Lang Families of
County Sligo, Ireland


Lang Family Home at Glen Townland, County Sligo Fireplace in Lang Home

Thomas & Ann (Crystal) Lang Family of Glen (near Coolaney), County Sligo

Location of old homeplace

  1. The neighbouring townlands of Glen and Kinnagrelly are half-way between the villages of Collooney and Coolaney.  Collooney is 8 miles from Sligo town along the N4 road to Dublin (marked in green on map).  Follow the road to Coolaney (heading west out of Collooney) and after about 4 miles you will reach Glen / Kinnagrelly. Click here to see location on map  http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,565329,826234,4,10
    1. Here is a closer up view of the same map, centered with red X exactly on the spot where the abandoned cottage stands today in Glen:  http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,563777,825907,5,10
  2. Now here is that very same spot marked on the original 1838 Ordnance Survey of Ireland:  http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,563777,825907,5,8
    1. The road layout has changed between 1838 and the present day, but if you zoom in on the above link you will see that there is a house marked on the very spot as still stands today. This is the same plot of ground which according to the Griffiths Valuation index/maps was occupied by Thomas Lang Sr and Thomas Lang Jr in 1858.  At that time, they were the only family of Langs in that immediate vicinity.  This proves beyond all doubt that the house which stands today is of pre-Famine vintage and is the ancestral home of our family. 


What does it look like?

  1. OK, so now that I've pinpointed its location, let me show you what it looks like.  If you want a virtual tour, just follow these instructions:
    1. Type "54.180786, -8.555110" into Google search bar
    2. The first result you should see is a map.  Click on it
    3. This takes you to Google Maps.  Click and drag the yellow man over to the red pointer.
    4. Can you see it?  This is how the old place looked when Google photographed it in September 2009.
    5. You can use the navigation tools at top left of image to spin the scene around.
  2. If you're not comfortable with Google Maps, see the attached photograph "Photos of homeplace Kinnagrelly and Glen".
    1. The top photo is my late uncle Michael Lang, pictured in Kinnagrelly about the year 1998.  Looking at the terrain, you can see why the placename Kinnagrelly (Irish "Cionn na Greallaí") means "top of the marsh".  The old house in Glen passed into my uncle Michael's possession in the 1990s on the death of my two grand uncles Patrick and Thomas, who were the last occupants.  My uncle lived most of his life in Dublin where he was a member of the Garda Síochána (Irish police force). He was a renowned tenor and performed with the Garda band across Ireland, Europe and US.  When he retired in the mid 1990s, he built a house in Kinnagrelly on a site close to the original homeplace.  He passed away there suddenly in 2009. 
    2. The middle photo, also taken about 1998, is the ancestral homeplace in Glen (pronounced "Glan", from the Irish word "Gleann" meaning a glen or valley)
    3. The bottom photo is the home fire burning in the old hearth, probably the last time a fire was lit in the place.  It's really a very primitive dwelling, it's now fallen into disrepair and I doubt it will ever be lived in again.  The current owner is a long-time friend of uncle Michael but she has no connection with the place and lives in Dublin. 

1901 and 1911 Census Records
  1. The head of the Lang family in Kinnagrelly in 1901 and 1911 Census is my great-grandfather Thomas (born 1871).  
  2. The Lang family in Glen in 1901/1911 are living in the original homestead.  My great-grandfather Thomas moved to Kinnagrelly when he married into the Cuffe family sometime in the 1890s.  I don't fully know what became of the Langs who stayed on in Glen, I don't believe any of them married.  My aunt Moira would probably know.  Ownership of the house in Glen passed from Ann Lang to her son Joseph on her death in 1919.  Joseph died in the 1950s and it then passed to my grand uncle Patrick (shown on the Kinnagrelly census in 1911) who lived there with his younger brother Thomas.  After Thomas moved back to Glen, the house in Kinnagrelly was used as an animal shed.  It was demolished about 15 years ago.
  3. I attach the 1901 and 1911 census returns.  You need to be careful when interpreting the 1911 returns in Ireland because old age pensions were introduced in 1908. Many people did not have birth certificates (only issued from 1860s), so a lot of them over-stated their real ages so as to be eligible for the pension.  That explains why Ann Lang is aged 55 in 1901 but is 69 in 1911. 

 

O'Hara of Annaghmore Estate Records

  1. The O'Hara estate records comprise a vast set of documents spanning the period from 1585 to 1967. They are held in the National Library of Ireland and available on microfilm in Sligo Library.  Amongst the thousands of documents are a set of letters written by Thomas Lang in 1857 in relation to rent and arrears.  I haven't seen those documents yet but suspect they may reveal some interesting history (ref MS 36,350 /21).  There are also a whole bunch of old estate maps and tenant records which are likely to reveal ancestry information if one had the time and patience to trawl through them.  See http://catalogue.nli.ie/Search/Results?lookfor=o%27hara+estate&type=AllFields&submit=FIND
  2. But what I did find one day in a quick browse of microfilms was the following record from famine times (1846), the year before Michael Lang would have emigrated.  It is from a list titled "Synopsis of the several holdings on the ?estate of? C. K. O'Hara Esq Annachmore". On two consecutive lines, the entries for the townland of Glan include:
    1. "Michael Lang, has 2 acres of oats sown, intends to sow 1 1/2 potatoes, has 1/4 acre rye sowed and cabbages planted. Suggested improvements – wants a dwelling house and offices, wants ??? stream to be cleaned. Instructions imparted – Ordered him to white wash his house, to form an open drain in bog 3 feet wide by F/1 deep (1 fathom?), recommended him to sow turnips in bog"
    2. "Thomas Lang, has not his oats sown. Instructions imparted –  ordered him to white his house"
  3. I am not sure when or how the Langs came to Glan but they don't appear to have been there in 1775 because they are not listed in the O'Hara tenant records for that year.

 

These pages Ronald & Margaret Eustice, 2013