The Papers of the Burkes of Ballydugan, County Galway

Repository: Galway County Council Archives

Identity Statement

TitleThe Papers of the Burkes of Ballydugan, County Galway
Archive ReferenceIE GCCA/GP6
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1707-1970
Extent Medium124 items


Creator(s): Burkes of Ballydugan

  • Administrative History ↴

    Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland indicates that Michael Burke of Ballintober, county Roscommon purchased the Ballydugan (Ballydoogan) property from the Lynch family around 1726. The OS Name Books record Thomas Burke of Ballydugan as a proprietor in the parish of Ardrahan in the 1830s. William Burke purchased the former Kelly estate at Lisduff, parish of Tynagh, barony of Longford, from the 2nd Marques of Sligo in the late 1820s. The Ballydugan estate remained in the Burke family until divided in the early 20th century though some of the demesne lands are still owned by the family. Rev. Michael Burke was the owner of Ballydugan at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £24. In 1906 Michael H. Burke owned the mansion house at Ballydugan then valued at almost £27. In 1922 it was ‘maliciously destroyed during the recent troubles in Ireland and an award amounting to £10,425.1.3 was made by way of compensation for its destruction and costs payable as to £1,112.1.3 by the Dominion Office, London, and as to the residue by the Minister of Finance of the Irish Free State subject to the monies payable by the said Minister to a condition of rebuilding’ (GP6/100, p2). Ballydugan House was rebuilt, with modifications, in 1929 (see GP6/98). The family and estate archives were destroyed in the fire of 1922. The Burkes were connected though marriage to many of the district’s landed family, and also to the Guinness family of Dublin.
  • Archival History ↴

    The papers were held by the family solicitor until he passed them to the family in c2002, who in turn deposited them with the Archives on long-term loan in 2009.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴

    Permanent Loan

Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Burkes of Ballydugan ↴

    This small collection relates to the Ballydugan estate in the barony of Leitrim, parish of Kilmeen, townland of Ballydoogan, county Galway, outside Loughrea, covering the 18th-20th centuries. It includes legal material such as marriage settlements, wills and leases dating from the early 1700s to mid 1800s, together with personal letters of various family members, in particular Michael Burke (1853-1935) and his son (1902-1963), and drawings of the house from the 1st quarter of the 1900s, and correspondence from 1970s.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    There was no sense of original order in the collection, therefore much of the material did not form a coherent series of records. The papers have thus been arranged into several sections commencing with the early legal documents, followed by sections corresponding to the principle persons involved, some sections have sub-sections. Where possible the papers within each of the sections have been arranged according to particular areas of activity, though by-in-large they are arranged chronologically. Of particular interest may be the records referring to the political and social climate in the area in the 1920s, detailing political intimidation and ongoing tensions between a landlord and his tenants regarding land and its ownership.
    The sections for Michael Burke (+1935) and his son, William (+1963), should perhaps be viewed collectively, as items in both are inter-related. For instance though Michael’s section includes sub-section (II) entitled Estate Management and Intimidation the letters to his son in sub-section (IV) refer to intimidation and problems with tenants, as do items in other sub-sections.
    Items 125-129 do not appear to have a direct connection with the Burkes, though they do refer to property in Fauquier County, Virginia, and Mrs Claire Therese Burke requested correspondence from that area (GP6/124).

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Available by appointment. Unrestricted access. The material in this collection is available to all bona fide researchers by appointment only, and subject to the conditions of access governing the consultation of archival material at Galway County Council Archives.
Conditions Governing ReproductionNo material may be reproduced from this collection without the written permission of the archivist, and reproductions are subject to the conditions of access.
Creation Dates1707-1970
Extent Medium124 items
Finding Aids Descriptive list On-line catalogue at Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Related MaterialSee also NUIG's Land Estates database

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NotePatria McWalter
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions2009