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I am researching my husband, Hans Cunningham’s family history.  We live in Victoria, BC. Canada. His father Joseph Cunningham was born and raised in Portrush (parents William Irwin Cunningham & Margaret Jane Irwin).  Margaret’s mother was Letitia CAMPBELL, Kiltinney (parents: Samuel CAMPBELL, farmer, & Nancy MILLAR, both from Kiltinney according to their marriage record, 20 Oct 1848). Both of their fathers (Solomon CAMPBELL & John MILLAR) are listed as farmers

RootsIreland has Samuel, Nancy, Solomon and wife Margaret’s Gravestone Inscription Records at Crossgar Presbyterian Cemetery.

I have found a Samuel Campbell in Lower Kiltinney in Griffith’s Valuation who leases land with a John Campbell.  There are several other CAMPBELLs in neighbouring townlands as well.   I am not yet sure if and how they might be related but I am pretty sure that this Samuel Campbell is the correct father for Letitia.  

I am wondering if there are anyone researching any of these families in Kiltinney and area and whether there might be more information. 

Thank you!





Sonja R

Friday 21st Aug 2020, 10:45PM

Message Board Replies

  • Sonja,

    Griffiths shows Samuel Campbell of Lower Kiltinney on plot 3 a 43 acre farm. The farm today is up a short lane off the A37 a mile or so west of Macosquin.

    Probate abstract for John Campbell:

    The Will of John Campbell late of Kiltinney County Londonderry Farmer who died 1 May 1881 at same place was proved at Londonderry by Alexander Mairs and Thomas Caldwell both of Kiltinney Farmers the Executors.

    The will itself is on-line on the PRONI site. It mentions his wife Mary, plus sons Gabriel and James, daughters Sarah, Martha & Mary Jane and grand-daughter Mary Jane Fulton.

    Household in 1901:

     Above couple married in 1893. His father was Thomas Campbell of Kiltinney, at Macosquin Presbyterian.

    The Valuation Revision books (on the PRONI site) show the farm in Kiltinney Lower changes tenants in 1883. Samuel changed to Thomas and John changed to Gabriel. The in 1898 the farm is consolidated and tenanted by William John Campbell.

    Samuel Campbell’s father was Solomon Campbell according to his marriage certificate:

    Letitia Campbell married William Irwin in 1873:

    Daughter Margaret was born in 1878:

    She married William Cunningham in 1906:

    Their son Joseph was born in 1916:

    Family in 1911:

    Probate abstract:

    Cunningham William Irwin of 4 Glenvale Avenue Portrush county Antrim retired town clerk died 8 May 1957 at Hopefield Hospital Portrush Probate Belfast 25 July to William Irwin Cunningham town clerk. Effects £1359 18s. 10d.

    (The will itself should be in PRONI in paper format).

    Is there anything else you want to know?




    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 22nd Aug 2020, 05:13PM

    hello Elwyn 

    Thank you so much for the amazing information above.  And for being the person who is now helping with another part of the Cunningham- Irwin clan.  I have not used the Valuation Revision records but it came up during John Grenham's chat this am (Celtic Connections conference).  Thank you!                                                                     I have the info for William and Letitia- we received an amazing gift, a famiy history of the Irwins written by Margaret Irwin (Cunningham) in the 1950's, so have that level and children etc.  I am plotting out the information that you provided on the Campbells.  

    So would Samuel and John have been siblings?  And Thomas the son of Samuel?  I haven't yet found a birth certificate for Thomas.  If so then William John Campbell who took over the consolidated farm in 1898 would be Samuel's grandson?  I have just found the marriage record for William John Campbell and Mary Mairs (I see that an Alexander Mairs was the executor of John Campbells will)    

    I also have the Marriage Record for Samuel Campbell and Nancy Millar that you sent the link for-  mine is also very hard to read.  I have attached the record for this marriage from RootsIreland as well as the Gravestone inscription- where if correct both state that Solomon is the father of Samuel.  It could read as Solomon on the record but I have not found anything on Solomon on FindMyPast or Ancestry or the irish sites.   Let me know your thoughts on this.  I have found records and information on 2 additional siblings to Letitia Campbell,  Margaret Jane who marrried William Douglas and Elizabeth Campbell who married William Moore.   Maybe Thomas is also a sibling- as above question?   Will continue to see if I can find other siblings for Samuel Campbell & Nancy Millar.   No luck yet on the birth records for William John or Thomas Campbell but just started.

    Thanks again so much! 


    Sonja R

    Sunday 23rd Aug 2020, 12:56AM
  • Sonja,

    Firstly, I mis-read Samuel’s father’s name on the 1848 marriage certificate. You are quite right it’s Solomon. It needs looking at closely but that’s what it is. And that evidently ties in with the family gravestone.

    John Campbell was 71 when he died so born around 1810. If Samuel Campbell died 21.3.1893 aged 80 that makes John & Samuel of an age to be brothers. But I don’t know of any records that might confirm that with certainty. That they shared the farm for many years does suggest they were closely related.

    John’s son Gabriel married in 1883:

    There are some trees on Ancestry (eg the Mayrs tree) that have William John Campbell & Mary Mairs (spelled Mayrs). They show William John’s father Thomas as being married to Margaret Simon with Thomas dying 20.2.1889 and Margaret dying on 26.3.1881.  Both those deaths were in nearby Balteagh townland.  Thomas married Mary Simon in 1851 when he was also living in Balteagh. That certificate names Thomas’s father as George.  So if this is the Thomas who also farmed in Kiltinney then possibly he isn’t descended from either Samuel or John at all?

    Separately, the Cunningham-Zdrazil tree is one of 4 with Solomon Campbell and Margaret . It lists them having a daughter Martha (1796-1831). And as you have mentioned, Samuel and Nancy had 3 daughters Elizabeth Campbell 1850 – 1928; Letitia 1854 – 1926 & Margaret Jane 1858 - 1937.  No sons are listed.

    Elizabeth married William Moore in 1869:

    Family in 1901:…

    Margaret Jane married William Douglas in 1880:

    Family in 1901:…

    I can’t find a death or a marriage for a Thomas who is in the Valuation Revision records for Lower Kiltinney from 1883 – 1898. So possibly he is the Balteagh Thomas.  If the Mayrs tree is accurate and Samuel & Nancy had no sons, then they may not have had anyone to take over the farm. So possibly Thomas was a relative who was willing to take it on, and it then passed to his son William John.

    Gabriel, who inherited the Kiltinney farm in his father’s will is in Balteagh Lower by the 1901 census, so something must have happened that made him move. Some deal has been done which led to the farms being swapped around. Gabriel & family in Balteagh Lower in 1901:

    Expanding a little on the Kiltinney farm in the Valuation revision books, I mentioned that 3a went from Samuel to the mysterious Thomas in 1883. After that it went to William John in 1893, 3b went from John to Gabriel in 1883 and then to Hugh Gage in 1891. In 1898 it’s consolidated and taken by James Cooper Mayrs but sublet to William John Campbell (who you will recall married Mary Wallace Mairs/Mayrs).

    You might want to have a look at the Valuation Revision books yourself:

    So there’s apparently been some sort of deal whereby Gabriel acquired a farm in Balteagh Lower and William John got the one in Kiltinney Lower. But it doesn’t tell us precisely who Thomas was and how he was related to Samuel and John..

    A general note about Griffiths by the way. The clerks revisited properties every couple of years to update the records. Some of the dates can often be out by a year or two. For example we know John Campbell died in 1881 but the change to his son Gabriel isn’t recorded till 1883. That’s normal. The dates need to be viewed flexibly. They are often indicative rather than accurate.

    There are a lot of Campbell families in the area (4 households in Balteagh Lower in 1901 for example) and it’s easy to get them mixed up. Here’s Solomon Campbell in Kiltinney in the 1831 census. At that time there were 4 males and 4 females in the household, all Presbyterian.  So it’s possible he may have had 3 sons and 3 daughters (though some of the people might have been other relatives. We have no way of knowing):

    Next door was a Thomas with 2 males and 1 female, and next door to that was James with 3 males and 3 females:…

    Crossgar Presbyterian’s baptism records start in 1839, marriages in 1846. I am not sure if the church opened in 1839 or whether it’s just that they have no earlier records. Macosquin Presbyterian has baptisms from 1823 to 1845, 1860 and then 1867 onwards. Copies of both are in PRONI. You might find the children’s baptisms there which may help.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 23rd Aug 2020, 09:49AM
  • Thanks Elwyn. I have printed everyhting off and am doing a webinar on using PRONI this evening which will help me figure out how to,get to the various records. I will let you know how it goes. Cheers Sonja 



    Sonja R

    Sunday 23rd Aug 2020, 11:55PM
  • You mention how to get the various records. A few are on-line eg the Valuation Revision records but many, including the church records, are not and you have to go there in person.  If you are unable to go yourself, you could employ a researcher. Researchers in the PRONI area:



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 24th Aug 2020, 01:30AM
  • Thanks Elwyn.  That's what I figured out.  I did get the Will for John Campbell - first one I have found thus far.  It is fascinating to read someone's thoughts 130 years ago!  And decided to do a separate tree for John and family on my Family Tree Maker.  Not connect it to my main tree, so I can see all of the various connections.  Unless I can get a marriage record for John and Mary (thus father for John being Solomon maybe) would be difficult to prove sibling relationship.  I am going to try Family Search as well as Ancestry and FindMyPast.  

    And I am the one that manages the Cunningham-Zdrazil famiy tree.  I added Martha as sibling to Samuel (as per Samuel Campbell, wife Nancy and his parents Solomon & Margaret, duaghter Elizabeth (Moore) are all buried in Crossgar Cemetery) as she was also buried in Crossgar and her death was in 1831 at the age of 35- so about the same time period as Samuel and John would have been born.   John Campbell and at least some of his clan, including Gabriel seem to have been buried in CAMUS JUXTA BANN CI (from RootsIreland docs).  

    Thanks for the research resource.  I think I will make a specific list with records that could be gotten at PRONI. By the time we can safely travel, it will be a while.    Sonja

    Sonja R

    Monday 24th Aug 2020, 11:03PM
  • Sonja,

    Regarding some members of the family being buried in Camus Church of Ireland, it was quite common for Presbyterians to be buried in Church of Ireland graveyards. They were open to all denominations and since a lot of Presbyterian churches didn’t have graveyards, they used the Church of Ireland instead.

    I did a little more digging and now have more information on the mysterious Thomas Campbell. He died in 1889, aged 82,  in Balteagh.…

    He had 2 farms. One in Balteagh and one in Kiltinney (which he must have acquired from Samuel).  He left the Balteagh one to his son Thomas and the Kiltinnney one to his son William John. (He also had daughters Mary & Annie). No mention of his wife so she pre-deceased him. The will is on the PRONI site.

    The Will of Thomas Campbell late of Balteagh Macosquin County Londonderry Farmer who died 20 February 1889 at same place was proved at Londonderry by Thomas Campbell and William John Campbell both of Balteagh Macosquin Farmers the Executors.

    Thomas died before Samuel so he can’t have inherited the Kiltinney farm from him. Samuel died in Coleraine not in Kiltinney, so did ill-health force him to give the farm up, and he went to live with relatives in Coleraine? Thomas & Samuel are of an age to have been brothers. There was obviously some close connection between them.

    There is a total of 13 probate abstracts (summaries) for Campbell of Balteagh on the PRONI wills site. (If you put Campbell in the surname box and the word Balteagh into the box marked “Full abstract” that will bring them all up). For wills from 1858 to 1900, there’s a transcript on-line. If they died intestate ie if it has the word administration in the abstract, then the file was lost in the 1922 fire and all that survives is the abstract. From 1901 onwards in most cases the files survive. A few post 1900 wills are on-line, but many remain in paper format in PRONI. They haven’t got round to putting them on-line yet. Likewise the intestacy files are all in paper format. (So someone has to look them up, or you can get PRONI to copy them for you, for a fee). The abstracts go up to 1966. They also have the files from 1967 onwards but nothing is on-line for them yet. Again you have to look them up yourself.

    Yes reading the old wills is fascinating. Some went into great detail. “My wife X is to have the Welsh dresser, such bed linen as she may need, the produce of 1 good cow, and the use of the front room on Sundays.” I read one with instructions that in the event of “my wife and my daughter in law not getting along companionably,” the farmhouse was to be subdivided and a separate entrance installed so that the two did not have to mix. Wow! They really didn’t like each other, did they?

    PRONI re-opened this week. It’s an appointments system and you have to order documents in advance. They go into quarantine after you have used them so some widely used records may not always be available. There’s a limit of 10 items a day and only people with existing readers cards can have appointments at the moment. But it is open again.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 26th Aug 2020, 04:13AM

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