Share This:

Hello all

I have a DNA link with several Drummond lads who migrated to New York via England in the late 1800s. They were: James b 1853, Bernard b 1864, Francis b C1865, all sons of Charley Drummond and Ellen Monaghan from Killabandrick. The odd thing is that I can find no Drummond baptisms in Annagh, but there are appropriate baptisms for children born to Charley/Charles Drum and Ellen Monaghan. I had thought that perhaps the clerk had written Drumd as a shortened form of Drummond, but the records definitely show the name as Drum. Added to that, the 1901 census shows Ellen Drum, a widow, still living at Killabandrick with two sons, also called Drum. 

I wonder whether this name Drum was a local variant of Drummond. As soon as the boys left Ireland they always called themselves Drummond, and I am descended from Drummonds who lived on the west coast of Scotland, so that's the name we have in common.  Is anybody with local knowledge able to shed any light on this puzzle?

Thank you in advance! 

Beth Drummond New Zealand


Friday 2nd Apr 2021, 01:34AM

Message Board Replies

  • Beth,

    MacLysaght’s “The Surnames of Ireland” says Drum(m) is  “An erenagh family of Kinawley on the Cavan-Fermanagh border, where the name has to some extent been corrupted to the Scottish Drummond. A branch migrated to Co. Cork where they are called Drummy.”

    So Drum & Drummond are interchangeable in Cavan. Whether there is any connection to the Scottish Drummonds seems debatable, but who knows. Being an erenagh family normally implies Irish ancestry, back to the 11th century at least.

    Sounds to me as though when your ancestors left Ireland they decided to plump for the Drummond version. Perhaps they found that more helpful or maybe they just preferred it. (There are numerous other interchangeable names in Ireland so it wasn’t so uncommon).

    Here’s Francis Joseph Drum’s birth in Killybandrick in 1871. Clearly Drum nor Drummond:…

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 2nd Apr 2021, 02:03AM
  • Elwyn, thank you SO much. Very interesting and helpful explanation. I've been researching the Scottish Drummonds for years but my mind is just getting used to the quirks of researching in Ireland. Killabandrick, here I come once Covid is tamed!!




    Friday 2nd Apr 2021, 07:41PM
  • Here come a couple of supplementary questions!  I see that Charles Drum and Ellen Monaghan were married in August 1849, about a week after their first daughter was baptised. Having been researching Scottish families in the Highlands for some time I have found extra details about such late marriages in the Kirk Sessions, and am wondering whether the Catholic church has similar records, and if so, where they are to be found.  

    James Drummond, their first son, was a stonemason who by 1881 was working in the greater Manchester area. I'm wondering whether he would have been trained in Cavan, or some bigger centre. Were there local apprenticeships?  James travelled several times between England and New York, but finally (1911) settled in Preston where he worked for the city corporation. I wonder whether he being the eldest was given the best education and a trade. His other brothers who also went to the USA seem to have had less training. Bernard was a bar tender and Francis a clerk and later a cook and then a barber. Charles was a tenant at Killybandrick in Griffith's Valuation, value £13. I presume that he decided that the boys needed to get away to pursue other livings, rather than splitting up his farm into uneconomic units?  One son, Edward, seems to have stayed on the farm, as he was still there in1911. 

    Any comments would be appreciated.



    Sunday 11th Apr 2021, 02:31AM
  • Beth,

    You ask whether the RC church has records equivalent to the Kirk Session records. The short answer is no. The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian and they have always had a method of regulating their members by summoning transgressors to the Kirk Session (comprising the Minister and his elders) to explain themselves and where appropriate, be punished. That might take the form of being banned from Communion for a time and/or standing in front of the congregation to publicly admit their sins. Pre-nuptial fornication being a very popular one.  Presbyterians are big on sin, in my experience.  And this would all be recorded in the Kirk Session minutes, for all to see and know.  The Catholic church had their own ways but it didn’t involve that approach, nor did it involve any record keeping (or none that have ever made it into the public domain anyway).

    Regarding education, the children would all likely have received the same education. The National School system started in Ireland in the 1830s and most children would attend from about age 5 or 6 onwards.  I don’t think the teaching was always of the top quality but it would provide a basic education, if the children attended regularly enough. The problem was that a lot of parents couldn’t see any value in educating their children. They preferred to have them around the farm to do tasks, and so attendance was often a bit intermittent, especially at harvest time and other busy periods.  Parents would often send for a child at school to run a message for them, instead of being educated. Most would only attend part–time after age about 10 and would stop altogether around 12 or 13.  But it wasn’t a custom to favour one child over the others in my experiences. Some school attendance records have survived and are on Findmypast. You could always search them.

    I would think that James trained locally, probably apprenticed to another mason. (But no records will have survived).

    Dealing with your question about who would inherit the farm and sub-dividing it, you are correct. If you look at Griffiths you will see that Charley had a total of about 14 acres. (40 perches in a rood and 4 roods in an acre). That was fairly typical.  A small farm, probably on mediocre land, knowing parts of Cavan (it’s got a lot of bog), and just really adequate to support 1 family. There was no scope for subdividing most farms as they were already small. The farm usually, but not invariably, went to the eldest son. And in this case it looks to have passed to one of the younger sons. Possibly the others had declined the opportunity. I don't suppose you’ll ever know.

    There was no spare land in Ireland and so the other sons would find it difficult to get a farm of their own and normally had to leave and make their way in the world.

    Ireland has very few natural resources (no oil, coal, iron ore etc) and so did not benefit from the industrial revolution in the 1800s, the way Scotland, England, the US, Canada & Australia did, which created hundreds of thousands of comparatively well-paid new jobs in new industries (coal mining, steel making, railways, ship building etc). So that was a big pull factor. There had also been a huge population explosion in Ireland going up from about 3 million people in 1750 to 8 million in 1830. There simply weren’t jobs for all those people. In much of Ireland the only employment was subsistence farming topped up in Ulster and one or two other areas with a bit of linen weaving. And then the straw that broke the camel’s back, along came the famine, numerous times throughout the 1800s. The worst period was when the potato crop failed almost completely 3 years in a row in the late 1840s, and then partially several more years after that. 

    Other factors encouraged emigration, eg early mechanisation on farms. With new machines to turn the soil and plant seed, farmers no longer needed an army of agricultural labourers to help on the farm. So those jobs were rapidly disappearing. Likewise mechanisation had led to linen factories being set up in places like Belfast. These made home weaving uneconomic and so also upset the labourer’s family economy. Agriculture was the biggest single employer in Ireland, but it was mostly a barter economy. Few people had any ready cash save what they could make from weaving or any government sponsored work such as building new roads. So when the opportunity arose to get jobs with a regular wage packet, as opposed to a few pence from your father each week, the decision to migrate wasn’t really all that hard to make. So it was as much about economic betterment as anything. 

    There was a massive tide of migration all through that century, including long before the famine. Years after the worst of the famine it’s impact was still being felt across Ireland, and there were still plenty of much better job opportunities in Australia and the USA. (After Scotland and England, the USA was the most popular destination for emigrants with about 40 to 50% choosing it. Only about 5% of Irish emigrants chose Australia and New Zealand, possibly due to the costs and length of the voyage).

    I looked in the tithe applotment records for Killybandrick in 1825 to see if the Drum(mond) family was listed. They are not. Doesn’t mean they weren’t there, just they didn’t have a farm. However there was a James Monaghan with a half share of 12 acres. So that could be Ellen’s family.…

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 11th Apr 2021, 06:51PM
  • Thank you for your comprehensive comments, Elwyn.



    Wednesday 14th Apr 2021, 08:01PM
  • I'm now looking for more information on Charles Drum and Ellen Monaghan who were married at Annagh in August 1849.  They lived at Killabandrick where they produced seven children.  In 1901, Ellen was still there, a widow aged 70, with sons Edward and Francis. Charles was stil alive in 1883 when he reported the death of their son Daniel, so he must have died between then and 1901, but I've not found a death/burial record for him.  By 1911, Ellen seems to have died, but there's no record of her death in Co. Cavan. It's just possible that she died in Preston, England, as her son James, now calling himself Drummond, had settled there.  Seems unlikely though.

    Any advice about finding their deaths would be appreciated.  I'd also love to find their births in 1820-30 ish as well, but assume the Annagh R C records for that period no longer exist? 

    Yours in anticipation!


    Saturday 12th Jun 2021, 10:09PM
  • Beth,

    I agree that there’s no sign of a death in the Cavan registration area for either Charles or Ellen. The Valuation Revision records in the Valuation Office in Dublin should record when the tenant’s name changed from Charles to Ellen and then Ellen to Edward, and that may help narrow the time frame.

    It’s possible that neither death was registered. That did happen. If the couple have a gravestone then you might get the information from that.

    You suggest Ellen might have gone to live in Preston. That’s in Lancashire. I found two possible deaths in that county. One was for Ellen Drummond aged 83 in September 1906, registered in Blackburn. The other was in September 1907 again aged 83 and registered in Fylde. Neither location is very far from Preston. If you are interested in ordering copies of those certificates, I can explain how to do that.

    Regarding Annagh RC records, they only start in 1875. If there were earlier records they have sadly been lost.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 19th Jun 2021, 09:09AM

Post Reply

Close this