Poverty Relief Loans

Today’s trawl: Ireland, Poverty Relief Loans 1821-1874 at FindMyPast.

Each loan contains three names. The first is the borrower’s, along with their occupation and townland (men over 21 years old and widowed women only, as married women were ineligible). The second and third names are the names, occupations, and townlands of the witnesses/guarantors. The loans were overseen by the Clerk of the Trustees for the Encouragement of Industry, which makes me laugh for some reason.

Loan 243 was to my great-great-great grandfather, Michael. Repayment information is on the right-hand page. I’m actually kind of shocked at how many of these loans were paid off. Considering the time period and the level of poverty in County Mayo, I would have thought there would be more defaulters.

Poverty Relief Loan
FindMyPast, “Ireland, Poverty Relief Loans 1821-1874,” database and images, FindMyPast ( : accessed 2 Apr 2016); Loan number 243 to Mich’l Baskquil 3 Apr 1839;

[number] 243, “Three months after date, we jointly and severally promise to pay to Mr. William Larminie, Clerk of the Trustees for the Encouragement of Industry in the County of Mayo, the sum of Two Pounds — Shillings sterling, with Interest, at the rate of Five per cent. value receied by us at Castlebar this 3rd day of April 1839. [signed] Mich’l Baskquil Farmer Ayle [witnesses] Walter Joyce Farmer Cappaharnane, Anthy Ludden Farmer Cappaharnane”