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I'm researching my Greer/ Grier family from Ireland. My 2nd great-grandparents Robert Greer (abt 1825–1898) married Agness Kennedy (abt 1824–1904), not sure where or when they married. I found their first three children were born in Presbyterian Church, Ballylinny Parish, Antrim, Ireland;   William John Greer (Aug 1844 – Nov 1917),  Agnes "Agie" Greer (Jan 1846 – Sep 1905),  Ellen Jane Greer (Mar 1848 – abt 1850). Robert & Agness migrated to Ontario, Canada with those three children. My great-grandfather William John Greer migrated to Minnesota. I found most all the family. Greer cousins and I have been trying to find where Robert’s Greer family originated from. I would appreciate any assistance or ideas of where to search.

Robert Greer's sister, Isabelle Ellen Greer  (1832 -1911) married Robert Sharpe (1818–1893). Robert & Isabelle’s children were born at Presbyterian Church, Ballylinny Parish, Antrim, Ireland;

James Greer Sharp (Dec 1845 - 1873), Elizabeth Sharp (Apr 1850 - Feb1923), Mary Jane Sharp (Oct 1852 -  ?), Isabella Sharp (Dec 1856 - ?), Ellen Sharp (Nov 1857 - May 1927), Robert Joseph Sharp (Dec 1868 - Jun 1955), Susan Sharpe (Jun 1874 - ?).


Monday 16th April 2018, 05:17PM

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  • Do you know what denomination your family was, or where they lived in Ballylinny? Did Robert or Agnes die in Ireland (because I cannot see deaths that fit the years you have given)? What was Robert’s occupation in Ireland?

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 16th April 2018, 08:22PM
  • Hello Elwyn,

    They were Presbyterian / Church of Scotland.

    Robert, Agness had 3 of their children in at Parish of Ballylinny, Ballylinny, County Antrim, Ireland. They migrated to Ontario, Canada.


    Although, Robert's sister Isabelle.

    Isabelle Ellen Greer (abt 1832–1911) died in Antrim, Ireland

    married Robert Sharp (1818–1893) abt 1843 Antrim, N Ireland


    their children

    James Greer Sharp (1845–1873)

    Elizabeth Sharp (1850–1923)

    Mary Jane Sharp (1852–  )

    Isabella Sharp (1856– )

    Ellen Sharp (1857–1927)

    Robert Joseph Sharp (1868–1955)






    Tuesday 17th April 2018, 02:28PM
  • Evie,

    Robert & Agnes evidently married before the start of statutory marriage registration (1845) and so you won’t find a marriage certificate for them. You might find their marriage in the church records. Likewise their children were all born before the start of birth registration (1864) and so baptism records will be the only record for them.

    Robert’s sister Isabelle looks more promising because, if born in 1832, she clearly would have married well after 1845 so there should be a statutory marriage certificate which should record her father’s name and occupation, as well as her address at the time of her marriage. However I cannot find any statutory marriage record for her and looking at her eldest son’s year of birth (1845) I suspect she was married before the start of statutory registration. Her year of birth of 1832 must be a bit suspect. If that was accurate, she would have married at 12 and been a mother at 13. Not very likely. She was probably a few years older.

    I see Robert Sharp’s death in Ballyduff on 13.6.1893. Informant was daughter Catherine Sharpe. Here’s his probate abstract: The Will of Robert Sharp late of Ballyduff Carnmoney County Antrim Farmer who died 13 June 1893 at same place was proved at Belfast by Robert Greer of Carntall said County Carpenter one of the Executors.

    The will is on-line and names his son Robert and 9 daughters: Eliza Duff, Rachel Morgan, Isabella Drennan, Mary Jane Gault, Ellen Thompson, Margaret Coey, Annie Sharp, Catherine Sharp, & Susan Sharp.  (So that’s a few more than you have on your list).

    Here’s Robert Sharpe’s widow in 1901:

    Same household in 1911:

    You will note that the executor of Robert Sharpe’s will was Robert Greer of Carntall. So a link to the Greer family.

    Here he is in 1901:

    and in 1911:

    Note that Annie was Robert Greer’s second wife. His first appears to have been named Isabella Stewart. Annie’s maiden name was Sharpe. Her father was Robert. Robert Greer’s father was Joseph, a farmer. They married on 7.7.1899.

    I happened to notice this family in the 1911 census. I suspect this is the daughter Mary Jane Gault named in Robert’s will:

    Greer Robert of Carntall county Antrim retired builder died 21 June 1932 Probate Belfast 18 October to Annie Greer the widow and William Greer bricklayer. Effects £30 10s.

    Greer Annie of Carntall Carnmoney county Antrim widow died 11 April 1938 Probate Belfast 27 June to William Greer bricklayer. Effects £296 4s. 2d.

    The above 2 wills are not on-line but PRONI should have them. You can view them there free or they will normally copy them for a fee.

    Getting back to your Robert Greer who married Agnes Kennedy, tradition was to marry in the bride’s church, so that’s not always the same church or denomination as the children are baptised in. But assuming the family is Presbyterian and lived in Ballylinny, then Ballylinny Presbyterian has baptisms and marriages from 1837, so you won’t find Robert or Agnes’s own baptisms there but you might find their marriage, plus their children. If they are not there, then I would try Carnmoney Presbyterian. They have the following extensive records:

    Baptisms, 1708-60, 1767-1807 and 1819-1968; marriages, 1708-58, 1767-89 and 1819-41; notebook giving marriages, births and deaths of various families, with an index, 1708-1917; session minutes which often include minutes of session and committee, 1686-1748, 1767-1821 and 1847-1933; names of those who transferred from other congregations, 1708-25 and 1859-60; poor lists, 1716-84 and 1878-80; accounts,1895-98; registers of seat holders and pew rents, 1908-16, which contain plans of the meeting house,1862-3, deaths of ministers, elders and members of committee, 1861-1916, extracts from wills recording bequests to the church, 1714-1909, lists of ministers and elders and when ordained, 1657-1908, and a list of 1st World War volunteers from the congregation, 1918; treasurers account books, 1913-25; congregational account book, 1917-33.

    These records are not on-line but they can be accessed in PRONI. If you can’t get there yourself you may need to employ a researcher. Researchers in the PRONI area:

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 17th April 2018, 06:30PM
  • Elwyn,

    Thank you so very much for all this information. I finally got through all of it, was able to link many persons in my tree, follow up with their lives, and locate burial places.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.





    Saturday 18th August 2018, 02:27PM