My Lynch/Wilson Family of Burt, Co. Donegal…

A Preponderance of the Evidence!

Several months ago, upon obtaining burial records for my 2nd great grandfather, Thomas Wilson; I discovered he was born in Burt, Co. Donegal.  The record also revealed that his parents, and my 3rd great grandparents; were William and Cherry Wilson!  Cherry seemed like a rather unusual name to me, especially for someone born in the very early 1800s; a “nick name” perhaps?  A few months later “Mr. WUGS” was able to provide me with baptism information for Thomas from the Burt Presbyterian Church.  That particular record showed that Cherry’s maiden name was Lynch and the Wilson’s lived in Carrowreagh, Burt!  Now I had another Twisted Limb to follow; namely my Lynch ancestors!

Lynch/Wilson Family of Burt, Co. Donegal

Initially, I believed that this was the first time the Lynch surname appeared in my tree (of over 5000 ancestors so far); however, I was wrong!  Thomas Lynch Hunter is my 1st cousin twice removed; his mother is one of my great grand aunts and he is Cherry Lynch’s great grandson.  I had always realized that the name Lynch had to be a family surname; however, up until this point I had not known its origin.

My next step – find more of my Lynch/Wilson family in Burt, Co. Donegal!  How difficult could it be; after all, Burt isn’t very big.  Cherry and my Lynch ancestors should be easily found since she had such an uncommon Christian name.  Or so I thought!

In the 1901 Census of Ireland I discovered that there were three people with the Lynch surname and four Wilsons living in Burt.  The 1911 census revealed that there were now two people with the Lynch name and five Wilsons.  Since William and Cherry Wilson were already long deceased I had to expand my search and work “backwards” (or sideways) so to speak!  I needed to find a way to confirm that these families were in fact mine!

In the 1901 census residing at 18 Toulett, Burt, I found Samuel Wilson Porter living with his father James; who was the head of the family and widowed.  Also living with Samuel and his father was his brother John “a lunatic”, and a domestic servant by the name of Margaret Coll.  The 2nd last entry in the census, the name that got my attention; was Ellen Wilson –spinster and sister in law!  Hmmm… now I know that James Porter had married a Wilson.  I will be eternally grateful that Ellen never married and still carried her maiden name!

Lynch/Wilson Family of Burt, Co. Donegal

The Church Marriage Record for James Porter, a farmer, of “Toolitte” disclosed that he had married Catherine Wilson of Coshquin, daughter of George; on 23 Aug 1855.  Andrew Wilson & Mary Wilson witnessed their union at the Second Derry (Strand) Presbyterian Church in Londonderry.  Catherine passed away in 1899 at the age of 75; based on this particular fact and her approximate birth year it might suggest that Catherine was a sibling of my 3rd great grandfather William Wilson!  If so, then is George my 4th great grandfather? Much more research is required for this particular Twisted Limb.

Interestingly, the 1901 census recorded the residents of a house at 16 Toulett, Burt – the Lynch family!  Robert, a farmer and his wife Matilda along with their eighteen year old son Samuel George resided right next door to the Wilsons!  Sadly, by the time the 1911 census was taken Matilda Lynch was deceased – Robert and his son Samuel George were now living in 14 Toulett, Burt.

The Civil Birth Record for Samuel George Lynch showed that he was the son of Robert Lynch and Matilda Hall of Ture, Kilderry, Co. Donegal.  Now, with another family address I have one more clue in my never ending search for my “dead people”!

Lynch/Wilson Family of Burt, Co. Donegal

A preponderance of the evidence would suggest that these families are connected to one another and definitely mine!  However, I have much more research to do in order to cite and source the records before “claiming” the families as my own and moving back one more generation!

Just another “Crooked Branch” to follow in my ever expanding tree!

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, Geneaology, Ireland and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to My Lynch/Wilson Family of Burt, Co. Donegal…

  1. Sean McLaughlin says:

    Visiting my relatives in Donegal And passed Burt yesterday….

    Beautiful Catholic Church there (Name “European building of The century” in 2000.) I think the Pres Church is now a Restruarnt/hotel added on…. Not sure what denomination it Was — but have eaten there in The past. So, good luck with your continued Search AND greetings from Donegal!


    Bro. Sean McLaughlin, SDS


    Liked by 1 person

    • CJ Murdoch says:

      Thank you Sean; I should have been in Donegal this week myself! 😦 I had to reschedule my trip as we decided (out of the blue) to buy a new house and sell our current one! The timing just wasn’t right for another trip “back home”! So, I hope to be there again before Christmas! Enjoy your day!


  2. Frank McGilway says:

    Hi Colleen. It looks like your relative Catherine Wilson who married James Porter in 1855, lived very close to where I was born in Coshquin and where my family lived !! Catherine was the daughter of George Wilson, as you say and I remember reading an article about their land in Coshquin, around this time. Robert Crockett is a local historian in Coshquin and I think his family now live on the land where the Wilson family lived, or it would be very close to it. I only know this from researching stories about Coshquin, where we lived until 1962. I think my family on my mother’s side, the Carlins, moved to Coshquin about 1942 or earlier. Regards. Frank

    Liked by 1 person

    • CJ Murdoch says:

      Hi Frank, thank you so much for reading and the feedback. I’ll have to see if I can “track down” Robert Crockett to see what else I can discover. Cheers Colleen


  3. Amy says:

    Very exciting! What great research. Good luck connecting the rest of the dots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CJ Murdoch says:

      Thanks Amy; I should be in Ireland right now if things had gone as planned. I was to fly out on the 3rd; but 10 days before that we decided to buy a new house. That meant selling our current home and getting it ready to list! This was all totally unexpected. Now I have credit for Air Canada; which I’ll hopefully use before Christmas. Hope all is well and thanks for reading. Colleen

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Teresa says:

    My Grandfather was born in Burt, Bernard Sheerin, his mother was a McDaid. Two McDaid cousins went to Nebraska they were priests. My granddad lived in Derry and passed away in the 1960’s he is buried in the Derry Cemetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joanne Bernardini says:

    I read in one of your posts that you were searching for Sweeney’s. I am descended from a John Sweeney. I have carefully traced him after he arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He married Anne Jane Devine in Philadelphia, in 1848. They were both Catholic. I have been told he was originally from Derry but I don’t know where to start searching for the family! I know that the naming patterns were important in Irish families. He named his first daughter Margaret and his first son Hugh.
    Any advice on how to make the jump back to Ireland? Does any of this ring a bell in your tree research?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Moirabain says:

    Robert Lynch was my Great Grandfather ,Great Uncle Sam died around 1958-59 he was living on his farm out side Londonderry .He had an older brother Robert who was my Grand Father .Robert had 5 children Alice, Matthew,Robert ,Samuel George,my Father and Matilda.I found a grave in Muff where Great Uncle Sam was buried with Great Great Grandfather William Lynch .It was a church of Ireland which is now closed . I don’t know if this is the correct connection you are looking for but if you have any more information connected to the lynch name I would love to here it

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a 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