This site contains over 30,000 database records that can be searched for free. Descriptions and details of the records held can be found below.
The records of Donagheady Church of Ireland are among the earliest of any church in Northern Ireland. Registers of baptisms and marriages survive from 1697 and burials from 1698, though there are gaps. The earliest vestry book containing details of local administration in the parish begins in 1697. The minister at this time was Rev. Andrew Hamilton who died in 1753, having been rector of Donagheady for over sixty years.
- Donagheady Church of Ireland Marriages (1826-1922)
- Donagheady Church of Ireland Baptisms (1697-1900)
- Donagheady Church of Ireland Burials (1698-1900)
- Donagheady Church of Ireland Confirmations (1790-1900)
- Donagheady Church of Ireland Vestry Book (1689-1723)
In addition to records for Donagheady Church of Ireland church, several marriage records are held for the following churches:
Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church
Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church dates from the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1765 William James was ordained minister of a congregation covering a large area in the Foyle Valley. A few years later the first meeting house was built at Bready on a site granted by the Earl of Abercorn. The present church was built in 1923. The earliest surviving baptisms are listed at the back of a nineteenth-century session book. The marriages 1847 to 1852 were taken from the Strabane District Registration marriage books and are thought to have been in Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church. Marriage registers kept by the congregation date from 1864 – earlier records may have been destroyed. The marriage records were transcribed by Faye Logue of Queensland, Australia, and kindly made available for this website.
Note: the marriage between John Stevenson and Lucinda Kincade has the following note appended to it: ‘Married in the Loughmulvin Meeting House according to the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Registered Certificate. Entry cross marked with the following words: Inserted here by mistake. To be found correctly entered in the Register Books of Mulvin Reformed Presbyterian Church. District of Strabane. No. 7 – Page 2. Entry 8.’
Donagheady Presbyterian Church
The first Presbyterian minister in Donagheady was John Hamilton, a Scot, who arrived in the 1650s. A dispute resulted in the congregation splitting into two separate congregations in 1741. The congregation which continued to meet in the old church became known as 1st Donagheady, while the new congregation was called 2nd Donagheady. The congregations were reunited on 1 January 1933, with the united congregation using the Second Donagheady church building. These marriages relate to 2nd Donagheady and cover the period 1838-1926. They were transcribed by Faye Logue of Queensland, Australia, and kindly made available for this website.
Magheramason Presbyterian Church
Magheramason Presbyterian Church was founded in 1878, work having started on a meeting house the year before. These marriages, covering the period 1881-1927, were transcribed by Faye Logue of Queensland, Australia, and kindly made available for this website.
Leckpatrick Presbyterian Church
Leckpatrick Presbyterian Church was established in 1836 and a meeting house was built in Artigarvan. The first minister was Rev. Moses Chambers. These marriages, covering the period 1845-1930, were transcribed by Faye Logue of Queensland, Australia, kindly made available for this website.
Names of pupils from the schools at Bready, Sandville, Glenagoorland and Ballyneaner, all in the parish of Donagheady, have been digitised. The registers of attendance record the full name of the pupil, date of birth (or age of entry), religion, father’s address, and occupation (but unfortunately not his name) and the name of the school previously attended. Separate registers were kept for boys and girls and usefully these generally include an index. In addition, a register of infants is frequently included at the start of the main register. The covering dates of the registers for the schools included in this project are as follows.
Ballylaw Public School
- Register of boys, 1933-1941
- Registers of boys and girls, 1863-early 1900s
The registers of Ballyneaner are in extremely poor condition with many pages missing. Because of this the names from the index pages, where they survive, have been input to help make up the gaps in the records. This database was compiled by Terry Eakin of New South Wales, Australia, and kindly made available for this website.
- Register of boys, 1867-1951
- Register of girls, 1867-1951
- Register of infant boys, 1872-1909
- Register of infant girls, 1870-1909
- Register of boys, 1872-1950
- Register of girls, 1872-1950
- Register of infant boys, 1872-1907, 1946
- Register of infant girls, 1887-1906, 1945-6
Leckpatrick National School
- Register of boys & girls, 1874-1941
- Register of boys, 1863-1903
- Register of girls, 1868-1913
- Register of infant boys, 1872-1906
- Register of infant girls, 1870-1906
Grange graveyard is situated in the townland of Grange Foyle about a mile south of the village of Bready. It was once the site of an Augustinian abbey, but all traces of this building have since disappeared. In the middle of the nineteenth century a new wall and arched gateway were constructed, probably using the last of the stone from the former abbey. The square keystone of the arch is inscribed as follows: ‘This wall and gate rebuilt by the owners of ground within A.D. 1865’. The earliest gravestone dates from 1630 and commemorates a Robert Granger. Three stones in Grange bear mortality symbols. These include a skull and crossed bones together with a bell, hourglass, coffin and spades. The three gravestones have the appearance of being the work of the one mason. On two of the stones the inscriptions have completely disappeared. On the third the date 1741 can be read and with some difficulty and a little imagination the name Hamilton is faintly discernible.
Old Donagheady Graveyard
Old Donagheady is situated in the townland of Bunowen not far from the village of Dunnamanagh. On the south side of the graveyard the ground falls away sharply to the Altinaghree Burn which flows into the Burndennet less than a mile away. The parish is said to have taken its name from St Cadinus, a companion of Columbanus and a missionary to the Morini, a tribe in what is now modern Belgium. This was the site of a medieval parish church. In 1622 this church was recorded as having ‘sufficient walls, but is uncovered’. Some time after this the church was repaired or rebuilt and used as a Church of Ireland church until 1788 when a new church was built about a mile away. The graveyard is roughly rectangular in shape and contains the remains of a church. The earliest datable gravestone is from 168? (the last digit is illegible). No name can be read, but the memorial is richly carved with mortality symbols. It also features a hand clasping a chalice suggesting that it may have been to a member of the clergy.
Old Leckpatrick Graveyard
Old Leckpatrick is located about half a mile north of the village of Ballymagorry, close. Leckpatrick means ‘flat stone of Patrick’. Tradition has it that Ireland’s patron saint founded the first church here, though this cannot be substantiated. Whatever the true origins of the site, there was a parish church here by c.1300. In 1622 the church was in poor condition and without a roof. Sometime after this it was repaired and used as a Church of Ireland church. In 1689 the church was burnt by some Jacobite soldiers, but was rebuilt shortly afterwards with the help of William King, Bishop of Derry. In the 1810s the church was abandoned when a new Anglican place of worship was built a few hundred yards to the south of it. Today all that survives of the church in Old Leckpatrick graveyard are barely traceable foundations. The earliest gravestone bears the date 1617 and is to a John Maghee, one of the first Scottish settlers in the area.
Names of 17th-century inhabitants of the parishes of Donagheady and Leckpatrick
The following sources contain the names of nearly 700 inhabitants of the parishes of Donagheady and Leckpatrick in the seventeenth century.
Settlers in the manor of Dunnalong, 1622
In 1622 the government commissioned a report into the progress of the Ulster Plantation. Landowners or their agents were required to present certificates to the investigating officials which stated the names of the tenants on their estates together with any building works that had been completed or were underway. The certificate for the manor of Dunnalong was presented by William Lynne, agent for the Abercorns who actually owned the manor. Lynne’s certificate listed the names of the five freeholders (those who held their farms in perpetuity) followed by those of the 22 leaseholders (those who held their farms for a defined period) in the manor. This is the earliest list of names of settlers in the Bready area.
- John Hamilton, gent., son of Patrick Hamilton, clerk, deceased
- Hugh Hamilton of Moyagh, gent.
- Hugh Hamilton of Lisdovin [Lisdivin]
- James Hamilton of Dowleter [Dullerton], gent.
- William Lynne of Londonderry, gent.
- Anderson, John
- Browne, Allan
- Deale, Hugh
- Edmiston, Willm
- Granger, Robt
- Gray, James
- Hamilton, Hugh
- Hamilton, James, gent.
- Hamilton, Margarette, widow
- Kennedy, John
- Lowry, John
- Lynne, John
- Miller, Robt
- Porter, Patrick
- Roberton, Alexr
- Robinson, John
- Simpson, Willm, sen.
- Smith, Andrew
- Sproule, Robert, sen.
- Sproule, Robert, jun.
- Sterling, Patrick
- Torrens, John
- Watson, Arthur
- Wilson, John
Muster rolls (1630)
A muster roll was a list of able-bodied men who were capable of military service. They were armed at their own expense. An extensive muster roll was carried out in Ulster in 1630. Listed here are the names taken from the muster rolls for the estates owned by Sir George Hamilton (the manor Cloghogall in the parish of Leckpatrick), the Countess of Abercorn (the manor of Dunnalong in the parish of Donagheady) and Sir William Hamilton (the manor of Manor Elieston in the parishes of Donagheady and Badoney).
Donagheady Poll Book (c.1662)
Only a few parishes in Ulster have surviving poll books, all of them in County Tyrone. Fortunately, Donagheady is one of these parishes (the others being Aghaloo, Termonmaguirk and Urney). These date from the early 1660s and list the names of those liable for the poll tax. The names are arranged by townland with the occupation of the taxpayer – usually farmer, servant or yeoman – noted and the amount payable. Poll tax was paid as follows: a gentleman 4 shillings; a yeoman or farmer 2 shillings, a servant or labourer 1 shilling, with the sum doubled if the individual was married. Some caution should be exercised, however, regarding these designations.
It also seems to have been the case that the grown-up children of yeomen and gentry were classified as servants so as to avoid paying the higher tax. For example, in Ardugboy (present-day Mountcastle) townland Archibald Galbraith and wife were classified as gentry, while a Christian Galbraith was listed as a servant. In all likelihood, however, Archibald was Christian’s father.
Hearth Money Rolls (1664 & 1666)
In the 1660s the government introduced a tax on hearths as a means of raising revenue. The returns, arranged by parish and usually with townland locations, list the names of all householders paying this tax survive for half the counties in Ireland with coverage most complete in Ulster. The hearth money rolls cannot be taken as a complete record of every household in the areas covered. There seems to have been considerable evasion, while for many houses of a less permanent nature occupied by Irish families no hearth tax was paid. The original hearth money rolls were destroyed in Dublin in 1922, but copies, in many cases typescript versions, had been made of much of them prior to this. For the parish of Donagheady there are two surviving hearth money rolls, one undated, but reckoned to date from c.1664 and the other from 1666. For the parish of Leckpatrick there is only a hearth money roll from 1666.
Until the late nineteenth century, the townlands in the Bready area, except for Grange Foyle, formed part of the Abercorn estate. A vast collection of records relating to the management of this estate is available in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland under reference D/623. Some of the more useful items have been digitised and indexes prepared of the names.
Abercorn Muster Roll (1745)
Fears that the Jacobite disturbances in Scotland would spread to the north of Ireland prompted the 8th Earl of Abercorn to instruct his Irish agents to compile lists of firearms in the manors for which they had responsibility. John McClintock drew up the list for the manor of Dunnalong, noting tenants by townland and the type and condition of each weapon possessed. It was his opinion that ‘the tenants have very few firearms in proportion to their numbers; in some large farms not one fit for service and what they have are generally old and not much to be depended on’. John Colhoun, who compiled the list for the parish of Leckpatrick (taking in the manor of Cloghogal) echoed McClintock’s views and commented to Abercorn that: ‘The owners for the most part have better spirits than firearms’. He merely made out a list of the tenants noting the condition of their firearms. The value of this muster roll lies in the fact that it covers an area for which the other traditionally used eighteenth century census substitutes, such as the census of Protestant householders of 1740 and the religious census of 1766, are not available. It also pre-dates by nearly fifty years the earliest complete Abercorn estate rentals.
Abercorn Tenants (1777)
This was the first large scale mapping of the Abercorn estate which included the names of tenants by townland. Names of tenants have been extracted from the manors of Cloghogal and Dunnalong.
Abercorn Rent Books (1794-1809)
These are the earliest surviving set of detailed rent books for the Abercorn estate. Names have been extracted from the manors of Cloghogal and Dunnalong.
Abercorn Leases (1835)
When his grandfather died in 1819, the 2nd Marquess of Abercorn was only eight years old. His own father had died in 1814. The young Marquess did not reach majority until the early 1830s and in the interim period the estate was managed by trustees, such as the earl of Aberdeen. On 31 January 1835 a new run of original leases was issued for farms in the Abercorn estate, all of which were for one life or twenty-one years. Forty-three leases were issued in the original run for the manor of Cloghogal, while fifty-one leases were issued for the manor of Dunnalong. The largest farm in either manor was leased by Robert Rolleston in Gortavea and covered just under 107 acres. The deeds of 1835 proved to be the last major run of leases issued on the Abercorn estate. The life on the leases was that of John James Hamilton Humphreys who died on 5 May 1890.
Leckpatrick Tithe Valuation (1826)
In 1823 the Tithe Applotment Act was passed, which stipulated that henceforth all tithes due to the Established Church (Church of Ireland) were to be paid in money rather than in kind. This necessitated a complete valuation of all tithable land in Ireland, the results of which are contained in the manuscript tithe applotment books for each civil parish. This database includes the names of tithe-payers from Leckpatrick extracted from the tithe applotment book for the parish of 1826. Donagheady is one of the small number of parishes for which there is no tithe applotment book.
Donagheady First Valuation (c.1835)
The First (or Townland) Valuation was primarily concerned with the agricultural value of land, but it also included details on houses valued at £3 or over (in 1838 this was raised to £5 or over). This database includes the names of householders extracted from the First Valuation field-books for the parish of Donagheady.
Donagheady & Leckpatrick Primary Valuation (1860)
The Primary Valuation of Ireland, better known as Griffith’s Valuation includes the following information: the name of the townland; the name of the householder or leaseholder; the name of the person from whom the property was leased; a description of the property; its acreage; and finally the valuation of the land and buildings. This database includes the names of all householders or leaseholders in the parishes of Donagheady and Leckpatrick.
Donagheady & Leckpatrick Wills (pre-1858)
Prior to 1858 the Church of Ireland was responsible for administering all testamentary affairs. The original wills were lost in the destruction of the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922. However, indexes to these destroyed wills do exist and are available in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, in addition to a large number of surviving abstracts and duplicate copies. Wills for the Bready area are included in the index volume for the diocese of Derry. There are also some wills for the district in the index to wills probated at the Prerogative Court which dealt with larger estates. The following database includes pre-1858 wills for the parishes of Donagheady and Leckpatrick from both the index to Derry wills and the index to Prerogative Court wills. If an abstract or duplicate copy of a will survives in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland the reference to it is provided.
Donagheady & Leckpatrick Pensions (1841 & 1851)
The old age pension was introduced on 1 January 1909 for those over seventy years of age. For many people born before 1864, when the state registration of births began in Ireland, it was necessary to refer to 1841 and 1851 census returns in order to prove their age and therefore entitlement to the pension. A volume based mainly on surviving old age pension claims was compiled by Josephine Masterson and is entitled Ireland: 1841/1851 Census Abstracts (Northern Ireland). This database includes the surnames and townlands for the parishes of Donagheady and Leckpatrick for which 1841/1851 census material survives from old age pension records. The page number refers to Masterson’s book where fuller information can be found.
Donagheady, Leckpatrick and Glendermot Flaxgrowers’ List (1796)
In 1796 as part of a government initiative to encourage the linen industry in Ireland, free spinning wheels or looms were granted to farmers who planted a certain acreage of their holdings with flax. This database includes the names of those who were named in the printed lists of applicants for looms or spinning wheels for the parishes of Donagheady, Leckpatrick and Glendermot (Clondermot).