Landed Estates
University of Galway

Martin (Ballynahinch)

A branch of the Anglo Norman family of Martin, one of the Tribes of Galway, was granted the O'Flaherty lands in the Connemara region in the mid 17th century. This family were a junior branch of the Martins of Ross and under the Acts of Settlement were granted vast estates in counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Clare and Sligo. By a patent dated 1698 they were confirmed in the possession of their Connemara estate known as the Manor of Claremount by King William. The Westport Estate Papers document the sale of over 27,000 acres in the baronies of Moycullen and Ballynahinch by the trustees for the sale of Colonel John Browne's estate to John Edwards for Richard Martin in 1699. The early generations of Martins lived at Birch Hall and Dangan, in the townland of Oranhill, parish of Rahoon, near Galway city. Richard Martin, better known as 'Humanity Dick', was the first member of the family to be reared as a Protestant. He was a famous duellist and founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ballynahinch Castle was built in the centre of his estate. His son Thomas Martin died in 1847 during the Famine and Thomas's only daughter and heir, Mary Laetita, inherited a heavily encumbered estate. She married her cousin, Arthur Gonne Bell, and died in New York in 1850. The Martin estates were offered for sale in two sections in 1849. Their property close to Galway town included Dangan, Corcullen, Bushypark and Killeen. Their Connemara estate was acquired by the Law Life Assurance Society in 1852, to whom it was heavily mortgaged. In 1853 the estate of almost 200,000 acres was surveyed by Thomas Colville Scott for a prospective buyer. Richard Martin, second son of Richard 'Humanity Dick' Martin of Ballynahinch, is recorded as holding five townlands in the parish of Killannin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, at the time of Griffith's Valuation although he emigrated to Canada in 1833. He was also recorded as the occupier of Clareville, a Martin home in the village of Oughterard. Many of his descendants still reside in Canada.


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Ballynahinch Castle Ballynahinch Moyrus Clifden Bencorr 32 Ballynahinch Galway OSI Ref: L763 472
OS Sheet: 36
Discovery map: 44
Garroman Lodge Garroman Moyrus Clifden Moyrus 35 Ballynahinch Galway OSI Ref: L830467
OS Sheet: 37
Discovery map: 44
Clareville House Claremount Kilcummin Oughterard Oughterard 170 Moycullen Galway OSI Ref: M113 426
OS Sheet: 54
Discovery map: 45
Srue Srue Kilcummin Oughterard Wormhole 171 Moycullen Galway OSI Ref: M183 407
OS Sheet: 55
Discovery map: 45

Archival sources

  • Encumbered Estates’ Court Rentals (O’Brien), Martin, 14 July 1852, Vol 17, MRGS 39/008, (microfilm copy in NUIG); National Archives of Ireland
  • Westport Estate Papers, Collection List 78; National Library of Ireland
  • Deeds, wills and other papers, include references to Eyre and O'Flaherty families, 17th-19th centuries. D.20,511-20,550; D.23,699-23,737; M.2428-2433; M.2782-2784; M.3438a-3472; M.5894-5929; T.14,105-14,112; T.11,496-11,499; National Archives of Ireland
  • Copies of census returns relating to the Martin family of Cos Galway & Sligo, 1851. M5249(49-50); National Archives of Ireland
  • Coloured maps re rental of the Galway estates of the late Thomas Barnewell Martin, 1849. 14.A.4; National Library of Ireland
  • Printed genealogy of Martin of Ballinahinch, 1653-1904 and various draft trees of Martin. GO MS 813: 22; National Library of Ireland
  • Includes 2 views of Ballynahinch, 1806. MS 3650; National Library of Ireland
  • Copy of confirmation of arms to descendants of Richard Martin of Ballinahinch, 30 Nov 1905. GO MS 111: 175-176; National Library of Ireland
  • Edgeworth Papers, including correspondence re the Martins and a tour of Connemara in 1834, 1813-1852. MS 8145; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of Martin of Rahone, Co Galway, c 1500-1735. GO MS 161: 39-40; National Library of Ireland
  • Printed proclamation re the murderers of the son of Richard Martin of Birchall, Co Galway, 10 Oct 1707. Z.1.1.13; Marsh's Library
  • Petition of A.Martin of Birchall, for a licence to carry arms, 1711. Ms.23.2.6; Marsh's Library
  • Pedigree of Martin of Dangan, Co Galway, c 1600-c 1750. GO MS 161: 98; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of Martin of Ross and Dangan, Co Galway, c 1580-c 1830. GO MS 170: 89-90; National Library of Ireland
  • Corporation of London Records: Irish Society. Particulars of Martin estate to be sold at the London Auction Mart, 7-11 Aug 1849, with notice that Ballynahinch Castle offered accommodation to persons viewing the estate, 1849. CLA/049/AD/06/002 ; London Metropolitan Archives: city of London
  • Encumbered Estates Court Rental, Martin, 7 Aug 1849 (1st section), Galway town & barony of Moycullen. M24,258; Galway County Library
  • Encumbered Estates Court Rental, Martin, 14 July 1852, Connemara estates. Photocopy; Galway County Library
  • Encumbered Estates Court Rental, Martin, 8 & 9 Aug 1849 (2nd section), barony of Moycullen. Photocopy; Galway County Library
  • Lease of large amount of land around Galway city, including Spiddle, Corcullen and Knockbane, for one year, Richard Martin of Dublin to Dalys of Loughrea & Calla and George Blake, 1 Aug 1751. D26,422; National Library of Ireland
  • Rental of Martin estate for sale by auction at the Mart, London, (1st section of 1,570 acres mainly in or near the town of Galway and 2nd section of 97,699 acres in the barony of Moycullen), 7 Aug 1849. Sp Col 247; James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Ballynahinch press cuttings. 022/008; Irish Architectural Archive
  • Clareville photos. 022/025; Irish Architectural Archive
  • O'Connor & Dudley, solicitors' collection, genealogy of Martin family of Ballinahinch Castle. Small Accs. Index 66, T.2925; National Archives of Ireland
  • Copy of grant of arms to Arthur Gonne Bell of Brook Lodge, Co. Mayo and to his about to be taken wife, Mary Letitia Martin, daughter and heir of Thomas Barnwall Martin of Ballinahinch Castle, Co. Galway on their assuming under Royal Licence the name and arms of Martin, Oct. 8, 1847. Genealogical Office: Ms.107, pp.374-5; National Library of Ireland
  • Copy of royal licence to Arthur Gonne Bell of Brooke Lodge in Co. Mayo and Mary Letitia Martin that they may, after the solemnization of their marriage, take the name and bear the arms of Martin, Sept. 15, 1847. Genealogical Office: Ms.152, pp.55-7 ; National Library of Ireland

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources