The Genealogy portion of this site is separated into three main sections.  Each section increases in the depth of information provided, ranging from resources of interest for casual family researchers to serious amateur historians.  Visit the links at left to explore each section:

  • Entry Level Genealogy 
  • Intermediate Level Genealogy
  • Advanced Level Genealogy

The four key internet sites of assistance to family researchers are now said to be: which includes images of documents for all counties in Ireland, including 1901 and 1911 census returns arranged by street name, townland and parish, giving name/age/religion/education/occupation/marital status and county of birth. which includes maps and copies of original documents, listing rateable heads of household between 1848 and 1864. listing 21 million BDM records in 1845-1958. of BDM records with option to purchase on pay-per-view basis.

Poll Start Date: 28th August 2010

Our belief is also that family researchers have in their possession much historical material of value that is not currently in the public domain. A classic piece of family research at its best which could be a good template for any researcher must be that on the Fergusons.

A sister website  which is called ‘A Race Divided’ is now available in e-book format and invites visitors to post such material with the intention to accumulate enough of quality over a two-year period for a bound volume.  Continuing in parallel even after that, the e-book format should still prove to be a convenient format for the sharing of  information that is of mutual and general interest. Visitors will observe that abstracts for twenty chapters have been posted to provide tasters as to intended content and an author of a chapter will have accumulated hard-earned knowledge in that field. Visitors are invited to submit posts to any chapter of material that is relevant and of interest. This can be in the form of hand-me-down memories and family archive material. The only requirements for a contribution are:

It should relate to North West Ireland or the Western Isles of Scotland.
It should relate to the period 1750-1850.
It should relate to lives and times of that period.

Please note that while blogs are still accumulating there are a good number of interesting links on the site so that even if a visitor does not intend to contribute material the site is still well worth a visit. It is the intention that authors will also post chapter-in-progress material on the site in PDF format.


107 responses to “Genealogy

  1. Deirdre.

    September 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you so much..I can work with this info.. Dee

  2. .

    October 16, 2013 at 3:03 am

    I would like information on John McCloud of Londonderry, Ireland, born Feb. 16, 1799. His surname is believed to have been MacCloud and his father I believe was Samuel MacCloud and his mother was Anna. Samuel was hung for stealing horses but that is folk lore. From what I have acquired he came to America by the ship Barkley with his siblings.

    • Don MacFarlane

      October 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      McLeods (McClouds) of Keenaght, County Derry

      McCloud James Sen. and Jun., Drumachose
      McCloud Alexander, Drumachose
      McCloud George, Dungiven
      MCloud John, N. E. Liberties, Coleraine

      McLeods (McClouds) – MacLeoid in Gaelic – were one of the oldest Scottish clans whose territory was Skye and Lewis in the Scottish Highlands. The version McCloud is a corruption.

  3. esqshay

    July 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Researching the Donaghey, McGuckin, Kelly and related families of Derry. I stumbled on this website and it’s like winning the Irish Sweepstakes of Genealogy!!!!! Cannot thank you enough for your incredible site!!

    • Don MacFarlane

      July 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Thank you for these kind comments.

      McGuckins and Donaghys most likely came from Loughinsholin Barony, most likely from Artrea or Ballinderry on the shores of Lough Neagh:

      • esqshay

        July 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

        Thank you, Don. From death documents I learned that a McGuckin that married a Kelly came from Gortahurk. I was thrilled to find them in the 1831 listing. I then found Donaghey in Brackaghlislea and Tobermore. In the USA they are known by the name Donahue. I passed this information on to a member of the family last night and she responded she felt that she just received a chest of jewels. She spent years in archives finding nothing. I’m currently working on finding out what Catholic Church would have the records for their births, marriages and deaths.

      • Don MacFarlane

        July 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm

        This is one of the two RC churches it could have been, the other being at Straw. If you rummage around Geograph you will get the general lie of the countryside.

      • esqshay

        July 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        Thank you again, Don. I found records online that said the church would have been St Mary’s, Annagh, Desertmartin which only has records from 1848 onward. I found your wonderful map of Ballynascreen which includes Moneyneany but I don’t know the relationship/distance to Kilcronaghan and Brackaghlislea.

        Do you have a similiar map of townlands in Kilcronaghan? And although I find mention of   Brackaghlislea being a town in Kilcronaghan I can’t find a map that indicates where it is. I also can’t get Gortahurk to appear on a map.

        If a Catholic lived in Gortahurk or Brackaghlishlea in the 1840s where were they likely to be buried?

      • Don MacFarlane

        July 27, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        If you check a map such as

        Brackaghlislea Road and Gortahurk Road, both within Kilcronaghan Parish, intersect at its southwest corner at Latitude 54.78 Longitude -6.74

        To locate on the map, choose Londonderry County and Kilcronaghan Parish from the menu and select the map option (not the satellite or hybrid option in the first instance).

        You can also see that the only town (more of a village really) in Kilcronaghan Parish is Tobermore, with Draperstown (formerly known as Ballynascreen) being outside its western boundary (2 miles from Brackaghlislea) and Desertmartin being outside its eastern boundary (5 miles from Brackaghlislea).

        As far as which church drew from the Gortahurk locality, try Keenaght (Desertmartin) in the first instance but, you are right, records only date from 1848.

      • esqshay

        July 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        Never a fan of Wiki because the information isn’t always accurate but I did find Brackaghlislea and Gortahurk there and a sort of map which now tells me that these border Ballynascreen

  4. John Burroughs

    July 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I am John Burroughs and I Live in Wallaceburg, Ontario,Canada.

    I Had A Great, Great, Great Grandfather, John Burroughs born 1782 In Ireland And Family Of Ten Whom Came Over From Ireland To Ottawa,Ontario,Canada In 1828.

    John Burrough’s Wife And Mother To The Children Was Ester Hattie Scharf born 1782 In Castlecommer,Kilkenny, Ireland. The Date And Place John And Ester Were Married Is Unknown But I Think John And Ester Were Married Around 1800 Because Their First Child Was Born 1801.

    John And Ester’s First Child Rebecca Was Born perhaps 1801 In Dublin,Ireland. The Second Child George Was Born in 1803 I Think It Might have Been innDublin,Ireland. The Third Child Was My Great, Great Grandfather James And James Was Born in 1806 And I Also Think He Might Of Been Born In Dublin,Ireland. The Fourth Child Edward Was Born 1811 I Think In Dublin,Ireland.Fifth Child Sarah Was Born 1815 I Think In Dublin Ireland.Sixth Child Susan Was Born 1816 I Think In Dublin Ireland.Seventh Child Jane Was Born 1818 I Think In Dudlin,Ireland.Eight Child Elizabeth Was Born 1820 I Think In Mothel Parish,Kilkenny,Ireland.Ninth Child Born 1824 I Think Mothel Parish,Kilkenny,Ireland.

    I Found The Information On My Great,Great,Great Grandfather John Burroughs And Family After They Came To Canada Through The Canadian Arcives And By Going To Cemeteries And Looking At Headstones. Canada Arcives Told Me That John Burroughs Was Born In Ireland But Where In Ireland I Can Not Find Out.

    On John Burrough’s Headstone In The Scharf Cemetary In Ottawa,Ontario,Canada It Tells Me That John Burroughs In 1867 At The Age Of 85 Died. From This Information I Got That The Year John Burroughs Was Born Was 1782?

    On My Great,Great Grandfather James Burroughs Headstone In The Blenheim Cemetary In Blenheim,Ontario,Canada It Tells Me That James Burroughs In 1888 At The Age Of 82 Died.It Is Also Written Across The Bottom Of James Burrough’s Headstone “A Native Of Dublin” And This Is Why I Think This Burroughs Family Might Have Come From The Dublin,Ireland Area.

  5. Jerika Clawson

    July 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I am just starting to wade into genealogy and I am looking for the O’Hagans from Derry/Tyrone any help would be great.


    June 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I am searching for info on the Bell and Kerr family.

    Peter Kerr was a carpenter of Cehaney, Aghadowey. His son Thomas, born around 1856, was also a carpenter and he was married in 1879 at Mullahinch RC church to Jane Bell, born 1856c, daughter of William Bell, a linen bleacher of Mullamore, County Derry.

    I am looking for the mother’s names and those of her siblings. I was told that Mullamore was not a town but houses built by the bleach works and the nearest town was Mullahinch. I am also looking for photos of the houses and which bleach works did they belong to.

    Any advice?

    • Waxwing

      June 22, 2013 at 4:48 am

      Strangely, there are neither Kerrs nor Bells listed for Aghadowey Parish in the 1831 Census nor in the 1860 Griffiths Valuation.

      In fact Kerrs were only thinly scattered across Derry or anywhere else in Ulster. The nearest to Aghadowey were in Kilrea and Maghera, not so very far away. The nearest Bells are to be found in Garvagh where the townlands for Bells were Tamnymore or Mettican Glebe. From that, I would presume that the Kerrs were ‘blow-ins’ from elsewhere and the Bells were from down the road from Aghadowey in Garvagh.

      I believe the Aghadowey bleachgreens, of which Mullamore was the largest, were massive and were a key part of a lucrative export linen trade for the English market. I believe the Mullamore bleach-house was demolished long ago. There is a small website that gives more info on Aghadowey bleachmills:

      I have never been in that part of the country but, from the map, there are no villages or towns called Mullamore or Mullahinch, they are both rural neighbourhoods in the vicinity of Aghadowey. You can root around Geograph but here is a picture of the Mullahinch Road.

    • Margaret

      August 30, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Mullamore was the bleachworks run by the Barklies in the townland (not town or rural area) of Mullaghinch (off the present-day Cullycapple Rd.).
      There were Kerrs in the area but no connection to your Peter Kerr. It’s likely he came into the area to work. The townland of Caheney was not far away.
      The old R.C. Chapel was in Mullaghinch townland (also known locally as Bovagh Chapel even though Bovagh was the marching townland). However, it was in disrepair for many years before the present one (St. Mary’s) near Mullamore was built and services were held in various places in the meantime.
      Marriages list the residence of bride and groom at the time of the marriage which may not be where they or their families actually lived, although William Bell could have worked somewhere in the locality as well.
      The Kerrs of Ballygawley townland, Aghadowey parish, were in Garvagh by 1752 and living at Ballygawley in 1819 when Arthur Kerr entered into an agreement with the Bishop of Down & Connor to lease a farm there. However, as I said, not connected to Peter Kerr.

  7. Earl McGee

    April 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Thank you waxwing for your information. From old works I’ve found online it appears that the Magees of Islay were the same family as the Mackays of Islay with the surname changing to Magee at some point after arrival in Antrim.

  8. Earl McGee

    April 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I have always been told our family is ‘Ulster Scot’. I have been able to trace our family as far back as James Magee (our family now spells the name McGee) born around the mid-1700s in Ballintoy, Antrim. It is possible that the line descends from the Magees of Islay. Given that they received a grant of land in the early 1600s which lay within 9 miles of Ballintoy and the primary grantee, Alexander Magee, married a Stewert from Ballintoy, would anyone know if any kin of those Islay Magees did end up in Ballintoy?

    • Waxwing

      April 21, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      There are a few McGees recorded in the 1803 Agricultural Census for Ballintoy in County Antrim but none earlier. These were James, Thomas and William from the townland of Drumnagee in Ballintoy. There were no McGhees. Stewarts were very numerous in Ballintoy around that period also.

      Professor Audrey Horning of Queens University, Belfast, seems to know more about these Magees (Donal and Alexander), the original Magee settlers from Islay. Also, there is a book on the Magees of the Rhinns of Islay and Antrim.

      • Earl McGee

        April 22, 2013 at 1:05 am

        Thanks, I’ve seen that census and it is that James I was referring to, I believe, as it noted him as head of a household which included “my” Alexander Magee as his son. I’d already found a family tree worked up which took it back to Alexander, born 1775 in Balliintoy, and then found this census. James is also noted in the 1796 flax growers list and another from 1776 I found. In fact, this census was what informed me that originally we were “Magees” as opposed to “McGee.” I tried e-mailing Ms. Horning some time ago, but my message to her was screened out as spam it seems.

      • Waxwing

        April 22, 2013 at 7:15 am

        Check out the Glasgowguide board on Ulster Scots which has a wealth of information on it about the traffic from Scotland to Ulster.

        In it, I contributed to a thread on the different McGee tribes:

        ‘The McGee/Magee surname is common in both east and west Ulster. The McGee family of west Ulster (Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh) is a native Irish family. The Magees of east Ulster (Antrim and Down) are mainly descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McGhee Planters from Ayrshire and Galloway. McGhee is a Scottish surname originating in Galloway. The McGhee and McKie families of Galloway are said to be related.

        Mac Aodha or MacAodha is the Irish Gaelic spelling of McHugh/McCue. Mhaoil Ghaoithe is the Irish Gaelic spelling for McGee in west Ulster (Donegal). Mag Aoidh or MagAoidh is the Irish Gaelic spelling for Magee in east Ulster. Mac Aoidh or MacAoidh is the Scottish Gaelic spelling of McKay, McKee/McKie and McGhee. As I previously mentioned, most of the Magees in east Ulster are descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McGhee/McGhie Planters from Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway. However some of the Magees in east Ulster belong to the native Irish MagAoidh sept from Islandmagee in County Antrim.

        Some of the McGees in west Ulster are also of Scottish Planter extraction. However a majority of the McGees in west Ulster are said to be of native Irish extraction. While some are probably connected to the native Irish Mhaoil Ghaoithe sept of Donegal, most are probably connected to the native Irish MacAodha families of west Ulster (Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh) and north Connacht (Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo). The MacAodha surname was Anglicised as McHugh in north Connacht. However in west Ulster the surname was Anglicised as McHugh or McCue or sometimes even McGee’.

        To which I replied:

        ‘It would be interesting to see if someone can unpick Mhaoil Ghaoithe, the Donegal version of the McGee/Magee surname. Maol in Gaelic normally refers to baldness but has a particular significance as the distinctive tonsure worn by followers of St. Columba. Hence, the name MacMillan in the Highlands of Scotland appears as MacMhaolain. Doubly interesting is that the Magees of Donegal are thought to have come from around Kilmacrenan, also thought to be the birthplace of St. Columba. All of this might be quite fanciful as Maol sometimes, though less commonly, simply refers to a feature of landscape. This might fit in better with Ghaoithe which in Gaelic means of the wind. Therefore Muintear Mhaoil Ghaoithe, the full Gaelic form of Magee, might simply mean those ones from the exposed windy place’!

        Unfortunately, there is no point now in posting a query on that board any longer. Paul Kelly, who was the fount of kowledge and administrator of the forum, died tragically a few years back at a very young age in a traffic accident in Botswana where he lived.

        Note also that, for all the information in that post about the McGees, it makes no mention of the very important branch which is the McGees of Islay, right-hand men of the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles. Quite apart from the genealogical angle, there is a lot of Gallowglass history to be unpicked surrounding the McGees. Earl has his work cut out!

        BTW Perhaps you could try Professor Horning again but this time address your email to the School of Geography and Archaeology at Queens University, Belfast, for forwarding? You may notice that Prof Horning is from Pennsylvania so she may no longer be in Belfast, hence the automatic rejection of your earlier email?

        In answer to your query, could Islay Magees have found their way to North Antrim, most certainly. Remembering that the Magees were henchmen of the Lords of the Isles, this is from Wikipedia but it can be confirmed from more reliable sources.

        ‘The MacDonnells of Antrim are descended from John Mor MacDonald, chief of the Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg. John Mor MacDonald was the second son of Good John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, 6th chief of Clan Donald, through John of Islays second marriage to Princess Margaret Stewart, daughter of King Robert II of Scotland’.

        You can pick your way through the MacDonalds to check when and how they moved to County Antrim.

  9. Mrs Robyn Thompson

    September 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Hello Irene,

    Thank you your message. I’m not a McClay descandant, but doing a family research for a Robin McClay in Australia.Are you at all a descandant of either Robert George McClay/Eliz Smyth/Smith or his first wife Maggie Campbell. Robin McClay remembers his late father, Leonard, who came to Australia saying between the two wives he had a total of 24 children. Here in Australia we are unable to trace very far. Any chance of putting me in contact with one of the older McClays, it would be apprecciated.

    Until next time

    Robyn, on behalf of Robin McClay and his family here in Australia.

    • Irene Oliver nee McClay

      September 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Hello Robyn,

      Robert George McClay was my great uncle and he did have a very large family. He had a son called Leonard who lived in the Waterside area of Londonderry. His family records would be found at Glendermott Church, Drumahoe, Co Londerry, and he is buried there also. The minister
      is Rev John Hanna. My sister Joan and my older brother (he is nearly ninety) remember a lot more than I do and they are willing to help with your research. Joan is not online yet and she will contact you when she is. She remembers him giving her sweets as he always carried them for the children. Joan goes to the above church so will help looking for records.

      Good luck

      Irene Oliver, Coventry

      • Robyn Thompson

        December 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm

        Hello Irene.
        It’s been a while since I got your last message.
        Just wondering if you are able to get any information
        regarding Leonard Mcclay..ancestors…

        Please feel free to contact me direct on my email address.


        Robyn Thompson…Australia

    • john Kirkpatrick

      October 13, 2013 at 2:02 am

      I am looking for a Thomas McClay born 1898 in Donegal

  10. Mrs Robyn Thompson

    May 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    The McClay families that i’m looking for came from Londonderry, Northern Ireland,
    I’m having trouble find the children of Robert George McClay and Mary Elizabeth Smith
    The only two that I have been able to find were:- Ernest b 25/9/1917 and Violet b 15/7/1933.
    The other children were :- Leonard, George, Walter, Samuel, James, Thomas and Evelyn.
    Any chance of finding the date of births of the above seven children…We have also been told that Robert George McClay had a total of 24 children. eight with his first wife, Maggie Campbell, but who the others were I am at a loss at this end…Australia…..It doesn’t give us much at all of records in Ireland.
    I believe seven of the sons were in World War 1.

      • Mrs Robyn Thompson

        May 23, 2012 at 6:32 am

        Thank you so much for the 1911 Census with the McClay family. I believe he had 24 children, eight from his first wife, Maggie Campbell. Are you able to find them in later census, I can’t get them here in Australia. I was always told his second wife Lizzie was around 20 years younger than him.Any information i’m very much appreciated.
        Sorry I didn’t contact you yesterday, we had two funerals to attend.

        Kind regards Robyn

      • Ernest McClay

        December 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

        Robyn, This information will be of interest to your dad’s enquiries, Robert George married Mary Elizabeth Smyth 25th December 1908. Children were as follows: George 8th November 1906,Leonard 31 January 1909, Samuel 26th July 1911, John James 07th August 1913, Walter 1st May 1914, Ernest 25th Sept 1917, Evelyn 3rd August 1920, Violet 13th July 1923, Thomas 1925 – this one you can trace through Australian ancestors. From your Dad’s cousin, Ernie McClay.

    • Irene Oliver nee McClay

      September 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      My maiden name is McClay and my father’s name was Allan McClay. We lived in Irish Street and had gardens and one was called Robert George’s garden. Our house is now demolished and a housing estate is now built on the site, which is called McClay Gardens.

      My grandfather who originally owned the house lived at 1 East Avenue, Irish Street, Londonderry. There are a lot of older McClays who still live nearby who may be able to help you.

    • Irene Oliver nee McCla

      September 5, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Hello Robyn,

      Re Evelyn McClay

      I dont know her date of birth but she married an Englishman named Piewell and they had a son and a daughter. They lived in an area called Barnewall Place, Waterside, Lonfonderry.

      Best Wishes

  11. Mrs Robyn Thompson

    May 20, 2012 at 8:15 am

    WORLD WAR 11

    • Don MacFarlane

      May 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Most of the McClays came from around the village of Laghy in Donegal, just south of Donegal Town, on the way to Rossnowlagh. There were a good number in Derry City as well, plus a smattering elsewhere. I am assuming that they were of Scottish origin, from Ross and Cromarty, possibly moving to Ireland at the time of the Plantation. A more common version of the name is Livingstone.

      There is also the possibility that they were Orangemen and knew Tony Blair’s Orange grandfather who came from Ballyshannon?

      This contact may be useful:

  12. Kenneth Sinclair

    April 6, 2012 at 8:14 am

    My name is Ken Sinclair, my ancestors were born in Kirkinriola starting with Andrew Sinclair around 1770. His son Andrew b. 1803 is my GGGGrandfather. I believe they came from Middle or Western Scotland during the Plantation. My DNA links me to Niall of the Nine Hostages via Family Tree DNA. I had two GGUncles in Ballymena and I would love to hear from any Sinclairs in that area. So far I have traced one family to Australia but I believe there may be more. I reside in Victoria, Australia.

    • Kenneth Sinclair Victoria Australia

      July 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

      My interest is directed towards finding Francis Sinclair b. 1875 and two grandchildren of James and Ellen Sinclair who are listed in the 1911 Census, namely Charles and Ellen Sinclair who were 11 and 16 at that time. I am not sure whether they were brother and sister or cousins.

  13. Elaine Masaroon Steinsland

    February 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I believe it might be William Masaroon (Missaroon) – wife Sarah Dougherty – who had at least two brothers, Edward and James. I have no proof of this as I am only working from notes from the Family History by Robert Gardiner Masaroon. He mentions that his grandfather had a brother who was a Wesleyan Minister. Robert did not know his paternal grandparents as they had died before his birth so was unsure of his name. There is only one Masaroon Minister, that being Rev. Robert Masaroon. He goes on to speak of Rev. Masaroon’s son William and staying with him for a few days before he went to sea in December 1879.

    This still needs work! I find it ironic that Robert in his notes complains about not having listened to family stories better, or of not having kept family information recorded for he himself did not provide a lot of information of his own time nor had written it in his journals.


  14. Toni St Clair - Mc Gowan

    December 18, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I am doing my husband’s family history. The farthest back I have been able to go is to James Hegarty – James Hegarty Born 1866, Ireland. The family oral history states he was a hedge teacher, and in the US a postmaster. Married Mary A Murphy, also from Ireland, in Boston, Suffold, Massachusetts.They had 8 children.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 19, 2011 at 9:21 am

      If they were from the North of Ireland, the Hegartys were mostly from Donegal. If the Murphys were also from the North and from Donegal, both families were most likely from the Inishowen Peninsula of Donegal. The question might arise as to whether Patrick was a peripatetic teacher ie. he travelled, in which case that might have to widen the net. If from the North but not from Donegal, the Murphys were mostly from County Down.

      Both names were and are very abundant throughout Ireland and Murphy is often considered the quintessential Irish surname. The Murphy clan originated in County Wexford but they moved mostly to the West coast; likewise the Hegartys (who originated in Derry/Donegal) but they also moved down the entire west coast.

  15. Patrick

    August 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I am looking for information about a Patrick Gallagher who married Sarah Caldwell and they lived in Hamilton Street, Derry in 1865.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      What kind of information was that you were looking for? BDM?

      The Caldwells were mostly from East County Londonderry, stretching from Faughanvale, through Limavady, to Coleraine but there were a few families in Derry City and relatives (perhaps parent) of Sarah might have been:

      Caldwell David Lisdillon Clondermot Derry
      Caldwell George Gortree Clondermot Derry
      Caldwell John Gortnessy Clondermot Derry

      You might have a mixed-marriage situation here also in that, as far as I can tell, Caldwells were Protestant and Gallaghers were probably Catholic.
      As far as tracing, check what I replied to Bob and Diana Lyons on 17th December 2011 under the Entry Genealogy Page and the same advice applies.

      Good Hunting and sorry for the oversight.

      • Kerry mcgaughey

        September 23, 2012 at 10:58 am

        I am a descendant of Caldwells from Derry. My grandfather was George Caldwell but his mother died when he was a baby, not sure of her first name – this was early 1900-1920. If anyone has any info….

      • Don MacFarlane

        January 3, 2013 at 9:52 am

        Sorry for the delay in coming back to you on this as I have just spotted your post while doing some New Year housecleaning.

        There should be information on your ancestor in the 1911 Census. One family that jumps out at me comes from Myroe and there is a George Caldwell aged 2, living with a 30 year old sister and two middle-aged bachelor uncles called Moore. There are no parents mentioned and the religion is given as Presbyterian. If it is not this family unit, look through the rest and you should find something

  16. Mary E Soar

    July 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    I am looking for any relations to William O’Brien born Nenagh Tipperary, born between 1790, & 1820. he’s my g.g. grandfather, his son was Martin O’Brien b. about 1856, he Married Mary Slattery, they had my grandfather John O’Brien b. 1886, in England, he married my gran Mary Ann Connelly in Accrington Lancashire,, 1909.

    • donfad

      July 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      O’ Briens and Slatterys in Nenagh, Griffiths Evaluation 1848-52

      John, North Nenagh; John, Barrack Street ; James, Silver Street ; James, Castle Street ; Denis, Silver Street ; James, Abbey Lane; Michael, Bawn; Alice, Bawn ; Anne, John’s Lane. The majority of the O’Briens of Tipperary were from Emly, Clonbeg, Templetenny, Shanrahan, Templeneiry and Tipperary Parishes.

      The Slatterys were mainly to be found in Tipperary and Limerick. Those from Tipperary mainly came from Kilbarron and those listed from Nenagh were: William, Dublin Road; Patrick, Clare Street; John, Silver Street.

    • Don MacFarlane

      June 28, 2012 at 9:25 am

      These are the Griffiths O’Briens from Nenagh, although you probably have them already:

      O’Brien Michael Bawn Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien John Barrack Street Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Michael Bawn Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Patrick Barrack Street Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Thomas Bawn Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Stafford, Esq. Ballygraigue Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien John Nenagh North Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien James Silver Street Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Daniel Queen Street Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Anne John’s Lane Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Denis Lewis’s Lane Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Denis Silver Street Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien James Castle Street Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien James Abbey Lane Nenagh Tipperary
      O’Brien Alice Bawn Nenagh Tipperary

      None of those are William, whereas you would have thought that Griffiths would have shown that up. It was definitely Nenagh?

      The Ryans are even more numerous.

  17. donfad

    June 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm

  18. Abigail Pritt

    May 24, 2011 at 4:57 am

    I am searching for my ancestors from Londonderry. William John Brown married Isabella Fagan 1852 in Coleraine. His father is listed as David Brown,a farmer, on marriage registry but James (deceased) on shipping record and his mother on shipping record are listed as Margaret living at Baldershane. Isabella’s father on marriage record is John Fagan, a labourer, and on the shipping record this is confirmed with mother as Martha, both living at Ballagherton. Isabella had a brother named William Fagan. They had a daughter Martha born 1853 somewhere in Londonderry. They emigrated to Australia in 1854.

    • donfad

      May 24, 2011 at 8:43 am

      A discussion thread (with email addresses of other interesIed parties) I came across on Fagans from ‘Ballyagherton’ :

      suggests that the placename is probably Ballyaghran (modern-day Portstewart). There are a good few Browns listed in Griffiths as also coming from Ballyaghran but no Fagans.

      I suggest you contact these people then come back to this webpage with what additional info you may have found, then we can see how to take things further?

      Griffiths Valuation incidentally has no Fagans (or Fegans) listed for anywhere in County Derry for that period.

      Baldershane seems very likely to be a corruption of Ballyrashane, not far from Ballyaghran. Incorrect spellings were a very common occurrence on official records due to illiteracy and impenetrable accents.

  19. Mary Cornell

    May 5, 2011 at 3:56 am

    You piqued my interest in John Mitchel. I have to admit that I had never heard his name before. When I got a chance, I found a little information on him. He seems to have led a very sad and angry life fueled by his sense of injustice. I have a difficult time understanding why he agreed with slavery. The situation in Ireland and the situation of slavery in the US seem to parallel each other when it comes to human degradation. I would have thought that he would have logically been against slavery.

    When I have more time, I am going to read more in-depth on him. It looks like there are several good biographical books on him. If I cannot find them, there also seems to be several things available on-line. My reading list has just gotten longer and I hope there is reading time in Purgatory because I do not think I am going to get to everything in this lifetime.

  20. donfad

    April 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Hi Ian

    There is a strong historical connection between Colonsay and Northern Ireland but whether that includes MacPhees, I don’t know. Also, whether the MacPhees were Gallowglasses is something else I don’t know. On the balance of probabilities, however, the answer to both queries is probably ‘Yes’. Sadly, the person who could have answered the queries and who was an expert on Gallowglasses, was Paul Kelly from the ‘Glasgow Guide’, at:

    A quote from Paul, who died tragically at an early age in a road accident in Botswana two years ago, goes:

    ‘When I started researching Galloglass families, the initial impression I got was that they originated in the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides and northern Inner Hebrides). However, I now know that this is certainly NOT the case. They all seem to have come from southern Argyll (Kintyre, Knapdale and Cowal) and the surrounding islands of the southern Inner Hebrides (Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Gigha, Arran and Bute). In particular, I have been trying to locate the origins of those Galloglass families who relocated to Ireland en masse and whose surnames appear to have died out in Scotland’.

    Curiously, there is no mention in Paul’s website of the MacPhees who were one of the two main clans on Colonsay. The main historical figure who connected Colonsay and Ireland was Colkitto, a scion of the MacDonald clan that owned Colonsay for centuries, in tandem with the MacPhees, a clan that is an offshoot of Clan MacKinnon and descended from Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scotland.

    Colonsay was a place of great strategic significance. It was the gateway to the western seaboard of Scotland and a thoroughfare for the Gallowglasses en route to Ireland.

    Your query boils down to whether your McVeys were descended from the Beatons (MacBheathas) or the MacPhees then? Either way, both these clans had strong connections with North Antrim in the first instance, through their association with the MacDonalds, Colonsay and the Gallowglases. The official history of the MacPhee Clan makes no mention of McVey as a variant of MacPhee, however, so perhaps MacBeth (Beaton) is still the more likely contender as clan of origin?

    Finally, and whatever about Jacobite sympathies, neither the Beatons or MacPhees were known to have been warrior clans. Both were under the protectorship (as were the MacNeils) of the MacDonalds of the Isles – the Beatons were hereditary physicians to the MacDonalds; the MacPhies were their hereditary historians and record-keepers.

  21. Mary Cornell

    April 9, 2011 at 5:39 am

    In my continuing search for the location of Cornwall’s Grove, I came across the following on-line and I am hoping you have read this before or can help me decipher it. It was in “Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 1536-1810.” edited by Sir Arthur Edward Vicars. Am I reading this correctly as a John Cornwall from Cornwall’s Grove, Co. Tyrone? I tried to send enough of a sample for some understanding of the index.

    Cornwal, Esther, alias Hamilton, Ramelton, widow, 779
    Cornwall, Alexander, Lismote, Co. Limerick, esquire.
    Cornwall, Anne, Dublin, spinster
    Catherine, Maddybenny, [Coleraine] Co. Londonderry, widow of Rev. Gabriel Cornwall, Presbyterian Minister
    Cornwall, Esther, Longford, spinster
    Cornwall, Francis, Ballyhisky, Co. Tipperary, esquire.
    Cornwall, Gabriel,City of Dublin, gentleman.
    Cornwall, John, Cornwall’s Grove [Cornwallis Grove?], Co. Tyrone, gentleman.
    Cornwall\John, Longford, Co. Longford
    Cornwall John, Strokestown 755
    Cornyn. Dominick, surgeon of the “John” galley, Jamaica 737
    Manuel, Dublin, gent. 776
    Mary, Dublin, widow 795
    Corr, Edmund, Durham, Co. Roscommon, Esq.
    James, Coolaghmore, Co. Kilkenny, gent.
    Jas., Ballytobin, Co. Kildare, Esq.
    Nicholas, Dublin, merchant
    Pierse, Callan, Co. Kilkenny., esq.

    • donfad

      April 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      I agree. I have just finished a biography on John Mitchel, ‘A Cause Too Many’, ISBN 0-9551706-0-5. As a patriot-rebel from Dungiven/Newry in Ireland, he ended up on the wrong side of the American Civil War. His whole life was a testament to his sense of outrage at England’s treatment of Ireland and his grandson became the ‘Boy Mayor’, mayor of New York who died in action at 38.

      Some quotes from Mitchel:

      ‘There are but two parties in Ireland – those who suffer her national degradation and those who profit from it’.

      ‘The exact complement of a family dinner in England is a coroner’s inquest in Ireland’.

      ‘The Almighty sent the potato blight to Ireland, the English created the famine’.

      ‘We know from the wolfish gleam in the eyes of the two lean dogs that run from us how they have lived after their masters died’.

  22. mitzs

    December 30, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Hello everyone,

    I am trying to trace my Toner and Kelly roots. I know from the 1901/1911 census that my grandfather Toner’s address was resident at House # 6 Glengomna Road, Bancran Glebe, Londonderry. I have my Kelly Grandmother listed at House 13, Corick Bancran Glebe, Londonderry. My Grandfather’s Name was James Toner. His parents were John and Bridget Toner. He had at least 8 siblings. My Grandmother is Margaret Kelly. Her parents were Peter and Catherine Kelly. She had at least 6 siblings.

    I know that one of my aunts was born in Corick and the other one was born in Straw according to immigration papers. The papers also said that my grandmother was born in Draperstown and my Grandfather was born in Glengamana. Are these the same towns? I can’t pull up either address on Google map. And I am having a hard time finding anything at all on Bancran Glebe area. Does anyone know if it even still exists? I do know that both families are RC. Does anyone know of RC church that might have been in this area? One thing that I know for sure is that my grandfather’s address should have been the family farm. I know that my great grandmother, a great aunt and a great uncle never left Ireland and they stayed at the farm. If anyone could help point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it. If you need more information just let me know. I am willing to share everything that I know. I do have the siblings’ names and birthdates.


    • morrison stewart

      December 31, 2010 at 9:45 am


      On 12 May 1925 James Toner married Margaret Ann Kelly in Draperstown Roman Catholic Church. If you use Google maps and look up Draperstown you will find all your areas in the southwest of the town. There areas are called townlands and are very small administrative areas.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 31, 2010 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Karen

      These are the names of the Toners and Kellys from Draperstown (Ballinascreen) as they appear in Griffiths 1848-1852.

      Kellys from Bancran Glebe
      Kelly, Mary – Bancran Glebe; Kelly, Matthew – Bancran Glebe; Kelly, Michael – Bancran Glebe; Kelly, Patrick – Bancran Glebe.

      Toners from Glengomna (Straw)
      Tonor, Anne – Straw ; Tonor, Francis – Straw; Tonor, James – Straw; Tonor , Matthew – Straw; Tonor, Michael – Straw; Tonor, Murtagh – Straw ; Tonor, Peter – Straw.

      You will easily locate the neighbourhood, which is a triangle adjoining the B47, from the interactive map – enter Ballinascreen for Parish, as Draperstown was not the name commonly used then.

      Also note the mispelling of Toner as Tonor.

      To contact the local RC Parish, detailsare:

      Very Rev Colum Clerkin PP
      40 Derrynoid Road,
      Co. Derry BT45 7DN
      Tel (028) 7962 8376
      Email :

      • Karen Stansel

        October 16, 2011 at 3:26 am

        Dear Morrison and Don,

        Bless you both and thank you so much for all the information. That you took the time to find all this information for our family means everything to me. I have never seen our name spelled as Tonor. I will have to try researching that. Some day I hope to make it to Draperstown so I can walk the fields my beloved grandfather used to work. If I ever do I owe you 2 a hug and more then a couple of pints!


  23. Ian McVey

    November 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Trying to trace my McVey Family from County Tyrone…Francis, Charles, David, run strongly through the Male side of the Family, they were Presbyterians but the strange thing is that they were Jacobites. My Father William often told me and my brother Alexander, that the McVeys fought for Charles Edward Stuart at Culloden in 1746…were we with the Irish Piquits in the French Army. The name in Irish is Mac An Bheatha son of life, were we Gallowglasses or were we native Irish? I have read that Irish Presbyterians did indeed make a great impact to the cause of Irish Freedom, I would hope some of my family were involved. Kind Regards Ian McVey.

    • Don MacFarlane

      November 14, 2010 at 1:22 am

      The Tyrone connections of the McVeys is the easiest to work out as they came almost exclusively from north of Dungannon (Donaghmore and Pomeroy) with a lesser presence west in Omagh (Drumragh). The more common version of the name is McVeagh (McVeigh) so McVey may be deliberately ‘mispelt’ to signify that they are Protestant, in accordance with custom.

      If as suggested the name comes from the Gaelic, Mac Bheatha, then it is an Irish version of the name MacBeth, anglicised as Beaton or Bethune in Scotland. They were physicians to the major clans in Scotland, notably MacDonald, hence the name. Whatever clan they owed allegiance to, it is unlikley they would have fought on the opposite side of any battle to their patron. The MacDonalds were Jacobites, so that would fit.

      Irish Presbyterians were indeed core to the United Irishmen movement. John McVeigh was a prominent United Irishman and he was executed at Baltinglass in County Wicklow in Southern Ireland. The central purpose of the movement was not to achieve a United Ireland but to achieve equal treatment for all Irishmen, irrespective of creed. They failed nobly in this campaign which ended with the slaughters in County Down and County Wexford by General Lake. The movement had little if any presence in Tyrone or the other western counties of Northern Ireland which were, instead, a hotbed for the nationalist Defender movement. Defenders joined up informally at the last for a while with the United Irishmen, much to the displeasure of the less martial minded Presbyterians.

      This clan’s supposed ancestor is MacBeth (1005-1057) of Moray, whose mother was said to have been a daughter of King Kenneth II. He married the daughter of King Kenneth III. Under the ancient law of the Scots he had as much claim to the throne of Scotland as King Duncan I, against whom he rebelled, and whom he defeated and slayed in battle in 1040. Macbeth was proclaimed King of Scotland.

      They may have been Gallowglasses as well as MacDonalds had a longtime connection with Ireland through their cousins, the McDonnells of Antrim and Leitrim. Primarily, however, McVeys/McVeighs were not a fighting clan and they were valued more for their skills as physicians; an ancient equivalent of a medical corps perhaps, if in battle.

      • Jordan

        January 18, 2011 at 5:31 am

        There isn’t any verifiable connection between McVeys/McVeaghs/MacVays/etc and King MacBeth. In MacBeth’s time, the name was a personal one, not a surname, but many unrelated people in Scotland and Ireland used the name as a surname. It seems some people in Ireland eventually started using the name (which was spelled Mac an Bheatha or MacBheatha and pronounced more or less like MacVay); later at least one of these people moved from somewhere in O’Cathain territory to Scotland, where he served as a physician to the Lord of the Isles. According to an old story, he (assuming there was only one MacBheatha involved) was sent there as a gift of sorts from the local Irish king to Angus Og MacDonald, who had just married the king’s daughter. While the MacVay family (I’m using my own spelling here but of course there are lots of variants) flourished in Scotland, there would have been a few branches still in Ireland as well, developing separately from the Scottish branch. But if your ancestors were Presbyterians, they were likely from the Scottish branch of the family and moved to Ireland as either soldiers or settlers under the plantation scheme.

      • Ian McVey

        April 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm

        My ancestors according to my father were Jacobites who fought for the Stuart cause. I am sure we must have been Catholic in Ireland at the time as most if not all the spellings of the name is McVey in Lanarkshire and Glasgow and they all seem to have been Roman Catholic.

        Commentary from donfad

        For a full account of Jacobitism in Ireland, see:

        The Irish became bitterly disillusioned with the cause after the defeat by William of Orange and James II was thereafter referred to as ‘Seamus a Chac’ (Shite James). They could have called him a lot worse as James ran off with his tail between his legs.

        It was a Highland Scotsman, General Hugh MacKay of Scourie (in Sutherland), who squashed the Jacobite army at the Battle of Aughrim, so setting it up for its ultimate defeat at the Battle of the Boyne. MacKay also routed the last of the Jacobite resistance in the Highland glens of Scotland. For more on the above, see the sister site

        and the PDF download, ‘Loosen the Knot’.

      • Ian McVey

        April 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

        I read the Trojan Horse theory and you have enlightened my way of thinking about the Church and the Divine Rights of Kings. It has come to my attention that there was a Clan Vee from Colonsay who came over to County Tyrone as Gallowglasses to the O’Neill Chief. Their names were MacFees and MacAfees, Duffys and some were pronouced as MacaVey. Is there any truth in this?

      • Mark Victor McVeigh

        December 28, 2012 at 11:00 am

        My name is Mark McVeigh. I’m trying to find Thomas Mc Vea or McVey, 01-10-1814
        & William 14-09-1816 Reg in Down Killinchy by Thos McVea & also a Thomas McVea 08-11-1815 Reg by a William McVea. Thomas McVey(1814) m. Jane Ramsey & had Henry McVey 21-07-1836. Richard McVey 04-04-1839. Mary McVey (Carleton) born in Down Dromore parish. Richard was my G/Grand father who came to NZ 1865 with his sister Mary, and his name had changed to McVeagh then McVeigh. Can anyone help pls to find family of Henry or any other info of the families.

  24. Don MacFarlane

    October 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Best bet is to search the Military Records Database or the National Archives. Mckey is an unusual spelling, so also consider variations such as Mackey which was a common name throughout Tipperary in the mid-late 1800s (main parishes for the name were Nenagh and Templemore).

    Maybe also some confusion about the regiments. There was of course the Royal Fusiliers, but also for example the Royal Irish Fusiliers and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers which had many more recruits from Ireland. Also, there is no obvious connection between any of the Fusiliers and the Queens Guard whose job it is to keep watch outside Buckingham Palace?

  25. Sandra Groves

    September 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I am descended from a Jane Cornwell from Armagh, Ireland, who settled in South Australia. She had at least one sister who also emigrated, named Ann, and her father is listed as David. I think the girls came out on the assisted immigration schemes that the Government had at that time. I believe that they are related to the Cornwell family (Protestant farmerss) who lived around Mullinasilly, Loughgall and Corcreevy, Richhill.

    • Mary Cornell

      June 8, 2011 at 6:12 am

      Dear Sandra

      I must apologize for taking so long to respond to your letter. I hope your are still checking for a response that has taken almost a year. I found the following information while I was googling and I thought of you in Australia. I have not been able, as yet, to connect any of the information to any one in my Cornwell family in America, but maybe there is a connection to your Cornwell family. It does contain a lot of information on Cornwall to Ireland from England. I found the information in the Rootsweb archives. It was written by Gaynor Watters of far North Queensland, Australia.

      Particulars concerning family of John Cornwall, attained by King James 2nd,
      Parliament 1689.
      Hertfordshire is probably the home of the Cornwall family. John Cornwall
      built the Blackwater Fort in 1575, and there the articles of peace with
      Turlough O’Neil were signed 27th June 1575. This John Cornwall list of
      family to be settled in Ireland.
      Through the line of Edward Cornwall who died before 6 March 1676 (in Heath
      Money Roll 1664) married Mary Mitchell of Annaginary?
      Four children:
      1.John Cornwall of Cornwalls Grove married Barbara Lindsay (daughter of
      Dr.Alex Lindsay – 2nd son of Robert Lindsay, Loughrey – killed in
      siege of Derry). Barbara born 1674, buried 13 February 1747
      Newmills. (Newmills is Presbyterian as far as I know – I have been there.
      They have the same minister as Carland which is 1st Presbyterian
      Church about 3 miles away). John born 1666 died 22 March 1731
      buried Newmills also.
      They had 8 children, the 6th of which was Grace born 1708, married 3 April
      1734 to Wm Whitsitt (Whiteside?). Grace died 1749, buried Cornwalls grave –

  26. Don MacFarlane

    July 24, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Query from the McCanns

    A query from the Mccanns from the Gold Coast of Australia has been lost due to a computer glitch. Until they make contact again to give more details, a brief resume is that the McCanns mainly frequented a sizeable chunk of mid-Ulster, just east of the Sperrins, stretcching from Tamlaght O’Crilly at the top end down to Desertmartin at the bottom end, with a dogleg at the bottom reaching east to the shores of Lough Neagh.

  27. Mary Cornell

    July 18, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Except for a very few outliers, in the 1730s – 1750s, the main concentration of Cornwall/Cornwell appears to be in the Lough Neagh area. There are several in Ballybeg, as well as in Loughinsholin, and also in Artrea. I found several Cornwalls as well as a Barbara Cornwell listed as living in Cornwall’s Grove, Co. Tyrone. I have been unsuccessful at trying to locate Cornwall’s Grove.

  28. Mary Cornell

    July 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I have been researching in Artrea Parish using all the leads and I still have a question. I found several members of a Cornwell family in the Artrea Parish area that were sent to Australia for theft, possessing stolen goods,etc. One was a husband and wife and it is listed that there were children. It does not show the children going to Australia. What would have happened to the children? Would they have been left with relatives? Would they have been put in an orphanage if there weren’t any relatives willing to care for them? What would be the best way to locate information.

    • Don MacFarlane

      July 15, 2010 at 7:44 am

      Derry City Council have just launched an on-line service for family researchers and they also hold the records to the Derry Workhouse. Orphaned children above the age of twelve would have been kept there if they had nowhere else to go as they were considered to be adult as sson as they hit their teens.

      Children from their early teens would also have been sent to Australia to work as household servants to respectable families approved by local authorities. A case in point is provided by Margaret Earle about her ancestor, Anne, who was born in March 1818 at Newry, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland and was brought to Australia by Gilchrist and Alexander as a farm servant, under the protection of Bernard Neale. Her parents were both deceased. Her state of bodily health, strength and probable usefulness was listed as “very good”. She was Roman Catholic, could neither read nor write and a character reference was given by Bernard Maguire.

      There are no Cornells (Cornwells) in the Mayberry convict database and I wonder does that mean that the database is incomplete or maybe they were not transported at all if it was a first offence? However, stealing or otherwise handling stolen goods would indeed normally attract a sentence of transportation to Australia of 7-8 years (in reality for life as very few came back to Ireland).

      Finally, I notice there are loads of Cornwell death records for that period in the New South Wales BDM on-line records. Any of them belong to your family?

      • Mary Cornell

        July 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm

        Here is what I found on Cornwall/Cornwell to Australia. You will notice that it shows John Cornwall having two male children, but his wife Mary having none. It also seems that the information I have from Northern Ireland, the name Cornwall, often changes to Cornwell in the new country. I have as yet been unable to connect any of my ancestors to Australia.

        Police and trial documents
        14/03/1839 Alexander Mitchell of Bally[magingan], [Artria] parish Barony of Loughanshollin robbed by three men near Castledawson who escaped towards Londonderry through the Town Bridge turnpike
        16/03/1839 Wilson Cornwall & Moses Hutchinson apprehended for the crime in Belfast
        21/03/1839 Tried for Highway Robbery, Aged 21 (therefore
        b.22/03/1817-21/03/1818) No previous offences, sentenced to 15 years

        Transportation records
        06/07/1839 Departed Dublin Town on board the MIDDLESEX
        25/01/1840 Arrived Port Jackson, Sydney, NSW; Aged 23 (therefore b.26/01/1816-25/01/1817); Single, no children, R[ead and W[rite]; Religion Protestant; Native Place Co Armagh; Occupation Labourer; Cousin John Cornwall, transported 3y ago; Convict Indent No 160; Convict standing No 40-172 “Folio 10″ [Indent No] Described as 5’8 1/2”; Fair ruddy & freckled complexion; Light sandy hair;
        Grey eyes; Large semicircular scar on the top of head; breast & arms hairy and freckled; two scars inside third finger of left hand

        Ticket of Leave
        13/11/1845 Ticket of Leave recommended by Goulburn Bench
        07/03/1846 Ticket of Leave 46/428 granted “Allowed to remain in the service of Thos. Woore Esqr at his station on the Murray River for 12 Mths”
        20/07/1846 Ticket of Leave Passport 46/696 granted
        21/03/1847 Ticket of Leave 46/696 “Cancelled for being absent from his district”
        22/10/1847 Ticket of Leave 47/785 granted “Allowed to remain in the district of Melbourne
        … Much more on Wilsons subsequent life in early Goldrush Melbourne and as a selector out past the Dandenongs as one of the pioneers of the Toomuc Valley and later the Gippsland district. Wilson was Protestant and “a proud Orangeman” – I speculate that since there was an Orange Lodge in Melbourne at the time, he was a member there.

        John Cornwall, cousin of Wilson
        -30/06/1837 Convicted of stolen property in possession at Antrim; No former convictions, sentenced to 14 years transportation
        -01/01/1838 Arr Sydney, NSW on the Neptune(4); Aged 28 (b.02/01/1809-01/01/1810); Married, 2 Male children, R[ead] & W[rite]; Religion Protestant; Native Place Co Armagh; Occupation Groom; Convict Indent No 184; Convict standing No 38-181
        -13/01/1844 Ticket of Leave No 44/287; “Allowed to remain in the District of Melbourne.”
        -In Melbourne his Master is shown as Watson & Hunter
        -1847 Muster – Self employed at Pentridge

        Mary Jane Cornwall, wife of John Cornwall
        -18/10/1837 Convicted of Receiving stolen goods at Antrim; No former convictions, sentenced to 7 yrs transportation
        -28/03/1838 Arr Sydney, NSW on the “Diamond”; Aged 26 (b.29/03/1811-28/03/1812); Married, no children, R[ead]; Religion Roman Catholic; Native Place Belfast; Occupation Needle-woman; Husband John Cornwall per Neptune 1838; Convict Indent No 105; Convict standing No 104-38
        No children listed as coming on the “Diamond” with her
        -16/03/1843 Ticket of Leave signed, No 43/918. Allowed to remain in the district of Wollombi [in the Hunter Valley, NSW]
        -14/07/1845 Certificate of Freedom No 45/918. Marginal notation “Wollombi; 31 July”. All other details as per Ships Muster.

        Thomas Cornwall, The brother of Wilson
        -1835 born?
        -“Came to Melbourne with his brother, Wilson” according to family tradition
        -10/02/1859 – 05/09/1861 Constable, Victoria Police
        -1862 Paid rates of £17 to Moorabbin Roads Board District, on a weather board house in Fern Rd, Moorabbin, Vic. close to Wilson
        -post 1862 emigrated to New Zealand (or America?)

  29. Margaret McConville

    July 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    My Great Grandmother, was Margaret McConville,Born Newry , N.I. in 1845 to 1850, she married in about 1871, Felix Convery, he was born in Poyntzpass, in about 1851 to 1856.
    They left Ireland and sailed over to Scotland in 1871, from there they went down to live and work in Flintshire ,Wales in 1875 . they stayed in WALES till 1880 then left for Widness in England, from there they moved to a small Village in Lancashire.where they lived out the rest of their lives.
    If anyone has a Margaret McConville from NEWRY. please get in Touch!!! as I don’t have the name of her Parents only that she had a SISTER SARAH McCONVILLE.

    • Don MacFarlane

      July 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      The Armagh website is your best bet where you will find details of tithe allotments for the Converys of Aghantaraghan, of Ballymore Parish, where Poytntzpass is situated. Named there are Charles, Daniel, Edward, Felix, Henry, James, John and Lawrence. There seems to have been a big clan of them!

      There are a lot of McConvilles mentioned for Newry in Grifiths and they seem to be spread all over, so Converys might give you a better lead.

  30. Chris Jones

    June 1, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I am researching my mother’s father’s family. The family name is Hutchinson. My gg grandfather George Hutchinson married a Margaret Thompson sometime around 1845 in, I think, Maghera. George was a Presbyterian. They had one son, my g grandfather in 1844 in Maghera before moving to Mountshannon sometime before 1868 when my g grandfather joined the RIC. I am looking for any evidence of other children of the marriage, names of parents, etc. I am going to Co Clare next week and will hopefully expose more information, but if anyone can point me to any information in Derry I will be grateful.

  31. Don MacFarlane

    May 29, 2010 at 10:14 am

    In reply to Paul McElroy

    If you could dig up another name as well as McElroy that would help to triangulate the search. What was the surname of Daniel Albert’s mother or wife?

    Some other Pointers

    Bellaghy Presbyterian Church was not built till 1825.

    All Protestant burials in Bellaghy were in St Tidas Parish Church (C of I).

    Bellaghy is a part of Magherafelt district so the McElroys’ church was probably in Magherafelt? Their baptism records are intact from 1813-1861.

    Sligo is an unusual port of departure and very inaccessible from Bellaghy/Magherafelt. Derry was the biggest emigration port for the North West, or they could have gone from Warrenpoint in County Down (either would have been handier).

    County Derry wasn’t worst hit by the famines of 1845-. Why did all the brothers go at once – it wasn’t a matter of life or death?

    Ballynease is off to the right off the main road from Castledawson to Portglenone, just outside Bellaghy. Part of the parish of Ballyscullion is divided by the River Bann, with Ballynease being on the Derry side. Bellaghy is little more than a village where there would be shops and a market to sell livestock, possibly also with a hiring fair. On an ordnance map, Ballynease should be around Latitude 54.85, Longitude -6.59? You can find it on the Interactive2 (Kiwicelts) map on the Introduction page of this blogsite.

  32. Don MacFarlane

    May 5, 2010 at 5:42 am

    If these names are true to their origins and not corruptions, then the surnames Cornwell and Conwell are unrelated. Cornwell is an English name from Cornwall or Oxfordshire and Cornell is a variation of that. Conwell or Conwill is an Irish name which is a shortened form of the more common, McConville. The form Conwell appears to have come from Killybegs in County Donegal, Conwill from County Carlow; the McConvilles proper came from County Down and Armagh. All of these variations of Conwell are named after an Irish saint, Commhaoil, from Oriel which was one of the ancient kingdoms of Ulster (modern-day Louth and Monaghan).

    • Mary Cornell

      May 8, 2010 at 3:15 am

      Hello, Don,

      I apologize for the delay in acknowledging your reply. Thank you so much for the wealth of information in that one small paragraph. I think you said it all in the very first sentence and I am afraid that the current information we have right now, we must go forward on the assumption that the names were true to their origins. But…the bastardization of names when they came into the States was incredible. I am hoping the Irish brogue was not too incomprehensible to the authorities. I will continue to look for “Cornwell,” and hope something comes up.

      I would like to share an interesting side note that makes me think that I am on the right track (thanks to you) in Artrea Parish. In 1828 in Schoharie Co. , New York, Robert Cornwell married Phebe T(y)gart who lived a few houses away. Her father was either Alexander or Thomas T(y)gart (still undetermined). I found civil records for 1766 for Artrea Parish and among the names I found linked together were Alexander and Thomas T(e)gart. It does not give ages so if they are one and the same, they would have been middle-aged when they immigrated. I did find a record of Thomas Tygart dying ca. 1825. So as long as I am making these huge assumptions, might as well go all the way. This makes me wonder (always dangerous) if the story of the two brothers coming over was not on the Cornwell side, but on the Tygart side. And by the way, there are at least four different variations of the name Tygart (in the family) with it eventually becoming Taggart.

      So I will continue to search Artrea leaving no stone unturned. The only problem will be locating the stones.


  33. Mary Cornell

    April 28, 2010 at 3:59 am

    I am writing to you from Alamosa, Colorado, U.S. because I have been reading with great interest the comments on surnames in Ireland. I have been trying to get some background on the family name, but seem to have met, not a brickwall, but so many options, that I am at a loss as to where to begin first.

    The family name is Cornwell. The family legend is that two brothers came to America around 1800-1805 from Derry, Northern Ireland. They were shanty Irish Catholic. The name seems to be of English origin,and I have found reference to it as early as the 12th century in Ireland. Any help you could give me to narrow down any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Don MacFarlane

      April 29, 2010 at 9:05 am

      You may be in luck as the only record of a similar name to be found in Derry in the census of that period (Griffiths Evaluation) is for John Cornwall from Annaghmore in Artrea Parish (by the north west corner of Lough Neagh where there were eel fishermen, still are). There are no Cornells or Cornwells so I presume this must be him. There is a plentiful supply of Cornwalls (but not the other variants) in the South of Ireland, mainly Connaucht and Munster Provinces i.e. the western seaboard. There was regular traffic back and forward by fishermen from the west of England (Professor Willeen Keough has researched this heavily).

      • Mary Cornell

        May 3, 2010 at 3:57 am

        Thank you so much for the information. I was able to find it in Griffith’s Valuation available on line. The year of the valuation is 1858. I had already found a marriage license in 1835 for Robert Cornwell in Co. Derry. This find is as important as the John Cornwall that you found in the Valuation because John Cornwell’s(America) son was Robert Cornwell, my ggg grandfather. I cannot find any other Cornwell for any time period in Co. Derry. I know that there weren’t any official records kept for the period around 1800 except for church records so I have been looking mainly in those, with no luck for Cornwell. Would there have been a lot of family movement within the country? I was going with the assumption that families stayed in the same area and rarely moved somewhere else outside of their county. If that assumption is not correct, should I be looking at the entire country?Another question is was the name Conwell considered a variant of Cornwell? Looking in the Irish Flax Growers List of 1796, I found (2) John Conwells in Artrea as well as several other Conwells and one Conwill.

  34. Morrison Stewart

    October 20, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I am probably far too late but I have just seen your message.

    Joseph Gallagher married Ellen Rigby on 26 Jul 1920 in Waterside Registrars office, Londonderry.

    A certificate can be ordered from GRONI using the following information:-
    Registration District Londonderry
    Jul-Sept Quarter 1920
    Vol 2 Page 238


  35. Don MacFarlane

    October 7, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    The surname Sinclair in Northern Ireland is found almost exclusively in Belfast, with small pockets in country areas.

    Sinclairs came over from Scotland (their clan territory was in Caithness and Orkney) in 1642 when Lord Sinclair (John), together with his brother Lt. Col. Henry Sinclair, took over a regiment of over 1,000 men to Ireland to protect the Scots there against the Irish Confederates (Catholics) and Scots Covenanters (Presbyterians).

    This would be par for the course for the clan Sinclair which remained loyal to the Scottish monarch and the established religion through the centuries. Their presence in Dunluce is strange as that was the seat of the Earls of Antrim, McDonnells of Catholic faith and related to the MacDonalds of the Isles of Scotland.

    Stranger still is that the Sinclair tartan has a very close resemblance to the MacDonald tartan, although there is no obvious connection or allegiance between the two clans.

    Kirkiola is a little townland and also the parish within which sits the borough of Ballymena. Sinclair is not a Derry name and there is no presence there of people of that name.

  36. Don MacFarlane

    February 27, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Something for Marjorie to get her teeth into!

    Although Anne Toner came from Newry, County Armagh, an assumption should not be made that the witness Maguire came from there. He or she may have come from Newry, County Down, perhaps just across the street! Newry is split in two, with half being in each county.

    Anne was aged 22 if she was shipped out on the 1840 ‘Adam Lodge’, so why the need for a protector in Bernard Neale, and why the need for a witness in Maguire who could have been a Notary Public or some other official? Why travel to NSW at all in 1840 which was 5 years before the Great Famine? Having said that, the Stritch sisters from Donegal left just three years before.

    Maguire is a Fermanagh name and uncommon in the east of Ulster. Toner is a common name in Down and Armagh. Neale is almost unheard of in Ulster and may be a fancy version of Neal which is slightly more common and found around Banbridge.

    The part of Newry town in Armagh is in Killevy parish and possibly Loughgilly parish if further out; the part of Newry Town in County Down is in parish Newry South.

    I have tried triangulating all three names and, with one exception, it doesn’t work. If the Armagh information is correct, all three names may have come from Killevy/Loughgilly, otherwise I suspect Neale was not from Newry. Likewise, Gilchrist is a name from Downpatrick and the Quoile basin; Alexander is from further up north in County Down again – no Newry connections there. If the Armagh information is less certain, Anne Toner and Maguire may have come from Newry town itself. To check out further, visit the Down Genweb site and post a query. One of the administrators could check out this interesting story in PRONI as she visits there regularly.

    Finally, you wonder how good a protector Neale was if he gave Anne over to a convict, but that is being prejudiced. Irish people were sent as convicts to NSW for trivial offences and often were decent people. In any case, Anne was old enough to make her own mind up.

  37. Don MacFarlane

    December 13, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Killed in Action, Great Wars

    755 Derrymen and one Derry woman, Laura Gailey, died while in action in the two World Wars. More than half of these servicemen served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the main recruiting regiment for Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Donegal. Other regiments that lost Derrymen in action were Seaforth Highlanders, Scottish Rifles, Royal Scots Fusiliers, Highland Light Infantry, Black Watch, Kings Own Scottish Borderers, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and various Canadian regiments.

    There is limited information easily available on these servicemen, only their names and military medals if awarded. Those who earned medals for valour were:

    Lt. William Dunlop MC, MM and Bar

    Born at Carrigans in County Donegal, Willie Dunlop was killed in action at Le Cateau on October 30, 1918. Awarded with his second MC for bravery as a gunner, Willie’s remains are interred in La Vallee Mulatre Communal Cemetery Extension, Aisne, France.

    Rev. Alexander Spence MC
    His citation read as follows : ‘He worked for 20 hours attending to wounded in an aid post during an attack. On the following day, hearing that some wounded were lying out in shell holes, he went out in daylight under machine gun fire and brought back several wounded men to the aid post. He rendered splendid service and showed great gallantry and contempt of danger’. London Gazette.

    Lt. Leonard Stevenson MC

    Those who earned medals for meritorious conduct on the battlefield were:

    Corp. Robert Cooke MM
    Corp Thos. Diver MM
    Corp. Thos Doherty MM
    Pt. Jas Donaghy DCM
    Corp. Wm. Green MM
    Pt. Jos. Gallagher MM
    Corp. Wm. McClay MM
    Lt. Fredk. Irwin MM
    Sgt. Jas. Jackson MM
    Pt. John Lough MM
    CSM Daniel O’Hea MM
    Sgt. Peter Owens MM
    Sgt. Wm. Roulston MM
    Corp. Andrew Sinclair MM
    Pt. Wm. Shields MM

    • scotmum

      June 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm

      At least one WW2 soldier from Londonderry, Corporal James Cavanagh (married and lived Londonderry, but born County Down), who had also seen active service in WW1, lost his life in the Sinking of the Lancastria on 17th June 1940.

      The event was one that little mention was made of at the time, apparently hushed-up by Churchill, but none-the-less a harrowing part of the war, as anything from 2,500 to potentially 5,000 or more, were killed that day.

      Corporal Cavanagh began his career in the Royal Iniskilling Fusiliers, but at the time of his death he was in the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps. He is buried at La Bernerie-En-Retz Communal Cemetery.

      An excellent site on the tragedy is to be found at:

    • Don MacFarlane

      October 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm

      To enquire about any known details of fallen soldiers from Derry, contact directly the Diamond Memorial Project at

      Whether any relation I do not know, but there is also a Sergeant Richard J., Owens, 9860, 11th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Donegal Volunteers) who died at Passchendaele, aged 25 and husband of Edith M. Owens of 80, Fountain Street, Londonderry.

    • james mcgilloway

      May 29, 2010 at 1:59 am

      Sergeant Peter Owens
      2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Regimental Number 4241
      Born: —- Died: 1918-09-30 Aged: 21 Enlisted: Londonderry.
      Interred in Haringhe (Bandaghem) Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Name commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.
      Third son of Charles (a tailor by trade, who died on November 10, 1924, and was buried in Derry City Cemetery) and Ellen (died on March 21, 1926, and was interred in Derry City Cemetery), and brother of Elizabeth Owens, 181, Foster’s Terrace, Derry. Also brother of Teresa, who died on May 5, 1918.
      Sergeant Peter Owens’ father had previously received communication from the War Office, around June 1915, that his son had been wounded in Flanders on May 10, 1915, and had since rejoined his battalion. Peter Owens, who was employed as a telegraph messenger in Derry Post Office and was on the Inniskilling Reserves, volunteered for active service in November 1914, and went out with the Expeditionary Force. He was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry in 1918, and had a very narrow escape on February 25, 1915, when a bullet passed through his cap, singeing his hair and killing a comrade close to him.
      Two brothers of Sergeant Owens also served in the Great War. One served with the 3rd Royal Irish Fusiliers, and the other, Private William Owens, 1st Inniskillings, spent time in hospital in Malta around January/February 1916 recovering from shrapnel wounds in the leg.
      that is all the information i have on peter owens as he is a great great great great uncle
      could you let me have what ever information you have.

      • Denise Gallagher

        May 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        James, I have only recently got back into all this. Can u email me?

    • Morrison Stewart

      May 29, 2010 at 8:58 am

      By following the information given on the Rootschat website ,posted by a James McGilloway, I have come across your old query on Sgt Peter Owens. His parents were Charles Owens who married Ellen Morris on 24 Aug 1889 in Londonderry R.C.Church. The family can be found on the 1911 census I am unable to contact James McGilloway.


    • Mrs Robyn Thompson

      May 20, 2012 at 1:48 am

      Hello….I’m searching for my ancestor William Mc Clay, alsong with six brothers who were all in the War…Could you tell me if William McClay was the son of Robert McClay and Ann Elizabeth (Smith). You can contact me on I’d be so grateful if someone can assist me. Regards. Mrs R Thompson.

      • Don MacFarlane

        May 20, 2012 at 8:01 am

        So as to put a time-frame on it, which War was that?

      • Mrs Robyn Thompson

        September 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

        Hello again Irene Oliver (nee McClay)

        You had written saying your father was Allan McClay. So was his father Robert George McClay at all.

        I’m having trouble getting the Irish 1926 Census here in Australia, have they been release in Ireland yet.

      • Don MacFarlane

        September 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

        I believe it is the same in Australia, BDM records are not released for a hundred years to protect confidentiality. Records cannot be put on-line for general release of persons who could still be alive.

      • Mrs Robyn Thompson

        September 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        Hello Irene.

        Many thanks for your note.

        By any chance do either you or your sister/brother have a list of all the children that Robert George McClay had. Robin McClay that I’m doing the research on for father was LEONARD born 1909, his mother was Elizabeth Smyth/Smith, but he came to Australia. He also had quite a number of children, Robin being the baby of them all. So I guess the Leonard you are speaking about is another one. Could you or other members of the family contact me direct on my email.

        if they have a family tree.

        Kindest regards

        Robyn Thompson (for Robin McClay, Australia).

    • Majella

      December 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm


      Peter Owens was also my great uncle, I am from the Gallagher connection.

  38. Don MacFarlane

    December 13, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Unusual Names,Templemore (Derry City) 1848, Part II

    The surnames with asterisks still exist in Derry today, although in the same sparse numbers as in the 1800s.

    *Jervis (Cornwall). Also known as Jarvis. Also found in Donegal and other counties.
    *Kent (Berkshire). Also found in Munster and Wexford.
    Kimmitt? Also found as Kimmatt in Sligo.
    Kinch (Down). Also found in Wicklow.
    Lawn (Staffordshire). Also found in Donegal. Also in Ireland as Loan and O’Loan.
    Louch (Bourgogne). Also known as Loge.
    *Lucas (Hertfordshire). Also found in Monaghan and elsewhere.
    Maddock From Madoc (Brecon). Also found in Wexford.
    Marratt (Leicestershire)
    Masaroon (Avon)
    *Miles (Hampshire). Also found to be plentiful in Eire.
    Moggridge (Brecon, Wales).
    *Montague (Wiltshire). Also found in Tyrone and Antrim.
    Mosson (Bourbogne)
    *Mount (Peebles). Also found in Down and Antrim.
    *Mulberry (Northumberland)
    Nimmo (Stirling)
    Paisley (Paisley). Also found in Antrim and other counties.
    Penberthy (Lancashire)
    Peterkin (Lincolnshire)
    *Piggott Cheshire). Also found in Limerick.
    Pine (Devon). Also found in Tipperary.
    Pinnell (Essex)
    Salisbury (Wiltshire)
    Sibberry? Also found in Leitrim.
    Silo (Italy).
    *Skeffington (Leicestershire). Also found in Tyrone.
    Skipton (Yorkshire). One major landowner in Derry – Pitt Skipton.
    Stelly (Bologna)
    Surplice? Also found in Armagh.
    Tease (Nottingham). Also known as Tees. Also found in Donegal.
    *Trotter (Berwickshire). Also found in Cavan, Fermanagh and other counties.
    *Wark (Northumberland)Also found in Donegal.
    Webber (Somerset)

    • darell

      August 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      Hi I’m interested in the Masaroon family -my great great aunt married an Edward Masaroon in 1906 in Scotland and then she left there with him and moved to Belfast where they raised 5 sons , She died there in 1960.
      I am wondering what has become of that family.

      • Don MacFarlane

        August 25, 2010 at 5:56 am

        Masaroon is such an unusual name, there is a good chance that those in Ireland descended from the Methodist minister, Reverend Robert Masaroon, who first of all was chaplain to Wesley College in Dublin at its founding in 1839. He later served in different ministries but the family mainly settled in Derry.

        Try your luck with Roots Ireland records which gives 20 baptismal records and 19 death records for people of that name.

      • Ventry

        August 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm

        Was your Edward Masaroon born 15.09.1876 Londonderry, Ireland, son of Robert Masaroon and Jane Caldwell, married 27th April 1863?

        Added by Moderator
        Other Masaroons recorded in Derry around that time were James who married Mary Ann Hasson in 1868, with daughter Charlotte born in 1869 and son Charles born in 1873; Mary Anne who married James Dougherty in 1873.
        The question arises, were these older Masaroons – Robert, James and Mary Anne – children of Reverend Robert (seems most likely)?

        Finally, there are no Masaroons in the Derry phonebook today so it appears they have all left.

      • Don MacFarlane

        August 26, 2010 at 11:03 am

        Obituary from Methodist Conference on Robert Masaroon DD who died in 1871.

        Robert Masaroon, D.D. ; who died on March 3rd, 1871 in his eighty-second year, being the fifty-ninth of his ministry. Bom and brought up in Londonderry, he was admitted on trial into our Society in his eighteenth year. In 1811 he was accepted as a candidate for the work of the Christian ministry, and the next year was sent to the Drogheda Circuit.

        From that period till 1859, when he obtained leave of the Conference to become a Supernumerary, he prosecuted with untiring diligence, in some twenty different Circuits, the toils incident to our ministry t in Ireland. The leading traits of his character were a gentleness, which sometimes verged on timidity, but which was counteracted by great conscientiousness in the discharge of the duties devolving on him ; a prudence and caution that protected him from giving just occasion of offence, even to those with whom he came in contact in the administration of our discipline, of which he was at once a faithful and safe administrator.

        With these were combined an earnest love for study, especially of the Holy Scriptures, urging him on to such acquisitions as greatly enriched his care-fully-made preparations for the pulpit, and rendered him a useful guide to young men in their endeavours to become acquainted with the originals of the Sacred Text. He was also a willing and efficient advocate in the pulpit and on the platform of the interests of that noble institution, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and others having similar objects. The style of his public addresses was always clear, correct, and chaste, and in private conversation he was a most agreeable and instructive companion.

        In the various official positions assigned to him by his brethren. Dr. Masaroon rendered good service to the Church, and many will have occasion to remember the punctuality and kindness which he manifested in the discharge of the duties of an office which he held for several of the last years of his life, and up to its close, that of Treasurer in Ireland of the Annuitant Society and Auxiliary Fund.

        The death of his beloved wife, which preceded his own decease by about a year, broke down his remaining strength ; and, after having suffered two or three slight attacks of paralysis, he closed his useful life in Dublin, amongst sympathizing friends, his latest breath being spent in the utterance of the cry, *’ Come Lord Jesus ! come quickly ! “‘ By his removal from our branch of the Church we have lost a scholar and a gentleman, as well as a Christian minister.

      • Anthea Mitchell

        July 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm

        Edward Masaroon’s sons were – Robert Caulfield M. b. 1907, David Clarke M. b. 1908, Edward Cladwell M. b. 1910, Sidney Dermott M. b. 1913 all born Derry. Do you have the name of Edward’s wife please ? Edward had two brothers who dy. – Wiliam Henry M. & Charles Bedford M. He had another bro – Robert/William Gardner M. b 1864 Londonderry who married Alice Helena Spear in England and had 3 daughters.

      • Elaine Masaroon Steinsland

        February 5, 2012 at 4:46 am

        Edward Masaroon b. 15 Sept 1876 Londonderry d. 26 Feb 1940 Belfast married Agnes Arbuthnott Clark B. 6 Oct 1876 Auchinblae Fordoun Scotland on 15 Feb 1906 Innerleithen Fordoun Scotland. Agnes died 6 Jan 1960 Belfast and both are buried in Dundonald Cemetery. They had five sons: Robert Caulfield B. 1907, David Clark B. 1908, Edward Caldwell B. 1909 Sidney Dermott B.1913 and John Milne B. 1920. The first four were born in Londonderry and John was born in Buncrana Donegal. Robert Caulfield is my grandfather, David and Edward never married, Sidney was married three times but no children, John had four daughters and moved to Canada.

        Anthea is correct, Edward did have three brothers. William and charles both died in childhood and Robert Gardiner mostly lived in England and married Alice H. Spear. They had three children: Evaline Alice B. 1891, Dorothy Helen B. 1894 and Marjorie Beatrice B. 1908. There have not been any Masaroons in Derry since my grandfather Edward but I often wonder are there any descendants from others in the family still remaining? Most others have since passed away or emmigrated elsewhere. Notes written by Robert Gardiner state the family stories have Masaroons in Derry at the time it was settled.

      • Patricia Green

        November 25, 2012 at 3:30 am

        My grandfather was Edward Masaroon. He married Agnes Clark who came from Scotland. They eventually ended up in Belfast. My father John was the youngest of their five sons.

  39. Don MacFarlane

    December 11, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Unusual Names,Templemore (Derry City) 1848, Part I

    These names were rare in Derry in 1848, not just corrupted spellings of more common surnames, and perhaps suggestive of their being ‘blow-ins’ from elsewhere. Close scrutiny would appear to show that the majority of English names were from the coastal counties, therefore perhaps English sailors who landed in Derry which was a major port at the time? Due to the scarcity of the names, then and now, perhaps a reasonable assumption can be made that they were later arrivals, and not original English Planter stock from the 1600s.

    The surnames with asterisks still exist in Derry today, although in the same sparse numbers as in the 1800s.

    A number of these families had members who served with distinction and fell in the Great Wars.

    Allender, Place of Origin? Also found in Clare.
    *Allison, Place of Origin – Lanarkshire. Also found in Donegal and Antrim.
    Angus, Place of Origin – Fifeshire. Also found in Down.
    *Baldrick, Place of Origin – Northumberland. Also found in Donegal.
    Beaumont, Place of Origin – Dorset. Also found in Belfast.
    Birkmyre, Place of Origin? Also found in Antrim.
    Bligh, Place of Origin – Cornwall
    Burland, Place of Origin – Surrey. Also found in Wicklow and Wexford.
    Carbena, Place of Origin?
    Clara, Place of Origin? Also found in Clare.
    Cluff, Place of Origin – Denbighshire. Also found in Tyrone and Fermanagh.
    *Crompton, Place of Origin – Lancashire
    *Cruise, Place of Origin – Bedfordshire. Widespread in Eire.
    *Culbert, Place of Origin – Cheshire. Widespread in Antrim.
    Dorcas, Place of Origin?
    *Denice, Place of Origin – Champagne, France. Widespread in Eire as Denis (Dennis).
    *Dukes, Place of Origin – Devonshire
    *Early, Place of Origin – Somerset. Widespread in Eire and Tyrone.
    Elking, Place of Origin – Oxfordshire. Also found in Tyrone as Elkin.
    Entrican, Place of Origin? Also found in Tyrone.
    Erdle, Place of Origin? Also found in Offaly as Ardle.
    Ennar, Place of Origin – Switzerland
    Feighery, Place of Origin? Also found in Offaly and Laois.
    Feskan, Place of Origin?
    *Foy, Place of Origin – Cavan
    *Galona (Galanagh), Place of Origin?
    Gearing, Place of Origin – Sligo
    Gilson, Place of Origin – Dumfriesshire. Also found in Antrim.
    *Godferry (Godfrey), Place of Origin – Kent, England. Also found in Limerick.
    *Goulding, Place of Origin – Essex. Also found in Cork.
    Greenslead, Place of Origin?
    Gresham, Place of Origin – Norfolk. Also found in Dublin.
    Gwynn, Place of Origin – Brecon, Wales. Also found in Antrim.
    Halpern, Place of Origin – Worcestershire
    Harrold, Place of Origin – Argyllshire (a branch of MacRaild and MacLeod). Also found in Munster.
    Hearkshaw, Place of Origin?
    Hibbetts, Place of Origin – Cheshire
    Heffington, Place of Origin – Leicester
    Hurst, Place of origin – Yorkshire. Also found in Fermanagh.
    Hyslop, Place of Origin – Yorkshire
    Inch, Place of Origin – Perth, Scotland

  40. donfad

    November 15, 2008 at 11:05 am

    The etymology of surnames is an obsession or all-consuming past-time, whichever you prefer.

    Courtesy of the GlasgowGuide ‘Are the Scots really Irish’ blogsite is this extract:

    ‘Mac Aodha or MacAodha is the Irish Gaelic spelling of McHugh/McCue. Mhaoil Ghaoithe is the Irish Gaelic spelling for McGee in west Ulster (Donegal). Mag Aoidh or MagAoidh is the Irish Gaelic spelling for Magee in east Ulster. Mac Aoidh or MacAoidh is the Scottish Gaelic spelling of McKay, McKee/McKie and McGhee. Aodh is the Gaelic word for Fire which has been Anglicised as Hugh. There is also an Irish Gaelic surname O’h-Aodha. O’hAodha was Anglicised as Hayes in the south of Ireland and as Hughes in the north of Ireland. Occasionally, the native Gaelic Irish surnames of MacAodha and MagAoidh were also Anglicised as Hughes in the north of Ireland instead of as McHugh or Magee respectively’.

    Putting my own toe in the water and rather tongue in cheek (mixed metaphor) , I can offer the following:

    The Donegal variation of Magee is Muintear Mhaoil Ghaoithe. Maol in modern-day Gaelic is the word for bald but it used to refer to the particular form of self-inflicted baldness of monks known as the tonsure. In particular, maol referred to the tonsure worn by the followers of St. Columba, the Irish saint who brought Christianity to Western Scotland. As the Donegal Magees originated from Kilmacrennan, were the Magees the disciples of St. Columba whose birthplace was also Kilmacrennan? Alternatively, maol is also a word for an exposed piece of ground and gaoithe is ‘of the wind’. So does Muintear Mhaoil Ghaoithe merely mean those ones that came from the exposed windy places?

    I will leave this particular past-time to others as ‘it could do your head in’, as they say in Ireland!

  41. donfad

    October 11, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Carl Jung alludes to the rhizome as that which remains after the ethereal has passed:

    “Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above the ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away—an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost the sense of something that lives and endures beneath the eternal flux. What we see is blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.” (Prologue from Memories, Dreams, Reflections)

    Jung’s allusion to how the rhizome is self-sustaining and remains a fixed structure, even as the ethereal is gone, is highly evocative. Social environment is constantly dynamic and being replaced by new content. The impermanence of what is on the surface creates for an ever-changing social landscape which is still true to its origins.

  42. donfad

    September 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    From Directory of Irish Genealogy

    As the 2008 presidential campaign proceeds, it has been established that the Democratic candidate Barack Obama and the Republican candidate John McCain both have some Irish ancestry. Obama, who stands a chance of being the first black US President, is of course Kenyan in his paternal ancestry, but his forebears on his maternal side include Joseph Kearney, a shoemaker of Moneygall, County Offaly.

    Senator McCain is said to be descended from an Alexander McKean who left Coleraine about 1719 . One confirmed Irish ancestor is McCain’s GGGG grandfather Captain John Young, said to have been born in Ballymore, County Antrim, in 1737, and whose wife Mary White was also of the same place. One of McCain’s GGGGGgrandfathers was Dixie Coddington, born Holmpatrick, Skerries, Co Dublin, in 1693, who married Hannah Waller and died in Queen Street, Dublin, in 1776. Dixie’s father, and McCain’s GGGGGGgrandfather, was Captain Dixie Coddington, who is stated to have served with King William at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Captain Dixie’s eldest son and Dixie junior’s brother was John Coddington, who acquired the Oldbridge estate in County Meath from the Earl of Drogheda in 1729. This branch of the Coddingtons remained at Oldbridge until the 1970s and finally sold off the estate in the 1980s.

    In what surely must be one of the most ‘Irish’ of American presidential elections, both the Democratic and Republican vice-presidential nominees also possess significant Irish ancestry. Obama’s running mate Senator Joe Biden has Finnegan forebears as well as two GGgrandparents born in Ireland, Patrick Blewitt and Catharine Scanlon, counties of origin at present unknown. Biden’s GGgrandfather Owen Finnegan was most likely from Carlingford, County Louth.

    McCain’s vice-presidential nominee, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, has strong Irish roots via her mother Sarah Sheeran. US records show that the parents of two of Governor Palin’s GGgrandparents, Michael James Sheeran and Maria E Burke, were both born in Ireland. Michael James’s parents, Michael and Mary Sheeran, were born in Ireland and probably emigrated to the US during the Great Famine in the 1840s. The surname Sheeran is to be found in north Connacht and northwest Ulster, while Burke is numerous in counties Galway and Mayo. Clusters of the surnames Burke and Cline (maternal GGGGF) are to be found in Leitrim, which adds weight to the suggestion that Governor Palin’s ancestors may have come from this county.


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