For any family historian it's good to know who your great grandparent was, the townland or parish they were from the best place to start is the 1911 census and you now can view the 1901 census at;
After you have done that you should be able to trace into the 19th century of Griffith's valuation which was a land valuation surveyed by Richard Griffith between 1840's- 1860's Ireland. Athenry was mainly surveyed in th 1850's as you well find out on the web it ranges around the mid 1850's.
Griffith's valuation contains the townland of occupant, the immediate lessor (landlord) and how much they were paying for their land in rent.
Go to this link
When you find what you are looking for click on map to see where your ancestors land was.
To read more about Griffith's Valuation Click on this link
An ancestor of mine was in the Irish Volunteer's were do I go?
Well what I know is that if you have proof of address 1901/1911 census
You can send you inquiry to
Veteran's Allowance Section,
Department of Defence,
If you were a member of the Old Irish Republican Army, after 1934 you could apply for a military pension. Click here for more details - http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1934/en/act/pub/0043/index.html
For those of you that are looking for ancestors in the West Galway region try this link
and for the east Galway;
The records that were held in the Public Records Office were shelled during the Irish Civil War 1922 and this is why 1901 and 1911 are available despite the rule is no less than one hundred years.
There is another interesting way to find what was written by your ancestor.
In 1935 the Irish Folklore Commission was set up. They went around to all the schools in Ireland to collect the tales their parents, grandparents or relatives told them and wrote them down on paper.
These are now held on mircofilm in the Galway County Library on Nun's Island Galway City.
You will have to book the microfilm and ask for the Irish Folklore School's Manuscript for Athenry.
What's on them?
1.The name of the tale or local history they have written about
It is possible that it's not your ancestors handwritting but they did write down the tales first and some of it local history.
2. Just remember some are in old Irish script (a national school teacher maybe useful for this)
3. Your ancestor's address and who they recieved the tale or local history from.