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A Statistical Survey of the County Roscommon by Isaac Weld (1774–1856) provides a revealing snapshot of the county approximately a decade before the catastrophe of the Great Irish Potato Famine 1845-1852. Published in 1832, Weld discusses topics which include topography, transport, living conditions, crops, farms, wages, religion and much more.

Ireland in the early 19th century was economically backward compared to an increasingly industrialised and urbanised Britain. The vast majority of the Gaelic speaking Irish Catholic poor lived in wretched poverty, living in clay cabins and surviving on a basic diet of potatoes.

An increasingly wealthy and literate Catholic middle class forced the passage of the reform legislation that granted them the right to vote for MPs to the House of Commons.  However Irish society especially in County Roscommon remained feudal and agricultural.

If your ancestors lived in Co. Roscommon in the early 19th century, this book is handy companion for understanding what Roscommon and life was like for them in those times.

READ ONLINE       Statistical Survey of the County of Roscommon by Isaac Weld, Royal Dublin Society