Land Owners in Ireland 1870’s

Five months ago, in early November 2020, I decided to look more at the British government’s excellent 1876 publication: Owners of land of One Acre and Upward, Ireland Return.  This publication documented, on the island of Ireland, all those owners of farms of over one acre. The returns were collected across Ireland between February 1873 and November 1875.  The final report was published in 1876.

My primary interest was limited to in and around Eden.  Although the area of analysis was eventually widened. Initially, the data was transcribed into a large table. But in order to make the data searchable, it was then transferred to a database.  Although this was a time-consuming exercise, it was well worth it.

In this article, I am experimenting with two new innovations – a live table that can be interrogated/searched (by name and townland), and the display of a readable book in PDF form.

The local area in question is marked below with a red circle. In the future, the area may be expanded upon, and more farm data added.

Ulster Map
local map

Some Basic Notes on the Data

The villages associated with the various townlands are as follows:

Bellaghy – Ballymacombs, Killyberry, Drumlamph, Drumanee, Mullaghbuoy.

Kilrea – Boveedy, Drumsaragh, Killygullib, Lislea.

Maghera – Ballymacilcur, Ballynacross, Craigmore, Curragh, Fallogloon, Grillagh, Knocknakeilt, Mullagh, Termoney.

Portglenone – Ballymacpeake, Ballyneese, Innisrush, Moneystaghan.

Dreenan is associated with the postal area of Knockloughrim.

The document had incorrectly spelled Knocknakielt (misspelling it as Knocknakeilt). 

Innisrush, for some reason, was sometimes spelt Ennisrush in this publication.

Bellaghy Presbyterian Church Trustees are listed as owning 2 acres, 1 rood and a perch, worth some 10 pounds and 15 shillings.

Measuring Farm Sizes – Acre, Rood and Perch

If one goes back far enough in Ulster, you see all sorts of variances on the acre, such as the Cunningham Acre, the Plantation Acre and the Irish Acre.

But by the time of this document, in the 1870s, the Statute Acre had been established as the default measurement of farm size in Ulster.

A statute acre is made up of 4 roods, with 40 perches in a rood.

My father and grandfather would sometimes mention roods and perches, when referencing areas smaller than an acre.  I imagined that roods and perches had died with those generations, but my cousin tells me that the terms are still in use til this very day.

Farm Owners in County Londonderry

From the document, we see that in 1871, there were 173,932 people and 32,601 inhabited houses in County Derry.

In County Derry, there were a total of 1,380 owners of land, of one acre and upwards.  This land covered some 511,609 acres.  It was valued at 311,596 pounds.

There were 798 owners of land, in the county, of less than one acre.  This land in total, was 229 acres, 0 roods, 20 perches.  It was valued at 53,136 pounds and 5 shillings.

That gave a grand total of 2,178 owners of farm land. These proprietors  owned 511,838 acres, which was worth some 364,732 pounds.

The estimated amount of ‘Waste Lands’ in the county was 4,200 acres.

Farm Owners in County Antrim 

In 1871, there were 394,618 people and 69,439 inhabited houses in County Antrim.

In County Antrim, there were a total of 2,176 owners of land, of one acre and upwards.  This land covered some 690,810 acres.  It was valued at over 771,377 pounds.

There were 3,172 owners of land, in County Antrim, of less than one acre.  This land in total, covered 1,100 acres.  It was valued at 243,910 pounds.

That gave a grand total of 5,348 owners of farm land. These proprietors  owned some 691,910 acres, which was worth some 1,015,287 pounds.

The estimated amount of ‘Waste Lands’ in the county was 4,000 acres.

Some Key Points

In looking only at my local area (the red circle in the map above) of Counties Derry and Antrim, here are some points of note. 

County Derry was made up of lots of small farms.  However on crossing the River Bann into Portglenone and County Antrim, it was a different story.  The Alexanders in Portglenone, owned many thousands of acres of farmland in and around the area.

e.g.  Robert J. Alexander, of Portglenone House, Portglenone owned over 4215 acres, worth 3576 pounds.  It’s also worth noting that in County Tyrone, Robert also owned an additional 1769 acres, worth 1178 pounds.

George Alexander, of Portglenone owned over 2135 acres, in County Antrim, worth 1224 pounds.

William S. Alexander owned 956 acres, valued at over 558 pounds.

In a wider overview of County Antrim, Sir Henry Hervey Bruce, of Downhill, on the north coast not far from Coleraine, owned over 20,801 acres, worth some 11,397 pounds.

In County Derry,  the biggest local landowner in my area at that time, was Andrew Spottiswoode of the Manor House in Bellaghy. He owned over 1,412 acres, valued at 721 pounds and 15 shillings.

Land in County Antrim appears, on average, to be worth significantly more than land in County Derry.

Search the Table

In my local area (see the red circle in the map above), encompassing parts of County Derry and Antrim, there were 175 farms.

The search box below will hopefully prove useful.  You can search the table via name and townland, to not only find your ancestors (and their acreage), but also discover who their neighbours were. 

Name of Land OwnerTownlandAcres, Roods, PerchesValue: Pounds, shillings
Charles BradleyBallymacombs18 acres, 1 roods, 15 perches6 pounds, 17 shillings
John GodfreyBallymacombs20 acres, 2 roods, 25 perches6 pounds, 2 shillings
Hamilton JunkinBallymacombs29 acres, 2 roods, 5 perches9 pounds, 3 shillings
Hugh JunkinBallymacombs138 acres, 0 roods, 25 perches101 pounds, 8 shillings
John JunkinBallymacombs32 acres, 2 roods, 0 perches24 pounds, 5 shillings
Joseph JunkinBallymacombs41 acres, 1 roods, 30 perches22 pounds, 10 shillings
John KellyBallymacombs126 acres, 2 roods, 15 perches73 pounds, 0 shillings
John & Thomas KellyBallymacombs521 acres, 0 roods, 25 perches130 pounds, 15 shillings
William Kelly (reps of)Ballymacombs18 acres, 0 roods, 30 perches18 pounds, 5 shillings
James McErlaneBallymacombs1 acres, 3 roods, 10 perches1 pounds, 10 shillings
James McQuillan, senBallymacombs20 acres, 1 roods, 37 perches7 pounds, 18 shillings
James McQuillan, junBallymacombs20 acres, 1 roods, 37 perches7 pounds, 0 shillings
William McQuillanBallymacombs19 acres, 0 roods, 11 perches6 pounds, 8 shillings
Daniel MaddenBallymacombs8 acres, 2 roods, 0 perches5 pounds, 0 shillings
Thomas MulhollandBallymacombs70 acres, 3 roods, 19 perches46 pounds, 15 shillings
William MulhollandBallymacombs7 acres, 2 roods, 30 perches4 pounds, 0 shillings
Andrew SeawrightBallymacombs48 acres, 1 roods, 10 perches17 pounds, 0 shillings
James SeawrightBallymacombs18 acres, 2 roods, 0 perches6 pounds, 10 shillings
John SeawrightBallymacombs22 acres, 3 roods, 0 perches8 pounds, 15 shillings
James SmythBallymacombs38 acres, 1 roods, 0 perches17 pounds, 0 shillings
Hudson SteeleBallymacombs64 acres, 2 roods, 32 perches18 pounds, 10 shillings
James SteeleBallymacombs56 acres, 3 roods, 38 perches10 pounds, 0 shillings
William SteeleBallymacombs116 acres, 1 roods, 5 perches26 pounds, 15 shillings
Alexander VanceBallymacombs25 acres, 0 roods, 12 perches15 pounds, 10 shillings
David VanceBallymacombs34 acres, 0 roods, 15 perches13 pounds, 12 shillings
Anne BruceBallymacpeake11 acres, 1 roods, 3 perches7 pounds, 2 shillings
John HunterBallymacpeake Lower20 acres, 1 roods, 0 perches29 pounds, 0 shillings
William McKenneyBallymacpeake23 acres, 1 roods, 15 perches12 pounds, 5 shillings
Daniel McPeakeBallymacpeake14 acres, 3 roods, 39 perches6 pounds, 7 shillings
Eliza McPeakeBallymacpeake13 acres, 2 roods, 19 perches7 pounds, 3 shillings
William McPeakeBallymacpeake9 acres, 1 roods, 19 perches4 pounds, 13 shillings
Laurence ToghillBallymacpeake10 acres, 1 roods, 20 perches7 pounds, 0 shillings
Roderick Toghill (reps of)Ballymacpeake9 acres, 2 roods, 10 perches5 pounds, 10 shillings
William AdamsBallyneese30 acres, 2 roods, 10 perches19 pounds, 10 shillings
Hugh DavisonBallyneese33 acres, 3 roods, 3 perches25 pounds, 12 shillings
John DavisonBallyneese30 acres, 3 roods, 10 perches21 pounds, 17 shillings
Rowley GodfreyBallyneese26 acres, 2 roods, 30 perches18 pounds, 0 shillings
James KellyBallyneese19 acres, 3 roods, 20 perches21 pounds, 0 shillings
Paul McCullaghBallyneese32 acres, 1 roods, 20 perches26 pounds, 5 shillings
James McQuillanBallyneese17 acres, 1 roods, 35 perches10 pounds, 5 shillings
Samuel RamsayBallyneese22 acres, 0 roods, 26 perches17 pounds, 15 shillings
John DowningDreenan20 acres, 3 roods, 30 perches14 pounds, 9 shillings
Neil DowningDreenan40 acres, 3 roods, 5 perches15 pounds, 15 shillings
Stafford DowningDreenan17 acres, 3 roods, 25 perches6 pounds, 10 shillings
Thomas DowningDreenan15 acres, 1 roods, 20 perches12 pounds, 15 shillings
William DowningDreenan25 acres, 2 roods, 10 perches15 pounds, 0 shillings
Henry NeilDreenan12 acres, 1 roods, 5 perches6 pounds, 0 shillings
Mary Anne NorrisDreenan3 acres, 0 roods, 35 perches2 pounds, 5 shillings
James JohnstonDrumanee1 acres, 3 roods, 10 perches6 pounds, 4 shillings
Francis StaffordDrumanee20 acres, 2 roods, 0 perches19 pounds, 0 shillings
Jane StaffordDrumanee12 acres, 1 roods, 35 perches11 pounds, 5 shillings
Charles WilsonDrumanee5 acres, 0 roods, 35 perches3 pounds, 0 shillings
George WilsonDrumanee5 acres, 0 roods, 35 perches3 pounds, 0 shillings
Hugh Bruce (jun)Drumlamph25 acres, 3 roods, 14 perches22 pounds, 5 shillings
Joseph Bruce (sen)Drumlamph28 acres, 0 roods, 35 perches10 pounds, 10 shillings
Joseph Bruce (jun)Drumlamph23 acres, 0 roods, 10 perches17 pounds, 5 shillings
Matthew Bruce (reps of)Drumlamph23 acres, 0 roods, 5 perches12 pounds, 0 shillings
Whiteside BruceDrumlamph19 acres, 2 roods, 35 perches13 pounds, 3 shillings
John HendersonDrumlamph54 acres, 1 roods, 32 perches32 pounds, 4 shillings
Mary Henderson (sen)Drumlamph20 acres, 3 roods, 20 perches11 pounds, 15 shillings
Mary Henderson (jun)Drumlamph5 acres, 0 roods, 10 perches2 pounds, 15 shillings
Francis LindsayDrumlamph51 acres, 3 roods, 29 perches37 pounds, 13 shillings
Henry Kennedy (Sidney)Mullaghbuoy5 acres, 3 roods, 30 perches5 pounds, 0 shillings
Henry KennedyBellaghy5 acres, 0 roods, 9 perches14 pounds,  18 shillings
David McClatcheyKillyberry28 acres, 2 roods, 15 perches23 pounds, 15 shillings
Bellaghy Presbyterian Church TrusteesBellaghy2 acres, 1 roods, 1 perches10 pounds, 15 shillings
John HillBellaghy Castle18 acres, 3 roods, 24 perches55 pounds, 0 shillings
George CampbellEden25 acres, 2 roods, 19 perches18 pounds, 0 shillings
Alexander (David) MulhollandEden23 acres, 2 roods, 25 perches18 pounds, 10 shillings
Alex Mulholland (reps of)Eden9 acres, 2 roods, 20 perches7 pounds, 10 shillings
Andrew MulhollandEden20 acres, 1 roods, 35 perches12 pounds, 15 shillings
Beresford MulhollandEden12 acres, 2 roods, 15 perches10 pounds, 0 shillings
Bernard Mulholland (reps of)Eden13 acres, 1 roods, 38 perches11 pounds, 5 shillings
James MulhollandEden27 acres, 0 roods, 20 perches22 pounds, 15 shillings
Thomas MulhollandEden18 acres, 0 roods, 5 perches15 pounds, 10 shillings
Thompson MulhollandEden16 acres, 3 roods, 35 perches13 pounds, 10 shillings
William Mulholland (reps of)Eden51 acres, 1 roods, 6 perches33 pounds, 15 shillings
David OrrEden12 acres, 0 roods, 10 perches8 pounds, 0 shillings
David York (reps of)Eden41 acres, 2 roods, 35 perches21 pounds, 10 shillings
Henry York juniorEden42 acres, 2 roods, 35 perches24 pounds, 5 shillings
James YorkEden26 acres, 1 roods, 35 perches14 pounds, 0 shillings
James CaskeyInnisrush10 acres, 0 roods, 5 perches15 pounds, 10 shillings
Gerald FinlayInnisrush4 acres, 1 roods, 13 perches9 pounds, 5 shillings
James GlasgowInnisrush20 acres, 1 roods, 20 perches16 pounds, 0 shillings
James McCawInnisrush20 acres, 3 roods, 2 perches28 pounds, 10 shillings
Kennedy McCawInnisrush5 acres, 3 roods, 10 perches4 pounds, 15 shillings
James Murdock (reps of)Innisrush2 acres, 0 roods, 30 perches0 pounds, 10 shillings
Anne SmythInnisrush21 acres, 0 roods, 15 perches12 pounds, 0 shillings
Rev. James SmythInnisrush4 acres, 3 roods, 25 perches44 pounds, 0 shillings
John SmythMoneystaghan70 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches56 pounds, 0 shillings
William SmythMoneystaghan24 acres, 3 roods, 20 perches18 pounds, 0 shillings
William McWhinneyKillyberry17 acres, 3 roods, 0 perches13 pounds, 0 shillings
James KaneKillygullib12 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches4 pounds, 0 shillings
John KennedyKillygullib13 acres, 2 roods, 35 perches13 pounds, 15 shillings
James LennoxKillygullib39 acres, 3 roods, 30 perches25 pounds, 10 shillings
Archibald McAlisterKillygullib22 acres, 3 roods, 0 perches14 pounds, 0 shillings
Sarah McCannKillygullib20 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches11 pounds, 5 shillings
William McCannKillygullib6 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches2 pounds, 15 shillings
Jane McCleanKillygullib8 acres, 0 roods, 5 perches3 pounds, 0 shillings
Denis McCluskeyKillygullib4 acres, 1 roods, 0 perches4 pounds, 5 shillings
Denis McCotterKillygullib5 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches1 pounds, 0 shillings
John McCotterKillygullib18 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches8 pounds, 0 shillings
Thomas McKayKillygullib26 acres, 2 roods, 10 perches16 pounds, 10 shillings
Neal junior McKeonKillygullib5 acres, 0 roods, 35 perches2 pounds, 5 shillings
John McLaughlinKillygullib1 acres, 0 roods, 20 perches1 pounds, 0 shillings
William McRunnellKillygullib14 acres, 2 roods, 0 perches14 pounds, 0 shillings
William McShaneKillygullib6 acres, 3 roods, 15 perches4 pounds, 0 shillings
James MooneyKillygullib9 acres, 0 roods, 5 perches2 pounds, 7 shillings
James MoranKillygullib10 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches3 pounds, 10 shillings
Hugh MorrisonKillygullib37 acres, 2 roods, 5 perches19 pounds, 10 shillings
Thomas NeelyKillygullib34 acres, 1 roods, 15 perches21 pounds, 15 shillings
John OliverKillygullib12 acres, 2 roods, 5 perches4 pounds, 10 shillings
James ShaneKillygullib4 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches1 pounds, 15 shillings
John H. WhitcroftKilrea664 acres, 1 roods, 0 perches537 pounds, 15 shillings
Dominick BradleyCraigall122 acres, 3 roods, 35 perches49 pounds, 15 shillings
Joseph Clarke M.D.Kilrea167 acres, 2 roods, 9 perches174 pounds, 10 shillings
Reverend James GilmourBoveedy177 acres, 2 roods, 23 perches107 pounds, 0 shillings
Samuel GilmourBoveedy378 acres, 1 roods, 27 perches288 pounds, 0 shillings
Creighton HutchinsonKilrea225 acres, 2 roods, 30 perches116 pounds, 0 shillings
James JohnsonKilrea92 acres, 1 roods, 25 perches21 pounds, 15 shillings
William KennedyDrumsaragh51 acres, 1 roods, 0 perches26 pounds, 10 shillings
Patrick McCannDrumsaragh24 acres, 1 roods, 0 perches11 pounds, 15 shillings
William NeillyKilrea62 acres, 0 roods, 0 perches28 pounds, 11 shillings
Robert TorrensDrumsaragh51 acres, 3 roods, 35 perches20 pounds, 0 shillings
Thomas TorrensDrumsaragh49 acres, 3 roods, 14 perches26 pounds, 0 shillings
Thomas TorrensCraigall142 acres, 3 roods, 4 perches36 pounds, 5 shillings
Samuel BreakyLislea23 acres, 2 roods, 10 perches16 pounds, 10 shillings
James J. ClarkeMaghera3555 acres, 3 roods, 5 perches2069 pounds, 12 shillings
John GrayGrillagh17 acres, 2 roods, 23 perches10 pounds, 17 shillings
John Gray juniorBallynacross45 acres, 0 roods, 17 perches26 pounds, 0 shillings
Alexander HazlettCraigmore23 acres, 2 roods, 10 perches17 pounds, 5 shillings
David HoustonBallymacilcur6 acres, 0 roods, 25 perches6 pounds, 15 shillings
John HoustonBallymacilcur12 acres, 3 roods, 15 perches11 pounds, 10 shillings
Thomas HoustonBallymacilcur5 acres, 2 roods, 35 perches5 pounds, 0 shillings
William HoustonBallymacilcur5 acres, 2 roods, 35 perches5 pounds, 0 shillings
William (Robert) HoustonBallymacilcur6 acres, 0 roods, 25 perches6 pounds, 15 shillings
Andrew Johnston seniorFallogloon33 acres, 0 roods, 28 perches24 pounds, 15 shillings
Hannah JohnstonFallogloon8 acres, 2 roods, 10 perches6 pounds, 5 shillings
John JohnstonFallogloon1 acres, 2 roods, 20 perches1 pounds, 5 shillings
Matthew JohnstonFallogloon16 acres, 3 roods, 0 perches11 pounds, 10 shillings
Robert JohnstonFallogloon12 acres, 3 roods, 35 perches5 pounds, 10 shillings
Thomas JohnstonFallogloon23 acres, 3 roods, 15 perches16 pounds, 10 shillings
James KerrGrillagh11 acres, 2 roods, 15 perches8 pounds, 0 shillings
William KerrCraigmore19 acres, 1 roods, 15 perches11 pounds, 10 shillings
John Kyle (reps of) Knocknakielt10 acres, 2 roods,30 perches12 pounds, 0 shillings
Hugh LamontBallynacross38 acres, 2 roods, 5 perches26 pounds, 10 shillings
Robert LamontKnocknakielt25 acres, 0 roods, 20 perches19 pounds, 5 shillings
John LapsleyBallynacross8 acres, 1 roods, 5 perches6 pounds, 0 shillings
James LockhartBallynacross5 acres, 2 roods, 30 perches4 pounds, 15 shillings
Alex Kerr LyttleFallogloon14 acres, 3 roods, 10 perches9 pounds, 5 shillings
Joseph MarshallKnocknakielt86 acres, 3 roods, 5 perches51 pounds, 10 shillings
James MartinKnocknakielt19 acres, 3 roods, 20 perches18 pounds, 10 shillings
John MartinKnocknakielt26 acres, 2 roods, 30 perches18 pounds, 15 shillings
John MartinBallynacross7 acres, 2 roods, 35 perches5 pounds, 10 shillings
James McClelland (reps of)Maghera8 acres, 0 roods, 16 perches76 pounds, 5 shillings
Henry McKennaBallynacross20 acres, 0 roods, 10 perches16 pounds, 0 shillings
James McKenna (reps of)Termoney11 acres, 3 roods, 35 perches8 pounds, 10 shillings
Joseph McKeownCurragh19 acres, 3 roods, 5 perches14 pounds, 5 shillings
Robert McKeownCurragh25 acres, 3 roods, 35 perches17 pounds, 5 shillings
Francis MitchellMullagh18 acres, 3 roods, 30 perches19 pounds, 0 shillings
James MitchellMullagh4 acres, 0 roods, 20 perches2 pounds, 15 shillings
Mary A. MitchellMullagh21 acres, 1 roods, 22 perches18 pounds, 10 shillings
Thomas MooreCurragh17 acres, 3 roods, 25 perches13 pounds, 10 shillings
James Morrison, junTermoney37 acres, 1 roods, 3 perches27 pounds, 0 shillings
William PalmerKnockloughrim50 acres, 2 roods, 20 perches92 pounds, 5 shillings
John PaulCurragh16 acres, 3 roods, 20 perches11 pounds, 0 shillings
William PickernanBallynacross8 acres, 1 roods, 15 perches6 pounds, 0 shillings
Neal QuinnKnocknakielt55 acres, 3 roods, 30 perches42 pounds, 5 shillings
Rose Ann RogersBallynacross15 acres, 1 roods, 23 perches8 pounds, 15 shillings
John SheilsFallogloon16 acres, 2 roods, 9 perches11 pounds, 5 shillings
John (Gilfillan) WilsonBallymacilcur6 acres, 1 roods, 5 perches5 pounds, 0 shillings
Moore WilsonCurragh12 acres, 1 roods, 20 perches10 pounds, 0 shillings
George AlexanderPortglenone2135 acres, 2 roods, 39 perches  1224 pounds, 10 shillings
Nathaniel AlexanderPortglenone2866 acres, 0 roods, 28 perches1518 pounds, 0 shillings
Robert Alexander (reps of)Portglenone4 acres, 2 roods, 0 perches9 pounds, 5 shillings
Robert J. AlexanderPortglenone House4215 acres, 1 roods, 25 perches 3576 pounds, 0 shillings

Search the Book – Owners of land of One Acre and Upward, Ireland Return

If you cannot find what you are looking for, in the table above, then you can do your own search below.  The publication is 334 pages long.  It is divided up by county. The Province of Ulster begins on page 181.  County Antrim starts on page 183.  County Derry starts on page 254.

You can toggle the publication to full screen by pressing the square box (bottom right). 

Use your arrow keys to go backwards and forwards in the publication. 

Experiment, and don’t worry, you cannot break anything.




"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

4 thoughts on “Land Owners in Ireland 1870’s

  1. Thanks Sarah, Anje and Iben.

    Hopefully the data can be expanded upon in the future.

    Yes, Anje, the wordpress addon that allows a book in PDF format to be displayed is very useful.

    I am also playing about with idea of using another addon to start displaying 360 degree photos that I have taken in recent years, in graveyards.

    Modern technology is so exciting.

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.


Recent Posts

link to Cutting Turf

Cutting Turf

I haven't been around much of late.  It's nice to get back online and have a chance to post some new material. By the way, I note there appears to have been an issue, during the past month, for...



Email Address


error: Alert: Content is protected !!