Very few Kerry Estate or Kerry Tenant Rentals have been digitised but details of some are available in various archives. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Kerry became predominantly owned by English landlords and by Anglo-Irish families who were granted land in return for various services. These lands or estates were typically divided into small-holdings which were rented or leased to tenants. The private papers of the owner of these estates contain many useful records including Rentals – lists of tenants and associated rent ledgers details payments ; Estate maps on which the names of the occupiers of specific holdings are marked; Lease agreements which generally only apply to large tenants, who may have sub-divided their properties into small-holdings; Letters relating to estate business, eviction or other matters but which may refer to individuals.
Kerry estate records are rarely indexed. A major resource for information on estates is in the Landed Estates Database compiled by University College Galway.
Abbreviations used below:
KLA: Kerry Local History Library
NAI: National Archives Ireland
NLI: National Library Ireland
The major collections of Kerry estate papers are:
Benn-Walsh: Lord Ormathwaite: Estate Tenancies (1907) and papers associated with Land Commission sale of the estate(1900-1925), KLA
Blennerhassett: Miscellaneous legal papers and accounts re a family of Blennerhasset of Co. Kerry, c.1776-1822. NLI Rowan Papers, Ms.20611
Blennerhassett: Arthur Blennerhassett Kerry Rental, 1794-1795. (Ref: P30/5), KLA
Boyle: Rental of the estates of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork in Munster counties including Kerry 1641-1643. NLI: Lismore Papers MSS.6247-6253.
Collis: Miscellaneous legal papers re the family of Collis of Co. Kerry, mainly re lands at Tubrid, Barony of Clanmaurice, Co. Kerry, 1791-1826. NLI: Ms.20612
Crosbie: 108 tenants in parishes of O’Dorney, Ardfert and Kiltomy with rental terms and some leases specifying lives NLI: Ms.5033
Crosbie Estate (Ballyheigue): Rentals (1857-1917), including Tenant Purchase Loans Account Book, 1904, KLA.
Farm account book in respect of the estate of William Talbot-Crosbie in Co. Kerry 1856-1858. NLI: Ms.5041
James D. Crosbie: Land Agent, Letter Books 1892 – 1909, KLA
De Janasz/Vicars Estate: Relating to Kilmorna property, mainly dealing with the post-fire insurance but also earlier letters of Sir Arthur Vicars, KLA
De Moleyn: twenty-one deeds relating to properties of the De Moleyn family, (Lord Ventry), Co. Kerry 19thC. NLI: D6723-43.
Denny: Denny Papers. Primarily 1860-1945 but include William Denny’s Marriage Settlement 1832. Also included is a Rental and Particulars Documents from the 1899 Sale of the estate. KLA
Fitzgerald (Knights of Kerry): The original Fitzgerald Papers are in family possession. There are microfilm copies in the National Library of Vols 1-17 + Index (1741-1849) POS9082.
Knight of Kerry Valentia Rental 1911-1914. Including Manuscript Diary (May 1830 – January 1831), Incomplete Copy Letter Book (December 1876-1880), KLA
Fitzmaurice (Lords of Kerry): Papers relating to the family of Francis Thomas Fitzmaurice, 3rd Earl of Kerry, resident in France, including accounts and several rentals of estates in Co. Kerry, Paris: Nationales, Fonds T. Cote 451 (1-3,8) NLI n. 1087-8, p. 176-7 [Microfilm copies at NLI N.1087-8 p. 176-7, n.6388-6392, p. 7392-7396].
Rental of the Feale Fishery, Co.Kerry, early 19th c. NAI: M.3296.
Gun: Gun Estate Rental (1879) and Legal Papes (1890-1949) KLA
Gun/Browne papers: Listowel (Dromin) Skehenerin, Caherdown, Rattoo, 1880s KLA
Gun Browne papers including 1914 schedule of encumbrances, accounts the 1880s, tenancy particulars (1908) and receiving rental of 1885.
Godfrey: Godfrey Estate Maps 1750 KLA
Hare: Papers relating to the estates in Cos. Cork and Kerry of the Hare family, Earls of Listowel 18th century NAI D.18,522 et seq; M.2331
Solicitors papers (O’Flynn Exham) relating to the Earl of Listowel, including various types of deeds, leases, mortgages, marriage settlements and wills, Cork City & County Archives IE CCCA/U229
Lord Listowel: Estate Rentals (the 1880s – 1960s), Deeds (1812-1956), Legal Proceedings Papers (1877-1970) KLA 100 major tenants in Listowel, name, holding and rent. NAI. M.2356,
Headley, Rentals relating to Headley estates in Knocknagoshel, Castleisland etc., KLA
Herbert: Correspondence relating to the Irish estates of the Herbert family, in Cork and Castleisland, Co. Kerry, NLI. N.6437, p. 7615, (microfilm)
Rentals and accounts of the Herbert estate in Cullinane near Killarney including rent roll 1733, of Sir F. Brewster’s estate, 1780-1812. 2nd pack is a rental of Mr. asgylls estate 1709, thirty-six tenants for Killarney and sixty-nine for surrounding areas. NAI 1854 (1-24), 1741-1752 Rent & Accounts M. 1864.
Hurley/Fuller: Primarily Fenit property. The 1900s-1940s. KLA
Kenmare: The Kenmare papers (Browne family) deposited in PRONI, which include most of the former contents of the Estate Office at Killarney, Co. Kerry, amount to well over a ton of records. 1587-1958, comprising c. 475 volumes and files (53 of them of huge proportions) and c. 3,250 documents, maps, plans and surveys PRONI Kenmare Papers D4151. Introduction to online www.proni.gov.uk/introduction_kenmare_d4151-2.pdf.
Kenmare Estate Rentals 1874-1894: Muckross House Library (Rent books) online https://www.muckrosshouseresearchlibrary.ie/Kenmare-Estate.php
Lansdowne (Petty-Fitzmaurice): Accounts and rentals of the estate of the marquis of Lansdowne in Co. Kerry, 1864-1873. NLI: n.818, p.1020 (microfilm). Also at family archives at Bowood. firstname.lastname@example.org
Locke: Surveys, valuations and rentals of the Locke estate(formerly the estate of the Earl of Kerry) in Co. Kerry, 19thc. Set of maps of same by Richard Frizell, 1762-5. NAI 3297-3308. Map of the Locke estate in Carrigcannon and Lyreacrompane Co. Kerry by N. Bath 1796. NAI: M3309. Rental of Locke estate 1801 & 1824m M.3284, M3286, NAI.
Map by J. McMahon with description and valuation of part of the Locke estate in Tournageehy, Co. Kerry 1810. NAI M.3317-19. Maps of Gortacrossane, Co. Kerry, part of the Locke estate n.d. by Kerry Lyne, 1804. NAI: M.3321-3330
Mahony Estate: Dromore and Blackwater Rent Ledgers 1855-1880. KLA
McCarthy More: Rent roll of the McCarthy Mór estates in Co. Kerry1673. NAI. M. 1676.
McGillicuddy of the Reeks: Rent Ledger (1881-1888), Rent Account Books (1780-1871 and 1857-1858), Estate Account Book (1848-1859) and Estate Labour Books (1857-1864) KLA.
O’Connell: Land records O’Connell, Derrynane cash accounts, 1860-1862, including rent and interest due on Derrynane, Co. Kerry 1860. House accounts for 1860/61 folded folio sheets. Receipts and payments for a wide range of goods and services including staff. NLI: Ms.13,642(2)
Ormonde: Extracts from the Civil Survey of Ireland of lands claimed by the Dukes of Ormonde in Counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, Dublin, Kerry and Waterford. NLI: Ormonde Papers Ms. 2560.
Rowan: Miscellaneous letters to members of the family of Rowan, mainly re financial affairs and estate matters in Co. Kerry. C. 1855-1947. NLI: Rowan Papers, Ms. 20602
Sandes: Sandes Estate Papers, 1850s-1925 dealing with Sallowglen, Kilbaha, Oakpark, Ballyhorgan. Items from 1802-1890. KLA
Spring Rice: Accounts of the Spring-Rice Estates in Cos. Kerry and Limerick 1785-1799, 184 mainly large tenants. NLI: Ms.596. Rents of the Spring-Rice estates in Cos. Kerry and Limerick 1787-1792, 1802. Approx 20 tenants in 4 townlands of Ballymacelligott and Galey and rent details. NLI: Ms.602. Miscellaneous accounts re the estates of the Spring-Rice family in Cos. Kerry and Limerick, 1806-1812. NLI:587. Copies of miscellaneous correspondence of Stephen Edward Rice, 1806 and summary rents of Coolkeragh, Co. Kerry, 1806-23. Mainly house and farm expenses but good lists of labourers 1808/9. Copies of letters inbound volume and rental of Coolkeragh (Civil Parish of Galey), NLI: Ms. 605 Monteagle Estate Accounts 1870-73. NLI: Ms.581, 590.
Stoughton: Documents of Irish National and Land League and Ladies Irish National Land League relating to evictions on the estate of Thomas A. Stoughton, Ballyduff, Co. Kerry. 1881. NLI: Ms. 18,456.
Thank you Kay for providing this list of Estate Papers for Kerry. So helpful to discover what is available for the county.
Helen, thanks for your comments. Its a pity that we haven’t more of these papers digitised and online so that everyone could access them. I am writing a book (have been researching it for the past three years!) myself on the last three Fitzmaurice Earls of Kerry and amongst those papers there are a few rental lists from the mid 1700s. Kay
Good luck with the rest of your research. Thank you for sharing so much.
Would the records of the Blennerhassett’s and the Spring-Rice’s be those that would most cover the townlands of Ballymacelligott?
For example: Arabella, Flemby or the area that is in the vicinity of St. Brendan’s at Clogher. I am looking for Healy records in the area.
Greg, as far as I can see, Arabella was owned in the 1850s by the Peet family but it was sold in the Encumbered Estates courts in 1886 and more in 1889. The only way to follow this up is a physical ‘look up’ in the Valuation Office. Each change of ownership (whether tenant or owner or landlord) is marked through the years from the time of Griffiths onwards to the 1960s. It may be that your Healys were able to purchase it at that time.
Flemby was owned by the Ballyseedy Blennerhassetts.
My ancestors, the McAuliffe/McCarthy families from Curroughcroneen leased the land but eventually owned it. How did
this come about? I understood from my cousin that they bought the land.
Thanks for all the wonderful information!
By the turn of the twentieth Century, Landlords were for the most part selling their estates to the Land commission who in turn were redistributing the land to tenant farmers through 30 year purchase leases. By 1910 most Farmers in North Kerry were now farming their land. Agricultural prices prior to World War One was relatively strong.
Hi , I’m looking for Catherine Ross , her parents from , Cordial, Castleisland, Co Kerry,
Catherine has a son John Ross who passed away 31 years ago.
Any other Ross family related to Catherine . All info I have in her .
Veronica, I think you need a detective for this search – not a genealogist. You haven’t given me any dates but I am presuming the history that you are looking for would be in the 20th century – 1911 onwards? There is no family called Ross in the 1911 Census of Ireland. It is not possible for us to find births after 1919 (one hundred years ago), marriages after 1944 or deaths after 1977 due to Data Protection rules. If you have any more information that might be of help, I will certainly give a look for you.
Supposedly the dancing master Edward Elliott lived at Ballyhahill.early 1800s. Maybe in the Spring Rive estate…any records of him? I have seen an Alexander Elliott.