"GLANBEGH, or GLENBEHY, a parish, partly in the barony of IVERAGH, but chiefly in that of DUNKERRON, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER; 13 miles (S. W.) of Milltown; containing 2449 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the south-eastern shore of the bay of Dingle, derives its name from the small river Birchen, or Begh, which rises in the mountain lakes and intersects it in its rapid course into the sea. It comprises 25,686 statute acres, as apploted under the tithe act, of which nearly two-thirds are mountain pasture, bog, and rock; and forms an extremely wild and romantic glen surrounded by steep and rugged mountains on all sides except towards the sea, where it is enclosed by a range of low but steep hills, forming a sheltered vale, through which the river Begh pursues the whole of its impetuous course. The highest mountains are the Drung and Cahir-Canaway, over which the old road passed into the remoter parts of the baronies of Iveragh and Dunkerron, along a range of precipitous cliffs overhanging the bay. The situation is picturesque and romantic, but its aspect is wild and savage in the extreme; and previous to the commencement of the present improvements, the glen was the inaccessible and secure retreat of lawless violence and the abode of misery and destitution.
A new line of mail coach road has been constructed, avoiding the steep and dangerous pass over the mountains, and preserving an easy level throughout the whole of this previously impenetrable and isolated part of the country. Since the formation of these roads, the old heavy hurdles or drags have been discontinued, and carts and wheel carriages have been brought into general use, by which great facilities have been afforded for procuring sea-sand as manure, which has greatly increased the fertility of the soil. The wretched huts, which scarcely afforded shelter to the labourers, have given place to neat comfortable cottages, generally built of stone, most of them containing two rooms and dairy, and several having two chambers with a dwelling-room and offices, and garden, enclosed and well planted; the old hovels have been converted into sheds for cows and pigs, and every requisite for domestic cleanliness has been provided.
The air of this coast is highly salubrious, and several pretty sea-bathing cottages have been built at Rossbegh, and furnished under the auspices of Lady Headley for the reception of visiters, for whose accommodation a comfortable inn has also been established.
The parish is in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, and is a rectory and vicarage, forming part of the union of Cahir: the tithes amount to £130. In the R.C. divisions it is the head of a union or district, comprising also part of the parish of Killorglin, and containing a chapel here and another at Glencare, on the border of Killorglin parish."
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (1837)]
Note: The Civil Parish of Glanbehy ceased to be used for census purposes in the mid nineteenth century when District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) were introduced.
The Civil Parish of Glanbehy was split between the DEDs of Glanbehy and
Lickeen, with parts going to the neighbouring DEDs of Derriana and Caragh:
Glanbehy DED Ballynakilly, Ballynakilly Lower, Ballynakilly Upper, Canearagh, Coolnaharragill Lower, Coolnaharragill Upper, Coolroe Lower, Coolroe Upper, Coomasaharn, Curra, Curraheen, Curraheen Little, Drom, Drom West, Faha, Gortdirragh, Gowlane, Kealduff Lower, Kealduff Upper, Kilkeehagh, Kilnabrack Lower, Kilnabrack Upper, Letter East, Letter West, Reennanallagane, Rossbehy townlands
Lickeen DED Bunglasha North, Bunglasha South, Carriginane, Coomavoon, Cosha South, Creeveen, Derreenanaryagh, Dreenagh, Drombrane, Drom East, Keel, Lickeen, Neesha, Toornaneaskagh townlands
Derriana DED Curravaha, Doory, Dromalonhurt townlands
Caragh DED Callahaniska, Commaun, Cosha North, Lauhir, Treangarriv, Treanmanagh townlands
The old church of Glanbehy was in the townland of Ballynakilly Lower, in the old parish burial ground. Following the reformation this church passed to the Church of Ireland, but was abandoned probably in the seventeenth century, and quickly fell into ruins. For Church of Ireland purposes Glanbehy was united with Cahir and Killinane by 1633.
In the Roman Catholic church, Glanbehy remained a distinct parish - usually spelt Glenbeigh. Churches were built in Glenbeigh village and at Glencar.
The Church of Ireland registers (Caher Parish) for baptisms start in 1878,
and for marriages in 1947. Copies of the Registers are in the
Representative Church Body Library,
The following Roman Catholic registers remain for Glanbeigh:
Baptisms March 17, 1830 - Aug., 1837
(In mutilated condition)
Marriages March, 1830 - Feb. 1835 (In mutilated condition)
Baptisms June 21, 1841 - March 25, 1870 (Several pages missing and mutilated)
Baptisms April 9, 1870 - Dec. 30, 1880
From 1863 Glanbehy was mostly in the Caherciveen Superintendant Registrar's District, although Derriana DED was part of the Killarney District. See the Registration Districts page.