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Greetings, just joined and am looking for anyone with information about Thomas Slack, born 1760, Kilskerry Parish, Tyrome.  He died on April 14, 1823.  If all goes well, my wife and I hope to visit in April.  Any ideas on what to see and where to stay would be welcome.    Thanks, John




John Wright

Wednesday 11th December 2019, 06:12AM

Message Board Replies

  • John,

    You haven’t said what denomination your ancestor was. The only denomination in KIlskeery with records for the 1700s is Church of Ireland (ie Episcopalian). Their baptisms start in 1876, marriages in 1778 and burials in 1796. So you might find your ancestor’s baptism there (and perhaps that of any siblings etc). The only copies of those records are held in PRONI (the public record office) in Belfast. They are not on-line there, so you have to go in person to view them. (Or get someone else to do it for you). There’s an index to the KIlskeery church records in the PRONI self service room, as well as the records themselves.

    Slack is not a common name in Co. Tyrone. Looking at the tithe applotment records for Kilskeery in 1826, there was just 1 Slack farm. That was held by Henry Slack who lived in Keenogue townland.

    Going forward to Griffiths Valuation for 1860, there was just one Slack household in the whole of Co. Tyrone. That again was Henry in Keenogue.

    Henry had plot 3 in Keenogue which was a 13 acre farm. The property today is on the Castlehill Rd, north of Kilskeery village. (If you use the maps on the Griffiths website, you can see where it is. Use the slider bar in the top right hand part of the screen to overlay a modern map on the 1870s map).

    The Valuation revision records on the PRONI website tell us that Henry had gone from Keenogue by 1870 and was replaced by Frances Morrison. That is matched by a death for a Henry Slack on 20.10.1868 aged 79 registered in Irvinestown.  That is presumably the Keenogue Henry’s death. You can view the original certificate on-line on the GRONI website, using the “search registrations” option:

    You will need to open an account and buy some credits. It costs £2.50 (sterling) to a view a certificate.

    There are no Slacks in Co. Tyrone in the 1901 census, so presumably the family had died out in that area. I have no idea whether that’s your Slack family but it’s the only one I can find in Tyrone

    You ask what there is to do in the area. Most people visit Enniskillen and drive round the Fermanagh lakes. Castle Coole (National Trust) just outside Enniskillen is open to the public and worth seeing. Or a boat trip to see the Round Tower and old monastery on Devenish Island. Enniskillen Castle is open to the public and the Fermanagh genealogy group offer their services there on certain days of the week. The Manor House, overlooking Lough Erne is a popular hotel but there are plenty of others. Link to local tourist office:



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 11th December 2019, 10:48AM
  • Elwyn, thanks!  The only baptism records I have are on Thomas's son Richard Thomas Slack, B: 5-12-1801 showing he was baptized on the day he was born with this reference:

    Tyrone, Births recorded in KIlskeery C.of  I, 1767-1872.  Thomas's wife is believed to be Susanna but no records that I have found to validate her.

    Also, Richard Slack served in the 6th Dragoon Guards:

     WO 97/122/24 - Richard Slack, Born KILSKERRY, Tyrone; Served in 6th Dragoon Guards; Discharged aged 21. Dates served 1824-1826

    Richard's wife was Christiana Anderson who was born in 1794 in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.  And she had a brother John Anderson who was born in Derryvullan, Fermanagh.

    I am hoping when we come to Ireland we can find some ancestors of Thomas.

    Again, thanks for your help and time.


    John Wright

    Saturday 14th December 2019, 01:17AM
  • John,

    I mentioned earlier that Slack is not a common surname in Ireland. You can use this link to see where it was found in the mid 1800s:

    Looking at the 1901 census there were a grand total of 40 people named Slack in Ireland (out of a population of 4.4 million). So pretty rare. Given that your family lived in Tyrone and were Church of Ireland, I’d suspect they probably originated in England or Scotland and settled in the area in the 1600s as part of the Plantation. (Literally half the population of Fermanagh & many in Tyrone have the same background).

    There don’t ever appear to have been many Slacks in Fermanagh or Tyrone and they all seem to have been gone by 1901. The nearest in 1901 were in Co Cavan, some distance from Kilskeery.

    The baptism record you have found for Thomas in 1801 should be in PRONI in Belfast. If going there to look at it, take photo id to get a reader’s ticket (takes just a couple of minutes). No charge.

    In addition to Henry’s likely death in 1868, I can see a death in the same area for Elizabeth Slack in 1891, aged 70, spinster, farmer’s daughter. Probably related.

    There were 2 Slack marriages (1845 & 1847) and 1 death 1867, registered in Lisnaskea (at the other end of Fermanagh) but otherwise I don’t see any other statutory records in the county. None at all registered in Tyrone, ever. (Kilskeery events are registered in Irvinestown previously Lowtherstown, in Fermanagh, but otherwise I see no Slack events in Tyrone at all).

    You might find some gravestones in Kilskeery that could contain additional information. Farmers were slightly better off than the average labourer and could often afford a gravestone. (Most labourers couldn’t and were buried without one).

    The WO reference relates to papers held at the National Archives in Kew (London). Some information is on-line on sites such as Ancestry and findmypast but in many cases, you need to go to Kew (or get someone else to do so) to look up the paper records, as the full files are not on-line.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 14th December 2019, 09:42PM