MARTIN Whyte with the original Vermont Ledger he found 25 years ago. Photo: Ray Ryan

Restoring a little piece of Galway’s heritage

FOUND in a cottage in the parish of Menlough the guts of 25 years ago, a ledger that is almost 215 years old has had its true significance laid bare.

The ledger is a farm labour account book, dated November 2, 1807, to April 29, 1808. It details the names of the men, their rate of pay and the duties they carried out on the Bellew estate in Mountbellew across 26 weeks.

The origin of this amazing document, which predates the Famine, was confirmed recently by Joe Clarke, who is living in Mountbellew.

Joe is an authority on the Grattan-Bellew family, who founded the town of Mountbellew and built Mountbellew House on their estate in 1786. The Bellews intermarried with a couple of families, one of them being the Grattans, and they assumed the surname Grattan-Bellew thereafter.

Read the full feature in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops and online here