Donegal Place Names
Part I of family heritage Sites.
How can they enrich anyone's history.
I. A Sense of Place. Donegal; for one branch - McConaghy
[Tyrone, for the Norman-British Hilliard-Brien]
Events in Donegal, Londonderry, the rest of Ulster, have deep roots, even in prehistory with the first Ui Neill, and ultimately the flight of Hugh O'Neill as part of the 1607 Flight of the Earls. His lands were redistributed to the English and other settlers. We are trying to find if our people were part of the Plantation, or there on their own.
At least the history files site affirms that the Scotti or Scoti were indeed Irish, although arrived early from elsewhere (Milesian? Even Scythian??). As raiders pushed into Ulster, the northeast, the Scoti themselves pushed into and raided and settled in Scotland. Surnames are on both sides of the Irish Sea. In Scotland we find our Maconochie clan, Meadowbank, County Edinburgy, originally Campbell of Inverawe, County Argyll, according toys John Burke's Encyclopedia of Heraldry or General Army of England, Scotland and Ireland. Some in the family find Maconochie through Robertson. Why care? The interest is a handle on history. Any topic that presents is a good organizing and self-teaching tool. For the Maconochie of Argyll, descendants of Duncan, see http://scotlandroadways.blogspot.com/2009/10/surname-roots-exodus-campbell-mcconaghy.html
2. "Plantation" Donegal.
There were English in Donegal, but the area never quite became a Plantation. See http://www.ulsterancestry.com/newsletter-content.php?id=26. Their role was to give some protection to other settlers, but a colony never materialized:
"*** Due in part to its wildness and inaccessibility colonists proved reluctant to attempt settlement. In addition, Sir Arthur Chichester described its native population as a "people inclined to blood and trouble". In 1619, Pynnar recorded of estate after estate that nothing was built and that there were no British tenants. [According to] one historian ... : "it was the pluck, skill and tact of hard-bitten, experienced soldiers such as Sir Henry Folliott and Sir Basil Brooke, that held Donegal quiet and so gave protection to the infant colony"..
Tracking family in Donegal, then is uncertain, as to loyalties of any generation at any time. There is a difference between claiming Scots and English heritage, since the original "Scots" were Irish back in the day; and being part of a Plantation-extension. We are sorting it out.
3. Geneology and ladies' names. Matriarchs disparu.
Patriarchy carries with it discriminations against others that, if pressed against men, would not be tolerated, and never had to. Men's names carry on with the property inheritance ramifications as that evolved; women disappear with their birthnames. And she did all that work bringing into the world five surviving sons for husband Matthew to take credit for.
For example, one Matilda Gray, Matriarch: wife of Matthew McConaghy who was born about 1780 and owned property known as Greenhills in Raphoe - Convoy, Donegal. See http://irelandroadways.blogspot.com/2011/09/donegal-raphoe-bucket-list-greenhills.html
- Matilda. No birthdate, no death date. She is forgotten. Was it her property, that Greenhills, that passed to Matthew with the marriage? No idea. Matthew lives on because his surname survives the system, and he had five sons carrying it on: David, Robert, Joseph (from whom we spring), John, Alexander, his name attaches easily. The name "Matilda" does recur, however, see St. Johnstone.
Matthew is supposed to be buried at Raphoe Churchyard, but no stone is now to be found, although it is noted in son David's will.
- Place names are listed with forbears in much family tree research. The Gaelic is interesting because "Gael" or "Gal" means "foreigner" or stranager. Donegal would be fort of the foreigners. The word comes from pre-Gaelic people who referred to the later Celts as foreigners or "Gaels". See http://www.irelandstory.com/geography/placenames.html. This ties the Gaels in with the Gauls, and is that the same time period as Caesar pushing the Gauls out of Rome's way?
- What were these places? With schools not teaching history and geography, start with your own family with your own children.
Raphoe History: See also the Library Ireland, Donegal site
A. Greenhills, Raphoe
1. Matthew McConaghy 1780 or 1785. We see no Celtic or Gaelic in that very English name. So, green hills.
2. Settlement history
Was this part of the earlier effort at Plantation, or other settlement? Apparently so. Part of Donegal also was included in Ulster, see Strabane, the Tyrone town that straddles the border, so English or Scots on both sides of the existing county line would be expected. For the Ulster Plantation itself, see http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/history/15981629.html
fair use, and note the cultural impact:
"*** In 1609 the English mapped out 4,000,000 acres of land and started gaving it out in 1610. Counties Down, Monaghan and Antrim were planted privately. Counties Derry and Armagh were planted with English. Counties Tyrone and Donegal were planted with Scots. Counties Fermanagh and Cavan were planted with both Scots and English..
The vast majority of the settlers were Scottish, as it turned out, and they brought with them a new form of Christianity, Presbyterianism, which was different from both Roman Catholicism and the Church of England, although it is classified as Protestant. They also brought new farming methods and a Puritan lifestyle. This made north-east Ireland culturally very different from the rest of the island.***"
3. Land designations
But see Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland Vol 3: p. 112. Raphoe was the name of a County, a Diocesan seat (we understand as to a Presbetery, but was it Episcopal? See also http://www.libraryireland.com/topog/R/Raphoe-Raphoe-Donegal.php,, That the area used to be called "Rathboth" . Raphoe is a barony, an old Gaelic designation, property area designation, see Rootsweb, and http://www.ballybegvillage.com/land_division.html; and a parish, and a post and market town. See again FN 2 here.
Greenhills: Greenhills - that turns out to be a house. It is "the last the [sic] residence of W. Fenwick, Esq." and one of three "seats" of a diocese -- of the Presbetery, we understand.
4. Ecclesiastsical underpinnings
Raphoe as an ecclesiastical site was founded in the 9th Century by a St. Eunan, a/k/a Adamnan, see http://www.bartleby.com/210/9/077.html, and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01135c.htm; long before the Roman branch of Christianity asserted its supremacy against the Irish Christians in the 11th-12th centuries. He also was a biographer of St. Columba, Columcille. How to find, out of dogma evolved since then, a real Eunan, or is there no difference.
- The evolution of Christianity's focus from early contemplative Irish, free-wheeling, individualized; to the Roman regimentation is seen in architecture as well as dogma. Rome focused on "crucifixion" and "cross."
- .Older Ireland had, of course, not. Ireland's Christians focused not on dogma and theology but living out The Life. Enter changes to church architecture with the Roman group: *** "rendering it [the church] perfectly cruciform." Cruciform is dogma, the new regime. See http://www.libraryireland.com/topog/R/Raphoe-Raphoe-Donegal.php
- Raphoe: After diminution of the Irish Christian contemplative tradition, there was a Roman-type institutional bishop here in 1203.
- St. Columba's work earlier was not necessarily to be seen as a monastery, as we think of those institutions; because he was not an institutional Christian. But apparently he founded some ecclesiastical setting. Rome shoved all earlier forms of Christian followers away, with its high centralization and conformity. In came Dominicans and Cistercians and centralized bishoprics took over, accountable to Rome, not the indigenous, local population structures.
5. McConaghys at Greenhills, Raphoe. Digging deeper.
Matthew's son, Robert, a farmer of Carrickbrack (carrick means rock in Gaelic, see http://www.irelandstory.com/geography/placenames.com) , Rooskey Upper. He married a Margaret Allen of Greenhills.
- What? Greenhills was supposed to have been Matthew's place, where, with one Matilda Gray, he had the five sons including Robert. Robert at the time was to have held 13 acres at Raphoe, and 30 acres at Kiltole.
- Our family also ties in to property known as Larkfield, where Rev. John, 1812-1881, another son of Matthew, died 1881 (records) and is buried 1882 (says the stone); Larkfield, Urney, Tyrone; and here we find another Margaret, see Google book, landed gentry of Ireland, Greenhills. Donegal. These odd sites are here by way of a marker for later. John did not marry a Margaret, he married Elizabeth Cunningham 1813-1898 of Ballyfatton Cottage, Strabane,
This was the homestead, as we would call it, of the first McConaghy we can document so far in our line -- Matthew born about 1780. Crests may establish the line.
- This McConaghy group that for us started at Raphoe - Convoy is not related, as was previously thought, to the Scots McConachie - Robertson group. The name McConaghy is not that common, but here the crests are different. The Scots McConachie is "hand with crown".
- This Matthew McConaghy a McConachie, us, (Matilda! Wife of Matthew! speak up!) has a crest that is different: comprised of the top half of a Scots male figure, not just hand with crown; and with a plaid over one shoulder, holding sheaf of arrows pointing down. The motto is, "By these we shine."
- This Matthew McConaghy group, if the crest reasoning is correct, is kin to the Campbells from Argyll, west coast of Scotland, extending down a southward peninsula and angling toward the north of Ireland. See Burke's heraldry at http://scotlandroadways.blogspot.com/2009/10/surname-roots-exodus-campbell-mcconaghy.html; and Atholl Highlanders at http://scotlandroadways.blogspot.com/2007/11/atholl-highlanders-blair-castle.html
James, a son of Matthew, owned 28 acres here in 1858. Brother Robert is also listed there
C. Tullydonnell Lower, 72 Acres.
David son of Matthew. Tulach means knoll, http://www.pbenyon1.plus.com/Misc/Etymology.html.
There also is Don - Celtic brown, or Dun fort. Donail Daniel. Tullach Donail, Daniel's Hill. Count five such names of Townlands (Townland: see FN 2). One is Tullydonnell Lower in Donegal.
See David McConnaghy, two 'n's for this property and at Ardvarnock Glebe, 40 acres, see 1870 Griffith's Valuation at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~donegal/raphoegv.htm
D. Ardvarnock Glebe, 40 acres.
David son of Matthew http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~donegal/raphoegv.htm
Glebe: a church "furlong" (measure of an area) or parson's "close", property of the church for the parson's residence, farm. Ard means a high place, Gaelic. This can be physically or in terms of status, importance. Ards peninsula, County Down, Some "Ard" words, however, are abbreviations of Atherdee, and Dee is the river. See Irelandstory site above.
Kil means a church, Gaelic. See also Kilkenny, Kildare, this from irelandstory site above.
Robert son of Matthew
Carrickbrack is near Strabane, that straddles the Donegal Tyrone border, see http://www.i-google-map.com/europe-map/ireland-map/county-donegal-map/carrickbrack-map/
Carrick, rock. Irelandstory.com. Brack: in breadmaking, a kind that specked with fruit, often soaked overnight, see http://www.sheridanrogers.com.au/2011/03/15/irish-brack/ Carrick brack. Bread hard like a rock? This site defines brack as the Gaelic for salt, the word now used for bread. Makes more sense. Rock salt?http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/32404/barm-brack-traditional-irish-bread
My mother was Marjorie McConaghy. What does the name mean?
Robert son of Matthew owned this property that sounds like it [cannot find this property].
In babynames, Marjorie means Pearl, child of light, jewel, from Gaelic and also French, add Hebrew and Latin for good measure, but how reliable is that. No derivations given? See http://www.babynology.com/otherorigins-marjorie-f33.html
Hee is apparently in the Gaelic dictionary from Manx. http://www.onelook.com/?lang=all&w=hee&loc=nophr; and http://www.visitisleofman.com/culture/; but seems to be an archaic form of "he". Marghera is part of Venice, including port, refinery.
III. DONEGAL - TYRONE BORDER
A. Ballyfatton Cottage, Urney, Tyrone
Rev. John, a son of Matthew, married in 1841 the daughter of Robert Torrens of Ballyfatton Cottage, Strabane. She was Elizabeth Cunningham, born 1813, died 1898.
Bally means "place of" from the Gaelic 'Baile na'. See irelandstory site above. It does not mean town. Few towns existed went the names attached.
Fatton. To feed for slaughter, to make fat, see http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/charles-annandale/the-imperial-dictionary-and-encyclopedia-of-knowledge-unabridged-etymological-a-hci/page-133-the-imperial-dictionary-and-encyclopedia-of-knowledge-unabridged-etymological-a-hci.shtml
Ok: Place where animals were fattened. Now Fatton is a common surname. Owner of the feedlot?
Rev. John and Elizabeth Cunningham had seven children: Elizabeth, Sarah, Margaret - married William McCrae, lied at "Grange", Willliam [became surgeon general, India, married Mary Birdwood], Martha who married her cousin, Matthew Allen 1861, John IMS India 184901907, buried at Exmouth, and Robert James MD?
This also was the home of James Torrens, Urney, father of wife of Robert McClure McConaghy, Glengeen Lodge, Trillick.
B. Glengeen Lodge, Trillick, County Tyrone
This is a manor house, built as a hunting lodge, and home, since the Flight of the Earls, of the family of William Brien, and father at age 38 of Louise Lucinda Brien. Flight of the Earls: Tyrone and Tyrconnell fled; leaving Ulster open and un-owned as far as the English were concerned, and the Plantation resulted. See http://www.theflightoftheearls.net/; and http://www.irishhistorylinks.net/History_Links/UlsterPlantation.html
Louise Lucinda, Louisa Lucinda, Lucinda Louisa. She was daughter of William Brien of Glengeen Lodge, Trillick, and Margaret Hilliard, a the daughter of a tradesman and his wife in Trillick. Margaret, at age 13, was part of the household staff at Glengeen Lodge where Mr. Brien lived and took her. He acknowledged paternity and apparently supported Margaret and my grandmother, born within the year. Margaret gave birth at 14 to Louise Lucinda, my grandmother. There are repercussions in any family. See Briens there at the 1910 Census, http://www.libraryireland.com/UlsterDirectory1910/Trillick.php
This doesn't address the 16 McConaghy families from Antrim, see Google book "The Scotch-Irish" (in various places)
Questions. Why do we focus on the bloodlines of the male. Where is the bloodline of the female, Matilda Gray, wife of Matthew McConaghy? We, for the detective in us, are setting up obscure posts for the lost women in geneologies.
A. Children of Matthew McConaghy born 1780. All surname McConaghy
1. David b. 1805, m. Ann who died July 8, 1872 (stone); David died Feb 21,1871
- No descendants
- TULLYDONNELL LOWER, 72 acres
- ARDVARNOCK GLEBE, 40 acres
- Charles b.1845; m. Elizabeth born 1847, in 1872 *
- Robert b. 1873; married in 1905 ______;
- Matilda E. b. 1843, d. July 26, 1863 (stone, St. Johnston)
- James Foster M.D. b. 1845, d. 1887. University of Glasgow 1887; M.A. 1867; M.D. 1875
- Robert MClure, Rev. b.______; m. Sidney Torrens, June 6, 1870 in SION MILLS, TYRONE; Sidney is daughter of James Torrens of Urney, BALLYFATTON COTTAGE. Farm.
- Joseph William Alexander b. May 30, 1871, at Ballyfatton Cottage, m._____, d._____
- James Torrens b. Nov 18, 1872, at Sion Mills, County Tyrone, m.____, d. _____
- Robert McClure b. June 9, 1876, in Derry; m. Louise Lucinda Brien b.______ in Trillick, County Tyrone; Aug.4, 1904 in NY (her father was William Brien of GLENGEEN LODGE, Trillick, Tyrone; her mother was Margaret Hilliard of Trillick). Home of Robert and Louise: New York
- Next generation omitted here because many still living
4. John b. 1812
- * Elizabeth b. 1847. m. Charles b 1845 , son of Robert [married her cousin Charles, son of Robert]
- Nil. No descendants.
FN 2 Land divisions in Ireland -
1. Provinces. There are four: Ulster (North); Leinster (East); Connaught (West); Munster (South). These are named from the ancient kingdoms Uladh, Laiaghean, Connaught, Mumha. There had been a fifth old kingdom, Meath, but that merged with Leinster. Two other old kingdoms, Aileach and Oriel, were integrated with Ulster in the 17th Century.
2. Counties. King John in 1210 started the county system
- King John's basic twelve: Dublin; Kildare; Meath; Louth; Carlow; Kilkenny; Wexford; Waterford; Cork; Kerry; Limerick; Tipperary.
- Add King's County and Queen's County in the reign of Queen Mary of England;
- Add Longford, Clare, Galway, Sligo, May, Roscommon, Leitrim, Armagh, Monaghan, Tyrone, Derry, Condgal, Fermanagh and Cavan in the reign of Elizabeth I.
- Antrim and Down have uncertain origins
- Wicklow was carved out of Dublin County in 1605.
- Note that some towns have the same name as the county: Dublin, Limerick, Cork.
These stem from ancient Gaelic land holdings. There are now some 325 baronies. In the 19th Century, the English turned these into civil divisions for the purpose of land valuations.
4. Parishes -
These could be ecclesiastical (Dioceses?) or civil or both. In the 19th Century, the civil parish was used for land valuations. The civil parish was generally smaller in size than the ecclesiastical and often had a different name. There are about 2002 civil parishes.
5. Townlands -
Townlands were small rural divisions of the civil parish were called Townlands. An average size may be some 350 acrea. In 1901, there were some 60,462 such townland areas.
6. Poor Law Unions -
In 1838, the Poor Law Relief Act was passesd, dividing the country into Unions or Districts where "local rateable" people were to be responsible financially for the care of paupers there. A Union may be a multiple of Townlands, perhaps with a radius of some 10 miles (estimate). One market town would be designated as the Center, and there the Poor House would be located. These are frequently still seen, but used for different purposes.