Tuam, County Cavan, Ireland

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Tuam - County Cavan

Tuam is a townland in County Cavan, Ireland; in the Civil Parish of Killinagh, in the Barony of Tullyhaw, in the Electoral Division of Tuam and in the Registrar's District of Holywell. Old records offer a wide variety of spellings - Toome; Tuaim; Touim; Tuam; Toam; Tuim.

Tuam lies on the N16, at a border between County Cavan and County Fermanagh, where a piece of land separates Upper and Lower Lough Macnean; and including the town of Blacklion.

see - townlands.ie: Tuam Townland Co. Cavan
see - logainm.ie: Tuam/Tuaim Townland Co. Cavan
Bordering townlands are -
Gurteen to the north
Belcoo East to the east
Belcoo West to the north
Kiltaglassan to the west
Kinnabo to the west
Lanliss to the east
Mullaghbane to the east
Ture to the south

The townland of Tuam is part of the old, medieval Manor of Largy. The old precinct of Toom (Tuam) included Gortnesillagh, Mullaghgarrowe, Rossan and Ture (or Toore). Tuam (Irish: Tuaim) The old name for this area is Learga, sometimes found as Largay, Largan, Largin Ter. In 1810, described as The town and Lands of Carrickabogher, Manrough, Tuam, Aughanurson [1] C.1619, the old property of Larga or Pynmar was a property belonging to Parsons and afterwards known as the manor of Pinmer and Parsonstowne. The grant to William Parsons included Legolah, Carricktorim, Toore, Carrickboyahor, Aghonoha, Dromcong. [2]

This is where the battle of Bel-atha-na-mBriosgadh - the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits was fought in 1594; a rearguard action at the Arney River fought by George Bingham, forced to retreat by Maguire and O'Neill as he attempted to relieve the the English garrison besieged in Enniskillen Castle. Bingham lost most of his wagons, scattering hard baked bread as he fled, to be gleefully picked up by the victorious Irish.

The village of Blacklion (Irish: An Blaic; or An Leargaidh) in the townland of Tuam, is named for an old coaching inn, the Black Lion. The site of The Black Lion Inn was occupied by Dolans Hotel in the 1920s. Note that there was another Inn a few miles to the west, the Red Lion close to Largy old Church.

Blacklion is supposed to be the first place hit by the potato blight in Cavan, in 1845. Famine deaths were high in this area, and many landowners suffered a devastating loss of income.

Close by is the old Killesher parish church and burying ground; in the townland of Killesher about 4.2 kilometres or 2.6 miles south-east of Blacklion on the south side of Marble Arch Road just to the west of the Cladagh Bridge.

Tuam in Griffith Valuation 1856-1857 (the 'immediate lessor' is Richard Saunders)
James Bracken occupies area 1 includes eel weir
James Bracken occupies area 2 - no dwelling - lives at Florencecourt
Eliza Wallace occupies area 3 - includes dwelling
Hugh Bracken occupies area 4a includes Tuam House
the Methodist Chapel is in area 4b
the Police Barracks are in area 5 - crossroads / N16/R206 junction
Hugh Bracken is the Immediate Lessor of area 6b - bothy, & 1/2 share of rent from barracks
James Bracken occupies area 6c - house, no land
there are a number of other small holdings
William Copeland Bracken occupies areas 12 & 13 - land only
William Bracken occupies area 15 - no dwelling
William Copeland Bracken occupies area 19d - the post office & store ?
James Bracken has control of a wasteland portion of area 19 - the fair green.

Note - subsequent changes in land holdings as recorded in the Valuation Revision Books are not available online for County Cavan.

'Tuam House' was built by Hugh Bracken

'The Hill' was occupied by William Copeland Bracken - was this the little hill near the fair green (the Fair of Largy) in Blacklion called Carraic Badhair?

A crossroad - in the parish of Killinagh, between Largy and Drumkeeran [3] perhaps the site of one Bracken farm.

James Bracken of Toam, Blacklion is reported to have owned 1,268 acres; valued in 1876 as £373, & in 2021 as £31,332 [4] James Bracken of Toam House was a member of the first Drainage Board for the Swanlinbar or Blackwater River Drainage District, appointed in 1877. [5]

In 1887, it was reported that - On May 23 an agreement was arrived at between Miss Bracken, Toan, and her tenants on the property in tbe neighbourhood of Blacklion. In November last the tenants, who number 100, adopted the Plan of Campaign on the landlady refusing to give an abatement of 26 per cent. Writs were issued aad ejectment notices served, but still the tenants held out. Some time ago Miss Bracken offered to grant the reduction asked for if the tenants would agree to pay the law costs. This they refused to do, and still adhering to the Plan, Miss Bracken came down to their terms. [6]

Known Bracken residents of Tuam, County Cavan -

John Bracken c.1737- & an unknown daughter of George Willis
Hugh Bracken c.1772-1861 & Elizabeth Copeland
William Bracken c.1780-1844 & Ann ...
James Bracken c.1785-1839 & Martha Elizabeth Willis
Andrew Bracken c.1787-1862 & Prudence Trotter
James Bracken c.1820-1885 & Rebecca Collum
Eliza Bracken c.1820- & John Thompson
William Copeland Bracken 1824-1892 & Jane Armstrong & Emma Hunter
William Bracken 1833-1915 & Elizabeth Irwin
Robert Bracken c.1840 & Lizie Abbott
Hugh Bracken 1851- & Mary Armstrong
Alicia Bracken 1854-1926 & James Fawcett
James Copeland Bracken c.1858-1915
Annie Bracken 1858-1934 (never married)
Robert Gerard Bracken 1911-1970


  1. Archival records 2/10 in An Blaic/Blacklion in logainm.ie
  2. Archival records 8/10; 9/10 in An Blaic/Blacklion in logainm.ie
  3. Archival records 7/10 in An Blaic/Blacklion in logainm.ie
  4. Who Owns Ireland by Kevin Cahill pub: The History Press, 2021
  5. Local and Personal Acts (40Vct) Ch.ix. pub: HM Stationary Office, 1877
  6. New Zealand Tablet, Volume XV, Issue 16, 12 August 1887, Page 19

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