Mystery Monday!

A Tiny Little Document…

In the summer of 2012 on a trip “back home”, while going through some family documents that my aunt had amassed for me; I came across a little piece of paper.

Tiny document

This tiny “piece” of a document has had me wondering what exactly it is!

It includes many family names; family who I have since discovered had resided in Co. Donegal at one point in time!  The families include: Chambers, Johnson and Barclay families from my maternal line.

It is obviously an official document, but what exactly?  I would love to know what it is!

Inquiring minds…

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About CJ Murdoch

Looking For "Dead People"! My Journey Back In Time - Tracing my ancestors and researching the counties, cities and towns where they resided. Taking a “Glimpse” into their lives and stories and the times in which they lived; all in an effort to learn about their “Dash”! “I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning – to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the second with tears, but he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.” I have always been interested in researching my family tree and “hanging out” in cemeteries. Like most of us... I didn't ask enough questions when elderly family were still living. Oh, what I would give for 24 hours and a camera with my ancestors… just to sit and listen! I'm researching many family lines, including: Murdoch, Wilson, Berry, Love, Scott, Beattie/Beatty, Hendren, Sweeney, Robinson and Elvin; just to name a few. My families are predominantly from counties Antrim, Donegal and Londonderry. However, it seems that many of them, both maternal and paternal lines, originally hailed from Co. Donegal. I was born and raised in Northern Ireland and now live in Ottawa, Canada, making frequent trips back home to visit with my family. Of course those visits also include treks to the many burial grounds of my ancestors. My most recent trip back home was during the summer of 2019! Looking forward to August of 2020 when I will return. If you are interested in help tracing your ancestors I’d love to hear from you!
This entry was posted in Co. Donegal, Co. Londonderry, Family History, Geneaology, Ireland, Misc. and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mystery Monday!

  1. Dave Mitchell says:

    Hi Colleen

    Some very interesting documents!

    At a quick glance, each of your notes looks like a “BILL” (or “promissory note” / “acknowledgement of debt”).

    Rotate your image and look closely at the red “seal” – I can’t read it all, but I think it says “Bill” above the crown, and in the middle on the tear (i.e. the fold) “one shilling”. This looks to me something like a franking mark for stamp duty or customs and excise dues paid (e.g. to H. M. Revenue and Customs).

    The question then is, is this pursuant to lease obligations or for imported goods coming in through the port of Derry? I don’t know, however these could be avenues for further research.

    My tuppence worth!


    Dave Mitchell Cape Town South Africa


  2. CJ Murdoch says:

    Hi Dave, thanks for reading my blog, your comment and observations. I’ll take a closer look at the .jpeg image (after work 🙂 ) to see if I can get a better look. Unfortunately, the little document is about 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″. Oddly, out of all the information I have acquired; this document has had me curious for a couple of years now. If I figure it out, I’ll keep you in the loop. I do appreciate your “tuppence worth”! 😀


  3. Su Leslie says:

    I tend to agree with Dave. It definitely looks like a government (crown) seal. The words “Bill” and “Note” (at the bottom) and a bit of text that looks like “give him the half” made me wonder if it was a promissory note. Fascinating. I guess finding someone who is familiar with seals from that era would be really helpful. The county archives would be my first port of call. It’s likely the archivist would know the seal. Good luck; I hope you find out more. 🙂


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