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Fergus Kennedy of Ballyaltikilligan and Ballyloughan, Co. Down

Fergus Kennedy of Ballyaltikilligan and Ballyloughan, Co. Down

Walter Farwell (View posts)
Posted: 1087767325000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Ross, Kennedy, Forrester, Syme, Hamilton
I am looking for any information concerning Fergus Kennedy who is shown in the "1659 Census Of Ireland" as holding the two townlands in Comber Parish called Ballyaltikilligan and Ballyloughan. The last named lies along the River Comber before the river reaches the town of Comber - AND - the road to Dundonald runs through it toward the northwest. The northern border of Ballyaltikilligan is Ballyloughan's southern border. (The east end of Ballyloughan is about one mile northwest of the town of Comber; Ballyaltikilligan is about one mile west of the town of Comber.)

Sasines recorded in County Ayr, Scotland say
(1) that in 1640, one Fergus was the son of Fergus Kennedy of Knokdaw; the son's wife is named as Margaret Ross, daughter of James Ross of Ballneill. It further states that James Ross of Ballneill was the son of Gilbert Ross and Christian Forrester.

(2) Volume 29 of these sasines say that Gilbert Ross and Christian Forrester were of Millannerdail, County Ayre. This same volume says that Sarah Syme is the wife of James Ross, who was the son of Gilbert.

(3) Volume 23 of these saines say that Gilbert Ross and wife Christian Forrester were of Maybole, County Ayr. Gilbert Ross was provost of the Collegiate church of Maybole.

(4) Volume 31, of these sasines show Jean/Janet Kennedy, spouse of John Hamilton, younger, of Borland, and daughter of Fergus Kennedy of Cumber, Ireland. The date is 1647. Another sasine shows Marie Kennedy, daughter of Fergus Kennedy, and spouse Thomas Kennedy of Balliegillig, Ireland.

Re: Fergus Kennedy of Ballyaltikilligan and Ballyloughan, Co. Down

Hugh Macartney (View posts)
Posted: 1087954493000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Kennedy
The Kennedys of Comber include Gilbert who was listed as a tenant of John Hamilton during the 1610-30 Plantation of Down. Another Gilbert was born in 1623 and died 1699 March 3rd. having lived at Castle Beeg. Related was the Rev. Thomas kennedy of Holywood 1727-87 and James Kennedy 1712-68. His wife Elizabeth d. 1768 aged 56. Dau. Sarah d. 1825 aged 61. All buried in Comber Graveyard which holds 7 Kennedy headstones. I believe there were also Kennedys of the same family in Ballyalton. The only "Kenedys" listed in the 1631 Muster Roll for County Down were Constantyne but no place of domicile given, Anthony and Alexander. Thomas kenedy was listed in the Muster Roll of Lord Clandeboye for Down April 25, 1642 held at Killyleagh. because virtually all the early Irish records were lost in 1922 it may not be possible to get more information about Fergus Kennedy from Irish records. If there are any extant they would be in the Public Record Office for Northern Ireland (PRONI). The Kennedys of Cultra are likely descended from the original Kennedys of Comber. Hugh Kennedy owned 4000 acres in the area in the early 18th.C. In the same period were Revs. Gilbert Kennedy of Dundonald and John Kennedy of Benburb, both Presbyterian ministers. My ancestors came to Comber from Ayrshire at the same time. There was a Kennedy/McClement association I believe. The Rev. David Kennedy was Presbyterian minister in Newtownards and on the arrival of The Lord Deputy in 1633 he and other Presb. ministers were driven from their posts. I suspect all these Kennedys were in some way related to one another. The North of Ireland Family History Society may have published something on the early Kennedys in "North Irish Roots" magazine.

Re: Fergus Kennedy of Ballyaltikilligan and Ballyloughan, Co. Down

Walter Farwell (View posts)
Posted: 1088278743000
Classification: Lookup
Surnames: Kennedy, Durie, Ross, Cochran, Hamilton, Syme, Forrester, McDowell
Hugh.--Greetings from Cedar county, Iowa.

Your posting contains information that appears to fit in with what I can make out of my notes on Fergus Kennedy of Comber. The government of Scotland has a series of publications which it calls INDEXES; these are held by the Government Documents library at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. From these (on the most part) I have come up with the idea that Fergus of Comber was the grandson of David Kennedy (born circa 1520 - died 1584) of Knockdaw, County Ayr --and-- the son of Fergus Kennedy of Knockdaw (born circa 1560 - died 1635), and his wife Euphame McDowell. From various notes, I think that Fergus of Comber was born in the 1590's and died sometime after 1647 in Comber.....Here is the way I have his family AS OF THIS DATE (subject to change, and for comments!).

FERGUS KENNEDY, born in the 1590's at Knockdaw, County Ayr, Scotland - died in the parish of Comber, County Down, Ireland sometime after 1847. One record I have says he was of County Ayr in 1643, but his second wife remarried on September 21, 1643. This gives me the idea that he must have left his family and immigrated to Ireland earlier that year. If so, it could explain how his wife legally could have taken a second husband. As I understand medieval law, Fergus of Comber would have been considered "dead" in Scotland, and would have had no more rights than would a dead person.

Fergus Kennedy of Comber married (1) JANET DURIE, born circa 1600 - died circa 1627 in County Ayr. She was the daughter of James Durie, burgess of Dumfermline, Scotland.

Children (as I think them to be on June 26, 2004):

1. Marie, born circa 1620; she had married Thomas Kennedy by 1636, at which time her husband was of Balliegillig, Ireland, and her father was Fergus Kennedy of Knockdaw, Co. Ayr.

2. Grissel, born circa 1622; had married Hew Kennedy, b. circa 1615, by 1643. Volume 31 of the INDEXES calls her the daughter of Fergus Kennedy of Knokdaw. Her grandfather Fergus was deceased by this time. Hew Kennedy was "the younger, of Poundland" in 1643.

3. Janet, born circa 1624; she married (1) John Hamilton who was described as "the younger" of Bordland in 1647... Paterson's "Hist. of Ayr" in the "Kyle" section, page 444 speaks of the Kennedy's of Bordland. He died sometime between 1647 and 1657.

Janet married (2) Col. Hugh Cochran according to Volume 37 of the INDEXES, for the year 1681. He was the brother of William Cochran, Earl of Dundonald.

Fergus Kennedy of Comber married (2) MARGARET ROSS, daughter of of James Ross of Balneil, Co. Wigton, and his wife Sarah Syme. Margaret Ross Kennedy married (2) James Dalrymple of Drummurchie on Sept. 21, 1643. Dalrymple rose to a high position in the Scottish government. James Ross was the son of son of Gilbert Ross of Maybole, and, of his wife Christian Forrester, Lady Kilkerrane (See my postings for "Ross" here on Rootsweb's County Ayr, Scotland, site.).....One of the INDEXES for 1660 shows David Kennedy of Knokdaw and Gilbert Kennedy of Danger associated with, referring, or whatever, to James Ross and wife of Ballniell, in a manner which this volume of INDEXES does not state. Your posting which speaks of the cemetery at Comber saying "...Another Gilbert was born 1623 and died 1699 March 3rd, having lived at Castle Beeg...." caught my eye. Since I have no proof for any complete record of the children of Fergus of Comber and his first wife, this could well be the Gilbert we know was in some manner associated with the Ross family from the second marriage of Fergus.

Hugh: I have begun to think that the term "younger" does not necessarily relate to a second person yet living, but can remind contemporaries that there was once a second person of that name but who is now deceased. There are also the terms "oncewhile" and "relict" which can appear ubiquitous to me when reading about deceased people. I would like to be able to assign a definite meaning to each.

Oh, yes, where is "Castle Beeg"?--W.F.

Re: Fergus Kennedy of Ballyaltikilligan and Ballyloughan, Co. Down

Hugh Macartney (View posts)
Posted: 1088301462000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Fergus Kennedy
Oncewhile is likely "once in a while" meaning from time to time. Relict is an obsolete word for a widow ( one left behind). Castle Beeg is now Castlebeg either from the Gaelic for small (beagh-little) or birch forest (beag or behagh). It is in Dundonald 3 km NE of Comber and was the site of an ancient R.C. church. A map can be found on the Ros Davies Co. Down web site under place names. My people McCartney/Macartney came over from (probably) Ayrshire about 1610-20 and settled in the Ards especially around Comber. In Movilla Graveyard in Newtownards one finds this gravestone:
Here lyeth the body of Jane Dury wife to John McCartney who died the 4 of August 1685. I can't connect my family with this John as few early records survive but suspect there was a connection. You have done a great job with your tree.
Dury might be a variant of (O)Durr, Durry (O'Doraidh)a Leitrim and Roscommon name. Other possibilties are Durrian/Dorrian - County Down variants of Doran.

Re: Fergus Kennedy of Ballyaltikilligan and Ballyloughan, Co. Down

Walter Farwell (View posts)
Posted: 1088369070000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Farwell, Ross, Long
Hugh: Greetings from Cedar county, Iowa.

I do not know that the Ross connected to Fergus Kennedy is of the Ross family from which I descend......The only thing that I have to guide me is a conversation I had with my grandmother Addie (Ross) Farwell in the summer of 1940. After giving me an introduction to genealogy (by telling me how she knew my father), I proceeded to pry her with many more questions, which she tried to answer in ways that I would understand. Our conversation got around to where I was wondering if my grandmother had a grandmother! After finding out she most certainly did have a grandmother, I wondered if her grandmother had a grandmother......well, you see how things were going. Finally, I ask her just who the Ross's were, just where did they live, where did they come from, WHO were they.

She reminded me of the Irish songs which she knew were sung to us during the long winter evenings back in the 1930's. My father had learned them because his mother's family were from Ireland. My mother was descended from the Scotch-Irish Ligget family, and would help in getting dad to sing them.....There was also a poem which my grandmother had kept (actually, it was a song which her mother sang, but my grandmother could not remember the tune of it):

"Ahee ahm Paddy Mills, uhn Ireesh boy, yost come acrost the seas.
"For singing ahnd for dahncing boys, ahee think that isle please yee.
"Ahee cahn sing und dance with any mahn, as ahee did een the days of yore
"Ahnd on Patrick's Day I luff to ware thee haht me father wore.

"For lt's old, and its beautiful, the best yuhve ever seen...etc...etc."

I still have the copy of it, from which my grandmother was reading. Someone had sent it to her mother. The Chorus is complete and there is another verse.

Then my grandmother came over to the table where I sat taking notes, and said the Ross's had had a bad time in Ireland. Some might have been put in jail, some of them might have been killed, some of them might have killed someone--AND--all of this by people that you'd think would never think would do such a thing. Then she added in a heart-felt manner that she had never known any of these people, nor, did she know of anyone who had known them....AND....she just wanted to forget about the whole thing. With that, she turned abruptly and walked out into the kitchen. I never asked her about it again.

Her grandparents, James Ross and Rosanna Long, had been born in the 1780's in Ireland. I am of the belief that they--well, at least James Ross-- had come from County Down. I also believe that my Grandmother Farwell was remembering a ROSS FAMILY TRADITION which she had heard, without realizing the exact nature of that which she was being told, and in turn was telling me. Then I learned that many from County Ayr had immigrated to Co. Down. Upon learning about the family feuds which existed in Scotland during the 1500's, it now seems that a scenario with County Ayr as the place, fits what my grandmother told me that hot summer evening in 1940.

I have researched "Ross" in Perthshire and County Renfrew, but they just don't quite fit what my grandmother said. The Ross's of Ayrshire seem to--SO--my interest in learning about those in County Down.

Margaret Ross, second wife of Fergus Kennedy, and "Lucia de Lammermoor".

Walter Farwell (View posts)
Posted: 1088374060000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Ross, Dalrymple, Donizetti, Pons, Lammermoor
First.--THE SCOTTISH ANTIQUARY. Volume eight, page 142: "James Ross of Balneil:.......Gilbert Ross, designed of Milneanerdaill, Parish Colmonell, Provost of the Collegiate Church of Maybole, possessed of large landed property in Ayr and Galloway....married Chirstian Forester, relict of Simon Fergusson Younger of Kilkerrran, and daughter....of Forester of Garden. Their eldest son, John Ross, married Anna McGill (daughter of David McGill and Marie Sinclair).....Their second son James, after wards designed Major James Ross of Balneil, married, contract dated 1st Agust 1622, Sara Syme, daughter of umquhile Mr. Alexander Syme, Advocate. The marriage did not place till after 8th February 1623....

The issue was eight daughters:
(1). Margaret, the eldest, who inherited Balneil, married firstly, contract dated 20th January 1640, Fergus Kennedy of Knockdaw; and secondly, contract dated 20th September 1643, James Dalrymple of Stair, afterwards Lord President of the Session and first Viscount Stair.

(2). Christian, contract dated 10th June 1643, married Thomas, eldest son of John Dunbar of Mochrum.....

(3). Elizabeth married 22nd September 1651 (?) Robert Farquhar of Gilmilnscroft.....

(4). Helen married, contract dated 23rd July and 18th September 1656, John Cumminghame.

(5). Jean married, contract dated 19th August 1658, Ronald Chalmers.

(6) Janet married John Macdowall....of Gerthland....

(7) and (8): Possibly did not marry.

Second.--THE SCOTTISH ANTIQUARY. Volume eight, page 186. "....There was a tradition among the descendants of Jean Ross, who married Ronald Chalmers, that all her sisters were married, and that one was the wife of a Fergusson of Craigdarroch (Dumfriesshire), and that another was married to a McIlwraith......."

Third.--DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL. Vol. V. Page 414."......(James Dalrymple) in 1692 lost his wife, the faithful partner of the vicissitudes of his life during his life of 50 years....She shared with her husband the enmity of the bitter partisans.....In the satires of the time she was described as "the witch of Endor" ...and...charged with making a paction with the evil one......One daughter had been the victim or the cause of the tragedy of the "Bride of Lammermoor"....."

N.B.: In the 1830's, Gaetano Donizetti composed the opera "Lucia di Lammermoor". The first part of the third Act, set in the Hall of Lammermoor Castle, contains the famous aria for coloratura soprano, well known simply as "The Mad Scene". It has some of the most difficult passages ever composed for a singer, and only the very best sopranos ever try to master them. I will never forget January 15, 1950, when KCMO of Kansas City, MO. aired the Metropolitan Opera's production of it, starring Lily Pons and Jan Pierce....I know I made a point of buying an old 78 with Pons' incredible singing of it.--W.F.

Re: Fergus Kennedy of Ballyaltikilligan and Ballyloughan, Co. Down

Hugh Macartney (View posts)
Posted: 1088383224000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Ross
That song was written in the 19th.C as a music hall ballad with the singer dressed up in the typical garb the English associated with the Irish peasants. Orangemen sing it also and it is called, "The sash my father wore". The name Ross was first recorded in Scotland in 12th.C Ayrshire, a large tract of which was owned by the family of Ross or Ros, originally from Yorkshire. The name became common in Ayrshire and a branch of the Ayrshire de Ros family was one of the more important settler families in Down in the 17th.C. Amanda Mckittrick Ros (1860-1939), the "worst novelist in the world" was born in Ballynahinch as Meg McKittrick. Her married name was Ross from which she dropped the final "s" in emulation of the more aristocratic de Ros family of County Down. The name is found throughout England with different regional spellings. Some families are descended from Anglo-Normans where the word "rous" meant, "red headed". In most cases however it is of toponymic in origin. In the parish of Tain in Rosshire the only two names were Ross and Munroe so that people could only be identified by nicknames.

SONG: "The Hat My Father Wore" - or - "The sash my father wore".

Walter Farwell (View posts)
Posted: 1088623732000
Classification: Lookup
Surnames: Ross, Dickey, Farwell, Ligget
Hugh: I hunted up the original hand-written copy of the song which my greatmother Sarah (Dickey) Ross had sung while my grandmother Addie (Ross) Farwell was still living at home (four miles north of Farragut, Iowa) before her marriage in 1891......Are you saying the song is a familiar one in County Down, or is it one you have come across during your years of research?.......I'll try to be accurate to the letter:

"the hat my father wore"

"I am pady mills an irish boy youst came acrost the sea.
"for singing and for dancing Boys I think that ile pleas yea
"I can sing and dance with any mon as I did in days of your
"and on potericks day I love to ware the hat my father wore


"for its old but its beautiful the best you ever sean.
"it was worn for more then ninty years in that little ile so green.
"for my fathers great ansestor it desended with galor.
"its the relicks of old day sincy the hat my father wore....

"ile bid you all good eavening good luck to you isay.
"and when i cros the ocean, I hope for mee youl pray.
"iam going to that happty and apace called Baltimore
"to bee welcombed back to padys land with the hat me father wore

"for its old but its beautiful...etc...etc...

"if I should return agin the boys and garls to see.
"I hope with old aaron Style youl kindly welcome mee.
"youl sing songs of old irland, to chear mee more and more
"and make me irish hart feal glad with the hat me father wore.

"CHORUS. for its old"

"yours in kindeness
"From J. C. B."

Several years ago I tried to hunt up the song, find a reference to it, BUT NO LUCK. ......My dad sung another song to us when we were just kids in the 1930's (even though my mother said he never did "do it right". My mother's Scotch Irish Ligget's had come over by 1750; she did'n't know any Irish songs. Her songs were "In The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia", "On the Banks of the Brandywine", "Back Home Again in Indiana", "Floating Down the Old Monongahela", etc.)........I have no original copy of my dad's song, so this is right from the top of my head. It started with

"Have you ever heard the story of Ireland got its name?
"If you'll listen you will understand from whence Old Ireland came.

"Sure, a little bit of heaven fell from out of the sky one day
"And nestled on the ocean in a spot so far away.
"And when the angels found it, sure it looked so sweet and fair
"They said suppose we leave it for it looks so peaceful there.

"So they sprinkled it with stardust, just to make the shamrocks grow.
" 'Tis the only place you'll find them no matter where you go
"Then they gathered up some dew drops to make its lakes so grand
"And when they had it finished, sure they called it "Ireland".

Re: SONG: "The Hat My Father Wore" - or - "The sash my father wore".

Hugh Macartney (View posts)
Posted: 1088640830000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1090511059000
I think you will find these are not actually "Irish" songs but of the Tin Pan Alley type mostly written in the U.S. or England in the 19th.C when Irish-American audiences lapped them up with a tear in their eye. As an example, "I'll take you home again Kathleen" is usually sung by a fervent Irish tenor but in fact was composed by a German in the U.S. Many of these songs had the lyrics written to be pronounced the way the author (who was usually not Irish) thought Irish people all spoke which is of course nonsense. Likely you will find the sheet music somewhere of these songs which we from Ireland call "Oirish music hall or vaudeville songs". It's all a "cod" ! The Scots are similarly bothered by the same sort of fake modern song trying to pass off as being of traditional origin and sung by kilted bufoons with their cromacin their hand and lots of "Och ayes" and "Hoots mon". The best English is Britian is said to be spoken in Dublin and Edinburgh. I cringe every time I hear those Toora loorah bits of nonsense suitable only for a cartoon.

Dickey Family in Fremont County

Posted: 1237948424000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Dickey, Pippin, Steinhilber, Drebert, Hibler, Busby
I'm interested in contacting anyone with information about the James J. Dickey family that settled in Farragut. James was born in 1883 in Louisville, KY and died in Farragut in 1910.
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