1st January 1837
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A snapshot of pre-famine local history, as described by Samuel Lewis in the "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" 1837.

BEGAN, or BEKAN, a parish, in the barony of COSTELLO, county of MAYO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 4 miles (W. by N.) from Ballyhaunis; containing 5659 inhabitants.

It is situated on the road from Claremorris to Frenchpark, and is principally under tillage, with the exception of a few grazing farms.

  • Becan is the residence of J. Bourke, Esq., and
  • Ballenville, of J. Crean, Esq.

The river Robe has its source within the limits of the parish.

It is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Tuam, and is part of the union of Kiltullagh:

  • the tithes amount to £127. 8. 5

The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church: the chapel is a plain thatched building.

At Brackloon is a school of about 60 boys and 50 girls; and there are five private schools in the parish, in which are about 300 boys and 100 girls.

There are some ruins of the old church, with a burial-place annexed, which is still used.

SOURCE: A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (pub 1837)

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