Friday, December 31, 2010

A new census substitute in Dunmanway

From West Cork People dated December 2010:

The Dunmanway Historical Society has recently had restored a Parish Accounts Book.  In the words of the magazine:
This is an account of the income and expenditure associated with the building of St Patrick’s Church in Dunmanway during the period 1832 to 1848. This book was maintained by Fr James Doheny who was Parish Priest in Dunmanway from 1818 to his retirement in 1848, and is a testimony to his meticulous accounting of the parish finances as it details all who contributed to the building of the Church. In effect it is a census of all subscribers, street by street and townland by townland.
Fr Doheny also gives a very detailed account of all expenditure for the period, detailing the various sources of the materials used in the building ranging from the various quarries from which the stone was procured to the Altar and altar fittings from Lyons in France. It also gives us the names of all the tradesmen who worked on the church as well as the quarrymen, labourers and horsemen.
This book lay hidden in the presbytery for years until it was discovered last year by Fr. Ted Collins. “It is the most significant and historic discovery in the parish for quite some time”; so said Tommy Collins, Chairman of the Historical Society.
The book has now been expertly restored and preserved for posterity by Mucros Bookbindery in Killarney.
If your ancestors were in Dunmanway around that time, you may want to contact the Dunmanway Historical Society or pay a visit to the Dunmanway Heritage Centre and make further inquiries.

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