Every county had a Petty Sessions District – the closest ones to the Aherns were in Oldcastle, County Meath and Mount Nugent, County Cavan. Justices of the Peace heard the various complaints in these courtes which covered criminal charges as well as complaints between neighbors. The clerk recorded the information in books which have survived and make for very interesting reading.
In Oldcastle court was held on Mondays and the Aherns were often there – they brought charges against their neighbors – for trespassing, allowing their animals to wander and destroy the Ahern crops, assault and the ever populer “abusive and threatening language”. Charges were also brought against them – for the same reasons. They evicted their tenants, tried to get apprentices to continue working and fought with one another. Great great Aunt Kitty seems to have had a thing about breaking windows and her husband, William Knight, did not get along with his mother in law – Bridget Gibbons Ahern. He “threatened to take her life” more than once, and in 1876 spent a few days in jail. He was sent to jail on the first of November for 20 days, but before he went got drunk in Oldcastle. After his release from prison he was fined for that offense.
Court in Mount Nugent was held on Thursdays and the Aherns were represented there too, although not as frequently as at Oldcastle.
These records can be found on Find My Past wh.ich has many Irish records