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

Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

Kilmore Parish

Crossgar town Kilmore village Church of Ireland Graveyard for the old parish church
Kilmore Presbyterian Church in Drumaghlis townland Lissara Presbyterian Church in Crossgar Rademon Presbyterian Church Non Subscribing The Rocks Catholic Cahpel
Crossgar Catholic Church Teconnaught Catholic Church    
Drumnconnor townland Magheralone townland Broclough & Murvaclogher townland  


The town of Crossgar
7km SE of Saintfield

This lovely old postcard was kindly sent by Nancy Schaalje. It shows Crossgar coming in from the Kilmore Road & the spire of the Catholic Church. The old Market Square, Crossgar.

Email for photos of Killyleagh Street taken 1900 (DR18 Sep 1967R)
Main Street, Crossgar- looking south with the Catholic Church on the left. Email for this same view taken in 1900 (DR 18 Sep 1935R)

Crossgar means ' the short cross'. Prior to 1800 the village of Crossgar was non existent with only the Everoges Bridge, Quinn's pub and a Presbyterian Church on there. It was due to the initiative of Edward Southwell Trotter who inherited the townland in 1777 that the village grew. By 1801 there were ten houses and the Catholic chapel newly built. The first school was built in 1826 in John Street and the Market House in 1829 at a cost of £30. It had a werghing room on the ground floor & an upper level for storing grain. By 1830 there were 23 publicans and grocers, one doctor, one bootmaker , four police constables and a flax mill nearby. Ruthven sold the town to William Thompson of Downpatrick in 1827 and it was Thompson who built the Market House. Poor Law district population was 3700 in 30 Nov 1839. The main coach from Belfast to Downpatrick travelled through the town. In 1850 the Thompson estate passed to a nephew, James Cleland, who rebuilt Crossgar House in 1860 but passed out of Cleland ownership in 1929.
The population of the town in 1881 was 743 and at the time Mr. James Cleland owned the village. There was a railway station behind Downpatrick Street with trains running to Belfast & Downpatrick. A market was held weekly on a Wednesday for butter, eggs and fowl. Between 200-300 of the local women were employed by the sewed muslin agents. The football team was active at this time. There was a police station here in 1889 with A. Newman in charge . The weekly market at the Market House ceased in 1890 & in 1900 the upper fllor was converted into a school. The Market House later served as a church hall then fell into disrepair.

Click here for information on the schools here in 19th century.

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
Sabbath school 20 Jan 1838; assizes 25 Feb 1843;Famine destitution 30 Jan 1847; Battle of Crossgar 24 Mar 1849 ( 10/3/28R*) : new inn 8 Nov 1851; riot 21 May 1859; outrage at railway 18 Jun 1859; discomforts of railway station 5 Dec 1863; annual school meeting, list of pupils ,teachers etc. 15 Jul 1865; concert in market house 7 Jul 1866; new Orange Hall 3 Apr 1869; opening of Orange Hall 6 Nov 1869; meeting of Tenant farmers, names of those on platform 1 Jan 1876 ; new dispensary 26 Feb 1881; dreadful suicide 29 Aug 1885 ; Crossgar's Poultry Club's annual show 18 Oct 1935*; the arrival of the railway in 1848 (18 Sep 1967R); history of the town by Dr. W. B. Bailie (18 Sep 1935R); electric light first switched on in town (1 Oct 1935); 1st Crossgar Boys Brigade 4th annual inspection 16 Apr 1937*

Newspaper articles from Newtownards Chronicle:
Great Tenant Right Meeting 1 Jan 1876

I have the full listings of Griffiths Valuations of 1864 for Downpatrick St, Crossgar 1-15 indexed throughout Surnames Index.

References;TCC p 33; V 17 p 88, 89, 90, 92 OSM: BH; DR & DR* 7 Nov 2001; NC; GIC; LM 2002 p 77; LR 2005 p73; RICLD p79 ; DR 31/10/2012 p25

Kilmore village Kilmore village
with Mason's pub on the left


Kilmore Church of Ireland

Kilmore Church of Ireland- Christ Church
just north of Kilmore village in Carnacally townland

A church was erected in 1791 at the site of the present old graveyard (see below) and paid for by local subscription. The rector c. 1790 was Rev. Thomas Kennedy Bailie & in 1830 was Rev. Leslie Creary. In 1836 the belfry still wasn't finished and the church was described as being in a wretched condition. It held 160 people with an average attendance in 1836 of 100. The rector then was Rev. Mr. Charles Oulten. Rev. John/ Robert Massen/Mussen was appointed 28 Oct 1845 (AG). This new church was built in 1870. The rector in 1896 was Rev. Thomas Jameson.

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
Sabbath school, Crossgar 23 Jan 1847;church extension 12 Jan 1867; consecration of new church 1 Oct 1870; installation of Rev. Thomas Alexander 17 Sep 1881; Christmas festival 3 Jan 1939*; Rev. P Shirley, rector , fund raiser to repair rectory 16 Jun 1939*

UHF ( ) has baptisms 1823-1856 & burials 1822-1856 ; have baptisms 1823-1856 & burials 1822-1856; ; Graveyard attached , gravestones Vol 3 & 13; email me for a gravestone look-up ; records from 1820

References; LR 2008 p46; V17 p 88 OSM; FR; DR; GIC; Irish World NY; PPNZ


old graveyard Kilmore

Graveyard for the old parish church
just further along the road from the parish church -on the left

This church was called Kilmore Moran in ancient times. The church was in ruins in 1622 and though repaired, it was probably destroyed again in the 1641 Rebellion. A new church was erected in 1791. This building was removed to the Ulster Transport & Folk Museum in Cultra near Holwyood.

Email me for a gravestone look-up

References;MIs & Euan Douglas; O'L V1 p 328


Rademon Presbyterian Church

Rademon Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church

A congregation was founded in 1713 as an off-shoot of Saintfield. The first minister was Rev. Thomas Elder from Scotland in Jun 1716 then Rev. Samuel Fergie 1728- 1765. This Meeting House was built in 1787 on the site of the old church which was a thatched house. . The Rev. Moses Neilson who became infirm and was replaced by his son Rev. Arthur Neilson in 1810 who then seceded from the Synod of Ulster

In 1834 there was a split over doctrine and some of the congregation built another meeting house in Drumaghlis townland.(called Kilmore Presbyterian). The Arians and Non-Subscribers stayed at Rademon but the Synod of Ulster adherents went to Drumaghlis. In 1836 this church was described as a plain, slated, rectangular building in a T shape.The minister in 1836 was Rev.William Crozier of Ballynahinch whose salary was £125. Rev. John Joseph Mahill of Banbridge was installed as minister in 1896 and died in charge in 1942.

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

Newspaper article from Northern Star;
notice to carpenters and masons re enlargement of building 20 Jul 1795

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
improvement to church 24 Dec 1853; Sunday School entertainment 18 Aug 1860; ordination of Rev James Kennedy 3 Apr 1869; dinner to Rev Kennedy 16 Nov 1878 ; installation of Rev. Barnard Bisby 5 APR 1879; ordination of Rev. J.A. Kelly 23 Oct 1880; list of collectors & subscribers to special collection 21 Nov 1885

Records from 1830; (PRONI CR4/2/A/1) ; graveyard attached, grave inscriptions available UHF Vol 3 ; email me for a gravestone look-up

References;V17 p 91 OSM: DR; GIC; GIPR; HCPCI p170; SG; ; photo of old church c. 1787 ( MO 22/12/2021 p27)


Kilmore Presbyterian Church

Kilmore Presbyterian Church
in Drumgahlis townland-south of the road between Killyleagh and Ballynahinch

The congregation was formed in 1713 ( see above for Rademon) . The congregation split with the Rademon Meeting House over doctrine. The Arians and Non-Subscribers remained at Rademon. This congregation at Drumaghlis adhered to the Synod of Ulster.The foundation stone was laid 6 Aug 1832 & finished Aug 1833.

The minister from 1833- 1881 was Rev. Moses Black of Crossgar and his salary in 1836 was £125 per year. He organised the erection of a new meeting house in 1834 at a cost of £1,500 which was raised by subscription. This church was described in 1836 as a plain, slated rectangular building, neat, and whitewashed. Rev. Black was succeeded by Rev Thomas Alexander in 1881, then Rev. W. A. Corry then Rev. W.D. Bailie then Rev. W.A. Abernethy & Rev. Andrew Cole.

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
Sabbath school library fundraising 7 Aug 1880

baptismal and marriages registers date from 1833; the graveyard is beside the church. Email me for a gravestone look-up
Rev. David Stewart wrote "The Story of Kilmore Presbyterian Church" in 1932

References;HCPCI p169-170; V17 p 91 OSM; DR; GICl MO 7/8/2013 p31


Lissara Presbyterian Church
in Market Square, Crossgar

Before this church was built, Presbyterians from Kilmore & Killyleagh areas worshipped at Ballydugan Mills. A Meeting House was built on this site in 1770 at a cost of £300 with some additions in 1793 which cost £150 & was paid for by parishioners and public contributions. The first minister was Rev. John Sturgeon from 3rd Ballynahinch Presbyterian who preached here in the evenings when the ministers were shared in 1776 until 1793 when the minister was Rev. John Reid . It was from the windows that the congregation, who had assembled for a Monday communion thanksgiving service, viewed the military marching by on their way to oppose the United Irishman at the Battle of Ballynahinch in June 1798. The minister from 1801 until 1809 was Rev. Mr. Denham and he was suceeded by Rev. Joseph Lowry 1809- 1858. In 1836, the church was described as being able to hold 300 people and being a very plain building with 9 windows and in the shape of a T. It was rebuilt in 1865. The next minister was Rev. John/ James Gibson Thomson from 1858- 1887.

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
presentation to minister Rev. Joseph Lowry 17 OCt 1846*; new Presbyterian church at Crossgar 2 Sep 1865; foundation stone will be laid 4 Apr 1868; article on congregation 24 Jul 1869; special sermons to raise funds to liquidate debt 27 Jan 1872; sacred service 18 Jan 1872; social reunion, welcome to new minister Rev. Thomas Alexander 4 Mar 1882; foundation stone for new manse 15 Jul 1882; history of the church by Rev. T.S. Woods 29 Aug 1885;

Records available are baptisms 1809- 1871, marriages 1811-1851, burials 1810- 1870; modern graveyard
"Historical Account of Lissara Church" by J.W.S.Lowry, Belfast 1883

Lissara Presbyterian Church, Crossgar
This lovely old postcard was kindly sent by Nancy Schaalje. It shows Lissara Presbyertian Church overlooking Crossgar Market Square References; HCPCI p181; EPC p5, 18 ; V17 p 89, 90 OSM: DR & DR*18 Sep 1935R*; GIPR; GIC ; OFB p85; DR; LR 2005 p73



The Rocks Chapel, Kilmore parish

The Rocks Catholic Chapel

The Rocks Chapel in Magheracranmoney townland, was erected by Rev. James Killen and was opened on Halloween night 1769, was the oldest post -penal laws chapel in Co Down. The chapel was a traditional barn like building originally thatched and set in a field along the now aptly named Rocks Chapel Road. The congregation attending the chapel came from all the townlands surrounding the church, Lisnamore, Inch, Teconnaught, Tullynacree, Annacloy, Rosconnor, Carnacally, Kilmore, Conlig, Cargagh, Dunanelly, The Rann, Drumsallagh and Ballyrenan. These people mostly walked to church along 'The Mass Pads', through the fields and over the stiles. Shortly after the new church at Teconnaught was opened in 1899, the Rocks Chapel became derelict and eventually fell into disrepair and ruin. However, the vestments worn by the priests who said Mass there have been preserved and are in the care of the Shields family who live nearby. In the photo above is Mrs Shields (nee Ellen Rodgers) of Annacloy and Michael Morrison of Crossgar.

Rev. James O'Laverty wrote in 1878: "It is the only a thatched chapel in the diocese and standing beside the Mass Rock of the hunted priest for which it has been substituted, it possesses a power of evoking religious feelings even in the most hardened mind that a more gorgeous fabric could not lay claim to."

The Ordnance Survey Memoir writer of 1836 described it as extremely old and in bad repair. It's dimensions were 63 feet by 21 feet and would have held 300 people although only 100 usually attend. It had a mud floor, was thatched and the interior was almost covered with pieces of paper hung from the ceiling, which gave it the appearance of anything but a place of worship. It was erected at the expense of the congregation, parishioners and other benevolent people.

There was a Catholic Chapel in Kilmore village near the pub. It was small and derelict by 1950s

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
plight of Catholics 18 Jan 1840; curious tracts circulated 29 Mar 1845

References;DR; GIC; KCB p 25: TCC p 7: LCB p 32;V17 p 73 OSM; O'L V1 p 336; LM 1994 p59 ; LR 2009 p46; LR 2011 p73,74; RM


Crossgar Catholic Church

Crossgar Catholic Church-Immaculate Conception & St. Joseph's
in Downpatrick Street , Crossgar BT 30 9EA
Parochial House: Tel: 4483 0229

The original chapel was erected in 1798 by Father Richard Curoe who had charge of an area covering Kilmore, Inch and Killyleagh. It cost £200 and measured 30 x 34 feet . It was paid for by the congregation & voluntary contributions, It held 380 people with an average attendance of 100 in 1836. The parish priest in 1856 was Rev. Edward Connor. It was rebuilt in 1867 by Father Connor in Glasgow stone with walls of local blue stone. The architect was Mortimer H. Thomson Esq, of Belfast. It was consecrated 10 Sep 1876 by Most Rev. Dr. Dorian. There is no graveyard. Burials at Teconnaught graveyard.

List of 20th century priests:
Rev. James McArdle until 1918; Rev. William Murphy 1919- 1941; Rev. John Taggart 1941- 1961; Rev. Alexanader Connolly 1961- 1969; Rev. Walter Larkin 1970- 1975; Rev. Dominic McHugh 1975- 1995; Rev. Eugene McArdle 1995-1996; Rev. Kevin McMullan 1996+

Newspaper articles Down Recorder;
new Catholic church in Crossgar 23 Feb 1867

Records in local custody; UHF has baptism 1837-1900; marriages 1896-1900 & deaths 1896-1900

References;V17 p 89, 90 OSM; DR & DR*18 Sep 1935R*; GIC; O'L V1 p 336; LR 2005 p73; LM 1994 p59 , 74

Teconnaught Catholic Church

The Holy Family Catholic Church, Teconnaught
Main St, Teconaught near Downpatrick BT30 9HH

The chapel was built in 1899. There is a cemetery in the grounds & across the road. It was at this time that the townlands of Teconnaught and Magheralone were transfered from Loughinisland parish to Kilmore parish. I have put the details on the older gravestones into my Surnames Index.

From 'The Northern Star' newspaper- Saturday 20th May 1899.

"After months of labour and unremitting anxiety, the indomitable energy which Father James McArdle, the zealous and beloved parish priest of Crossgar, brought to the execution of the noble task he has undertaken, has been crowned with unqualified success. On Sunday last in the presence of an immense congregation, the new Church of the Holy Family, Tyconnett, Crossgar was dedicated by Most Reverend Dr. Henry."

A whole page was given to the official opening including the complete sermon of Dr. McRory, a distinguished professor from Maynooth College. The sum of £1034 was raised by the collection that day. The ceremonies commenced shortly after 11 o'clock. Dr. Henry was assisted in the dedication by the Very Rev. Daniel McCashin (St. Matthews), Very Rev. Robert McCrickard (Ballynafeigh), Rev. Henry Boyle (Randlestown) as chanters. At 11:30 the High Mass was celebrated by Rev. Richard Smyth (Saintfield), Rev H. Boyle deacon and Rev. James Marmion (Loughinisland).

After the sermon a collection was taken up and amongst those who assisted were Very Rev. Daniel McCashin, Fr. John Burke, John Rooney, Robert McAllister, Patrick Flannigan, C.J. Dempsey, John Lynn, Henry McGrath (Portaferry), Daniel McCartan (Downpatrick solicitor), Joseph McGinley, John Dougherty, W.J. Donnelly & Dr. Porter, William McCormick, Thomas Magee, Messrs. J.J. McDonnell, James Corr, Dr. R.J. Murray, Bernard Campbell, J. Magennity, Francis O'Neill, Henry McKenna, James Fitzpatrick, Joseph Peake, John Henry, John Fegan, Thomas Kilmartin, Owen McMullan, J. McManus, John W. Bell, M. Gilcock, Hugh Crickard, John Denvir, J.C. Savage, William Russell, Thomas Gracey, Dr. Nolan, John Gilmore, James Murray (Ballynahinch), Owen Crilly (Newcastle), Daniel Murray (Crossgar), J. Marner, William Morrison, Sgt. Newmans, John Bell, Thomas Murray (Ballygown), Dr. Carlisle, Mr. McGloyne (Killyleagh), Patrick Savage, Samuel Bell, Patrick Mason, Patrick Casement (Kilmore).

References;TCC p 2


The Loop, Raleagh townland

The Loop farms in Raleagh townland

The Loop is a series of bends in the Ballynahinch River. You can see in the photo where the tree line marks out the river. It isn't very wide but it's quite deep.

The farm called the Loop is 3km SE of Ballynahinch on Downpatrick road, in Raleagh townland. The proprietor in 1795 was Hans Russell. It was the residence of & John Bassett junior in c. 1800 & James McKee before his death 1831 & John Parkinson c. 1848 . The 1863 land records (Griffiths) shows William Parkinson leasing the house & 40 acres from John Cleland . Around 1875, the farm lease transferred to Michael Marner then his son Henry Marner. The farm was bought my the family outright c. 1913.

Henry Marner lived at the Loop with his wife Elizabeth & three sons in 1901. After Henry's death his widow Elizabeth & son Patrick ran the farm . Elizabeth died and Patrick left for Quebec so Stephen Flynn ( my husband's grandfather) purchased the farm at The Loop, Raleagh c. 1926 from the Marner brothers, Patrick and John . The original house that had four main rooms burnt down and Stephen built the present house at the left hand side of the lane. After Stephen's death in 1961 , his son James Flynn inherited the farm . James farmed until his death in 1986.

The farm's current owner is my husband's cousin, Stephen Hanvey. Other farmers in the area are the Gordons & Glovers.

References; UJA; TAB; GV; GV Revisions; PE

by Ros Davies