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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Berryman murders Garvagh

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John Berryman.
On the 20th of August 1908, John Berryman was hanged for the murder of his brother and his sister-in-law after a fall out over shares on a farm. William Berryman was the oldest brother and in 1906 he married Jane Turner from Ballinameery. Before the marriage, things had been fine between the brothers. They had equal shares on a prosperous farm near Garvagh. After the wedding, John sold his shares to William on the understanding he continued to live and work on the farm. The relationship between the two brothers soured and John regretted selling his share and arguments on the matter became frequent.

On Wednesday 18th March the brothers were sitting in the kitchen eating a meal that Mrs Berryman had prepared. Suddenly John attacked William with a hammer and beat him around the head. William sustained a fractured skull and as he lay dying on the floor, John left the house. Nancy Doherty who had been passing heard Mrs Berryman shouting at John that he had killed his brother.…

Creation of Co Londonderry 1613

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The counties of Coleraine, Donegal and Tyrone along with Armagh and Monaghan were created in 1585. The county of Cavan, which had been included in the province of Connaught, was later added to the province of Ulster. 

County Coleraine which had been formed from O’Cahan’s country lay to the north of the Sperrins between the rivers Foyle and Bann. Co. Coleraine was actually quite small consisting of only two ancient areas known as Anagh and Limavaddye. Two new baronies were created and called Tirkeeran and Keenaught, respectively to form the new county.
On the 28th January 1610 articles of agreement were signed between the City of London and James I, king of England and Scotland, for the colonisation of an area in the province of Ulster which was to become the county of Londonderry. This agreement modified the original plan for the Plantation of Ulster which had been drawn up in 1609. The area now to be allocated to the City of London included the then county of Coleraine, the barony of L…

Understanding counties and baronies

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From the seventeenth century until the middle of the nineteenth century the administrative divisions within Ireland were Townland, Parish, Barony, County and Province.
The historic province of Ulster consists of nine counties.
The county system as a form of territorial division was introduced into Ireland shortly after the Norman Conquest in the late twelfth century. The creation of counties was gradual, however, and did not reach into Ulster until the late sixteenth century. The counties of Coleraine, Donegal and Tyrone along with Armagh and Monaghan were created around 1585. Sometime later the county of Cavan, which had been included in the province of Connaught, was added to the province of Ulster. 
The new county of Londonderry was not formed until 1613 and was created out of the existing county of Coleraine and parts of the neighbouring counties of Donegal, Antrim and Tyrone.
Baronies The barony was a unit used in Ireland between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries for administrati…

Understanding townlands

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Understanding townlands

The townland is the smallest administrative territorial unit in Ireland, varying in size from a single acre to over 7,000 acres. Originating in the older Gaelic dispensation, townlands were used as the basis for British administration in Ireland and of leases in the estate system, and subsequently to assess valuations and tithes in the nineteenth century. The townland remained the basic recording unit within the census returns before 1911.

There are over 60,000 townlands in Ireland (almost 17,000 of these are in Ulster).

Ireland then is made up of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle of townlands, each one unique and a visible sign of our topographical and genealogical history. Townlands are of ancient origin an identifiable marker of both landscape and history.



Townlands were used in the British system of administration during the Ulster plantation. Unfortunately, some if not many of the Gaelic names were written phonetically and anglicized further through the centuries makin…

Understanding parishes

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CHURCH AND CIVIL PARISHES

Records may identify a civil or church parish as a place of origin but in some cases it may be unclear which type of parish a record refers to. In general, a reference in a civil record refers to a civil parish in Ireland.The Church of Ireland (Established Church) parish boundaries generally followed those of the civil parishes. However, there may not have been enough members to support a Church of Ireland church in each civil parish. Consequently, parishes joined together as one functional parish. Sometimes more than one Church of Ireland parish existed within a civil parish. This was especially true in Ulster where there were greater numbers of Church of Ireland members.

Religious denominations in Ireland other than the Catholic Church and Church of Ireland did not use a parish system. A parish named for a Presbyterian, Methodist, Moravian, Baptist, Congregational, Mormon, or Quaker ancestor is most likely the civil parish.


RC parishes
With the re-emergence…