The Grant Family of Moyaliff, Co Tipperary

Thomas Grant is in the 1666 Hearth Money Roll for the Parish of Toem. Evidence would suggest that this is the man dispossessed at Ballynabouly, who sold his transplanted land in 1656. There is no further mention of Grants at Toem, but the family which was Protestant at the time, probably moved 12 miles to Moyaliff. In 1734 they appear at Moyaliff in a deed in which Thomas and James Grant obtained the lease on land at Lisheen. Land Registry records show that James Grant leased 56 acres at Ballynira in 1744, and in 1759 James Grant leased Stradbally for 70 rent. The 1766 list of freeholders of Co Tipperary gives James Grant and John Grant, both of Ballynira. It should be noted that there were then under 1000 freeholders in Co Tipperary. In 1800 John Grant was given an extension of the lease of Ballynira for 99 years. John became the leaseholder in 1848 when Henry died, and the lease changed to the name of McCarthy in 1863 following James' death. The present house on the site is called Lisheen House. and was owned by the Quinn family in the 1990's

I believe that the Grant family, as working class Protestants, living in a mainly Catholic area, were faced by the late 1700s with the choice of either marrying Catholics (and under the rules of the game, their children being Catholic), or moving to a more Protestant area (in their case Northern Tipperary, Western Offaly where Protestants accounted for perhaps one third of the population). Today there are two groups of Grants in this general area in Ireland, the Protestant ones in Northern Tipperary, and the Catholic ones around Moyaliff. A descendant of one of the American emigrants told a family story that had been handed down. On each Sunday the family would walk to the crossroads, and the mother and children would go one way to the Catholic church, and the father the other way to the Protestant church.

In 1763 Whiteboy unrest had caused the deer park wall of J McCarthy of Lisheen to be thrown down.

1766 Religious Census for Parish of Moyaliff has James Grant as the Protestant head of a household of 8 Protestants and 2 Catholics. He is the only Grant recorded. This must be the James Grant at the top of the chart above.

1772 John Grant marries Margaret Crafford by licence

1786 A return of the names of the inhabitants in the Parish of Moyaliff, Oct 17th 1786 includes a John Grant. I assume James was his father and was dead by then. Source: Freeman's Journal, Nov. 23-Nov. 25, 1786, p.1

1798 shows two pitched battles fought at Dundrum and Holycross between Whiteboy gangs.

The family remaining at Moyaliff changed their religion to Catholic through marriage, perhaps with the marriage of Henry to Mary Gleeson in 1810 (the Catholic records run from 1829, they were certainly Catholic in 1830).

1822 In May 1822 John Maher took a tenancy in the townland of Lisheen from landlord John Lloyd of Lisheen. In July 1822 Maher was targeted for taking up that tenancy. His house was attacked by a gang of about 12 men. They broke the windows, and in the name of "Captain Rock" forced him to open the doors. He and his son were beated and made to kneel and swear at pistol point that they would surrender the farm in 6 days. The code word "Captain Rock" shows that this is a Whiteboyism. Despite this he still appears in the pages of Lisheen in the Tithe Applotment Book of 1827 as "John Maher of the Islands" paying on 32 acres.

1829 several Drumbane and Moyaliff men appeared in court after the murder of Rev John Going in Moyaliff . Rev John Going (b1766) was the incumbent of Moyaliff 1815 until he was shot dead near his Glebe on 23 October 1829 during the Tithe Troubles. Going was returning from the Sessions Court in Thurles and between 6pm and 7pm was shot through the heart near his home. His body fell off his horse, but the horse continued home, and his son found his father dead when he went to look for him. Apparently the Rev Going had been unwilling to compound tithes in his parish on terms offered by his parishioners. £300 was offered, but the tithes were worth £700. He wanted £400. 3 years later 2 men were put on trial, defended by R.L.Sheil (Repeal MP Tipperary, 1833-41) and acquitted.

By 1831 the population of Moyaliff was 3372, and by in 1841 had increased to 3513 in. In 1834 there were 53 Protestants and 3028 Catholics. .

Sometime between 1833 and 1854 Thomas Grant, born Drumbane, Tipperary. Served in 60th Foot Regiment. Discharged aged 41 (WO 97/730/45)

A John Grant of Moyaliff, Co Tipperary joined the Dublin Metropolitan Police on 5 occasions (number 2230, 2443, 3924, 4837, 4847) It is certainly the same man, born 1814 in the records. I have no idea why this happened. It is unusual in DMP records. He is probably the John son of Henry Grant of Lisheen on the tree above.

Moyaliffe House was the "big house" in the area and was owned by the Armstrong family. The Armstrong's had acquired Moyaliffe (formerly Mealiffe) in the 1690s. Eventually the estate was bought by the Land Commission in the 1950s and divided among local farmers. The house itself was sold by the last of the family to live there in 1999.

The 1837 Tithe Commission shows :-

1840 Kilvalure Cemetery. Sacred to the memory of Mary Gleeson alias Grant who departed this life Nov 16th 1840 aged 44 years.She was a virtuous wife a tender mother & a benevolent neighbour, also her son John Grant died 4th June 1826 aged 11 years, also her husband Henry Grant who died May 4th 1848 aged 53 years.

Inscription on stone no 44. Here lies the body of James Grant of Lisheen who departed this life Oct 28th 18?2 aged 45 years.May his ? rest in peace.(will have to check date to see if I can read it)

1841 saw some of the Grants in the area as emigrants to Australia. I came across a web article describing a Christopher Grant, son of Thomas and Ellen Grant of Clonoulty. Chris was born about 1800 around Clonoulty and married Catherine Davoren born 1803 to Daniel Davoren and Ellenor Dwyer. Witnesses to Catherine's birth were Edmund Taylor and Judith English. Witnesses to Cath's sister, Betty Davoren's birth in 1805 were John Griffin and Catherine Dwyer. Later when Christopher Grant and Catherine Davoren were having their own progeny, witnesses to child Mary's birth at Clonross in 11 Sep 1836 were Philip Ryan and Mary Ryan .Witnesses to son, Daniel's birth at Clonross in 10 Aug 1839 were John Griffin and Ellen Dwyer. Online site TIPPEM shows this Grant family emigrating to Australia 25 Oct 1841 on the "Ayrshire" with their 3 children (James, Mary and Daniel) where they found work and settled in the Hunter Valley in NSW. There are a number of variants on the surname "Davoren" like "Davaren", "Daveron" or "Davenham". They worked at Phoenix Park near Morthpeth,East Maitland area, N.S.W. Christopher Grant died two years after arrival and three years later Catherine remarried Daniel Whelan.

James Grant emigrated on the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1841. He was aged 38, from Moyaliffe , son of John Grant and Johanna Maher. His father is listed as being dead. He is travelling with his wife Margaret (daughter of Pierce Dwyer and Ann Mockler, she is aged 36 and is record as "looks much older") and children James,14 and ? erce,13.

1843 rate payers

The 1850 Griffiths Valuation gives five Grant families in the immediate area of Moyaliff:-

Moyaliff 1 family James Grant
Templebeg 2 families Patrick Grant & William
Glenkeen 1 family Mary Grant
Clogher 1 family Anne Grant

Griffiths implies that James is son of "Harry" and held of Captain Penefather a House, office & land at Lisheen (the Penefather's house was at Marlow, about 1.5 miles south of Lisheen

William & Patrick Grant of Parish of Templebeg, townland Atshanboe. Patrick Grant of David Whelpley Lessor 8.5.0. William Grant ditto 4.0.0.
Atshanboe is a small townsland in the backroads of the area of Rossouty.

1851 The Pennefather Estate was sold off in November 1851 as an "unencumbered estate" and has a lot of information on the Grants who held the original leases

1856 Thomas Grant of Drumbane, age 24, parents James & Mary both dead, emigrated to Australia on "Maitland". Cousin cited as George Williams of Pitt St

1858. Daniel and William Cormack from Tipperary were tried and found guilty of the murder of John Ellis, a local land agent in February of 1858. Motivated by growing unease at the convictions and executions, a petition was organized for presentation to Parliament that requested the setting up of an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the conviction of the Cormack Brothers and into the administration of criminal justice in Ireland generally. Among those signing the petition was James Grant of Upperchurch, Michael Grant of Gortnahoe, Patrick Grant of Hollyford and
William Grant of Upperchurch

The Fenian rising took place in 1867. Gortkelly Castle (2 miles from Upperchurch) was raided for arms, and Rosskeen Barracks were burnt. 41 men pleaded guilty of the armed outbreak at Drumbane. Of these 7 received 6 months in gaol, the rest were let off. The area was heavily policed by the RIC after this event.

In 1980 I found Dermot Grant running his own bar at Upperchurch. He was Catholic, and did not know much about the family. He did recall an incident when he thinks they were evicted from their cottage in the 19th century. This cottage was on the site of a newer house, called I believe Lisheen House, (built about 1900, and in 1996 owned by the Quinn family) The fact that James' children Maria, William and Henry all emigrated to the USA between 1863 and 1865 (Maria only being 8 then) shows that the death of their father certainly caused fairly major problems for the family.

The large scale map of Moyaliff House and Lisheen shows Lisheen is just south of Moyaliff

A family story (ref. Mrs Boyland ) tells of her grandmother Maria (see chart above, b 1855) recalling that as a child in Ireland, the family would start out for church together, but her parents would separate and go to different churches because her father, James (b.1817) was not a Catholic. It appears that Henry's wife (Mary Gleeson) was a Catholic by 1830, but Henry remained Protestant. There are Grant gravestones in the Drumbane churchyard to Henry d.1848 and his wife Mary (nee Gleeson) and their son John. In the Roussoult churchyard the memorials are modern ones of Dermot's family. I found no Grant graves at Moyaliff.

Grange is a townland on the eastern side of Holycross parish, and adjoins Moyaliff parish. Gleenkeen is the parish centred on Burrisoleigh, and is within a few miles.


Map of area with Grants marked

Return to the Grants in Tipperary page

From Gearoid Grant "Down at the bottom there is an entry for James Grant married Corr and they had 6 sons. One of those sons was my father Oscar. James was my grandfather. As a young man James moved to Pomeroy in County Tyrone and was the creamery manager there. In 1902 he married Margaret (Maggie) Corr and they had six surviving sons , Hugh Patrick (Pat), Michael John (Jack), Oscar (my father),Herbert, Peter, and Jimmy. In 1923 after partition the family moved to Dublin. It's interesting to see how people moved north and south in the upheavals of the time rather like your grandfather Charles. The move wasn't so great for Margaret , she died in 1924. My grandfather James died in 1937 and they are buried in Dublin. My father Oscar joined the forestry service in 1936 and in 1942 he married my mother Nora O Laoghaire. They had 5 children Margaret b1943 Oscar b1946 Seamas b 1953 another daughter 1955 who died in infancy, and myself 1959."