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PORTGLENONE MURDER 1832 - a quiet man who deserves to be remembered.

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  A report of a murder near Portglenone appeared in the pages of the Northern Whig newspaper dated 11 June 1832: 'On Monday the fourth inst. Arthur Henry, a respectable, inoffensive man (a Catholic) of the parish of Tamlaght O'Crilly, was on his way home from Bellaghey fair, waylaid and so inhumanly beaten and abused between Bellaghey and Portglenone that he expired Wednesday last. He has left behind him a wife and seven children. He was a very quiet man, and was never implicated in any party measures'. It seems there had been an upsurge in party violence in the Portglenone area in previous months. A stipendiary magistrate had arrived in the town on the 8th June to 'deal out justice and teach a wholesome lesson to the disturbers of public peace'. In memory of a quiet man - Arthur Henry.

Judge John McCunn of Burnally, Limavady

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Judge John H. McCunn (November 2, 1820 – July 6, 1872) was born Burnally, Myroe, Limavady on 2nd November 1820 son of William McCunn and Martha [Matty] McKinley. Tamlaght Finlagan (Ballykelly) Church of Ireland baptismal register gives his birth details as follows - 1820 - Nov 2nd John son of Wm & Martha McCunn, Burnally [page 97]. McCunn said he walked into New York in a red flannel shirt and canvas trousers and eventually walked out as a Judge of the Central Criminal Court. He amassed a fortune and bought the large farm at Farmhill, Coleraine, which passed to his brothers and later to the Bullick family. McCunn presented in 1857 two magnificent silver tea services for competition at Keenaught Farming Society's ploughing match (Derry Sentinel 3 July 1857). He died in New York on 6th July 1872 shortly after having been impeached in a political scandal. He was a self-made man, his life being a somewhat remarkable one. When a child he conceived a fondness for a sailor's life,

Balteagh parish - a valuable census substitute 1828

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BALTEAGH PRESBYTERIAN CONGREGATION There are no surviving pre-civil registration church registers for the parish of Balteagh, Limavady, which makes it difficult to trace early ancestry in the area. For those with Presbyterian roots in this scenic parish, however, the discovery of a petition by the newly formed congregation in 1828 provides wonderful detail on the families attached to the newly formed church. The petition was discovered in the National Archives, Ireland in Dublin in the files of the Chief Secretary's Office papers. The Official Papers series (OP) is a collection of incoming correspondence to the Chief Secretary’s Office (CSO) and the surviving papers cover the period 1790 through to 1880. The petition from Balteagh is found amongst a bundle of various papers relating to the payment of Regium Donum (NAI: OP1/685/2).  The Presbyterian congregation of Balteagh was established in 1823 by people originally attached to Drumachose Presbyterian congregation in Limavady (wh

The 14th son - Robert Payne

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The minister for Tamlaghtard (Magilligan) Church of Ireland made an interesting comment in an entry in the baptismal register for 1833 that caught my attention - Christened Sept 1833 Robert the 14th son of John Paine of Oughtymoyle (Magilligan). Four years later the following baptism was recorded Christened March 1837 Ann daughter of John Paine of Oughtymoyle - the first female child - this being a second wife he having had 14 sons by his first wife The above Robert Payne was an adult convert to the Catholic faith and was baptised in St Aidan's Magilligan in1866 - from this entry we get the name of his mother - Catherine McPoyle - St Aidan's RC baptism July 1866 Robert Payne (34 years old) Oughtymoyle son of John Payne & Cath. McPoyle - sponsors John McLaughlin B:Carton & Mrs John Donnell, Oughymoyle Baptismal entry 1866 St. Aidan's Magilligan Robert Payne married Ellen McCann December 25th 1866 in St Aidan's Magilligan - she was also from Ough

Lurting to Lurton to Norton

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Variation in surname spelling is a common difficulty in Irish genealogical research but sometimes surnames can undergo a complete transformation over time and even become unrecognizable as the same family. Such was the case with a family of the name Lurting in the parish of Magilligan (Tamlaghtard) in Co Derry. A Henry Lurting was a merchant in Londonderry and Liverpool in 1660 and it was his son John Lurting who settled in Magilligan in the early eighteenth century having married into the Cust family of that parish. Both the Lurtings and Custs were of English origin the former can be traced to the city of Liverpool where they were prominent in local business and politics. Both the Lurtings and Custs were Episcopalian and their progeny can be traced clearly in the registers of Tamlaghard Church of Ireland which exist for a few years in the middle of the 18th century. Tamlaghtard (Magilligan) Church of Ireland registers (PRONI MIC/1/86) Baptisms 1747-1768 Marriages 1747-1753 Buri

Officers at the siege of Derry

1693:  Warrant to Lord Sydney to pay the officers, and widows of officers, who were of the garrison in Londonderry the sums specified in the annexed list. [ Signet Office Letter Book  13,  p . 7.]  Annexing :—List of officers and officers' widows, viz.:  Colonels:  Hugh Hamill, Richard Crofton, Henry Monrow, Adam Murray and Thomas Blair;  Lt.–Col:  William Campbell;  Majors: John Dobbin, George Holmes, Nathaniel Bull and Graham's widow;  Captains: Christophilus Jenny, Alexander Saunderson, Robert Baird, James Harrison, John Kinniston, Nicholas Holmes, George Irwin, John Fleming, John Crofton, Hugh Blair, Frederick Edmonds, Abraham Hillhouse, Benjamin Wilkins, Henry Lane, Samuel Jones, Joshua Pilot, William McCormick, William Taylor, Henry Campsey, Andrew Adam's widow, William Gore, Francis Graham, Mary Godfrey, widow;  Adjutants: Thomas Baker and Alexander Rankin Quartermaster: John Griffith;  Lieutenants: Robert Louther, John Fuller, Richard Kean, Jame

Headstones can tell a tale

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It may be considered by some to be a morbid pastime but I love visiting older graveyards that can instantaneously transport us into the past and reveal generations of forebears that resided in a particular district. In Ulster, each region has its distinctive surnames. Sometimes graveyards can be located in beautiful surrounds such as the graveyard attached to Drumgooland Presbyterian Church in Co Down at the foot of the Mourne mountains (below). DRUMGOOLAND PRESBYTERIAN GRAVEYARD I was struck by one headstone in Drumgooland erected by Hugh Stuart to the memory of his four beloved children in the Famine year of 1847. ERECTED BY HUGH STUART IN MEMORY OF HIS CHILDREN A number of headstones had fallen and were placed against the graveyard wall. A number were broken. ERECTED BY HUGH PORTER OF MONEYSLANE (BROKEN) Such memories of a by-gone age need to be preserved for posterity and thankfully transcriptions now exist for the majority of older graveyards in Ulster undertaken