Limavady & Roe Valley database

Church registers are most fascinating documents as they contain the records of the births, marriages and deaths of our ancestors. By recording the key moments in life, Parish Registers provide the essence of local community. They are priceless historical treasures in manuscript. The destruction of over one thousand Church of Ireland parish registers in the explosion at the Four Courts complex in 1922 where the Public Record Office was housed was a sad chapter in Irish history. The lack of care for the preservation of Irish records in the past is well documented. In more recent times academics and historians have come to recognize that the preservation of our archival heritage is an essential component of recording for posterity the fabric of our social and cultural identity. Parish registers reveal the drama of human existence through births, marriages and deaths. For some the registers are merely lists of uninteresting names but for the historian they can be an exciting resource for unlocking local history and even historical demography. In addition, they shed light on surnames in their many variations through time. It was the onset of civil registration that helped to standardise the spelling of surnames as they are expressed today.

The loss of a parish register is more than the loss of a document. It wipes out a record of a local community in time and place. With that in mind and understanding the importance of the parish registers I undertook an ambitious project to record and database all of the early registers for my area of interest Limavady and the Roe valley. The catalyst for this project was the discovery in the Presbyterian Historical Society of and early register of baptisms (1699-1709) and marriages (1699-1740) for Ballykelly Presbyterian church. I was intrigued by the copperplate writing and excited to hold in my hand a document that originated in the seventeenth century. After many careful hours of transcription the handwriting and style of the minister the Rev John Sterling became warmly familiar. The aim was to ensure that at least a transcript of the records were preserved for posterity.

I followed this by transcribing the earliest entries of baptisms, marriages and burials in Drumachose (Limavady) and Tamlaghtard (Magilligan) Church of Ireland registers in the eighteenth century. The aim has extended to include all pre-civil registration entries in the local registers. I have over seven thousand entries in the database and growing. The following links records the church registers transcribed although this needs updated as I have added more to the database in recent months.

Ballykelly original register of baptisms 1699
The following are the surnames that appear in the church register database (the list is by no means prescriptive as I also have to update this list). These names all predate civil registration in the north west of Ulster and have a familiar ring to anyone familiar with Limavady and the Roe Valley.

Surnames in the Database:
When entering surnames into the church registers’ database I used two columns or fields. One column contains the spelling of each surname as it appears in the register. A second column contains standardised spellings of surnames, which should make it easier to find names in the database and keep variant spellings of individual surnames together in a sort. Standardised spellings are not intended to replace the spellings that appear in the original registers but make it a convenient tool for searching purposes (thus, Kane covers all variants such as O’Kane, O’Cahan, McKane and so on): 

Standardised surnames in the database:
Abbot, Acheson, Adair, Adams, Agar, Agnew, Aiken, Alcorn, Alderton, Aldridge, Alexander, Allaire, Allen, Allison, Allman, Allshouse, Alton, Anderson, Andrews, Arbuckle, Archdale, Archibald, Armstrong, Arthur, Ash, Aske, Askin, Astrey, Atkins, Atkinson, Auld, Averill, Bacon, Bailey, Baird, Baldrick, Ballyclose, Bann, Bannerman, Barbour, Barlow, Barnard, Barnett, Barr, Barton, Bates, Baxter, Beare, Beath, Beck, Beers, Begley, Begley, Bell, Benbow, Bennett, Beresford, Berryman, Beverland, Biggart, Bigham, Billard, Binney, Birch, Bite, Black, Blackburn, Blair, Boady, Boggar, Boggs, Bolton, Bond, Boyce, Boyd, Boyle, Bradley, Brady, Bredin, Bremner, Breslin, Brewster, Brien, Brimer, Brisbane, Brolly, Brooks, Brown, Bruce, Bryce, Bryson, Buchanan, Bullion, Bunting, Burke, Burnett, Burns, Burnside, Burton, Butcher, Cahill, Cairncross, Cairns, Caldwell, Callaghan, Callender, Calvert, Campbell, Canning, Cargill, Carlin, Carmichael, Carolan, Carr, Carse, Carson, Carswell, Carter, Carton, Caskey, Cassidy, Casson, Cathcart, Caulfield, Chadwick, Chambers, Chapman, Charlton, Cheevers, Cherry, Christie, Christie, Church, Clare, Clarke, Clifford, Clinton, Clyde, Cochrane, Coleman, Colhoun, Collins, Conn, Connell, Connolly, Connor, Conway, Cooke, Cooper, Corker, Cowan, Coy, Coyle, Craig, Crampsey, Cranston, Crawford, Cray, Creagh, Creelan, Creevey, Creighton, Creswell, Crilly, Crilly, Croc, Cromie, Crompton, Crookshanks, Cross, Crothers, Crowne, Culbert, Culbertson, Cummings, Cunningham, Cuppage, Curry, Cust, Dalgleish, Daly, Darcy, Davenport, Davidson, Davies, Deans, Deering, Deery, Deighan, Dempsey, Dennison, Denny, Deputy, Dermott, Devenney, Devine, Devlin Diamond, Dick, Dickey, Dill, Dinning, Dinsmore, Divine, Dixon, Dobbin, Dodds, Doggett, Doherty, Donaghy, Donnell, Donnelly, Dooey, Dooley, Dougall, Dougan Douglas, Douthart, Dowling, Downes, Downey, Doyle, Drain, Duddy, Dudley, Duffy, Duggan, Duncan, Dunlop, Dunne, Dunseith, Dupal, Dykes, Dysart, Eagleson, Eason, Eaton, Echlin, Edgar, Edmondson, Edwards, Elder, Elliot, Ellis, Ellison, Ennis, Entrican, Erskine, Evans, Ewing, Falloon, Falls, Farr, Farren, Ferguson, Ferris, Finch, Finlay, Fisher, Fleming, Floyd, Forde, Forrest, Forrester, Forsythe, Forth, Foster, Foundling, Fowler, Franks, Freeman, Fry, Fulton, Gage, Gailey, Galbraith, Gallagher, Galy, Gamble, Gardiner, Garnivil, Garvin, Gault, Geddis, George, Getty, Gibson, Gilchrist, Gilfillan, Gilkinson, Gilleese, Gillen, Gillespie, Gilliland, Gillis, Gilmore, Given, Glass, Glassford, Glendinning, Glenn, Goggins, Gordon, Gormley, Gould, Graham, Gray, Green, Gregson, Grimes, Guiler, Gurney, Guthrie, Guy, Gwynn, Haire, Hall, Hamill, Hamilton, Hammond, Hampton, Hanna, Hara, Harbinson, Harkin, Harper, Harriot, Harris, Harrison, Harron, Harte, Hartin, Harvey, Harwood, Haslett, Hassan, Hastie, Hastings, Hatrick, Havlin, Hawkins, Hawthorne, Hayden, Hazelton, Healy, Heaney, Heavern, Hegarty, Hemphill, Henderson, Henry, Herron, Heygate, Higgins, Hill, Hillas, Hillery, Hinchey, Hindley, Hodge, Hogg, Holland, Holloway, Holmes, Hood, Hopkins, Horner, Houston, Howard, Howe, Howell, Hoyt, Huey, Hughes, Hull, Hume, Hunter, Hurley, Hutchinson, Hylands, Hyndman, Hyndman, Hynds, Irons, Irwin, Ivers, Jack, Jackson, James, Jameson, Jebb, Jenkins, Jennings, Johnston, Jones, Kane, Kealey, Kee, Keith, Kelly, Kelso, Kennedy, Kenny, Kent, Keys, Kidd, Kilmurry, Kilpatrick, King, Kingan, Kinkead, Kirkwood, Kitchen, Knapper, Kneeland, Knight, Knobbs, Knox, Kyle, Lafferty, Laing, Lamachton, Lamont, Lane, Lattin, Law, Lawrence, Lawson, Leake, Leary, Leckey, Lee, Leighton, Leitch, Lenaghan, Lennox, Leonard, Leslie, Lewis, Liddy, Ligget, Limerick, Lindsay, Linton, Litt, Little, Livingstone, Lloyd, Loan, Lockett, Lockhart, Lodge, Logue, Lomas, Long, Lorimer, Louden, Loughead, Loughridge, Love, Lowe, Lowerhouse, Lowry, Lurting, Lyle, Lynch, Lynchehaun, Lynn, Lyon, Madden, Maddigan, Madigan, Magee, Magilton, Mahon, Mailey, Major, Malcomn, Mann, Marshall, Martin, Matthews, Maxwell, May, Mayham, McAfee, McAleese, McAllen, McAllister, McAnerlin, McAuley, McBeth, McBride, McCalfer, McCallion, McCann, McCarron, McCart, McCartney, McCaughan, McCaughey, McCaul, McCauley, McCleary, McClelland, McClenaghan, McClernon, McClintock, McCloskey, McClure, McClurg, McCollum, McComb, McCook, McCord, McCord, McCormick, McCoy, McCracken, McCrea, McCrone, McCrossan, McCullough, McCunn, McCurdy, McCurry, McCutcheon, McDaid, McDermott, McDonald, McDowell, McElwee, McFarland, McFaul, McFeeley, McFetridge, McGaghey, McGarrigle, McGarvey, McGeough, McGettigan, McGill, McGonagle, McGowan, McGranaghan, McGregor, McGrillen, McGrotty, McGuigan, McGuinness, McHinch, McHinch, McHugh, McIlhatton, McIlhone, McIlhoyle, McIlroy, McIlvenny, McIlwain, McIlwee, McInerlin, McInerney, McIntyre, McKay, McKeever, McKemey, McKenzie, McKeown, McKerell, McKernan, McKinlay, McKissack, McLaughlin, McLean, McLeod, McLernon, McLucas, McMahon, McMaken, McManus, McMarman, McMath, McMonagle, McNabb, McNair, McNamara, McNaughten, McNeice, McNeill, McNerlin, McNicholl, McNinch, McPhan, McPherson, McReady, McSanic, McSorley, McSparran, McVeigh, McVicker, McWilliams, Mearns, Meehan, Meekin, Meenagh, Meenan, Meikle, Mercer, Merritt, Michael, Miffington, Miller, Milligan, Mills, Millsop, Miskimmin, Missroon, Mitchell, Moffatt, Monteith, Montgomery, Moody, Mooney, Moore, Morrell, Morrison, Morrow, Mortimer, Mossom, Moull, Mountford, Mulholland, Mullan, Murdock, Murland, Murphy, Murray, Neely, Neill, Neilson, Nelson, Nesbitt, Nevinson, Newman, Newton, Nicholl, Niven, Nixon, Nolan, Noone, Norris, Nutt, Ogilby, Oliver, Olphert, Ormsby, Orr, Orrell, Osborne, Owens, Paine, Palmer, Park, Parkhill, Parr, Parramore, Parsley, Patchell, Patrick, Patt, Patterson, Patton, Patty, Paul, Paylor, Payne, Peacock, Pedan, Penman, Peoples, Perkins, Perry, Phillips, Picken, Pigot, Pink, Piper, Plain, Platt, Player, Plowright, Pollock, Porter, Poston, Pound, Power, Price, Priestly, Prince, Proctor, Purcell, Purdy, Pursley, Quigg, Quigley, Quinn, Ramage, Ramsey, Rankin, Rea, Redgate, Reid, Rentoul, Reynolds, Rice, Rickett, Riley, Ritchie, Robb, Robbie, Roberts, Robinson, Rodgers, Ross, Roulston, Rowan, Rowley, Russell, Ruth, Rutherford, Rutter, Salt, Sandlilands, Scales, Scollick, Scott, Scullion, Seales, Sealy, Selfridge, Semple, Shannon, Sharkey, Sharp, Sherrard, Sherriff, Sherwood, Shields, Short, Simmons, Simpson, Sinclair, Singleton, Siniard, Skillen, Sloan, Slowey, Small, Smith, Snell, Snodgrass, Sofur, Somers, Spallon, Sparks, Speers, Sproule, Stack, Stackpoole, Stafford, Starritt, Steele, Steen, Steenson, Stevens, Stevenson, Stewart, Stirling, Stitt, Strahan, Strawbridge, Streeve, Sullivan, Swan, Sweeney, Tacey, Tagg, Taggart, Tate, Taylor, Teadley, Teague, Tedlie, Templeton, Terry, Thomas, Thompson, Thornton, Thorpe, Till, Tipping, Tittle, Todd, Tomb, Tomlinson, Torrens, Tosh, Towers, Townsend, Trainor, Trimble, Tudor, Turbitt, Turner, Urey, Waite, Walcott, Walker, Walkingshaw, Wallace, Waller, Walsh, Ward, Warden, Warke, Warnock, Warwick, Watson, Watt, Watters, Watterson, Waugh, Weir, West, Westby, Weston, Whitaker, Whitbread, White, Whiteside, Wiley, Wilkinson, Williams, Williamson, Willis, Wilson, Winder, Winlock, Witherow, Woodburn, Woodruffe, Woods, Wright, Wyatt, Wylie, Yates, Young.


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