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James Armstrong born about 1838 Ireland gunner Royal Artilllery, Commissariat & Mess

I'm asking for help from people with access to sites other than ancestry please. My great grandfather James Armstrong was born in Ireland about 1838. He was a career army man, bugle boy, gunner Royal Artillery then Commisariat & Mess. Medal for Zulu war. Married Annie Elizabeth Clark born Netteswell, Essex, England 3 May 1850. Photo is possibly their wedding picture. Married 12 October 1874 Finsbury St Lukes Church, London. His age 33. HIs father Hugh a labourer. Originally we thought he was born in Aghalee, Co. Antrim as a Chelsea Pensioner document suggested BUT in a post here someone found (on My Heritage) another James son of Hugh Armstrong born 27 Aug 1837 in Aghnahola, Currin, Co. Monaghan, Ireland. I can NOT find this person on the Ancestry website & I have a full paid subs. Now I find Co. Monahan, though in ULSTER, is NOT in NORTHERN Ireland. So my question is - would "born in Ireland" in the English census and in army documents mean IRELAND or IRELAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND - i.e. was there no difference in the 1800s? James was a protestant NOT RC. We do NOT know what his mother was called. We do NOT know if he had any siblings. It was Potato Famine time when he was born so he MIGHT be the only surviving child. Any other Armstrong relatives out there???

Josephine Salt

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 01:01PM

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  • 'Northern Ireland' only came into existence in the 1920s, so any earlier reference to 'Ireland' could refer to any part of the Island of Ireland. Any earlier reference to the North of Ireland would likely be a geographic term i.e. the northern part of the island. The province of Ulster contains 9 counties, six of which make up 'Northern Ireland' part of the UK, and the remaining 3, Cavan, Monaghan & Donegal are in the Republic of Ireland - sometimes refered to as "Southern Ireland".

    Protestant can refer to a number of different Christian Denominations in Ireland - e.g. Church of Ireland (Anglican), Presbyterian etc, Church of Ireland being the one with largest numbers.

    The difficulty with searching for a possible baptism for your James in Co. Monaghan is that not all Church of Ireland and Presbyterian records are available online, and some of the historic Church of Ireland records have not survived. As far as I know Ancestry does not have any significant collection of Protestant records for Ireland.

    A quick search for Armstrong baptisms  for 1835+-10 in Co. Monaghan on RootsIreland (pay-website), shows quite a number ~190, including a possible match that is probably worth following up - it's the only James baptised with a father Hugh or similar in that timeframe in the records available on RootsIreland :

    Currin Church of Ireland parish, Co. Monaghan:
    James Armstrong, date of birth 27th August 1837 (baptism date not given)
    Residence Aghnahola
    Minister Robert Woods
    Father Hugh Armstrong, occupation labourer, mother Maryanne (CofI baptism dont generally include maiden surname)
    (transcript notes that surname is recorded as  'Armstronge' in the register)

    Aghnahola is a townland in Currin civil parish, and it covered just over 93 acres, you can view the entry and map on the Placename Database


    Friday 17th April 2020, 12:29PM