Thursday, February 14, 2013

Irish Townlands

Seems I'm going in a few circles lately trying to piece together the various townlands where Gillespie and/or Greer relations were found.  We've been looking now at Derrynoose, a Greer townland, which is 10 miles southwest of Lisnadill, a Gillespie townland.  Both Greer's and Gillespie's were purportedly in the weaving/linen occupation, so it was worth checking (again) for our family names appearing in the 1796 Flax Growers list:

Greer                 Henry                Mullaghbrack          Armagh
Greer                 Isabella             Loughgilly            Armagh
Greer                 James                Ballymore             Armagh
Greer                 James                Loughgilly            Armagh
Greer                 John                 Ballymore             Armagh
Greer                 John                 Mullaghbrack          Armagh
Greer                 Robert               Armagh                Armagh
Greer                 Robert               Derrynoose            Armagh
Greer                 Robert               Mullaghbrack          Armagh
Greer                 Thomas               Loughgall             Armagh
Greer                 Thomas               Loughgilly            Armagh
Greer                 William              Mullaghbrack          Armagh

Gillespey             George               Tynan                 Armagh
Gillespey             Hugh                 Tynan                 Armagh
Gillespey             John                 Armagh                Armagh
Gillespie             Anne                 Tynan                 Armagh
Gillespie             John                 Armagh                Armagh
Gillespie             John                 Loughgall             Armagh
Gillespie             John                 Loughgilly            Armagh
Gillespy              John                 Tynan                 Armagh

Mullaghbrack is about 9 miles east of Lisnadill, just north of Markethill.  Loughgilly is just south of Markethill.

Then I started to wonder about the origins of John Gillespie's second wife, Jane Woods.  Here are the Woods names in the Flax Grower's List:

Woods                    Barney                   Killevy                           
Woods                    Bryan                    Tynan                             
Woods                    Daniel                   Derrynoose                        
Woods                    Francis                  Tynan                             
Woods                    James                    Keady                             
Woods                    James                    Mullaghbrack                      
Woods                    James                    Tynan                             
Woods                    John                     Kilmore                           
Woods                    John                     Mullaghbrack                      
Woods                    John                     Tynan                             
Woods                    Laurence                 Derrynoose                        
Woods                    Patrick                  Tynan                             
Woods                    Robert                                               
Woods                    Robert                   Mullaghbrack                      
Woods                    William                  Kilmore  

Hmmm, there are Derrynoose and Mullaghbrack.  There was no John Gillespie living in those townlands, though Loughgilly is near enough to both.

Then, my cousins and I were recently discussing that Robert Gillespie was purportedly employed by William and David Bell Pottery in Quebec.  I have not been able to trace that business, but for some reason the BELL surname rang a bell (!) for me.  I remembered something I had found at the Family History Library last year.  What follows is my transcription.

Tombstone and Monument Transcriptions in Mullabrack with some notes relating to some, copied by T.B.F. Paterson.  This is a handwritten notebook, and on page 17-18 is the following:

In memory of Adam Bell of Druminnis County Armagh he died Dec 1775 age 56 years and Isabella Bell alias Gillespie his wife who died 22 Feb (?) 1826 age 93 years they are buried in the churchyard adjoining.

veined marble, black background (more description of the actual gravestone)

Adam Bell who was of Scottish origin settled at Killy____dden in county Armagh at the end of the 17th century or in the very early years of the 18th.  He and his family were in possession of most if not all of that town and the adjoining townland of Drumminis in the same county.  There is not a trace of his residence nor are there any of his descendants residing at Druminnis.  He had two sons, William and Thomas.

William had two sons, William and Jack.  William who emigrated to Canada took the side of the Canadians in their resistance to England while Jack lived at Knappaugh county Armagh.

Thomas had 8 children, 4 sons and 4 daughters one of which Adam was the member whose death and burial are recorded above.

Adam Bell was a linen draper and married Isabella Gillespie by whom he had his children.  He directed in his will dated in Sept. 1775 that he would be buried in Mullabrack.  His wife was a daughter of Thomas Gillespie a son of John Gillespie who with his two maternal uncles Thomas and Robert _______ settled in the wastelands in the county of Armagh at the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18th century.  They had previously _______

from a family sketch by T.W.B.

Many descendants of Adam Bell and Isabella Gillespie distinguished themselves in the legal and engineering profession.

Just for fun, let's see if there were Bell's in the Flax Grower's list:

Bell                     Agnes                    Derrynoose                        
Bell                     Benjamin                 Mullaghbrack                      
Bell                     David                    Mullaghbrack                      
Bell                     Elizabeth                Mullaghbrack                      
Bell                     Francis                                              
Bell                     Francis                  Kilmore                           
Bell                     George                                               
Bell                     Hugh                     Derrynoose                        
Bell                     James                    Ballymore                         
Bell                     James                    Loughgilly                        
Bell                     John                     Mullaghbrack                      
Bell                     Mary                     Mullaghbrack                      
Bell                     Matthew                  Mullaghbrack                      
Bell                     Thomas                                               
Bell                     Thomas                   Mullaghbrack                      
Bell                     William                               

I have to admit that my pulse quickens a little with all this, even though there are no serious conclusions that can be drawn at this point. But we are adding Mullaghbrack and Loughgilly as townlands to watch for on our radar screen.  This is starting to get good :-)


  1. I am a descendant of Thomas Bell and Isabella Gillespie and wonder if we might be in touch with a view to giving you access to my Tree on Ancestry.

  2. To Unknown: I have been trying to reach you. Please contact at to discuss further.