The 1718 migration

1718 migration to New England
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 are given the precise address of the emigrant and also the name of the tenants who replaced them on the land. The townlands were primarily in the parishes of Tamlaght Finlagan, Aghanloo and Drumachose.

A List of persons in the Manor of Limavady, which are gone or going to New England and how they disposed of their lands, dated 24th August 1718.

Townland                    Tenant’s name           Going/Gone    Tenants in their place
Carrowmuddle            James Donning          Gone               William Baird
Crindle                        Robert Patton            Gone                Matthew Patton
Culmore                      A.C. Patton                Gone               John Patton
Burnally                      Thomas Marten         Gone               John Nelly
Carrowclare                John Boule                 Gone               Edward Moore
Crindle                        John Paul                    Gone               Hugh Paul
Culmore                      John Gay                    Going              John King
Crindle                        John Paul                    Gone               Hugh Paul
Ballyhenry                  Hugh Boyle                Going              William Baird
N’Limavady               John Paterson              Gone               William Patterson
Derrymore                  William Carr               Going              John Oliver
Carrick Upper             David Alexander        Going              John Alexander (jun)

And many more just now upon terms of selling their land.

Mulkeeragh               John Hamilton            Gone               His wife Allison ye land
Mulkeeragh               Thomas Barber           Gone               ditto.

The migration from the Roe Valley is less well known than those from the Foyle and the Bann but the documentary evidence from the Conolly archives provides a fascinating snap-shot into the regional impact of this migratory wave on one important local landed estate.


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