Nenagh Workhouse

NenaghCounty Tipperary

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Nenagh Workhouse on Historic 25 inch map (1897-1913)

The following information was provided by Mr Steve Dolan, Manager of The Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna, Co. Galway

The Nenagh Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1842 at a cost of £9,900. Though there is no record of the number of inmates which Nenagh Workhouse was built to accomodate, it is hard to imagine that the building was intended to house the 3,250 inmates that were recorded as being resident in the Workhouse in 1849. The Nenagh Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Annameadle, Ardcrony, Ballingarry, Ballymackey, Burgessbeg, Borrisokane, Castletown, Cloghprior, Cloughjordan, Dolla, Kilbarron, Kilcomenty, Killoscully, Kilmastulla, Kilmore, Kilnerath, Kilruane, Knigh, Lisbunny, Nenagh, Newport, Templederry, Templekelly, Terryglass, and Youghall.

The site is now occupied by Nenagh General Hospital

Some of the records of Nenagh Workhouse are available online at http://tipperarystudies.ie/

References

For more information see here Ireland VIEW SOURCE

Type of Building:

Workhouse

Comments

  • Are there any records of people admitted to this workhouse and if so, where can they be searched.

    Donie O Sullivan

    Donie O Sullivan

    Saturday 9th November 2019, 11:26PM
  • I've not come across any names of inmates yet unfortunately.There are some snippets ot of general information about the poor relief and workhouse of Nenagh in the Tipperary Vindicator, which I searched online about three years ago at FindMyPast but may be in other newspaper archives too. I was searching on the name of Rody Spain, a family member (merchant and landowner) who was involved in all kinds of things in Nenagh - the gas works, the new bank, the arrival of the railway, nationalist politics, you name it, he had his finger in every pie, but he was one of a group of influential citizens/town commissioners including William Gleeson and John O'Meara amongst others. There are likely to be plenty of articles referencing the workhouse that  I missed because Mr Spain wasn't mentioned.

    I summarized a few points in my journal as follows which I hope may be of interest. I'm guessing the same kinds of issues persisted over a much larger period than the three years I looked at; if anybody finds more, do please post it!

    POOR RELIEF

    • 11 Jul 1846 • Nenagh

      Funds so low they will have to lay off 150 men, keeping only 150 most destitute for a few days, unless people pay up. The priests and usual suspects subscribe (largest donations £2 but smaller contributions too inc. 1/- from a Mary Spain. Total £126. Tipp Vin

      October 1846 • Nenagh

      Rody Spain and Thomas Spain (the latter was the local physician) involved in organising public meeting to raise funds to supply the poor with wholesome provisions at a reasonable price ... awfully distressed condition of this district (Tipp Vin 7 Oct)

      1 Nov 1846 • Nenagh

      Tip Vind publishes a list of donors/donations. The priests and one or two others giving £10; Citizens donate up to £5.

      WORKHOUSE

      15 Nov 1848 • Nenagh

      Dublin Evening Mail reports disorder at Nenagh workhouse; Suggested penalties included that men would not get their milk ration that day. 

      January 1849 • Nenagh

      Tipperary Vindicator reports a huge row about the awful quality of the rye bread at the workhouse. Various guardians including the local priest are reported verbatim having a very lively discussion!

      Tip Vind 3 feb 1849 reports meeting of the workhouse guardians discussing sour milk, bad bread and the wine/port was of dreadful quality. A lengthy discussion of rye vs wheat bread.. And doctors' fees .

      The Kilkenny Journal and Leinster Commercial and Literary Advertiser for 3 October 1849 carries a long front-page report about a protest that went on for months at Nenagh when the Bishop decided to move the parish priest, Revd. Powers, elsewhere (the various stages in this dispute, which amongst other things involved barricading a local chapel so that the new incumbent couldn't say Mass, are reported extensively in the local press). Part of this report mentions the entire population going to hear Mass at the Union Workhouse chapel when it was heard that Rev. Power was to officiate there (and he was greeted by applause when he entered the dining hall. It goes on to say that  the replacement clergy Revd Mr Bowles said Mass at the Brewery Workhouse but that only the Master and his family stayed to hear him (all the inmates 'rushed out of the way') and Rev Mr Kenny said Mass at the gaol. Kenny and Bowles went to the Union Workhouse on the Monday to hear confessions but it is reported that all but two or three of the inmates refused to see them. [To me this suggests that the inmates had appreciated the support of the previous priest. The end of the story was that Revd Power pretty soon became assistant bishop and then bishop himself!). Part of this is also reported in the Tip.Vind.

      Kate Brett

       

       

    Cornishfern

    Sunday 10th November 2019, 06:56PM
  • Thank you for such a prompt reply. I am researching my great grandfather ,Mortimer Ransford, who ststed in 1901 census that he was born in county Tipperary. I know that in the Tithe Applotment books there was only one ,a David Ransford in the county and he was farming in Ballinahinch. there is a headstone in the graveyard in Ballinahinch to a Rainsford who was likely to be a son of the earlier one. Two Rainsfords from there emigrated to USA c 1850. my Mortimer was 61 years old in 1901 therefore born c.1840 but dates then could be up to 10 years incorrect and I am assuming he is from that branch but cannot prove it. He died near Dromkeen in County Limerick and his wife was a Mary Moloney who I failed to trace.

    These Ransfords/Rainsfords have been traced back to Marcus Rainsford who leased his brewery to Arthur Guinness in 1759. it is thought they bout land in Ballinahinch and Murroe as bolt holes before the 1798 rebellion broke out and were somehow implicated with the Young Irelanders and Robert Emmet.

    My mother was a Rainsford from Caherconlish where my grandfather settled on his return from USA in 1916

    Hoping some clue may surface.Can the records be searched in any library of archive

    Regards

    Donie

    Donie O Sullivan

    Sunday 10th November 2019, 10:20PM
  • Regarding what records can be searched...it's pretty hit and miss but there is good advice on this site I find.

    I go on ancestry.com quite a lot and when I took a quick look just now I found a tree containing Mortimer Ransford and Mary Maloney plus a daughter and three sons (but I suspect that tree is wrong because there are two sons called William and quite often I'd expect the first of them to have died in infancy or early childhood and the name to have been recycled, as the 1901 census record with the widowed Mortimer plus the two sons suggests). The younger one could possibly be the one who is 21 in the 1901 census. I'm guessing this beginning of a tree may be previous research by you (the owner name is diddydoris). Sometimes the 'suggestions' ancestry comes up with automatically are better than others; sometimes it can be prompted to narrow things down a bit more usefully by clicking on 'search' when you are in a person's record. You probably know this already!

    Findmypast has got free access to a lot of records (but not newspapers) until 12 noon on Monday (tomorrow) and some matches do come up that might be worth your looking at. - they and other paid-for sites sometimes do this kind of free offer at holidays or anniversaries, which I find is worth using. If the weather is bad for gardening or sports and I am expecting to have some free time, I do sometimes sign up for a month of paid access and see how far I can get in that time. I find the FMP newspaper archive (which they run directly with the British Library) is way easier to use, and fuller for Ireland, than the ones I've been able to find at Ancestry. One totally brilliant thing that came up was an account of a family funeral reported in the local paper where all the mourners were listed: siblings, in-laws, cousins, the lot, and where they had come from, which just opened up so many avenues.  Ancestry also do a free trial for a week if you've not used them before; Findmypast offer 14 days. If you remember to cancel before the free trail is finished you dont' pay anything. Myheritage.com is another site that offers a free trial and I am sure there are lots more.

    If your family in Ireland were Catholics, you can get millions of irish records completely for free now, either via some of the above sites or directly via the National library of Ireland https://www.nli.ie/en/parish-register.aspx I've found them quite useful up to a point, but it is a nuisance when an ancestor has a very common name (as several of mine do) and the large families in a particular place use the same names for cousins (all honouring the same grandparent).

    I can't think of any quick and easy things to recommend now, but hope you succeed in tracking down these elusive family members. All you need is one lucky breakthrough - good luck!

     

     

     

     

    Cornishfern

    Monday 11th November 2019, 12:05AM
  • Thank you for such a prompt reply. I am researching my great grandfather ,Mortimer Ransford, who ststed in 1901 census that he was born in county Tipperary. I know that in the Tithe Applotment books there was only one ,a David Ransford in the county and he was farming in Ballinahinch. there is a headstone in the graveyard in Ballinahinch to a Rainsford who was likely to be a son of the earlier one. Two Rainsfords from there emigrated to USA c 1850. my Mortimer was 61 years old in 1901 therefore born c.1840 but dates then could be up to 10 years incorrect and I am assuming he is from that branch but cannot prove it. He died near Dromkeen in County Limerick and his wife was a Mary Moloney who I failed to trace.

    These Ransfords/Rainsfords have been traced back to Marcus Rainsford who leased his brewery to Arthur Guinness in 1759. it is thought they bout land in Ballinahinch and Murroe as bolt holes before the 1798 rebellion broke out and were somehow implicated with the Young Irelanders and Robert Emmet.

    My mother was a Rainsford from Caherconlish where my grandfather settled on his return from USA in 1916

    Hoping some clue may surface.Can the records be searched in any library of archive

    Regards Donie O Sullivan

    Donie O Sullivan

    Wednesday 13th November 2019, 06:47PM

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