Irish Petty Sessions for Some Frazers and McMasters: Part 2

In my previous Blog, I looked at the Irish Petty sessions for my ancestor James Frazer and some of his relatives. This was helpful in sorting out some of these relatives as to where they lived during a time whcih has few or no Census records.

Alexander Frazer of Carrowncully

Here is the defendant, withnesses and charge:

I believe that this is this Alexander Frazer:

Doctor J Frazer 1899

This doctor had the same charge against him that my 3rd great-grandfather had:

This has me a bit stumped, but is most likely:

I suppose that Riversdale could have been mistaken for Riverstown. The 1901 Census is not much help as it shows Edward King living in County Meath at the time:

Richard Frazer of Derrycashel

This is of interest to me as my ancestors lived in Derrychashel:

I had my relatives show me the old Derrycashel Frazer House when I visited Ballindoon in 2004:

It looks like a few things were happening. Nixon Johnston of Kilmactranny trespasses on Richard Frazer’s land and refuses to leave. I don’t know which happened first but in an apparently related incident, Richard Frazer assaults Archibald H Johnston of Cloughmine (County Sligo).

Here is my guess for Richard Frazer:

This is probably Archibald Johnston in Griffith’s Valuation:

Richard’s father Archibald appears to have lived in Derrycashel at the time of Griffith’s Valuation, but died in 1863:

That means that Richard, the son of Archiabald was living in Derrycashel in 1881. Here is where these people likely lived:

Here are two Frazer/Johnston marriages:

Mary had a son named Archibald Johnston. I’m sure that my 3rd great-grandfather James Frazer knew about what was going on between the Frazers and the Johnstons, but I don’t. Also this Archibald H Johnston was from Cloughmine and not Derrycashel. Here is Cloughmine – next door to Kilmactranny in County Sligo in the heart of McMaster territory:

In 1877, Richard Frazer owed Boyle shopkeeper Michael McDonald:

Richard was looking for wages due in 1890:

Mary Frazer Derryvanny


This is one of those famous assault cases:

Both sides had the same witnesses. Mary was a spinster. This fact is very important as I assume Frazer is her maiden name. Here she is in Griffith’s Valuation:

John Peyton Frazer had some property there also. Here is a guess as to who Mary is from the James Line:

If I have identified Mary correctly, this would be her in County Sligo with her unmarried sisters in 1901:

Here her age would have been understated.

The McMaster Family

This family had their epicenter in the Parish of Kilmactranny in County Sligo. This was not very far from where the Frazers of North County Roscommon lived. My ancestor George William Frazer moved to Ballindoon, County Sligo from Derrycashel, County Roscommon. This must have been around the time that he married Margaret McMaster. They married at the Kilmactranny Church in 1866. My great-grandfather was born the next year in 1867 in Ballindoon. I have had some trouble in connecting the different branches of the McMaster Family.

This chart, which I made for DNA matches, starts to get at some of the complexities:

I believe I have the correct tree here. However, William McMaster at the top married a Frazer. My second great-grandmother Margaret McMaster married a Frazer. Her parents were both McMasters. I’ll start by searching for McMasters where the Court was in Roscommon.

Arthur McMaster of Dromore

Here is a map for reference:

Apparently Arthur was assualted in Deerpark by Thomas McManus:

Thomas also assaulted James Boyd of Carrigeenboy the same night. Here is my best guess for Arthur:

Just to make life compicated for genealogists, he married Catherine McMaster.

Hugh McMaster Derintunny, Kilbryan, Roscommon

Here is another early case from 1853. This must be Dereentunny in the heart of Frazer Country:

Here is Hugh and family:

Apparently Hugh had a maid named Margaret Kelly who took off:

So far, this is the earliest case I have found:

My Ancestor James McMaster

Here is what I have for James:

From what I understand, my 2nd great-grandmother was from Cuilnaghleragh. This was also known as Clarkwood. Here is Griffin’s Valuation for Cuilnaghleragh:

There is a James McMaster senior and junior. They both had a house in Cuilnaghlerah. Abraham looks like he had a house there also if I am reading the above corretly. I descend from the senior, I believe.

The first court case has no image:

In 1865, James didn’t want gravel on the public road:

I’m sure my ancestor had his reasons. In 1866, James was in trouble for his wandering pigs:

So pigs like mud, right? Perhaps that is why James didn’t want gravel on the road.

In 1859, James was a witness:

It looks like James was a witness for George Thompson. Apparently Thomas Boyd was putting a fend on George Thompson’s land.

Martha McMaster Cloghmine 1876

The complainant appears to be Thomas Conners:

I don’t have many guesses for this Martha, but here is one:

If I have this right, then Martha was a Rockaby and her second wedding had two witnesses named Archibald McMaster.

Here is a McMaster from Cloghmine:

Martha could have been the wife of William McMaster. I don’t see a Conners listed in Cloghmine on Griffith’s Valuation.

The Widow McMaster – Probably Anne Jane McMaster

I wonder if the Widow McMaster also in an 1876 case was Anne J(ane) McMaster:

I see that Ann J McMaster was a witness. Was she the widow McMaster? I mentioned Anne Jane McMaster in my previous blog. She was also a widow as of 1874 and was living in Aughrefinegan, Roscommon in 1886. However, in 1883, she was listed as living in Clarkewood aka Cuilnaghleragh:

Anne Jane is linked to Clarkewood and Aughrafinegan here in case there is any doubt.

William McMaster 1876 Cloghmine

When I filter by McMaster on my spreadsheet, I get this:

If William was Martha’s wife and she was a widow in the 1876, then William would have had to have died in 1876.

William McMaster 1857

I think that this is the same William McMaster in 1857:

Based on this entry, I would assume that William had land in Cloghmine but was living in Ballinlig:


Ballinlig is to the West of Highwood and Kilkere. So, I don’t know what it means that William lived in Ballinig but had land in Cloghmine. Was the family originally from Ballinig or Cloghmine? I see no McMasters in Ballinlig in the Griffith’s Valuation:

Hubert McMaster of Clarkewood

This name was transcribed as Herbert, but I see Hubert:

Apparently George Thompson and Hubert McMaster were not happy with John Boyd. I have this for Hubert:

It appears that in the 1901 Census, he was called Hugh:

In 1918 Hubert had an unlicensed dog:

Archibald McMaster

Archibald had fence problems in 1872:

I assume that Archibald (or Archable) lived in Kilkere. This 1876 case has Archibald in Kilkare:

According to Wiliam Johnston, Arhcibald’s man and animals tresspassed on his land, pulled down his fence and took turf. I see that Archibald filed even more charges against William Johnston at the same time.

Robert McMaster Dromore 1882

I see I mentioned an Arthur McMaster from Dromore above. Dromore was to the North of Highwood. This Robert is designated as Senior, so there must have been more than one Robert McMaster. This may be Robert McMaster Senior born in 1803:

McMaster Summary

One of the earliest cases involved Dereentunny which is in Roscommon. Here are the names on a map:

The map stops near the Roscommon border to the South, so the red arrow shows where Hugh and Anne were. Anne Jane was in Aughrafinegan, Roscommon.

Frazer and Roscommon Summary

Here is how that looks on a map:


From above, Hugh McMaster was in Derreentunny to the West of Derrycashel and Anne Jane (Frazer) McMaster in Augrefinegan. This shows how closely these early Frazers lived to each other. The three with the arrows go off the map. Archibald Frazer moved from Shanvoley aka Oldbrook to Drimatybonniff. Recall, this information is just from the Petty Sessions. I’m sure there were more Frazers not mentioned in these sessions.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The Irish Petty Sessions give some interesting background on the day to day lives of my ancestors and their relatives from the 1850’s to the time of the 1900 Irish Census.
  • It appears that livestock getting into your grains was an important issue as it could result in loss of revenue or even hunger.
  • My main purpose in looking at these Petty Sessions was to see where these people were living at the time. As there was no Census at this time, it puts these people in a particular place.
  • If these people were living in the same place as others of the same name, it could imply that they were from the same family. There were many people with the same names and similar sounding place names. The court cases tried to distinguish these people to make it clear who they were by saying where exactly they lived.
  • I summarized these cases in a spreadsheet and put these people on a map. The map shows the epicenter of where the McMasters lived in Kilmactryanny, County Sligo and where the Frazers lived in North County Roscommon.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *