The term ‘landed gentry’ conjures up images of The Big House, the Ascendancy, and tally ho-isms, but also absentee landlords, exploitation, rack rents, and the confiscation of land from the native Irish.
On Tuesday NUI, Galway launched an important electronic database and collection of information about the landed gentry, landed estates, and gentry houses in Connaught from 1700-1914. The database was launched by Fianna Fáil TD Martin Mansergh.
The database contains references to more than 1,450 houses and some 1,650 estates. The aim of the resource is to assist and support researchers working on the social, economic, political, and cultural history of Connacht.
The project involved the distillation and collation of data from a broad range of historical sources, and its concise codification on an estate/name basis.
“For the first time,” said project principal Prof Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, “researchers will have ready access to a comprehensive database of sources relating to the world of the landed society of Connacht from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the break-up of the large landed estates under the land purchase schemes that followed the Irish ‘land war’ of the late Victorian and Edwardian period.”
To explore the new database go to www.landedestates.ie