Landed Estates
NUI Galway

McDermott (Springfield)


Name Description
McDermott (Springfield) According to William Keaveney this estate in the parish of Templetogher, barony of Ballymoe, county Galway, was a Kelly property in the late 18th century. William Kelly had two daughters who married Owen McDermott and Glasgow Connolly respectively. Owen McDermott was granted Springfield in a deed of settlement. However in the mid 19th century following legal proceedings the estate was divided between the McDermotts and the Connollys. William McDermott, son of Owen, built the town of Williamstown. Both parts of the estate were offered for sale in the early 1860s. The Connolly moiety of the estate was bought by William Johnston, a Dublin solicitor, who was one of the creditors. Over 2,000 acres of McDermott property in the baronies of Ballymoe, county Galway and Athlone, county Roscommon, was offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates' Court in 1863. In the 1870s their estate amounted to 2571 acres.
Johnstone (Williamstown) In the 1870s William Johnstone of the Rent Office, Williamstown, county Galway, owned 584 acres in the parish of Templetogher, barony of Ballymoe, part of the estate of the McDermotts of Springfield at the time of Griffith's Valuation. He purchased his Williamstown estate from the Connollys in 1860. William Johnstone had a brother Captain John Johnstone, who owned an estate in county Cavan. William Johnsone's nephew Robert Henry succeeded to both the Williamstown and county Cavan properties. Robert Henry Johnstone was also a land agent and by the early 20th century controlled a number of estates in both counties Galway and Cavan. A strong supporter of the Orange Order he became heavily embroiled in disputes with tenants over land ownership. William Keaveney has written a book about Johnstone's treatment of tenants on his wife's estate at Aughrim and his own estate at Williamstown, county Galway. This surname is sometimes spelt Johnston in historical records.