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County Down Genealogy
County Down Genealogy
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Family History
NOTES and Coats of Arms

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Finding Your Family in County Down This illustrated, well indexed book, was created exclusively to help you find your family in County Down, Ireland. Focusing specifically on families within the county, it includes an introduction to research and sources in Down. The most numerous families from birth records are given, as well as rather rare Down families found in heraldic records. Included you will find a full page county map from the Atlas of Ireland, along with a listing of modern parishes and old townlands, along with the address and location of records for more research. Published by the Irish Genealogical Foundation, this book was originally made for members researching in Down.

What this book does This work includes copies of actual records (some worn, torn and faded), from the IGF Library. It also includes rough sketches of family coats of arms and notes from centuries past - seldom found elsewhere. The resources provided here will help research any family in the county, including old Irish families, and settler families from England, Scotland, Wales and the continent. This book is a hands on guide for finding your family in Down - some family history is included - but it is not a gigantic collection of family histories . (For that see 'The Book of Irish Families, great & small', the first book in the Irish Families series by O'Laughlin.)

The Irish Families Project for Down The Master book to the 29 volume Irish Families series is 'The Book of Irish Families, great & small'. That book gives hundreds of family histories from County Down and the surrounding areas. "County Down Genealogy and Family History Notes", volume 14 in the series, expands upon that coverage with added families and new resources just for Down. (In this way both books can work together as a set if desired, or they may be used independently for research.)

Among the most numerous families here in the 19th century were:

Thompson (Thomson)
Smith (Smyth, Smythe),
Campbell (Cambell, Camble),
Martin (Martyn)
Patterson (Paterson, Pattersen)
Wilson (Willson)
Johnston (Johnson),
Murray (Murry),
Brown (Browne),
Robinson (Robenson, Robinsen),
Scott (Scot)
and Boyd.

The most noted old Irish families in Down were those of McQuillan, Mac Gilmore, O'Neill, Mac Cartan, O'Neill and Magennis. Other noted family that hailed from Down were Hill, Bradshaw, Savage, Fraser, Jackson, Taylor, Walker, Watson. Remember also that part of Belfast is contained in County Down as well.

Parish List for County Down The parishes in County Down as listed in this work include: Aghaderg, Annaclone, Annahilt, Ardglass, Ardkeen, Ardquin, Ballee, Ballyculter, Ballyhalbert or St. Andrew, Ballykinler, Ballyphilip, Ballytrustan, Ballywalter, Bangor, Blaris, Bright, Castleboy, Clonallan, Clonduff, Comber, Donaghadee, Donaghcloney, Donaghmore, Down, Dromara, Dromore, Drumballyroney, Drumbeg, Drumbo, Drumgath, Drumgooland, Dundonald, Dunsfort, Garvaghy, Grey Abbey, Hillsborough, Holywood, Inch, Inishargy, Kilbroney, Kilclief, Kilcoo, Kilkeel, Killaney, Killinchy, Killyleagh, Kilmegan, Kilmood, Kilmore, Knockbreda, Lambeg, Loughinisland, Maghera, Magheradrool, Magherahamlet, Magheralin, Magherally, Moira, Newry, Newtownards, Rathmullan, Saintfield, Saul, Seapatrick, Shankill, Slanes, St. Andrew or Ballyhalbert, Tullylish, Tullynakill, Tyrella and Warrenpoint. Some of these names have changed over time, just as Irish surnames did. The researcher should be aware of similar spellings and sounds when looking for a particular parish.

Table of Contents
List of Books, ISBN data..
Savage family from King James Irish Army List..

P a r t O n e
Introduction to Sources; Birth Index..
National Resource List .
Local Resource List...
Names in County Down

P a r t T w o
The complete existing returns from the 'census' of 1659,
also showing the methods of spelling family names and place names at that time in history. This census lists everything by parish; townland; and number of people, with a breakdown between English and Irish. For example in one townland the tituladoes names are given as Arthur Hill Esq., William and Conway his sonns, Arthur Parsons, gent.. The principal Irish names and their number are also given for each barony, in this barony the names of McBrinn, McCollogh, McCormack, O'Kelly, Martin, Magee, O Neale, and O Lawry are given, along with a head count for each family name.

The baronies included in this census are Lecale; Upper Iveagh; Newry; Kinalerty and Duffrane;Castellreagh or Castlereagh; and the barony of Ards. Please remember that the spelling of placenames and personal names have changed over time, so you may have to look closely at spellings.

P a r t T h r e e
Coats of Arms and Genealogical Notes.
Arms connected in some way to the county, as taken from the Irish Book of Arms. The original listings provide specific locations for families, and clues for future research..
Most of these arms were granted in the 1800's. The families given in this section include: Alexander; Andrews of Down; Annesley of Castle Willan; Barcroft of the Glen; Blacker - Douglas of Grace Hall; Blackwood of Claneboyle; Blundel; McCance of Knocknagoney; Dawney; Dawson of Port Arlington; De La Cherois of Donaghadee; Dr. Wm. Dixon; Dolling; Dunbar-Butler of Woburn; Echlin of Ardquin; Fitzgerald of Ardglass; Dr. John Garnet; Hamilton of Killyleagh Castle; Higginson of Carnalea House; Hill of Hillsborough; Houston of Grangefield; Innes-Cross of Dromantine; Kingan; Leslie of Banbridge; Maxwell of Ballyrolly; Meade of Burrenwood; Nicholson of Ballow; Nugent of Portaferry House; Price of Saintfield House; Rawdon of Moira; Richardson of Lisburn; Ross of Bladensburg; Sharman Crawford of Crawfordsburne; Percye Smith; Robert Stewart, Earl of Lononderry; Vaughan of Quilly; Vernon of Newry; Nicholas Ward of Castle Ward and Wilman Barrington of Ardglass.

P a r t F o u r
Finding Locations..
County Map.
Index of Place Names, ancient & modern.
A sampling of place names to assist in finding locations in the county, as taken from the Master Book of Irish Placenames. Included are modern parish names and townland names.


Families on the 4 Masters Map
What families were in the county in earlier days ? This might provide a clue to the locations of your family today. Here are some of the families given on the Map in the History of Ireland by the 4 Masters (Connellan translation. 2003, I.G.F.) E. = Earl, L.=Lord, C. = chieftain: Audley de Burgo, E. Copeland de Courcy, E. Fitzsimon Jordan de Lacy, E. Mac Cartan, L. Mac Genis, P. Mac Gilmore Mac Gowan Mandeville Martell O' Colgan O' Coltaran O' Connell Mac Rory, C. O' Cormac O' Donlevy, P. O' Florry O' Garvey, C. O' Hanvey O' Heoghy, C. O' Hoey, C. O' Kelly, C. O' Largnan O' Lawlor O' Lawry, Chief O' Longan O' Lynch O' Macken O' Mahon O' Moore, C. O' Moran O' Neill, L. O' Rogan O' Rooney le Poer Riddell Russell Savadge, L. Smyth Staunton, and White.

The Final Word A hands on guide to find your family within the county Down . New; Full size 8 1/2 x 11; 50 pages; heavier parchment type cover; lay flat binding; illustrations, some of which may appear faded with age as in the originals; County Map; Local Sources; Coats of Arms; and record extracts. Many families are given with family history notes, specific locations; coat of arms; and seats of power. Some are only mentioned. A must for any researcher. ( For a large collection of family histories within the county we also recommend "The Book of Irish Families, great & small", by O'Laughlin.)

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