Saturday, May 6, 2017

Chapter 2: Finding the Listons in Ireland

Introduction


     In the previous post, I tried to bring my readers along with me on the journey to find my 2nd great grandfather Thomas Liston and establish certain facts that had come to light about his origins and relations. There were two main facts: 1) Thomas Liston had two brothers who immigrated to Litchfield, Connecticut, by 1850, and 2) they all came from Ireland. I was able to find Thomas's brothers, and every piece of evidence in census and vital records confirmed that they were from Ireland, and to be more specific, from County Limerick. Ultimately, Y-DNA testing of living descendants confirmed that they were very tightly related and there is no reason to think they were not brothers.

     In this second blog post, I would like again to take readers with me on a leg of the journey to discover where my Liston ancestors were born and lived before leaving for North America. This story involves more than a year of study in Irish records and the help of a new friend and cousin whom I met because of DNA testing. This friend, John Melia, discovered that we share a small segment of DNA on chromosome 5, and that this segment is shared in some degree or other by all my Liston relatives who have had autosomal DNA testing. It turns out that John's family comes from an area of County Limerick just outside and to south of Limerick city. It was with this DNA connection and John's interest in who my family might have been that my foray into Irish genealogical research began in earnest.

Irish Records


When researching in Ireland, one is immediately confronted with the sad destruction of many important genealogical records. Documentation of those that were lost, mainly in fires, can be found elsewhere. Here I would rather focus on my research experience with the records that survive.

Among the records that survive for the early nineteenth century, when my Liston ancestors were born and eventually departed for America, are Catholic parish registers for baptisms and marriages, which begin at various times for different parishes; the Tithe Applotment Books, which cover a period from 1823 to 1837; Griffith’s Valuation records, which cover the period from 1847 to 1864 with cancellation books for subsequent years; and Poverty Relief Loan records, which span the entire period covered by the Tithe records and Griffith’s Valuation. In addition, there are prison records and a miscellany of records that I have not yet found useful in my own family research.

The Liston Surname


In my early attempts to zero in on my own Listons, I needed to consider the surname Liston and its origin and where in Ireland it predominated. I learned that Liston was a name connected with the Norman invasion of England, that it has always been associated with Limerick in Ireland, and that Listons were staunch supporters of Irish independence. Ancestry.com provides a little information about surnames, and its entry for Liston is as follows:

Liston Name Meaning
English: habitational name from a place in Essex, so named from the Old English personal name Lissa (probably a pet form of Leofsige; see Livesay 2) + tun ‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’. Scottish: habitational name from places in West Lothian and Midlothian, which probably have the same origin as in 1. This surname is also found in Ireland. Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Another source explains the origin related to Lissa a little differently, claiming that the full original name derived from Lissa + ing ‘people’ + ton ‘settlement’ or ‘town,’ resulting in Lissington, which may have Lexington as a variant. Liston would be a reduction of these names. The information at Ancestry matches part of the following information gathered by a company that sells surname-related artwork. While the source is suspect, the information is probably an accurate summary of what can be known about the surname and some early figures of the name. According to The Internet Surname Database:

This name is of locational origin either from Liston in Essex or from the old barony of Liston, now included in the parish of Kirkliston, Scotland. The former, recorded as Lissington in Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, dated 995, and as Listuna in the Domesday Book of 1086, is so called from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name Lissa, itself a pet form of Leofsige, plus "ing", people of, and "tun", a farm or settlement, hence, "the settlement of Lissa's people". The Scottish Liston probably has the same origin and the surname from this source has [sic], in fact, an earlier recording than the English one, (see below). Around 1260 a Robert de Liston was chaplain to William, Bishop of St. Andrew's. One, Godfrey de Liston of Essex was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of that county, dated 1272, and a Johannes de Liston in "The Calendarium Genealogicum of Essex", dated 1303. Robert Liston (1794 - 1847), educated at Edinburgh University was a skilful surgeon, best known in connection with the "Liston splint". His chief work "practical surgery" appeared in 1837. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Liston who witnessed a charter by Richard, bishop of St. Andrew's, which was dated 1163, in the "Chartulary of the priory of St. Andrew's", during the reign of King Malcolm IV of Scotland, 1153 - 1165. © Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2017
John Grenham’s website, which I cite later related to Limerick parishes has a page for the surname Liston with some interesting data. The URL is https://www.johngrenham.com/findasurname.php?surname=Liston. The website http://www.irishidentity.com/lists/l.htm claims that Liston derives from de Lexinton and that settlement was in Limerick and North Kerry, but it provides no sources. Lexin[g]ton and Lissington probably have the same origin.

     Figure 1 provides a map showing the distribution of the surname Liston in Ireland, at some undisclosed time, along with some additional data from Tyrone Bowes’ Irish Origenes:


Figure 1. The Surname Liston in Ireland, Source: http://www.irishorigenes.com/liston

                  

How Did the Listons Get to Ireland?


In the 12th century, there was an Anglo-Norman (sometimes referred to as Welsh-Norman or Cambro-Norman) invasion of Ireland, and County Limerick was one area settled by the invaders, along with the South Riding of Tipperary and the county of Meath, among others. The year given is 1169. In 1170, Richard fitz Gilbert de Clar, the second earl of Pembroke, called Strongbow, led another invasion to support the aims of the 1169 effort. Henry II, great grandson of William the Conqueror, was king of England and ruler of the Angevin Empire, which included all of England, Wales, and vast territories in France. The invaders of Ireland intended to establish their own realm there, but Henry personally invaded the country with a large army in 1171 and exerted lordship over them and the Irish kings. In 1175, the treaty of Windsor secured Ireland to its high king, except for Leinster and Waterford, in exchange for an oath of fealty to Henry. Limerick was formed into a county as early as the reign of King John, A.D. 1210. Despite the treaty, the Anglo-Normans continued to acquire lands appropriated from the Irish, and the Listons presumably obtained some of this land (Your Irish). In fact, Rev. Patrick Woulfe (1923) indicates that the “family settled in the 13th century at Kilscannell (92 in Figure 3) in Co. Limerick, which they held down to the year 1595 [37 Elizabeth I] when it was confiscated and granted to Captain Robert Collum. The Listons are still numerous in Co. Limerick” (Woulfe). This dispossession probably reduced the Listons’ circumstances. 


In the 13th century, the Fitzgeralds of Offaly were established in Shanid, Croom, and Pallas Grean. Maurice Fitzgerald (Orpen, p. 164) had three sons, Thomas, progenitor of the house of Desmond, who was settled with the cantred of Shanid; Gerald, who married a daughter of Hamo de Valognes, ancestor of the earls of Kildare, and obtained Croom in the valley of the Maigue; and William of Naas, who was granted the castle of Karrickittle in Kilteely (Table 3: 93 west) (Orpen, p. 164). Thus, the ruling Fitzgerald family held lands in the east, center, and west of Limerick, where we find three distinct clusters of Listons in the early 19th century. The history of the granting of land to Anglo-Norman knights by kings Henry II and John in the late 12th and early 13th centuries is complex, and the Listons did not have the same stature as the ruling families of Fitzgerald, de Burgh (Burke), de Valognes, de Lacy, and de Braose, so it is not easy to find records pertaining to the Listons in Ireland at that time. I would like to study the period more and see what might be available in its records, but I am satisfied for the moment that the Listons in Limerick County, once part of the kingdom of Thomond, ruled by the O’Briens, did come and settle there in conjunction with the Anglo-Norman conquest (Orpen).

The Listons in 19th-Century Ireland


Where were the Listons in nineteenth-century Ireland? The Tithe Applotment records include forty-five Liston land holders in Limerick, one in Clare, and two in Tipperary. By the time of Griffith’s Valuation, there was not only an increase in the number of land holders with the name Liston, but also a dispersion to or emergence in other counties. The numbers were as follows:


Figure 2. Liston land holders in Ireland (1847-1850) < http://www.spirited-ireland.net/map/_counties/> (not used    by permission)
                  
In some cases, one land holder might have land in more than one location, so these numbers may not reflect 132 different Liston family heads. The numbers do, however, give an idea of the distribution of Listons in Ireland at the time. The increase and spread of Liston holdings between about 1830 and 1847 is impressive, from 48 to 132, almost two-thirds more. It may be useful to do some further calculations. If we estimate five children per family as a reasonable average and add a spouse, then the Liston population in the 1820s might have been 288, and by 1850, 792. Clare, Kerry, and Tipperary are neighboring counties in the province of Munster, and it is interesting that the population of Listons in Tipperary grew seven-fold compared to the nearly three-fold growth in Limerick. This may be due to out-migration from Limerick to Tipperary in addition to the maturation of children born from 1810-1830. It is possible that the Listons found in the province of Ulster at this time were from Scotland where, as already seen, another Liston family were established in the Lothians.

Clearly, Limerick can be considered the ancestral homeland of the Listons in Ireland and a good starting place to find my own family. I located a map of Limerick, and its parishes online and shaded the parishes where Listons were living at the time of the Tithe Applotments and at the time of Griffith’s Valuation. In the not-very-attractive map which is Figure 1, the blue shading indicates the Listons at the time of the Tithe Applotments, and the greenish shading indicates the additional parishes housing Listons at the time of Griffith’s Valuation.



Figure 3. Distribution of Listons in Limerick 1823-1850. 
                 
What immediately stood out to me as I squinted at the map, were three areas of “settlement,” east, central, and west. It seems that the eastern cluster of Listons centers on the parish of Grean, and this may be the source of the Tipperary Listons, who understand that their family was originally from Limerick. The central cluster occupies an area from Mungret, just outside the city of Limerick, southward to Croom. The western cluster radiates from Newcastle West, and represents the largest population of Listons in Limerick County. Farm laborers traveled to find work, and it is possible that their seasonal migrations account for the spread of Listons during the 1840s, but at least some of their distribution probably represents movement of maturing sons into parishes adjacent to those where they were born and raised to set up their own households.

            If readers are researching their Liston ancestry in Limerick, they will want to know the names of the (mostly) men who held land and houses in the period from about 1820 to 1850 and where they were living and working. Using a couple of websites, one can easily do this, so I will provide a breakdown of the numbers by parish and the names of the landholders as found in the records.

The Tithe Applotments


            In the Tithe Applotment records (1823-1837), as indicated on the map in Figure 3, the Listons indexed can be found in the townlands and parishes of Limerick as shown in Table 1. I have arranged the parishes according to the clusters I have identified (east, central, and west) and alphabetically within those designations (the numbers in parentheses refer to the map in Figure 3):
     
Parish
Number of Holdings
Townland
Coordinates
Date (if any)
Forenames
EAST
4




Grean (61)
2
Kilduff
Kilduff
52° 33' 32" N, 8° 20' 10" W
1834
Catherine
James
Kilcullane* (73)
2
Herbertstown O’Grady
Herbertstown Powell
52° 31' 5" N, 8° 28' 29" W

52° 30' 42" N, 8° 28' 19" W
1833
John
John
CENTRAL
29




Cahernarry (Mungret) (28, 111) This has to be an error.
8
Castlemungret
Castlemungret
Castlemungret
Cunnigar
Cunnigar
Cunnigar
Cunnigar
Loughane
52° 38' 32" N, 8° 41' 15" W




52° 38' 47" N, 8° 41' 55" W

52° 38' 16" N, 8° 42' 32" W
1825
Patrick
Michael
Michael
Michael
John
Michael
John
Thomas
Crecora (41)
1
Logavinshire
52° 35' 5" N, 8° 40' 58" W
1827
John
Croom (43)
2
Toryhill and Honeypound
Dollas Lower
52° 32' 15" N, 8° 41' 37" W

52° 31' 58" N, 8° 42' 26" W
52° 29' 56" N, 8° 45' 51" W
1826-1833
Thomas
James
Donaghmore* (46)
1
Borheen
52° 38' 11" N, 8° 35' 22" W
1825
Widow
Drehidtarsna (49)
4
Drehidtarsna
Drehidtarsna
Drehidtarsna
Drehidtarsna
52° 32' 24" N, 8° 47' 53" W
1826
James
William
James
James
Limerick (Mungret) (111)

3
Cameheen
Cameheen
Cunnigar
52° 37' 39" N, 8° 42' 30" W



52° 38' 47" N, 8° 41' 55" W
1824
Patrick
John
Patrick
Mungret (111)
10
Ballydwane
Camheen
Loughane
Loughane
Cameen
Cunnigar
Cunnigar
Castlemungret
Mungrett
Mungrett
52° 37' 56" N, 8° 42' 59" W












52° 38' 7" N, 8° 41' 27" W
n.d.
Michael
Patt
John
John
Patrick
John
Michael
Michael
Michael
Michael
WEST
15




Clonelty (36)
3
Lissaniska West
Kilgullibon
Kilgullibon
52° 27' 14" N, 8° 59' 45" W

52° 27' 0" N, 8° 56' 35" W
1833
James N
Terence
John
Cloncagh (34)
1
Gortnacrehy
52° 26' 14" N, 8° 55' 38" W
1833
Michael
Grange (60)
4
Ardrine
Ardrine
Evegallyhow
Grange Lower
52° 26' 54" N, 9° 0' 37" W


52° 28' 31" N, 8° 59' 50" W

52° 28' 3" N, 9° 0' 34" W
1830
Michael
Maurice
Terence
Edm[und]
Kilmoylan (88)
1
Clounlehard
52° 31' 33" N, 9° 13' 18" W
1833
James
Mahoonagh (107)
4
Ballinakilmore
Cloundiheeny
Curragh
Mahoonagh Beg
 52° 26' 24" N, 8° 59' 0" W


52° 25' 16" N, 8° 59' 8" W

52° 25' 55" N, 8° 59' 46" W
1833
James
James
James
James
Newcastle (113)
1
Dromin Basom
52° 27' 35" N, 9° 6' 21" W
1829
Garret
Rathronan (118)
1
Dromadda
52° 26' 59" N, 9° 10' 3" W
1833
Edmond
Table 1. Listons holding land and houses in Limerick County according to the Tithe Applotments 1824-1833.

Some explanation is needed here. The parishes marked with an asterisk seem to lie between clusters, and I have arbitrarily inserted them where I have in the list. The Mungret townlands have been separated into three “parishes,” Cahernarry, Limerick, and Mungret, in the Tithe Applotment books. It is clear from the repetition of townlands in each of these “parishes” that all of them should be designated Mungret. Until I understand why this was done this way, I wanted to show them as they appear in the indexes. Again, it is quite possible that some of this land was held by one person. For example, five Michaels in the same parish might actually be the same man with five different holdings. We look through a glass darkly, and it is difficult to discern. An excellent website that allows exploration of the Catholic and Civil parishes is John Grenham’s https://www.johngrenham.com/browse/counties/rcmaps/limerickerc.php#maps/. This address is a direct link to eastern Limerick County. I see no overlap of Catholic and Civil parishes to account for the confusion over Mungret townlands in the Tithe Applotment book indexes.

            The data in Table 1 is interesting because it shows that there was a greater concentration of Listons in the central cluster, holding land in a greater number of townlands than in either the east or the west of the county. Based on the Tithes data alone, this could indicate that the Listons started in the central parishes, possibly Mungret, which has the largest number of households, and spread from there. It is interesting that in the western cluster the forenames Terence, Maurice, Edmond / Edmund, and Garret appear. Since these names are a departure from the usual Michaels, Jameses, Patricks, and Johns that predominate everywhere and particularly in the central cluster, they might be helpful for identifying the origins of later Liston families in Ireland and abroad. The name William appears as an outlier in the central cluster in Drehidtarsna. Women also appear as land holders, and whenever a woman’s name appears, she is likely to be a widow, which is also helpful information for the researcher.

            In addition to the Listons in the Tithe Applotment books cataloged so far, there were also landholders by the name Lyston (probably just a spelling variation). Their information follows in Table 2. Spelling variations are common for the name Liston. Very early records have de Liostún, Listoun and Listun. Modern records include variants like Lyston, Listen, Listin, Listan, and occasionally Lister. The <i> in the first syllable may also be spelled <e>. When searching in handwritten records, the similarity between capital L and capital S, as noted earlier, has to be considered. In some records, the name Sexton can give the Liston researcher pause, but the <x> generally stands out as very different from <s>. Nonetheless, Syston, Sisten, Siston, Sistin, and the like should be checked when they are found in transcriptions and indexes, just in case. The spelling Lyston made it across the Atlantic to the United States, and a small number of families using the spelling can be found in American records. Some of the other variants are just choices made by clerks, clergymen, and census takers, but do include them in your searches or use wildcards when possible (*, ?: L?st*) in search engines or databases.

Parish
Number of Holdings
Townland
Coordinates
Date (if any)
Names
EAST
4




Ballynaclogh (19)
3
Kilduff
Ballyhust
Lackanascarry


52° 33' 13" N, 8° 19' 30" W
52° 33' 48" N, 8° 22' 0" W
1832
Edmond
James
Edmond
Caherconlish (25)
1
Skehil
52°35′37″N 8°28′13″W
n.d.
Michael
CENTRAL
4




Ballingarry (14)
3
Ballinlyny
Ballinlyny
Lisduff



52° 29' 39" N, 8° 46' 42" W
1830
Patrick
Patrick
Richard
Kilfinny (77)
1
BallyMackeymore
52° 30' 25" N, 8° 46' 21" W
1834
James
WEST
3




Cloncrew (35)
1
Cloonlara
52° 22' 14" N, 8° 52' 51" W
1833
Nicholas
Kilbradran (68)
2
Cooltomin
Cooltomin
52° 33' 2" N, 9° 1' 0" W
1833
Michael
John
Table 2. Lyston in Tithe Applotment Books, Limerick County 1830-1834

            There are also some listings in the Tithe Applotment books under several other spelling variants, including Listin, Lysten, and Leston, and they are shown in Table 3:

Parish
Number of Holdings
Townland
Coordinates
Date (if any)
Names
WEST
4




Dunmoylan (53)
2
Knockdromoroon
Knockdromoroon
?
1833
Michael Listin
John Listin
Kilfergus (75)
2
Ballydonohoe
Ballygiltenan Lower
52° 34' 4" N, 9° 20' 51" W

52° 33' 19" N, 9° 16' 25" W
1830
? Listin
David Listin
CENTRAL
3




Dysert
2
Carrigeen
52° 31' 8" N, 8° 44' 43" W
1833
James Lysten
James Lysten
Croom
1
Dunnaman
52° 31' 35" N, 8° 46' 2" W
1826-1833
John Leston
Table 3. Listin in Tithe Applotment Books, Limerick County 1826-1833

With the spelling variants represented in Tables 2 and 3 added to those in Table 1, the total number of landholders of the name is sixty-six, which changes the estimate of all Listons living in the county, but since we do not know that each entry represents a unique person, the estimate is only interesting and not entirely useful. If they were unique, then an estimate of the number of Listons in Limerick County between 1823 and 1837 might be 462. Thus, descendants of the Listons of Limerick today trying to trace their family history only have about that number of potential ancestors among whom to search, primarily in three distinct areas of the county.  Since about half of the Listons were women, the number can be reduced to 231 men who passed along the surname and their Y-DNA. Again, this is only an estimate. A further complication is that the records only include the name of the holder of the land, not the members of his or her household, and it is possible that some Listons were laboring on the land for other families and living with them. These records are not censuses; they are lists of tithables, a fraction of the population. “[S]ince the commissioners were concerned only with those occupiers liable for the payment of the tithe, they would not generally have included cottiers, laborers holding conacre land, or landless people such as weavers, farm servants and vagrants” (http://www.deliapublications.com/SacredTenth.htm). Figure 4 shows the townlands where there were tithable Liston households from 1823 to 1837.


 Figure 4. Limerick Townlands where Listons (and Variants) Lived per the Tithe Records (1823-1837), Plotted with 
 Geographical Coördinates

   

Griffith’s Valuation


            By 1847, Griffith’s Valuation showed an increase in the number of Listons in Limerick County in a somewhat different configuration from that in the Tithe Applotment Books, reflecting perhaps expansion of some kind in the west and some shrinkage or redistribution in the center and east of Limerick County. We have already seen that there was a significant cluster of Listons in the North Riding of Tipperary, but the extreme southeast and southwest of the county of Limerick have no Listons, and from the Shannon in the north to the Cork border in the south, there is a corridor of parishes in which no Listons are recorded. The index of Griffith’s Valuation for Limerick at Ask About Ireland (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml?action=nameSearch) has the following Listons as land holders, including Listen, Listin, and Lyston, distributed as shown in Table 4:

Occupier Surname
Occupier Forename
Parish
Map Number
Cluster
Townland
Landlord
Coordinates
LYSTON
JANE
ADARE
3
Central
Blackabbey, Main Street
Michael Sullivan
52° 33' 57" N, 8° 47' 31" W
LISTON
WILLIAM
ANHID
5
Central
Anhid West
Anne Lee
52° 30' 6" N, 8° 43' 19" W
LISTON
JOHN
ATHLACCA
10
Central
Rathcannon
Rev. Carew Smith O'Grady
52° 27' 38" N, 8° 37' 20" W
LISTON
JOHN
CROOM
43
Central
BallinFreera
James D. Lyons
52° 28' 36" N, 8° 41' 34" W
LISTON
WILLIAM
CROOM
43
Central
Croom
John Croker
52° 30' 48" N, 8° 43' 51" W
LISTON
JAMES
CROOM
43
Central
Dollas Lower
John Piggott
52° 29' 56" N, 8° 45' 51" W
LISTON
JAMES
CROOM
43
Central
Dollas Lower
James Liston
LISTON
JAMES
CROOM
43
Central
Dunnaman
James D. Lyons
52° 31' 35" N, 8° 46' 2" W
LISTON
JAMES
CROOM
43
Central
Dunnaman
James D. Lyons
LISTON
JOHN
CROOM
43
Central
Dunnaman
Earl of Dunraven
LISTIN
THOMAS
CROOM
43
Central
Toryhill
Court of Chancery
52° 32' 15" N, 8° 41' 37" W
LISTON
JOHN
DYSERT
54
Central
Carrigeen
Earl of Dunraven
52° 31' 8" N, 8° 44' 43" W
LISTIN
JOHN
MUNGRET
111
Central
Ballymacashel
R.W. Studdart
52° 38' 20" N, 8° 43' 14" W
LISTIN
MICHAEL
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
52° 38' 32" N, 8° 41' 15" W
LISTIN
PATRICK
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
JOHN
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
MARGARET
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
MICHAEL
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
PATRICK
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
JOHN
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
MARGARET
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
MICHAEL
MUNGRET
111
Central
Castlemungret
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
HONORIA
MUNGRET
111
Central
Loughanleagh
Robert W. Studdert
52° 38' 16" N, 8° 42' 32" W
LISTIN
HONORIA
MUNGRET
111
Central
Loughanleagh
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
PATRICK
MUNGRET
111
Central
Loughanleagh
Robert W. Studdert
LISTIN
JOHN
MUNGRET
111
Central
Loughanleagh
Robert W. Studdert
LISTON
PATRICK
ST LAWRENCE
98
Central
Spital Land
Bridget Donahoe
52° 39' 14" N, 8° 36' 18" W
LISTON
JAMES
ST LAWRENCE
98
Central
Spiital Land
William Halliday
LISTON
BRIDGET
ST MICHAEL
100
Central
Prior's Land
Zacharia Myles
52° 40' 23" N, 8° 38' 1" W
LYSTON
BRIDGET
ST MICHAEL
100
Central
Prior's Land
Geo. Wm. Pinchin
LYSTON
CATHERINE
ABINGTON
2
East
Cloghnadromin
George Westropp
52° 37' 28" N, 8° 29' 23" W
LISTON
JOHN
BALLYNACLOGH
19
East
Tullabeg
Trus. E. Smith's Charities
52° 33' 29" N, 8° 19' 25" W
LISTON
JAMES
GREAN
61
East
Kilduff
Michael Cronin
52° 33' 32" N, 8° 20' 10" W
LISTON
BARTHW.
BALLINGARRY
14
West
Common
In Fee
52° 28' 14" N, 8° 49' 20" W
LISTEN
JOHN
BALLINGARRY
14
West
Common
David Dove
LISTON
PATRICK
CHAPELRUSSELL
32
West
Pallas
Thos. McNamara
52° 38' 40" N, 8° 51' 39" W
LISTON
JAMES
CLONELTY
36
West
Ballynoe
Reps. Garret Maum
52° 26' 32" N, 8° 57' 5" W
LISTON
TERENCE
CLONELTY
36
West
Ballynoe
Reps. Garret Maum
LISTON
NICHOLAS
CLONELTY
36
West
Kilgolban
Bernard Sheehy
52° 27' 0" N, 8° 56' 35" W
LISTON
NICHOLAS
CLONELTY
36
West
Kilgolban
Brian Sheehy
LISTON
JAMES
CLONELTY
36
West
Knockaderry
Maurice Quaide
52° 28' 3" N, 8° 58' 43" W
LISTON
HONORIA
CLONELTY
36
West
Lissaniska West
John C. Locke
52° 27' 14" N, 8° 59' 45" W
LISTON
JOHN
CLONELTY
36
West
Lissaniska West
John C. Locke
LISTON
JAMES
CLONELTY
36
West
Lissaniska West
John C. Locke
LISTON
HONORIA
CLONELTY
36
West
Lissaniska West
John C. Locke
LISTON
JOHN
CLONELTY
36
West
Lissaniska West
John C. Locke
LISTON
JAMES
CLONELTY
36
West
Lissaniska West
John C. Locke
LISTON
JOHN
DUNMOYLAN
53
West
Gortadroma
Henry Roslime
52° 32' 17" N, 9° 9' 2" W
LISTON
JOHN
DUNMOYLAN
53
West
Gortadroma
George Hodges
LISTON
JOHN
DUNMOYLAN
53
West
Gortadroma
Captain Dickson
LISTON
JAMES
DUNMOYLAN
53
West
Knockfinnisk
Richard M. Yeilding
52° 29' 25" N, 9° 11' 19" W
LISTON
THOMAS
DUNMOYLAN
53
West
Park
George Crow Hodges
52° 31' 38" N, 9° 9' 27" W
LISTON
MICHAEL
DUNMOYLAN
53
West
Park
Thomas Liston
LISTON
JOHN
DUNMOYLAN
53
West
Park
George Crow Hodges
LISTON
MICHAEL
DUNMOYLAN
53
West
Park
John Liston
LISTON
JOHN
GRANGE
60
West
Arddrine
Reps. Viscount Guillamore
52° 26' 54" N, 9° 0' 37" W
LISTON
TERENCE
GRANGE
60
West
Evegallahoo
Thomas Evans
52° 28' 31" N, 8° 59' 50" W
LISTON
TERENCE
GRANGE
60
West
Grange Lower
William H. Franks
52° 28' 3" N, 9° 0' 34" W
LISTON
JOHN
KILBRADRAN
68
West
Ballylin
Mary Gorman
52° 32' 36" N, 9° 2' 6" W
LISTON
DENIS
KILBRADRAN
68
West
Ballyneety
Charles P. Roche
52° 32' 4" N, 9° 3' 17" W
LISTON
THOMAS
KILBRADRAN
68
West
Ballyneety
Charles P. Roche
LISTON
DANIEL
KILBRADRAN
68
West
Cooltomin
Standish O'Grady
52° 33' 2" N, 9° 1' 0" W
LISTON
JAMES
KILBRADRAN
68
West
Cooltomin
Standish O'Grady
LISTON
CORNELIUS
KILBRADRAN
68
West
Cooltomin
Standish O'Grady
LISTON
ELLEN
KILCOLMAN
71
West
Glensharrold
Richard M. Yeilding
52° 30' 40" N, 9° 8' 15" W
LISTAN
PATRICK
KILCORNAN
72
West
Summerville
Thos. McNamara
52° 38' 45" N, 8° 52' 40" W
LISTON
JOHN
KILFERGUS
75
West
Ballydonohoe
Thomas Fitzgerald
52° 34' 4" N, 9° 20' 51" W
LISTON
EDMUND
KILFERGUS
75
West
Ballygiltenan North
Knight of Glin
52° 33' 54" N, 9° 16' 41" W
LISTON
EDMUND
KILFERGUS
75
West
Ballygiltenan North
Geo. M. Goggin
LISTON
JAMES
KILFERGUS
75
West
Ballygiltenan Upper
Edmund Liston
52° 32' 2" N, 9° 16' 36" W
LISTON
JAMES
KILFERGUS
75
West
Tooraree Upper
Patrick Normoyle
52° 31' 21" N, 9° 14' 58" W
LYSTON
THOMAS
KILFERGUS
75
West
Killacolla (Barker), Main Street
Denis McElligott
52° 34' 17" N, 9° 16' 48" W
LISTON
BRIDGET
KILKEEDY
82
West
Ballyanrahan West
George Tuthill
52° 35' 45" N, 8° 43' 47" W
LISTON
THOMAS
KILMOYLAN
88
West
Knocknagornagh
Edward L. Masey
52° 29' 25" N, 9° 15' 46" W
LISTON
THOMAS
KILMOYLAN
88
West
Knocknagornagh
Trustees Earl of Carrick
LISTON
ELLEN
KILMOYLAN
88
West
Knocknagornagh
Edward L. Masey
LISTON
ELLEN
KILMOYLAN
88
West
Knocknagornagh
Trustees Earl of Carrick
LISTON
THOMAS
KILMOYLAN
88
West
Tooreendonnell
Samuel A. Dixon
52° 29' 49" N, 9° 13' 9" W
LISTON
MICHAEL
KILSCANNELL
92
West
Coolybrown
George M. Maunsell
52° 30' 33" N, 9° 1' 10" W
LISTON
MICHAEL
LOGHILL
105
West
Carrowbanebeg, village of Loghill
Thomas Shaughnessy
52° 35' 29" N, 9° 11' 46" W
LISTON
JOHN
LOGHILL
105
West
Knocknabooly West
Thomas Royce
52° 34' 51" N, 9° 9' 41" W
LISTON
NICHOLAS
LOGHILL
105
West
Derreen (cannot find it) Coordinates are for Loghill.
Edward L. Masey
52° 35' 39" N, 9° 10' 57" W
LISTON
NICHOLAS
LOGHILL
105
West
Derreen
Trustees Earl of Carrick
LISTON
DANIEL
LOGHILL
105
West
Derreen
Trustees Earl of Carrick
LISTON
JAMES
MAHOONAGH
107
West
Curragh
John Meagher
52° 25' 16" N, 8° 59' 8" W
LISTON
JAMES
MAHOONAGH
107
West
Curragh
John Meagher
LISTON
JAMES
MAHOONAGH
107
West
Curragh
John Meagher
LISTON
JOHN
MAHOONAGH
107
West
Mahoonaghbeg
John Meagher
52° 25' 55" N, 8° 59' 46" W
LISTON
DANIEL
MAHOONAGH
107
West
Mahoonaghbeg
John Liston
LISTON
NICHOLAS
MAHOONAGH
107
West
Shanrath
William ? Holland
52° 24' 57" N, 9° 0' 40" W
LISTON
MICHAEL
MONAGAY
108
West
Garryduff
Reps. William Leake
52° 26' 14" N, 9° 8' 20" W
LISTON
EDWARD
MONAGAY
108
West
Knockane
Trustees Earl of Devon
52° 26' 33" N, 9° 3' 56" W
LISTON
EDMOND
MONAGAY
108
West
Rathnaneane
Trustees Earl of Devon
52° 26' 45" N, 9° 3' 11" W
LISTON
JOHN
NEWCASTLE
113
West
Churchtown
Trustees Earl of Devon
52° 27' 44" N, 9° 4' 4" W
LISTON
PATRICK
RATHRONAN
118
West
Athea Upper
Wyndham Goold
52° 27' 9" N, 9° 18' 41" W
LISTON
MICHAEL
RATHRONAN
118
West
Ballyegny
James Moylan
52° 31' 46" N, 9° 4' 21" W
LISTON
PATRICK
RATHRONAN
118
West
Clash North
Wyndham Goold
52° 27' 19" N, 9° 13' 55" W
LISTON
EDMUND
RATHRONAN
118
West
Cool West
Wyndham Goold
52° 26' 44" N, 9° 15' 28" W
LISTON
THOMAS
RATHRONAN
118
West
Crataloe West
James Richard Woulfe
52° 25' 41" N, 9° 15' 45" W
LISTON
PATRICK
RATHRONAN
118
West
Gortnagross, Village of Athea
Honoria Roche
52° 26' 59" N, 9° 16' 54" W
LISTON
MICHAEL
RATHRONAN
118
West
Gortnagross, Village of Athea
Honoria Roche
LISTON
PATRICK
RATHRONAN
118
West
Gortnagross, Village of Athea
Honoria Roche
LISTON
JUDITH
SHANAGOLDEN
122
West
Ballycormick
William Hishon
52° 34' 24" N, 9° 6' 42" W
LISTON
EDMUND
SHANAGOLDEN
122
West
Shanagolden
Arthur Vincent
52° 34' 21" N, 9° 5' 47" W
LISTON
EDMUND
SHANAGOLDEN
122
West
Shanagolden
Arthur Vincent
            Table 4. Liston and Variants in Griffith's Valuation, Limerick (1847-1851)

The index has a total of 102 Listons (and variants: in the parish of Mungret, all were recorded with the spelling Listin). Of those, 29 are in the central cluster, 3 in the eastern cluster, and 70 in the western cluster. Were the Listons in the west more prolific than those in the center and east of the county? Was there migration from the east and center, and was some of that migration to the west? These were my initial questions about the data. As noted earlier, the Anglo-Norman Listons settled in Kilscannell (Table 3: 92), which is at the heart of the western cluster of Listons (Woulfe). Most of my early queries about the surname Liston resulted in answers that pointed me to Newcastle West and vicinity, so the name has become associated with that city and the western part of Limerick County. Most of the Listons in America I have corresponded with have traced their families to the parishes of Rathronan and Shanagolden in the west of Limerick or to Grean Parish in the east.

When analyzing the data in the two record sets, another factor to consider is that the compositions of those documented for the Tithes and those in Griffith’s valuation were different. As James R. Reilly points out,

It is certain that the farm servant and the cottier will not appear in the Tithe Books, for they were not subject to the tax because of their work relationship to their employer; the landlord, the middleman, the small and the large farmer, and the wage laborer generally have their names listed in this record. However, one can expect to find all occupiers of land, whether wage laborer, cottier, small and large farmer, listed along with landlord, landlord [sic] and the middleman in Richard Griffith's General Valuation of Ratable Property. (http://www.deliapublications.com/SacredTenth.htm)

 If all occupiers of land had been recorded in the Tithe books, then the number of Listons might have been much larger than reported, and the numbers reflected in Griffith’s Valuation, instead of indicating an increase in the number or redistribution of Listons in the county over the intervening decade, may simply be more accurate. Based on Reilly’s observations, could it be that the Listons recorded in the central cluster at the time of the Tithe Applotments were not more numerous but more prosperous than the Listons in the western parishes?

            Working with Griffith’s Valuation, I learned that there were many records involved during several years. Over about four years, the “valuators” revisited townlands and revised the entries in their books, crossing out tenants who had vacated and adding names of new tenants. The index that produced Table 4 reflects a snapshot of landholders at the end of the valuation. If you think your ancestor was in a townland that is not listed or one in which your ancestor does not appear, you should look at the land and tenure books for the townland of interest, and you may find the person you are looking for. Do not give up if you do not find the townland you seek immediately. The spelling of townland names have changed over the years, so search the Internet with your spelling, and you may find the townland you are looking for. There are many websites that can help with this search. The time of the valuation coincides precisely with the potato famine, so the population was undergoing much change, including mass migration out of Ireland, and the various valuation books provide relevant clues. Discovering the right townland is an important step in the research process. Figure 5 shows the townlands where Listons resided at the time of Griffith’s Valuation.



Figure 5. Townlands in Limerick where Listons (all variants) Lived per Griffith's Valuation (1847-1851), Plotted with   Geographical Coördinates

    
            Outside Limerick, there were several occupiers of land with the surname Liston (and variants) at the time of the Tithe Applotments. A broad search which included many spelling variants yielded the following results:


Surname
Forename
Townland
Coordinates
Parish
County
Year
Liston
Tobin
Cormackstown
52° 40' 6" N, -7° 52' 43" W
Holycross
Tipperary
1834
Liston
Tobin A
Cormackstown

Holycross
Tipperary
1834
Liston
Richard
Derryfadda
52° 44' 4" N, -7° 39' 32" W
Moyne
Tipperary
1827
Leston
Michl
Gurtussa
52° 34' 1" N, -8° 4' 7" W
Kilpatrick
Tipperary
1833
Leston
Michl
Gurtussa

Kilpatrick
Tipperary
1833
Lesten
William
Corrogheen
52° 36' 14" N, -7° 45' 57" W
Ballymurreen
Tipperary
1827
Liston
John
Ballyhee
52° 53' 12" N, -8° 59' 15" W
Templemaley
Clare

Liston
David
Poulavollen / Poulawillin
52° 50' 47" N, -9° 23' 48" W
Kilfane / Kilfarboy
Clare

Listin
Widow
Lacken
52° 27' 16" N, -8° 7' 11" W
Cordangan
Tipperary
1830
Listin
Pattk
Lacken

Cordangan
Tipperary
1830
Listin
Thomas
Lacken

Cordangan
Tipperary
1830
Listin
Joseph
Coolfadda
51° 44' 53" N, -8° 45' 15" W
Kilbrogan
Cork
1827
Lyston
Wm
Ardkeenan
53° 23' 6" N, -8° 3' 3" W
Drum
Roscommon
1833
Listen
Thomas
Carhniarhagh and Keelagurteen
52° 27' 27" N, -9° 23' 48" W
Knockanure
Kerry
1824
Leston
Tim
Lusk
53° 31' 24" N, -6° 10' 5" W
Lusk
Dublin
1833
                 Table 5. Listons outside Limerick’s Borders in the Tithe Books (1823-1834) with various spellings

Using the coordinates for each townland from the Tithe books, the distribution of Listons in the counties of Clare, Cork, Dublin, Kerry, and Roscommon has been plotted on the map in Figure 6.



Figure 6. Listons (and Variants) outside Limerick's Borders in the Tithe Books (1823-1834), plotted with Geographical Coordinates

    
The Listons outside Limerick’s borders at the time of Griffith’s Valuation (1847-1851) are listed in Table 7:

SURNAME
FORNAME
COUNTY
PARISH
TOWNLAND
LANDLORD
Coordinates
LISTON
PATRICK
CLARE
KILFARBOY
Breaffy North
Burdett Morony
52° 51' 25" N, -9° 24' 52" W
LISTON
DAVID
CLARE
KILFARBOY
Breaffy North
Patrick Liston

LISTON
WILLIAM
DOWN
GARVAGHY
Castlevennon
William Waugh
54° 20' 11" N, -6° 10' 25" W
LISTON
NICHOLAS
KERRY
LISTOWEL
Listowel
Earl of Listowel
52° 26' 52" N, -9° 29' 0" W
LISTON
JOHN
KERRY
MURHER
Toberatooreen
William Sandes
52° 30' 1" N, -9° 18' 58" W
LISTON
PATRICK
MONAGHAN
CLONTIBRET
Doohamlat
John Waters
54° 7' 39" N, -6° 49' 18" W
LISTON
MICHAEL
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
KILCOOLY
Longford Pass North
Mary Hackett
52° 42' 4" N, -7° 39' 7" W
LISTON
JOHN
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
MOYNE
Derryfadda
John Maher
52° 44' 4" N, -7° 39' 32" W
LISTON
PATRICK
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Carriggal
?
52° 49' 25" N, -8° 19' 8" W
LISTON
PATRICK
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Carriggal
?

LISTON
BRIDGET
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Dromin
?
52° 49' 5" N, -8° 17' 6" W
LISTON
BRIDGET
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Dromin
?

LISTON
BRIDGET
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Dromin
?

LISTON
BRIDGET
TIPPERARY, SOUTH RIDING
RATHCOOL
Coolanure
Mrs. Grace Heffernan
52° 30' 26" N, -7° 42' 1" W
LISTON
JAMES
TIPPERARY, SOUTH RIDING
ST JOHN BAPTIST
Green
Cashel Commissioners
52° 30' 50" N, -7° 53' 9" W
LISTON
PATRICK
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Carriggal
Patrick Finn

LISTON
BRIDGET
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Dromin
William Finch

LISTON
BRIDGET
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Dromin
William Finch

LISTON
BRIDGET
TIPPERARY, NORTH RIDING
BURGESBEG
Dromin
William Finch

LESTON
LAWRENCE
TIPPERARY, SOUTH RIDING
RATHKENNAN
Rathkennan Wood
Joseph Jones
52° 36' 46" N, -7° 55' 27" W
LESTON
LAWRENCE
TIPPERARY, SOUTH RIDING
RATHKENNAN
Rathkennan Wood
Joseph Jones

LISTIN
JOHN
CLARE
KILMANAHEEN
Ennistimon
Denis Rowan
52° 56' 22" N, -9° 17' 25" W
LISTEN
ALEXANDER
DONEGAL
RAPHOE
Lismontigley
John Alexander
54° 51' 14" N, -7° 34' 36" W
LISTEN
ALEXANDER
DONEGAL
RAPHOE
Cottown
William S. Alexander
54° 50' 18" N, -7° 35' 49" W
LYSTON
JOHN
WEXFORD
FETHARD
Winningstown
Charles Cody
52° 13' 50" N, -6° 51' 39" W
       Table 6. Listons (and Variants) outside Limerick, Griffith’s Valuation (1847-1851)

The map in Figure 7 shows the locations of Listons in townlands outside Limerick at the time of Griffith’s Valuation:


Figure 7. Listons (and Variants) outside Limerick at the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1851)

           

Conclusion


            The paucity of Irish records presents some problems for genealogists searching for Irish ancestry; however, there are some important surviving records, such as the Tithe Applotment Books and Griffith’s Valuation, which can shed light on family origins in the early nineteenth century, specifically from 1824 to 1851. Liston, found with various spellings, is a name most common in the county of Limerick. The name is associated with the period immediately following the Norman Conquest and may have belonged to someone who accompanied William I from Normandy in 1066. Early Listons held lands in Essex, England, and the Lothians in Scotland. It is also possible that its early owners were English and took their name from the locality where they lived. The Listons apparently accompanied or followed the Cambro-Norman invasion of Ireland in the late twelfth century and settled in the western part of Limerick, a county with which they have always been associated. It has been possible to identify specific households through the Tithe records and Griffith’s Valuation, which show that the Listons lived in three distinct areas of the county, the majority in the west, fewer in the center and east. Demographics imply that the Listons in the center of Limerick were more prosperous than those in the west while those in the east were less numerous. Some Listons can be found outside Limerick, scattered over a few nearby counties, with a small number in the north of Ireland who may be of Scottish origin. I hope this chapter will prove helpful to others researching the Listons in Ireland. The next chapter will revisit DNA as a tool in genealogical research and examine another set of records from the early nineteenth century that helped the author discover the hometown of his Liston ancestors.



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