Some weeks or months ago, I had given a fieldpapers map to a neighbour who lives in Carrigeen (Parish of Rathcool). He had met me before, which really seems to be essential, because sending out letters to neighbours I’m unbeknownst to, asking for contributions has yielded nothing so far. He stayed in contact though and it was definitely worth the wait, because he dropped by today with over 40 names! He had talked to his neighbours and asked for their fieldnames, which for above reason makes a lot of sense. And there were some really interesting ones among them. Lets start with the ones that relate to the townlands’ names:
Carrigeen & Kilderry
Carrigeens is a large field north of the stream that runs from Johnswell through Carrigeen and Sandfordscourt and might be called Abha Bhuí. Carrigeens, of course, means “little rocks”. Just south of that stream is another field called The Rock Field, which he says gave its name to the townsland. If we move to Kilderry (“Church of the Oak Grove”) then, there are the Far Derries and the Near Derries. Around this area of Kilderry, Carrigeen, Sandfordscourt and Cramersgrove, there are still quite a few oak trees growing. The church in Kilderry is long gone, according to Canon Carrigan knocked by the priest on site in 1848 to build his house (Carrigan III, 281). Classy. However, the Near Church Meadow and the Far Church Meadow serve as reminders. There is also an obliterated graveyard. O’Kelly has them as just “Church Meadow”. He names the above mentioned fields as “Far Doires” and “Near Doires” which is closer to the Irish, I guess.
My informant had been given fieldpapers maps, as usual, but he gathered information from beyond what was shown on the map, so one of his neighbours in Kilderry drew him a map by hand. The feature my informant was most interested in is a hill called “Butler’s Hill” across the road from the Pond Field. He asked me to tell him, if I found out more. I couldn’t find anything in O’Kelly’s book, but Canon Carrigan mentions that Kilderry was “part of the Ormonde possessions in 1550” (III, 281). That had been my suspicion from the start, especially when you remember the “Purcell’s Kill” in Gortlug, where the Purcells owned land just about that long ago. My informant says there haven’t been any Butlers neither for miles around nor for decades. So this is a pretty strong hypothesis.
There are really only two Irish names surviving. O’Kelly had a few more for Carrigeen, but there is more of Carrigeen unmapped, so they could be from there. Also, my Irish isn’t good enough to translate them into English, not all of them anyway. The one Irish name in Carrigeen is Gort na Haun which is of course a phonetic spelling for Gort na hAbhann (?), but the field also goes under the name of River Field, which would be the translation. The other one is “Páirc na coinín” in Kilderry, the Rabbits’ Field, because “it used to be full of rabbits” (informant).
It was really great to listen to the informant about how his father used to plough the fields for the Lynch family and how his mum would send him with a flask of cold tea to whatever field they were making hay in. Because he remembers the names from when he was “only a young lad”, so about 45-50 years ago. It’s a pity I can’t ask anyone in on a cup of tea at the moment.