The Hunters of Donegal & Londonderry!

From Bohillion, Newtoncunningham to Lewis Street, Londonderry…

Ferris Row was located just off Bishop Street in Londonderry and was the birthplace of my great grand aunt, Mary Wilson.  Known as Minnie, she was born on 7 Jan 1865 to Thomas Wilson, a carpenter; and Margaret Norry.  Minnie was the eldest of thirteen children and sister to Thomas Wilson, my great grandfather.

The Hunters of Donegal & Londonderry!

On 20 Dec 1870 in the First Derry Presbyterian Church Minnie was married to John Alexander Hunter of Toulette, Burt, Co. Donegal.  Thomas Godfrey and Amelia Short witnessed their union.  The marriage record revealed that John Alexander’s father was also John, a labourer.  With further research I discovered that his mother was Matilda McDonald, she too was from Donegal.

The Hunters of Donegal & Londonderry!

John was born on 7 May 1857 in Bohillion, Newtoncunningham, Co. Donegal, and baptized in the Newtoncunningham Presbyterian Church.  He was one of at least six children that I’ve discovered so far.  The Newtoncunningham Presbyterian Church Communicants’ Roll book revealed that John Alexander attended the Church.  On 21 Oct 1883 it showed that he had left the Church and was a parishioner at the Greenock Presbyterian Church in Greenock, Scotland.  I can only assume that he went to Scotland to find work.  The Communicants’ Roll Book also revealed that he became a member of Derry First Presbyterian Church in Jun 1887, shortly after his marriage to Minnie.

The Hunters of Donegal & Londonderry!

The newlyweds took up residence in Londonderry, initially living in Marlborough Park; where their first son William was born in 1888.  By 1890 and the birth of their second son David the family was living on Lewis Street.  Lewis Street is where many of my Wilson, Beattie’s and extended family lived for over a century.  With the birth of their third son the family is found living on Creggan Road; another street in Londonderry where many of my ancestors lived.

John and Minnie had several more children; six of which I have been able to find.  As there is a “gap” in births between 1890 and 1897, I believe there are more children to be found on this particular Twisted Limb of my family tree.

The Hunters of Donegal & Londonderry!

The 1901 Census showed that the family was still living on Creggan Road and John was working as a “Dock Labourer”.  At this point in time their house was full; as his sister in laws, Maggie Wilson and Elizabeth Diver, along with Elizabeth’s two children were living with the family.  By 1911 the family was once again living on Lewis Street; where they remained until their deaths.

In 1918 at the age of sixty one with his daughter Mary by his side John, a “Watchman on the Quay”; passed away from “Rheumatic Paraplegia”; three years certified.  He, like many of my family; is interred at the Derry City Cemetery on Lone Moor Road, Londonderry.

The Hunters of Donegal & Londonderry!

“In the end, we’ll all become stories” Margaret Attwood.

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. Donegal, Co. Londonderry, Family History, Ireland and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The Hunters of Donegal & Londonderry!

  1. andrewsarch says:

    Love the photo collages!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachelle says:

    Love your quote….perfect for genealogy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy says:

    I also love the collages. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sylvia Barrett says:

    Coleen, I am joining my New England genealogy group for a week of research in Belfast next June and as I am trying to get my research and documentation ready, I found a few pages from a book I had copied in Salt Lake City a few years ago. This book is on line now and WOW! Google—“James Orr and Janet McClement” and the familysearch site will pop up. They came into Northern Ireland from Scotland Ca. 1607 and one of the early Orrs wrote the papers and genealogy while a Ray A. Jones wrote this book. Go to page 6 of the genealogy part and you will see the first Patrick Murdock————————————-my first McConnell is on page 7. I still can’t connect to my documentation but this sure helps. Good Luck! Sylvia Barrett

    Liked by 1 person

    • CJ Murdoch says:

      Sylvia, thank you so much. I’ve scanned through the first 30 pages or so and their are a variety of Murdoch/k’s. I will be printing all 163 pages off and going through it with a fine tooth comb! 🙂 What’s already interesting are the Murdoch/k Christian names. They are names that repeat through generations of my family. I would love to get back as far as the 1600’s! Are you traveling to Belfast in June 2015 or 2016? It looks like I’ll be flying back for two weeks in July this year again! Thanks again for the information; keep me posted on your research.


  5. Pingback: My Lynch/Wilson Family of Burt, Co. Donegal… | TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

  6. seamus breslin says:

    I have a site on facebook history from headstones derry-londonderry , join up and share.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old…” | TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

  8. Cathy Pidgeon says:

    Hi Colleen
    How strange reading that John was a church member at Newtowncunningham Presbyterian Church. This is where my research into my mother’s family has lead me. Though not connected by family, a connection through the church family as they would also have attended this church around the same time.
    Whereas my father’s side is linked to the Chambers family as you know.
    It is indeed a small world!


    • CJ Murdoch says:

      Hi Cathy, thanks for reading. I really must find more time to write again. You should email me the information on your mother’s family… you just never know what connections might pop up! xx Colleen


Leave a Reply to CJ Murdoch Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s