Crossle, Groves, Betham & Thrift

Crossle, Groves, Betham & Thrift might sound like the names of the midfield for an English football team or even the names of the singers in a super group but in reality they are individuals who have left a tremendous legacy in Irish genealogy through their hard work and dedication. Much of the work of these genealogists is dispersed between a variety of archives in Ireland including the National Archives and Genealogical Office in Dublin and the Public Record Office in Belfast.


In an earlier post I looked at the life of Tenison Groves and his work.

Sir William Betham was appointed Ulster King of Arms in 1807 and set about creating abstracts of pre-1800 wills. He also reconstructed family trees and pedigrees. His collection holds nearly 490,000 records. It includes abstracts of wills, reconstructed family trees and detailed pedigrees.

The Crossle genealogical abstracts were c…

The 1718 migration

Next year will see the tercentenary of the famous migration of Scots and Irish born Presbyterian people who left the north of Ireland on their way to a new life in the New England colonies in north America. The majority of Scots-Irish migrants who left North-West Ulster hailed from two particular districts - the Bann valley area north of Garvagh and Kilrea, which included the parishes of Aghadowey, Macosquin, Dunboe and Ballywillan. A second group came from the Foyle valley area including the Laggan area of Co Donegal. Of course, migration was not restricted to these areas as migrants left from other parishes in Londonderry as well as the area north of Strabane in Co Tyrone.
Many years ago in Conolly archives in PRONI  I uncovered an interesting list of emigrants who were leaving the Roe Valley for America in the year 1718. The Conolly Archives in PRONI are substantial but somewhat haphazard in their contents. What is unusual about this list is that we a…

1803 Agricultural census of Co's Antrim & Down

THE AGRICULTURAL CENSUS OF 1803 The threat of an invasion of Great Britain and Ireland by Napoleonic France recurred periodically during the late 1790s and the early years of the nineteenth century. The government in London made plans in 1797 and 1798 to abandon coastal areas and introduced new legislation for the defence of the realm. This legislation required the lord lieutenant for each county to make returns, especially from maritime parishes, enumerating livestock (farm animals) and the wagons and horses available for transport, and giving the quantity of dead stock (crops stored). There are extant returns for some southern counties in England. During a scare in 1803 about an invasion of Ireland, resulting from the planned but abortive insurrection of that year, similar returns were made under the same legislation, which, after the Act of Union, applied to Ireland. The surviving returns relate to many parishes in County Down and the northern parishes of County Antrim. In reality t…

Excommunications Derry Diocese 1667


PRONI T/552.
In 1667 over one hundred people in Derry diocese were excommunicated by the Established Church, mostly for nonconformity. Nonconformity was defined as ‘not only absence from church, but baptising by unlicensed ministers’. A number of individuals were excommunicated for refusing to contribute to the repair of their local Church of Ireland church or 'refusing to hear Divine Service'.  Other reasons included failing to pay tithes, fornication and adultery. John Boyd of Ardstraw, was further charged with ploughing on Christmas Day and condemning the ecclesiastical government. Some of the names appear to have been p

The parishes include:
Tamlaght Finlagan

Subsidy Rolls 1662-1668

Subsidy Rolls list the nobility, clergy and laity who paid a grant in aid to the crown. The rolls list the persons of means in the community who were subject to the payment of subsidies, which then formed the government's main method of direct taxation. Details are given of the name of each person, where they lived (usually a townland) and the amount of subsidy that they paid. The amount of the subsidy was based on the valuation of either the person's land or goods.
Because they include only the wealthier members of society, they are less useful than hearth money rolls. Nevertheless, the hearth rolls are incomplete in many areas and the subsidy rolls do provide a useful substitute in those parishes that are deficient.
SUBSIDY ROLLS PRONI Antrim 1666 T/808/14889  Cavan 1662 T/808/15142  Donegal 1662 T/808/14998 Donegal 1669 T/808/15003  Down 1663 T/307A  Fermanagh 1662 T/808/15068 (Enniskillen town only)  Londonderry 1662 D/4164/A/14; T/716/4, 15; T/1592/19  Tyrone 1664 T/283/D/1; T/808/…

Aghanloo Old graveyard

Situated about two miles outside of Limavady, Aghanloo Old Graveyard resides in the townland of Rathfad. It sits on a raised hill on a bend in the road overlooking the main road to Magilligan (OS reference C679279). Aghanloo New graveyard can be found at Aghanloo Church of Ireland in the parish of Drumbane, which was built in 1826.

On a recent visit I copied some of the older headstones that were still legible such as that for the Henry family of Dirtagh, Aghanloo.

HENRY: Erected to the memory of John Henry, Dirtagh, who died June 4 1861 aged 84 years. Also his wife Rachel who died July 18 1862 aged 70 years. Also their son William Henry who died March 20 1891 aged 61 years.

I believe that this Henry family resided on a farm of about 44 acres in Dirtagh that they called Flowerfield. John Henry's wife was Rachel McMillan and they had 12 children eleven of who emigrated to the USA between 1836 and 1860. William remained on the family farm with his parents.

A History of the family was…

What's in a name?

The onset of civil registration of births in 1864 proved to be a catalyst in the process of standardizing the spelling of surnames in Ireland. However, there are some surnames where their spelling in early documents bears no seeming relation to their spelling in later documents.

Some examples of modern spelling of the name compared to older usage:

Alexander - McCalsenor & McElsinor, 

Ballentine - Bannatyne

Bradley - Brillaghan, Brallahan, O'Brillaghan, O'Brullaghan

Connor - McNogher, McNogher, Nogher

Cummings - Kimin, Kimming, Miskimmin, Miskimmings. McCumings

McAfee - McDuffee, 

Patton - O'Payton

Pollock - Poake, Polke & Poague

Trainor - McCreanor & McCraner

Uprichard - Pritchard, O'Prichard & Bridget

The latter surname Uprichard is reputedly of Welsh origin and the surname is strong in the area between Banbridge and Lurgan.

The registers of Donaghcloney Church of Ireland are well preserved and fairly complete from 1697 and in the registers we…