Ballynamire, Co. Carlow: an outline history
Niall C.E.J. O’Brien
The townland of Ballynamire is located in the civil parish of Fennagh, in the barony of Idrone East, County Carlow. The townland measures 38 acres 1 root and 36 perches. It is located on the west side of the road between Fennagh in the south and Hunt’s man crossroads in the north. Ballynamire in Irish is Baile na Maoir and means “Mouth of the Ford of the Stream”.
Tithe Applotment 1826
Under the tithe Applotment records Thomas H. Watson held Ballynamire, then written as Ballinamire. The tithe record gives the area as 24 acres 1 root and 28 perches. The additional 14 acres can be accounted by the fact that pasture land was exempted from paying tithes.
Thomas Henry Watson was the only son of Samuel Watson of Lumclone, County Carlow by his wife Anne, daughter of Samuel Brewster. Lumclone is located on the east side of the same road that Ballynamire is on but a short distance to the south of Ballynamire.
Thomas Henry Watson was born in 1790 and succeeded his father in 1830. In June 1815 Thomas Watson married Anne, only daughter of Daniel Walker of Dublin, and granddaughter of William Walker, twice Lord Mayor of Dublin. Thomas Watson served as a captain in the Carlow Regiment of Militia and died on 7th January 1853, leaving Samuel Henry Watson of Lumclone along with Rev. Thomas Watson, John Watson, Robert Lecky Watson (of Lumclone and Kilconner), Sarah Watson, Annette Watson, Emily Watson, Elizabeth Watson and Anne Watson. His wife Anne Brewster Watson died in 1859.
Ballynamire in 1841
In the 1841 census there were four people living in Ballynamire (two males and two females) in one house.
Ballynamire in 1840-1846
On 13th December 1840 Lawrence Brien and his wife Elizabeth Farrell had their son Daniel Brien baptised in the Dunleckney parish register. This event was witnessed by Edmond Cowley and Bridget Murphy. The Brien family gave their address as Ballenamire. On 13th March 1842 Lawrence Brien and Elizabeth Farrell had their son, Pat Brien, baptised at Dunleckney. They gave their address as Ballinamaire and this was witnessed by Martin Murphy and Mary Lennon. On 25th December 1843 Lawrence Brien and his wife Elizabeth Farrell had their daughter Catherine baptised. They gave their address as Ballynamaire and this was witnessed by James Farrell and Bridget Murphy. On 5th April 1846 Lawrence Brien and Elizabeth Farrell still lived at Ballynamire on the occasion of the baptism of their son, Lawrence. James Dray was a witness to this event.
Ballynamire in 1851
If the family of Lawrence Brien lived in Ballynamire in the 1840s by the 1851 census there should be four males (Lawrence and his 3 sons) and two females (Elizabeth and her daughter). In the 1851 census there were five people living in Ballynamire (one male and four females) in one house. This is at odds with what should be there if the Brien family indeed lived at Ballynamire in the 1840s.
Of course this doesn’t mean that the Brien had left Ballynamire. Without the actual individual census returns it is difficult to know if some of these people on the 1851 census were visitors to the Brien house or servants living in or if some members of the Brien family were absent from the Ballynamire house on the census night.
View westwards over Ballynamire
Griffith’s Valuation, c.1850
By the time of Griffith’s Valuation in the 1850s the Brien family had left Ballynamire. In about 1850 James Jenkinson rented the townland of Ballynamire from Thomas H. Watson. The property contained a dwelling house called a herdman’s house with an outbuilding and the 38 acres of land. The land was worth £29 10s while the buildings were worth 5s. It would seem that James Jenkinson may not always have lived in Ballynamire. Up the road in the village of Ballybrommell he held a house, outbuilding and garden (1 root 15 perches) from Samuel Watson of Lumclone. The house and outbuilding were worth 15s and the garden 5s.
In 1826 William Jenkinson held land at Ballaghadereen and at Ballydarlon in Fennagh parish. It is not clear what relationship he was to James Jenkinson.
Ballynamire in 1861
In the 1861 census there were eight people living in Ballynamire (five males and three females) in one house.
Ballynamire in 1891
In the 1891 census there were eight people living in Ballynamire but by 1901 they had all gone and the townland had no residents.
Ballynamire in 1911
In the two published census returns of 1901 and 1911 the townland of Ballynamire had no residents. The Poor Law valuation of the land and buildings in 1911 was £29 10s. These buildings must have been farm buildings as there was no dwelling house at Ballynamire by 1911.
It may be possible to find other documents in archive centres in Carlow or Dublin to add to our knowledge of Ballynamire but for the present we are left with what we have. Today (2017), just like in 1901 and 1911, Ballynamire is still uninhabited.
End of post
 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Carlow_placenames_01.htm accessed on 6th August 2017
 http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/reels/tab//004587442/004587442_00231.pdf accessed on 11th July 2017
 Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 1191, 1192
 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_29.htm accessed on 6th August 2017
 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_32.htm accessed on 6th August 2017
 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_35.htm accessed on 6th August 2017
 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_38.htm accessed on 6th august 2017
 Griffith’s Valuation, Ballynamire, parish of Fennagh, barony of Idrone East, Carlow
 Griffith’s Valuation, Ballybrommell, parish of Fennagh, barony of Idrone East, Carlow
 http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/reels/tab//004587442/004587442_00235.pdf accessed on 11th July 2017