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James & Ellen HAMILTON


Loyal Member
Staff member

A revisit of my HAMILTON family.

James married Ellen NEWELL - date and place unknown but probably Co Down or Co Antrim.

James HAMILTON Magheradrool of Ballykine; auction of his farm 30 May 1796 NS

James was a farmer. He died abt 1866 and Ellen abt 1868 - source ?? (A tree I inherited)

Said to have had six children but I'll list the youngest three only:

William b. 1823-1827 Co Down d. 6 Nov 1895 Cork, Co Cork

Aged 21 in 1846, aged 31 in 1858, aged 72 in 1895 ---> DOB 1825, 1827, 1823

HAMILTON Wm 21 DOW 1846 6058/159B

R.I.C. Service No 7533
Joined 9 Dec 1846 - Age 21 - 5' 11 1/2" - Co Down - P(resbyterian) - Rev J Shaw, Clerk - Farmer
Reserv. 0 3 1/2 ? Promotion P4C 1 May 1855
Cork Promotion PC 1 Jul 1857
Waterford 1 Sep 1859 (1 year after marriage)
1886 7533 Hamilton, William Head Constable Limerick Pensioned

There was a Rev John Shaw in 1st Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church during the period concerned.
1st Presbyterian Church, Ballynahinch
The Ordnance Survey Memoirs of 1836 describe it as a plain, slated, roughcast, rectangular building with 3 galleries; there were 100 regular attendants then when Rev. Shaw was the minister; he lived at The Spa, near Ballynahinch and was minister from 1831-1870.

County Down - Townland: Ballynahinch/Ballinahinch - Civil Parish: Magheradrool - Poor Law Union/Civil Reg Dist: Downpatrick
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Margaret b. abt 1832 Co Down d. 9 Oct 1886 Glen Park, Victoria, Aust.

Parish of Magheradrool, son of John McCoubrie to Margaret Hamilton aged 20 on 21 January 1853. CR

Miss Margaret HAMILTON Magheradrool daughter of James Hamilton aged 20 married John McCoubrie 21 Jan 1853

McCoubrie John 1853 Parish: MAGHERADROOL (PR)
Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Church Marriage McCoubrie John 1853 Co. Down

Name: John McCoubrie
Registration district: Downpatrick
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: 1853
Estimated birth year:
Mother's surnames:
Film number: 101244
Volume: 4
Page: 747
Digital GS number: 4195890
Image number: 00442
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

Name: Margaret Hamilton
Registration district: Downpatrick
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: 1853
Estimated birth year:
Mother's surnames:
Film number: 101244
Volume: 4
Page: 747
Digital GS number: 4195890
Image number: 00380
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

No 1536 9 October 1886 Glen Park Shire of Bungaree County Grant - Margaret McCoubrie Female 54 years - Exhaustion Hydatid of Lungs and Liver 12 months Dr Womanki ? 22 September 1886 - James Hamilton Farmer Ellen Hamilton MS Newell - 11639 - John Morris Assistant Undertaker employed at Funeral Ballarat East Wm D McKee 11 October 1886 Ballarat East 11 October 1886 Cemetery Ballaarat C Morris - Carter McSully ? John Morris - Ballynahinch Co Down Ireland 20 years in Victoria - Ballynahinch Co Down Ireland of 22 years John Alexander McCoubrie - James deceased & Linden 25 years

A few things in that death certificate don't add up such as married 22 years, but mother's name is correct.
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John b. 1 Jan 1836 Co Down d. 1922 Ballarat, Victoria, Aust.

Date of birth from Police service record in Victoria.

HAMILTON JNo 18 DOW 1854 E - AUS 6061/46B

Public Records Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England

Service Number: 18210
Name: HAMILTON, John
Age when joining: 18 years
Height: 5 feet 7 ¾ inches
Native County: Down
Religion: Pres.
Date of Marriage:
Native Co. of Wife:
Recommended by: S.I. Stafford
Trade or Calling: Labourer
Date of Appointment: 14 April 1854
Allocations: Fermanagh (6 Aug 1854) Reserve (1 Nov 1856) Armagh (5 Feb 1858 )
Promotions or Demotions: 1st sub constable (1 Oct 1854)
Discharge: Resigned
Discharge Date: 31 August 1858
Remarks: "To emigrate to Australia"

This would be Sub-Inspector Arthur Willoughby Stafford who retired in 1880. He would have been the senior officer in the district police barracks for the area in which John Hamilton resided at that time.

No 361 Ballaarat 7 July 1862 John Hamilton Bachelor Nil - Co Down Ireland - 2966 - Mounted Police Constable 26 - Creswick Creswick - James Hamilton Farmer Eleanor Newell
Mary Moriarty Spinster Listowell Co Kerry Ireland - Milliner 25 - Mair St Ballaarat - John Moriarty Teacher Mary Huyer ?
Member of the Presbyterian Church - Manse, Soldiers Hill, Ballaarat - W Henderson - Witnesses Robert Manre ? & ? Moriarty
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There are very few references to Ballykine/Ballykene where several family members were said to have been farmers:

William M'Cullough address Ballykene, Ballynahinch owns 45 acres.

There is so much on that tree I inherited that is just 'family lore' and without any sources. Some of it I've already proved wrong. I wish I could get the age at death for both James and Ellen.

I wonder if this is the one born before William or unrelated.

Samuel HAMILTON Magheradrool son of James Hamilton ; aged 27 married Mary Lightbody 21 Mar 1851 CR

This has to be the arrival of Margaret with sons James and Linden as per her death certificate but some things certainly don't fit:

Index to Unassisted Inward Passenger Lists to Victoria 1852-1923
Family Name First Name Age Month Year Ship Port Fiche Page

Image has age 7 and says 'Scotch.' 'Wife and child.'
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If the tree is correct and James and Ellen died around 1867 then I wonder if it is worth getting a copy of Margaret's marriage:

Downpatrick 1853 Vol 4 page 747.

Probably won't mention the mother. I have a copy of William's 1858 marriage in Cobh and it only mentions his father. Hmmm.

I didn't wake up to that until just now.

Reg #56 - 2 Sep 1858
Scots Church - Presbyterian - Cobh
William: Age 31 - Policeman - Leemount, Cork - Father: James - Farmer
Anne: Age 27 - Gurranabraher (Granabraher), Cork - Father: John - Victualler
by Licence by me William Magill ?
In the Presence of us: John (M)(H) ? Huskey? William Melllepont? (Anne's brother?)

Name: Anne Mellefont
Registration district: Cork
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: 1858
Estimated birth year:
Mother surnames:
Film number: 101247
Volume: 4
Page: 509
Digital GS number: 4195893
Image number: 00175
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958
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I have had a quick look at the Hamilton side of your family.

I would get Margaret’s marriage cert as it should give you her townland at that time, which should enable you to identify/confirm the family farm in Griffiths. Cheapest option is to order a photocopy from GRO Roscommon. That only costs €4 provided you give them the place, year, volume and page number (plus the quarter if there is one). As you have observed with the Cork marriage cert, Irish marriage certs only have the father’s names so you won’t get mothers names from them.

You were looking for information about Ballykine. (The spelling can vary but was standardised at the time of Griffiths). There are 2 townlands of Ballykine in the parish Magheradrool – Ballykine Upper & Lower. Both are rural agricultural land. Lower is 598 acres and Upper is 689. Immediately beside them is the townland of Ballykine (333 acres) which Griffiths puts in the parish of Magherahamlet but seanruad puts in Dromara. Seanruad doesn’t list Magherahamlet as a parish at all. (I wonder if the parish boundaries may have changed over the years). This PRONI website places Magheradrool and Magherahamlet immediately beside each other and seems to allow for the parish boundary to put Ballykine in a different parish to the adjacent Ballykine Upper & Lower.


According to Griffiths Valuation, in 1863 Ballykine Lower had 119 households, Ballykine Upper had 78, and Ballykine had 30. These are all on the western/north western outskirts Ballynahinch. Today it would still be good agricultural land with some valuable farms but there would also be a lot of houses set in a little land of their own, occupied by business people commuting to Belfast.

Looking at Griffiths, I can see 3 Hamilton households in Ballykine. They are all beside each other which would strongly suggest they are related. The first is a farmhouse, offices (outbuildings) and 36 acres of land (making it a fairly wealthy farm by Irish standards). That’s plots 15 & 16 on Griffiths and was occupied by James Hamilton. The next was a house only occupied by John Hamilton senior, and that was a sublet from James Hamilton. That’s 16b. That would suggest someone who is retired and who is living with his son (but in a separate property). Immediately beside these two is John Hamilton junior on plot 18, who had a house, offices and 27 acres. Today those 2 farms are up a dead end lane off Chestnut Rd, Ballynahinch BT24. You can see it easily enough on Google Earth. The houses look smart enough but the outhouses are a bit rusty and if you look at the street level view there’s a fine example of an abandoned caravan in a field in front of one of the farmhouses. (Farmers never throw anything away)

I have looked for a will for James Hamilton but can’t see one listed. The farm normally was left to the eldest son. Did that happen in your family’s case? I’ll hazard a guess from what I see in Griffiths. That was that unusually, because they were quite well off, the father split the farm between two sons (John & James). Hence the two farms side by side. You may know from your knowledge of the family whether that could be right. If not, the 2nd farm is presumably a cousin or other close relation.

I did find this:

Full Abstract :
Probate of the Will of John Hamilton late of Ballykine County Down Farmer who died 3 February 1907 granted at Belfast to James Blakely Mason and George Quinn Farmer. Effects £117 15s. 0d.

The full will is not on-line yet but should be held by PRONI, Belfast. (Let me know if you want a copy and I’ll get one next time I am in PRONI). What may be his death was registered in Lisburn Jan – Mar 1907, Volume 1, page 567. Born 1819. Does that fit with your family information?

This looks like John & family in the 1901 census (in Ballykine Lower, not Ballykine. I can’t explain that discrepancy):


Not sure how this all fits with your information. You believe that James senior was still alive in 1866, whereas the properties I have found seem to be headed by a John senior, with a son James and perhaps another son John. “Your” John b 1836 had emigrated. This one was apparently born in 1819.

These are the only Hamilton households in Ballykine in the 1860s, so I suspect they must be related to your family somehow.

Here’s 2 Hamilton families in Ballykine itself in 1901:


Only 17 households there at that time./

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Hello Elywn,

Thank you so much for looking. I'm really not sure how it fits. There is no mention in the tree of a John who could be that John senior. I don't know who prepared the tree or where the information came from. It was done sometime before 1990. My grandmother died that year aged 99.

I don't know if the family you have found is somehow related or if the information in my tree is totally unreliable. The information on the first three children is very scant:

Eldest James, a farmer at Ballykine. No other details.

Then Ellen. No details.

Then Samuel. Says only "Returned to Scotland" :rolleyes:

William, Margaret and John all ended up in Australia.

Can I rely on the marriage certificate not saying James is deceased? Is it usual to just name the father and his occupation and not mention if still living or not?

Re James still being alive in 1866, the tree just says he was a farmer in Ballykine and died about 1866. And that Ellen died about 1868. I have found these:

1 match for the search criteria: Hamilton (plus variants) James 1863-1869 Parish: DOWNPATRICK (CR)
Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Civil Death Hamilton James 1869 Co. Down

1 match for the search criteria: Hamilton (plus variants) Ellen 1864-1870 Parish: DOWNPATRICK (CR)
Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Civil Death Hamilton Ellen 1864 Co. Down

And this one:

1 match for the search criteria: Hamilton (plus variants) James 1812-1820
Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Church Marriage Hamilton James 1818 Co. Down


Hello Elwyn,

I've found these but none seem to fit as the Co Down ones don't have father = James.

5 matches for the search criteria: Hamilton (plus variants) William 1823-1827
Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Church Baptism Hamilton William 1825 Co. Antrim + James
Church Baptism Hamilton William 1825 Co. Antrim
Church Baptism Hamilton William 1827 Co. Antrim
Church Baptism Hamilton William 1827 Co. Down
Church Baptism Hamilton William 1827 Co. Down

1 match for the search criteria: Hamilton (plus variants) Margaret 1832
Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Church Baptism Hamilton Margaret 1832 Co. Antrim + James

Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Church Baptism Hamilton John 1836 Co. Longford + James
Church Baptism Hamilton John 1836 Co. Down
Church Baptism Hamilton John 1836 Co. Down

I’ll have a think about your family over the next few days. Your problem is that Hamilton is a very common name in Co Down. There are 1689 Hamiltons in Co Down in the 1901 census, and so your problem is not finding them but eliminating the ones who are not related. If you are sure your family came from Ballykine, then I’d be inclined to focus on those families. The 3 townlands comprise a pretty small area which, in 1863, only had about 200 households, of which only 2 or 3 are Hamiltons. Must be connected.

On your question about whether you can rely on the marriage cert not saying James is deceased, the answer is no. Sometimes it will say deceased and often it won’t. And it will give the father’s occupation regardless of whether he is alive or dead. It was very much up to the Minister’s whim whether (dcd) was added or not. Draw no conclusions from the absence of dcd.

Have you checked the tithe applotment records to see who was in Ballykine then (ie 1820s/1830s)? That’s the next level back from Griffiths, if you follow me. It was a sort of agricultural census, and lists all householders at that time (who had agricultural land).

What about graveyards? Have you checked them out? There’s some commercial sites, or perhaps you know where your family were buried. I may be able to have a look the next time I am down that way.

I assume you know that your ancestors are likely to have come to Co Down with the Hamilton & Montgomery settlement in 1606? They mostly came from SW Scotland just across the water from Co Down. http://www.hamiltonmontgomery1606.com/

Hello Elwyn,

Thanks for your thoughts. It's not something I expect to fall into place in a few days. If it takes months of work then that is fine. I'm sure it says 'farmer at Ballykene' but I will get the original out and check.

Yes, I was aware that they probably arrived in Ireland at that time. And, yes, a very common name in Antrim and Down.

Thanks, I won't rely on what the marriage certificate says but it's still worth getting a copy of Margaret's. I should at least know if it says deceased or not. The Roscommon site says the order form is a pdf but it's a .doc and I don't have MS Word on my computer. Actually, I don't even have a printer. I'd have to post the request with my credit card details. I was wondering about the on-line option offered by HSE.

No, I have not looked or had anyone look at the Tithe records yet.

I have only those rough dates for the death of James & Ellen. No, the tree has nothing about where they are buried. I have no idea about possible graveyards nor have I yet searched.


Hello Elwyn,

I've looked at the original of the tree again.

James d. 1866 - indicates exact year but no place mentioned
Ellen NEWELL d. abt 1868

Children listed as per tree:

James b. ? Succeeded to farm at Ballykene, Ballinahinch, Co Down

Ellen b. ? ? twin of James - no further mention

Samuel b. ? Went back to Scotland - Descendants said to be still there

Margaret b. ? Went to Victoria, Australia to keep house for John when his wife died **

John b. ? Emigrated. Joined Mounted Police at Lexton, Victoria. Had a selection at Newpark, Ballarat.
2 sons & 2 daughters **

William b. 1823 m. 2 Sep 1858 d. 1895 - no places mentioned but marriage and death dates are correct.

** John did have 2 sons & 2 daughters. His spouse Mary died in 1873 leaving 4 children aged 3 to 10. But Margaret arrived married and with 2 children in 1863. From John's service record:

June 1876 Applied to be sent to Geelong as a single man as his wife -t----d- ------- in the Ballarat District. [I can't read that bit] But who was looking after the children if not Margaret? The children didn't die young. They lived to after 1936.

Everything I have for John says he was born in 1836 not before William. And for Margaret born about 1831.


Hello Elwyn,

Gravestone Inscriptions - R.S.J. Clarke - UHF.

Vol. 7: Co. Down, Barony of Dufferin and Lecale. Ulster-Scot Historical Foundation
Includes: Downpatrick Cathedral Graveyard; Downpatrick Church of Ireland Graveyard; Downpatrick Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Graveyard; Downpatrick Presbyterian Graveyard; Downpatrick Roman Catholic Graveyard; Inch Graveyard; Killyleagh Presbyterian Graveyard; Saul Graveyard

Vol. 9: Co. Down, Baronies of Lecale and Kinelarty. Ulster-Scot Historical Foundation
Includes: Aghlisnafin Roman Catholic Graveyard; Ballykinler Roman Catholic Graveyard; Ballynahinch First Presbyterian Graveyard; Ballynahinch Second Presbyterian Graveyard; Clough Presbyterian Graveyard; Drumaroad Roman Catholic Graveyard; Kilmegan Graveyard; Loughinisland Graveyard; Magheradroll Graveyard; Magheradroll Church of Ireland Graveyard; Magherahamlet Graveyard; Magherhalmet Presbyterian Graveyard; Rathmullan Graveyard; Seaforde Graveyard

Graveyard Information
Path: HistoryFromHeadstones > Maps
Ballynahinch 1st Pres
County : Down
Denomination : Presbyterian
Graveyard Name : Ballynahinch 1st Pres *** Said to be very small.
Civil Parish : Magheradrool
Town / Townland : Ballynahinch
OS Reference : J367525


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I have no idea how these may fit in. I don't know how we are going to sort the families out and therefore eliminate individuals. Almost looks as though we have too many named James in the area.

Miss Agnes HAMILTON . Magheradrool daughter of James Hamilton ; aged 21 married James McMaster 12 Sep 1852 CR

Charles HAMILTON . Magheradrool & Blaris
produced a Testimonial from Rev Alexander McCracken of Lisburn to introduce him at Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church 19 Mar 1721 ; father of Margaret bpt. 19 Mar 1721 & John bpt. 13 Dec 1724

. David HAMILTON . Magheradrool married Elizabeth Blakley at Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church 17 Jun 1708 BPCR

. David HAMILTON . Magheradrool father of Elizabeth bpt. Sunday 17 Jul 1709 & William bpt. 11 Oct 1710 & Mary bpt. Sunday 21 Sep 1712 & David bpt. 28 Jul 1715 & John bpt. 4 Oct 1719 & James bpt. 3 Dec 1721 & Ann bpt. 3 Jul 1724 at Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church (could be either of the above) BPCR

Rev. David HAMILTON . Magheradrool b.22 Apr 1805; son of Thomas Hamilton , a farmer of Upper Ballykine; brought up in Ballynahinch Presbyterian community; husband of Elizabeth Weir of Banbridge; Presbyterian minister Connor in 1829 then Belfast from 1840 ; moderator of General Assembly 1854-55; buried Clifton street Belfast graveyard BPCR; MIs

. James HAMILTON . Magheradrool father of Margaret bpt. Thursday 14 Apr 1707 at Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church by Rev William Reid; received financial assistance from the church of a few shillings 7 Aug 1709 & 1 Oct 1709 & 5 Apr 1719 & 14 Feb 1720 BPCR

. James & David HAMILTON . Magheradrool in Lower Ballykine; leased 46 acres of rocky ground from Lord Moira in 1782 EMLR

. James HAMILTON . Magheradrool of Ballykine; auction of his farm 30 May 1796 NS

. James HAMILTON . Magheradrool son of James Hamilton; aged 20 married Sarah Ann Graham 1 Dec 1854; father of John b. 28 Nov 1867 (regd. Ballynahinch) CR

. James HAMILTON . Magheradrool of Ballymacarn North; leased house & 15 acres from David S. Ker in 1863 GV

. James HAMILTON . Magheradrool regd. Ballynahinch; husband of Rebina Ann Campbell; father of John b. 23 Sep 1869 & Margaret Ann b. 29 Jul 1871 CR

John HAMILTON . Magheradrool of Windmill St, Ballynahinch; leased a house & yard from William Brown in 1863 GV

. John HAMILTON . Magherahamlet a ruling elder at Ballynahinch 2nd Presbyterian Church 15 Mar 1829 EPC p11

. Samuel HAMILTON . Magheradrool a labourer of Ballymacarn; son of James Hamilton (a small farmer) ; aged 21 or 27 married Mary Lightbody 21 Mar 1851 of Ballymaglave 20 Mar 1851 at Magheradrool Church of Ireland, witnesses were John Gray & Martin Armstrong CR

. William HAMILTON . Magheradrool son of James Hamilton ; married Sarah Tate 3 Jun 1862
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I searched for Arthur Willoughby Stafford and the only bit of info I found said he died in 1903 and listed Antrim, not necessarily place of death. It would be very handy to know where he was stationed in April 1854 when John joined the RIC.

In some ways I find it curious that Rev John Shaw of First Presbyterian Church Ballynahinch was not also John's sponsor.

I had a look at the tithe applotment records for Ballykine, and Ballykine Upper & Lower. There were no Hamiltons in Ballykine Upper or Lower, which is helpful in a way. The only 2 households were in Ballykine itself.

The tithe records are dated 1826 and list 21 households in the townland. No 9 was a Thomas Hamilton who has 22 acres, 2 roods & 37 perches, and beside him at no 10 was a David Hamilton with 21 acres 1 rood and 37 perches. The acres are Irish measure which equals 1.62 English acres.

So I would guess that these 2 farms, side by side, must be the same 2 farms listed in Griffiths in the 1860s. (So if they were originally one farm split, then it happened before 1826). I took a copy of the tithe records and if you want it, I can e-mail it to you.

I then had a closer look at the information in Griffiths. As you know in the initial valuation in 1863, James Hamilton had plots 15 & 16, with John Hamilton senior on 16b. John Hamilton jr was on plot 18. Only the initial valuation is on line. However the valuation clerks revisited the properties from time to time to record changes of owners and tenants and also any improvements, in which case they bumped up the value. These revaluations are not on line, but they are held in PRONI. So I checked them out today.

The first revaluation records that James Hamilton ceased to be the tenant of 15 & 16 in 1875 and was replaced by Isabella Hamilton. The normal interpretation from that is that he died then, and Isabella was his wife, who would have had a life interest in the property. John Hamilton snr was still alive and moved from 16b to 16a in 1875. I took a photocopy of these changes and can e-mail them to you if you want.

On plot 18, John Hamilton has gone and been replaced by a James McMaster in 1869. I can’t draw any conclusions about why he might have left.

Next change, on plot 15, is that it changes from Isabella Hamilton to Eleanor Hamilton in 1887. Normal inference from that is that Isabella had died and the farm passed to her unmarried daughter Eleanor. 2 years later in 1889 it changes again from Eleanor Hamilton to Eleanor Tate indicating she had married, (to John Tate, registered Downpatrick Oct – Dec 1884 Vol 1, page 651.) John Hamilton is still on 16a, but with 30 acres, and with Eleanor having 6.

Next change is in 1905 when plot 15 changes from Eleanor Tate to John Tate. On plot 16 the tenant is the “reps of John Hamilton” indicating he is dead around 1905. It changes to Thomas Hamilton in 1907.

Linking that to the 1901 census, here’s John Hamilton before his death:


Here’s Eleanor Hamilton in 1901, with her husband John Tate:


And in 1911:


John Tate was still in possession of 15 in 1928, having bought the farm under the Land Purchase Act. Likewise Thomas Hamilton on 16.

Looking at the townlands of Ballykine Upper and Lower, we know there were no Hamiltons there in 1826. Likewise none in 1863. The revaluation records tell me that a John Hamilton acquired plot 15 in Ballykine Lower from Simon Martin in 1870. He stayed there till 1915 when he was replaced by David Hamilton. The property had been purchased in 1911 under the Land Act. He was still there in 1928. In addition a Dr Samuel Hamilton took plot 53 in Ballykine Upper in 1891. It passed to Andrew Hamilton in 1920 and then to a John Gibson in 1921.

Your search for James Hamilton 1812-1820 probably isn’t very likely to get a correct match. Very few Presbyterian records outside Dublin are on line anywhere, but in this case you say that the family attended Ballynahinch 1st Pres church. Their baptism records don’t start till 1841 (the earlier one are obviously lost, as often happened). So I’d say the records you are looking for are lost. So you’ll only get a match with fairly limited info eg either someone else’s tree or LDS submitted data which is usually not very reliable.

With the death searches, bear in mind that death registration only started in 1864, so if James or Ellen died before that you won’t get one.

You ask about ordering the certs on-line. The only snag with that is that you have to pay the full fee of €10 plus postage, whereas with the photocopy option it’s only €4 provided you give them the place, year, quarter etc. But if you can’t print off the form I can see that’s a nuisance for you. But if you are only ordering one or two, the cost probably isn’t that important.

Your information (as per your post no 11) is that James Hamilton took the famr over. Well Griffiths tells us that there was a James on plots 15 & 16 in 1863, so that seems to fit OK. He seems to have died around 1875. Also the name Ellen is clearly a family name both in your information and in Griffiths. So that fits too.

Anyway I’ll leave you to mull this lot over.

Re the graveyards, they could probably be in any of the ones you have found. We’d need to check the Church of Ireland as well, as it was very common for Presbyterians to be buried in COI graveyards. (Goes back to before Presbyterian churches were built and COI had a monopoly. So once a family plot was acquired in a COI graveyard Presbyterians tended to carry on using it, even when Presbyterian graveyards did become available0.

I tried this site, searching on Hamilton & Ballykine but got no matches:


I see the information in post 13, which I take it you got from Ros Davies site. It will be hard work working out which relate to your family. You may be able to follow up some of the references and see the primary docs.

Re Arthur Willoughby Stafford, he is listed in Jim Herlihy’s book on RIC Officers. It says he was born 1819 Co Cavan, son of Major Stafford of the Londonderry Militia; 3rd sub inspector 1.1.1845; County Inspector 26.5.1869, pensioned 15.2.1880; died 28.12.1903 Gardenmore, Larne, Co Antrim; administration granted 30.11.1904 at Belfast to Jane Hall and Elizabeth R Nelson, effects £3,292. 11s 0d. He’s on LDS 2097/144, which would presumably say where he served in 1854.

Hello Elwyn,

Thank you so much to spending the time to look.

I will go through it all and see where it takes me.

If the tree didn't have a date for the death of James senior or Ellen I know I'd probably be wasting my time and money getting any CR deaths in Downpatrick. I still wonder about these two:

1 match for the search criteria: Hamilton (plus variants) James 1863-1869 Parish: DOWNPATRICK (CR)
Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Civil Death Hamilton James 1869 Co. Down

1 match for the search criteria: Hamilton (plus variants) Ellen 1864-1870 Parish: DOWNPATRICK (CR)
Action Source Surname First Name Year County
Civil Death Hamilton Ellen 1864 Co. Down

Yes, Ellen runs in the family. The eldest daughter of William & Anne was named Ellen.

You are correct about the baptism records for 1st Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church. To some extent we are guessing all were baptised there based on Rev John Shaw being John's sponsor. Sometime I'll have to find out where S-I Stafford was in 1854.

Apart from the 'Succeeded to farm at Ballykene' I have nothing else on James junior. The James who is around in later years seems to be a different one, being son of John.

I wonder if it is worth trying to trace the few families in that area back from the 1911 census.


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I’d go ahead and order up the two certificates. With the townland, and perhaps also the informant information it should help you decide whether they are in or out.

Incidentally I looked up the death references for James Hamilton who died in 1875. The likely one is Downpatrick 1875 Volume 6, page 449. Estimated year of birth 1814. And for Isabella Hamilton who I’d guess was his wife, there’s only 1: Downpatrick Oct – Dec 1887, Volume 1, page 403. Estimated year of birth 1810.

Though Co Down is awash with Hamiltons, there’s not that many families in Ballykine, and I agree with the idea of building the trees for those families. Probably they are related to you, but it can also be useful for eliminating lines too (if for example there’s a James alive in Australia and a similar aged James farming in Ballykine, then you know they are not siblings).

I would also go through the wills index looking for any other wills for Hamiltons from Ballykine. With Hamilton being such a common name I only whizzed through the Johns, but clearly there are James, Davids etc to be searched too. The system for granting probate changed in 1858 (when it passed from consistorial courts to the civil ones). So post 1858 wills are on this site, with those up to about 1901 viewable on line. Those after that date are held in PRONI and only the abstract is on-line:


Most of the pre 1858 wills were destroyed in the 1922 fire but some have survived, either because they were saved from the fire or because duplicates or transcripts existed. In addition the indexes to all the wills survived which can give you at least a date of death. The pre 1858 wills indexes are on a slightly different site, which will also tell you whether there is a surviving will:


Other possible sources for you to consider are the 1796 flaxseeds premiums. (As a part of a government initiative to encourage linen making, free spinning wheels and looms were given to people who undertook to plant a certain acreage of flax. 56,000 names including 3028 in Co Down are on that list. It’s on the UHF website www.ancestryireland.com.

Also Petitions of Protestant Dissenters (petitioning parliament about legislation which discriminated against them because of their denomination). Dromara (which is/was the parish for Ballykine itself) petitions are in PRONI ref: T/808/15307.
Hello Elwyn,

Thank you very much.

Enough to keep me busy for a few weeks. ;) Or longer.


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Hello Elwyn,

I just tried to order the 1853 marriage certificate on the HSE site and found the date had to fall within the range 1920-2012. :rolleyes:

I'll have to post a letter to Roscommon.


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Yes that could be right. I have seen posts somewhere else commenting on that. Just order the photocopy then, and save yourself some money. Write the year, place, Volume and page number on the order form. I use the line for "date of marriage." The advertised price is €6 but if you give them the full reference details they give you a €2 discount because they don't have to look up any indexes, and can go straight to the cert.