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I am trying to bridge the gap between Canada and Ireland.  I know that Henry Kirkpatrick was born some time between 1811-1819 in Ireland and died in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.  He starts appearing in Canadian census records in about 1841.  On the Canadian death register, it lists his birthplace as "Bellenthralt, Ireland".  Another Canadian record lists his birthplace as "Donegal, Ireland".  I'm guessing that "Bellenthralt" is a mispelling, and the closest town I can find is "Ballintra".

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a single Irish record with his name attached.  Where do I start?

Pangur Ban

Monday 14th May 2018, 05:43PM

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  • The surname Kirkpatrick in Ireland is interchangeable with Kilpatrick, and there more Kilpatricks than Kirkpatricks. (The 1901 census of the county has 49 Kirkpatricks and 75 Kilpatricks). So search under both versions of the surname as they were used interchangeably in Ireland. (Robertson/Robinson is the same, and there are other examples).

    There is a townland of Ballindrait, in Clonleigh parish. That sounds a bit like “Bellenthralt” (which definitely isn’t right.).

    You may struggle to find any record of Henry. Records for Co. Donegal pre 1850 are thin on the ground.

    You can use Griffiths Valuation to see which parishes the surname was found in, in Donegal in the 1850s, and you could then focus your research on churches in those parishes looking for his baptism. You haven’t said what denomination he was, but if Church of Ireland or Presbyterian, then the records may not be on-line. There are copies of most of the surviving ones for those denominations in Donegal in PRONI (the public record office) in Belfast but a personal visit is required to view them.

    Possibly DNA testing may be a way of matching with others who have additional information about where the family originate. Family Tree DNA reportedly has more people with Ulster roots than any other company. That obviously increases the chances of finding a match. You might want to try them or, if you have already tested, you can transfer your results to them for no fee.

    The North of Ireland Family History Society are running an Ulster DNA project and can offer FTDNA testing kits at a reduced price. (Go to DNA project on the website).


    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 14th May 2018, 06:39PM
  • Pangur Ban:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    Ballintra is a town in Drumhome civil parish in south Donegal. I assume your ancestor was Church of Ireland. The subscription site Roots Ireland has the Drumhome Church of Ireland records back to 1719. I did a search for Henry and did not find a record for him. There were 60 Kirkpatrick baptismal records in the Drumhome Church of Ireland records just no Henry. Wonder if he had a different given name? I did find a Henry Kilpatrick record in 1806 in the Inver Church of Ireland parish which is not too far away. See below.

    I suggest you add Henry's story to our XO Chronicles site

    Have you considered DNA testing?

    Roger McDonnell

    Name:Henry KilpatrickDate of Birth:
    Date of Baptism:26-Aug-1806Address:MountcharlesParish/District:INVERGender:MaleCountyCo. Donegal
    Denomination:Church Of Ireland
    Father:James KilpatrickMother:Catherine

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 14th May 2018, 06:45PM
  • Thank you, Roger and Elwyn!  Henry Kirkpatrick is listed as Methodist.

    I appeciate the links and the records.  This gives me something to research.  I have never heard of Ballindrait, and it sounds a lot closer to what I saw on the death record.

    I have thought about DNA testing, but wasn't sure which one to choose.  Thank you for the recommendations!

    Pangur Ban

    Tuesday 15th May 2018, 04:03PM
  • Methodism took a lot longer to become established in Ireland as a separate denomination than in England. In Ireland there was considerable resistance to separating from the Church of Ireland. It was 1815 before Methodists agreed to conduct their own baptisms. However because of continuing loyalty and other factors, many continued to use the Church of Ireland for sacraments for years after this and it was 1871 before all Methodists routinely performed their own baptisms.

    For marriages, the earliest ceremonies conducted by a Methodist Minister in Ireland that I am aware of, date from 1835 (Belfast Donegall Square, the first Methodist church in Ireland). However in the mid 1800s there were only a few Methodist Ministers in Ireland (Methodism relied heavily on lay preachers). So the shortage of Ministers contributed to the continuing practice of marrying in the Church of Ireland. In addition, in the early years, many Methodist Meeting Houses were not licensed for marriages so that too contributed to couples marrying in the Church of Ireland.

    So to summarise, you are unlikely to find many Methodist baptisms before 1820. Few marriages before the 1840s and only a handful for many years after that. If there are no Methodist records in the location you are interested in, I would search the Church of Ireland instead, as that’s the most likely place to find the relevant event.

    Not many Methodist Meeting Houses have graveyards and so they may be buried in public or Church of Ireland graveyards (which are open to all denominations).


    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 15th May 2018, 07:33PM