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I've come across this site after hitting a wall on my family research.

My GG grandfather's name is James Norry (or Norrey). I have found records that he was baptised in St John's Church of Ireland, Castlederg in August 1849. His parents are listed as Andrew Norrey, from Polyarnian (presumably Pullyernan) and Bridget, from Sligo. Andrew is listed on the baptismal register as being a 'mendicant'. Bridget Norry died aged in 1890 in Co. Donegal.

In 1876 James Norry (a tailor) married Mary Byrne of Castlederg (daughter of John and Bridget Byrne) in St Bridget's Church Castlederg (I can't find a record of a St Bridget's Church, but this is what the marriage register says). The marriage register doesn't name his father, it just says 'dead'. John Byrne died in Castlederg in 1878 and is listed as a 'labourer'. Bridget Byrne died in 1881.

I was wondering if anybody would be able to point me in the right direction to take this search further. With Andrew being listed as a 'mendicant' I'm guessing he might have lived or died in the poorhouse. I also have nothing further on John and Bridget Byrne other than what is listed above. Griffith's valuation doesn't seem to have any records for any of them and I have no record of siblings for either James Norry or Mary Byrne.


Tuesday 5th January 2021, 05:48PM

Message Board Replies

  • I don’t see a death for Andrew 1864 – 1876 so I would assume he died before 1864. In that case there’s probably no record, unless perhaps he died in the workhouse. According to this link, Castlederg Workhouse has death records from 1841 – 1934. They are in PRONI in Belfast. They are not on-line.

    If the family isn’t in Griffiths it’s likely because they were either itinerant, lodging with another family or staying in a property of too low a value to be listed.

    I had a look for other Norr(e)y marriages in Ireland 1864 - 1890 with father Andrew but didn’t see any.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 5th January 2021, 06:33PM
  • Hi Elwyn,

    Many thanks for this, I have reached the same conclusion that Andrew died before 1864. Based on the fact James appears to an only child I would guess Andrew might have died soon after James' birth.

    I did the same searches and didn't find anything. When PRONI reopens I might take a trip to Belfast and see if I can find anything. 

    The only other Norry's that we are aware of in Ireland (in Griffith's valuation or elsewhere) are based in or around Derry, so it may be that Andrew was part of that family. 

    As I mentioned above, the marriage register of James Norry and Mary Byrne state that they were married in St Brigid's Church, Castlederg. Was there such a place? I can't find a record of it. Also is there any significance in the fact James was baptised in a Church of Ireland but married in a Catholic Church? Presumably this was common? 



    Saturday 16th January 2021, 01:56AM
  • Andrew,

    Regarding James being baptised in the Church of Ireland but married in a Catholic church, tradition was to marry in the bride’s church, so it seems she was Catholic and theirs was a mixed marriage. Common enough, as you say. In some cases the groom might convert to Catholicism (in which case you usually find an adult baptism in the church records, about a month before the marriage) but in others the couple sometimes kept their own denominations. Sometimes the boys were brought up the father’s and the girls, the mother’s. 

    I would guess from the names that Andrew & Bridget’s marriage was mixed too. I agree that many of the other Norry/Norrie families in the general area were Protestant. (In fact most were Presbyterian, suggesting Scottish ancestry).

    You ask about St Bridget’s church in Castlederg. I don’t know the area well enough. I suspect the church is not there now but don’t know for certain.  The parish is probably Ardstraw West, so you could e-mail the parish office to ask what they know about St Bridget’s.



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 16th January 2021, 07:51PM
  • this Norry family were in Ramelton in Donegal after Castlederg and were tailors living in Church Street 

    Monday 8th February 2021, 10:18PM
  • Many thanks, there is an Andrew Norry born in Scotland whose father was James (which was also Andrew's son's name) that was born in the right period so I am going with the working theory that Andrew himself was Scottish. 

    Thanks for the link re St Bridget's, I will give them an email or perhaps head in that direction once things go back to normal.

    Re Donegal, yes my grandfather was born in Ramelton, I am pretty confident about the family back as far as James Norry. James and his sons seemed to all be tailors, their business was Norry & Sons. 

    Regarding James' mother, Mary Byrne, her parents John and Bridget appear to have lived in Castlederg town. However, according to Griffith's Valuation, the only other Byrnes in that area of Tyrone were in Essan/KIlleter, just outside of Castlederg so, again, I'm working off the theory that Mary's father was part of that family.


    Tuesday 9th February 2021, 01:13PM