Thank you to Len and Ron for all that you share with us.

I greatly appreciate the snippets from past records. In this case, Ron has given us a good reflection from our distance.

The Ordnance Survey writer could only share /his opinions/ and is always writing for a particular audience. It is a /Statistical /memoir, as he sees things from his position. I imagine his surprise if he knew many of the same /people /would shortly be in a new land, progressive community members, building fine homes and businesses (always upgrading as means allowed), and an integral part of church and community.

Susan Black

On 2018-10-26 5:50 AM, Ron McCoy via CoTyroneList wrote:

Hi Len and all

Thank you Len for sharing this with all of us. I read this and many other pieces of history. I  notice the trend through out of the lack of mention of positive attributes of the common people. Empathy for another human being is completely devoid in these reports. The time period scribes never seems to mention how hard working these people are, how close knit the families be, the way communities work together or the weight of unfair and unjust economic burdens they struggle under and still survive and more they insist on  thriving in the face of great adversity. I think these Ordinances  are important pieces of history not as much about what they report or say on the surface to  us  but because they tell us a lot about the writer and the class structure he dwells in. It seems important to him to paint a portrait of the Irish working class people at a level of sub human strata (you may see pigs and fowls eating in the kitchen and everything is dirty ). The considerable hardships people are forced to live in are justified because of their moral depravity, "49th: It is believed that there is at least an improvement in the morals and cleanliness of children attending Sunday Schools". This article to me paints a picture of a people who are brave in the face of over whelming poverty, and unjust taxation without representation overseen by  absentee land lords. It speaks to me of a devotion to preserve the family and traditions at all costs. As people who are forced to struggle, their hope lies in their children and their children's, children, in other words "us". They would not allow themselves to quit, be broken, or trodden under, despite the written word, legal system and their betters opinion. They refused to think of themselves as less then any mans equal. They put all their hopes in the generations to come, they sacrificed everything to bring "us" into a safer , a better place... may we not let them down, may we never forget who they were and what they sacrificed for ,"us", for ,"me". What they did was not easy and it was not pretty but they did it, a better world for us, those like us, those like them and those still to come. May we be able to say the same.... Thank you Len for bringing these pieces of history to us.


Ron McCoy

On 2018-10-25 10:20 PM, Gail Mooney via CoTyroneList wrote:
Thanks Len - Even knowing the history of those hard times, this piece paints a pretty grim picture of the environments our people endured as they struggled to survive. I imagine depression was common in the population - reminds me to be more grateful for my lucky circumstances.
*From: *"Len Swindley via CoTyroneList" <>
*To: *
*Cc: *"Len Swindley" <>
*Sent: *Thursday, October 25, 2018 7:02:19 PM
*Subject: *[CoTyroneMailingList] Observations on the Inhabitants of Clogher Parish, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland 1833-5

Hello Listers;

There has been recent interest expressed in the lives of our Tyrone forbears (thanks to Elwyn) and here is an extract from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of the 1820s-30s that offers some observations on living conditions in Clogher parish. Having read through many of the memoirs covering the parishes of Co. Tyrone, this report could be applied similarly to all parishes.

Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia





42nd: There is very little order, cleanliness, or neatness in general to be found either in the houses or of the more wealthy farmers or in the cottages of the poor. The turf stack often approaches within a few yards of the door and thus intersects the view and stops the currency of the air. The yard in front of the house is full of the odour of the cow house and stable, for they are often built in the very front and sometime adjoining the dwellinghouse. The lanes and approaches to the house are narrow, rough and filthy in the extreme. Within no order is visible; you may see pigs and fowls eating in the kitchen and everything is dirty and confused, the furniture a few pots and noggins, a stool or a broken chair. The potatoes at meals are thrown out in a basket and so laid on the table or on a stool, and the whole family gather round, master, mistress, children and servants in a mass, and eat out of the basket without knife, fork or any appendage at meals. A man who can give his daughter in marriage 50 or 100 pounds will live in this manner. But this is not universally the case: sometimes everything is seen comfortable, neat and clean, both within and without the farmhouse, the furniture good and decent, the kitchen neatly tiled, the outside of the house well whitewashed and thatched, the yard and lanes about the house in good repair and clean. It is, however, to be regretted that very few instances occur where this order and decency is observed.


44th: Potatoes and milk is the general food of the farmers of this barony, for breakfast, dinner and supper during 9 months of the year. This is sometimes varied by a bit of bacon for dinner, sometimes butter and oaten bread or eggs are added to the potatoes for dinner. In 3 of the summer months when potatoes begin to fail, stirabout or flummery is substituted for potatoes, for breakfast or supper.

45th: The same report will serve for the manufacturing class and tradespeople.

46th: Potatoes and milk, or when milk grows scarce potatoes or herrings, or potatoes and salt is almost the only food of the poor inhabitants during the entire year. Occasionally a little stirabout is added for supper or breakfast in the summer months.


47th: There is certainly a general desire of instruction in all classes of the people, both Protestants and Roman Catholics. The poor are anxious to teach their children reading, writing and arithmetic, and although the facilities for the education of the Roman Catholics is not so great as for the Protestants, being hindered by their priests from attending Sunday and other schools, yet there is certainly a desire in the minds even of the Roman Catholics for the education of their children.

48th: The children of the poor pay for their education according to the following rates: for spelling and reading, for writing for arithmetic, for book-keeping [blank]

49th: It is believed that there is at least an improvement in the morals and cleanliness of children attending Sunday Schools. They are not permitted to attend unless they are clean and they are expelled if any gross immorality be committed. It is also hoped that there is in the inhabitants in general, a greater respect for the laws, fewer quarrels and less fighting than formerly

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