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John Mason - County Down

John Mason my Great Great grandparent born about 1828 in County Down

Parents Patrick Mason and Catherine Smith

Married Helen Logan in Kilmarnock, Scotland 1850

Died Kilmarnock, Scotland 1859 


I'm looking for the parish the family came from in County Down then I can maybe trace back further! :-) 

Thanks in advance,



Monday 3rd August 2020, 02:19PM

Message Board Replies

  • John,

    Normally Scottish death certificates contain details of the deceased’s parents occupations and also whether they were alive or dead at the date in question.  (It should say “dcd” after the name if dead). Knowing whether Patrick Mason and his wife were alive or dead in 1859, plus Patrick’s occupation may help identify them.

    What denomination were Patrick & his wife, do you know?


    Monday 3rd August 2020, 04:47PM
  • Thanks Elwyn.

    I've had a look at the death cert and from what I can ascertain John's father, Patrick, was a Farmer and was deceased in 1859. And for his mother, Catherine, there is no death specified. 

    They would be roman catholic as John was married in the Catholic Church in Kilmarnock in 1850.


    I've attached a Snip of the Death record.



    Monday 3rd August 2020, 11:04PM


    The death record snip isn’t attached to your post.

    However, knowing that Patrick was a farmer is helpful. Farmers should normally have been listed in the tithe applotment records (which were a tax on land). I checked the tithes for Co Down and there is only 1 Patk Mason listed there in 1833. He lived in Ballyplunt which is a townland in the civil parish of Rathmullan (RC parish of Bright). See:

    Death registration only started in Ireland in 1864, so clearly we won’t find a death certificate for your Patrick if he was dead by 1859. I searched for a death for Catherine. There were just 6 in Co. Down. All were in Downpatrick registration district, which includes Ballyplunt, but none was old enough to be your family. I suspect therefore that Catherine died between 1859 and 1863.

    There’s a Catherine Mason from Bright parish who was noted as a sponsor of an RC baptism in 1861:

    As far as church records are concerned, the RC parish of Bright only has baptisms and marriages starting in 1856, so not nearly early enough to be able to find John Mason or his parents.

    Ballyplunt is not big. In the 1901 census there were 14 properties and a total population of 63. 

    There was a Margaret Mason living in Ballyplunt in 1859. She had a farm labourer’s cottage (plot 1b).  She might be a relation to the Patrick who farmed there in 1833.  Usually when a woman is listed in Griffiths, she’s a widow.

    Margaret Mason’s name remains as tenant in the Valuation Records until 1873 when she is replaced by Margaret Moffat, indicating she had moved or perhaps died.  However the 1901 census lists a Margaret Mason in Ballyplunt. Not sure if it's the same Margaret. She’s aged 61 though ages need to be taken with a pinch of salt as they are mostly guesstimates. By her death a couple of years later she's 75.

    She was married to Edward Mason. She had a son Patrick who married Elizabeth Hanna in 1895, when his address was Ballyplunt.

    I looked for Edward’s death 1867 to 1901 but could not find it.

    I found Patrick’s birth in Ballyplunt on 21.2.1867.

    Patrick in 1901:

    His family in 1911:

    Mgt death:

    Informant was Edward Rathmullan, Lower. This is him in 1901. I think Margaret was his mother and if so, her maiden name would have been Denvir.

    I would say there is likely to be some connection between the Patrick Mason & family in Ballyplunt in 1901 & 1911 and the Patrick Mason who lived there in 1833. Patrick Mason's name was still listed as tenant in 1929 when the Valuation Records stop.


    Tuesday 4th August 2020, 02:45AM
  • Hi Elwyn,

    Thanks for the info and sorry for not replying sooner. 

    I'm happy to accept that Patrick was in Ballyplunt though this assumes that the tither records are comprehensive.

    In the meantime, I have been trying to trace any other syblings of John and found Patrick and Margaret also in Kilmarnock. And by this route I found Catherine Mason living with Margaret who by this time is married to Patrick Trodden  in the 1851 Census. I have found in the local parish records Patrick marrying in Kilmarnock in 1848 but is not on the 1851 census and this is because he is in Boston, USA.

    It looks like Margaret's husband dies and she and her mother moved to Boston also.

    Catherine dies in Boston in 1861 and on her death record it states her parents and Philip and Catherine Smith who would be married beore 1791 (as that is the earliest I have for Catherine Mason's birth - based census and death ages). I assume they would also be in County Down.

    Thanks again for the info.




    Friday 4th September 2020, 10:39AM