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Showing posts from November, 2017

Quaker meeting houses connected to Antrim

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Quakerism had its origins in the northwest of England in the mid seventeenth century. William Edmunson established a meeting in Lurgan as early as 1654. Quaker meeting houses in the Bann Valley area that were formed in the mid to late seventeenth century and included Toberhead, Dunglady and Coleraine in county Derry and in Co Antrim - Ballynacree (on the Vow road near Ballymoney), Lower Grange near Portglenone and Antrim town. Ideally weekly meetings were to be held in each of these regional locations (often in a local home) and then representatives were to be sent to the monthly meeting held in Antrim, which was the regional hub for Quakerism in the area. 
All of the local Quaker meetings struggled to survive in the region because Presbyterianism had become strongly embedded in the Bann valley from the Ulster Plantation. Most of these regional outposts struggled on throughout the eighteenth century but diminishing numbers caused by an outflow of emigrants and local decay saw the closu…

Papers of Aynsworth Pilson (Downpatrick)

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The Papers of Aynsworth Pilson.PRONI D635/1-8 (3 boxes)
The Aynsworth papers consist of seven manuscript volumes and one typescript copy of a volume, 1775-1863, comprising the records of Mr. Aynsworth Pilson of Downpatrick. One of the volumes is merely an account book recording transactions, 1826-62, and another is entitled ''Memoirs of notable inhabitants of Downpatrick''. It provides much detail about 77 inhabitants of the town including Pilson himself who, we are told, had an income of £430 per annum by 1844. This probably had much to do with his father who had a distillery and tan yard which latter business he made over to his only son in whose hands it apparently prospered. In his early years, Aynsworth Pilson took part in public affairs, but he was not prepared to subordinate his private interests to them. Thus, after a connection of about twelve months with the Volunteers he resigned as he found he could not give sufficient attention to his tan yard. In later yea…

The 1734 religious census Barony of Cary, Antrim

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Religious census for Cary barony, County Antrim

For the barony of Cary in north County Antrim there is a religious census of 1734, which lists nearly 1,500 housesholders, giving townland and religious affiliation. The area covered is relatively small covering five parishes but the source is rich in detail and an important one for those who have ancestors in this region. 
The parishes included in the 1734 census include Armoy, Ballintoy, Billy (that part in Cary barony), Culfeightrin, Derrykeighan (part) and Ramoan. William Reeves prepared a list of the names from the original in Glenarm Castle which is in the Manuscript Library in Trinity College, Dublin (MS 1059). A copy of this is in the Séamus Ó Casaide manuscripts in the National Library of Ireland (MS 5456). The names from a number of parishes have been extracted by Harry Doyle and published in The Glynns: Culfeightrin – vol. 21 (1993), pp 65-76 Armoy – vol. 22 (1994), pp 53-8 Ramoan – vol. 23 (1995), pp 55-62 Ballintoy – vol. 25 (1997…

The Association for the Preservation of Memorials of the Dead 1888-1938

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The Association for the Preservation of Memorials of the Dead 1888-1938



This publication was born out of Philip D. Vigors desire to preserve the tomb and headstone memorials that marked the place of burial of the Irish and record these in a printed volumes for posterity. Vigors enlisted the help of many willing participants from every county in Ireland to transcribe and record headstones in their locality that they would then send in for annual publication. The volumes were published from 1888 to 1934.

The volume of transcriptions contain details of many early headstones that are now no longer readable. The volumes are as Vigors wrote, ‘a record of those who have gone before us’. These volumes are undoubtedly an invaluable resource for those who are carrying out family history research. 

An example of the utility of this source can be found in the publication of headstone and memorial inscriptions for St Columb's Cathedral Church of Ireland graveyard in the city of L'Derry. The s…