The earliest record of Barbers at Rahelly is in the Elphin Census of 1749:
John Barber, Farmer, 1 child under 14 yrs, 3 children older than 14 yrs
William Barber, land houlder, 2 children under 14, 3 children older than 14 yrs
The neighboring townlands are Doonowney, Ballygilgan, Coolnadrummon Lower and Cashelgarron. This was an area of high concentration for the Barbers during the early 1700s. After 1750 their descendants expanded into other nearby townlands. In the early 1800's the family homestead of William Barber was located in the southeast area of Rahelly townland. The map below shows that house near the Y in Rahelly with its outbuilding as well as the Rahelly House in ruins.
The earliest recorded Rahelly Barber burials in the Drumcliffe Church Cemetary was:
Jane Barber on December 29th, 1827. She was 98 years old and recorded as entry No. 464 on Page 59. She would have been born about 1729.
Earliest Rahelly baptisms were:
Charles Barber about 1775
Jane Barber 30 December 1805
Francis Barber on 7 April 1806
Francis Barber on 5 November 1814
Jane Barber about 1859
Anne Barber about 1865
The Lissadell Estate Rent Roll records for Rahelly show:
Oct 1810 William Barber £39
Oct 1810 John Barber £53
Oct 1810 Samuel Barber £32
?? Joseph Barber, Jnr £40
Mar 1813 John Barber £33
Apr 1840 Francis Barber £70
Jun 1844 Francis Barber £32
By far, the most famous resident of Rahelly, was Francis Barber, the "Model Farmer". Francis applied scientific methods to irrigation and produced bunker crops when other farmers around him were struggling. His expertise and hard work were noticed by the Gore-Booth family at nearby Lissadell. They gave him more land to farm each year. Ultimately, he built roads and other construction projects in the area and a beautiful house which unfortunately was in ruins until 2008 due to a sacking by the Black and Tans in 1923. Originally built by Francis Barber, a tenant on the Gore-Booth Lissadell Estate in 1860 at a cost of £ 8,000, the Rahelly House was sold in 1885 and an agent to Gore-Booth, J.A Cooper resided there from 1900-1918. In early 1922 the Republicans used it as a Barracks. In August 1922 the National troops moved in. In 1923 the Black and Tans burnt down the main house. The buildings have been recently restored. Here is a photo of Francis and more of the story in the attachment below.
Francis Barber (1806-1893)