Matilda Conolly aka Conley 1850

Matilda Conolly aka Conley 1850

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Matilda Conolly (Conley) originally from Killure in the parish of Macosquin, was Presbyterian. During the period 1870 – 1881 she seems to have lived in the townland of Drumcroon  where two of her 3 sons were born (most likley in the village of labourers cottages on the Drumcroon House estate, pictured above, farm #1).  Matilda remained unmarried.

Her mother, Martha Conolly (1808-1898) was a widow by 1858 when she was recorded at cottage #7Bb Killure townland. It looks likely that this family were in the service of John Craig of Farm #7a.

Matilda's sister, Sara Conolly (1848-1909) was recorded in the Killure family home at the time of the Irish Census of 1901. Martha had died at home, age 90, just two years previous. At that time, Mary, one of Sara's 4 daughters, was still at home. The Census return states Sara never married.

It is likely Matilda's father was a John Conolly. (Both Mathilda and her sister Sara favoured this name for their firstborns). 

The above was deduced from the following:


In 1865 Matilda Conolly was residing in the townland of Killure (Macosquin) when she gave birth (unmarried) to John Lyons (b.14 Feb 1865) the son of Alexander Lyons, farmerKnockinturn (Knockantern, Coleraine, just across the river from Macosquin). On John's Civil birth record it states "PARENTS NOT MARRIED. FATHER'S ADDRESS KNOCKINTURN". This birth was registered in Aghadowy (just south of Macosquin). 

In April 1866, Matilda was the civil birth informant for Sara Conolly of Killure (presumably her sister) who gave birth to John White (b. 09-Apr-1866). The father was James White, labourer, address Macleary (adjacent to Killure on its northern boundary).

By 1870 Matilda was residing in Drumcroon when she gave birth (unmarried) to Thomas Conolly (b. 30-Dec-1870) with no father named. Followed two years later by the birth of David Conolly (b. 15-Nov-1872) in Drumcroon

In October 1877, Matilda again was the informant for Sara Conolly of Killure who gave birth to ... wait for it ... Margaret Lyons Conolly  (b. 19-Oct-1877). No father's name was recorded but I think Sara left a big hint.

That same month, Matilda appears again as the informant for Mary Calvin & Henry Mccandless (farmer) of Kinnyglass who gave birth to Samuel Mccandless (b.16-Oct-1877).

In November 1881, Matilda appears as the informant for Eliza Jane Lagan of Derrydorragh who gave birth to Jane Eliza Lagan(b.29-Nov-1881). No father recorded. 

As Kinnyglass sits on the western boundary of Drumcroon, and Derrydorragh in its northern boundary, this would suggest Matilda remained in Drumcroon 1877 – 1881. 

No civil death record was found for her in Co. Derry




Matilda's son, Thomas Conley was an agricultural labourer at Gills when he married Jane Allen circa 1897. Here, they gave birth to Mary Connelly on 22-Dec-1900.

At Dromore, they gave birth to John Conley on 22-Dec-1900  and Samuel James Conley on 21-Jun-1903. Here, they were recorded in Dromore in the Census of 1901 where they lived with Jane's mother. 

Moved to Mauagher where Robert Henry Conley was born 4-Oct-1905

They settled at Cullyvenny (Coolyvenny on the eastern boundary of Dromore) where they had the following children:

Eliza Jane Connelly on 25-Dec-1907, Thomas Connelly on 05-Dec-1909, Martha Conelly, 11-Apr-1911, Joseph Connelly 20-Dec-1913, Margaret Connelly 17-Mar-1915, David Conley 18-Apr-1916, Hugh Conley 20-Jul-1917.


Griffith's Valuation of Drumcroon 1858 shows no record of a Conolly occupant. At that time Matilda would have been at home in Killure #7Bb.

Conolly appears on farm #1 Drumcroon in the 1890s Griffith's Revision Books for Drumcroon

From 1895 to 1897, Matilda's youngest son David Conolly was the primary occupant of house #1p Drumcroon (a village of labourers cottages on the Drumcroon House estate). At that time he would have been in the service of Willliam McCollum of Drumcroon House who took over from Wilson in 1885. 

In 1898  David Conolly became the primary occupant of the keeper's house by the Flax Mill at #1b Drumcroon (replacing Thomas Hunter). By the time of the 1901 Irish Census, David & Rachel Conolly (and son Thomas b. 1896) were residing in the townland of Carn nearby. James McAIreavy was recorded at 1#b Drumcroon in 1902.

David & Rachel Connelly came to Scotland in 1905 where their son John Alexander Connelly was born the following year.  They adopted 3 children: Ronald Weighill (who died age 5) Alfred and Ethel Connelly. Their son Thomas Conelly (1898-1914) died in Scotland, age 16. 


In the City of LONDONDERRY a Matilda Conolly appears on records as the civil birth informant for 

Patrick Connelly (labourer) &  Matilda Mcmonagle (Tilda Mcmonnigle) of 72 Wellington Street who gave birth to William Connelly (b.14-Nov-1886) and baptised him in the RC church of St Eugene's on 17-Nov-1886. Sponsor Susan Bonner. No marriage record for this couple nor any more births. Unsure if this is your Matilda Conolly. 

Francis Connelly (an agricultural labourer) & Matilda Doherty of Tullyally Lower, Clondermot, who gave birth to Forrest Connelly (b.19-Sep-1896). And Matilda does the same for this couple upon the birth of Sarah Jane Connolly (b.13-Jun-1899). Francis & Tilda were Church of Ireland and appear in Tullyally in the Census of 1911 and previously in 1901 when they were members of the Episcopal Church.  Francis Conolly (born circa 1876) was living at Skeog Burt Londonderry as a farm servant when he married on 17-May-1893 (age 17). His marriage record reveals that his father's name was unknown but that he was a soldier (named Conolly). Frances Conolly stood as a witness for him. 

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1850 (circa)  
Associated Building (s) Drumcroon House  
Names of Children John Lyons (b.14 Feb 1865) | Thomas Conolly (b. 30-Dec-1870) | David Conolly (b. 15-Nov-1872)  
Townland born Killure, Macosquin, Coleraine, Co Londonderry VIEW SOURCE
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Martha Conolly (1808-1898) widow by 1858 residing at 7Bb Killure VIEW SOURCE


  • Wgat is an "informant?" Is it a midwife who assists at birth?
    How many miles away did people socialize in 1830s to 40s to have met a spouse?


    Thursday 27th January 2022, 03:32PM
  • An "informant" is a person who notified the General Registrar of the birth. Most often it was a parent, midwife, or close relative in those days. 

    In the 1830s, the distance one would have traveled to socialize varied according to affluence (those who could only afford to travel on foot Vs those with horses, for example). In rural Ireland, Fair Day was a big day for matchmaking with farmers and more travelling long distance on foot from all directions. 

    See also ten-faqs-about-irish-marriage-records


    Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Sunday 15th May 2022, 03:21AM

Buildings Associated with this Ancestor