THE DONEGAL STRONG PUZZLE:
Significance of the Hamilton Family
Copyright © 2000, 2003 by David B. Strong
Updated to: Thursday, December 18, 2003
This web page is divided into several sections. Click on the section to which you wish to "jump": |
A HYPOTHESIS REGARDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HAMILTON FAMILY AND VARIOUS YEOMAN TENANT FAMILIES OF CO.DONEGAL:
HAMILTON OF BROWN HALL:
HISTORICAL EVENTS LIST:
RELIGIOUS CONFLICT, THE REFORMATION, & POLITICAL ACTS:
THE HAMILTON FAMILY OF LANARKSHIRE, SCOTLAND:
LINKING HAMILTON OF BROWNHALL TO SCOTTISH HAMILTONS:
HAMILTON OF FINTRAGH:
SOME SIGNIFICANT PLANTATION ESTATES:
FOOTNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY:
|IMPORTANT NOTE: At various points in this website, I may refer you to remote sites. Remember to BOOKMARK this site for easy return, and/or make use of the "back" function in your Web browser to get back to the main thread of this discussion.|
A hypothesis regarding the relationship between the Hamilton family and various yeoman tenant families of Co. Donegal: Some years ago Betty Ashley first suggested to me that there MUST be some relationship between the Hamilton Family and the various Strong, Spence and other collateral families of Donegal and Fermanagh. I have mulled that suggestion over often through the years and have never quite been able to puzzle it through. The more I have worked on this material, the more convinced I am that Betty Ashly is right! I am submitting the following hypothesis in the hope it will stimulate further comment and other possible leads:
|The Hamilton Family, one of the pre-eminent aristocratic families of Scotland, were overlords of some of the areas of Scotland in which the Strang(e)/Strong(e) family were to be found... eg., parts of Lanarkshire. They were religiously Catholic and resisted the Reformation. They were close confidants and advisors to the Stuart Kings and took the part of King Charles I in his attempts through Archbishop Laud to impose an episcopalian system of bishops on the Scottish Presbyterians. Certain Hamilton family members obtained lands in Ireland at the time of the Plantation, and subsequently members of the family, who came late to Protestantism, became established in Donegal as middlemen landlords on the lands granted to Trinity College Dublin as an endowment at the time of the Plantation. The suspicion exists that they recruited various of the families under study in the Donegal Strong Puzzle from their tenantry in Scotland and established them in Donegal as under tenants. There are some important clues to be found here concerning the origins of the various families (including the Strongs) of Donegal and Fermanagh. What follows is a discussion of certain findings re the Hamiltons which may be helpful in tracing these possible tenant family origins.|
|Note that much of the following discussion is taken from materials previously presented in "Researching Strong(e) and Strang(e) in Britain and Ireland", 2nd Edition (Rootsweb) by the present author. I hasten to add that while some of this may seem repetitive to those who have previously reviewed the "Researching Strongs" website and "book", I have hopefully taken the present essay beyond the previous material. While what is presented here is by no means conclusive, I think it may help us organize some of the material we have previously shared and puzzled over. I hope there may be some insights developed here which will help us all in our further research of the Donegal Bay community.|
Hamilton of Brown Hall, Co. Donegal.
An entry in Burke's Peerages concerns certain antecedents of the Earls of Erne:
"Abraham Creichton of Dromboory, on Lough Erne, settled in Ireland before 17 August 1616..." His son Abraham "...was
High Sheriff of Co. Fermanagh, 1673, M.P. for Co. Fermanagh 1692, and for Enniskillen 1695, was celebrated for his
successful defence of Crom Castle against King James Army. The younger Abraham died in 1702, leaving:|
-his son James married Hester, daughter and co-heir of James Hamilton of Manor Hamilton.
-his daughter Jane married John Hamilton of Brown Hall, Co. Donegal and left issue." 1= (Estates#14)}
Query, who was "James Hamilton of Manor Hamilton", and where was Manor Hamilton located? [Editor's Note: In a Message from: Patty Horton to: Dave Strong dated Friday, December 15, 2000 9:17 PM, she advises "...you ask where is Manor Hamilton. There actually is a town called Manorhamilton in Co. Leitrim. I drove there from Ballyshannon -- an easy drive. I was seeing the sights along the way and back. All done easily in a day, with time left over for dinner back in Ballyshannon. So you see it was very close by. There were ruins of a castle there." Patty Horton's message leaves me wondering if Manor Hamilton was held by the Abercorn branch of the Hamiltons'. Also, I am wondering if the castle was perhaps another of those locations held as strong points by the Anglo-Scots in the 1641 Rising and during the 1689 Revolution.... The questions keep coming as fast as answers are found!!!! It is interesting the town and castle are in County Leitrim. There are very few records in the Irish Strong Database regarding any Strongs per se in Leitrim... and those records are from circa 1860.... As far as I am aware, there was little direct contact between the Donegal Bay community and Leitrim, even though it modernly is rather close; so I suspect a different history for the Hamilton's et al in Leitrim.]
Setting that question to one side, we look next at an entry in Sir Bernard Burke's "A Genealogical and Heraldic History
of the Landed Gentry of Ireland", 10th Edition (1904, at pp. 242-3) shows, in part, the following re the lineage of the
Hamilton's of Brownhall, Co. Donegal: "Lineage-- John Hamilton, of Murvagh, who removed the family residence from
Murvagh to Brownhall in 1687 m. Jane, dau. of Col. Abraham Creighton (ancestor of the Earl of Erne) [in County Fermanagh]
and d. 1706 leaving with other issue,|
1. James, of whom presently.
2. Abraham, b. 1693; d. 1775.
1. Jane, b. 1683, m. Andrew Cunningham, of Mount Pardise, Co. Donegal.
2. Hester, b. 1701; m. Richard Nesbit, of Woodhill, County Donegal..."
|The alliance between Hamilton of Brown Hall and the Earls of Erne, discussed above, would have been circa 1697-1720. In the "Memoirs of John Hamilton" there is found an "editors note below": "Brown Hall had been in the possession of the Hamilton family since 1697." 2= (Estates#15)} From the entries in Burke's, it is obvious there was a close relationship between the Hamilton family and the Earls of Erne, and it is apparent the Hamilton Family must have done something well in order to be in possession of estates in County Donegal, and probably long before 1697. In this discussion we will explore the origins of the Hamilton Family in County Donegal, in the hope knowledge of these origins will shed light on the questions raised in The Donegal Strong Puzzle by the present author.|
|Counties Donegal and Tyronne were heavily settled by the Scots; Fermanagh and Cavan were settled by people from the borderlands of England and Scotland; Armagh and Derry with English. Those who settled in Down and Antrim came primarily from the counties of Ayr, Renfrew, Wigton, and Lanark in Scotland. Only Monaghan remained truly Irish, with only one successful settlement being made there. Those Ulster counties planted primarily with Scots continued to show a predominance of Presbyterianism, while those counties settled by the English were normally those in which the episcopal Church of Ireland flourished. 3= (Rebels#29)} Yet, we know, that in common with the English settlers of Tirhugh barony, County Donegal, the Scots settlers of Boylagh and Bannagh largely adhered to the Church of Ireland rather than Presbyterianism. There is an apparent anomaly here... but it may be explained by examining some history regarding the Hamilton Family, their close relatives, and their tenants.|
Historical Events List:
One should note briefly a few seminal events in the historical sequence discussed in this article: |
1609-1641: The Plantation of Ireland, initiated by King James VI and I
1641-1642: The Rising of 1641 by the native Gaelic Irish
1646-1649: The English Civil War, ending with the beheading of King Charles I
1649-1659: The Commonwealth era, under the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell
1660-1689: The Restored Stuart Monarchy of Kings Charles II and James II.
1691-1702: Battle of The Boyne completes "The Glorious Revolution of 1689", and establishes the reigns of King William III and Queen Mary.
1703-1798: A century of peace in Ireland, during which the planted Protestant Ascendency ruled economically, socially, and politically.
1798-1815: The Napoleonic Wars, including the British-American War of 1812
1816-1841: Hamilton Family estates at St. Ernan's and Brown Hall
1842-1880: The Great Potato Famine and political movements to reform Irish Land Tenure, economics and society.
See how some of this chronology works into the Framework for the Donegal Strong Hypothesis.
The Religious conflict resulting from the Reformation, manifested in Political Acts:
Religious affiliations of the "House of Hamilton":|
It is now appropriate to consider some collateral evidence concerning the main line of the Hamiltons as descended from JAMES, 2nd Lord Hamilton or [1st]Earl of Arran, by his 2nd wife, Mary Stewart, daughter of King James II of Scotland. It will be remembered that these descendents included James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton (1606-1649). The first duke of Hamilton was a boyhood companion and close advisor to King Charles I. His role in the disastrous course of Charles' negotiations with the Scots in the run up to the English Civil Wars has been closely and critically examined in "The Great Rebellion: The King's Peace 1637-1641", by C. V. Wedgewood, Collins Publishing Co., London, 1955. Without extensively reviewing that work here, suffice it to say that the Duke of Hamilton is not portrayed favorably. He apparently was "in over his head" in trying to negotiate on behalf of King Charles; at times was duplicitous; perhaps grasping; and while Wedgewood does not come right out and say so it is implied he may have been a "closet Catholic"... he was a member of the circle of close friends surrounding Charles' French Catholic Queen, Henrietta Maria. He was certainly unable to negotiate effectively with the Scottish Presbyterians on behalf of the king. Ultimately, he lost his life in behalf of the king, being executed on 9 March 1649, having being defeated by Oliver Cromwell and taken prisoner following the Battle of Preston. See also Encylopaedia Britannica (1959) "Hamilton", Vol.11, p. 126 .
|Certain things happened in Ireland during the Commonwealth which are of interest to us. Cromwell took power in Ireland and crushed dissent early in his regieme. Then, he acted to satisfy the claims of his soldiers by parceling out lands in various counties in Ireland to officers and soldiers in the "Roundhead" armies. Insufficient research has been done to this point for us to have any insights into the effect this parceling out of lands may have had on Boylagh & Bannagh, Tirhugh, and Lurg. However, we do know that Cromwell's Commonwealth Protectorate was of relatively short duration... about ten years, ending with his death in 1658, and an abortive attempt on the part of his loyalists to install Cromwell's son as his successor. It was not long before there was a decisive movement to restore the monarchy, which culminated in the reinstatement of King Charles II, in the "Glorious Restoration" of 1660.|
Following the Restoration of the Monarchy, in 1661, the Corporation Act provided that, besides taking the oath of
allegiance and supremacy and subscribing a declaration against the
"Solemn League and Covenant" ,
all members of corporations were within one year after election to receive communion according to the rites of the Church of
England. This act was followed by the Test Act of 1672, the immediate consequence of the king's declaration of indulgence
dispensing with laws inflicting disabilities on Nonconformists. This act enforced upon all persons filling any office,
civil or military, the obligation of taking the oathes of supremacy and allegiance and making a declaration against
transubstantiation. 4= (Rebels#21)} Transubstantiation was or is a Roman Catholic doctrine which held that the eucharistic elements
at their consecration become the body and blood of Christ while keeping only the appearances of bread and wine. 5= (Rebels#22)}
An act requiring all Presbyterian ministers appointed during the period when patronage was abolished to get presentation from their patrons and institution from their bishops was applied in the west of Scotland in such a way that 300 ministers left their manses. Their places were filled with less competent men whom the people did not wish to hear, and so conventicles began to be held, in the open air and fields, and against the rule of the law. The attempts to suppress these, the harsh measures taken against those who attended them or connived at them or refused to give information against them, the military violence and the judicial severities, the confiscations, imprisonments, tortures, expatriations, all make up a dreadful narrative. 6= (Rebels#23)}
Indulgences issued by the king, waiving certain aspects of the Rescissory acts, were tried and were successful in bringing back about 100 ministers to their parishes, and introduced a new cause of division among the clergy. On the other hand, the Covenanting spirit rose higher and higher among the persecuted until armed risings took place and formal rebellion of a handful of desperate men began against the ruler of the three kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland. 7= (Rebels#24)} There followed 25 years of brutal repression, during which the more extreme Covenanters rose three times in rebellion. Ultimately in the Sanquhar Declarations, the dissenters renounced allegiance to the king whom they viewed as a perjured tyrant (Charles II having pledged himself to the National Covenant when seeking to regain his throne during Cromwell's regime). 8= (Rebels#25)}
The first rising came late in 1666, when the western insurgents marched upon Edinburgh. They were easily defeated at Rullion Green, in the Pentland Hills. 9= (Rebels#26)} Following their defeat, one Christopher Strang was apparently beheaded in Edinburgh, December 7,1666. 10= (Rebels#27)} Along with those of his fellow martyrs, his head was apparently sent to Lanarkshire and mounted on a pike as a warning to other covenanters. The following inscription appears on a gravestone in the churchyard of Hamilton, in Lanarkshire, Scotland, lying above the heads of John Parker, Gavin Hamilton, James Hamilton, and Christopher Strang: 11= (Rebels#28)}
Stay, passenger, take notice what thou reads,
It was this type of repression that, together with economic poverty in 17th century Scotland that led many Scots to emigrate to Ulster. While the repression was ongoing in Scotland, there was relative freedom of worship in Ireland. Thousands of Scots from the Lowlands emigrated to Ulster throughout most of the century. Was there a relationship between these Scots refugees and the earlier settlers of the Plantation Period? Note the surnames Hamilton and Strang, which appear in the epitaph quoted above. Were these martyrs related to our Donegal Strongs and Hamiltons? Was "Gavin Hamilton" the Gavin Hamilton to be found in the Kingsford Pedigree below? Was either of the martyred Hamiltons a son or other relative of the Scottish Lord John Hamilton of Belhaven and Stenton? We don't know the answers to these questions. Before we can even begin to address these questions, we need to know more about the Hamilton Family and their relations with certain families of the Ascendency and their Yeoman Tenants. What follows is an attempt to clarify and set out some of the necessary background and these relationships.
|Overview of the Hamilton Family of Lanarkshire, Scotland: The roots of the Hamilton Family lie in "Hamilton, a large burgh of Lanarkshire, Scot., situated about 1 mile from the junction of the junction of the Avon water with the Clyde and 11 miles S.E. of Glasgow by road over Bothwell bridge. .... Hamilton, which is crossed by many winding burns, is flanked on the east side by the Hamilton Low parks and by alluvial haughs. The area has been settled since prehistoric days, the original capital of the parish being Cadzow castle, now about 2 miles S.E. on a precipitous rock, 200 feet in height, washed by the Avon. After a charter of 1445, it was renamed after the 1st Lord Hamilton, and became a burgh of barony in 1456 and a royal burgh in 1548, this last dignity being surrendered in 1670 when it was made the chief burgh of the regality and dukedom of Hamilton.... " Encylopaedia Britannica (1959), "Hamilton", Vol.11, p.129.|
|"...The first authentic ancestor of the Hamiltons is one Walter FitzGilbert, one of the witnesses (Jan.10,1295) to a charter by James, the high steward of Scotland, to the monks of Paisley; in 1296 his name appears in the Homage Roll as Walter FitzGilbert of "Hameldone". He joined the English party, but after Bannockburn went over to (King Robert the) Bruce, was knighted and subsequently received the barony of Cadzow...|
|"Sir David FitzWalter FitzGilbert, who carried on the main line of the Hamiltons was taken prisoner at Neville's Cross (1346).... His son David succeeded in the representation of the family, Sir John Hamilton of Fingaltoun was ancestor to the Hamiltons of Preston, and Walter is stated to have been progenitor of the Hamiltons of Cambuskeith and Sanquhar in Ayrshire. David Hamilton, the first apparently to describe himself as Lord of Cadzow, died before 1392, leaving four or five sons, from whom descended the Hamiltons of Bathgate and of Bardoweie, and perhaps also of Udstown, to which last belong the lords Belhaven. [Editor's emphasis added; see reference below]. Sir John Hamilton of Cadzow, his eldest son, was twice a prisoner in England. John Hamilton's two younger sons are stated to have been founders of the houses of Dalserf and Raploch. His eldest son, James Hamilton of Cadzow, like his father and great grandfather, visited England as a prisoner, being one of the hostages for the king's ransom. From him the Hamiltons of Silvertonhill and the lords Hamilton of Dalzell claim descent.... Encylopaedia Britannica (1959), "Hamilton, the name of a famous Scottish family", Vol.11, p.120.|
|Note the mention of Hamilton of "Udstown", elsewhere here also noted as "Udston" or "Udstone". This appears to be the lineage in which we are interested. Despite the frequent references in various articles and books to the Hamilton Earls of Abercorn in Ireland, that is a distinctly different Hamilton lineage, even though they are related back in Scotland. See further mention of the Hamilton Lords Belhaven and Stenton, below. First, however, we will continue our examination of the Hamilton's of Scotland.|
|"The extinct Scottish title of the Earls of Arran (not to be confused with the modern Irish earls of Arran from the Arran Island, Galway), was born by some famous characters in Scottish history. With (two exceptions) all the holders of this title were members of the Hamilton Family.|
|"James Hamilton, 1st earl (1475?-1529), son of James, 1st Lord Hamilton, and of Mary, daughter of James II of Scotland, succeeded to his father's titles and estates in 1479. In 1503 he negotiated the marriage of Kings James IV with Margaret Tudor (sister of King Henry of England) and was created earl of Arran.... (in the feuds of the years from 1517-1529, Arran supported now one party, now another...). He died in 1529.|
|"James Hamilton, 2nd earl of Arran and duke of Chatelherault (in France) (1515?-1575) became heir presumptive to the throne on the death of James V, and the accession of Mary, and was appointed protector of the realm. After arranging for a marriage between Mary and Prince Edward (afterwards Edward VI of England), he suddenly joined the French party (amongst the Scottish aristocracy), repudiated the proposed English marriage and repudiated Protestantism. After a first resistance he agreed to share the regency with Mary of Lorraine. The repudiation of the English alliance brought war with England, and the Scots were defeated at (the battle of) Pinkie. He then agreed to the marriage of Mary with the dauphin of France, and in 1554 resigned office. In 1559, however, he joined the Lords of the Congregation and became one of the provisional governors of the kingdom. He was in disgrace and exiled from 1564 to 1569, but on her abdication Mary named him one of the regents for her son James VI, and he returned to Scotland to support the queen's cause. It was not until 1573 that he admitted James VI's authority and laid down his arms. He died Jan. 22, 1575.|
|"James Hamilton, 3rd earl (1537-1609), was intended by his father to marry Mary, Queen of Scots. Later on Henry VIII (of England) promised the hand of his daughter Elizabeth as the price of the adherence of Hamilton's father to the English interest. He was immersed in the political factions of the time in Scotland.... In 1561 he showed signs of insanity and the rest of his life was spent in confinement. He died in 1609.|
|"During the insanity of the 3rd earl, his honours were claimed, and for a short time enjoyed by James Stewart, his cousin, known as earl of Arran from 1581 to 1586.... (Stewart's tyranny and insolence, however, stirred up a multitude of enemies and caused his rapid fall from power.... His unscrupulous and adventurous career was terminated toward the close of 1595 by his assassination....)". Encylopaedia Britannica (1959), "Arran, Earls of", Vol.2, p.427.|
|".... James, second earl of Arran (see above) son of the first earl by his second wife, Janet Beaton, was chosen governor to the little Queen Mary, being nearest of kin to the throne though his grandmother, though the validity of his mother's marriage was by no means settled. He received (1549) the duchy of Chatellerault in France. He was succeed in the title in 1579 by his eldest son James who became insane, his brother John, afterwards first marquess of Hamilton, administering the estates. From the third son, Claud, created a lord of parliament as Baron Paisley (1587), descends the duke of Abercorn, heir male of the house of Hamilton.|
|"The first marquess of Hamilton had a natural son, Sir John Hamilton of Lettrick, who was legitimated in 1600 and was ancestor of the lords Bargany. His two legitimate sons were James, 3rd marquess and first duke of Hamilton, and William who succeed his brother as 2nd duke and was in turn succeeded under the special remainder contained in the patent of dukedom, by his niece Anne, duchess of Hamilton, who was married in 1656 to William Douglas, earl of Selkirk. The history of the descendants of this marriage belongs to the great house of Douglas, the 7th duke of Hamilton becoming the male representative and chief of the house of Douglas, earls of Angus. Claud Hamilton, Baron Paisley, had five sons, of whom three settled in Ireland, Sir Claud being ancestor of the Hamiltons of Beltrim and Sir Frederick, distinquished in early life in the Swedish wars, being ancestor of the viscounts Boyne.|
|"James, eldest son of Lord Paisley, was created in 1603 lord of Abercorn, and in 1606 earl of Abercorn and lord of Paisley, Hamilton, Mountcastell and Kilpatrick. His eldest son James, 2nd earl of Abercorn, eventully heir male of the house of Hamilton and successor to the (French) dukedom of Chatellerault, was created in his father's lifetime lord of Strabane in Ireland, but resigned this title in 1633 in favour of his brother Claud, whose grandson, Claud, 5th Lord Strabane, succeeded eventually as 4th earl of Abercorn. The 8th earl of Abercorn, who was summoned to the Irish house of peers in his father's lifetime as Lord Mountcaslte, was created a peer of Great Britain 1786 as Viscount Hamilton of Hamilton in Leicestershire, and renewed the family's connection with Scotland by repurchasing the barony of Duddingston and later the lordship of Paisley. His nephew and successor was created marquess of Abercorn in 1790, and was father of James, 1st duke of Abercorn." Encylopaedia Britannica (1959), "Hamilton", Vol.11, p.120-121.|
|"Abercorn, James Hamilton, 1st Earl of (c.1575-1618), was the eldest son of Claud Hamilton, Lord Paisley (4th son of James, 2nd Earl of Arran, and Duke of Chatelherault), and of Margaret, daughter of George, 6th Lord Seton. He was made sheriff of Linlithgow (Scotland) in 1600, received large grants of lands in Scotland and Ireland, was created in 1603 Baron of Abercorn and on July 10, 1606, was rewarded for his services in the matter of the union (of Scotland with England under King James VI of Scotland and I of England) by being made Earl of Abercorn and Baron Hamilton, Mount Castle and Kilpatrick. He married Marion, daughter of Thomas, 5th Lord Boyd, and left five sons, of whom the eldest, Baron of Strabane, succeeded him as 2nd Earl of Abercorn.|
|"Abercorn, James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of (1838-1913), British politician, born on Aug. 24, 1838, succeeded his father the 1st Duke, in 1885. ... The duke became a member of the household of the Prince of Wales (afterwards Edward VII). He was a strong supporter of the Unionist Party in the House of Lords, and was chairman of the British South Africa Company. He died in London on Jan. 3, 1913." Encylopaedia Britannica (1959), "Abercorn, James Hamilton", Vol.1, p.34-35.|
|The Lords Belhaven and Senton: Nigel Trantor, a noted Scottish author of historical fiction, is known to have a highly respected body of factual research underlying his novels. Unfortunately, he does not provide a bibliography or footnotes to his writing. However, the following quote from his "The Patriot", 1982, published in paperback by Hodder and Stoughton, Ltd., 338 Euston Road, London, NW1 3BH, at page 15, has the ring of authority:|
"John Hamilton, first Lord Belhaven and Stenton, was now  in his early seventies, and frail. But the spirit still burned brightly in that stooping frame and glowed intensely in the blue eyes deep-set in the hawklike face-- and his had been a vehement spirit indeed. He had been one of the late King Charles's most bold and vigorous cavaliers, fought on many Civil War battlefields, languished in sundry prisons and escaped, and attempted an audacious rescue of his imprisoned monarch at Carisbrooke. After his sovereign's execution, with Cromwell's bloodhounds after him, he had actually feigned death for seven years. With a brother and two servants he had made to cross the great tidal Solway Sands on his way back to Scotland, but had never reached the northern shore, the others bringing only part of his clothing, to sorrowfully announce his lordshiop's death in the treacherous sinking sands. In fact he had returned to England and gone to work as a simple gardener, at a small manor-house, for those dangerous years of the Common-wealth, until the present monarch's glorious Restoration allowed him to return home in 1660. His only son had died; and he had persuaded the grateful Charles the Second to redestine his peerage to be heired by the young man he had chosen to marry his grand-daughter, Margaret-- a kinsman, Johnnie Hamilton, eldest son of Lord Presmennan, of Session, which kept lands and title nicely in the family. His lordship, of the main Hamilton line, was the son of two Hamiltons, the grandson of four Hamiltons, had married a Hamilton and seen his daughter married to another. His wife long dead, now he lived with his grand-daugher at Beil."Later in the book, Lord Belhaven and Stenton takes his stand with one Andrew Fletcher, the Presbyterian "Patriot" lawyer and member of the Scottish Parliament who fought long and hard against the union of Scotland and England, an event which ultimately did occur in 1707.
|Now, if Trantor is believed, there are a few insights to be gained here. First, John Hamilton, first Lord Belhaven and Stenton, politically aligned with the Presbyterian dissidents against union with England, would have been born about 1605, to be in his early 70's in 1678. Further, his politics would have arrayed him against the interests of King Charles II's supporters of the Union. By his age and situation, it also was certainly NOT him who was the John Hamilton of Murvagh who removed therefrom to Brown Hall circa 1687. Indeed, in the "Kingsford" descendency below, this Lord Belhaven and Stenton is said to have died in 1679. Second, the John Hamilton of Murvagh MAY have been related to the Belhaven and Stenton lineage, Hamilton of Udston, but by descent from an earlier member, possibly a cousin of the first Lord Belhaven and Stenton. Third, "Johnny Hamilton", Lord Belhaven's heir, was otherwise occupied in the time frame.... so he was not "of Murvagh" either. Fourth, the nagging question arises, "was either of the martyrs Gavin Hamilton or John Hamilton, the previously deceased brother, uncle, brother-in-law, and/or son of Lord Belhaven and Stenton? Is this one of the reasons for his political alignment as portrayed by Nigel Trantor in "The Patriot"? So, we need to look more closely at Hamilton of Udston. This has yet to be accomplished. Any interested researcher would be welcomed indeed!|
|As long as one is exploring Scottish connections, it would be well to explore more thoroughly the background of Christopher Strang who was beheaded with Gavin Hamilton and John Hamilton in 1666. Lord Belhaven and Stenton most likely would in any event have been well aware of the beheading... and there may well be an alternative connection by extended family between Lord Belhaven and the same Gavin and John Hamilton. I can only suggest there is an apparent Scots-Irish concurrence of certain "first names" amongst certain Strangs discussed by the late John R. Mayer in "Strange of Balcaskie", 2nd Edition, Arapacana Press, occuring in the discussion of "Strang of High Church" at pps. 107ff; including of particular interest, Mathew Strang, John Strang, Cuthbert Strang, and a Christopher Strang. The latter name appears at page 113, in the person of one Christopher Strang, son of Allexander Strang and Agnes Wilsoun, baptised at High Church, Glasgow, Lanark, on Thursday, 13 December 1666. The date is striking in juxtapostion with the date of beheading of the martyred Christopher Strang! Could this be an acknowledgment of a relationship by the parents of the child newly baptised? And, the names Mathew Strang, Cuthbert Strang, and John Strang all appear in the early records of Ulster... particularly in Counties Tyrone and Down.... indicating not only a possible connection with the Tynan Abbey Stronges, but, also with the Strongs of County Donegal, in close association with John Hamilton of Fintra Townland, Killybegs parish (see below), John Hamilton of Murvagh and Brown Hall, and the Gavin Hamilton mentioned in the same lineages (charted below).|
Linking Hamilton of Brownhall to the Scottish Hamiltons:|
Trying to trace the links between the Hamilton Family of Brown Hall, Tirhugh Barony, Co. Donegal, Ireland to the established records of the foregoing Hamiltons is difficult. The Hamiltons of Brown Hall apparently spring from a junior lineage, and even members of that family who have attempted to trace their lineage seem to have some doubts concerning the direct links. While we will spend some time now exploring certain materials ultimately provided by the Hamilton Family of Brown Hall, later we will explore some material which will suggest the family dates it's appearance in County Donegal to about 1619, and a certain line we will refer to as "Hamilton of Fintra (or Fintragh)".
|In July, 1990, Betty Ashley forwarded copies of certain materials gathered by her regarding the Hamiltons of Brown Hall. Among those materials were photocopies prepared for her by Bernard Egan, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal, from a then recently published book containing a section regarding certain members of the Hamilton family, entitled "Drumhome". Unfortunately, the actual book was published in limited numbers and Betty Ashley was unable to obtain a full copy. Some of what follows is based on reproduction and interpretation of the fragmentary copied material provided by her. Note, it is not clear to the Editor here whether Egan's "Drumhome" material represents a Reprint of earlier information provided by John Stewart Hamilton (b.Aug., 1864-d.after 1946) in his book "My Times and Other Times", or whether it represents independent research. We need to know more about this.|
At pages 46-49 of the material, apparently from a book entitled "My Times and Other Times" written by John Stewart Hamilton,
provided by Betty Ashley, there is a discussion entitled "History of the Hamiltons",
It is quoted in part here:|
"... there seems to be no reliable record (of our history) except that we "came up from Murvagh about 1690". The Murvagh mentioned is not the old Rectory, but seems to refer to old walls or their ruins on the Warren. There certainly must have been someone, whether our family or not living here, long before that. There is much general evidence of this. There is an old description of the place written, my father told me, about 1700 which speaks of a fine avenue of lime trees which couldn't have been much under 100 years old (at that time). There is also mention of walls, a deerpark, etc., etc., which could not have been built in ten years [Editor's Notes: e.g., the time between 1690 and 1700). Murvagh is on the coast of Donegal Bay... elsewhere we have descriptions of persons going 'down to the beach at Murvagh' in the early 19th century to see emigrants off to Canada on "timber ships" . Refer to the map of Drumhome Parish Townlands]
|... " I have seen a copy of the Hearth Roll, [Editor's note: apparently he is discussing the Hearth Money Roll of 1665 for Drumhome Parish] which does not mention anyone as living here (Brownhall) or at Murvagh, though I don't think that is proof. There is a Hamilton mentioned in Trummon [Editor's note: I'm not sure what he means here; however, the Drumhome Hearth Money Roll does list a John Hamilton: see below. Remember, John Stewart Hamilton was writing in about 1945-50. He MAY have seen an earlier, better copy of the Hearth Money Rolls than those I have accessed through the LDS Family History Centers; and it MAY be that such other copy identifies the particular townland occupied by the individuals listed. Trummon is descriptive of two or three townlands physically located quite close to Murvagh amongst the townlands of Drumhome Parish.] , but I don't think it was one of us. [It seems quite likely, with due respect to John Stewart Hamilton, that the John Hamilton listed on the Drumhome Hearth Money Roll was indeed the John Hamilton in question. It might be remembered here as well that the Hearth Money Rolls date from 1666, which is about the time that John Hamilton was apparently instituted as Vicar of Drumholm... it seems possible he was either living on a different townland because he had previously been hiding out during the Commonwealth, and had only just been or was about to be instituted on the authority of the restored Church of Ireland; or was alternatively listed at Trummon because of a nuance in application of the tax involving residence at Murvagh... maybe there were fewer hearths to be taxed at Trummon, but this latter is pure speculation!] There was another mentioned as living at Magherbeg and Donegal (likely the same man) and quite likely he was an ancestor as in my grandfather's time we had the Magherabeg estate which ran from one and a half miles this side of Donegal at the Strand to somewhere near the town. Then we had Drimnahoul, Carnbigh, and the Killymard estate (from Lough Eske mearing to Killymard chapel), including Orbeg; also Keadue, Upper & Lower (that is the South side of the Gap where the railway runs from Meenglass meering near the far end, out to the Border and Golough to Barnesmore school); the Fintown estate (from Lough Finn north along the Coynygham mearing to Carbel Gap, thence East to Lough Muck down the Cummuck river to the Finn and so back to the lake) and of course we have Brownhall.|
"I think most of the schools on the estate were built by my grandfather, but have all but one been disposed of. The
last I handed over was Shanagh [Editor's Note: This is a Drumhome Parish townland held at one time by
Strong tenants!] so I only have Ballinakillew now which I expect will be closed soon by the Education
Department. The Magherabeg estate, including St. Ernans and other townlands was divided between my aunts,
as my father did not want both estates. He arranged with John Hamilton to hand them over to the eldest sister who
had married Foster. |
"The College estate here had gone to Chichester Hamilton or his mother, Mattie Stewart, but he left it back to us with
a jointure to his mother for life, but the Trinity College rent was so heavy it was worth very little and by the time it was
redeemed by "sale" to the Land Commission there was little left.|
|"FOSTER also had part of Ballybulgane. [Editor's Note: This is another Drumhome Parish townland held at one time by Strong tenants!]|
|"Our rents were never raised since 1824. He raised his about 20 per cent, and when the Land Commission valuers came along they lowered both by about the same amount so that the worse a landlord acted the better he got off.|
|"MY grandfather (John Hamilton, b. 25 Aug.1800-d.1884; of Brownhall and St. Ernans) ... sold Brownhall to his old uncles and went to live at St. Ernans. [Editor's Note: See "Sixty Years Experience as an Irish Landlord, the Memoirs of John Hamilton, D.L., of St. Ernan's, Donegal, edited by Rev. H.C. White, B.A.; Digby, Long & Co., Publishers, London, (circa 1890)] ...|
|My father (James Hamilton, b.3 June 1824-d.1915) bought Brownhall back from them, but thought they were asking too much for it. He asked his father [Rev. John Hamilton, D.L.] for advice but the only thing his father said was, "James, you should not bargain with your uncles". I don't think he gave any other help. I have no idea what he got from them when selling nor do I know what was paid when buying the place back from them.|
|"HUGH Kingsford, who was secretary of the Antiquarians in Burlington House, London, made out our pedigree tracing the family back to one Gilbert before the time when surnames came into use. He (Gilbert) was the father of Sir Walter Fitzgilbert of Hameldone, who appears in the Ragman Roll of 1296. (See Pedigree)" [Editor's Note, The Ragman Roll or "Homage Roll" is a famous listing of the noble landholders of Scotland who were forced to submit in homage to King Edward I of England (sometimes known as the "Hammer of the Scots") in 1296, following a crushing defeat in the Battle of Berwick.]"|
The "Kingsford" pedigree of the Hamiltons of Brownhall will be examined shortly. However, there is another, the "Murvagh"
pedigree which should be looked at first. It appears in "300 Years in Inishowen" by Amy I. Young. See:|
This "Murvagh" version of the Hamilton of Brown Hall lineage appears to be more detailed in some regards than that
provided by Kingsford, particularly as to the Brown Hall lineage,
and will help tie together certain information which will appear below. As you scroll through the image (alternatively you may wish
to download and print the image to improve visual quality), note particularly the following: |
1) the progenitor "_____ Hamilton, m. Margaret, dau. of ________ (her perog. Will dated 1692): "of Murvagh".
2) 2nd generation: "John Hamilton, m. Jane, dau. of Col. Abraham Creighton, ancestor of the Earl of Erne".
3) 3rd generation: "James (Hamilton), b. at Murvagh, 25 Jan., 1688; d. 13 Jan 1755, m. Dorothy... Green, of Ballymacrory, Co. Limerick".
4) 4th generation: "John (Hamilton), b. 1735,d.1811, m. Isabella, sister of James Stewart, of Killymoon, Co. Tyrone".
5) Also in the 4th generation: "Jean (Hamilton), b. 1739, m.1st John Hamilton of Castlefin...; m. 2nd William Conyngham, of Springhill, Co. Derry."
Again, the interconnections of the Hamilton Family with other families of the Ascendency is illustrated.
|According to Bernard Egan, writing in "Drumhome" at page 54, "Murvagh (Muir Mhaigh, i.e., the Sea Plain), lies at the foot of Mullinacross Hill. It is a sheltered valley in which stood the celebrated Monastery of Drumhome, founded in 560 A.S., by St. Columba and dedicated to St. Eunan. St. Ernan was its first abbot. The monastery fell into decay at the close of the twelfth century, and thereafter came under the jusisdiction of the Cistersion Abbey of Assaroe. Following the introduction of Reformed Religion, the religious orders were suppressed and Drumhome Church passed to the Church of Ireland. The church at that time was sixty feet by twenty two feet and thatched... There are two graveyards in Mullinacross, one Protestant and one Catholic, separated by a single laneway. It was originally one graveyard that had latterly been divided. It is more than a hundred years since a Catholic was buried there, although a few famly plots are still used occasionally in the Protestant area." This, then is the original site of the Drumhome Parish Church! And, it is where the first Hamilton of the Murvagh/Brown Hall lineage was located, prior to 1687. The church was moved to a new building in Ballintra in 1793.|
Egan lists the Vicars of Drumholm as follows:|
"John Knox, M.A., 1619 (or 1620) to 1661 (?). In 1622 he was described in the Royal Visitation as "an honest young man, a good preacher and scholar".
Christopher Hewetson, M.A. -- 1661 to 1666/7.
Gavin Hamilton (Prebendary of Killymard) -- 1666/7 to 1669, deprived of the living in 1669 but reinstated immediately.
James Colborne (or Golborne) -- 1670, deprived in 1672.
Edward Whiteway (or Whiteways), M.A., ---1678.
Thomas Woodman, B.D., Prebendary and Procter for Clergy in Convocation. --1704 to his resignation in 1712.
John Fletcher, Curate ---1712.
The Ven. Edmund Arwaker, M.A.-- 1712/3 to his death in 1730. He was also Archdeacon of Armagh and Chaplain to the Duke of Ormond, and Rector of Drumglass, Co. Tyrone.
Clotworthy Gowan, M. A. --- 1720/1 to his death in March 1749. He was also a Prebendary of Inver. During his tenure he was assisted by curates George Gowan who was institued to Killymard in 1742, John Robertson, and Robert Foster who was previously Curate of Inniskeel.
Peter Edge, M.A., instituted to Drumholm in June 1749, died 1782/3. Assistant Curate was Alexander Crawford.
John ALcock, M.A., LL.B. He was instituted to Drumholm on 24th January, 1783. The parish is indebted to him for preserving and copying many of the old registers and vestry books of Drumholm. During his tenure the present church in Ballintra was built and opened in 1793. His curates were Digby Cooke and William Ewing. He died in 1817.
Robert Ball, LL.B. ---1817 to 1819. He died in 1828.
Maurice George Fenwick-- 1828 to 1847. The Assistant Curates were Edward hamilton, 1827 to 1832, and Charles Miller.
John Kincaid M.A.---1847 to his death in 1883. His Assistant Curate in later years was J. Harte. ......."
|The Hamilton Crest which also appears in the Murvagh.gif is also worthy of examination. In "My Times and Other Times", John Stewart Hamilton provided, at page 130-131, certain information which he had obtained from the Genealogical Office, Dublin Castle:|
|"I had made some inquiries about the family crest and received the (following) letter in answer, dated 26/3/'46 :|
|"The crest, Out of a Ducal Cornet or an oak, fructed and pentrated transversely in the main stem by a frame saw proper, the blade inscribed with the word "Through" are borne by the Hamiltons who were created Dukes of Hamilton, Dukes of Abercorn, etc. I quote from Burke's General Armory. An account of the origin of the crest and motto may be of interest to you. The Gilbert Hamilton, founder of the family, having slain John De Spencer in an encounter, fled from the Court of [king] Edward II of England and sought safety in Scotland. Being however, closely pursued, he and his attendant changed clothes with two woodcutters and taking their saws were in the act of cutting through an oak tree when his pursuers passed by. Perceiving his servant noticing them, Sir Gilbert hastily cried out, "Through", which word with the oak and the saw through it, he took for a crest in commemoration of his deliverance. The legendary crest appears for the first time on the seal of the first Earl of Arran. Prior to the sixteeenth century the seal was a boar's head. The tree-crest is widely used by various families of Hamilton.|
|"The arms of the family of Hamilton, Lords Belhaven and Stenton (First Lord descended from John Hamilton of Broomhill, natural son of James, Lord Hamilton and the heiress of Hamilton of Udstone)[bolded emphasis added by editor] are given by Burke as Gules a sword in pale azure hilted and pommelled, or between three cinque foils of the second crest, a horse's head and neck argent, bridled gules. These would seem to be identical with the reproduction of arms submitted by you. The motto "Ride Through" is also the same.|
|"I have examined the entries in the 'General Armory' and find that the Belhaven and Stenton families are, apparently, the only bearers of the bridled horse crest" (Signed), G. Slevin, Assistant Genealogical Officer." [Editor's Note, Observe the 'bolded' language above. This appears to be a clue that the Hamilton's of Brown Hall derive from this or the same branch of the main line of the Hamilton family. For clarification, note also that Hamilton of "Belhaven and Stenton" refers to one, not two lines.]|
The "Kingsford" Pedigree of the Hamiltons of Brownhall:|
It is perhaps now time to examine the below "Kingsford" pedigree of the Hamiltons of Brownhall. It is transcribed from John Stewart Hamilton's "My Times and Other Times", with certain editorial comments added.
MADE OUT BY HUGH KINGSFORD FROM VARIOUS AUTHORITIES (circa 1946)
[WITH CERTAIN ADDITIONS AND MODIFICATIONS BY THE PRESENT EDITOR]
Nothing is known of him except he was father of:
SIR WALTER FITZGILBERT of Hameldone|
Appears in the Ragman Roll of 1296 Held Bothwell Castle for Edward II, but surrendered it after Bannockburn. Granted lands of Cadzow by King Robert Bruce. d. before 1346.
|m. MARY, |
said to be daughter of Sir Adam Gordon
SIR DAVID FITZWALTER, 2nd Lord of Cadzow |
Taken prisoner at Nevill's Cross 1346 and founded Charity in Glasgow Cathedral, 1361, d. 1376.
|m. Margaret, |
daughter of William, Earl of Ross
DAVID HAMILTON, 3rd Lord of Cadzow |
The first to adopt the surname of Hamilton. d. about 1385 [Ed.Note: see Ency.Brit.(1959): "left four or five sons,from whom descend... perhaps... Hamilton of Udstown, to which last belong the Lords Belhaven"; Vol.11, p.120]
daughter of Sir William Keith of Galston
|SIR JOHN HAMILTON, 4th Lord of Cadzow |
May have been killed at Hamilton, 1402.
|m. JACOBA (or Janet) |
daughter of James Douglas, of Dalkeith.
James Hamilton, 5th Lord of Cadzow|
d. about 1440.
|m. JANET, |
daughter of Alexander Livingstone, of Callander.
James Hamilton, 6th Lord of Cadzow|
Created Lord Hamilton in 1445, d. 1479
|m.1st EUPHEMIA, |
d. of Patrick Graham, Earl of Strathearn,
and widow of Archibald, Earl of Douglas
|Apparently no children by Euphemia,|
|m.2nd MARY STEWART, |
d.of James II, King of Scotland
and widow of Thomas, 1st Earl of Arran
|but had JAMES, 2nd Lord Hamilton or [1st] Earl of Arran, by 2nd wife, [See Encylopaedia Britannica (1959), "Hamilton", Vol.11, p.120-121,126 (above: "James, second earl of Arran (see above) son of the first earl by his second wife, Janet Beaton, (father of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton (1606-1649) ... From James, second earl of Arran's third son, Claud, created a lord of parliament as Baron Paisley (1587), descends the duke of Abercorn, heir male of the house of Hamilton." Certain comments concerning these lineages may appear in the main text]||also had a (natural) son, John |
Who became Archbishop of St.Andrews, and d. 1571.
|Apparently also had another (natural) son:|
|John Hamilton, of Broomhill
Legitimised Jan 20, 1512/13
Had at least four sons:
|m. Janet, d. of Robert Hamilton of Preston.|
|David Hamilton, who was killed at Pinkie, 1547;|
and David Hamilton (second?) both of whom apparently went to Ireland;
|John Hamilton, of Broomhill, d. 1594;||m. Elizabeth (as her second husband), 2nd & only dau. of Patrick Hamilton, Ledston.|
|Claud Hamilton, of Broomhill, d.1605 |
No further mention of him
d. of James Hamilton, of Kilbrade-month
|James Hamilton, of Broomhill |
Sheriff Lanark, 1635. d. 1658.
|m. Margaret, d. of John or William Hamilton of Ledston and great grand- daughter of her husband's grandmother Elizabeth, by her 1st Husband, John Hamilton of Neilsland.|
|Had at least three sons, including:|
#1) Sir John Hamilton, of Broomhill,
Created Lord Bellhaven & Stenton,
d. 1679. [Ed.Note: see discussion]|
|#2) Gavin Hamilton,||m. daughter of Gavin Hamilton of Raplock.|
|Query: Is either of these the Gavin Hamilton |
martyred at Edinburgh?
#3) James Hamilton, Bishop of Galloway; |
Said to have been Dean of Raphoe, but no Dean of this name appears in records. Probably was Prebendary of Killymardin, Raphoe Cathedral, 1663, becoming Prebendary of Drumholme, 1666-7. Deprived 1669, but reinstated immediately. His successor, James Colbourne, was Collated 2-10-1670, so possibly died about then.
[Editor's Note: In all of this nothing is said about how James Hamilton got from being "Bishop of Galloway" to being "probably" Prebendary of Killymardin. In view of the time frame, it seems possible he was one of the Episcopalian Bishops of Scotland who were deprived of their livings in Scotland following the "Bishop's Wars" circa 1640, and thereafter he fled to Ireland, where he may have "kept his head down" during the period of the Commonwealth, surfacing after the Restoration to become Prebendary of Killymardin. However, it seems just possible that the James Hamilton of Murvagh who became Prebendary of Drumholme, 1666/7 through 1669, was an entirely different person, possibly one of the Fintragh Hamiltons who took advantage of the dislocations of the Civil Wars, the Commonwealth, and the Restoration to move the short distance from Killybegs to Drumhome! This is, of course, highly speculative and should be researched as thoroughly as possible.]
|m. (Margaret? See Murvagh chart) daughter of _________|
|John Hamilton, d.1706 |
[It is he who is said to have removed the Hamiltons from Murvagh to Brown Hall]
| m.Jean, |
d. of Capt. John (others say Abraham) CRICHTON. [Ed.Note: See "Murvagh" descendency chart]
|James Hamilton, of Brownhall, |
|m. Dorothy, |
d. of Henry Green, of Ballymacroary, Co. Limerick
|John Hamilton, of Brownhall, |
|m. Isabella, |
d. of ____ Stewart, of Killymoon.
| James Hamilton, of Brownhall, |
|m. Helen, |
d. of Edward Pakenham, 2nd Lord Longford
|John Hamilton, of Brownhall (and St. Ernans, Donegal), d. 1884||m. Mary, |
dau. of Hugh Rose of Calrossie, Rosshire, Scotland
|James Hamilton, of Brownhall, |
|m. Dorothea, |
d. of W. Stewart, of Hornhead
|John Stewart Hamilton, of Brownhall||m. Winifred Mary, |
d. of Percy Weston, East Sheen, Surry, England
|two children, Sheila Marion Hamilton, and James Montgomery Hamilton|
It should be understood that the foregoing lineage reflects the apparent descendency of the current family of Hamilton at Brown Hall, near Donegal-town, County Donegal, Ireland. Certain elements of the "Kingsford Pedigree" seem speculative... particularly where it seems certain individuals apparently had "natural sons". There are numerous other Hamilton families hailing from the same area. It remains to be seen whether these other families are indeed related to the Hamiltons of Brown Hall... either directly by descent from junior members of the lineage above, or indirectly by descent from Hamilton families of more humble lineage but hailing from the same area in Scotland as discussed above. Certainly, the use by the Brown Hall Hamiltons of the Belhaven and Stenton crest seems to indicate a close connection.
This web page is divided into several sections. Click on the section to which you wish to "jump": |
A HYPOTHESIS REGARDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HAMILTON FAMILY AND VARIOUS YEOMAN TENANT FAMILIES OF CO.DONEGAL:
HAMILTON OF BROWN HALL:
HISTORICAL EVENTS LIST:
RELIGIOUS CONFLICT, THE REFORMATION, & POLITICAL ACTS:
THE HAMILTON FAMILY OF LANARKSHIRE, SCOTLAND:
LINKING HAMILTON OF BROWNHALL TO SCOTTISH HAMILTONS:
HAMILTON OF FINTRAGH:
SOME SIGNIFICANT PLANTATION ESTATES:
FOOTNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Hamilton of Fintragh:
It was not until 1602, that Ballyshannon in County Donegal was finally taken by the English. 13 = (Irplaces #15)}
The Flight of the Earls
took place in 1607... and the Plantation scheme developed by King James VI and I was fully fledged by 1609.
According to Pat Conaghan, writing at page 104 ff in "Bygones",
a book published by him in 1989, in Killybegs parish, the land was granted to Scottish planters, with the exception
of 14 Ballyboes of lowland and 14 balliboes of upland belonging to the Church. The Church lands were claimed by the new
Protestant Bishop of Raphoe. By the spring of 1610 the final arrangements for the Plantation had been
completed and the first civilian planters arrived in Killybegs. The remote and poor land of west Donegal
was not attractive to any newcomer. Very few planters came over during the first ten years. Those who came
brought the new Protestant faith with them, taking possession of the old parish church of Killybegs. |
The Irish lord McSwine's estate was confiscated by the crown in 1608, and regranted in 1610 to certain Scots
as follows: 14 = (Estates: #16)}
the Rosses to Sir Robert McLellan,
Monargan (Ardara and Loughross) to Alexander Cunningham of Powton,
Upper Boylagh (Killymard Parish) to Sir John Vance of Barnbarrock and Patrick Vance of Lybrack,
Kilkieran (Kilcar and Largy) to Alexander Dunbar of Egerness,
Dunkineely (Killaghtee Parish and part of Killybegs and Inver) to William Stewart of Mains, and
Cargie (Doorin and eastern part of Inver Parish to Patrick McKie (McKee?) of Larg; all in 1610.
All of these people were closely interrelated. Most of them came from three parishes in Wigtonshire, Scotland. [Note the occurance of the names McKie/McKee and Vance; these names are part of our inter-related group of families in The Donegal Strong Puzzle.]
|Writing in "Bygones", Pat Conaghan states, "The first Protestant Minister of Killybegs was William Hamilton. In the year 1619 he was living, with his family , in a newly built house "of clay and stone", near the ancient parish church of St. Catherine at the west side of Killybegs harbour.[Editor's note: Emphasis added: this area coincides with the location of the townland of Fintragh!] Although there were six thatched housed in this area at that time, the Hamiltons were the only people living there. This suggests that the native Irish had then been put off their holdings in that part of Killybegs." 15 = (Planters #31)}.|
|"William Hamilton, the Minister, had a brother, James, who was "Constable of Killybegs" at this time. The Hamilton brothers reported the arrival of the Dutch pirate, Claes Campane, into Killybegs harbour to Captain Basil Brooke of Donegal Castle in April, 1628. Campane spent £1,000, and his men £500, "drinking and whoring" during their stay in Killybegs. On September 9,1631, James Hamilton leased two houses, a garden and two acres of land in the new town of Killybegs from John Murray. Murray of Broughton, in the southwest of Scotland, was the other land lord in Killybegs, besides the Bishop of Raphoe. Hamilton also leased the entire townland or ballyboe of Drumbeagh from Murray by the same deed. This James Hamilton was most assuredly the first of the Fintra Hamiltons who held that Estate for seven generations. A deed of 1669 describes James Hamilton as "late of Fintraugh" and gives his son, Alexander, a continuation of the lease of Fintra." 16 = (Planters #32)}[emphasis added].|
|The 1631 lease and 1669 deed mentioned by Conaghan need to be examined... and it has not as yet been done. But questions arise. If James Hamilton was "late of Fintraugh" where was he of in 1669; Conaghan suggests he was deceased. But, who was granting the deed? We need to look at the deed records in the National Archives. [Conaghan gives as citations "D/14/731, and D/14/736, both apparently in the National Archives".] If it was James Hamilton, was he then of Murvagh? How old was this James Hamilton? Did he have an elder son, "John Hamilton" who was to succeed at Murvagh? If so, was this John Hamilton the same John Hamilton who moved from Murvagh to Brown Hall?|
|Some significant Plantation Estates. Returning to the original Scots planters mentioned above, few except Alexander Dunbar spent any time in their new lands in Donegal and started selling them off. About 1620, the estates were regranted as a whole to John Murray, 1st Earl of Annandale, who was a favourite of James VI of Scotland and I of England. Annan is a small and royal burgh of Dumphrieshire, Scotland, on the Annan River, nearly 2 miles from its mouth which opens into the Solway firth. 17 = (Estates: #17)} Murray was originally master farrier to James VI, and helped to save his life on one occasion. Murray died in 1640, and his Boylagh & Bannagh estate passed to his son James Murray, 2nd Earl of Annandale, who died in London in 1658.|
|Nearby, lay a twelfth century church, Killaghtee, which was taken over by the Planters on their arrival about 1610. It was used up for worship until the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The burial ground surrounding the church is still being used, and is well maintained by church authorities. 18 = (Planters: #30)} Castle Rahan and the Church at Killaghtee are significant in our examination of the history of Strongs in Donegal. In 1665, following the Restoration after the Close of the Cromwellian Commonwealth, a Hearth Money Roll was compiled for the Parish of Killaghtee which included Henry and George Strong. It may be significant that these names are found in a parish where Murray of Annandale was landlord, for Annandale is in the Scottish Border shire of Dumfries, just across the border from the "English shire of Cumberland..." , where large numbers of Strongs can be found in the records of the various local parishes of the Church of England. It seems highly possible that Murray of Annandale recruited Henry and George Strong from the Cumberland-Dumphries locale during the plantation, and they may have helped garrison Castle Rahan during the 1641 Rising. However, it seems equally possible that "Strong" as the name is found in Donegal is really an Anglicization of "Strang" as it is found in Lanarkshire. And, at this point, it seems possible the Strongs of Cumberland are descended from or related to the Strangs of Lanarkshire. More research is needed.|
|Castle Rahan, Killybegs. Just to the east of Killybegs along Donegal Bay is a promontory known as St. John's Point. It is a six mile long spit of land protruding like a gnarled finger south-westward into the Bay. It has a considerable number of historic sites, and was apparently taken over by the English at the time of the Plantation. Castle Rahan, located on a promontory on the point, dated from the mid-fifteenth century. Confiscated, during the Plantation it was initally given to the Scots Planter, William Stuart, and then to John Murray, later Earl of Annandale, for whom one Herbert Maxwell was an active agent. The castle was garrisoned and held during the 1641 Rising by local planters who were part of Sir Ralph Gore's regiment. 20 = (Planters: #30)}.|
Due to the nationality of the principal grantees, Tirhugh by 1626 was one of only two areas in Donegal (the
other was around Lifford) where English rather than Scottish planters were predominant. Assuming that the 1641 Rebellion
followed the same pattern locally as it did throughout Ulster generally, the English rather than the Scots planters bore
the brunt of the initial Irish attacks. The resulting violence would have provided ample reason for the hurried
burial of money. 20 = Covenant #14)}
|Sometime around the beginning of the twentieth century, twenty-four English silver coins were found in a deposit on the land of a farmer named Kee [Editor's Note: This should be checked. Was the name really "McKee", one of the families of interest in our research?] at Laghey, in County Donegal. The latest coin in the group is a shilling of Charles I, dated from its mintmark to the period 1639-1640. It is quite likely the concealment of the coins was occasioned by the 1641 Rebellion, or by some event in the long drawn-out war which ensued. The violence, dispossession and changing fortunes of the period obviously encouraged such hoarding and concealment of coins. 21 = Covenant #13)}|
|When first they rose against the English, the Irish rebels spared the Scottish settlers; apparently on the theory of divide and conquer, and also thinking that the Scottish Covenanters had sufficient grievances with the English crown that they would not help the English planters. The delay in striking at the Scots gave them time to organize a defense in concert with the surviving English. Refugees, Scots and English, fled to Protestant-held enclaves, and began to organize a resistance, training men, supplying food, arms and ammunition. County Antrim, northern Down and Londonderry, together with isolated castles and forts scattered throughout western Ulster, in Donegal, Tyrone, and Fermanagh, remained in loyalist hands. 22 = Covenant #15)}|
|One isolated castle held by the local planters was Castle Rahan, in Killaghtee Parish, Banagh Barony, Co.Donegal. Originally the stronghold of the Gaelic MacSuibhnes, it was among the domains confiscated in 1608. Granted to Scots planter William Stuart, it was regranted in 1620 to John Murray, later Earl of Annandale, for whom one Herbert Maxwell was an active agent. During the 1641 rising the castle was garrisoned and held by planters who were part of Sir Ralph Gore's regiment of the "Old Scots" Army.23 = Covenant #16)} In 1641, Gore raised the regiment of 500 men by commission from King Charles I. 24 = Covenant #17)}|
|Over the next 40 years, many English settlers were established in the area around Ballyshannon. Many of them may have been killed or displaced in the 1641 Rising. However, enough of the English and Scots Planters rallied to defend the area, and it was held against the Irish during the ensuing years of the civil war. Major defenses were apparently established at Ballyshannon, Donegal-town, and at Castle Murray, also known as Castle Rahan, near Killybegs. 25 = (Irplaces: #16)}|
|In the border area between Counties Donegal and Tyrone lies the Lagan Valley, one of the most effectively planted regions in Ulster in the period 1607-1641. Here in the west, what soon became known as the "Lagan Army", dominated by "Old Scots" planters but including many English settlers, emerged. Among its leaders were the Scots Sir Robert Stewart, Sir William Stewart, and Sir Frederick Hamilton. In Antrim and Down the leading Scots commanders were Lord Montgomery of the Ards, his brother Sir James Montgomery, and Lord Claneboye. 26 = Covenant #19)}|
|The Old Scots Lagan Army of Sir Robert Stewart fought one of the first successful battles against the rebels at Glenamquin, in the Lagan Valley in June, 1642. The site of the battle gave its name to a tributary of the Keenaghan river, known today as the "Battle Burn". 27 = Covenant #20)}|
|In a transcription of the original handwritten "Muster Rolls of the Ulster Army of 1642" prepared by D. Stewart in about 1911 from the lists found in Public Record Office, London, we find one James Strange, "mustered at Rafowe in the County of Dunagall, the two and twentieth day of August 1642", with Captain William Hamilton's "Company of Foote", in Sir Robert Stewart's Regiment. 28 = Covenant #21)} Query whether there is any relationship between this James Strange in Captain William Hamilton's Company of Foot, and the Planters in Sir Ralph Gore's Regiment? Or, was this James Strange of the Tyburn Abbey Stronge lineage, and was he associated with yet another of the multitudinous Hamilton family? How about Captain William Hamilton himself? Any relationship with the William Hamilton of Fintragh who was the first protestant minister of Killybegs in 1619? We need to review the transcript of the Muster Roll for the other names listed in Captain William Hamilton's company, and compare them to the names we have already identified as being of interest in the Plantations around Donegal Bay.|
|Returning to the Second Earl of Annandale, who died in 1658; he had no children and his young cousin Sir Robert Crichton claimed the Boylagh & Bannagh estates by virtue of a will made by James Murray. 29 = (Estates #18)}|
|Another cousin, Richard Murray of Broughton, claimed the estates by virtue of a deed of conveyance made in his favor by James Murray before the will. Endless court cases followed, first in Ireland; then in Scotland, to determine whether the deed of conveyance was a forgery as the Crichtons claimed. Throughout the reign of Charles II (1660-1685) there was endless feuding between the two parties in south Donegal. Sir Robert Creighton was in residence at Castlemurray in 1659, and apparently remained there until about 1685, when he died, leaving his rights in the estates to his daughters. In that last year of Charles II's reign, Richard Murray of Broughton was confirmed in possession of half of Boylagh and Bannagh and his cousin Sir Albert Conyingham who supported his claim got a "commission of grace grant" of the other half. Sir Robert Creighton's daughters, Jean and Anna, were still bringing suits in the Scottish courts well into the 18th century, but never gained a conclusive judgement. 30 = (Estates #19 )}|
|As a side note, it would be very interesting to investigate the relationship of John Murray, 1st Earl of Annandale to the Hamiltons of Scotland and Donegal, as well as to the Creighton family of Scotland and Fermanagh who were the Earls of Erne. John Murray was a favourite of James VI of Scotland and I of England. The name Murray/Morrow is another of those surnames appearing in The Donegal Strong Puzzle Copyright © 2000 by the present author. See discussion above concerning a dispute over heirship to Murray's estate in County Donegal. Murray died in 1640, and his Boylagh and Bannagh estate passed to his son James Murray, 2nd Earl of Annandale, who died in London in 1658. The latter had no children and his young cousin Sir Robert Crichton claimed the estates by virtue of a will made by James Murray. Crichton may be a form of Creighton!|
|H.G.Murray-Stewart Estate. It remains an open question whether the Creighton's of Erne were related to Sir Robert Creighton (also spelled Crichton) who in 1658 claimed to have inherited the baronys of Boylagh and Bannagh by will from James Murray, 2nd Earl of Annandale.|
|The Murrays of Broughton never felt sure of their right to the estates and so had difficulty in selling them. They always lived in Scotland and mostly left their agents to run the Donegal estates. The Donegal Annual for 1977 contains an interesting account by an auditor, Thomas Addi, sent by Alexander Murray of Broughton in 1730 to report on the adequacy and accuracy of the rents received from the various tenants of the townlands on the rent rolls. Addi's reports were sent to Murray at his residence at Cally, in Scotland. 31 = (Estates #20 )}|
|The last Alexander Murray of Broughton and Cally did take some interest in the Donegal estate, and stayed there on occasion. 32 = (Estates #21 )} When he died childless in 1845, the estates were inherited by the great-grandnephew of Alexander Murray's mother. He was Horatio Granville Stewart, a boy of nine, who was not even a descendent of the Murrays of Broughton. Being under age, the estates were administered by Irish trustees in Dublin. 33 = (Estates #22 )} In the 1858 Griffith's Valuations, the estates are referred to as belonging to "H.G.Murray-Stewart"; several townlands are of interest to the present research because their tenantry included Strongs in the 18th and 19th centuries.|
Pakenham Estate in Killybegs. Another Killybegs Estate of interest was that of the fourteen ballyboes of
land owned by the Church of Ireland in the Parish of Killybegs. According to Pat Conaghan, writing at page 104 ff in "Bygones",
a book published by him in 1989, |
|"An area known as the parish of Killybegs has existed since at least 1307. It extended from Drumanoo Head on the shores of Donegal Bay, northwards almost to Glenties. This account ("Bygones") is concerned only with the present day Killybegs part, i.e, the area covered by the (present day) Catholic and Protestant parishes of Killybegs, which are the same. In order to be clear about what happened in Killybegs at the time of the Plantation of Ulster, it is necessary to touch on the circumstances prevailing before the planters came to these parts.|
|"Within the boundary of its ancient parish, the Catholic Church owned large areas of the land. It was shared with "erenagh" families, who managed it for the Church. The system of farming then meant that cattle were grazed on the lowland areas in winter and moved to mountain pastures in summer. This method was called "booleying" by the English, or "buailteachas" in Irish. For each area of lowland, therefore, there was a corresponding extent of mountain grazing. Land was measured, not in acres, but by the number of cattle it could support, the unit of land being a "Ballyboe" (baile bo). (For Example,) the present townland of Drumbarity (67 acres) was called one ballyboe. In Killybegs parish, the Church owned 14 ballyboes of lowland and a corresponding amount of mountain grazing. It can be seen, therefore, how extensive the old Churchlands were, extending from the "lowland" areas of Roshin, Glenlee, Killybegs, Drumbarity, etc. to the mountain pasures of Meenreagh, Meenaroshin and so on.|
|"At the Plantation of Ulster the land of Killybegs was granted to Scottish planters but the Churchlands were claimed by and granted to the new Protestant Bishop of Raphoe. By the spring of 1610 the final arragenments for the Plantation had been completed and the first civilian planters arrived in Killybegs. The remote and poor land of west Donegal was not attractive to any newcomer and so, very few planters came over during the first ten years. Those who came brought a new religion with them - Protestantism. They commandeered the old parish church of Killybegs and adapted it for their worship. .... a survey of 1622 found that there were only 17 "British and Irish" people in the new town of Killybegs.34 = Planters #28)} Having secured the fourteen ballyboes of Killybegs, the Protestant Bishop of Raphoe treated them strictly in a business like manner..."|
In 1638, the Bishop of Raphoe leased the lands for a term of 56 years to one Archibald Erskine. At the expiration
of the lease in 1699, the lessee became Brigadier Henry Conyngham of Mountcharles and Slane. He was married to
a sister of William Conolly, famous speaker of the House of Commons and known as "the richest man in Ireland".
Conolly was the son of a Ballyshannon public house owner and was the first of many Ballyshannon men who contributed
to the development of Killybegs. Brigadier Conyngham lease was dated 1699, but he died in 1706 and his interest in
the lands passed to William Conolly. The Conolly family continued the lease down through the years until the early
1830's. 35 = Estates #23)}
|William Conolly's Ballyshannon Estate: Part of the Conolly Estate of Co.Donegal was originally granted in about 1610 to Francis Gofton, Auditor to the Lord Deputy of Ireland. Gofton then sold his Ballyshannon Estate to Sir Henry Folliot. 36 = Estates #37)} According to John B. Cunningham's article, "William Conolly's Ballyshannon Estate 1718-1726", Gofton's successor, Lord Folliott sold the estate to William Conolly, his legal advisor, in 1718 for £52,000. The estate had a stated rental income of £2,000 fer annum plus £450 for the Erne Fishery. The Ballyshannon estate totalled some 18,900 acres. Conolly also rented "College" lands in the area from Trinity College, Dublin, to the extent of about 1719 acres for £292-18-10.5. Additionally, he had an estate in Co. Fermanagh around Ballinamallard, called Newporton, totalling 4212 acres with a rental of £582-4-11, and lots in the town of Ballyshannon, the fishery of Ballyshannon, the warren at Finure, Mills, Tenements on the Carriggboys side of Ballyshannon, a tanyard and storehouse at Balleek, and Tenements and mills at Ballynemallar. 37 = Estates #38)}|
|The Conolly Estate of 1718-1726, non-inclusive of the "Fourteen Balliboes belonging to the Bishop of Raphoe", discussed above, extended roughly from Balleek to near Bundoran on the south of the River Erne, and on the north bank of the river it extended from the sea at Ballyshannon several miles northward towards Rossnowlagh and then inland to the east about five or six miles, to include Breesy Mountain about 5 miles northeast of Belleek. As described above generally, the landlord usually let out his estate in sizable areas to one substantial tenant or to a combination of substantial tenants. These tenants could sublet to others below them on the economic ladder at a profit for themselves, or they could retain their own parcel and farm it themselves. 38 = Estates #39)}|
|Cunningham indicates that in the 1690's much land had been leased for 31 years at a low rent in the aftermath of the "Williamite War". A preponderance of Scots names are noted in the estate records for this period, and Cunningham suggests the source was Scots emigration to the north of Ireland which was apparently particularly strong in the mid-1690's due to a famine in Scotland around 1695-7. However, it seems quite likely the "Scots" names noted by Cunningham really were the surnames of various members of the Plantation Yeomanry which had been in the area around Donegal Bay since the very earliest days of the Plantation. Those very names are, of course, those under study in The Donegal Strong Puzzle.|
|Cunningham's article studies the estate records of renewals of the leases in about 1726, at the end of the 31 year term of the first leases. Using the estate records from the time of the sale from Lord Folliott to William Conolly in 1718, he was able to compare the rent charges to verify the renewals were at generally higher levels. 39 = Estates #40)} The lease renewals in question related to the "freeholders" or middlemen. They did not apply to the sub-tenants. The sub-tenants only had security from year to year and would have dwelt in a "clachan", or collection, of houses and travelled to their scattered "bitty" portions of land round the locality. This was part of the "rundale" system, and gave the sub-tenant some good, some middling, and some bad land in relation to what he could pay. The middleman, i.e., the leaseholder, could quickly "tax" him if agricultural prices went up, while the landlord had to wait until the lease term finished to get his slice of the enlarged pie. Remember too, that the population density was much lower in the early eighteenth century than it was to be later in the century and in the early nineteenth century. 40 = Estates #41)}|
|Cunningham presents several insights in his analysis. One is that in this early period of the Penal Laws, 1726, Roman Catholics held substantial sections of the Conolly Estate as middle men. At this time, many of the middlemen carried obviously Gaelic names such as McGill, O'Gorman, O'Boyle, Flanagan and O'Coen, which were known to be Catholic at the time. The Conolly family were themselves very probably "not long after" conforming to the Church of Ireland and many of their relatives or friends in the area were still Roman Catholics. 41 = Estates #42)}|
|Another insight is that it was common in those days to name children after a local notable as a means of currying favor, probably with the idea that the child as an adult would be suitably looked after by the family he was named after; thus one finds names in the records like Folliott Lipsett (obviously named after Lord Folliott), and later one Conolly Coen, named after the Conolly family. Many of the lessees were related in some way or another to the Folliott and Conolly families. One Mrs. Crow, the wife of Captain Francis Folliott, and later after his death remarried to a Mr. Robert Crowe, held a tenancy from December 17, 1695. Other leaseholders were Thomas Dickson and Thomas Atkinson, both married to sisters of William Conolly. 42 = Estates #43)} Reference to Griffith's Valuations for the area of the Estate in 1857 reveal that one of the "immediate lessors" of many townlands was then listed as "Rep.s Col. Dickson", probably a descendant.|
|The male line of the Conollys had died out by the early 19th century and the inheritor of the lease was Edward Michael Pakenham, a relative of the family. Under the terms of a will, Pakenham assumed the name of Conolly, and became Edward Michael Conolly. While the Ordnance Survey teams were at work measuring the lands, this man purchased them from the Protestant Church for the sum £2,331-1-3. The Church reserved for itself an annual rent of £294-7-01/4, which meant that Pakenham-Conolly did not own them absolutely. After Conolly died in 1848 his Killybegs lands passed to his eldest son, Thomas, known popularly as "Tom Conolly". The lands reverted to the Government at the time of Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1869. In 1871, the Representative church Body bought out the townland of Glebe in Killybegs Parish, where the old parish church now stands, and the Government sold the rest of the "fourteen ballyboes" for £4,134. 43 = Estates #24)}.|
The Pakenham family was closely related to the Hamilton Family: |
"John Hamilton, son of James and Helen Hamilton, was born in Dublin on 25th August, 1800. His father died in 1805, his mother in 1807, and three orphan children-- John aged seven; Edward five; and Catherine three years,-- were placed under the guardianship of their uncles, Sir Edward Michael Pakenham and Rev. Abraham Hamilton.--Ed. (Rev. H.C. White) Sir Edward Pakenham was subsequently killed in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, at the very end of the War of 1812. He was succeeded in the guardianship by another Pakenham, Sir Hercules Pakenham. [per Rev. H.C. White, "Sixty Years as an Irish Landlord", pps.1,10-19.] While it is not clear at this point, it would appear from the name similarity that the Edward Michael Pakenham discussed by Pat Conaghan in "Bygones" was probably a son of Sir Edward Michael Pakenham, and thus a cousin of John Hamilton.
See also William Conolly's Ballyshannon Estate:.
|The Hearth Money Rolls: Following the Restoration, the nearest extant thing resembling a census was the Hearth Money Roll, prepared in 1665 to establish a basis for taxing the households in Ireland for the support of the Established Church of Ireland.|
Review of the Hearth Money Rolls for County Donegal reveals much by way of elimination: In all of County Donegal, the
only Strongs in 1665 are George and Thomas Strong, in Killaghtee Parish, between Ballyshannon and Killybegs;
See . |
|Note the occurrance of the following additional surnames which are a part of the research involved in The Donegal Strong Puzzle Copyright © 2000, website: Vaunce/(Vance); Watson; Walker; McCullough; Creighton; Craufford/(Crawford); Boyd; Micke/(McKee/McGee). Most of the rest appear to be Gaelic-Irish, but that is not to say there might not be other names in these lists which have seen a transformation of spelling through the centuries! There are no Strongs in the Hearth Money Rolls for Drumholm, Killbarron, Killysbegs, Inver, or Inishkeel Parishes. However, in Drumhome Parish, while there are a majority of native Irish names, they are intersperced by those of Thomas Farrell, Richard Dudgeon, William Lamond, James Crawfford, Walter Mitchall, John Hamilton, and James Freebirn/(Freeborn). These names become important in The Donegal Strong Puzzle Copyright © 2000; because the surnames are those born by many individuals who later married Strongs. 44 = Irplaces #17)} We need to re-examine the Hearth Money Rolls for all of the adjacent parishes to determine the distribution of surnames of interest in our puzzle.|
|Alec Strong, an Australian descendent of the Strongs of Ardara, pointed out in a 1988 letter that Sir James Walker, born in 1883 and descendant of some of the people who emigrated from Ardara on the same ship with these Strongs, stated in a history of his ancestors written for the Pioneers' Hall of Fame in Longreach, Australia, that his people "were born in Scotland during the reign of King James....They went across to Ireland and the people who came to Australia with them, went first to Ireland with them, including the Boyds, Hanlons, Strongs, Irwins, and Lamonds". The evidence seems to be mounting that the founders of the families found in the settlements around Donegal Bay were born in Scotland, probably in or near Lanarkshire, in the time of James I (1603-1627). The largely Scottish landlords of the area imported Scots tenants to take up and improve the leased lands.|
|Another area of exploration involves the religious affiliation of the families involved. Specifically, it seems possible that the Catholic members of the Scottish Hamilton family may have had similar religious fellow-travelers in the various tenant families who adhered to them in Lanarkshire in Scotland. Following the Reformation, these same people largely were receptive to an Episcopalian form of Church government, including bishops. During the plantation the junior family members who often tended to take up church "livings" and hope for re-ascent into the ranks of the upper-class nobility, and various tenants of the Hamiltons and other Planters were induced to migrate to Ireland in the Plantation. They took with them their prior views and transplanted these into their religion in Donegal. In the religious upheavals of the early 17th century, it seems quite possible that these various families found it expedient to shift from Church of Ireland (Anglican) toward Presbyterianism during the Commonwealth, and back toward the Church of Ireland at the close of the 17th century... an allegiance which characterized the entire community through the 18th century into the 19th century and beyond, with ventures into Methodism under the influence of the Weslayan reformers (who included Rev. John Hamilton of St. Ernans).|
|All this may explain why the settlers around Donegal Bay had English sounding names (anglicized Scottish names), were adherents of the Church of Ireland, and were after all actually Scots in origin! This will also give us the info we need to focus our research concerning the earlier antecedents of the various related families in the community... which may very well be the area in Lanarkshire and Galloway, Scotland near the Hamilton Estates discussed above.|
Where has this ramble taken us? There may be several conclusions to be drawn.
First, the Plantation settlers to be found in Drumhome and Ballyshannon cannot be considered in isolation from those to be found in Killybegs and Killaghtee and Killymard and all of the other adjacent parishes. It may be inferred that the persons of the various surnames found in later records in County Donegal likely are descended from the various similairly named individuals found in the Hearth Money Rolls and other extant early records.
|Second, examination of the history and role of the Hamiltons of Brown Hall and of Fintragh in the course of the Plantation and subsequently through the years of the Civil War, the Commonwealth, the Restoration, and the Revolution of 1689 give important clues which may help the rest of us narrow our search for our family roots.|
According to June Allen, a Donegal Hamilton researcher in New Zealand, "Fintragh is in SW Donegal, about a mile and a half
west of Killybegs, (the fishing port). Our family was involved in the Plantations in that area, and had their home and estate at
Fintragh. In your "Plantations of Ireland" you mentioned the very first HAMILTON of FINTRAGH. William HAMILTON was
the first minister of Killybegs, and his brother James HAMILTON, constable of Killybegs leased land from John MURRAY
who was one of the landlords in that area. Fintragh was the property that James HAMILTON leased. The family carries on
from there. I don't know how, or if, our line ties in with Brownhall, but feel that as the population was so small in N.Ireland
at that time, it is quite likely that there would be a mixture of cousins etc. spread over the area. ..."
per June Allen |
In response to an question raised in an earlier email June Allen says, " Yes, the names mentioned by my grandmother were
supposed to have married into our Hamilton line...." The " trouble being the difficulty I have filling in the gaps once parts of
the family were banished from Scotland and settled in Ireland. It is almost impossible to work out which line we belong to,
whether it was one of Claud's, (Pailsey) sons, or one of the very many illegitimate sons born to them over the years. I can go
back as far as James Hamilton 1722-1815 of Fintragh, m. Elizabeth Johnston, buried at old St.Katherines church, Killybegs,
Co. Donegal. Have other names mentioned by my g.grandmother, i.e. Lady Eleanor Wingfield, sister of Lord Powerscourt,
niece of Earl of Derwentwater, and Lady Margaret Errington, daughter to the Chief of Beaurone, both said to have married
Hamilton men." per June Allen |
|What is striking about the foregoing is the apparent relationships of the women mentioned, obviously members of the Ascendency, to the Hamiltons of Fintragh. The implication is that the Fintragh Hamiltons were every bit as "connected" to the Ascendency as the Brown Hall Hamilton family. Lest it not be lost for lack of statement, there may be some element of proof here that the Murvagh/Brown Hall Hamiltons are really the SAME family as the Fintragh Hamiltons. Further, it seems likely the Fintraugh/Murvagh/Brown Hall Hamiltons are ALL descended from the same lineage as the Lords Belhaven and Stenton.... e.g., Hamilton of Broomhill, and Udston, Scotland. It is just that the branching of the Fintraugh/Murvagh/Brown Hall Hamiltons from Hamilton of Broomhill and Udston took place circa 1609, at the outset of the Plantation... not eighty years later, following the Glorious Revolution of 1689! Obviously, all this demands more study. And, June Allen and Betty Ashley, among others,may be working on preparing a genealogical descendency chart and tracing further clues which may ultimately be shared with us all in the form of a GEDCOM. If it is true the Hamiltons of Brown Hall, Fintragh, and Broomhill/Udston are all related, here then is the major lead the rest of us may need in order to connect the various yeoman tenant families of the baronys of Boylagh & Bannagh, Tirhugh, and Lurg back to a geographical location in Lanarkshire, Scotland... and to the possibility of linking the various genealogies of the Strongs of Donegal to the Strangs of Lanarkshire along with all of the various other families being studied in The Donegal Strong Puzzle!|
Third. Reviewing some of the questions identified during the foregoing essay may help give our future research
some focus: |
1) Insufficient research has been done to this point for us to have any clear insights into the effect the Commonwealth parceling out of lands may have had on Boylagh & Bannagh, Tirhugh, and Lurg.
2) Were the martyrs of Edinburgh and Lanark related to our Donegal Strongs and Hamiltons? Was "Gavin Hamilton", the martyr, related to the Gavin Hamilton's to be found in the Kingsford Pedigree? If so, how?
3) The nagging question arises, "was either of the martyrs Gavin Hamilton or John Hamilton, the previously deceased brother, uncle, brother-in-law, and/or son of Lord Belhaven and Stenton? Is this one of the reasons for his political alignment as portrayed by Nigel Trantor in "The Patriot"? So, we need to look more closely at Hamilton of Udston. This has yet to be accomplished.
4) As long as one is exploring Scottish connections, it would be well to explore more thoroughly the background of Christopher Strang who was beheaded with Gavin Hamilton and John Hamilton in 1666. Lord Belhaven and Stenton most likely would have been well aware of the event... and there may well be a connection by family between Lord Belhaven and the same Gavin and John Hamilton. I can only suggest there is an apparent Scots-Irish concurrence of certain "first names" amongst certain Strangs discussed by the late John R. Mayer in his "Strange of Balcaskie" book, occuring in the discussion of "Strang of High Church" at pps. 107ff; including of particular interest, Mathew Strang, John Strang, Cuthbert Strang, and a Christopher Strang. The latter name appears at page 113, in the person of one Christopher Strang, son of Allexander Strang and Agnes Wilsoun, baptised at High Church, Glasgow, Lanark, on Thursday, 13 December 1666. The date is striking in juxtapostion with the date of beheading of the martyred Christopher Strang! And, the names Mathew Strang, Cuthbert Strang, and John Strang all appear in the early records of Ulster... particularly in Counties Tyrone and Down.... indicating not only a possible connection with the Tynan Abbey Stronges, but, also with the Strongs of County Donegal, in close association with John Hamilton of Fintra Townland, Killybegs parish, John Hamilton of Murvagh and Brown Hall, and the Gavin Hamilton mentioned in the same lineages.
5) Nothing has been said about how James Hamilton got from being "Bishop of Galloway" to being "probably" Prebendary of Killymardin. In view of the time frame, it seems possible he was one of the Episcopalian Bishops of Scotland who were deprived of their livings in Scotland following the "Bishop's Wars" circa 1640, and thereafter he fled to Ireland, where he may have "kept his head down" during the period of the Commonwealth, surfacing after the Restoration to become Prebendary of Killymardin. However, it seems just possible that the James Hamilton of Murvagh who became Prebendary of Drumholme, 1666/7 through 1669, was an entirely different person, possibly one of the Fintragh Hamiltons who took advantage of the dislocations of the Civil Wars, the Commonwealth, and the Restoration to move the short distance from Killybegs to Drumhome! This is, of course, highly speculative and should be researched as thoroughly as possible.
6) It is not clear to the Editor here whether Egan's "Drumhome" material represents a Reprint of earlier information including the John Stewart Hamilton book "My Times and Other Times", or whether it represents independent research. We need to know more about this, and his sources should be identified and researched for additional clues.
7) Sometime around the beginning of the twentieth century, twenty-four English silver coins were found in a deposit on the land of a farmer named Kee [Editor's Note: This should be checked. Was the name really "McKee", one of the families of interest in our research?] at Laghey, in County Donegal.
8) On September 9,1631, James Hamilton leased two houses, a garden and two acres of land in the new town of Killybegs from John Murray. Murray of Broughton, in the southwest of Scotland, was the other land lord in Killybegs, besides the Bishop of Raphoe. Hamilton also leased the entire townland or ballyboe of Drumbeagh from Murray by the same deed. This James Hamilton was most assuredly the first of the Fintra Hamiltons who held that Estate for seven generations. A deed of 1669 describes James Hamilton as "late of Fintraugh" and gives his son, Alexander, a continuation of the lease of Fintra.[emphasis added]. The 1631 lease and 1669 deed mentioned by Conaghan need to be examined... and it has not as yet been done. But questions arise. If James Hamilton was "late of Fintraugh" where was he of in 1669; Conaghan suggests he was deceased. But, who was granting the deed? We need to look at the deed records in the National Archives. [Conaghan gives as citations "D/14/731, and D/14/736, both apparently in the National Archives".] If it was James Hamilton, was he then of Murvagh? How old was this James Hamilton? Did he have an elder son, "John Hamilton" who was to succeed at Murvagh? If so, was this John Hamilton the same John Hamilton who moved from Murvagh to Brown Hall?
9) In a transcription of the original handwritten "Muster Rolls of the Ulster Army of 1642" prepared by D. Stewart in about 1911 from the lists found in Public Record Office, London, we find one James Strange, "mustered at Rafowe in the County of Dunagall, the two and twentieth day of August 1642", with Captain William Hamilton's "Company of Foote", in Sir Robert Stewart's Regiment. Query whether there is any relationship between this James Strange in Captain William Hamilton's Company of Foot, and the Planters in Sir Ralph Gore's Regiment? Or, was this James Strange of the Tyburn Abbey Stronge lineage, and was he associated with yet another of the multitudinous Hamilton family? How about Captain William Hamilton himself? Any relationship with the William Hamilton of Fintragh who was the first protestant minister of Killybegs in 1619? We need to review the transcript of the Muster Roll for the other names listed in Captain William Hamilton's company, and compare them to the names we have already identified as being of interest in the Plantations around Donegal Bay.
10) "It may be significant that the Strong names are found in Killaghtee, a parish where Murray of Annandale was landlord, for Annandale is in the Scottish Border shire of Dumfries, just across the border from the "English shire of Cumberland..." , where large numbers of Strongs can be found in the records of the various local parishes of the Church of England. It seems highly possible that Murray of Annandale recruited Henry and George Strong from the Cumberland-Dumphries locale during the plantation, and they may have helped garrison Castle Rahan during the 1641 Rising. However, it seems equally possible that "Strong" as the name is found in Donegal is really an Anglicization of "Strang" as it is found in Lanarkshire. And, at this point, it seems possible the Strongs of Cumberland are descended from or related to the Strangs of Lanarkshire." More research is needed.
(11) Referencing the entry in Burke's Peerages concerning certain antecedents of the Earls of Erne:
In a Message from: Patty Horton to: Dave Strong dated Friday, December 15, 2000 9:17 PM, she advises: "...you ask where is Manor Hamilton. There actually is a town called Manorhamilton in Co. Leitrim. I drove there from Ballyshannon -- an easy drive. I was seeing the sights along the way and back. All done easily in a day, with time left over for dinner back in Ballyshannon. So you see it was very close by. There were ruins of a castle there."
Patty Horton's message leaves me wondering if Manor Hamilton was held by the Abercorn branch of the Hamiltons'? Also, I am wondering if the castle was perhaps another of those locations held as a "strong point" by the Anglo-Scots in the 1641 Rising and during the 1689 Revolution.... The questions keep coming as fast as answers are found!!!! It is interesting the town and castle are in County Leitrim. There are very few records in the Irish Strong Database regarding any Strongs per se in Leitrim... and those records are from circa 1860.... However, there was a possibility of direct contact between the Donegal Bay community and Leitrim. Modernly it is rather close; See: "Garrison- A frontier for two thousand years, -A Parish History", by Pat McGuinness; ISBN 0953496600; Ruisheen Press, 4 Main Street, Belleek, Co. Fermanagh (1998).
|Any interested researchers who can help clarify any of the foregoing issues would be welcomed indeed!|
A few words about the footnotes in this Webpage are in order. When I first began writing the book that became "Researching Strong(e) and Strang(e) in Britain and Ireland", 2nd Edition (Rootsweb), I was writing for the traditional print format, and intended the documentation to be in the form of footnotes appearing at the end of each chapter. When I subsequently published the various chapters on the above website, the footnotes were presented in that format. However, as time went on, I found that it was easier to present the documentation of particular points immediately in the screen-text. Simply, it was easier to navigate to the documentation if it was immediately at hand, rather than having to go to the end of the webpage to find the documentation relied upon. Consequently, as my webpages have been added to and updated there are two different means of documentation provided: the "on-screen" text variety, and the traditional footnotes.
In writing the present webpage, I have referred to various of the previously written webpages for material in support of the discussion here. Where the prior material included footnotes, I have carried them forward into this webpage, and you will note that I have presented not only the footnote documentation, but also the prior webpage from which it was derived for the present material. Anyone curious as to the context in which the material was previously presented, may consult with the various chapters and the Bibliography.
1 = Estates #14: "Burke's Peerage and Baronetage", Burke's Peerage Ltd., London (1970),
This web page is divided into several sections. Click on the section to which you wish to "jump":
A HYPOTHESIS REGARDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HAMILTON FAMILY AND VARIOUS YEOMAN TENANT FAMILIES OF CO.DONEGAL:
HAMILTON OF BROWN HALL:
HISTORICAL EVENTS LIST:
RELIGIOUS CONFLICT, THE REFORMATION, & POLITICAL ACTS:
THE HAMILTON FAMILY OF LANARKSHIRE, SCOTLAND:
LINKING HAMILTON OF BROWNHALL TO SCOTTISH HAMILTONS:
HAMILTON OF FINTRAGH:
SOME SIGNIFICANT PLANTATION ESTATES:
FOOTNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY:
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David B. Strong. Click for contact information.
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