Meenadreen link to Dr.Crawford
Meenadreen townland county Donegal 1828
The reverse of this map makes a reference to a Dr. Crawford, landowner
These are short notes about this person including his tenants’ list for the townland.
David Crawford was the son of James Crawford and Mary Makelwaine. He was born in Donegal in 1759 and died in 1825. Educated into the medical profession he later joined the Royal Navy as an assistant surgeon and sailed aboard the frigate ‘Quebec.’
Quebec had an encounter with a French man-of-war named the ‘Surveillante.’ Accompanying the Quebec was a cutter called the ‘Rambler’ and the French cutter was called ‘L’Expedition.’
In the engagement both ships were severely damaged. Many of the sailors were saved by an unknown Russian ship which appeared miraculously from nowhere whilst others were saved by swimming to the Surveillante which was being towed away from her burning enemy.
However, the Surveillante sank before she could reach the harbour. The English prisoners were detained for three weeks at Brest and then sent home. Those who did not return to England were thought to be dead. There was jubilation with those who returned.
David Crawford received promotion for his ordeal but instead of settling down he went on a cruise across the Atlantic and in his diary he reported that he met Washington.
When he returned to Ireland in 1790, he settled in Ballyshannon where he owned property. His landed estates were mainly in Donegal where Meenadreen , Leghowney, Finadoes, Tully, Drumadoney and Gregstown belonged to him.
He was elected Burgess of Ballyshannon and became Provost and Chief Magistrate of the town. Then he became Barrack-master of the Ballyshannon Military District with a garrison of 1500 men.
He married Sarah Caldwell in 1791. Sarah died at Croghan House Lifford. They had ten sons and four daughters.
Robert (1792-1824), James (1794-1855), Samuel (1795-1881), David (1797-1820), John (1798-1799), John (1800-1860), William (1801-1855), Andrew (1802-1873), Hugh (1809-1809), Hugh (1815-1815), Margaret (1803-1865), Mary (1805), Sarah (1807-1817), Elizabeth (1811-1885). Refer The Crawfords of the County Donegal by G Henderson).
Meenadreen was surveyed in 1828 by Robert Montgomery for the heirs of Dr. Crawford and the map paper bears a watermark of J. Whatman 1826. The surrounding townlands of Copany, Aghlem, Straness, Barnesanelan, Meenabrock, Loughcuil, Loughkip and Drumanardagh were also surveyed around this period. Tenants’ names are written in black and red. Spellings are as they appear on the map with dwellings, field boundaries and land description.
The map itself has a most unusual shape being 8 inches wide and 60 inches long.
Tenants’ list of Meenadreen inserted
Edward Cassiday, James Abraham, Hugh Dougherty, Owen Gallagher, Dennis Gildea, Phelemon Gildea, Pat Gillespy, George Hindman, James Leslie,
Hugh Mc Glinn, Pat Mc Mullin, Leslie Murphy, Timothy Murphy, Charles Slevin, Pat Slevin, William Walker, Pat Walker and Andrew Walker.
Townlands and Tenants
There is an essential amount of social history attached to every map, revealing detailed information, not only about the survey but conveniently disclosing the actual family names of every individual tenant inhabiting each town-land, similar to the Meenadreen and Mullin-alauphy surveys shown above.
The collection comprises a unique insight into the estate mapping development of the 1800s. Rather than being artistic with ornamentation, estate mapping progressed to become functional, expressing the practicality of surveys conducted by educated professionals, who presented accurate facts without elaborate art form.
It is true to say that the entire collection is a treasure trove of overflowing genealogy resources from the 1800s, waiting to be researched.
There is estimated to be over 3,000 tenants’ names disclosed by the surveys in this collection. Normally, the surveyors kept reference books for all their clients but undoubtedly the method of inserting tenants’ names with dwellings became less complicated for the proprietors.
Montgomery and his colleagues found this approach more efficient, as it was simpler and economical to record land occupation using this system.