Burial records – St. Mura’s Fahan

Fahan Cross Slab

St. Mura’s Monastery at Fahan was founded by St. Colmcille in the 6th Century. An ancient slab cross on the site, called the Fahan Cross Slab dates from this time period. The monastic ruins which remain are dated to the end of the 17th Century.

The graveyard is compact but contains a good number of graves dating back as far as the 17th Century. There are several graves dating back to the time that the British Army and Royal Navy were billeted in the greater Buncrana area during the 19th Century.

Among the graves in St. Mura’s is that of Agnes Elizabeth Jones who was the first trained Nursing Superintendent in Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary. A Nightingale Nurse, she died from typhus at the age of 35.

St. Mura’s is located at N55.084 W-7.462

St. Mura’s Fahan Monastery by Second Name

St. Mura’s Fahan Monastery by Plot

Surveyed April 9 2014

Burial records – Linsfort Church of Ireland

Linsfort Church of Ireland

Overlooking Lough Swilly, Linsfort Church of Ireland was built in the 1650’s and was in use until 1972. It is located on the left hand side of the Buncrana to Fort Dunree road, approximately 6,5 km from Buncrana.

The oldest legible headstone dates to 1811 although there are a good number of stone grave markers with no inscriptions.

There is one Commonwealth War Grave in Linsfort.

Linsfort Church of Ireland is located at N55.172 W-7.500

Desertegney CoI Linsfort x Name

Desertegney CoI Linsfort x Plot

Surveyed March 11 2014

Burial records – Clonmany Straid

St. Columba’s Straid

St. Columba’s (The Old Church Straid) was built in 1772 with a grant from the Protestant Bishop of Derry, Frederick Hervey (1730-1803).

There are many graves in the churchyard at Straid but for the most part they are unhewn and uninscribed and represent the burial of the many Catholics laid to rest there.

There are a small number of graves with legible text, including that of the Doherty family, local landlords who resided in Glen House and were the last patrons of the Church.

There is one Commonwealth War Grave in Straid.

The Church enjoyed a brief revival during the First World War ministering to the needs of the British Army who were billeted at Glenfield Camp. Declining numbers finally took its toll in 1920 when the Church was closed, the roof removed and the furniture auctioned in 1927.

The Old Church at Straid is located at N55.265 W-7.426.

St. Columba’s Straid x Name

St. Columba’s Straid x Plot

Surveyed April 30 2014

A listing of Inishowen school teachers from the 1901 Ireland Census

In the 50 years from the ending of the Great Famine the number of teachers in Inishowen had more or less doubled to 99. The gender balance had well and truly been corrected since 1848 with 44 male (44%) and 55 (55%) female.

The data from 1901 can be downloaded by following the links below :

Inishowen teachers in 1901 census x second name

Inishowen teachers in 1901 census x townland

Ref : 1901 Ireland Census records

Growth in Inishowen school attendance 1839 to 1848

School records are very useful for tracing ancestors. Examining the data on school attendance gives us a picture of societal development. In 1839 the Commissioners for Education reported on pupil, school and teacher statistics.

In that year there were 20 National Schools in the Inishowen Peninsula, attended by 3226 pupils. At a frightening 1:134 teacher:pupil ratio there were just 24 teachers to attend to the educational needs of the school-goers. It appears that one teacher was deemed sufficient to look after the needs of up to roughly 200 pupils as there were just a few examples of schools with more than one teacher and less than this number of pupils.

The school with the greatest number of pupils in Inishowen in 1839 was Cockhill outside the town of Buncrana with 210 students and two teachers.

In that year teaching was very much a male dominated occupation as just 4 of the 24 teachers were female. The gender balance wasn’t just restricted to the teaching profession as the school attendance was very much skewed in the favour of the male population. 69,7% of the school-goers were male.

Wind the clock forward 6 years to 1848 right in the middle of the Great Famine and there had been dramatic changes in the intervening years.

The number of schools had more than doubled to 48 with school attendance now at 5662 up 43%. There had been a 26% improvement in the teacher pupil ratio which now stood at 1:99, still frightening by today’s standards. In 1848 there were three new positions – those of Assistant, Needlework Mistress and Mentor noted in the survey.

The interesting and significant change in the past 6 years was the fact that the gender balance had been corrected. The student population was now split 50:50 with 2848 male and 2814 female pupils. A partial correction was also noted in the teaching population. Of the 57 teachers, 26% or 15 were now female.

A sad reflection was that the largest student population was recorded in the Inishowen Workhouse in Donagh with 357 pupils.

The data tables can be downloaded by following the links below:

Pupils x National School 1839

Pupils x National School 1848

Ref : “The Fifteenth Report of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland (For the year 1848)” Printed by Alexander Thom, 87 Abbey Street for Her Majesty’s Stationery Office 1849