The Irish Bomfords

Peter Bamford's  'The Bomford Family of Ireland and Allied Families'


Peter Bamford has written an extensive history of the Bomfords in Ireland.  The full text of his August 2005 revision is on the site as an Acrobat PDF document (6 MB).  Peter's history was written originally in the 1980s, and comprised three volumes of single spaced typing.

Photo of typewritten page 1 of Chapter 1Photo of three yellow manilla folders, somewhat dogeared: volumes 1 to 3 The original three volume typed manuscript. Click on images to see enlargements


In a letter dated 4 September 2005 to Richard Bomford enclosing the updated August 2005 version Peter wrote as follows:

"My original intention was to stop around 1900 but I found that this was not practical and so continued, but no research has been done after about 1900.  Finally there were 10 photocopied copies [of the original typescript version] which were distributed to various branches of the family.  In time much more was added, and, of course, people insist on being born, married and dying!

"There were two major items which started the ball rolling.  One was the amount of land in the Bomford deeds about which I knew little and from them I found many errors and omissions in Burke (1976) which became the second item.

"With regard to the land - There are many deeds here but many more are missing.  The Dublin Registry of Deeds (2.16) have copies [extracts] of all deeds registered since 1708 and I spent many hours there filling in the gaps by making summaries so the "The Bomfords" have a full summary of all deeds up to around 1900.  I got fed up with the later deeds and, although very little land was involved, it also became more expensive to me!  Unfortunately, although I have interpreted the deeds to the best of my ability, there may well be some errors.  The deeds are in legal jargon with no punctuation, are written on vellum, one sheet was just over 3 feet wide and in long hand which was mostly easy to read but some were in very poor writing.  Leases were usually made for "three lives or thirty years" and it was these 3 lives which started me off on correcting the family tree in Burke.

"Another favourite port of call was the Public Records Office in the Four Courts (2.16) and there found Betham's notebooks most useful.

. . .

"I always though it was unfair that the Bomford women were dropped from the records on marriage.  You will see that I have included them (the Allied Families).  However my plea was (is) to drop them once the grand-children were born, unless another Bomford marriage occurs.  Another unusual inclusion is the background notes on social history, and perhaps I have gone too far here.  However it is important to know as much of the detail as possible to have an understanding of the family.  "The Famine" is not mentioned in the deeds but had a vast effect on all concerned, so too did the Jacobite War and the '98 Rebellion, the court case of 1762, the emigration to Victoria or Tasmania, and so on.

"A large omission which I regret is that I have not included the sources of information.  Originally there was only a handful of sources - Deeds, Burke, Church records etc - and it was considered unnecessary and troublesome (!).  Since then the Internet has raised its head and I have become very suspicious.  Although entries have been made probably with honesty, there seem to be many inaccuracies.  For instance I was sent an internet extract of a list of Col Lawrence's children with birth dates but no sources.  This pleased me enormously until I discovered that it was my original list (1.6) without that magical 'c' as in "born c1651".  Therefore implying that the list was fact and not an estimate.  This type of error is dangerous and indeed I am suspicious of any internet entries and am disinclined to use them without independent sources of origin.

. . ."

Peter died on 3 January 2017.


Some standardisation of spelling has been done across the site. Caulfeild has been spelt so, rather than the rather common Caulfield. Tyrrell has been spelt with two Rs, including in derivative such as Tyrrellspass, though in many references the original spelling is Tyrell. Apologies if that has led to inaccuracies.


Notwithstanding Peter's observation in the paragraphs above, there is in fact quite a lot of information on sources within the document.  Sources noted include the following:

Burke's Irish Family Records (1976); Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland (1912)

The deeds and other documents that have been handed down by the family and ended up with Peter Bamford at Crodara.  In May 2006 Peter agreed to transfer the originals to the National Library in Dublin.  Before that happened, photographs were taken of most of the documents so that they can be made readily available via the internet.  A number of the documents relate specifically to Oakley Park and came with the property.  They have not been photographed, but have also been sent to the National Library. (5.7.1  Index of photos). The documents are in the manuscript collection in the Library. You may have to ask for them, as they do not appear in the catalogue.

Apart from the County and National Libraries, the two main sources of information were the Registry of Deeds, originally King’s Inns, in Henrietta Place, and the Public Record Office in the Four Courts over-looking the River Liffey. (2.16)

Readers may be mystified by the Book, Page and Number, which follow most of the deeds in brackets. Although many Bomford deeds are at Crodara many more are missing, so a search was made in the Registry of Deeds. Here are many rooms crammed with massive tomes in which each deed is recorded by hand in legal jargon and without punctuation; these can be difficult to read, worse to make sense of. (2.16)

The Public Records Officein the Four Courts was nearly completely demolished by fire during the ‘troubles’ of 1922. All the original wills were stored there and were burnt together with other invaluable and irreplaceable documents, as the early parish registers or marriage settlements. (2.16)

There would have been a complete absence of much information if Sir William Betham had not made his Extracts of Wills, which he wrote in notebooks covering the period up to 1799. A number of Bomford wills are included and Betham listed all the names in each will together with the date of the will and the probate date, but he could not make extracts of all wills.  (2.16)

Luckily in 1897 Sir Arthur Vicars made a complete list of all the wills in the Records Office and this had been published as the ‘Index to Prerogative Wills’ and covers the period 1536 - 1810; but it only gives the name of the person making the will, its date and the date of probate. Sir Arthur Vicars was the Ulster King of Arms (the chief herald) from 1893 to 1908.  (2.16)

Another source of wills information is  There are three digitised volumes of Wills calendars from the Registry of Deeds there: author P Beryl Eustance, towards the bottom (as at Aug 2012).

A major source of information of all the Bomford property was the Ordnance Survey maps of 1835/6 and the companion Field Name Books which gave additional details (24.8) (22.3); 1836 Survey (9.3.9) (22.3) (25.3) (27.3)

1654 Survey (9.3.9), the Down Survey, by Sir William Petty (1.4.1) (2.11.3)

Lyons' Grand Juries of Westmeath  (27.5.2); The Grand Juries of Westmeath (1853 by John Charles Lyons) (23.2.1); the Grand Juries of Westmeath has been proved inaccurate in a number of instances (23.2).

Walford’s County FamiliesWalford’s County Families of 1900 (14.8.2)  (19.2.2)  (27.8.3)

The Succession Lists by Rev Canon J.B. Leslieheld in the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin (3.1.1)

Healy’s History of the Diocese of Meath  (11.10)

The 1854 Valuation, Griffith’s Valuation of Ratable Properties  20th October 1854  (27.3)

Burke’s Guide to Country Houses

Burke’s Landed Gentry of 1912  (1.2) (8.9)

The 1884 edition of Burke’s General Armoury (14.2)

Censusof Ireland 1871  (29.8)

“Ainsworth(J.F.) Report on the Bomford Papers (from 1699), formerly the property of Lt Col G. W. Bomford, now in the National Library of Ireland, relating to Ford, Coates, Bomford, and Maxwell families, and to lands in Dublin City, Limerick, and Co Meath.” The Ainsworth Report is to be found in the National Library, Dublin, under the heading ‘Bomford’ in the ‘Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization’.  Reference: Nat. Libr. Rep. on Private Collections No. 150 (5.7.1)

In the Royal Irish Academy a file titled “The Upton Papers”. Number 28/110 concerns the Bomfords of Cushenstown ‘as communicated by Sir A. M. B. Irwin[Alfred Macdonald Bulteel Irwin], CSI, June 1916’; Irwin served with the ICS [Indian Colonial Service] in Punjab and Burma where he became a judge, and then retired to Dublin. It is not known from where Irwin got his information but his papers confirmed much of what I had found and adds even more; I suspect that he researched the records in the Four Courts which during the troubles were destroyed by fire and so are lost for ever. Irwin's papers are in the National Library, Dublin, manuscript collection: G.O. MSS (Genealogical Office Manuscripts) 432-435: Will abstracts, pedigrees and other genealogical notes on Irwin and allied families, compiled by Sir Alfred Irwin c. 1900-1920, with indexes of principal surnames.(7.1.1).

Arthur Crisp’s Visitations of Ireland of 1897 (8.9)

The Meath Freeholders List dated sometime between 1775 and 1780 (8.4) (11.14)

Lewisin 1838 8.5.1; 1838 the Topographical Dictionary of Lewis (14.2); Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of 1837 (20.5.1)

Eustace (8.10)

Trinity Register (11.4); (2.13.2)

 Officers of the Bengal Army, 1758 – 1834 by Major V.C.P. Hodson (11.9)

Watson’s Dublin Almanack (12.2.5)

The British Army's List of Officers as they Rank in the Army goes back well beyond 1800  (18.3)

The various Almanacks, which produced Army Lists of field ranking officers (18.3)

1811 edition of The Gentleman’s and Citizens Almanack (15.6.2)

1871 Thom’s Almanack (25.3.2); Thom’s Directories of 1867, 1968 and 1969 (27.8)

The Land Commission Offices (19.6.1)

John Pratt Winter’s history of the Winter family (18.1.1, 18.6).  John Pratt kept a diary, the 1745 - 1747 portion being in the National Library (Positive 4160) (8.2.1)

The Prattdocuments in the National Library (20.2.1)

1913 edition of Strickland’s Dictionary of Irish Artists (20.6)

Protestant Church Register, Kells (19.4)

Agher Church records (20.2.1)

Untenanted Lands Return 1906 (19.4.2); the Untenanted Lands Return in the Valuation Office in Dublin (28.6)

The Post Chaise Companion by William Wilson of 1807 (19.6)

The Statistical Survey of County Meath, printed in 1802 for the Dublin Society (20.5.1)

Henderson’s Post Office Directory for County Meath, 1861 Edition (21.6.3)

The Landowners of Ireland 1878 edition (21.6.3); the Landowners of Ireland (28.4.4); the 1878 edition of The Landowners of Ireland (27.6.2)

The Succession Lists in the RCB Library (21.8.5)

A booklet concerning the County Meath Civil Accounts at the Lent Assizes of 1834 (22.1)

The records of the College of Arms (1.1)

Curia Regis Rolls (1.1)

Dr Beryl Moore and Michael Kenning's 1981 pamphlet Headstones in Laracor Church (1.3)

John O’Hart Irish Landed Gentry in 1649 (1.4)

The Records of Ireland (marked 1821-1825) deposited in the library of the Royal Irish Academy (1.4)

The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland by John P. Prendergast, 1865, 1912 Edition (1.4)

Baines History of Lancashire (1.1)

O’Hart’s Irish Pedigrees of 1888 (1.5)

The Genealogical Memoirs of the Echlin Family printed privately by Rev J.R. Echlin (3.1)

Multyfarnham Parish History by Peter Wallace (8.3)

Journal of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland (7.9.1)