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Timeline for the parishes of Kilrea & Tamlaght O'Crilly, 1700-1749.

Please refer to Note and References at bottom of page.
Return to Kilrea & Tamlaght O'Crilly timeline front page.

Sources; Comments; Links
The Mercers' Company leased the estate to one of the Jackson family of Coleraine. Kernohan (1912), pg. 19.
1690–1705 Attracted by cheap land and opportunities for trade, 50,000 people came to Ulster from Scotland. Kernohan (1912), pg. 22.
1693–1718 Philip Johnston, B.A., was schoolmaster of the parish school in Kilrea. The Bishop's Visitation Book, and the Kilrea Vestry Book, 1733-1876, cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 46.
Death of Father McErlean c.1700; burial in Tamlaght.
Research by Mrs. Kathleen Gillen; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 82.
early 1700s
The place where the Diamond would be constructed c.1760 was yet a barley field.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), "Reflections."
(1) In the registration of 1704, Father Henry O'Crilly was "resident at Tamlaght O'Crilly along with his nephew, Fr. Henry O'Crilly Junior, who is registered as in charge of the Grange of Agivey."
When, in 1704, the government registered priests, Father Henry O'Crilly was recorded as seventy years old, and the pastor of Tamlacht O'Crilly, Kilrea, and Desertoghill.
(3) Father O'Crilly was assisted by a friar named Patrick O'Hegarty.
(1) Parish of Greenlough (2006).
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pp. 80-81.
(3) Tamlaght O'Crilly: Greenlough. www.greenlough.com
Death of Father Henry O'Crilly, parish priest of Kilrea, Desertoghill, and Tamlaght O'Crilly.
Research by Mrs. Kathleen Gillen; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 82.

Note: Father O'Crilly's life span is cited as 1662-1712, which implies an age of fifty years at the time of death. However, this source also states that, "In 1704 he resided in Tamlaght and was 70 years old," which implies an age of seventy-eight years when he died in 1712.
(1) The Mercers' Company leased their lands to John McMullan, for 41 years at the annual rent of £420, with £6,000 fine.
(2) McMullan died just two years into the term of the lease. The estate ran into a state of neglect and disrepair. This, and the rack-renting, led many tenants to emigrate to America.
(1) Kernohan (1912), pg. 19; and, City of London Livery Companies' Commission (1884), pg. 11.
(2) The Fairy Thorn Revisited (1996), pg. 3.

See also the entry under 1718, "Then began the stream of emigration…"
A corn-mill was built at Lisnagrot.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pp. 15, 165.
This was a time of crop failures, high prices for provisions, smallpox, livestock diseases, sharp increases in rent, affecting all classes.
Miller & Schrier (2003), pg. 436.
"Then began that stream of emigration which extended through almost the whole century, and the valley of the Bann has the distinction of being the pioneer district in this fateful work. High rents, exaction of tithes, and religious persecution did their work; and masters of vessels returning from America gave great accounts of the advantages gained and progress made by those who had already ventured into New England. ... [M]any of the Aghadowey and Kilrea people departed, and with their leader, Rev. James McGregor, of Aghadowey, formed eventually the township of Londonderry [New Hampshire]."
Kernohan (1912), pp. 22-23.
Roger Hall was schoolmaster of the parish school in Kilrea.
The Bishop's Visitation Book, and the Kilrea Vestry Book, 1733-1876, cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 46.
  Harvest failures. "In 1727 the potatoes, the winter food, were consumed in two months, and with the linen trade in a depressed condition there was everything to drive the people to turn their belongings into money and cross the sea."
  "[T]he country was not quite settled. There were lawless men who were declared 'tories, robbers, and rapparees, out in arms, and on their keeping and not amenable to law.' One of these, Roger O'Cahan, of Kilrea, was proclaimed, with others, of burglariously entering and carrying off a woman in Drumcroon in order to marry her."
Kernohan (1912), pp. 25-26.

See also the entry under 1735-05-13, "Execution of Charles O'Cahan, ..."
Death of the Rev. Laurence Clutterbuck, rector of Kilrea (1675-1725) [i]. His will "shows him to have been possessed of a lease of the townland of Kilrea at his death. Rev. L. Clutterbuck died possessed of considerable wealth, most of which he bequeathed to his sons. His father (?), one of the Mercers, had obtained considerable estates in Tipperary from Cromwell. He owned some townlands near Kilrea. Laurence left to his wife, Mary Church, his leases of Kilrea and Gortmacrane." Note [i]: Church of Ireland.
Kernohan (1906).
(1) Corn very dear. Many hundreds perished. Emigration. Great rains and floods in 1729.
Fluxes and fevers were very prevalent.
(1) Walford (1879).
Principal Epidemic Diseases of Ireland (1832), pg. 397.

See also entry under 1736, "Waves of emigration to America..."

(1) The Rev. Matthew Clarke (1659-1735), Presbyterian minister of Boveedy, resigned his congregation. He emigrated to America. In January, 1733, he married the widow of the Rev. James McGregor.
(2) Upon his arrival in America, Rev. Mr. Clarke
"proceeded to New Hamphshire, where some of his own congregation had gone before him, and had already, under the Rev. James McGregor, formerly the Minister of Aghadowey, and his old neighbour and friend, formed the thriving township of Londonderry upon the Merrimac. When he reached the colony, he found that his friend McGregor had died on the 5th of March previously, and that Londonderry needed a Minister. At the request of the people, but without any formal induction, he took charge of the congregation, and at the same time gave instruction in the higher branches of education. He married McGregor's widow, as his third wife, educated his stepson, David McGregor, for the ministry, and although seventy years of age at his arrival in New England, yet he acted as pastor for six years. He died on the 25th of January, 1735. Many in the congregation had fought along with him in the great Ulster struggle of 1689, the congregation of Londonderry [New Hampshire] being composed almost entirely of Presbyterians who in hard times had gone to America out of Aghadowey, Kilrea, Ballymoney, and Coleraine."
(1) Miller & Schrier (2003), pg. 444. Note: Miss Jane Clark cited the year, 1725, in The Story of the Presbyterian Church at Kilrea, by Miss Clark (Londonderry: W. Gailey, 1897); cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 67.
(2) Witherow (1879), pp. 241-9.
The Rev. Robert Wirling was installed in Boveedy on 25th July, 1732. He lived in the manse in Drumagarner.
Kernohan (1912), pp. 59-60.
A small Roman Catholic chapel--the first in the Kilrea area, and only fifteen feet long--was built at Craigavole, in the parish of Desertoghill.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 80.
"[A] levy was made for the encouragement of a schoolmaster in the town of Kilrea, and Ezekial Richardson was the name of the one appointed."
Kernohan (1912), pg. 43.
Execution of Charles O'Cahan, for assisting Roger O'Cahan in breaking into the House of Mrs. Sarah Thompson.
Derby Mercury, 15 May 1735.
Link to transcriptions, including extract from The Political State of Great Britain (June, 1735).
Ezekiel Richardson was schoolmaster of the parish school in Kilrea.
The Bishop's Visitation Book, and the Kilrea Vestry Book, 1733-1876, cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 46.
Waves of emigration to America followed a series of crop failures, epidemics amongst livestock as well as the people, and the rack-renting imposed by the Mercers' Company, leaving just thirteen families in the town of Kilrea.
The Fairy Thorn Revisited (1996), pg. 3.
Kernohan (1912), pp. 27-28, cites the year, 1749.

See also the entry under 1727-1730, "Corn very dear. Many hundreds perished. Emigration, &c."
The Rev. Michael Sampson was the Protestant rector of Kilrea.
Ordnance Survey Memoirs.
1739-07-19 Horse races run at Kilrea, for prizes including a British shilling for every horse that started, a piece of fine linen cloths, a hunting saddle with stirrups and a bridle, and for the girls, a fine linen ruffled shift, with "a riband in the breast."
Belfast News-Letter, 13 July 1739.
Link to transcription.

1739–1742 (1) Potatoes destroyed by frost; wheat 42s. per kilderkin.
(2) "The frost commenced the 29th December 1739, and continued to the 8th February 1740, when famine and fever supervened, and made tremendous havoc among the people. The summers of 1738 and 1739 were wet, though in both years there was an abundance of provisions. The winter of 1739 and 1740 was excessively cold, with a most intense frost of seven weeks continuance, attended with high piercing winds at S.E. and N.E., the endemical winds of the season being W. or S.W.
"In the autumn of 1740, the potato crop having failed, there was a great scarcity of food, which bore double prices in many places. Fever and dysentery appeared over the whole country, and destroyed 80,000 persons. The years 1741 and 1742 were times of drought, dearth, and sickness, all over Ireland; so great was the mortality in the first year, that the roads were spread with dead and dying bodies, men were of the colour of the raw vegetables on which they fed: two, three, and often more, went on the same cars to the grave, and many were buried in the fields and ditches where they perished."
"In 1740 again famine was the moving power. The people were going at the rate of 12,000 a year, and it was estimated that in fifty years 200,000 had entered America from Ireland."
(1) Walford (1879).
(2) Ryan
(1832), pp. 398-9.
(3) Kernohan (1912), pg. 25.
"[F]amine and heavy emigration produced absolute declines in the numbers of Protestant households in Kilrea and Macosquin, … By contrast, between 1766 and 1831 Protestants in the same parishes enjoyed annual growth rates that were higher than the provincial average and higher than those for local Catholics, causing relative increases in the Protestant shares of their populations."
Miller & Schrier (2003), pg. 672.
The Rev. Mr. Wirling removed from Boveedy to 2nd Donagheady.
Kernohan (1912), pg. 59.
Hugh Morrison was schoolmaster of the parish school in Kilrea.
The Bishop's Visitation Book, and the Kilrea Vestry Book, 1733-1876, cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 46.
1744–1749 Mr. Alexander Cummings was ordained at Boveedy congregation on 22d May, 1744. He lived at the manse in Drumagarner.
Kernohan (1912), pp. 59-60.
(1) Approximately 130 men, of the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly, signed a memorial to the 1745 Rebellion in Scotland, in which they "pledged themselves 'in the most solemn manner' that they would every one of them to the utmost of their power and at the hazard of their lives and fortunes oppose all attempts against his Majesty's person and Government, and particularly that abominable and unnatural Rebellion then being carried on in favour of a Popish Pretender. ... And we do hereby promise and engage to arm ourselves for effecting the purpose of this our Association, the defences of ourselves, our religion and liberties, against Popery, France, and Arbitrary Power."
(2) After the battle of Culloden, one John McKinney fled Scotland and made his home in Kilrea.
(1) Kernohan (1912), pp. 28-29.
(2) The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 23.

Link to list of memorialists on Richard Torrens' Bann Valley genealogy web site. (Scroll about half-way down the page to the sub-heading, An Honourable Record of Loyalty.)

Note re (2): See also entry under 1793, "John McKinney's son..."
"There was a resolution of the Common Vestry in 1745 that Robert Orr was to 'build and scraw a schoolhouse.'"
Kernohan (1912), pg. 43.
The corn mill at Lisnagrot, owned by George Smyrll, was burnt.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 165.
The Rev. Andrew Blackall was the Protestant rector of Kilrea.
Ordnance Survey Memoirs.
Death of the Rev. Alexander Cumming, of Boveedy congregation.
Kernohan (1912), pg. 59.

Note: The Fairy Thorn (1984, pg. 68) cites the 9th November 1749 as the date of death.
The Rev. John Grifford was the Protestant rector of Kilrea.
Ordnance Survey Memoirs.
The rector of the parish of Kilrea [i] was the Rev. Michael Sampson. There were just 13 families in the village of Kilrea.
Note [i]: Church of Ireland.
Kernohan (1912), pp. 27-28. Note: The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 3, cites the year, 1736.
1749-10-31 to 1785
The Rev. John Smyth [not to be confused with his successor of the same name] was ordained the Presbyterian minister at Boveedy. He had married the widow of the Rev. Alexander Cumming.
Kernohan (1912), pg. 60.

Note: This timeline may not be copied, transmitted, or reproduced for profit or for gain--in whole or in part--in any medium, including web sites that ask for donations, feature advertisements, or link directly or indirectly to any commercial concern. Please use our Contact page to forward questions or suggestions.

  • Day, Angélique, and Patrick McWilliams, eds. Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland. Vol. XXVII. Parishes of County Londonderry VIII, 1830, 1833-7, 1839. East Londonderry. Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, in association with The Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 1994.
  • Great Britain, House of Lords and House of Commons. City of London Livery Companies' Commission, Report and Appendix, Vol. II. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1884.
  • Kilrea Local History Group. The Fairy Thorn: Gleanings and Glimpses of Old Kilrea. Coleraine: Impact Printing, 1984.
  • Kilrea Local History Group. The Fairy Thorn Revisited: More Gleanings and Glimpses of Old Kilrea, published by The Kilrea Local History Group. Coleraine, and Ballycastle, 1996.
  • Kernohan, J.W. "Notes on the Manor of Mercers, County Derry (1609-1660)." Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Vol. XXII, No. 1 (January, 1906), pp. 179-87.
  • Kernohan, J.W. The Parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly: A Sketch of Their History, With an Account of Boveedy Congregation. Coleraine: Chronicle Office, 1912. Transcribed by Barbara Braswell and Richard Torrens; posted to Richard Torrens' Bann Valley Genealogy web site, www.torrens.org.uk/Genealogy/Bann Valley/
  • Miller, Kerby A., and Arnold Schrier, eds. Irish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan: Letters and Memoirs from Colonial and Revolutionary America, 1675-1815. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Ryan, Michael, ed. "Principal Epidemic Diseases of Ireland." The London Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. I. London: Renshaw and Rush, 1832.
  • Sagart, Art. P. O'Raghallaigh. The Parish of Greenlough/Tamlaght O'Crilly: A Brief History (pub. 2006). Online at www.69thpa.co.uk/tamlaghtpdf.pdf (accessed 2015-01-17).
  • Tamlaght O'Crilly: Greenlough. "Our Parish History." http://www.greenlough.com/our-parish/our-parish-history/ (accessed 2015-01-25ff)
  • Walford, Cornelius. The Famines of the World: Past and Present. London: Edward Stanford, 1879.
  • Witherow, Thomas. Historical and Literary Memorials of Presbyterianism in Ireland, 1623- 1731. London: William Mullan and Son, 1879.
This page was edited on the 26th March, 2015.
© Alison Kilpatrick 2015