Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Old Manse at Camnish near Dungiven

Not too long after Irish nationalist John Mitchel was born there on 3 Nov 1815, the Old Manse at Camnish became the home of my Dungiven Doherty ancestors, and remained a Doherty home well into the 20th century.

The building was originally a Presbyterian manse (this was Scots Ulster after all), and was on land owned by the 3rd Marquess of Waterford, who leased it out. The image of the Old Manse (left) is from an Irish magazine, date unknown.

A few years ago, an internet cousin (4th cousin once removed) living in Limerick, Ireland, shared an old postcard, possibly from the 1940s, also of the Old Manse (seen below). Now, I ask you. Who do you know that can say their family home was once featured in a postcard? No, the Royals don't count. 

Irish postcard 
The address used to send mail to this home, my internet cousin tells me, was Old Manse, Camnish, Dungiven. 

We know that the Marquess of Waterford was the owner of the Old Manse and its lands thanks to property records. One set kept in 19th century Ireland was the Griffiths Valuation, which was conducted between 1848 and 1864. Below is the page from Griffiths that addresses the Old Manse, which was then leased by my 1st cousin 3x removed, Paul Doherty (spelled in Griffiths as Dogherty). Paul appears in the top third of the records on this page. He was a nephew of my 2nd great grandfather, farmer Marcus. This valuation was done in 1858, records indicate.

Paul Dogherty Camnish, Griffiths Valuation
1911 Census Household Return
Paul Doherty, Old Manse, Camnish
Another of my internet cousins (also a 4th cousin once removed) in England has, like me, done a great deal of research into our shared Camnish ancestors. 

We have shared our finds with each other -- helping each other learn more about those ancestors. One gem that she has shared with me is the 1911 Census Household Return for the Old Manse. The return notes that the house had five rooms, and that six family members lived there at that time. It was still occupied by the same Paul Doherty as had lived there when Griffiths was done, only now he appears as the landowner. The return notes such details as the number of walls, and that it is classified as a second class house. Such a small house for so many people. Yet, I think that in the 1820s even more family members lived there. 

The never ending story continues ....