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Griffith Valuation shows that  my GG grandfather Archibald Billing was a  land holder in and around Rathangan. I would like to track down where he may have lived in the area


Friday 19th July 2019, 09:52PM

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  • As far as I can see Archibald is listed as Lessor of all the properties listed on Griffith's Valuation, suggesting he did not live in Co. Kildare at the time of the Valuation (1853 in this area), there's doesn't seem to be any sign of him anywhere else as occupant on the valuation.

    There's a Dublin probate calendar entry for 1864 Administration for an Archibald Billing which shows him dying in New Zealand at a place called Waiweraere Hotspring near Auckland as a widower in 1862. Could this be your Archibald ?

    A previous topic which I presume relates to the same Archibald Billing mentions New Zealand and that his wife's name was Elizabeth, and that they were likely Church of Ireland. I dont see a likely marriage for the couple in civil marriage records (which started 1845 for non-Catholic marriages), so looks like they either married before the start of civil registration of marriages, or married outside Ireland.

    I think the best place to start a search would be with the baptisms of the Irish born children mentioned in the other post - can you post their names and approx. years of birth ?
    I did not see any good matches in the records currently available online, but keep an eye out for additional Church of Ireland parish records coming online, and hopefully a baptism would give you residence at the time, or at the very least a parish.

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 20th July 2019, 11:09AM
  • I found a newspaper article which provides some interesting details, along with the answer to the question regarding where this family lived.....

    The article is dated the 4th August 1855 in the Leinster Express newspaper which gives details of an upcoming auction of LIvestock and Farm equipment at the directions of 'Archibald Billing'. Extract of the key details transcribed below (the full article is on IrishNewsArchives pay-website) :

    "County Kildare, Auction of Cattle, Horses, Farming Implements etc, at Sillot-Hill near the direction of Archibald Billing Esq. at his residence, Sillot-Hill; (between Naas and Kilcullen), on Monday August 5th without reserve...Terms cash,... sale to commence at one o'clock precisely. J.J. Turner, auctioneer,...Kilcullen"

    Sillot-Hill / Sillothill townland is in Carnalway civil parish, Co. Kildare, unfortunately the historic registers for the Church of Ireland Parish of Carnalway do not survive (RCB parish list Dec. 2018).

    p.s. a Richard A. Billing is shown as a landowner and occupant at Sillothill townland in 1853 on Griffiths - maybe a brother,  uncle or some other relation to your Archibald ?


    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 20th July 2019, 01:43PM
  • Hi shanw147

    Thank you very much for getting back to me and thank you for the research you have carried out on my behalf. I can fill in a few holes  in what you have sent me.

    Archibald, his brother Richard Anersley and a whole nest of Billings were all Baristers and Lawyers in Dublin.

    Archibald immigrated to New Zealand in 1852 with his partner Elizabeth and nine children. His brother Richard immigrated to Melbourne and in time became a judge.  He built a huge house called Sillothill which is now owned by the National Trust of Australia. It is open once a month for viewing.  It is now called LABASSA which you can google. Sillothill in Ireland I believe is a rubbish tip now.

    Archibald died a year after immigrating to NZ.  He wasn't a widower as his partner lasted some years after.   The family had a land grant that was developed by the eldest son.  My G grandfather was the youngest son Christopher.  They were Church  of Ireland  but the area that they lived were also populated by Bohemiams who built a Catholic Church.   We are mostly catholic now because it was the only place of worship for many miles around.  In New Zealand at that time, everyone was just trying to stay alive rather than worrying about what religion they were.

    It's interesting to me re the upcoming auction of livestock etc in 1855.  The brother Richard, his brother in law by the name of Yeo may well have been winding up Archibalds estate. To my knowledge Archibalds decendants never saw any of the proceeeds of that estate. Although Richard had property in Sillothill, Archibalds land holdings were in Rathangan.

    The water muddies a bit in that there was another Archibald BIlling  who was a doctor /surgeon  based in London also a close relative who was pretty well off . I wonder sometimes whether the Rathangan  landholdings may have been his.

    The only other information I have about Archibald is that he did a job lot on his  3 youngest children  by baptising them  close in Middlesex a few weeks before boarding the ship to New Zealand.

    Regarding  Archibalds children. I have a hand written document  outlining his children and their birth dates. The New Zealand land grant  allocated so much land to adults and so much land to any children over the age of 6 years. Tracking down his movements in Ireland has always been a challenge.  His father William I believe lived in or around Tullamore.  He was a retired  captain in the what is now the Royal Scots, the oldest regiment in the British Army.

    I'm sure all this info is of limited interest to you but I was amazed that you took the time to have a look at the name, hence the background I have sent you. For me being the descendant of immigrants it's always of interest finding your place.  I have ancesters that came from Tipperary, Dublin, Belfast etc. Genealogy is as I am sure you know is time consuming.  When I retire in the next year or so I will spend a bit more time tracking these people down and will visit Ireland to see where they lived.

    .Thank you again for contacting me.

    Christopher BIlling




    Sunday 21st July 2019, 09:53AM