WHO LIVED WHERE c. 1850 - 2000


I would like to acknowledge my huge debt to the pioneering work done in this area by two local men. Eddie Boylan's notebooks are a treasure trove of local lore, national news and ancient knowledge. They are crying out to be edited professionally and brought to wider attention. My heartfelt thanks to Tommy Murphy from Ballycarnan who kindly granted me access to his late father's archive. Again, proper editing and publication are the very least this substantial work deserves. Eddie Boylan (1906-86) and Thomas P. 'Tommy' Murphy (1919-1995) are the true pathfinders. I am only trotting after them.

Thanks to everyone who trusted me with invaluable family documents, tolerated my incessant queries, or helped me in any way. Such was the generosity of so many people that, for much of the time, my job was simply to transcribe.

Thanks, too, to everyone who told me stories I couldn't use this time. The one, for instance, about the land-grabbing dynasty whose every descendant was cursed to be born with a tail. Or the local patriot who disguised himself as a woman to seduce a Black and Tan..... The man who brought his wife's coffin on an ass-and-cart from Kilkenny to Dysart.... The Whitefoot who injured himself while escaping from Maryborough Jail and hid in a cornfield, only to be discovered when someone noticed that he had eaten a patch all around him. Or the 'cow doctor' who could have saved a man from being transported to Van Diemen's Land but did not. For the rest of his life he was followed by a shining light....


Interviews with local people

Unpublished Notebooks. Eddie Boylan. In Laois County Library Headquarters, Portlaoise.

Our Heritage: Portlaoise of Yesteryear. Unpublished manuscript by Thomas P. Murphy.

A Handlist of the Voters of Maryborough, 1760

Pigot's Provincial Directory of Ireland, 1824

The Tithe Applotment Books, 1826

Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837

The Freeman's Journal Online Archive

The Irish Times Online Archive

A List of Persons Who Have Obtained Licenses to Keep Arms, 1844

Isaac Slater's Directory of Ireland 1846, 1856, 1870, 1881, 1894

Griffith's Primary Valuation of Ireland. Carried out in Maryborough 1851-52

Griffith's Valuation: The Cancellation Books. Updated periodically to reflect changes in ownership and occupancy.

Thom's Directory of Ireland. Various years

Census of Ireland 1901 & 1911

The Leinster Express. On microfilm in the Local Studies section of the library in County Hall.

The Nationalist. On microfilm in the Local Studies section of the library in County Hall.

Survey of Architectural Heritage of Portlaoise. Compiled and recorded by Lotts Architecture and Urbanism for Laois Co. Council supported by the Heritage Council. December 2008