Thomas, and John Smith in the Tithe Applotment Books, living in Glasshouse, I next looked for them in an Irish property tax record called Griffiths Valuation, to see if they were still in Glasshouse, Kilcomin civil parish, Kings County.

    Griffiths Valuation was enumerated in the 32 counties of Ireland between 1847 and 1864. The valuation for Glasshouse and other townlands in the civil parish of Kilcomin was completed by the year 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, or person, listed in Griffiths Valuation was those who owned the property, or who worked as the middleman collecting the rent for the owner. The middleman was called the “Immediate Lessor.”

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

    I only found Thomas Smith Leasing property in Glasshouse in Griffiths Valuation, though John Smith, is recorded several times, as will be explained.

    Griffiths Valuation shows that Thomas Smith leased a House and offices from Immediate Lessors recorded as the “Reps, John Smith,” meaning the representatives of John Smith. Thomas did not lease any land. His house and office were valued at 5 Pounds and 5 Shillings. He would have paid a percentage of the value toward the tax. The Griffiths Valuation page for Glasshouse is attached to this reply.

    You’ll see that the Immediate Lessor for several other occupiers in Glasshouse were the “Reps. John Smith.”

    The Reps John Smith are not only Immediate Lessors, but in one instance are occupiers of two parcels of land. They are recorded just above Thomas Smith. As occupiers they had leased two parcels of land from an Immediate Lessor named Hardress Lloyd, Esq.

    Once parcel of land is 277 Acres, 0 Roods, and 31 Perches, valued at 96 Pounds and 10 Shillings. The second parcel is 85 Acres, 2 Roods, and 12 Perches, valued at 48 Pounds and 10 Shillings. The total valuation for the two parcels of land was 145 Pounds.

    In his article, “Is There More in Griffiths Valuation Than Just Names,” genealogist James R. Reilly explains that the term, “Reps of,” is,
    “an abbreviation for “Representatives of” used to indicate that the individual named in the valuation was dead at the time it was taken and that his or her legal interest in the holding was being temporarily represented by a family member or perhaps by an executor named in a will.”

    John Smith was likely the same John Smith recorded in the Tithe Applotment Books 13 years earlier in 1838. Aquila Smith may have also been deceased by the year 1851.

    An “office” in Griffiths Valuation may refer to a barn, stale, blacksmith shop, piggery, etc.

    I located a photo of Glasshouse when perusing the book you mentioned by Nuttall Smith, “The Chronicles of a puritan family in Ireland; (Smith (formerly) of Glasshouse).” The picture is attached to this reply.

    I also found information and a slide presentation about the Glasshouse Gate Lodge. This comes from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage/Buildings of Ireland website. The gate lodge was built circa 1800, and was the entrance to the Glasshouse estate, which is no longer standing. See:

    I located another Aquila Smith in Griffiths Valuation in the Parish of St. Peter’s, Dublin City. I also discovered this Aquilla Smith was an M.D. who was born in Nenagh, Tipperary, in 1806, and died in Dublin City in 1890. His father was William Smith and his mother Catherine Doolan of Nenagh.

    Dr. Aquila Smith is recorded in “The Chronicles of a puritan family in Ireland; (Smith (formerly) of Glasshouse).”

    In the book is a pen and ink drawing of Dr. Aquila Smith, opposite page 32. See the attachment.

    Not shown in the attachment of Dr. Smith, are his years of birth and death printed just below his drawing. His year of birth is 1806, as mentioned earlier, but his year of death under the picture is 1889. His death however, record confirms he died in 1890.

    I found the death record at the free website. Aquila Smith died on 23 March 1890 at 121 U Baggot Street, Dublin. The initial U stands for Upper. At the time of death he was an 84 year old widower. His occupation had been, “M.D. F.K.Q. C.P.I.” The cause of death was “Senile decay. Cardiac failure.” The person who was present at the death and who reported the death to the registrar was Aqilia’s son, Walter, of 24 U Baggot Street. Walter was also an M.D.

    The registrar, J. Byrne, recorded Aquila’s death in the Dublin South Registration District on 27 March 1890. Aquila’s death record is the last entry in the register at number 320. The death record can be accessed after following the prompts at:

    At the subscription website I found a memoir about “Aquilla” Smith recorded in the “Dictionary of National Biography, volume XVIII, which gives a lot more information about him. The memoir was privately published by an author with the initials. “J.W.M.

    Going back to Griffiths Valuation I found that a Ralph Smith leased property in Shinrone, civil parish of Shinrone, County Offaly. He actually had three land leases in Shinrone, but did not lease a house. His Immediate Lessors were the “Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin.

    In the same subdivision as Ralph in Shinrone, a Robert Smith had leased a house, offices, and land from an Immediate Lessor named Catherine Smith. It’s possible Ralph had lived in Robert’s house, and that Catherine was a relative of theirs.

    In going over google Maps of County Offaly, I found that the townlands of Glasshouse and Shinrone are only 2.6 miles apart. See the map:

    On the map you’ll see “An Post Shinrone.” This is the location of the local post office that I believe also serves the residents of Glasshouse. The post office and the local funeral directors’ office are attached units, as you can see in these Google Street Views of Shinrone:,

    Justin, one of the things you may want to consider is writing to the Shinrone Post Master requesting they display in the post office, a separate letter you’ve enclosed, asking if there are still any Smiths in the Shinrone and Glasshouse area. You can mention that any Smiths still living in Shinrone and Glasshouse may be descendants of your Smith ancestors. You can explain your Smiths lived in Shinrone and Glasshouse in the 19th century, as well as the 18th century. You can also mention that you’d like to communicate with any Smiths that you may be related to.

    I believe your Smith ancestors belonged to the Church of Ireland. If so, you’ll want to mention their religious denomination in your letter, to differentiate between any Catholic Smiths and your Smith ancestors who may have lived in Glasshouse and Shinrone during the 19th century.

    Speaking of Shinrone, attached is an Ordnance Survey Map from the 1829 to 1841 time period of the townland in color. The spelling of Shinrone in Irish is, “Suí an Róin,” which means “Seat of the Seal.”

    “Seat of the Seal” may refer to the “seat of” that is, the “home of “ a man named Róin, who was the brother of St. Cuimin, the Patron Saint of the Parish of Shinrone.

    With Kind Regards,

    Dave Boylan


    National Archives of Ireland: Tithe Applotment Books
    GeoHive: Ordnance Survey Maps of Ireland
    Ask About Ireland: Griffiths Valuation
    James R. Reilly, author: “Is There More in Griffiths Valuation Than Just Names.”
    Nuttall-Smith, G. N., author: “The Chronicles of a puritan family in Ireland; (Smith (formerly) of Glasshouse).”
    National Inventory of Architectural Heritage/Buildings of Ireland
    Dictionary of National Biography, Volume XVIII, Oxford University Press, 1921-1922
    Google Maps
    Google Street Views


    Thursday 13th Oct 2022, 12:21AM
  • Thank you Patricia, Margot and Dave for your responses, this will be most helpful for me. I will have to take some time to go through all you suggestions. This information fills in much of the missing detail myself and cousins have been trying to source. Its looking like my Covid 19 project will be keeping me busy for some time to come.

    Again, thanks for your time spent with my request, its very helpful.




    Old wombat55

    Friday 14th Oct 2022, 11:11AM
  • You're welcome Justin. Best of Luck with the project.



    Friday 14th Oct 2022, 12:55PM
  • Hi Margot

    Hi, Did a Ralph Smith pass on in December 1875 on the 24th December? see record above, last entry.

    Yes, Ralph was located at Clareen and was a Smith from the Glasshouse family. He was the second child, first son of Joshua Smith of Glasshouse and Gortcreen and would have inherited the properties. His wife was Jane Kent, dau of Aquila Kent.

    Can I ask where this document came from as I would very much like to search the archive for other Smiths

    There is an Eliza Smith in Glasshouse in the 1901 Census, she is with relatives, John and Anna Fennell.

    I think the Smith's had disposed of Glasshouse to the Spunner family by this time, and moved on to elsewhere in Ireland and OS. Eliza Smith nor Fennel do not appear in any of the records of my family.

    Are you a member of Ancestry World Wide?  

    I have a membership with Ancestry; Is World Wide different to normal membership? My local library had an Ancestry membership which seems to have a very wide access to records

    Let me know please.

    Old wombat55

    Tuesday 25th Oct 2022, 12:57PM

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