The first Grants at Shinrone, Co Offaly


Their Towra houses are all long since abandoned

The Grant first appear in Shinrone records in 1797. Three brothers aged about 25/35 - Stephen, John and William - arrived at that date, settled in the parish and raised families. As the Shinrone records run from 1741 we can be sure that there were no Grants in the parish any earlier.

Both my great-grandfather (Thomas) and by grandfather (Charles) said that the family came from Waterford and Cork to near Cashel. Mrs Whitford of Stream Cottage, Aghancon said her great-grandfather William Grant had said that they came from near Goolds Cross, Co Tipp (i.e. Moyaliff). Ireland was very violent at this time, and it is likely that the Grants moved to Shinrone as it was then a Protestant area. Family lore has it that they had their cattle maimed and that made them move. Interestingly the family remaining in Moyaliff turned Catholic around 1810, perhaps their way of reducing the problems of life, perhaps because of a lack of Protestant marriage parners. The continuing links with Moyaliff can be seen with Mary Grant's marriage in 1812 to a man from Glenkeen.

Shinrone was referred to as a hot bed of Orangeism during the demonstrations for and against Catholic emancipation in 1828. A large gathering of Green Boys tried to march on Shinrone which was defended by the army. They were only talked out of it at the last minute, bloodshed was averted.

By 1831 only 5% of the total population of Co Tipperary was Protestant. But Borrisokane and Cloughjordan parishes had the largest concentration of Protestants ( over 20% in each parish were Protestant)

The church records are good, and we can see where they lived and what children were born. The family were very prolific with ten to twelve children being the norm. They then stayed in the immediate area until the famine forced them to move in the 1840's

Stephen was the first to arrive in 1797, followed by John in 1801 and William in 1812. I suspect that none of them produced their complete families in Shinrone, but the records for Moyaliff do not exist, so we do not know what happened there.

There is a John Grant on the Poor List of Shinrone Parish in 1811 and 1812, when he is getting relief from the parish.

The Tithe Commission Book 1824 gives 3 Grants in the area

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