Google took me to the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive and the "Schools' Manuscript Collection - My Home District / Bailiuchan na Scol - Mo Cheantar Féin" from 1936-37." The collection description says, "this sub-collection consists of a series of selected essays by schoolchildren from participating counties in Munster and Connacht entitled 'My Home District', a topographical description of their own locality which they were encouraged to write."
The children were encouraged to consult their parents and elders in the community and write up some of the history of their areas. I’ve looked at a few in the collection – and unfortunately, unlike what we’ve gotten used to with some other digitized collections like on Ancestry, you cannot browse this collection. You can however search in two useful ways. If you search by family name, you will get results either for the child who was the author of the paper, or sometimes for the adult who provided the information. You can also type in the name of a townland of interest and see if a paper was done on it. It is hit and miss. It would appear that a few children per school were selected, so not all townlands in Munster (Counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Clare and Waterford) and Connacht (Counties Galway, Mayo. Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon) were covered. I did however find a full list of the papers included in the collection here.
My Aunt Nora’s paper, titled “My Home District,” lists the families resident at Shountullig, allowing us to compare the information to the previous censuses (which I will do in a future post on Shountullig). She was 12 when she prepared the paper. Here is the text:
“The name of my townland is Shountullig. It is in the parish of Schull and in the West Division of West Carbery. There is a population of about forty-six people in it. There is one Cullinane family, one Sullivan family, three Levis families, one Donovan family, one Moynihan family, one Hayes family, one Hodnett family and one Copithorne family and one Hegarty man in the townland. There are four Protestant families and seven Catholic families in it. There is but one person over seventy living there. She is eighty-three years of age. Her name is Mrs. Moynihan.
Houses were more numerous in former times. The old ruins were knocked down and drawn away. Some people sold their farms and went to live in America or Australia and other countries.Perhaps you didn’t realize that in the Republic of Ireland there were so many Protestant families, over forty percent in this townland. In West Cork, the Catholic and Protestant families lived and worked closely together. It was only a year or so ago, when I was studying the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, that I realized that the Levis family that my dad had spoken of with such regard was a Protestant family.
Obtained from my father, John Moynihan, 40 years”
Aunty Nora’s paper leaves us with one mystery.