One of Fr. Ferris's helpers wrote "One might say that the town had its origin however humble soon after 1700 when somebody started a mill and it's not likely that any enterprise of the kind would be started in the troubled period before 1700." In 1749 the Rev Charles Smith, the historian of Cork and Kerry was here, he described Millstreet as "the last village of any consequence in this part of the barony of Muskerry."
The figures given by Fr. Ferris in 1935 were:
"the number of houses- Cuileann 187, Millstreet, country 464, town 254,
The number of streets are given but there are only notes of the names Minor Row and West End. Of Minor Row it is said that at the time that it was built Henry Aubrey Beaumont Wallis was a minor and he was given the honour of opening the houses. Of the West End it's said that the people of the West End put this name on the street so to be as good as the West End of London. Coomlegane Street is the original name for this street.
Many traditions have been recorded which indicate that the memory of the people was of considerable hardship and suffering and of many dying from hunger.
I may mention a few of these traditional tales:
"Johanna Morley who was born in 1819 said that there were several house on Michael Fitzgerald's land at Min na gClocharan and that several of the persons living in them died of hunger. She recalled the people going out before breakfast trying to find enough
good potatoes for breakfast.
John Philpott of Cnoc na Gaoithe, a Protestant married
to a MacCarthy, a
Catholic, gave much relief during the famine. His house was better than a workhouse. The Justices of Mt. Justice gave much relief although they were poor themselves.
In Hanna Sweeney's house in Doire, Cuileann was an auxiliary workhouse for about a year and half in 1847. About 50-60 paupers kept sick in cells underneath;
cemetery at the back of the house where the paupers were buried there
Many of the people in 1935 recalled that Michael Noonan, 1815-1910, of Athan went into Sraid an Mhuilinn one evening to sell turf from Athan bog; when returning after dark by Dubh Aireagal at a house in Lios an Uisce an old woman came out of a house and knelt before him asking him to bury her daughter, dead for five days or more. He buried her in Cuileann at midnight helped by Nick Singleton of Cuileann.
At Cill Mide bridge people died of hunger. One woman was buried near the Slan- an, near the holy well in her clothes...even these were not covered by the earth.