Ros Davies' Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
© Rosalind Davies 2001

Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

Dromara Parish


Dromara town Church of Ireland 1st Presbyterian Church 2nd Presbyterian Church
Reformed Presbyterian Church Dunmore Catholic Church Finnis Catholic Church Moneynabane townland
Drinn Townland . . .


Dromara town

Dromara town

In 1836 there were 17 two-storey houses & 33 'wretched' cabins. The the streets were described as being dirty. There were 13 grocer & spirit dealers, a smithie, a tailor and two corn mills also 14 day schools & 8 Sunday schools . The River Lagan rises in Dree townland and illicit distillation was carried on in all the mountainous townlands.
The Catholic Parochial House is here. There was a police station here in 1889.

Newspaper articles from Northern Star;
Dromara Catholics intimidated 22 Aug 1792; political meeting 25 Feb 1796

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
Ribbonism 1 Aug 1846: landlords giving employment for famine relief 17 Oct 1846*; Dromara Ploughiing Society trials 8 Feb 1939*

Newspaper articles from Northern Herald;
Catholics attacked by Orangemen at Fair 4 Apr 1835; letter from rector re intimidation of Catholics 11 Jul 1835

Dromara History Group; ;

ReferencesV12 p 63, 65, 66, 68 OSM:NS: DR; NS; RICLD p79


Dromara Church of Ireland

Dromara Church of Ireland- St Johns
in the north west of Dromara village, on the Banbridge road

This church was built in 1811 at a cost of £600 which was raised by assessment on the parish lands by Rev. Thomas Percy rector of Dromore Cathedral & Rev. Hannington E. Boyd- 1st rector of the church until his death in 1864 . The site is the ancient Catholic parish church which was burned in the rebellion of 1641 an remained in ruins until 1690. In 1836 the Church of Ireland was described as a neat , rectangular building with a square tower and a clock. Its dimensions were 52 by 23 feet and it was capable of holding 230 people with an average attendance in 1836 of 150.

tAfter the unification with Garvaghy in 1885 the combined ministers were Rev. Joseph Henry Chapman; 1889 William Doran Falkiner Wilkinson; 1919 Rev.James Armstrong; 1939 Rev. Hugh Frederic Woodhouse; 1940 Rev. Stanhope Sabine Squires; 1956 Rev. Samuel Ernest Long; 1986 Rev. William Thomas Long; 1997 Rev. Gary Millar

Newspaper article from Northern Herald;
letter to Rev. Hannington Elgee (sic) Boyd, rector , on intimidation of Catholics 11 Jul 1835

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;

Rectory for auction 20 Aug 1864

The graveyard was used by all denominations; graveyard attached, gravestone inscriptions Vol 19 UHF; email me for a gravestone look-up. Unfortunately the parish registers for Dromara comprising baptisms and burials to 1881 and marriages to 1845 were destroyed in the fire at the Public Records Office of Ireland in 1922, during the Civil War. For subsequent registers and also to investigate the possibility of a grave book, your best move would be to contact the rector (source- RCB Library, Dublin)

References;V12 p63,66, 67, 68 OSM; MIs; DR; V 19 MIs; GIC; NH; POD; ARF


1st Presbyterian Church, Dromara

1st Dromara Presbyterian Church
in Ardtannagh townland on the road between Dromara and Banbridge

This congregation was originally part of Dromore until 1713 . The older church , which had been built in 1717, was small, thatched and in bad repair.The first minister was Rev. John Campbell from 1715 until his death in 1724 . he was succeeded by Rev. John King in 1726 until his death in 1762. Then Rev. James Birch from 1764 but he became infirm and his grandson, Rev. James Birch Black took over in 1816. Rev. Black was suspended in 1823 for drunkedness. . Next was Rev. William Craig from 1823 until his death in 1871. There was a dispute over the next minister and the Reformed Prersbyterians took over the meeting house until compelled to hand it back .

A new Meeting House was built in 1826 on the site of the old church and cost £2,000 which was raised by private subscription. In 1836 it was described as a large, plain, rectangular building, capable of holding 1,200 people with an average attendance in summer of 900 and in winter 700. Inside is an inscription by Rev. William Craig, of Marybrook, Dromara, pastor in 1826. After the difficulties following Rev. Craig's death, the next minister was Rev. William Shepherd from 1874 until his resignation in 1880 then followed by Rev. John R. McCleery until 1884 when Rev. Edward Ekin took over . Other ministers were F.S.K. Jamison & W. Wilson & Rev. W.G. Glasgow in 1910.

click here for a 19th century account of the beginnings of this church.

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
clergy- fight in meeting house 2 Mar 1844;

click here for a story about a member of the church c. 1888

Records from 1763, for records see Batch # C700041 & M700041 on; graveyard attached, oldest gravestone 1769; gravestone inscriptions Vol 19 UHF; email me for a gravestone look-up

This photo was kindly sent to me by Ella Patterson

References;V12 p 63 ,66 OSM; HCPCI p121- 122; DR;V19 MIs; GIPR: GIC; MOF p10; POD


2nd Presbyterian Church, Dromara

2nd Dromara Presbyterian Church
in Begney townland near Dromara town

This meeting house was built in 1845. The minister in 1872 was possibly Rev. John Murdock & in 1876 & 1886 was Rev. William James Patton & in 1910 Rev. W. Gregg.

Newspaper article from Down Recorder;
article in 11 Dec 1847

Records from 1853; for records see Batch # C700041 on; gravestones inscriptions UHF Vol 19 ; email me for a gravestone look-up
This photo was kindly sent to me by Ella Patterson.

References;DR; MC; V19 MIs; GIPR; GIC; MC (of daughter) ; POD


Dromara Reformed Presbyterian Church

Dromara Reformed Presbyterian Church
on the Dromara to Banbridge Road

A congregation was formed in 1874 and met in a temporary wooden structure which could seat 600 people and was opened by Dr. J.A. Chancellor. The first minister , Rev. Torrens Boyd was instrumental in building the present church in 1876. . The first elders elected on 26 Jul 1874 were Richard Copeland, James Bryson and Robert Mack.
Minister were Rev. Torrens Boyd 1875-1890; Rev. John McKee 1891- 1897; Rev. Torrens Boyd again 1898- 1907; Rev. William Warnock 1908-1923; Rev. Alexander Gilmore 1924- 1952; Rev. J. Renwick Wright 1953- 1968; Rev. Robert Hanna 1969- 1988; Rev. John Hawthorne 1993-2006

Gravestone inscriptions UHF Vol 19 ; email me for a gravestone look-up

This photo was kindly sent to me by Ella Patterson

References; MO 24 Sep 2008 p6


St. Colman's Catholic Chapel, Dunmore

St. Colman's Catholic Church
in Dunmore townland
on the road between Ballynahinch and Castlewellan

This chapel was built near the site of a 16th century church called Templemoyle and near a former Mass Station at Guiness. It was built in 1831 and paid for by private subscription when Rev. Peter Polin was parish priest. It was consecrated in 1835. In 1836 it was described as a plain, slated building of roughcast stone with its lighting powered by windmill. The chapel was dedicated on 26 Jul 1840 when Rev. Daniel Sharkey of Ballynahinch was parish priest & Rev. Thomas Ryan was curate. It was rebuilt in 1890s. There is a well near the main gates. Rebuiltin 1955.

Parish priests; Rev. Gilbert MacInerney 1427-40; Rev. John McStay 1441; Rev William Rooney 1460; Rev. Peter Rooney 1529; Rev. Patrick Maginn 1530; Rev. Arthur O'Rooney 1530 (& Drumgooland); Rev Dermot McStay; Rev. Thomas McCormick 1539;Rev. Darby McKay 1704; Rev. Patrick Dugan 1731; Rev. Daniel O'Fegan 1741-76 (& Magheradrool); Rev Pulleine 1776; Rev. Francis McKenny 1731-88; Rev. Daniel Mooney 1793-96; Rev. Francis Reavey 1796-1826; Rev. Peter Murphy 1826-29; Rev. John McCartan 1829-36; Rev. Thomas Brady 1836-38; Rev. Peter Devlin 1838-50; Rev. John Irwin 1850-85; Rev. Daniel Mallon 1885-1903; Rev. John O'Hare 1903-1907; Rev. John Savage 1907-1920; Rev. Peter McEvoy 1920-33; Rev. Edward McConville 1933-58; Rev.Alex McMullan 1958-67; Rev. Michael O'Rourke 1867-72;Rev.Bernard Treanor 1872-90; Rev. Anthony Davies 1990-95; Rev Oliver Mooney 1995-2002

Newspaper article from Northern Herald;
consecration of chapel 5 Sep & 12 Sep 1835

No graveyard ; has registers to view 1844-1882; PRONI , NLI & LDS ( ) have baptisms 1827-1880, marriages 1829-1864; UHF ( have baptisms & marriages 1827-1900

References; OBLS p38; V12 p63, 66, 67 OSM; TIA :GIC; HMP p15; NH; DDPP p41; HPM p15-22


St. Michael's Catholic Chapel, Finnis

St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church
formerly Church of Sacred Heart c. 1886
in Finnis townland
on the road between Rathfriland & Dromara

There was possibly a building on this site from the 16th century as the oldest stone in the graveyard dates from 1767. This chapel was built in 1833 by private subscription by architect Thomas Duff. In 1836 it was described as a neat, rectangular building of unhewn stone, faced with cut granite & lighted by 11 windows. The priest at that time was Rev. Thomas Brady. A sermon was preached in 1855 by Dr.Leahy to defray renovation expenses. It was rebuilt in 1887. The priest in 1886 was Rev. D. Mallon. More renovations were carried out in 1983 . The graveyard dates from middle of 18th century with the oldest stone 1767. Up til 1820, some Catholic families buried their dead in St.John's Church of Ireland graveyard in Dromara. The graveyard was levelled in 1959 & a new entrance and pathways made in 1973.

For a list of parish priests see St Colman's above.

Newspaper article from Down Recorder;
new parochial hall opened by Father O'Hare & Father McEvoy 7 May 1928* has registers to view 1844-1882; PRONI, NLI & LDS ( ) have baptisms, marriages & burials 1844-1880;UHF ( ) has baptisms & marriages 1844-1900, graveyard attached, gravestones UHF Vol 19 ; email me for a gravestone look-up

References;V 12 p 63, 66, 67 OSM; GIC; TIA; DDPP p75


Mullinabane townland Drinn Townland
Moneynabane townland
with Slieve Croob in the background
Drinn Townland
with Slieve Croob in the background
4km SE of Dromara
This townland consists of 1176 acres, of which 578 acres is Slieve Croob. The name means ' humps or ridges' . I have indexed the people who leased land in this townland from the Trevor family 1607 -1900 throughout the Surnames Index. The proprietor was Lord Dungannon in 1836 and there was a school here.
References;V12 p 64 OSM; TEP; PRONI D/778 & D/1954

by Ros Davies