James was a farm labourer, probably on the Rynn Lough Estate near Mohill, and later a farmer in the Mohill district. (See the note on Peter MacFarlane a description of life on the Rynn Lough Estate.)

The 1901 Census shows James and Bridget McPartlin living in house 2 in Drumgownagh, about 5 kilometres east of Mohill in County Leitrim.

At the time, James was a farmer, 80 years old and able to read but not write. Bridget was 70 and could neither read nor write. Living with them was Bernard McPartlin, aged 27.

(In 1901, house 3 in Drumgownagh was occupied by a Michael McPartlin, house 6 by a Michael Heslin and house 16 by a Margaret Heslin. The 1834 Tithe Applotments show house 2 owned by Fra. McPartlin and house 3 by Brien Heslin. So, the McPartlins and Heslins had long been neighbours in the area.)

The 1834 Tithe Applotments show Fra. McPartlin’s property at 2 Drumgowna as being 7 Irish acres (about 4.5 hectares) which was valued at 17 shillings.

McPartlin is the Irish spelling of McFarlane

When the McFarlane clan was outlawed in Scotland in 1767, many members of the clan moved to Ireland. The majority, who had converted to Presbyterianism and mostly used the name McPartland, settled in Ulster. A minority, who remained Catholic and were mostly called McPartlin or McPartlan, settled in Leitrim County. James McPartlin was probably a descendant of these settlers.

See the Note on Peter McFarlane for a description of life in Leitrim County in the mid-19th century.


A typical cottage outside Mohill in 1889
A typical cottage outside Mohill in 1889