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Morrow Family of Dungannon


I am visiting Ireland in Audust 2020 and am coming to Tyrone to explore where my ancestors lived. I have a bit of information about the large family as I found they were involved in the Carlan Riots of 1843 . They were brothers, James, robert, david, joseph and their sister Jane. I know their father was James as well . He married Isabella McCurdy c1801 and lived at Drumconor for a period of time and is buried at the Crossdernot cemetery. Unfortunately their brother John, my 3x gr grandfather is not mentioned and may have died c1845/6. All the brothers mentioned and their sister emigrated to Australia whilst their brother Alexander emigrating to canada. I am hoping to find more records mentioning them and the townlands they lived in, particulary anything about John Morrow who married maragret McCallum in Armagh in c1810. I know William lived at Drumglass. Where do I begin over there to look for records not digitised and on line. What would be the best places to contact re this.

Thank you in advance for any assistance

Patrice Morrow



Tuesday 24th December 2019, 02:12AM

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  • Patrice,

    You haven’t said what denomination your Morrow family was. That’s fairly important if you are going to search church records. Do you know? (I’d guess Church of Ireland or Presbyterian, judging by the main denominations in the county in the 1901 census).

    To answer your question about where to look for records that are not on-line, the primary source will be PRONI in Belfast. Most records for what is now Northern Ireland have been centralized and are kept there, rather than in the individual counties.

    You said that some of the family lived in Drumconor. That’s in Pomeroy parish. I checked the tithe applotment records for 1829, but there’s no Morrows in that townland then. So either they didn’t live there then or they weren’t farmers.

    No Morrows in Drumconor in Griffiths Valuation of 1860, nor in the 1901 census (when there were 20 houses and a total population of 88).

    You mention a William in Drumglass. Drumglass is the parish around Dungannon. Here’s the Williams farming there in 1832:

    If you haven’t already done so, you might want to search this Co. Tyrone site for any mentions of your family:

    PRONI has 3 documents you might want to look up if you are going there:

    D2469/36 is the rent roll for Drumconor in 1786; D2469/51 is the same for 1805 and D2469/78 is same for 1826. If your family were farmers they may be listed there. If they were agricultural labourers/weavers they probably won’t be, as they tended to sublet from the farmer whose land they were on, rather than directly from the land owner.

    For a good description of life in the area in the 1830s, you could read the Ordnance Survey memoirs. These were compiled on the instructions of the Duke of Wellington (then Prime Minister) primarily for taxation purposes. So a bit like the Doomsday Book. They were compiled parish by parish, and describe the inhabitants, their occupations, pastimes, habits, they analyse the various different denominations by number, and report on health, schooling, seasonal migration patterns as well as permanent migration patterns. And so on. A typical parish contains about 20 to 30 pages of information and some drawings. They are well worth reading if you want to get a feel for life there at that time. (It’s probably the most detailed contemporaneous summary that exists from that period).

    There are copies on the bookshelves in PRONI’s main research room in Belfast. Omagh library (local studies section) may also have a copy. If not you can order a copy from the Ulster Historical Foundation. If you e-mail them with details of the parish(es) you are interested in, they’ll send you the relevant volume(s). Generally there are 3 or 4 adjacent parishes in each volume so if you are lucky you might only need to buy one or two. I think they are between £5 and £10 per volume depending whether it’s old stock or newer reprints.

    Link to Omagh library heritage information:

    The Mellon Migration library at the Ulster-American Folk Park contains a lot of genealogical books. You might find that worth a visit.

    A word of caution. There aren’t that many records for people in Ireland in the early 1800s, so research for that period can be hard going.

    Tuesday 24th December 2019, 04:44PM
  • Elwyn thank you so much for your quick response and the suggestions you made. It is much appreciated. I will fly into Belfast so I will attempt to allow time to do some research there. My Morrows were Wesleyan, I got the townlands Drumconor and Drumglass from their shipping records. They emigrated over a period of years from 1841 to 1856. As I stated they were all very politically active, especially james, so Im hoping they will turn up again in records that way. 

    If some one dies c1845 to 1855 ie my 3x gr grandfather john Morrow where would be the best place to try and track his death. I havent had any luck with this and am thinking the records were most probably destryed in 1922. 

    Once again thank you 

    Patrice Morrow




    Tuesday 24th December 2019, 10:18PM
  • Patrice,

    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 started 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).

    Dungannon Methodist Church/Meeting House has baptisms from 1819 onwards. There’s a copy covering the years 1819 to 1846 in PRONI.  Later years are still held by the church. They have the only copy, so you would need to contact the Minister if you want access to them. They did not conduct marriages before 1865. I don’t see any Methodist records for Pomeroy, so possibly they attended a meeting house in another parish. Map of parishes in Tyrone:

    1864 is when statutory death registration began in Ireland. Pre 1864 only the Church of Ireland routinely kept any burial records, and then only for their own members. So if a Methodist or Presbyterian or Catholic were buried in a Church of Ireland graveyard – as routinely happened - it wouldn’t appear in the Church of Ireland records. Most other denominations did not bother with burial records. So if Methodist, then there’s probably no burial record. Obviously there might be a gravestone, and if famous, the death might get noted in a newspaper, but for the average person there’s often no documentary record of their death. A lot of records were lost in the 1922 fire but in many cases, burial records didn’t exist in the first place. (No Methodist records were ever kept in the Public Record Office in Dublin, so their records were unaffected by the fire).  Drumglass Church of Ireland has burials for 1672 to 1767 and 1814 to 1948. (Copy in PRONI). Pomeroy lost its early records in the 1922 fire, and has nothing before 1876.

    If going to PRONI, take your passport. Photo id is required for your reader’s ticket. (Just takes 2 minutes). No fee involved. Late opening is Thursdays when it is open till 9.00pm.

    I did a search on an on-line newspaper site for “John Morrow + Dungannon”, and “James Morrow + Dungannon.” I found a number of entries in the 1850s & 1860s relating to a John Morrow of Dungannon who was a process server (a court official) for the County Assizes. Presumably not your ancestor. So that muddles the search a bit. Can’t see any mention of a Morrow who was politically active in that area. The Northern Standard of 25.4.1840 notes the marriage of Margaret Morrow, eldest daughter of James Morrow of Dungannon to Charles Mathers Esq of Grafton St, Dublin. The Belfast Commercial Chronicle of 10.12.1842 notes the death of Dorothea, 4th daughter of the late James Morrow of Dungannon, at Blackrock, Dublin.  She had been living there for the benefit of her health. (So possibly died of consumption). The Weekly Irish Times of 15.4.1876 reports the death of Eliza Anne Black on 9th April. Wife of James Black 37 Percy Place, Dublin and 3rd daughter of the late James Morrow Esq, Crevagh, Dungannon. The “Esq” implies this James Morrow was of independent means. Belfast Telegraph 9.9.1849 reports the marriage in Donaghadee, Co Down, of the Rev Derek Morrow to Tomasina Sheelagh McLellan. Rev Morrow was the 2nd son of the late James Morrow of Ardgivna, Dungannon. And there are others. James & John Morrow are probably pretty common names in the area.

    Wednesday 25th December 2019, 01:06AM
  • Elwyn thank you once again. The information you provided is invaluable to me and I did not expect for you to go searching so I am grateful. It appears I mayhave found out all I can but I will try to fit PRONI into my schedule as you suggested.I may even pay a researcher to take a look for me. However Iwill be staying around Dungannon for a week so I may get to Belfast myself. I found another article mentioning many of my family in the Belfast Monitor 12th June 1843 under the heading Dungannon Riots. On another day the heading was the Carland riots. Its great stuff. I am so lucky to have it. I know this is not probably of interest to you but one article mentions the Catholic Duffs and Donnolleys fighting the Protestant Morrows and a couple of other names. They all emigrated with the Morrows and Agnews and over here they finally married each other so I can say that the political and religious issues were not so important maybe once here. One article outlines the names of the people and they defintiely married into the others families here. Catholic marrying Protestant within a few years of arriving and they all settled in not far from one another. When I explained to my aunt that most of the Morrows were Methodist not Catholic like my line she wouldnt have a bar of it saying the Morrows had always been staunch catholics. I left it alone.

    Anyway Elwyn may you have a safe and happy New Year and know that this Aussie is deeply greatful your assitance.

    Patrice Morrow


    Thursday 26th December 2019, 02:48AM
  • Patrice,

    Glad to help. Researchers in the PRONI area:

    Thursday 26th December 2019, 12:34PM
  • Hi Patrice,

    This is probably a needle in a haystack, but here goes. 

    My 3 X Gts grandparents, Robert Young and Elizabeth Howard and their 2 daughters, came to Australia in 1835 on the "Sarah".  They were from Dungannon County Tyrone.  Their shipping papers show that a Mr William Morrow was to be paid the sum of 20 pounds.  I have not been able to find who William Morrow was, and what his connection to my Young family was, though I have a theory which if I can prove will help me with my Young family.

    I am trying to determine if Robert was the brother of a James Mitchell Young, who was born about 1800 at Anna Guinea Lodge County Tyrone, and who married a Sarah Morrow at Anna Guinea Lodge in 1821.  Robert was born about 1806, and in his obituary was said to be a native of Anna Guinea Lodge County Tyrone.  I wonder if this William Morrow may have been Sarah's father or brother?

    I wonder, in your research, have you come across a William Morrow in this time frame, who had a daughter or sister Sarah?

    Thank you in advance,


    Friday 28th February 2020, 11:43PM
  • Hi Patrice - Isabella McCurdy was my fourth great aunt - I was wondering if the picture you put on is her husband James, or her son?  May I copy it to my Ancestry tree?

    There are a lot of trees on Ancestry with your Morrows - all say your John who married Mgt McCallum died in Australia.  I hope you will still be able to come over to NI this year despite the virus crisis - surely it'll be over by then and things will have returned to normal!  

    Valerie Burrows

    Thursday 2nd April 2020, 05:47PM
  • Hi Valerie

    I am sorry for the delay in replying to your query but I have only just logged in and found it. Thank you for making contact as I am thrilled to make your connection as I have nothing on the McCurdy family other than what is on Isabella's Australian Death Certificate that states her father was William. The photo of James you  are referring to is thier son James who died in Melbourne in 1867. You are welcome to have a copy of this photo for your records. I also have one of his brother Thomas if you are interested. These photos were part of a large contingent of photos of prominent citizens of early Melbourne and the actual framed photo of all is held by the State Library of Victoria. I will attempt to upload the other photo but let me know if you have trouble accessing it.

    i am aware that many trees have John Morrow who married Margaret McCallum dying in Australia in 1871. I have no solid evidence of this and do not believe he came out to Aus. All the info I have leads me to the conclusion that John died in Ireland some time between 1845 (when his last child was born) and 1857 when his wife and mother were the last of the Morrows to emigrate to Aus. I can find no verifying data that states the John Morrow who died in victoria in 1871 is our John. In fact that John Morrows Dth Certificate states he was from Cty Down. I think people just grab certain ancestors from others trees and thats it, no verification by themselves to make sure it accurate. Several issues make me think he died prior to Isabella emigrting;

    1. I can find no record of John Morrow emigrating that fits the timelines of when the Morrows starting coming to Aust and also to Canada. They came over a period of 15 years with Isabella and margaret being the last to be brought out by the older boys.

    2. One of John & Margaret's sons, Andrew went to Canada in 1854 and Isabella & James' son Alexander had emigrated to canada between 1826-1845, but not sure of exact date as yet but I cannot find any mention of a John Morrow that maybe went to canada as well.

    3. If John had emigrated then surely I would have found him mentioned in some of the records relating to the family. Most of the Dth Cert of the children state he was deceased but that is all.

    The only hint that John may have been alive was that when Isabella died in 1867 and her death certificate listed her children Johns age was given as 56, usually if he had been dead they would have written deceased, So there is that but I cannot find him. Maybe they did come from County down originally but I cant prove this. So until I have further evidence I shall leave Johns year of death as blank.


    Do you have much info on the McCurdy family. I would love to chat further. My Ancestry user name is plmor3 if you contact me via that I will give you me email address etc so we can chat further,

    Thanks for contacting me.

    Patrice Morrow




    Saturday 20th June 2020, 07:08AM

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  • Thanks Patrice - will add James and Thomas's portraits to my tree!  Have messaged you on Ancestry. 

    Valerie :)

    Monday 22nd June 2020, 04:19PM
  • Hi everyone,

    I too am researching the Morrows from Dungannon.  I suspect we are all connected somewhere in the 'tree'. 

    My ancestry is:  James Morrow (1769-1843) married c1788 to Rebecca Robinson (1770-1844).  They had five children: George (1789-1856), Mary Jane (1790-?), Joseph (1800-1873), William (1804-?) and Robinson (1805-1841). 

    Robinson is my 3GG.  He married Mary Moore (1810-1893) in  c1823.  They had six children:  Joseph (1824-1859), James (1826-1876), Christiana (1928-1911), David (1830-?), John (Jack) (1836-1920) and Thomas (1840-1911).  In 1841 they all travelled to Australia on an assisted passage, however, Robinson died enroute.  Mary and the children continued on and made a life in Australia.

    I visited Ireland last year and had a great deal of difficulty finding any information on the Morrow family.  I have a lot of general information from which I can make assumptions.

    Elwyn has given some good pointers of where to search.  I also found the Linen Hall Library worth a visit. 

    It would be so helpful if more of these old records were digitised  and more centrally located and not have to spend just as much time finding where to look as well as then searching the records. A lot of what is digitised is so expensive when you consider you have to 'subscribe' to so many locations.

    Anyway, hope you find what you are looking for and if you think you may have a connection to any of my ancestors, I would be happy to connect further.  My email is  

    Happy Hunting.

    Allyson Murray


    Sunday 11th October 2020, 03:14AM