A quick history of Clerihan
Clerihan got its name from The Cleirchen Clan. In 1088 a battle was fought in Bruee Co. Limerick and after the battle some of the Cleirchen Clan went to Tipperary and established Ballyclerihan, which they held until the coming of the Normans about a hundred years later. The remains of that settlement still exist a mile away from the present village beside the old graveyard. The Mockler family held all the land From Ballyclerihan down to Grangemockler. At that time there was great rivalry between the Butler’s of Ormond and the Mockler’s of Ballyclerihan. In 1517, John Mockler the Lord of Ballyclerihan signed a peace agreement between himself and the Earl of Ormond and Butler the Baron of Cahir. In 1524 the Earl of Ormond was granted most of Lord Mockler’s lands.
Clerihan Parish comprises of the ancient pre-Reformation parishes of New Chapel, Coleman and Ballyclerihan. The old Church ruins and graveyard are situated on elevated ground one mile west of the present village. The new Church was built in 1820 it is situated in the heart of the village and is dedicated to St. Michael. The old Church ruins of Coleman can still be seen and is dedicated to St. Coleman. The old graveyard still exists in New Chapel.
The present village of Ballyclerihan seems to have grown up around the Clonmel-Cashel Road where before the advent of railways Bianconi had a station and stables where he changed his horses. In 1846 the parish of Ballyclerihan had a population of 728 of these 339 were living in the village.
Knockeevan Estate is south east of the village and was once owned by the Pennyfeathers and the Goughs, the house of the estate was unoccupied during the trouble times. The estate fell into disrepair and the land was taken over by the Land Commission and divided.
The garden and front lawn of the estate is now the new Community Field.
The Lodge on the estate which was designed by Tinsley, a famous architect who designed the Main Guard in Clonmel.
The First National School in Clerihan was situated in the Chapel yard and had a thatched roof. A new school was built in 1885 but was completely destroyed by fire in I942. It was replaced by a new school in 1944. The present school was built in 1999.
Clerihan’s place in Tipperary.
Clerihan or Ballyclerihan or Ballyclerahan?
Pinning down the location of a place in Ireland is accomplished by using the major administrative divisions, the first being the county. Counties first began being developed in the 12th century but not all the current counties existed then, and the boundaries of most counties have changed a bit over time.
The next smaller division is the Barony, which is technically obsolete today but holds historical and sept information about a more ancient Ireland. Boundaries of baronies have changed over time and only became more established in the 16th century. It is possible to have a Barony that extends over one or more counties historically.
Poor Law Unions were established in 1838 as districts wherein the inhabitants were to be financially responsible for care of all paupers in that area. It is not used today.
A Civil Parish is almost always based on a more ancient religious parish, but may or [usually] may not have the same boundaries or even the same name as the current religious parish. Most civil parishes have had boundary changes since they were first established in the 17th century, and whole townlands have been moved between civil parishes.
There are two religious parishes historically – A Roman Catholic parish and a Church of Ireland parish. The boundaries can be very different and the boundaries can be very different from those of the civil parish. There is also a diocese identification, which may be different from that of the parishes surrounding a parish.
Ballyclerahan is the version that was used in the “General Alphabetical Index To The Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland” based on the Census of Ireland of 1851.
The State has been using the names shown in this Index for road signs in order to have some standardization. The older name was Ballyclarahan and that got shortened to Clerihan at some point in the last 160 years. If we had enough data points, we might be able to figure out about when people started using the shorter version.
Clerihan has many other far older names, however, and this name is just a point in time for the village and parish. There is no placename nor any surname in Ireland that is sacred as we see it presented today; they have all changed.
The Civil Parish of Ballyclerahan, or Baile ui Chleireachain, is today in the South Riding (S.R.), or the southern part of the County of Tipperary, Barony of Iffa & Offa East, but it was not always so. Over time the parish has been spelled as follows: Ballyclerahan or Ballyclerihan or Ballyclearaghane or Ballycleraghan or Baliclerehan or Balykleachayn or Ballycleraghane or Ballyclyraghan or Ballycliaraghane or Ballycloraghan or Balliclereghan or Ballclerghane or Ballyclearahan or or Ballycleraghand or Ballyclerighan(e) or Bally Clearahane.
The “bally” part of the name is easy as “the home of” or “the place of”. It is the second part of the name that become difficult. Since almost all of the Bally’s are followed by a sept name or a person’s name, or a topographical description, would be that this was the home of a person named something close to “Clerighan”.
The Roman Catholic parish carries some more ancient names: CLERIHAN OR NEWCHAPEL OR AGLISH OR INNEOIN OR INDEOIN ÁINE ALS. NOVA CAPELLA ALS.
BALLYCLERIHAN or Balliclereghan or Ballycleraghane ALS. CLERICHAN OR CLERIN or Clearichanstowne or Cwerehin? also. Balliclerchan
Clerihan RC parish once consisted of the old civil parishes of Ballyclerihan, Newchapel and Colman and part of Donaghmore.
Colman townlands:- Ballincor, Ballinlough, Colman Hennessy [part of it called Ballyhimeen or Ballyhimikin], Colman Cromptmore, Mocklerstown, Rathdrum, [small part of Killerk]
Ballyclerihan townlands:- Ballyclerihan; and a detached part of Ballyclerihan called Killough completely surrounded by Newchapel parish.
Newchapel townlands:- Ballybeg, Ballytarsna, Ballycornane, Barne (demense part), Ballyvaheen, Ballyhimikin, Brunswick, Ballyveelish North, Ballyveelish South, Cruboge, Chancellorstown Upper, Chancellorstown Lower, Drishoge, Graigue (part of it called Poulmucka, and another part called Carpet Lane), Knockeevan (part of it called Darling Hill), Garryndrehid, Lavally Upper, Lavalley Lower, Mylerstown, Mullaghnoney, Newchapel, Orchardstown East, Orchardstown West, Rathaniskey, Rathnalour, Woodroofe (part called Barona, including Barona House). [Small part of Giantsgrave, Rathmasligeen] Note:- Mullaghnoney – part of it is called Springmount.
It is in the Diocese of Cashel & Emly today but more anciently would have been in the Diocese of Cashel. It borders on the Diocese of what is today called the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore, but what once would have been just the Diocese of Lismore. In the early 1600’s it was one of the parishes that comprised the County of Cross, or Cross County, or the lands that belonged directly to the RC church [Towns, Villages and townlands scattered throughout the various parishes of Co. Tipperary whose lands belonged to the religious houses and were dedicated to the Cross of Christ.]. It was included in the cantred of Clonmel.
It is today part of the modern division called Powerstown & Lisronagh RC parish.
The Civil parish is bounded on the North by Mora and Colman parishes; on the East and South by Newchapel alias Aglish; on the West by Abbey of Inishlounagh parish.
The RC parish is bounded by Fethard & Killusty on the North; Powerstown old parish on the East; Clonmel St. Mary’s on the South; on the West it touches a bit of Cahir and a detached part of Clonmel St. Mary’s and on the North-west a detached part of Powerstown old parish.
The parish intrudes into the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore like a peninsula.
Clerihan has twice, at least, been included with the union of Powerstown & Lisronagh, which are in the diocese of Waterford & Lismore – today, and in 1704 the union included Newchapel and Ballyclerahane.
Ballyclerihan is in the Church of Ireland (Protestant) Province of Cashel & Ossory, but the nearest church may have been in Clonmel. This requires some research.
As to the name of the Barony, Iffa & Offa East, Smith says the names are Saxon and that Offa was the last king of Mercia, one of the kingdoms of the Saxon heptarchy. Another guess is that it was named after the two daughters of Eoghan Mór, Aoife and Aobh(a), and he divided his territory between them. In this territory is Indeoin Aine named after their sister.
More likely – Canon Power states that ‘Iffa and Offa’ are the anglicised forms of an ancient tribe name in southern Tipperary. The compound name, Iffa and Offa – Ui Fathadh agus Ui Fothadh is used at present to designate two large baronies distinguished respectively as East and West and containing some of the most fertile land in Ireland – the easterly continuation of the famed Golden Vale’. However the versions Ui Fathadh and Ui Fothadh are in fact an attempt early in this century to reconstruct the original Irish designations but, while well-intentioned, these versions are incorrect. The correct forms, dating from pre-Norman times, designate two Gaelic territories, O Fahaidh in the west and Uibb Eoghain Fhinn, or Uibb Eoghain, in the east. Uibh Eoghain meant the territory of the tribe or sept of Ui Eoghan. This name was subsequently corrupted variously to Ivowening or Ivowen, and more frequently in medieval official documents to Iffowyn. O Fathaidh being corrupted to Offa. Finally it would appear that when two baronies were formed of these territories, they were designated “Iffowynn-Offa, East and West”, the final -ynn of Iffowynn possibly being further corrupted to “and” – hence the exotic but meaningless Iffa and Offa.” (OS says Uibh Fatha, per Keating, was Iffa; supposed to be [incorrectly] the sept name of the O’Meara’s, actually Fahy’s.
In Griffith’s Valuation c. 1654, the civil parish of Ballyclerihan
consisted of two townlands – Ballyclerahan and Killock. This link here will take you to a list of records of people recorded in “Ballyclerahan” in 1654.
Some of the Surnames recorded in Griffiths Valuation of 1654 in Ballyclerahan
AYLWARD; BARRETT; BATES; BEARABS; BIANCONI; BREWTON; BRITTON; BROGHAN; BYRNE; CANTWELL; CARTHY/CARTY; CASEY; CAWDY; CLEARY; CONDON; CONNORS; COONEY; CRADDOCK; CUDDIHY; CULLINAN; DARCY; DEEVES; DONNELL; DUGGAN; DUNLEA; DWYER; EGAN; ENGLISH; FITZGERALD; FLANNERY; FOLEY; GORMAN; GREENE; GRIFFIN; HANLEY; HARTE; HASSETT; HAYDEN; HAYES; HOLMES; KEANE; KEATING; KEEFE; KELLY; KENNEDY; LAMBERT; LONG; LOUGHMAN; MAHER; MAXEY; McGRATH; MORRIS; MULCAHY; NASH; O’DELL; O’NEIL; PERKINS; POWER; QUINN; RICHARDSON; ROURKE; RYAN; SCHOLFIELD; SHEEHAN; SHINE; SLATTERY; SMITH; STACK; TOBIN; TOOMEY; TREHY; WALL; WATERS; WHITE; WILEY
In Pender’s Survey in 1659 is shown Ballyclerihan or Bally Clearahane parish in Iffa & Offa Barony.
The land areas in Ballyclerihan parish in the Barony of Iffa & Offa in the Civil Survey c. 1654 were: Ballycleraghane (castle site); Ballybeg (Mocler) or Ballybegmocler; Ballycornane; Milerstowne (glebe lands); Mylerstownbeg or Mylerstownebegg; Garryndrehid, a parcel of Oldgraig; Glaunychireene; Moclerstowne (in Middlethird); Laffally is a parcel of Ballyclerihan in Newchapel. From the Meares & Bounds of the Barony of Middlethird in the Civil Survey: p/o this parish is in Middlethird Barony.
The Religious Census of 1766 only referenced Clerahan Parish with 4 protestant and 31 Catholic [Papist] families:
Tim Ryan. Elder
In the Tithes for 1831 only the townland of Ballyclerahan was referenced.
The Surnames recorded in 1831 are
AYLWARD; BARRET; BATES; CAREW; CARTY; CONDON; CUDDIHY; DANIEL; DONNEL; DORCY; DUGAN; ENGLISH; FITZGERALD; FLANNERY; GORMAN; HACKET; HOWLEY; LOCKWOOD; MAGRATH; MANSERGH; MANY; RICHARDSON; RYAN; SLATTERY; TOBIN; TOOMY; TREEHY
In 1840, Ballyclerahan parish had a detached part called Killough [Killock] that was completely surrounded by Newchapel parish.
Townlands shown in Petty’s : Ballyclearaghan; Mocklerstown.
The modern division of Powerstown & Lisronagh RC parish is made up of no fewer than seven ancient parishes: Kilgrant, Kiltegan, Rathronan (in two parts), Lisronagh, Donoghmore, Baptistgrange (in two parts), Mora, and a small particle of Clonmel. The civil or ancient parishes in question, minus Kilgrant, seem to have stood united as at present including Ballyclerahan, over two hundred years ago.
The ancient parishes of Kiltinan, Coolmundry and Peppardstown, once united with Clerahan, were detached from Clerihan and attached to the new Cloneen & Killusty, which was short-lived; they are now separate parishes. Kiltinan was once a Borough and a Manor and a Barony.
Rootsweb has a genealogy list for Co. Tipperary and it is free to subscribe and ask questions. You are most welcome to join. Using this link, you can subscribe or search the archives of the list for your surnames. The archives include the baptisms and marriages for Clerihan:
Below are reference’s to Clerihan or Ballyclerihan in historical documents including the Patent Rolls of James I and Chancery Inquisitions:
Patent Rolls of James I:
. 17 Apr, 11 Jas. I. King’s letter for a surrender & regrant of the manor of Knockanomoy [Knockeevan, Clerihan, Darling Hill] to Piers Butler of same, Co. Cross Tipp; also to appoint him to some place of command or magistracy & to countenance him against the injuries of his neighbours who are inclined to oppress him on account of his religion. p. 251
. 30 June, 21st. Pardon for Peter Butler of Knocknanimy [darling Hill Clerihan] who by deed dated 20 June 1613 granted to Laurenece Baron 5a great country measure of same lands subject to redemption.
. 3 July 22nd. Pardon to Thomas Butler of Drishoge [in Clerihan], Co Cross. Tipp, who being seised in fee, aliened Drishoge, 2a. g.m. by deed of 20 Sept. 1622 to James White Fitz Rbt subject to redemption.
Part of the Will of 1769. Will of John Max of Killough made 30 Aug 1769: Codicial 10th Sept 1769. Probate 1st Dec 1769: “…To Thos Lamphier of Parkstown in trust for my son James Max & heirs, he leaves lands of Dogstown & Farrenbyny & their sub denominations held by me on lease of 3 lives renewable for ever; lands of Farnshare & Carran [Cashel] held for remainder of a term of 41 years; lands of Ballyclerahan held for remainder of a term of 31 years; lands of Boyceland held on lease of 3 lives…” – Memorials of the Dead
Part of the Will of 1777. Will of Thos Max of Killough -made 14 Mar 1777. Codicil.:
“…Edm Bray & his heirs, son of Mrs Mary Bray, to have profits of Carrow subject to £21p.a willed to Mrs Mary Bray, by my brother James Max. Sister, Mary Max, willed farms of Ballyhowlahan, Synone, Ballyclerahan, Ballyfowloo, Glenbane, house in Cork City & mortgages of £280 on lands of Nodstown from Simon Foulkes, when she reaches age 18 & if she has children, the 2nd son & his issue, to have Gaile; the 3rd son & his issue to have Dogstown & Farranlyn; 4th son & his issue to have Dogastown & Farranlyny, 4th son & his heirs to have Boyceland with remainder in case of default of issue to said sons to their right heirs…” – Memorials of the Dead
Richard Pennefather Esq, one of the Barons of Her Majesty’s Court of Exchequer in Ireland; Born 25th August 1773; died 7th August 1859 at Darling Hill, Clerihan after a few days illness; buried at Cahir Old Church. – Memorials of the Dead
Patrick Keating of Springmount, Clerihan was a member of the Liberal Club of Thurles in 1828. – Callanan Mss National Library
In January, 1559, Pat. Sherloke Esq., of Clerihan was shown in the Parliamentary Register of the Commons, Co. of Tipperary. – Skehan papers National Library
Lockwood William 1799 Tipperary Clerihan
This Will was also filed in Co. Tipperary
Tipperary Intestate Estates:
Carelton Richard 16/4/1682 Knockananna in Clerihan Ellinor, his widow
Jul;y 18, 1698 Daniel, Terence, of Ballincorr [Clerihan] gent – to Honora Daniel als Walsh, the widow and relict. Pg. 74
Clerihan people who married outside the parish:
In Killenaule & Moyglass:
February 16, 1835 William Slattery of Clerihan m. Margaret Ryan of Ballaghbue
In New Inn:
February 18, 1828 Michael Flannery of Clerihan, farmer, m. Margaret Browne of Knockgraffon
February 5, 1829 James Shea of Clerihan m. Alice Connell of new Inn
November 24, 1835 David Burke of Clerihan m. Grace Fitzpatrick of New Inn
January 31, 1839 Michael English of Clerihan m. Elizabeth Tobin of New Inn
February 5, 1839 Lawrence Carthy of Clerihan m. Ellen Hackett of New Inn
June 21, 1842 Geoffrey Morris of Clerihan m. Catherine Lonergan of Knockgraffon
August 3, 1861 Michael Heffernan of Ballyduagh m. Alice Larkin of Ballycornane, Clerihan
John Thomas Meldycott of Newport Pratt, Co. Mayo, and afterwards of Rocketts’ Castle, (son of Thomas John Meldycott of Newport Pratt, son of Thomas Meldycott of Binfield, Berks and after, of Dublin who got grants of lands in Co. Kilk. and Tipp. and Watr. from Duke of Ormond, and purchased lands in Co. Mayo from Earl of Arran). John Thomas m. 21 June 1787, Elizabeth, only d. of Wm Lockwood of Clerihan Castle, Co. Tipp. and d. 25 April 1827, leaving 4ds and a son, Rev John Thomas, who m. 1820, Mary d. of Ambrose Usher Congreve of Mt Congreve, Co. Watr.
1578 March 20. Inq. at Clonmell before Nich. Wailsh, Esq. 20 March, 20 Eliz.
The town of Gortnefaghe, Farehountie & Rathdrome [part of Clerihan] – 2a called 2 burgess acres in English, which are & were parcel of possessions of said abbey of St. John, Dublin, lately suppressed & 2a. are now in possessions of Redmund Moclere of Rathdrome, gent
1639. Oct., 26. Inq. at city of Cashel before Phillipp Percivall, knight etc.:
Edmond Butler, late of Mullaghinony [in Clerihan] was seised in fee of castle vill and lands of Mullaghelneoney and Ballygarneene -1 carucate & 5a ; 1a and 1 stang in Newchapple, and this latter he granted to his son and heir John Butler. Edmond Butler died 12 years ago. John Butler is his son and heir and was of full age and married. Ballygormeene held by King in Capite by Kt service. Unknown of whom rent was held.
1640. May 7. Inq. at city of Cashel before Philip Percivall knight:
Walter Butler of Rathcaskane [in Clerihan] was seised in fee of hamlet and lands of Rathcaskane, Rathmolower and Old Grange -4a. measure of country. He died 11 years ago. Thomas Butler is his son and heir, of full age and married. Rathcascane is held & manor & Rathronan by suit of court and an annual rent. Of whom rent was held, jurors know not.
1664. April 11. Inq. at Cashel before William Meade etc.
Patrick Sherlock was possessed of the town and land of Ballclerghane, which were sequestered and are in possession of Alexander Bence. It contained 561 acres- Barony of Iffa and Offa, parish of Ballyclerihan.
Peter Butler was seised of town and lands & Ballyhingkine [in Clerihan]-140, acres in parish of Newchapple, Barony of Iffa andOffa. They were sequestered.
Inquisition at Cashel, taken 1st May XXXVII Elizabeth  before Anthony Harpenny and another – found that John Sherlock of Ballyclerihan, Co. Cross Tipp. died the last day of June 1586, seised in fee of will and lands of Ballichearaghane containing a castle, 10? cottages and one? carucate of land, held of the Queen by what tenure the jurors known not. His son and heir is Patrick Sherlock, aged 30 (or 3) and unmarried. [An Exchg Inq. 2 Jan. 1596/7 (p. 69f) says that John Sherlock died 25th May 1587. Patk. his son and heir was aged 11; Ellicia Butler, John’s widow had again married – Edw. Gough of Clonmel].
16 James I . June 9. Inquisition at Clonmel before Lawrence Pariour and others.
Jurors say that Richard Walle late of Maganstowne [Clerihan], Co. Tipp, was seised in fee of Castle, t. & l. of Maganstone alias Ballymagan – containing 12a. great measure of the country, and being so seised, was adjudged a convict on 30th August, 14 James I , at Clonmel, by virtue of whose attainder, said premises were escheated and came in King’s hands, said Richard Walle was seised of the premises by [a descease of ?] a disseison made on Edmund Walle, cousin of said Richard and son and heir apparent of Phillip Walle, brother of said Rd. Walle; and said Philip Walle died seised of the premises before the said disseison. (pp. 109) [See Unpublished Geraldine Documents No. 4, p. 121]
. 21 James I April 10. Inq. at Cashel, Co.Cross, Tipp. before John Southwell & others.
Jurors find:- Peter Butler of Knocknanyny, [Knockeevan?, Clerihan] in Co.Cross was seised in fee of 50a. [great measure] in Knocknanyny. By his Charter, dated 20 June 1617, in consideration of £100 (licence of the King not obtained), enfeoffed Lawrence Baron of Clonmel, his heirs & assigns, on condition that wherever Peter, his heirs or assigns pay to Lar Barren his heirs or assigns, £100, it will be lawful for them to re-enter the premises.
1636. April 8th. Henry Mockler Fitz John of Ballycurrine in Co. Cross Tipp, [Ballycurrane, Clerihan] was seised in fee of 3½ a. said measure in Ballycurrin; ¼ colpe Farranolly. He died 50 years ago. Edmond Mockler is his son and of full age. How premises were held jurors know not.
Book of Settlement & Distribution:
1668. Lands granted to Protestant Archbishop of Cashel:- Ballyclerihan & part of Killock 606 acres ; Ballybeg, 78a. (Clerihan) ; Drishoge (Clerihan), 102a; Rathnalour (Clerihan), 49a ; part of Mullaghnony (Clerihan) 199 a. all in Barony of Iffa & Offa. Also Ballinorinan [Ballynoran], 199a; Duncomine, 290 a. (Emly parish) ; Ballyroe & Ballyganagh, 223 a. [Emly] ; Clonmelontan [Kilmiclon Par..] 41 a. – all in Barony of Clanwilliam. Ballynafohorrum in Middlethird Barony, 165a.
In 1431, the Prebend of Merton included Mora and Moorstown in Clerihan in the Diocese of Lismore. The situation of Mora, Inishlaunaght and Clonmel St. Mary’s are complex, and most people living there actually attended other parish churches including Clerihan.
With thanks to Janet Crawford for providing a huge amount of information.
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