THE GLYNN FAMILY

The Glynn/Glenn/McGlynn family originating in Culkeen, Co. Roscommon 1825 -   2017   

The Glynn House and Farm, page 1

 

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Michael Glynnís house stands about eight feet from the roadside in Culkeen. There is a low stone wall between it and the road and the area between is now overgrown with bushes and weeds which hide the house from view. Originally, this overgrown area was a kind of small courtyard Ė none of the houses in Culkeen would have had any front boundary wall. Indeed Michael Glynnís original house was part of a village of eight houses arranged in a large open area which served as a village street or courtyard. There was a well on the opposite roadside across from the entrance gate to the farmyard. Mick Higgins of Cloonfad told me that the well was dug "by auld Glynn himself".
Sometime after the new landlord Mr. Martin McDonnell rearranged the holdings of his tenants about 1860, Michael Glynn and his family built a new house with outbuildings on the roadside facing south. He built a wall parallel to his western boundary and about four feet away which served as roadway to the pastureland at the northern end of his farm where the river was his boundary. According to Michael McHugh, brother of Sean, the last occupier of the Glynn land, this river teemed with brown trout which could be trapped in pools and caught by hand. The land stretched in continuous single fields down to the river The fields nearest to the house were somewhat better in quality than the rest. The fields at the northern end were wet and boggy and had two long open drains leading to the river. In 1871, Mary Glynn wrote to her son Patrick in Kansas:
"Dear son we are doing well. We have four head of cattle, two heifers and a cow and a calf. My dear son, we had not a better crop this twelve years, both potatoes and oats but I am afraid of the potatoes because the gases is decaying great".
When Sean McHugh inherited the property he removed the inside walls and put a galvanized roof on the house and used it as a cowshed. Eddie Bermingham of Ballinross who did this work and Michael McHugh who was born there told me what the house was like before the conversion.
Originally, the house was a typical Irish cottage. It had three main rooms. Viewed from the roadside, the house had two small windows on the left, then a door and another window on the right. The rooms at each end were bedrooms with the kitchen in between. The kitchen had a chimney breast and fireplace with an open hearth to the left of the doorway. Over the bedroom on the right was a loft which was accessed by a ladder and was used as a sleeping area and later as a storage area. A backdoor led into the farmyard and to the left of this was a "hag" about eight feet long and four feet deep. This was traditionally the sleeping area for the grandmother.
The house had gables at each end and a roof of thatch, probably of reeds. There were two farm buildings at the back, one at right angles to the house and the other behind it and to the right. A gateway to the right of the house led into the farmyard. The vegetable garden was probably on the left where two apple trees are growing. It is possible that these apple trees were planted by Michael Glynn himself.
Eddie Bermingham, John Joe Waldron and others in Culkeen were able to confirm family tradition that the Glynns had a small shop. This was in a corner of the kitchen. Very probably, essential household items such as soap, salt, tea, sugar and candles were in stock. John Joe Waldron says they also sold "Blue". This would have been Reckittís Blue, used in washing clothes and linen to whiten them. We have so far not been able to confirm another family tradition that they bought horses for the British Army.