The Derry website offers a free and unique service to family researchers and the entire Derry section of Griffiths Census has been exported into an Excel spreadsheet.  This has been organized so as to identify how prevalent family names are in each townland, how distinctive names are to a parish and not found much elsewhere, and family names of neighbors.  In many cases this will help to narrow a search and more so if the family name of the marriage partner is distinctive to the same townland or parish.  It should be remembered that the details for County Derry were not entered until 1852, a full 7 years after the Great Famine, and they are therefore incomplete.  By that time much emigration had already taken place to Scotland and places much further away.  The use of asterisks in the specimen table below signifies the prevalence and uniqueness of the name to a parish.  The complete Excel spreadsheet, together with a Ready Reckoner to narrow a search, is available at no cost from Dr. Don MacFarlane from this website.

Aghadowey Bartley*** Cunningham Ballynacally Scots-Irish
Agivey Boyle McElroy Mullaghmore Native Irish
Arboe Donaghy Browne Drummullan Scots-Irish
Artrea Berryman*** Allen Ballyneill Scots-Irish

Poll Start Date: 28th August 2010

The prevalence of the commonest names in Derry makes it that more difficult for family researches to trace these ancestors unless they have to hand other information such as less common names of ancestors on the distaff side of the family tree.  The principal parishes in the mid 1800s where these commoner families were to be found is given in brackets except where they were too dispersed to be associated with any particular locality, e.g., Doherty (Templemore – now known as Cityside of Derry), McLaughlin (Templemore), Gallagher (Templemore), McCloskey (Dungiven), Kane, Kelly, Coyle (Templemore), Moore (Tamlaght Finlagan), Bradley (Ballynascreen) and Campbell (Macosquin).


Visitors to this site can also explore how strong their Irish roots have survived through generations from the early 1800s. An accurate assessment can be done from completion of an identity grid and with reference to the classic paper by Kaufmann on ethnicity. For further information and explanation of the grid, log in and post a reply for Dr. Don MacFarlane as it is his PhD thesis the method and analysis are based upon.


To see a map of civil parishes see Civil Parishes of Derry.

While looking at this map, it may be useful to keep the topography of the County in mind’s eye. Two diagonal lines, one from Cumber Lower to Drumachose, and another from Ballynascreen to Ballywillin, divide off the lowland parts of County Derry from the belt of upperlands that runs through the middle. For R.C. Diocesan parishes see Diocesan Parishes. Some parishes such as Lavey Parish have gone to the trouble to put their records on line but this would be the exception rather than the norm. How the introduction of family records at parish level came about and how this has changed over the centuries is detailed at History from Headstones.

A more extensive list of the commoner family surnames in each Parish as recorded in the Griffiths 1845 Census is set out below. Matheson’s Report also shows to what extent family names found in Ulster had emigrated from other parts of the island of Ireland. The researcher might also find it useful to have a basic knowledge of the origins of Irish Placenames. What may seem at first sight to be a bewildering name for a townland may give good clues as to Townland Locale. Given what we know about the rundale nature of the agricultural economy of Ulster in the early 1800s, the placename may also give good clues as to the social circumstances of a family at that time.

Links will be created on this website for most of the parishes listed below and these will show places of origin and clan connections of the inhabitants prior to arriving in Derry. It will be obvious from most of these links done so far how much there is of a Scots-Irish connection. The controversial if amusing Tim Pat Coogan would seek to deny Scots-Irish people their enduring and strong affinity with the Ireland of their ancestors. He likens them to the Anglo Irish Duke of Wellington who remarked about his Irish ancestry that being born in a stable did not make one a horse. Likewise, he quotes from the poem about the Scots-Irish

We’ll join in jubilation for the thing that we are not;
For we say we aren’t Irish and God knows we aren’t Scot!

Notwithstanding this cynical disparagement, the evidence from the heavy traffic on noticeboards is that a goodly proportion of visitors who seek their Northern Irish roots are indeed Scots-Irish.

Aghadowey (Gilmore, Mullen, Miller)
Aghanloo (Mullen, Wilson)
Agivey (Hunter, Boyle)
Arboe, Artrea (Browne, Devlin)

Ballinderry (McCusker, McGuckin)
Ballyaghran (Martin)
Ballynascreen (Bradley)
Ballyrashane (Stirling)
Ballyscullion (Cassidy, Davidson, Scullion)
Ballywillin (McNeill)
Balteagh (Kane, Loughrey, Oliver)
Banagher (Hassan, Kane, McCluskey)
Bovevagh (Brolly, Moore)

Clondermot (Doherty, McLoughlin, Kelly)
Coleraine (Black, Clarke, Glenn)
Cumber Lower (Quigley)
Cumber Upper (Devine, Rosborough, McDonough)

Desertlyn (Devlin)
Desertmartin (Henry, McGovern, McCrystle)
Desertoghill (Dimond, Torrens)
Drumachose (Boyle, Smith)
Dunboe (Blair, Lees)
Dungiven (Irwin, Kane, McCluskey)

Errigal (Gilmore, McNicholl, O’Kane)

Faughanvale (Craig, McGuinness)

Kilcronaghan (Clarke, Lyle, Nelson)
Killelagh (Bradley, Convery, McIldowney, McKenna)
Kilrea (Bicknell, Hagarty, McKay)

Learmount (Keane, McDonagh)
Lissan (Conlon, Crookes)

Macosquin (Black, Campbell, Kennedy)
Maghera (Anderson, Connor, Convery)
Magherafelt (Graham, Johnstone , Stewart)
Magilligan (Doherty)

Tamlaght Finlagan (Connor)
Tamlaght O’Crilly (Cassidy, Henry, McCahy)
Tamlaghtard (McCoy, McErlane)
Templemore (Coyle, Crawford , Cunningham)


129 responses to “Entry

  1. Rhonda McElroy

    April 4, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Great to find you!!

    I am looking for family of my GX7 Grandfather, JAMES MCELROY. What I have is a small story and then a few dates after he came to U.S.. to use as a timeline…(after he came to Ohio, I have all info from then forward.)

    James McElroy -Born March 16th,1817

    Came to the US with two brothers at Connecticut at a very young age – the year is unknown. Each boy decided to go his own way. They had no jobs and knew no one. They shook hands and went their separate ways, never to meet again.

    One brother got off the train in New York City, one at an unknown destination and James came to Mantua, Ohio where he married Lucy Judson- we have all info after. Want to find the rest of our family!!

    We found a possible naturalization record- sworn in 1839 – on the back it was not totally legible. Notes state: had been in the area either three or nine years.
    Also another word that was short and may be Ratory?? I have yet to actually view document myself. He married in 1845 at 28 years old and later came to Ashtabula County Ohio where he had a large family.

    Thank you for any assistance,


    • Don MacFarlane

      April 5, 2014 at 10:22 am

      The surname McElroy has been prolific throughout Northern Ireland and in the early 1800s it was concentrated around:

      Fermanagh – Aghalurcher parish.
      Tyrone – Clogher parish.
      Monaghan – Clontibret parish.
      Derry – Artrea parish.

      From Griffiths Evaluation (a census taken in the 1840s) there were around 500 households in Ulster belonging to people by the name of McElroy, so a veritable needle in the haystack without more information to go on.

      • Rhonda McElroy

        April 24, 2014 at 2:20 am

        Thank you, I will look in these areas also. The story is that three boys left at an early age. James, b. 1817 in Ireland. If he was in Ohio in 1830, he may have taken some time to get ‘here’- so let’s say they may have left in 1829 (conservatively), three children of at least twelve years of age, did many children leave on their own? The fact they separated and went their own way is interesting.

      • Don MacFarlane

        July 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

        Being so young and travelling unescorted by an adult, then to split up and go their separate ways immediately on arrival, was not unusual in these days.

    • Rachel

      April 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      There is a townland of Ratory (156 acres), Civil Parish of Clogher in County Tyrone.

      • Don MacFarlane

        April 5, 2014 at 6:02 pm

        Well spotted. There is indeed a townland called Ratory within Clogher Parish in County Tyrone and it had one McElroy household only in the 1840s, head of the house being called Patrick.

    • Rachel

      April 6, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      If you haven’t already found this source, there is a will and testament for James McElroy of Rome, Ashtabula, Ohio:

      Ashtabula County, Ohio Will Testators:

      • Rhonda McElroy

        April 24, 2014 at 2:13 am

        Thank you. Yes, I have seen the will at our historical society. Again, it only states Ireland and no parents or information listed. He is buried only a few miles from me. Ratory, I will be looking at the Naturalization papers soon and I will be able to decipher the info. Hopefully it is his and will have some clues! Patrick may be a lead if I can track his family .

  2. cmatyckas

    August 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you for your quick reply. I had hit a brick wall with my research. Sometimes it takes another person to point you in the right direction! I will keep you advised of my progress.


  3. cmatyckas

    August 11, 2013 at 4:33 am


    I’m researching my great, great grandfather, John M. Convery (Manas). John was born in 1809, possibly in Rocktown, Ireland. He married Sarah Lagan (born 1827) in 08 SEPT 1853; together they had the following children:

    Mary – born 1854; John – born 1855; John – born 1858; Mary – born 1859; Patrick – born 1861; William James – born 1864; Robert Henry – born 1866; and Charles (my great grandfather) (church records have his last name spelled “Confrey”) – born 1869.

    All of the children, with the exception of Robert Henry, were baptised at Lavey Parish.

    There may be an additional child, Catherine Convery, born in 1857 to John Convery and Sarah; however,I have not been able to locate any documenation on her.

    John M. Convery and Sarah Lagan Convery are buried together in the Old Cemetery at Lavey Parish. John died on 07 JAN 1881 at age 72; Sarah died on 12 OCT 1873 at age 46. Buried with John and Sarah is a daughter of John; she died on 14 JAN 1889; the time stone is illegible ad to her name.

    These Converys can be very troublesome. When I began my genealogy research, I never realized Convery was such a popular name in the Rocktown/Maghera area; and each Convery seems to give suceeding generations of their children the same names. The biggest difficulty is the sheer number of Converys in Rocktown. It is always more difficult sorting out families when there are many, as opposed to just a few.

    I have not been able to find any information on Sarah Lagan’s family. Any information as to brothers/sisters, etc. for John Convery and/or Sarah Lagan would be very much appreciated.

    Caren Convery Matyckas

    • Don MacFarlane

      August 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      These are the Converys from Rocktown Townland in Loughinsholin Parish in County Derry as listed in the 1831 Census:

      24786 Convery Charles; 24787 Convery Charles; 24788 Convery Denis; 24789 Convery Felix; 24790 Convery Felix; 24791 Convery Francis; 24792 Convery Francis; 24793 Convery James; 24794 Convery James; 24795 Convery Matthew; 24796 Convery Michael; 24797 Convery Molly; 24798 Convery Nancy; 24799 Convery Patrick; 24800 Convery Peter; 24801 Convery Roger; 24802 Convery Sally; 24803 Convery William

      The name Convery was only to be found in Loughinsholin Parish in County Derry and it looks from the sequencing of the numbers that they lived in adjoining houses and were all probably related.

      There were no Lagans from Rocktown but the name was plentiful in the surrounding townlands:

  4. Mark

    November 2, 2012 at 8:57 am

    A very brief and possibly too open-ended question for you. I am turning from researching my family (quietly gathered in the southwest of England since the 15th century where they tend to stay put) to my wife’s family of buccaneering adventurers who seem to cover the globe.

    One small part of her tree concerns Mary Keane/Kean/Kane who was apparently born ‘in Derry’ [no more information than that in the only evidence, a settlement examination] in 1757, but who moved to Scotland and married there in 1802. I have evidence (slight) that she was RC, but it is slight. Do I have any chance of pinning her down?

    I’ve tried IGI etc but with no real success, and a look at your resources (notably the 1766 list) suggests that since she married a Quigley, Drumachose (with both Quigleys and Kanes) would be possible, but that may not be so. Any ideas?

    • Don MacFarlane

      November 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      The Quigleys originate from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal. The Kanes and various other versions of the O’Kanes come from Dungiven and the surrounding foothills of the Sperrin Mountains in West and Mid-Derry. The name Keane is not an Ulster name and it is more associated with Munster (Cork and Kerry etc) but some interchange has taken place over the centuries so that some Kanes are Keanes (in Munster) and vice versa in Ulster. Both clans (Kanes and Quigleys) multiplied and spread throughout Ulster so they pop up everywhere today and both lots were almost certainly Catholic. It would not be possible to pin them down without more information. Suffice to say that the ancestral homelands of both lots overlook the Foyle but from opposite sides of that Lough.

    • Don MacFarlane

      January 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

      This database from Bill McAfee might narrow things down

  5. wendy dickson

    August 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Hi, I am researching my William Dougherty/Mary Jane Cole family as well as the Abram Family from Londonderry. I have found the Ulster Covenant for the Doughertys but I am having great troubles finding anything else on them especially on the Abram side. My great grandfather, Robert George Abram married Catherine Colhoun Dougherty (born later 1800s) she is the daughter to William & Mary (Margaret). She also had a brother Samuel Dougherty who seems to have disappeared. As for the Abram side, I’m so stuck that I got nothin!! Anyone who can help, I would be in heaven. I live in Canada and I am not familiar with a lot of the Irish sites and where I should be looking.


  6. RCarr

    July 4, 2012 at 2:38 am

    One of these links may be of some use to you:

    “The Irish side of the clan settled in the Fanad peninsula. It has been said that in the 18th century the Deenys might have lived around Glenvar, north of Rathmullan on the Fanad peninsula, in County Donegal. In any case, we are told that three Deeny brothers travelled from Rathmullan to County Derry. The brothers found work building a big house near Clady. Owen Deeny, a stonemason, lived in Ballyrory. His home passed to Michael Deeny, most probably identifying Michael as Owen’s son. Michael Deeny (1810/11-1885), married Mary McLaughlin (1820-1907) and settled in Ballyrory, Co Derry. Mickey Deeny was a stonemason by trade, like his father before him, and built a stone shed on their cottage, possibly for cattle. The first of their five children was my grandfather, James Deeny (1846-1929).”… “Between 1877 and 1890 James and Susan (O’Neill) had ten children. The oldest was Michael, who studied to become a doctor. The cost to the family of Michael’s training left insufficient funds for the same investment in his siblings’ education.”

    “Copy of grant of arms to the descendants of Michael Deeny of Clady, Co. Derry and to his great grandson James Andrew Deeny, M.D. of Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, son of Michael Deeny, Surgeon, of Dungan, Co. Armagh, son of James Deeny of Dungiven, Co. Derry, July 1, 1955.”

    Pedigree of Deeny of Ballyrory, Clady, Dungiven, Co. Derry, of Lurgan, Co. Armagh and Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, c.1811 1955.

    • Kelly Deeny

      September 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you very much! Looks as though this information will come in quite handy.

  7. Kathy Faithful

    May 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Researching Arthur and Mary McCloskey, born about 1801, Dungiven area, had two sons that I know of, John and Bernard, born about 1834/35, in Dungiven. The two boys migrated to Australia, we think via Philadelphia, about 1870, but we don’t know for sure. Also, looking for Owen and Rose McKenna, who also migrated to Sydney, Australia, about 1870, had a son Patrick, and about four daughters, Bridget McKenna married Bernard McCloskey my gr gr grandparents. If any one can help me, I’d appreciate any help. Thanks, Kathy of Queensland, Australia.

    • Don MacFarlane

      May 24, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Arthur McCloskey is recorded in the 1831 Census as living at 209 Main Street, Dungiven. The only censuses available on-line yet are for 1901 and 1911. The MacKennas are more likely to have come from the other side of the Glenshane Pass viz. Maghera or Magherafelt primarily.

      • Kathy Faithful

        May 24, 2012 at 8:52 am

        Thanks, Does this Arthur live with a Mary, and did they have any children with them. We have a hunch that Mary’s maiden name might be Ward, but again not sure. Is there any way I can find out more about this Arthur at 209 Main St, Dungiven. Kathy

      • Don MacFarlane

        May 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

        I think you would have to contact the National Archives of Ireland direct for that information.

      • Kathy

        November 25, 2012 at 10:47 am

        Hi, I was told that the McKennas [Owen and Rose] may have arrived in Victoria Australia, on 23rd August, in 1853 on the Lady Kennaway but I can’t prove it, by finding shipping records. Can you help at all!

        I believe that Rose McKenna’s parents were Thomas Gallagher, and Rose ? Rose Gallagher was born 1821 and died 1893, and was buried in Sydney, NSW, Australia.


      • Rachel Carr

        November 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm

        The third voyage of the Lady Kennaway to Melbourne sailed from Southampton on 9 May 1853, arriving in Melbourne on 15 August 1853, after 98 days at sea. She brought cases of goods for Melbourne merchants, as well as 276 emigrants who all arrived in good health, although three infants had died while at sea. In 1853 Victoria attained self-government and kept its own official records; previously arrivals to Port Phillip (Melbourne) were included with New South Wales records.

        Links to Victoria’s passenger list indexes:

        Click on link to the “Index to Unassisted Inward Passenger Lists to Victoria 1852-1923”:

        Type in Family Name, Ship Name, restrict dates to month of August and year of 1853. (To see a list of all 276 passenger names, remove the Family Name from the Search, keep Ship Name and restricted dates only and increase Results to 500.)

        Surname, Given Name/ Age/ Month Year Ship /Port/ Fiche/ Page
        MCKENNA, CHARLES /23 /AUG 1853 LADY KENNAWAY /B /048/ 005
        MCKENNA, ROSE ANN/ 28 /AUG 1853 LADY KENNAWAY/ B/ 048/ 005

        How to Use Information from the Online Indexes:

        The FREE family were fellow passengers, so you might find this page of interest also:

    • cmatyckas

      August 27, 2013 at 1:35 am

      Hi Kathy,

      Patrick McCloskey and Margaret Lagan are listed as the godparents of my great grand uncle, Patrick Convery, born 30 AUG 1861. Patrick Convery was the son of John M. Convery and Sarah Lagan. Any relation to your McCloskey family?

      I have a copy of the Lavey (Termoneeny) Roman Catholic Church baptism record, which I would be happy to send you.

      Caren Convery Matyckas

  8. Don MacFarlane

    May 21, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Castleroe Estate belonged to the Heylands of Somerset and mention is made of a son who served in the 40th Foot (2nd Somersetshire), Major Arthur Rowley HEYLAND, who was killed at Waterloo. A monument was erected at Mont-Saint-Jean and a memorial was also erected at Bangor Cathedral – “Sacred to the memory of Arthur Rawley Heyland of Ballin Temple, in the county of Londonderry, Major in the 40th Regiment of Foot who closed a life of private excellence and professional honour in the glorious victory of Waterloo, June 18th 1815 in the 34th year of his age.” Poignant letters home from Major Heyland, just prior to his death, can be found on the Anstie Webpage .

    Castleroe is not situated in Coleraine but in the neighbouring parish of Macosquin less than two miles down the road. The Interactive Map clearly shows Castleroe, as well as a locale called Somerset which commemorates the Heyland connection. Best source for finding out more on rural conditions at that time, flax industry etc, can be found in Volume 33, Coleraine and Mouth of the Bann, Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland, ISBN 085389 554 6.

    All of the allied names are to be found in Macosquin parish in the area of Drumcroon and Camus between the A37 and the A29 trunkroads. I think Gilmer is a corruption of the name Gilmore which is also to be found in the same parish.

  9. Don MacFarlane

    May 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    From Kathy of Gilmers in PA January 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I’m researching the family of Robert B. Gilmer, Sr. (b.1772, Castle Roe; d.1867, Berks Co., PA) from the Coleraine area in Ireland. Probable allied families were BOYD, QUIGG, ADAMS and YOUNG.

    Robert’s father’s given name is unknown but Robert’s mother’s name seems to have been Margaret BOYD. Robert’s brothers were William, James and John; his sisters were Margaret, Sarah, and Mary.

    Several letters survived: 1803 (2); 1804; 1806; 1822; 1833; 1858; 1859 – of which two were from Melbourne. “Home” seems to have been Ballyvelton farm and a lease was mentioned. Letters from James and John originated from “Ballyvelton.” Although the letters are short, there are brief descriptions of the times.

    I’m working toward discovery of the father’s given name and confirmation of the mother as Margaret Boyd. Anything you could tell me about the area, the flax industry there and how they may have lived, would be very helpful. Thank you for being here to guide researchers.

    Major Heyland’s story was well-written and well worth reading. I was able to find Ballyvelton and Castleroe on the Interactive Map, but was constantly lost after zooming in. I will attempt Drumcroon and Camus tomorrow–with rested eyes.

    You are correct about the GILMER spelling. Brothers John and James signed GILMORE when writing to their brother Robert as GILMER. Brother William’s wife Mary signed as GILMOUR. I learned decades ago: it isn’t how it’s spelled but how it sounds. Clerks wrote what they heard, people spelled by sound, and brothers changed the spellings of their surnames for distinction within a large family. Makes genealogy very interesting.

  10. Don MacFarlane

    May 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Reply to Eric and Pam

    The Kanes were much more plentiful, as you would expect of an offshoot of the famous clan O’ Kane who had their castle at Dungiven which still stands today. More than half of Banagher Parish is mountain terrain and empty of houses, so the inhabited part forms a cluster in the north west of the parish, clustered around Feeny village. Therefore, you have a small area to search.

    Banagher Parish contains 27 townlands and at the time of the Plantation it was divided up ; seven townlands were kept by Derry Church of Ireland See, six went o the Skinners’ Company; three to the Fishmongers; ten were privately owned with rent paid to the Companies. 13,432 acres are mountain land; 546 acres are bog, some of that was reclaimed for cultivation.

    Principal residences in the mid 1880s belonged to Messrs Stevenson, Ross and Rev. Hunter. There was a large bleach-green at Knockan, where 8000 pieces of linen were annually bleached and finished for the English markets. The Roman Catholic parish comprised the parishes of Bovevagh and Learmount, and contained three chapels, one at Feeny, one at Altinure in the mountain district, and one at Foreglen.

  11. celticknot226

    May 21, 2012 at 12:22 am

    sorry, I put this on the wrong section, should have been under media!:)

    • Don MacFarlane

      May 21, 2012 at 7:36 am

      I wondered about that myself. The media page seems to have usurped the functions of the Bookclub page. I think this may be accidental or a quirk? When you hover over the Bookclub marker, Media and Index come up, but clicking on Bookclub gives a separate page which is the correct one for book topics.

  12. RCarr

    March 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    In Granaghan, a townland between Maghera and Swatragh, the modern church of St. John the Baptist (built 1838-1842) and graveyard is located on the main Maghera to Coleraine road, just before Swatragh. Prior to 1838, an older chapel (severely storm damaged in 1839 and now in ruins) is located on Granaghan Hill approx 2 miles south of Swatragh off a disused lane and has a graveyard. The Granaghan Old Chapel can still be accessed with owner’s permission. This now ruined church was the first Catholic chapel to be built in the district after the relaxation of the penal laws.

  13. Don MacFarlane

    March 31, 2012 at 10:05 am

    For general interest though not addressing this specific query, the OS Memoirs, authors Angelique Daly and Patrick William, have a volume on Desertoghill Parish which includes Craigavole, Drumagarner, Swatragh etc.

    Parish of Desertoghill, Ordnance Survey. Memoirs of Ireland, Parishes of Co Londonderry VIII, 1830. 1833-37.
    East Londonderry
    Vol. 27

    As far as BDM records, Dr Bill McAfee gives a comprehensive coverage of where records are to be found. For this particular query, he says to contact St Mary’s in Drumagarner direct. St. Mary (R.C.) aka Drumagarner Chapel was built in 1778, burned and repaired in 1810, and was more or less completely re-built in 1855. Best to ring direct to get more details at (0044)28 2954 0343/0528 or fax /1377

  14. Don MacFarlane

    March 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    The McCorkell Line was the main shipping line out of Derry from 1798 -1897 and Derry Port was the main point of exit from the North Wet of Ireland, including from Donegal. Contact direct through the above link and see what they come up with.The RootsIreland link gives deatils on what Griffiths Evaluation covered and you can see that it did indeed include tenants as well as owner-occupiers.

  15. Eileen Breen

    March 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Hi thanks for the info on Rory Og O’More. I think the picture I have is a social club named after him to pay homage that he tried to end the penal laws on the RC’s and he died for the cause. Joseph Kane’s father John was alive during the time of the penal laws and the Potato Famine and they were in Co Derry during this time. Rory Og O’More was loved by many RCs in Ireland. I read that a bridge was named after him in Dublin. The club may be in Ireland or Scotland near Glasgow. The family moved to Scotland in 1866 but they had family still in Ireland, Co. Derry.

  16. Eileen Breen

    March 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I have a photo of my Grt Uncle Joseph Kane B 1862 in Gortmacrane, Co. Derry standing with a woman and her children. On the door of the home it says The Rory Og O’ More House. I also have a 2nd photo of him with this family near a horse drawn cart. I looked up the O’Moore’s so I have an idea maybe why this house was here but I can’t find out anything specific about it. Could it have been a memorial to Rory Og O’More? Or was it a political club? I think the name Rory Og O’More was important to this family. My great uncle played the warpipes for the Rory Og O’More Irish Warpipe Band and he also played football for the Celtic football club in Glasgow. In 1914 he played warpipes for the Celtic Football club. I spoke to the Celtic Football Club but they did not have any information on the band. If anyone has heard of it please let me know.

    • Don MacFarlane

      March 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Ruairi Og O’Mordha was an Irish rebel and son of Rory Caoch (One-Eyed) O’More who was chieftain of the outlawed Clan O’More from Leix (now Laois) In the south of Ireland. The dispossession of the O’More lands started off the Plantations of Ireland.

      Rory’s brother trained as a barrister in Gray’s Inn in London and was favoured by the English establishment. Rory by contrast remained a thorn in the side of the English, being described as a ‘Dangerous Rebel’ for twenty years. He burnt down the towns of Naas and Carlow and stormed the Dublin Pale. He became Public Enemy Number One and he ended up with his head on a stick outside Dublin Castle.

      As far as the Rory O’More Pipe Band goes, there is a band of that name from New Jersey, USA, which competes on a regular basis at the World Championships. They have only been in existence for about twenty years so how or if at all a pipe band of that name connects with County Derry or Glasgow will require a bit more digging.

  17. Ace

    March 12, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I posted here a couple of years ago inquiring about McGees in County Derry. I’ve since had a breakthrough in my research and I was curious to get your take on it. I discovered that my GG Grandfather, Stephen McGee, was born in Faughanvale Parish in 1840, and the address is listed as Brocagh.

    I also found his parents’ marriage record which lists the father, Samuel McGee, as being from Whitehill, and the mother, Catherine Donaghy, as being from Faughanvale Parish. Additionally, I discovered that they were Presbyterians. Would you take from this that they were Scottish or Native Irish? Also, do you know anything about the origins of the name Donaghy?

    • Don MacFarlane

      March 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Origins of McGee and Donaghey Surnames

      There is a vast amount of information on the origins of Scottish names in Ireland in the Glasgow Guide website. Sad to report that the author of most of it died a few years ago and at a young age in a tragic accident in Botswana RIP. If you trawl through it you may come across the names McGee and Donaghey and certainly both of these names may be Scottish in origin, but not necessarily.

      Most McGees or Magees or McGhees in Ireland are Native Irish and Catholic. There are a number of derivations for the name:
      MacAodha is the Irish Gaelic spelling of McHugh/McCue.
      Mhaoil Ghaoithe is the Irish Gaelic spelling for McGee in west Ulster (Donegal); MagAoidh is the Irish Gaelic spelling for Magee in east Ulster. 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, 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’.

      I can also 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?

      So much for the McGees, the Donagheys are not much more straightforward, certainly as far as figuring are they Irish or Ulster-Scots. If Irish, Donaghy or Donaghey is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic “MacDonnchaidh”, meaning “son of Donnchadh” or “son of Duncan” if in Scotland. If of Scottish origin, Robertsons or Duncans derive their name from ‘Clann Dhonnchaidh’, similar to the Irish origin of the name. In Ulster the surname Donaghy is found mainly in Counties Tyrone and Derry. Several members of the current Irish rugby squad have Donncha as their first names.

      So, as you can see, clear as mud. Maybe, with them being Presbyterian, the balance swings towards them being Ulster-Scots but no guarantee there either. ‘Taking the soup’ or converting away from Catholicism was not unusual during the times of the Penal Laws. On a minor note, Presbyterians were often referred to as ‘Blackmouths’ by Church of Ireland folks who saw them as little better than Catholics – they often spoke Gaelic as well as blasphemed according to their ways of thinking. Presbyterians were also to the fore of the United Irish Rebellion of 1798 which fought against union of Ireland with Britain.

      As you have managed to pin down your folks to Faughanvale, Griffiths 1848 has them located:

      Anne from Derryarkin Upper; Daniel from Killylane; David from Coolagh; George from Lower Gortagherty; Henryfrom McLean & Partners Division; James from Killywool; Joseph and Stephen from Templemoyle; Mary from Bolie; Neal from Ligg; Robert from Templemoyle; Stephen and William from Carnakilly Lower; Thomas from Tygore.

      McGee (which is primarily a Donegal name and therefore a ‘blow-in)
      John from Killylane.

      • Ace

        March 17, 2012 at 1:17 am

        Thanks a bunch for name origin info, Don. You’re right, it doesn’t really clarify anything in regards to Scottish vs. Irish, but it’s really interesting. So you think it’s safe to assume that all of those Donaghys in Faughanvale Parish would be related? And same for the McGees?

        I also wonder, since Samuel McGee is not listed in Griffith’s Valuation, should I assume that he died before the parish was surveyed? I’m just thinking he would only have been 50-60 years old during the surveying, so I would assume he would still be a head of household.

      • Don MacFarlane

        March 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        Hard to say, but I had a sneak look to see if there was any trace of McGees in the 1901 census and there were two; one from Greysteel (Denis) and one from Dungullion (Mary) who, reading between the lines, seems to have been a bit of a racy character.

  18. Eileen Breen

    March 8, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Hi Dr MacFarlane

    I was looking for information on a James Parke married to a Sarah Jane de Caen. They were maybe from Armagh. They were involved with The church Of Ireland and the Observatory in Armagh and in Dublin. I can’t seem to find them in Armagh. Are there records during early 1800’s. I read the church was disestablished at this time. They may have had a son Philip who did not travel to Nova Scotia with them. They ended up to be Rum Runners in Nova Scotia and Michigan in USA.

    • Don MacFarlane

      March 10, 2012 at 8:30 am

      The name de Caen is French, coming from Caen in Normandy, and the only trace of the name in Ireland is to do with a family of that name from Moycullen in County Galway. It does not appear in Ireland either in its alternative forms of Du Cann or Du Quesne. The name Parke is somewhat more plentiful and is dispersed throughout Ireland. The only place it does not appear is in County Armagh where it takes the form of Parkes.

  19. Don MacFarlane

    March 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Hi Eileen

    I have just come across this great site put together by Dr Bill McAfee which gives a wealth of information and links.

    In amongst the treasures is the 1831 census for Derry which gives a whole host of Kanes from Drumagarner and Gortmacrane. Your lot must be in there? I presume a good few of those are juveniles as there were only two names in the Griffith Householders’ Census (see earlier post). I only see two female names in the list, which doesn’t quite stack up, and there are two obvious sequences of numbers – I’m guessing there were Household One, 27044-27048; Household Two, 27650-27653. The rest would be total conjecture.

    27044 Kane John Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Drumagarner
    27045 Kane Joseph Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Drumagarner
    27046 Kane Patrick Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Drumagarner
    27047 Kane Patrick Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Drumagarner
    27048 Kane Sarah Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Drumagarner
    27638 Kane [?] Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27639 Kane Barney Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27640 Kane Daniel Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27641 Kane (Kean) Daniel Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27642 Kane Edward Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27643 Kane Francis Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27644 Kane Henry Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27645 Kane James Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27646 Kane John Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27647 Kane John Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27648 Kane John Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27650 Kane Molly Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27651 Kane Patrick Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27652 Kane Richard Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane
    27653 Kane Rodger Loughinsholin Tamlaght O’Crilly Gortmacrane

    As far as the Diamonds of Swatragh go, Swatragh is on the cusp of Killelagh Parish, bordering on to Maghera Main Parish. The 1831 Census has the following for Diamonds in that area:

    20582 Diamond Neil Loughinsholin Killelagh Ballyknock
    20583 Diamond Rose Loughinsholin Killelagh Ballyknock
    20941 Diamond Catherine Loughinsholin Killelagh Slaghtneill
    20942 Diamond Francis Loughinsholin Killelagh Slaghtneill
    20943 Diamond John Loughinsholin Killelagh Slaghtneill
    20944 Diamond John Loughinsholin Killelagh Slaghtneill
    20945 Diamond Patrick Loughinsholin Killelagh Slaghtneill
    20946 Diamond Patrick Loughinsholin Killelagh Slaghtneill
    21039 Diamond Andrew Loughinsholin Killelagh Tirkane
    21040 Diamond Henry Loughinsholin Killelagh Tirkane
    21138 Diamond John Loughinsholin Killelagh Tullyheran

    You can probably rule out Tullyheran and Ballyknock as they are just outside Maghera, a good bit away from Swatragh. Slaghtneill and Tirkane are next door to each other, not far from Swatragh, so the search could probably concentrate on there. The Kiwicelts Interactive Map in map (not terrain) mode will give you a good idea. As with the Kanes, the number sequences may give a clue and suggest one family (from Slaghtneill) 20941-20946; and two bachelors (from Tirkane) 21039-21040.

    The 1911 Census still has Diamonds living in Slaghtneill:

    Diamond Rose (51) Roman Catholic, Cannot read, Wife, Married
    Diamond John (66) Retired Farmer, Cannot read, Uncle, Not Married
    Diamond Joseph (50) Farmer, Cannot read, Head of Family, Married
    Diamond Bridget (57) Can read and write, Wife, Married
    Diamond Francis (21) Farmer’s Son, Can read and write Irish and English, Son, Single
    Diamond Bridget (20) Can read and write, Daughter, Single
    Diamond Francis (56)

    As far as when you are over and digging in detail, that would be mainly GRONI and perhaps PRONI to a lesser extent (both in Belfast). An afternoon in there I think would cost about $50 (guessing) and certainly not expensive, which should wrap it up. You need to give them several weeks’ notice to have a room and an assistant put at your disposal.

    • Don MacFarlane

      March 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Origin of Diamonds

      The name has nothing whatever to do with precious stones and is sometimes spelt as Dimond. The origin is said to be grandson of Dioma (a personal name) which in Irish is O’Diomain. These Diamonds were erenaghs or tithe-collectors from Kilrea in County Derry, hence it is a name specific to that corner of County Derry in Ulster as they served their masters, the O’Cathans (O’Kanes) from Dungiven.

  20. Don MacFarlane

    March 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    There are no Hueys recorded in Griffiths or the 1901 Census for Kilrea or Tamlaght O’Crilly. The Hueys in Derry seem to have come from around Ballywillan and Ballyaghran, namely North East of Coleraine town towards Portrush and Portstewart. Searching for Hueys prior to that period, I thought, would require digging and the assistance of a professional genealogist. On cursory examination, the only connection I could find for Kilrea was that a father and son by the name of Huey were successive ministers in Kilrea Presbyterian Church, but that was in the early to mid 1800s. But then I came across this, which you may already have seen – a list of Protestant householders in Derry in 1740 which shows the Hueys of Loughinsholin, Tamlaght O’Crilly. In the list are Alex Huey (1290) and John Huey (1294), both from Loughsholin in Tamlaght O’Crilly. Worth chasing up I think:

    A later Huey, Skivington Huey, is listed in the 1831 Derry census (see GRONI should have BDM records that would join up the edges and bring the history up close to the present day.

    Kilrea and Tamlaght are adjoining parishes due south of Coleraine and some twenty miles due east of Derry City. See interactive map at

  21. Don MacFarlane

    February 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Both names, Kane (O’Kane) and McCluskey (McCloskey) come from around Dungiven in County Derry and would have dispersed from there, the O’Kanes to Garvagh/Kilrea direction where the biggest concentration is to be found. That would place them quite close to Swatragh where the Diamonds were.

    Your O’Kanes appear to have come from near Kilrea, a few miles south off the main road from Kilrea, but by now in the adjoining parish of Tamlaght O’Crilly where Daniel and Manus are listed in the 1852 Griffith in Drumagarner and Gortmacrane. Check out the Interactive Map to see the proximity of these different places.

    Some of the variations in spelling are often to mark a change to the Protestant religion and some Kanes also pretended to be Keanes, a totally different name that stems from the South West of Ireland. The closest census to that period is 1901 which can be searched on-line.

  22. Don MacFarlane

    February 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Gilderson is a very uncommon name in Ireland (no Guildersons), specific to three families who lived in and around Dungiven and Ballykelly (near Limavady), at the foot of the Sperrins. Griffiths 1848-52 lists these as:

    Gilderson Francis, Magheramore (very near Limavady); Gilderson Michael, Crabarkey, Dungiven; Gilderson Mary and James, Cashel, Dungiven (near Limavady).

    There were loads of Kanes (but no Keanes) in Magheramore or indeed Limavady but there were Keanes in Cashel and Crabarkey just outside Dungiven. Keane is a very uncommon name in Northern Ireland, though it is a common enough name down South, notably in Munster. Kanes and Keanes up North are offshoots of Clan O’Cahan from Dungiven.

    Griffiths gives: Keane Francis and Michael and Patrick, Tamniarin, Dungiven; Keane John, Crabarkey; Keane Patrick, Boviel; Keane Paul, Magheraboy.

    • RCarr

      February 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      The book ‘Irish Emigration lists 1833-1839: list of emigrants extracted from the Ordinance Survey Memoirs’ (Brian Mitchell) lists the William Gilderson family as being from the townland of Magheramore.

      (Page 97)
      County: Londonderry
      Parish: Tamlaght Finlagan
      Townland: Magheramore
      Destination: St. John
      Year of Emigration: 1834
      Religion: RC
      Gilderson, William 40
      Gilderson, Ann 40
      Gilderson, Thomas 8
      Gilderson, Mary 6
      Gilderson, William 4
      Gilderson, John 2

      The family of William Gilderson and Ann (Nancy) Keane settled in Nova Scotia. Several of their children emigrated to Arlington, Massachusetts, area. There were at least two other children: Roseann and Frederick. Their name was spelled Guilderson in Canada and the USA.

      Editorial Comment:

      Thanks to Rae for this and she seems to have a knack for sourcing.
      There are no Gildersons in the current Foyle Telephone Directory which covers that area (hence and unless ex-directory, likely to be none resident, although there has been a recent tendency for people to rely on cellphones ie mobile phones instead of landlines) and only one Keane who lives in Castle Park, Limavady.

    • patricia gilderson

      December 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      Gilderson’s from Ireland moved to Scotland, then Canada

  23. bob lyons

    February 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I have found that my grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Canavan. I finally found what the “E” stood for. Might they use the name Eliza for Elizabeth? also I found some names and addresses…Anne Nolan,68 Moran Park, Enniscorthy, County Wexford. I think some of my aunts stayed with them when they vacationed in Ireland.

  24. robert lyons

    February 4, 2012 at 2:19 am

    I found out some names and addresses in Ireland – Anne Nolan, 68 Moran Park, Enniscorthy, County Wexford IRE; Aunt Minnie (Canavan?), 15 Kellagoley Terrace, Enniscorthy; Tom Canavan, Mick Canavan, Matthew Canavan. Michael Canavan.

    • RCarr

      February 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Of the two aunts you mentioned, Mary Canavan has passed away; however, Ann Nolan was still living as of Christmas 2009.

      [Date published: Thursday, February 18, 2010] The death has occurred of Mary (Minnie) CANAVAN of Killagoley, Enniscorthy, Wexford: Reposing at St. John’s Hospital Chapel from 1pm today, Thursday, with prayers at 7.30pm. Funeral Mass tomorrow, Friday, at 11.30am in St. John’s Hospital Chapel, followed by burial in Monageer Cemetery.

      The Enniscorthy Echo [Date published: December 10, 2009] The annual Concern 24-hour Christmas Fast…organized by the local Chamber of Commerce…the Enniscorthy effort has collected some €100,000 for the eleven years it has been running…and a special word of congrats to local woman Ann Nolan, Moran Park (Enniscorthy), who completed her own Concern 24-hour fast, which realized over €400.

  25. Don MacFarlane

    January 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    RCarr’s Excellent Piece of assistance on Behalf of Bob Lyons

    RCarr has unearthed some precious information (see below), for Bob Lyons (well done), from the Ellis Island website which shows the benefit of looking beyond Irish censuses and census substitutes. There does not appear to be an exact match with this linked 1901 census entry but Bob should be able to finish the search from here.

  26. R Carr

    January 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    The Ellis Island website has a passenger record for Mary Eliza Canavan on the SS Mauretania sailing from Queenstown Nov. 21, 1909, arriving in New York Nov. 26, 1909. The following information is from the ship’s manifest record: Mary Eliza Canavan, single, white, female, age 17; occupation servant; can read and write; British Irish; last permanent residence was Enniscorthy, Ireland; bought own ticket, arriving with $10, first time in the USA; nearest relative in Ireland John Canavan, father, Finchouge, Enniscorthy; destination Brooklyn, NY; joining cousin Mary Maguire, 103 Arlington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY; good health, 5’3″ tall, fair complexion, brown hair, blue eyes; place of birth Enniscorthy, Ireland.

  27. bob lyons

    January 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Mary’s husband was Charles J Lyons, place of birth USA. Their children were Dora Elizabeth Lyons, born 7/2/1918; Charles lyons, born 4/30/1920; Catherine Lyons, born 3/21/1922; Ellen Helen Veronica Lyons, born 9/24/1925; and Harriet Virginia Lyons, born 2/8/27. All sisters pre-deaceased my dad Charles, all children were born in Brooklyn NY.

  28. Don MacFarlane

    January 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    You could be in luck. If you are certain about her being born in 1892, that narrows it down to five contenders, two in Belfast, three in Galway and two in Mountjoy in county Tyrone.

    Check out the 1901 census to see:

  29. Don MacFarlane

    January 2, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Protestant McCloskeys from Donegal?

    Query from personal respondent

    The name McCloskey is almost invariably RC and most usually it was from Dungiven in County Derry, however there were some exceptions. Retaining the spelling, there was a small pocket of Protestant McCloskeys in Banagher, south-west of Dungiven. Also, there was indeed a small pocket of Protestants of that name in Inver and Killymard in Donegal. As was usual, Protestants made a small change in the spelling of a name to differentiate themselves from their Catholic cousins – hence Docherty became Dougherty and McCloskey became McCluskey. The name McCluskey was much more spread out towards Ballymena and Belfast, with a fair smattering of Protestants amongst them.

  30. Don MacFarlane

    December 18, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I would plump for middle and late May as they have been consistently good months in recent years, not that hot as it would never be above low to mid 70s. There is a selection of car rentals at Derry airport, not that far away, and the hotel would probably arrange that anyway. If you enjoy pools and spas, the Radisson (click here) is probably the place for you as it is very well equipped.

    To see where the different locations for McNicholls in Dungiven sit in relation and adjoin each other, check out Geograph map locations circa C7007 for Ashlamduff, Cashel, Boviel, Tamnairan and Crabarkey. The Interactive map at Kiwicelts will give you a more conventional view of the territory (use the Map rather than the Terrain option on the menu).

  31. bob and diana lyons

    December 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Don thank you, I will try what you said, do you have a regular e mail I could use?? Also, she was my wife’s grandmother …my mistake saying great-grandmother.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Begging your pardon!

      I sent a further reply which seems to have gone walkabout. In fact, you do not have to restrict your search to Altinure as I suggested as there were McNicholls in other parts nearhand to Dungiven. From Griffiths Evaluation, these are listed as:

      Mc Nicholl Patrick Ashlamduff Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Loughlin Crabarkey Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl James Tamniarin Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Phelim Boviel Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Phelimy Boviel Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Thomas Crabarkey Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Daniel Cashel Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Bridget Crabarkey Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Bernard Cashel Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Bernard Ashlamduff Dungiven Derry
      Mc Nicholl Anne Tamniarin Dungiven Derry

      To give you an idea of geography, Dungiven Parish is no bigger than twenty square miles in area. Dungiven Castle takes guests. It is not as grand as it sounds but it has a good enough name and it should be reasonably priced. I’m not sure about air-conditioning but heatwaves are a rare occurrence in Ireland. As Vic Barnett says, May and September are good months to go for as there is a better than even chance of better weather. Otherwise, there are no hotels or guesthouses in the immediate area but Derry City is only ten miles away.

      Family Search (click here) made a big splash about now having an on-line repository of names and it may be worth checking out (for free in the first instance) but, unfortunately for you, they only have births up to 1881. Still, if you have a look, it may spark off some ideas for you. Be aware that the names are all jumbled up so you have to go through all the pages. Otherwise you might think there only are a very few McNicholls mentioned.

      The good news is that GRONI (click here) have Birth Records from 1864 or go down the Marriage Record route for the parents with them. If you contact them, they will charge a modest fee to have one of their own family researchers to take an afternoon to go digging for you.

      Failing all that, you will need a professional genealogist to go search for you. I can recommend Dr William Roulston from the Ulster Historical Foundation (click here) who, coincidentally, comes from not too far away from Dungiven.

      Good Hunting

      • Don MacFarlane

        December 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm

        Correction. The Radisson Hotel in Limavady is only five miles away and it has all the facilities you could want, including a Golf Academy.

  32. bob and diana lyons

    December 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    My wife’s great grandmother was Elizabeth McNicholl born March 16,1889, in Dungiven derry county , Ireland. Is there anyway we could find out more about her??

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

      The only McNicholls listed for County Derry for the period immediately prior to your ancestor leaving Ireland were:

      Mcnicholl Michael Altinure, Upper Learmount Derry
      Mcnicholl Bryan Altinure, Upper Learmount Derry

      Learmount is just down the road from Dungiven so this may very well fit.

      Try the instructions on all of the Genealogy pages on this site in your search and if you get stuck come back to me.

    • bob & diana lyons

      December 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      I guess we will need some help after found no place to find the McNicholls of Bryan or Michael (altinure). We are trying to plan a trip to Ireland for the Summer of 2013. We would want to do a self-drive , so if we found anythng out in Dungiven County Derry we can stay awhile to find out what we can for my wife. Still trying to find the best month to go. I was told between May and September but I want to narrow it down to a specific month lol…. Best weather for our money. Again her grandmother’s name is Elizabeth McNicholl born , March 16, 1889, Dungiven, Co. Derry….. We don’t know when she came to the US. She died on April 19,1961, in New York.

    • bob and diana lyons

      December 23, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Don, My wife and i never did find anything more on her great grandmother family. Somewhere I must have lost info you gave me on where to start. Her name was Elizabeth McNicholl born March 16,1889 in Dungiven County Derry. If you could see your way clear to help out once again. Thanks again, bob lyons

  33. donfad

    September 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    From Phyllis Lindsay, BC, Canada

    How can I obtain the death certificate for Alfred Alford who died along with his 4 children in the February 1865 cholera epidemic in Londonderry. Alfred was 46. They were all buried together at this very difficult time,

    • donfad

      September 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      Alfords in Griffiths Evaluation

      Alfords in that period were mainly to be found in and around South Dublin, reaching into Wicklow and Wexford. There were only two of that name recorded for County Derry:

      Richard Alford of Coolshinny townland in Artrea parish, which is now in the outskirts of Magherafelt town, and John Alford in Fallahogy townland in Kilrea parish, which is now in the outskirts of Kilrea town. These two places are fifteen miles apart.

      The quickest way to check for records is to go on-line to who now have parish records as of this week.

    • Carole

      January 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      I’m also looking for info on this Alfred Alford, who was my gt gt grandfather! I visited the Derry City cemetery in the summer and they told me that Alfred had died on 21 Feb 1865, aged 48, and was buried in a paupers grave. He lived in Butchers St, Derry but was born in London. His parents were Alfred and Fanny Alford but I can’t find any more info on his parents.

      I understood that 3 children had died with him of cholera, and just before Christmas sent an email to the Derry City Cemetery to ask for their details (I was short of time when I visited in the Summer). They said they would come back to me in the New Year, so I look forward to that.

      I look forward to hearing of any other info you may have! Do you know anything about Alfred’s wife, Margaret (nee Elliot) who was born in Dublin? I can’t find out anything on their marriage.


    September 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I’m researching the Kerr family of Ceheney, Aghadowery, County Derry. Peter Kerr’s son, Thomas (born 1853), married 1879 to Jane Bell, born 1856. Her dad was William Bell, Mullamore, Aghadowery, Co Derry.

    Jane and Thomas had:
    Alice Kerr, born 1880, born in Co. Derry
    John…… born 1882, Co. Derry
    George………..1886, Co. Belfast
    Anne ……….. 1889, Co. Belfast
    James…………1890, Co. Belfast (my grandfather. r.i.p 1963 Belfast)
    Jane …………1892
    William……….1896, Co. Belfast, killed in action WW1 1917
    Nora………….1905, Co. Belfast

    • donfad

      September 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Deirdre

      I’m not exactly sure what the query is but I can point out a few things for starters:

      There are no Kerrs or Bells listed in Griffiths Evaluation for that period for Aghadowey (not Aghadowery as you have it). Ceheny townland, as you have it, is actually Caheny and there is a Mullaghinch townland but no Mulla(gh)more in Aghadowey. There is, however, a Mullaghmore in the neighbouring parish of Agivey. Check the Interactive Map2 in the Introductory Page of this site and you will get the general layout. The distance between Mullaghmore (Agivey) and Caheny (Aghadowey) is a mere three miles, both places being just off the main Agivey Road on the way to the market town of Kilrea.

      Finally, there was no County Belfast. It was known in these times as Shankill Parish in County Antrim.


        September 20, 2011 at 8:02 am

        Hi, thank you so much, I have my grandparents’ marriage cert…and the details were hard to read. Now that I have the correct spellings that is good. The County Belfast was my stupid mistake I was born bread and buttered in Belfast, County Antrim…lol…Again, thank you. Deirdre.


        September 24, 2011 at 9:33 am

        On a second look at the marriage certificate, I see they were married in the RC church of Mullahinch….and in the census the Kerrs lived in MULLAMORE town (Agivey, Londonderry).

  35. Andrew McFarlane

    August 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I’m looking for information about John McFarlane who was born in Belfast approximately 1910? He married Mary Harvey from Newtownards, they had a son named Ian McFarlane born in 1944.

    • Marion McDowell

      June 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

      I knew John (Joe) McFarlane and his family. In fact my mother was an adopted daughter in the Harvey family. All I know about Joe, though is that he came from the Shankhill area of Belfast and he had a sister.. He and Mary had 3 children – John (deceased, Ian (deceased) and Joan. I believe Joan lives around Carrickfergus, but I’m not sure of her married name. She has two children – Aaron and Clare. Joe worked for many years for a company names Hall who made brushes etc. It is possible that Joe is buried at the Movilla Cemetry in Newtownards.

      • Andrew McFarlane

        October 27, 2012 at 4:54 am

        Ian was my dad, Joan is my aunt and she lives in Whitehead. My name is Andrew.

  36. Charles McKenna

    June 24, 2011 at 2:35 am

    I’m seventh generation McKenna which is as far back as I’ve tracked my genealogy from Scotland back to County Monaghan in Ireland. Through FTDNA my 67-marker profile we go back to the Colla Brothers of the 4th century.

    Fascinating stuff.

  37. donfad

    June 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

  38. Bonnie Sterling Groff

    April 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I am searching for information on David and Martha Stirling of Ireland. David was born about 1761 and Martha about 1774. They were Presbyterian and came to Lancaster County, Pa. in about 1795. They had 9 children, Jane Eliz., Martha, Samuel, John, Elizabeth, Letitia, James, David and Nathaniel. Any information would be appreciated.

  39. Rachel Carr

    April 3, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Arthur Joseph KERR (born c 1789) and his sister, Margaret KERR (born c 1791), emigrated to Quebec, Canada, prior to 1823. Their parents were Daniel KERR and Sarah DOVELIN (Devlin?) of Co. Derry, Ireland. The siblings both married in Quebec in the Roman Catholic church. The Derry Genealogy Center (Brian Mitchell) found no records for this family. Arthur’s children were: Daniel William, Arthur Joseph, Charles Edmund, Louis Dennis, Rose Ann, Catherine, Marie Sarah and Margaret. A Charles KERR signed his name as godfather to the baptism register of Arthur’s son, Charles Edmund, in 1833. The name was spelled many ways in the Quebec records, and eventually came to be spelled as CARR.

  40. sean white

    February 25, 2011 at 12:23 am

    I think you were asking about my grandmother Maureen McCormick who marrried James Duval by whom she had three daughters, named Patricia, Barbara and Sharon. If this is you, my mother would love to know about her family in Ireland since her mother died when she was very young. 1-978-349-8416

  41. Charles Stewart

    February 11, 2011 at 2:04 am

    I am researching the Stewart and Hume(s) families. Hearsay information that I have is that Andrew Stewart was born in Magherafelt about 1841. He may have had a twin brother. His death certificate lists his parents as Nancy and Robert Stewart. He emigrated to New York in the 1860s and listed his occupation as shoemaker.

    Sarah Hume was born about 1850 near Ballymoney. Hearsay information is that she was the youngest of six girls. She, plus several of her sisters, emigrated to New York. She came in 1868. Her oldest sister may have been Mary and another was Ann, Anna or Annie. Another sister, perhaps named Jane, married a Patterson in the Ballymoney, Kilraughts area.
    Andrew Stewart married Sarah Hume in New York in the 1870s.

    • Lyn

      October 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      I am also researching STEWART family, but we are in Australia. Hugh Stewart lived in Kilrea, and had Archibald, who emigrated to Australia, the family had 11 children. I think Hugh married a TAGGART. Until I saw this website I was not familiar with the ‘Scottish Plantation’ project. There was always talk in the family about being Irish based, but the family also has strong Scottish links, so the focus went there. My goodness they were courageous people, any information is welcome.

  42. Don MacFarlane

    January 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    From George Moore

    I have chased down my mother’s family in two directions back – the Revolutionary War in the States, and one branch back to the 12th century England. My great grandfather, Andrew Moore, was born in either 1850 or 1849 in Ireland. He immigrated to O ‘ Fallon Illinois in about 1870 and got married to a Illinois girl (Louise Ehly) in 1872. I have a photograph of a thatched, whitewashed cottage that his daughter took in 1937 with the inscription that it is in “Desertmartin,” the place he was born. I assumed the town but it could be any of the townlands in the parish. When I was over in 2005, I walked a couple miles out each direction from the town of Desertmartin, but did not see anything. I didn’t know at that point how to check the churches either but the family has been Presbyterian for generations – with the Scottish background, perhaps earlier.

    I guess the next step is to locate the Presbyterian parishes that might have BDM records in Desertmartin. I believe his father’s name was Andrew and his mother’s Mary but Illinois is full of fathers and mothers by those names. Not so many Andrews born in Northern Ireland around those dates, it seems. I know now too that birth certificates were not required before 1864, so his birth might not be recorded that way.

    Founded in 1854, O’Fallon was named after Colonel John O’Fallon, a wealthy gentleman from St. Louis. In downtown O’Fallon, a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad railroad depot was built, which helped put O’Fallon on the map. City lots were plotted and sold at a public auction on May 18, 1854, just twenty years before Andrew Moore arrived from Ireland.

  43. Don MacFarlane

    December 28, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    The Hagans from Derry were indeed mostly from that neck of the woods and those registered as householders from Draperstown in Griffiths were:

    Hagan Felix, Durnascallon; Hagan Daniel, Iniscarn;
    Hagan Henry, Smulgedon, Balteagh; Hagan Michael, Ballyscullion West ; Hagan Henry, Cranny;
    Hagan Henry, Rossgarran; Hagan Patrick, Longfield; Hagan Patrick, Dromore; Hagan John, Dromore; Hagan John, Ballymacpherson.

    The Bradleys from Desertmartin were:

    Bradley John, Luney; Bradley John, Longfield; Bradley Margaret, Gortanewry; Bradley Michael, Rossgarran; Bradley Peter, Stranagard; Bradley James, Annagh and Moneysterlin; Bradley Hugh, Sr. Annagh and Moneysterlin; Bradley Bridget, Stranagard; Bradley Catherine, Longfield; Bradley Charles, Iniscarn; Bradley Hugh, Annagh and Moneysterlin; Bradley Archibald, Rossgarran.

  44. Don MacFarlane

    December 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    From Cheryl Tidwell

    I am related to Bernard Bradley born in Desertmartin, about 1850. He came to the US in 1880 after he married Sarah Hagan and had a daughter, Ann. If you can point me to any information I can get about Bernard and Sarah’s family, I would appreciate it.

  45. dspratt

    December 28, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I’m trying to trace where in Ireland that members of my family, the Spratts, possibly came from. I have a document which states that one member of the family, James, may have come from Derry Co, Ireland to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada around 1827. I have the name Derry, Desertlan, Dronlone. I have no other evidence but this to suggest where the Spratts came from. This document states that all members of the family were in Canada by the late 1820s, which may be why they seem to have dropped out of sight by the time the Griffith Evaluation was done in the 1850s. Three brothers, James, Andrew and John came to Canada; possibly a mother, Jane, also.

    • Don MacFarlane

      December 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      It would appear as you say that there was no trace of Spratts in County Derry in the mid 1800s. They appear in every other county in Ulster except for Derry. The three names you mention appear to be for Townland (Dronlone), Parish (Desertlyn) and County (Derry) – the only problem is there is no Dronlone in Desertlyn, never mind no Spratts. The Spratts may have come from the East Side of Lough Neagh (as it is a name found in Antrim and Down primarily), wheareas Desertlyn is across the other side of the Lough in the west.

      See if a professional genealogist like Dr. Robert Whan can produce the goods?

      • Darren Spratt

        January 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

        The Griffith Evaluation (1858) and Tithe Applotment (1828) indicates there were possibly two Spratt families in Londonderry Co., Ireland in Loughinsholin Barony and Artrea Parish, Loughinsholin Barony, Magherafelt in the early to mid nineteen century. Another document (Derry Census Index) on Bill McAffee website shows a Spratt still in Derry Co., Ireland in 1831 in N.E. Liberties, Coleraine. The document I cited, above, shows a James Spratt as having come from “Desertlan” (Desertlyn) and I’m wondering if by ‘Dronlone’ it should have read Dunronan and not ‘Dronlone’ as was written in the document. My ancestors couldn’t write, so whoever scribed the information would have had to listen to how the name sounded and then spell it according to what they heard. My guess is that there were many inaccuracies in records simply because the folks of yesteryear were largely illiterate.

        My ancesters were thought to have come to Canada around 1827 – 1829. That I know of, there were three Spratts brothers who came to Ottawa (Bytown), Ontario (Upper Canada) in the early nineteenth century. The three brothers were Andrew (b) 1807 (emigrated 1827), James (b) 1804, and John (b) 1820. The mother’s name was Jane (b) 1784. Her maiden name may have been Adams or Cousley. There were lots of Adams and Cousleys in Derry Co. The father’s name, I think, was either William or James. I have very little credible information about the parents. I think James Spratt, the son, may have been married more than once. He might have married Jane Cousely. Because records here in Canada are sparse before about 1850, it’s difficult to peice everything about one’s descendents together.

  46. Don MacFarlane

    December 7, 2010 at 11:20 am

    To all the Deeny Searchers (Julie Thompson, Christine Deeny, Regina Pineo and Kelly Deeny).

    If you would like to share email addresses, let me know. Also, as you may have guessed, this website is not primarily a genealogy site, although it touches upon individual families from time to time. The site is more to do with providing general background on the Derry of the early 1800s, so as to enrich the search experiences of researchers of family trees like yourselves. The sister website is more in-depth.

    By and large, researchers fall into two categories – those who have spent many hours (sometimes up to twenty five years) tracking down by themselves; and those who would like quicker results (which do have to be paid for – typical cost for an initial search is £35).

    For DIY search, the general format as to what you have to do is as set out at the beginning of the Genealogy Page on this website. For professional help, Dr. Robert Whan PhD (a contact of mine) will gladly provide that service.

    • Heather Choplin

      June 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Although I have questions about Derryloran, my main interest is in the Whan/Whann family. I am very interested in contacting Dr. Robert Whan. Perhaps we are related.
      Heather Whann Choplin

  47. Andrew Smith

    September 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I saw that Mclaughlins in Bannagher had been researched. I am trying to find a Bridget McLaughlin who would have been born between 1850 and 1862 and who married an Alexander McGregor sometime before they had their first child William James McGregor in 1879 in Muldonagh before moving down the valley to Drumsurn.

    • Don MacFarlane

      September 6, 2010 at 8:04 pm

      McGregor is a very unusual name to find in Ulster, even less so in Derry. There are three householders named in Griffiths Evaluation – James from Carran, Alexander from Ardgarvan and Alexander from Scriggan, a few miles down the road from Ardgarvan. The Alexanders from Ardgarvan or Scriggan (maybe the same person) would fit as they are only a few fields’ distance away from Drumsurn.

      There are no McLaughlins listed other than a James and a John in Limavady. There is a Daniel McLoughlin (spelt o rather than a) from Umrycam outside Feeny in Banagher; various of that name from Bovevagh; and a William from Teeavan in Banagher. McLoughlin is by far the commonest spelling of the surname in County Derry and the difference may be to do with religion – much as Protestant Dochertys are spelt Dougherty.

      PRONI should have records on all of these folk. McGregor is the key as there might be a question mark over the correct spelling of McLa(o)ughlin?

  48. Don MacFarlane

    August 19, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    To Karin S

    There is no Canning connection with Bovevagh (just outside Dungiven). Crawfords and Youngs have a presence in both Bovevagh and Aghadowey. The only Oliver Crawford named from anywhere in Ireland in Griffiths was from Drumragh (north of Omagh Town, just outside Newtownstewart and near the Ulster American Folk Park) in County Tyrone. The Stephensons came from nearby just down the road – it seems to fit. Maybe Tyrone, rather than Antrim is where you should be looking?

  49. Don MacFarlane

    July 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

    None of the names – McDonald, Kilgore, Stuart or Mulhern are indigenous to Derry so they would all be known colloquially as ‘blow-ins’!

    McDonalds are a Scottish clan and their main base at one time was the Glens of Antrim, where the Earl of Antrim was a McDonnell. McDonalds were Scottish cousins who came over from the Western Isles to help fight. Nowadays, McDonalds have drifted away from the Glens and are mainly to be found in Belfast or near Ballinderry, on the east shore of Lough Neagh.

    Kilgore is mainly from County Tyrone, around Donaghedy; Mulhern is mainly from east Donegal; Stuart would have been from around Maghera, just east of the Sperrins.

    In other words, the four names are representative of the four corners of County Derry. If they were from Derry and from the same place, that would either have been the City itself or not far outside to the north-east, around Cumber Upper / Drumachose (Limavady). There is no reason why you couldn’t track them down, if not on-line, by making direct contact with GRONI.

  50. Don MacFarlane

    July 22, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    The Speers of Letterkenny appear to have settled outside Letterkenny, off the road to Ramelton. Griffiths Evaluation also locates them in Newtowncunningham, on the opposite shore of Lough Swilly, and in Carrigart. Some headstones from Aghanunshin Abbey are shown on the website. They have been in Donegal since the early 1600s, since arriving as part of the Scottish Plantation.

  51. Tom Speer

    July 22, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I am trying to trace the origin of a GGGrandfather William Speer who lived at Ballyboencurragh Castlewray Co.Donegal.Reputedly a presbyterian tenant farmer there he died 1865 and is buried with his wife Jane at Aghaunshin Abbey Letterkenny Co. Donegal. Family lore has it that three brothers Speer came from Scotland but when or where from is not known. Is it possible to find out? Other direct descendants living where he did are unable to assist.

  52. Don MacFarlane

    June 13, 2010 at 12:34 am

    From Monica

    I am researching the Fleming family from Aghadowey.

    I have information from my grandmother about her family. She was born in London in 1872. Her grandparents were Edward Fleming and Catherine Miller/Millar. Her father was a James Fleming (Customs in London) and her mother was Jane Hastings from Magherafelt.

    Edward was Clerk to the Union

    The Flemings are buried at St Guiare, Aghadowey.

    I am now trying to tie up other family members and I have come across the following and I am hoping there could be family members still living in the area

    1) Sarah Fleming married a William Cunningham in 1866 in Coleraine they had 2 children Catherine Jane Vandemere Cunningham 1869 and Annie Cunningham

    1901 28 in Frances Street (Londonderry Urban No. 1, Londonderry)

    Cunningham William 73 COI Retired Block and Spar Maker

    Cunningham Sara 60 COI

    Cunningham Annie 24 Daughter Londonderry City Clerk

    1911. 49 Francis St, NW Liberties, Templemore, Victoria Station sub district: Londonderry.

    Sarah Cunningham widow 75

    Annie Cunningham clerk single 35 born L’derry

    What is a Block and spa maker?

    2) Catherine (Kate) Vandemere Fleming married a William HENRY in 1876 at Castlerock but I am searching for their daughter Edith Vandemere Fleming Henry born June 1880 to see if she married. In 1901 they were living at 6 in Bellvue (Coleraine, Londonderry) now is house 6 the actual no of the house?

    In 1911 Kate is not on the census her parents and sister are now living 4 in Salisburry Terrace, Portrush Town, Antrim but is 4 the no of the house?

    3) There a J V Fleming (John Vandemere) who is clerk to the Union but where is the Union. Is the Union a workhouse?

    • Don MacFarlane

      June 13, 2010 at 8:40 am

      As far as your query about block and spar, that refers to the pulley system used for rigging sails on boats. These pulleys were used for other things as well of course for whenever heavy weights had to be moved. See

      I guess Clerk to the Union refers to the Poor Law Unions as each of these unions had a clerk to administer giving out of relief to the poor of the district.
      See and

      Flemings and Cunninghams were very plentiful throughout Ireland, both North and South, and still are. Vandemere looks like a contraction of van der Mere and it is a Dutch name. It may be that the link there is through the sailing connection and there is a smattering of people of that name in North Down today. It is not a name that was to be found in County Derry.

      • Jane Reade

        June 26, 2010 at 4:52 am

        Vandemere in this case is used to distinguish the Fleming name.
        A Robert Fleming, minister, married a Miss Vandemere
        whilst in Rotterdam -see Wikipaedia.
        The full name is still used within the family today.
        Justin Vandemere Fleming recently once President of ABTA

  53. Don MacFarlane

    April 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I think you are very close to completing your search. Griffiths Evaluation shows Michael and Patrick Deeny (not Deeney) from Umrycam (not Umricam) in the parish of Banagher. Also from Umrycam is shown Patrick Logue (not Loague which I believe is a mispelling). A direct contact with Banagher Parish through their website at should provide more. In it, they explain that Umrycam comes from the Gaelic ‘Iomaire Cam’, meaning Crooked Ridge. They should be able to confirm that their extant baptismal records run from 1847-1900 which covers your period.

  54. Julie Thompson (nee Deeney)

    April 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Any information on the family Deeney from Magilligan. Charles born 1876 married Catherine Payne born 1880. They had 10 children, Henry, Alex,Charles(my Grandad) John,Pat, Hellen,Catherine, Isobella,Joe and Anne. Think joe’s family still live in Charles and Catherine’s House. Any info or if you are family would be great. I am in contact with Alex’s son Aidan in Dungiven and he can pass on my phone number.

    • Don MacFarlane

      April 4, 2010 at 11:45 pm

      As far as I can see from Griffiths Evaluation 1848-52, the Magilligan connection is on the Payne side, not the Deeneys (Deenys). The Paynes came from Ballymultimer near Bellarena and the Deenys came from Muldonagh, just off the Foreglen Road outside Dungiven.
      By curious coincidence, my wife’s best friend was a Deeny and her father was called Henry so I surmise it was the same clan.

  55. James Loughlin

    November 8, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I am trying to trace where in Ireland my gt grandfather/mother was from. He was born 1866ish. His name was Ambrose Loughlin and his wife was Jane (McNicol). There seems to be these names around the Ballynease Macpeake area in the Griffiths Evaluaton of early years. How can I find out where they are from in Ireland?

    • James Loughlin

      November 9, 2009 at 8:52 am

      I thought they would be from Ballynease MacPeake as there is a Ambrose Loughlin there in the 1859 Valuation. Mine was born 1866ish, so not the same one, maybe son. The name Ambrose seems to be a family name as there are several of our family descendants who have the name Ambrose. The name Ambrose does not seem to be very common

  56. Tom Chrisman

    October 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Does anyone have information about a family Drips from ‘the hill’ near Klirea in County Derry? The family left for America about 1796 but was reportedly from the area mentioned and had lived in that area for about 350 years. It appears they changed their name from Seldon to Drips, probably when they left Scotland for N Ireland to escape religious persecution. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • paul winchester

      January 5, 2010 at 12:21 am

      I am a descendent of the Seldon,Drips family. I don’t know much about where they were in Ireland. Our Irish born ancestor was Thomas Drips (?1850) whose son William Allison Drips gave rise to our clan. (He married Martha Ann Clark). They arrived in the US before the Mexican war because their sons were veterans of that war (and later the Civil War). They settled in Westmorland Co. Penn. in Laughlintown. Eventually, they moved to McGregor,National, Garnavillo Iowa respectively. William is buried with the family in National as tiny town SW of McGregor Iowa.

  57. Don MacFarlane

    May 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    If the McGees were from Donegal, their biggest concentration is in Tullaghobegley which is strongly Gaelic-speaking country even to this day. This parish includes Inishbofin in the Tory Islands. There was a stream of emigrants from that parish post-Famine from 1847-1871.

    For available census records held by LDS, visit

    For other records including Ships Lists, visit

  58. Don MacFarlane

    April 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    If I can assume that the man in question had ‘Irish’ as his native tongue around 1870 (?), I think this would most likely place him in Donegal and as Native Irish. While it is true the McGee name could be found in East Ulster and of Scottish stock, those Scots would most likely be Lowlanders and English-speaking, not Highlanders. Gallowglasses, who were Highland and Gaelic-speaking Scots in Ireland, dated back to the 1600s but they were extinct in their original form and intermarried with the Irish by the time of your GGgrandfather. Scottish Gaelic was for long enough referred to as ‘Irish’ also but the clue is more about the period in question. Gaelic would not have been spoken in Derry or any other part of Northern Ireland, as we know it today, in the latter half of the 1800s as far as I know. Therefore, back to Donegal for this particular ancestor?

  59. Don MacFarlane

    April 10, 2009 at 8:49 am

    From Failteromhat

    The Griffiths Evaluation was a national survey used to determine the amount of tax each person should pay towards the support of the poor within their poor law union. This involved determining the value of all privately held lands and buildings in rural as well as urban areas to figure the rate at which each unit of property could be rented year after year. Amendments were passed to the 1826 Act, the first in 1831, which excluded those houses under the annual valuation of £3, another in 1836 excluded houses under £5. As far as what £5 could get you in those times, suffice to say that £5 could keep an impoverished widow in dole money for a year, could pay a labourer for a month’s work or could buy two cows. From that, one could extrapolate that with hard graft, purchase of a property that would attract a valuation of £5 should have been within reach of most people.

  60. Don MacFarlane

    April 8, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    The Morells were, amongst other places in mid-Derry, mainly to be found in Desertoghill in County Derry. Check the interactive map in to see the proximity of Desertoghill (where McCahons are also to be found) to Kilrea/Errigal.

    Also check

    Something tells me the Morells may have been of Huguenot origin and that they were big into the flax industry. If your Morells were connected, they would have been well to do. This implies the McCahons were ‘respectable’ enough to marry into the Morells and should appear in Griffiths.

    Culnaman was exactly halfway between Garvagh and Kilrea, incidentally-therefore include Kilrea, Errigal and Desertoghill in your search. Marriage certificates should be easily available for such uncommon surnames for all three parishes from Brian Mitchell in the Genealogy centre – see

  61. Don MacFarlane

    April 7, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I suspect McCahon is a variation on a more common name. As regards derivation, I suspect it is of Scottish planter origin, possibly from ‘MacEachann’, son of Hector, 2nd son of Ruairidh who was 3rd Chieftain of MacDonalds of Clanranald. If so, MacEachan is from the Highlands & Islands, mostly Clanranald, though a few from Islay & Kintyre. By way of further explanation, Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic differed in a way that would explain a change. In Irish, the guttural ‘gh’ becomes ‘h’ and ‘ea’ becomes ‘a’. Also in Irish, Mac becomes Mc. All told, it could be your ancestors came over from Islay or Kintyre in Scotland with the MacDonalds who became Earls of Antrim.

  62. Don MacFarlane

    April 5, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Excerpts on McGee name from

    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.

    The McGee/Magee surname is common in both east and west Ulster. The Magees of east Ulster (Antrim and Down) are mainly descendants of 17th century Scottish Protestant McGhee Planters from Ayrshire and Galloway.

    Some of the McGees in West Ulster are probably connected to the native Irish Mhaoil Ghaoithe sept of Donegal but most are probably connected to the native Irish MacAodha families of west Ulster (Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh) and north Connacht (Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo).

    The Donegal version of the McGee/Magee surname, MacMhaoilGhaoithe 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 Kilmacrennan, 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!

  63. Don MacFarlane

    March 8, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Are you sure about your spellings? If so, it is a very narrow search you have here.

    Only one family with your spelling was in Derry around that period.
    It may also be a misinterpretation of a very common name in Derry.
    Likewise, it may be a less usual spelling for a surname that is otherwise very common in Derry.

    On the other hand, it was quite common to deliberately ‘mispell’ a surname if the family religion were being changed. This was to make clear that the family were not RC. For example, Docherty would become Dogherty.

    Careful comparison of sources of both names, using Interactive Map2 on the Derry GenWeb site,

    might suggest one of these two places:

    Coleraine/ Ballyrashane
    Lackagh (Cumber Lower)/ Faughanvale

  64. Don MacFarlane

    January 7, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Response to Family Search Query

    The only pocket of people of the same name as your ancestors was in Ballyness, outside Dungiven. That is where you should be looking (see householder names from Griffiths 1848). The marriage would have taken place in the bride’s church in Dungiven, unless they were runaways? Your male ancestor would have come from Fincairn townland in Banagher Parish but there was no Banagher RC parish in those days as Banagher would have been included under Feeny RC Parish from 1851. Alternatively, it would have been included under Dungiven and Dungiven marriage records have been kept from 1864, birth from 1847 i.e. just on the cusp of your dates so you might be lucky.

  65. Don MacFarlane

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Response to Family Search Query

    Depends how far you are going back. In the mid-1880s, there were no recorded householders of that name in Ardmore. Waterside during that era went by the name of Clondermot and there were three by the name of McCormick in what is now known as Maydown (Enagh/Coolkeeragh/Lisahalley) and one by the name of McCormack in Fountain Hill. Fountain Hill connects Irish Street and Spencer Road and is more like what is commonly known as Waterside today.

    • Don MacFarlane

      September 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm

      Well done Padraig on your persistence and it just goes to show the limitations of Griffiths Evaluation. I have become very familiar with the Claudy hinterland over this past month as I was tracking down Dunn connections in Ardground, just up the road from Sallygowilly that you mentioned. Much of that part of Derry was ‘owned’ by the Ogilby family of Pellipar, subrented out by them or otherwise administered by them on behalf of the Skinners Company from London.

  66. donfad

    November 15, 2008 at 9:49 am

    This search should prove to be very rewarding and intriguing. The name Arbuckle is common enough even in Derry today, prominent amongst those with the name is Roy Arbuckle who crossed the religious divide at the height of the Troubles. Unusually for someone with a Protestant name, he was a leading light and exponent of Irish traditional folk music.

    The name Valley is not one that is historically associated with Ireland. The only person of that name recorded in Griffiths 1848 was Sarah Valley from Kyle’s Brae in Derry. On the other hand, Valley might be an abbreviated form of Vallely, a name that is to be found mainly in Armagh.

    As far as searching, the directions to be found on this website in the page Intermediate Genealogy should assist. If the search is only for as far back as the early twentieth century, GRONI should certainly be able to find the information. For further back, Brian Mitchell in the Genealogy Centre in Craft Village in Derry will post a template from which he or the family searcher can work.

    For those who wish to embark upon Family History as a hobby and are prepared to puit the time and effort in, buy a copy of ‘Tracing Your Irish Ancestors’ by John Grenham which is available from all good bookshops ISBN 978 07171 3976 7.

    • Mary Beth (Arbuckle)

      June 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      I am trying to find a link for ancestors in the US. We are searching for the family of Joseph Alexander Arbuckle, b.1755, d.1808 in Pennsylvania. All trails end at this person. I suspect his father/mother emigrated from Ireland, but aside from a documented family reference about being “Scots-Irish, we are at a halt. How would be go about finding if he is related to Arbuckles in Derry or elsewhere in Northern Ireland?

      • Don MacFarlane

        June 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm

        The Arbuckles were scattered in pockets throughout Ulster, never very numerous and mainly around Ardstraw in Tyrone, Faughanvale in Derry, Dunluce in Derry, Derry City, Belfast and Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal. They are too spread out to know where to start unless you have other names from the female side of the house to narrow the search down. On the other hand there were not that many of them so you could work your way systematically through them. The name is thought to be Scottish in origin and originates from a village of the same name outside Glasgow.

  67. donfad

    April 20, 2008 at 8:49 am

    From Angus MacMillan

    The Shaws are a very ancient clan ( alternatively known as Sitheach, MacIlleChainnich and MacIlleRiabhach) and are associated with clans MacIntosh and MacDonald.

    The Wars of Independence saw a bundle of clans split into two confederations. One based in Lochaber and Lorn was effectively absorbed into the Lordship of the Isles (MacDonald). The other, led by a Sythac MacMallon or Shaw MacMillan on record in 1228, based itself a bit further inland on the Perthshire borders and was left much more to its own devices.

    Shaw had a son Ferquhar who had a son Angus, father of Uilleam mac Aonghais ‘ic Fhearchar ‘ic ‘Shaw’. William was Captain of Clan Chattan in 1346 and, in consequence of his status, his descendants were MacIntosh, sons of the Chief, captains of Clan Chattan in Badenoch.

    Under the related names of Shaw and MacIntosh, a gradual spread from there over some hundreds of years to Skye and on to the Outer Isles should not be a surprise. I don’t know how the precise descent worked but men of the name were still vastly influential in the Uists in the 19th Century; Duncan Shaw was the factor who oversaw the sale of the Clanranald estates to Colonel Gordon and one or more of the name played the role of Sheriff Substitute in the Isles.

  68. MacGilleChainnich

    December 19, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    MacGilleChainnich is a Celtic clan found both in Ulster and Argyll and the Isles. Saint Cainneach (translated Kenneth in Scots Gaelic, Kevin in Irish) was born in Derry and he was a close associate and friend of his compatriot, Saint Columcille, who came from just down the road in Kilmacrennan in County Donegal. Translated in English into Shaw, the Dalriadan branch of the clan has its own website. The clan motto is ‘Theid mi Thairis’ which is appropriate for a clan that went back and forward between Scotland and Ireland, being translated from Gaelic into ‘I’ll go over there’. Anyone who knows more about this clan, please join in.

  69. donfad

    December 4, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Reply to Glenda Sharry from Gold Coast, Australia

    My hunch is that the following families did not come from Ardstraw but from the South-West corner or South side of Lough Neagh – notably the Hunters and Corners who came from the adjoining Killyman Parishes; Hunters from Killyman, County Tyrone; and Corners from Killyman, County Armagh. The others- viz. Laughlin, Simms, and Faulkener came from the same general area but a bit more dispersed.

    The above hunch may be completely off the mark. To square the circle within your family tree will require an accommodation of these anomalies:

    1. You say that the family understanding is that the roots are in Tyrone and Derry.
    2. The places of origin are somewhat dispersed. The Simms name appears only in Tamlaght O’Crilly in East County Derry in the 1850s.
    3. The Corner name appears only in North Armagh and East Antrim during that period.
    4. There is a centre of Gravity for some of the other names, especially such as McHugh and McCrossan from around Ardstraw in North Tyrone.

    To sum up, the debate is whether the family narrative is correct that there is a Derry connection other than the families being ‘blow-ins’, placing the family tree much further North. Griffiths Valuation suggests otherwise, that the family tree is based around East Tyrone/ West Armagh, not North Tyrone/Derry.

    Input from readers of this Noticeboard to tease out this conundrum would be most welcome. Otherwise, watch this space!

  70. londonderry

    October 14, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Lots of assumptions and caveats have to be built in when using Griffiths. Nonetheless, a triangulated Griffiths search using more than one name should help to narrow a search.

    The major, admittedly crude and somewhat general, assumptions to be kept in mind are a) if names are a generation out, you are probably looking at nephews, uncles, parents etc b) names are indigenous for at least several generations to certain parishes and townlands c) social mobility was less in the early nineteenth century d) people did not travel far to go to work. Once having put the toe in the water, a more exhaustive approach is as set out in the Ferguson link.

    Other considerations are a) Derry Griffiths was less affected by the Great Famine as Derry was comparatively untouched, according to certain sources, than neighbouring counties such as Donegal b) Derry Griffiths is accepted as being an exemplar of how the rest of the Irish Counties should have been done, therefore there are few ommissions.

    Despite the excellence of the Derry Griffiths Census it was not replicated elsewhere on the grounds of cost. Therefore the same reliability cannot be attached to Griffiths censuses in other counties in Ireland.

    • Don MacFarlane

      May 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      I am from Argentina, my grandfather, Henry Lawrence, came in 1871, never returned to Ireland, got married here in Argentina and their children were born and died? in 1938. All the information I have, Consulate, marriage, birth, says children born in Coleraine, say ten? A sister named Sophia, but I find not a single aspect of their family in Ireland. Thanks. Ines

      • Don MacFarlane

        May 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm

        Hola Inés

        Usted no ha dicho lo que las investigaciones que han hecho de este lado del charco. Griffiths 1851 parece demostrar que los de apellido Lawrence, en Irlanda del Norte, casi todos ellos procedentes de Coleraine y por debajo hay una lista de aquellos que se quedaron.

        Si se comunica con GRONI deben ser capaces de buscar en su nombre por un módico precio. Tenga en cuenta, en particular, Samuel, que parece haber sido un hombre de la propiedad.

        Lawrence Sarah, Hanover Place,Coleraine
        Lawrence Samuel, Upper New Row,Coleraine
        Lawrence Samuel, New Row,Coleraine
        Lawrence Samuel, Blindgate St.,Coleraine
        Lawrence Martha, New Row,Coleraine
        Lawrence Samuel, Beresford Place, Coleraine

        Miro adelante a oír de ti y gracias por tu consulta.



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