Irish Family Research Discover the secrets of your ancestors’ past Brendan Mullins Genealogist

      1851 Dublin City Census

      On the 1851 Dublin City Census, suprisingly, there are no Adamsons listed. There are 42 Adams but none appeared to be related. My great grandfather, also Joseph Adamson married Mary Anne Lynam in 1888, and I had more success locating details of her family. Both her father and grandfather, as well as other relatives, are on this Census. They were all 'Dairy Men' and living in the Pill Lane, now Chancery Street, area behind the Four Courts. John Lynam, father of Mary Anne, married Mary Farrell in St. Catherine's Church (RC), Thomas Street, Dublin in April 1866. Their fathers were Maurice Lynam and Malachy Farrell, both Dairy Men, as he was. Maurice died in 1876 and was  living in 67 Pill Lane until then. His name and address can also be found on the 1851 Dublin City Census. There are 32 Lynams listed including a John Lynam in 62 Pill Lane and a Patrick Lynam in 17 Fishamble Street. This low number is suprising as it is an Irish name, which originated in east Leinster17.


      There is a William Lynam on the William Smith O'Brien Petition of 1848 – 1849 living in 17 Fishamble Street. Also on this petition, is a Joseph Adamson from Newfoundland Street, Dublin, a possible relative.       


      Two other possible, though not probable, relations located on the Index of Marriage Licence Bonds for the Church of Ireland Diocese of Dublin were Josiah Adamson, Goldsmith, Capel  Street, (1771) and Thomas Adams, Silversmith, Sycamore Alley, (1797)18.

      Another good source of information is the Irish Index of Wills19, if your ancestors were fortunate to hold some property. There was a Thomas Adamson in 1835 and a John Lynam in 1831, who made Prerogative Wills, but they do not appear to be related.

      Land Records - Griffith’s Valuation

      Land Records such as the Tithe Applotment Books and Estate Records can provide much information for most parts of the country, as I discovered while carrying out some research in Co. Mayo. These included such items as the landlords Rental Books, Valuation Survey Books, Workmens Account Books and Maps. However, being in the city of Dublin now, the only possible source was the Griffith's Valuation (1847 – 1854). There are no Adamsons listed in Dublin, but there are many in Ulster as mentioned previously. Out of 126 listed, just two of these are Joseph, both living in Shankill, Antrim. There are only four Lynams listed in Dublin, but one of these is 'Maurice Lynam on King Street, North' which is not far from Pill Lane. By then, taking the Cancelled Lists held in the Valuation Office in Dublin, for after this period, you may locate the approximate time of death of an ancestor with which you can then research elsewhere, including the Civil Death Registrations.

      Gravestone Inscriptions

      Some very useful information can be obtained from Gravestone Inscriptions, if you are fortunate enough to locate them. I had one good find in the Memorials of the Dead20 in the National Archives. It is the gravestone of the Lynam family erected by John Lynam of Pill Lane, in the Goldenbridge Cemetery in Inchicore, which includes his parents, two sisters, one young child, one aunt, and his wife, Mary Lynam. It gives the date of death and age for each person, from which the approximate year of birth can be calculated. One example is his mother, Catherine Lynam, who died on 14th August 1849 aged 49, which means she was born about 1800. This is excellent for confirming the identity, where you have the same christian names repeated among relations. No Adamson gravestones have been located as yet.

      Electoral Registers

      On the Electoral Register for Ireland21 for 1836 there are just two Lynams listed. There is a Bartholemew Lynam in 96 Pill Lane, probably a brother of Maurice, but to be confirmed, and an Edward on Michaels Hill.

There are many other minor census substitute sources to turn to, including those given by Grenham for each county in his book, 'Tracing your Irish Ancestors'22 that may provide some additional information for you.


The Adamson and Lynam Ancestors, Dublin.

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17  Edward MacLysaght, The Surnames of Ireland, Sixth Ed., 2007, page 201, First Published 1985, Irish Academic Press, Dublin 4.  

18  Irish Wills Index, Marriage Licence Bonds for the Diocese of Dublin, Irish Origins, copy online at

19   Irish Wills Index, Prerogative Court, Irish Origins, copy online at

20   Miss Vigors and Mrs. Pierce G Mahony, Memorials of the Dead, National Archives of Ireland, Bishop St., Dublin

21  Electoral Register of Ireland 1836, Irigins Origins, copy online at

22   John Grenham, Tracing your Irish Ancestors, Second Ed., 1999, Gill & Macmillan Ltd., Dublin

Lynam Gravestone, Goldenbridge Cemetery, Inchicore, Dublin.

Pill Lane -

There was once a small inlet, or ‘pill’, at this location where the river Bradoge entered the river Liffey. (11th century) It was used as a small harbour before the Liffey was confined to the quay walls.

It was renamed Chancery Street after the Courts of Chancery, which formed part of the Four Courts complex.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Erected by

JOHN LYNAM of Pill Lane,

In memory of his beloved mother,


Who died 14th Augt. 1849, Aged 49 yrs.

Also his sister, ELLEN, who died

13th Augt. 1849, aged 13 yrs.

And of his sister, WINFRED GREGORY, who died

18th Novr. 1874,aged 35 yrs.

Also his child, ELLEN, who died young.

And of his Aunt ELLEN DONOVAN, who died

19th Jany. 1876, aged 74 yrs.

And also of his beloved father,


Who died 31th March 1876, aged 75 yrs.

Also in memory of his beloved wife,


Who died 28th February 1877, aged 30 yrs.

May they rest in peace.

The Lynam Gravestone,

In Goldenbridge Cemetery,

Inchicore, Dublin,

reads as follows -

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