My second grand aunt Maria O'Toole was the Matron of the Workhouse in Carrick circa 1887-1916. In the 1901 and 1911 Irish census', she is shown in Lisnabrack, Kiltoghert, Leitrim, Ireland with her husband Patrick MacManus who was a national teacher and schoolmaster at the workhouse until his retirement sometime between 1901 and 1911. I am not sure how many of their children were born in the workhouse itself, but their eldest son, Michael Joseph (my first cousin 2x removed) was born in there. He became a well-known writer/poet/journalist and was famously known for his historical pieces that he penned in his column "This Happened Today" in the Irish Press over a 15 year period and wrote for other sources and did broadcasts. I, unfortunately, don't have much in the way of details about the family's time in the workhouse.
Teach na mBocht Chora Droma Rúisc aka Carrick on Shannon Workhouse (built in 1841) was declared fit for the admission of paupers on 1st July 1842 (and admitted its first inmates three weeks later).
DISTRICT: Electoral Divisions covered by this PLU
Carrick-on-Shannon Poor Law Union served 8 electoral divisions in north Co. Roscommon and 7 in Co. Leitrim:
Co. Leitrim: Carrick-on-Shannon, Drumreilly, Drumsbambo, Drumsna, Kiltubbrid, Keskcarrigan, Leitrim.
Co. Roscommon: Aughrim, Creeve, Elphin, Gillstown, Killglass, Killukin (Boyle), Kilmore, Tumna.
During the famine years, Carrick-on-Shannon suffered greatly. By the end of 1846, the workhouse was bursting at the seams, with the inmates lacking food, clothing, proper sanitation, and having only straw for bedding. Diseases such as dysentery and typhus were rife and a dozen deaths a week were occurring (full account here). At the end of 1846, the Quaker James Tuke visited a number of workhouses and reported:
I have already stated that owing to the want of funds, great difficulty exists in many Unions in providing for the inmates. The worst which I visited was that of Carrick-on-Shannon (which opened in 1842); it is in a miserable state and the doors were closed against further admissions; and although built for 700 had but 280 inmates; gates were besieged by seventy or eighty wretched beings who in vain implored for admission. Numbers of them were in various stages of fever, which was terribly prevalent in the neighbourhood, and the fever-shed overcrowded. Two months before my visit, the doors of the workhouse were opened and the inmates expelled, entailing upon them the most dire misery.
Leitrim County Library has the following holdings:
- Union minute books (1843-1919, some gaps);
- Rough minute books (1854-55, 1899);
- Accounts (1843-94, major gaps);
- Abstracts of rates: (1896-98).
In Griffith's Valuation of 1857, the workhouse is mapped at 12a Gallow's Hill [Townparks, Carrick-on-Shannon].
THE WORKHOUSE TODAY
The workhouse building is still extant. It continued in its role as a refuge for the destitute until the 1930s then became a geriatric hospital aka St Patrick's Community Hospital.
In 1997, the Carrick-on-Shannon and District Historical Society commemorated the 150th anniversary of the depths of the famine, when soup kitchens were introduced to try and help relieve the starvation conditions. They renovated the adjacent famine graveyard and recreated a small part of the workhouse in one of the hospital attics which has survived virtually unchanged since the nineteenth century...
Carrick on Shannon Workhouse Attic Memorial
An evocative reminder of the famine era workhouses, the Workhouse Attic Memorial is part of the St. George's Heritage and Visitor Centre. Introductory displays recall the role of the workhouse during the famine era. Some 1896 famine victims were recorded as living in these small, whitewashed quarters.
A famine graveyard in the grounds is another legacy of this poignant chapter of Irish history.
The adjacent reading room provides an opportunity to look through reproduced copies of the Carrick Workhouse Board of Guardian's Minute Books (1843 - 1850) and to browse other evocative items of interest, including a selection of local emigration records.
Access to the workhouse attic and reading room is by guided tour which can be arranged with the St. George’s Heritage and Visitor Centre staff.
~ Please post below to share any specific information or stories about this workhouse. If you have an ancestor connected to this workhouse, please to link their ancestor chronicle to this building as well. ~
|ORIENTATION: Carrick-on-Shannon Town||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|GRIFFITH'S VALUATION: 12a Gallow's Hill TOWNPARKS||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|CENSUS 1901: Lisnabrack||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|WORKHOUSE.ORG: Carrick-on-Shannon 1842||UK||VIEW SOURCE|
|BUILDING: NIAH History & Photos||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|VISIT: Carrick on Shannon Workhouse||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|Famine Graveyard of Carrick on Shannon||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|Local article on Carrick Workhouse||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|Places in Carrick-on-Shannon PLU||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
Type of Building:
Robyn WilsonSunday 14th June 2020, 12:49AM
Hi Robyn - those are remarkable connections to have! Have you added Maria to the Ancestors section of Carrick? It would be great to then link her to this workhouse. There is a video here showing you how to link any ancestor to a workhouse, which you can do when creating them: https://youtu.be/5DVvchOFUn0
The link for Carrick ancestors is here if you decide to add her: https://irelandxo.com/ireland-xo/history-and-genealogy/ancestor-database?parish_name=Carrick%20on%20Shannon%20%28Leitrim%29
IrelandXO Moderator LCMonday 15th June 2020, 02:39PM
I have been researching my family (Oates) for a little time now and have hit a brick wall with regards to pre 1890's There is confusion on possible parents of my gg grandfather. Michael Oates of Dangan-Nugent. We believe he may of not listed his real parents names on a 1921 census form (pension application) due to him not being of the right age. Some 15 years too young. On the form he lists his parents down as Michael and Ellen Oates, but we believe they may actually be a John Oates and Mary McLoughlin of Corlara. If this is the case both his parents were in and out of the Workhouse in Carrick. They were living in Corlara but a couple of their kids are believed/listed to of been born in the hospital. My question is, is there a way of searching any records of a Michael and John Oates born between 1860 and 1866 in the workhouse hospital? I really appreciate any help/guidence on this search. We are stumped! Many thanks, Peter Oates, Vancouver Canada.
Peter Oates (Dangan-Nugent / Leitrim Village Oates)Monday 29th June 2020, 10:05PM
Leitrim County Library holds the minute books and other records for Carrick on Shannon Workhouse. (Click the link in name to contact them). But you should be able to do a (free) civil search for his children's births in Carrick-on-Shannon on https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/civil-search.jsp
Dangan (Nugent) is in the civil parish of Kilmore (Roscommon) and Corralara is just north of it. Have you joined https://irelandxo.com/ireland/roscommon/kilmore
And for Leitrim Village, https://irelandxo.com/ireland/leitrim/kiltoghert
To get more assistance, try adding all you know about Michael's family (children's names etc) to our Ancestors roll-call for Kiltoghert & Kilmore. Here's how... https://irelandxo.com/ireland-xo/news/ancestors-masterclass
Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎Thursday 10th September 2020, 01:23AM