Ros Davies' Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
© Rosalind Davies 2001
Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

Dundonald parish

Dundonald village Church of Ireland- St Elizabeth's Dundonald Presbyterian Dundonald Water Mill


Dundonald village

The first settlement was a Norman motte (castle) built on Dundonald hill by John de Courcy in 1177. The parish area was owned by Sir James Hamilton in 1615. The village is in Ballyregan townland. In 1764, the parish population was 926 with 96% Presbyterians (MOA p22). In 1831 there were 282 inhabited houses in the parish & 285 families. 210 families were employed in agriculture & 37 in trade or manufacture.There were 392 males & 350 females with 20 professionals & 79 servants.In 1837 there were 34 houses n the village which were generally of stone & neat with glass windows, 5 publicans, 1 smith, 1 carpenter, 1 painter, 2 shoemakers, 2 grocers, & a school & 2 churches. There are 3 large earthworks nearby suggesting an ancient stronghold . The population of the parish at that time was 1700 but by 1900 it had declined to 1000 people.

Newspaper articles from Northern Star;
meeting held by Robert McLeroth to form a Volunteer Militia 29 Dec 1792

Newspaper articles from Newtownards Chronicle;
National school awards 10 Feb 1849: incendiarism 23 Feb 1850; value of land on Londonderry Estates 29 Jul 1876 (DR); strike at the quarries 8 Jul 1876; article on quarry 20 Apr 1878; opening or Orange Hall 9 Feb 1884; sale of Redstone Quarry 13 May 1893 ; prize Ploughing Society 28 Jan 1899 cemetery drainage question 13 May 1899 ; Ploughing Society 3 Feb 1900 (NC)

References;NS; V7 p 41, 64, 65; DR ; NC; O'L B p320; TMUOP p55,87,155+; NDM p10; LR 2005 p16


Church of Ireland-St Elizabeth's
The parish church is in Dundonald town in Church Quarter .

Rev John Leathem / Lowthian was minister in 1622 then Rev John Kynier in 1634.The church was rebuilt on present site in 1634 . In the early part of the 1700s , parishioners worshipped at Knock. The church was rebuilt in 1771. The minister in 1758 was Rev Edmund Leslie and Rev Dillon built new rectory in 1819.The next rector was Rev Andrew Cleland in 1834 ( & for next 28 years) . The bell was put up in 1814 . In 1834 the church was described as capable of holding 100 people and was a small building measuring 66 by 28 feet with a simple antiquated appearance. There was a Church Education Society School house & teacher's house nearby.The church was named St Elizabeths in 1892 after Eliza Cleland.

Rectors were; 1619 John Lothian/Leatham; 1634 John Kynier ; 1636 James Hanilton; 1668 John Fineau; 1670 William English; 1676 James Hamilton; 1713 James Hamilton; 1730 Bernard Ward; 1758-1766 Edmund Leslie; 1766-1810 Jacob Hazlett; 1810-1851 Roger Moore Dillon; 1851-1880 Andrew Cleland; 1880-1890 Andrew Thomas Farrell; 1890-1913 Robert White; 1913-1922 ; Joseph Grundy Burton; 1922-1951 John Beresford Cotter; 1951-1980 Thomas H. Frizelle; 1980 Eric Crooks

The church was rebuilt in 1966.

Newspaper articles from Newtownards Chronicle;
Rector in court action- meeting at school re incendiarism 20 Jan 1849;extraordinary dispute 31 May 1890+

records- baptismal register 1811-1845,marriages 1811-1844 & burials 1823-1881 & Vestry Minute Book 1808-1923 at PRONI D310/2,T2438 ; North of Ireland FHS ( ) has baptisms 1811-1921 & marriages 1811-1921 & burials 1823-2008; graveyard attached ,gravestone inscriptions UHF Vol 2 ; email me for a gravestone look-up; for gravestone photos try
for burial records after 1905 try

References;V7 p 64, 66 OSM; MIs; GIC; NC; TMUOP p70 ,84,107,108, 148, 158, 159,231;GV; SCPC p8 ; POD
the old church - this photo was kindly sent to me by Bill Haggan
St E;lizabeth's parish church
the new church- This photo was kindly sent to me by Brian McCleary.


Dundonald Presbyterian Church
in Church Green, Dundonald town in Church Quarter townland

Rev Thomas Peebles was the first minister from 1645-1670 & shared with Holywood. He was seceeded by Rev. Gilbert Kennedy from 1673 until 1678 when Rev. Thomas Cobham was ordained. He fled to Scotland for 5 years during the troubles. The church was separated from Holywood in 1704 and the first undivided minister was Rev. James Stewart , who was offered £20 per annum and 20 boll of oats and a farm, from 1709 until his death in 1748. Next was Rev. James Hamilton from 1754 until his transfer in 1758. Next was Rev. William Ray from 1761 until he sailed for North Americ in 1765. He was suceeded by Rev. Hugh Smith in 1766 until his death in 1771, The church was extended with a projecting aisle added in 1769.

The minister from 1772 until he became infirm was Rev. James Caldwell. His assistant then successor was Rev. William Finlay until his death in 1834 aged 47. In 1834 it was described as a very old, plain building measuring 64 feet by 30, capable of holding 300 people. The next minister was Rev. William Graham from 1835 until he became a Jewis missionary in 1843. A new church was built 1839. Rev. Edward Thompson Martin was appointed in 1843 until 1883. A Revival was held in 1858 with 52 new members added to the congregation. Rev. Martin was succeeded by Rev. James Bingham 1883-1930. There was a National School adjacent in 1863. Bethesda was set up the 1890s to take the overflow of people.
Other ministers were Rev James A McQuitty 1927-1958, Rev Ian Alexander Jenkins 1957-1974 , Rev Roy J. Magee 1975-

Newspaper articles from Newtownards Chronicle;
monument to Rev. E.T. Martin 12 Jan 1895

Ministers were; 1645-1670 Thomas Peebles; 1670-1678 Gilbert Kennedy; 1678-1702 Thomas Cobham; 1709-1748 James Stewart; 1754-1758 James Hamilton; 1761-1765 William Ray; 1766-1771 Hugh Smith; 1772-1814 James Caldwell; 1810-1834 William Finlay; 1835-1842 William Graham; 1843-1891 Edward Thompson Martin; 1883-1930 James Bingham; 1927-1958 James A.McQuitty; 1957-1974 Ian Alexander Jenkins; 1975 Roy J. Magee

records from 1678; PRONI T808/15307; no graveyard; the photo (left) was kindly sent by Bill Haggan

References;HCPCI p134-135; V7 p 64, 66 OSM; NC;GIPR: GIC ;TMUOP p74,89,138 231;GV; POD


Dundonald Water Mill

Address; 231 Belfast Rd, Dundonald

This Mill dates from 1850 when the buildings were converted from a linen bleaching mill to a corn mill.

This photo was kindly sent to me by Bill Haggan References;



by Ros Davies