Michael Kelly was a tenant of John Bagot, but he is sub-leasing a house on his farm with the occupier listed as "vacant". I'm confused as to what that means - how do you sublet a house to no one? Did he usually sublet the house but at the time of the Valuation, nobody was living there? My other theory is that perhaps his widowed mother lived there. Thanks for your help.
Can you please give a link to the records (or the address so we can look it up)?
I've seen this in my family too. I never gave it too much thought. Here's my ancestor William Feenaghty under the townland Tully at number 11. I've attached the image since you can't seem to link to the site.
He lived in house 'a' and his second and youngest son stayed there while his eldest son (my ancestor) eventually went to live in house 'b.' House 'c' no longer exists so I don't know what became of that house. My grandfather said that house 'b' was a herd's house. Maybe house 'b' and 'c' were occupied by relatives who never had children and it passed into the family.
It looks like I can't link directly to the page, but if you search for Michael Kelly in Galway in the parish of Kilthomas, he'll be the only result.
Here's a link to the entry in the House Book. It seems to describe the vacant house as a "white house?" I'm probably misreading that.