Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Forster (Blake Forster)

The Forster family were of English origin who first acquired property in Galway in the 1640s. The progenitor of the family in county Galway was Francis Forster who was the son of Thomas Forster of Hunsdon, Hertfordshire. He obtained the Clooneene/Ashfield property by Royal grant from Charles II dated 18 Aug 1677 and chose to live there from then on. Francis married Mary O'Donnellan, daughter of Sir James O'Donnellan. The family also had houses at Rathorpe and later at Fiddaun as well as in county Clare in the parishes of Kilfenora and Drumcreehy. Francis Forster, who inherited the estate in 1752, married Anastasia Blake of Menlough and the family became known as Blake-Forster. The estate at Ashfield passed from the Blake Forster family in the 1830s. The Abbeyknockmoy estate situated in the baronies of Tiaquin and Athenry, county Galway, also belonged to the Blake Forsters. Samuel Lewis writing in the 1830s refers to a grant of Abbeyknockmoy by James I to Valentine Blake in 1629. This estate of almost 4,000 acres was offered for sale in Oct 1851. A newspaper cutting with the rental in the National Archives records the purchase of the unsold portions of the estate by Dominick Donnellan and Richard C. McNevin, a relative and agent to the Blake Forsters. By the time of Griffith's Valuation, a few years later, Donnellan and McNevin's purchases were in the possession of Martin J. Blake of Ballyglunin and James Thorngate. In the 1870s Captain Francis Blake Forster owned 3,593 acres in county Galway and 1,308 acres in county Clare, while Robert Blake Forster of Corofin, county Clare, owned 572 acres in county Galway. In 1906 Marcella Blake Forster owned over 250 acres of untenanted land and a mansion house at Corr, in the barony of Longford. An offer from the Congested Districts Board on a small acreage owned by Miss M. L. Forster was accepted sometime after 1909. see /www.celticcousins.net/ireland/kilmacduagh.htm. For McNevin and Blake Forster marriage see http://www.irelandoldnews.com/Clare/1813/MAY.html

Houses

Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Ashfield House Ashfield Demesne Beagh Gort Beagh 98 Kiltartan Galway OSI Ref: R 436972
OS Sheet: 128
Discovery map: 52
Rosepark House Derry Beagh Gort Beagh 98 Kiltartan Galway OSI Ref: R429967
OS Sheet: 128
Discovery map: 52
Castle Lodge/Fiddane House Fiddaun Beagh Gort Beagh 98 Kiltartan Galway OSI Ref: R404950
OS Sheet: 128
Discovery map: 52
Hermitage or Neptune Tawnagh West Kinvarradoorus Gort Doorus 103 Kiltartan Galway OSI Ref: M334123
OS Sheet: 112
Discovery map: 52
Culliagh North [Knockmoy Abbey] Culliagh North Abbeyknockmoy Tuam Abbey West 188 Tiaquin Galway OSI Ref: M500432
OS Sheet: 58
Discovery map: 46
Corr Lodge/Corr House Corr Kilmalinogue Portumna Kilmalinoge 181 Longford Galway OSI Ref: M860094
OS Sheet: 118
Discovery map: 53
Ballykeel Ballykeel South Kilfenora Ennistimon Kilfenora 49 Corcomroe Clare OSI Ref: R177 948
OS Sheet: 9
Discovery map: 51
Rathorp Attyslany North Kilkeedy Corrofin Boston 13 Inchiquin Clare OSI Ref: R402 972
OS Sheet: 11
Discovery map: 52

Archival sources

  • Encumbered Estates' Court Rentals (O'Brien), Knockmoy-abbey estate, 7 Oct 1851, Vol 11, MRGS 39/004 (microfilm copy in NUIG) ; National Archives of Ireland
  • Rental of the Blake-Forster estates in Cos Galway & Clare. Gordon Presentment No 215; National Archives of Ireland
  • Pedigree of Forster of Esker and Ardroe, Co Galway, c 1650- c 1750. GO MS 93, 88-89; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of Foster and Blake Foster of Co Galway & Co Roscommon, c 1650- c 1850. GO MS 93, 84-87; National Library of Ireland
  • Lease by Francis Blake Foster of Foster Park, Salthill, Co Galway to Eleanor Corcoran, Elizabeth Martyn and others of a plot of land in Galway town, 10 Sept 1859. D.11,090; National Library of Ireland
  • Copy of royal licence to Robert Blake Foster of Knockmoy, county Galway to take name and arms of Blake, 16 Feb 1847. GO MS 152: 33-34; National Library of Ireland
  • Copy of grant of arms to Robert Blake Foster of Knockmoy on assuming name and arms of Blake, in obedience to an injunction of Dame Mary Blake. GO MS 107: 360-361; National Library of Ireland
  • Newscuttings about Knockmoy Abbey, collected by Charles French Blake Forster, 1871. MS 18,266; National Library of Ireland
  • Copy lease of Galway properties, Capt Francis Blake Forster to Michael Henessey, 13 Aug 1881. 999/390/14/1; National Archives of Ireland
  • Encumbered Estates Court Rental, Blake Forster, 7 Oct 1851, baronies of Tiaquin, Athenry & Galway. M24,254; Galway County Library
  • Specification of works on Kinvarra Harbour, Blake Forster estate, 1891. Ms.41550. ; National Library of Ireland
  • Irish Tourist Association File, Parish of Kilfenora, Clare North 9.; Clare County Library
  • Rental Account Book for the Blake Forster estate, Ballykeale, County Clare, 1925-1933. McMahon Collection, IE CLCCA/PP/EST/1/1102; Clare County Archives

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources