Share This:

Hi There,

My name is Kerry-Lynn (Rafferty) Houghton.  Ive been researching my Family for a few years now and recently found a marriage record for my 3x Great Grandparents.  My 3x Great Grandmothers name was Margarita Rafferty born @ 1830 and Her Parents were Gulielmi Rafferty and Catherine (Cassidy) Rafferty (est birth @1800).  Their residence is listed as "burnhill" , wich I believe should be "Burnthill".  I heard that Burnthill was a hill near Carnmoney in the Clogher Valley.  

Ive been told over the years from My grandmother and Father, that a Rafferty married another Rafferty.  Thats all I knew.  I was elated to find the marriage record showing that Margarita Rafferty had married a Felix Peter Rafferty from Lisnarable ,County Tyrone.

Im hoping that someone might be able to tell me a bit more about my ancestors from Carnmoney.  Are there any Raffertys still there?  Would you happen to have an address where they may have lived in 1800?  or coordinates I could google?   I currently live in Massachusetts USA.  I would love any information you may have.  Your country is amazing btw

.  I hope im able to visit someday soon!

Thank You!


Kerry-Lynn Rafferty Houghton

Saturday 10th December 2016, 08:59PM

Message Board Replies

  • Kerry-Lynn,

    There’s more than 1 place called Burnthill in Ireland and consequently you have this post under the wrong parish and in the wrong county. It should be under the parish of Clogher, in Co. Tyrone. Our admin team can move it if you would like.

    Here’s a link to the marriage between Felix Rafferty and Margaret Rafferty on 3.11.1859, in the RC parish of Tyrone.

    His townland was Lisnarable and hers Burnthill. His parents were Cornelius Rafferty and Susan Hacket (sp?). Hers were William Rafferty and Catherine Cassidy. The witnesses were Patrick Rafferty of Lisnarable and Helen (Ellen) McKenna of Dernasell.

    Many early RC registers were compiled in Latin, or cod Latin in some cases. So Guiliemus is just the Latin for William, Margareta is Margaret, etc. So they were known as William & Margaret.

    Griffiths Valuation for 1860 lists Cornelius Rafferty farming in plot 14 in Lisnarable. That was a 14 acres farm. The farm today is up a little lane off the Eskragh Rd, a mile or two east of Fintona. Close to an RC chapel.

    The valuation revision books show the farm remaining in Cornelius’s name till 1875 when it changes to Joseph. (Probably his son). He remained the occupant till 1908 when it changed to James Gorman.

    Here’s the household in 1901. You will see that Joseph’s daughter had married a Gorman, so it looks as though on Joseph’s death the farm passed to his daughter and son in law.

    And in 1911:

    Cornelius Rafferty died 28.3.1874 aged 75, registered in Clogher. You can view the original certificates 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.

    Joseph Rafferty died 5.6.1909 aged 82. His death cert can be viewed free. See:

    Probate abstract from the PRONI wills site:

    Gorman Mary Jane of Lisnarable county Tyrone died 1 March 1932 Administration Londonderry 17 December to James Gorman farmer the husband. Effects £43.

    The will itself is in paper format and held in PRONI. You can view it there, or PRONI will copy it for a fee.

    Burnthill is a part of Altnaveagh townland. It’s at the lower part of the townland. Griffiths for 1860 lists Catherine Rafferty there. For a woman to be listed usually indicated she was a widow, so William died before 1860. (Death registration only started in 1864 so that may be hard to trace). Catherine was farming plot 29, jointly with Mary Mulryan. It was a 29 acre farm. That farm today is off the Altnaveagh Rd, near Augher.

    Catherine is listed in the revaluation records at the farm till 1868 when she is replaced by John Curran. I don’t see a death certificate for her. But she may have died elsewhere.

    The Rafferty family were evidently gone from Altnaveagh by the 1860s.  The Lisnarable Rafferty family were also gone by 1908, so whether there are any descendants in the area is debatable. Rafferty is a very common name in the area. (53 listed in post code area BT70). 1 Gorman. Can’t see any in Eskragh Rd, but many people are ex-directory these days so can’t say for certain. See:

    You might need to call up there in person and quiz the current occupants.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 10th December 2016, 11:25PM
  • Hi Elwyn,

    Once again You have blown my mind.  Your incredibly good at what You do.  I was able to google the address you gave Me the first time for Cornelius Rafferty in Linarable.  It was amazing to see the land they had occupied.  

    I was off course with Margrets family.  Thanks for getting me back on track.  Ill try to google the area she lived once.  I did alot of reading today on the potato famine.  How incredibly sad for the entire country.  Im amazed that my ancestors lived thru it.  

    Once again, Thank You so, so much for all your help!  Im hoping to give my family each a book on our Ancestry for Christmas.  The records and google pics are going to blow them away.  Please feel free to repost this in the correct parish, Im not sure if I would know how.

    Thank You again Elwyn 

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



    Kerry-Lynn Rafferty Houghton

    Sunday 11th December 2016, 01:38AM
  • Kerry,

    You mention the potato famine. Both your families were farmers. Farmers in Ulster tended to get through the famine with a slightly easier time than people in many other parts of Ireland. If they grew any potatoes then they would certainly have been blighted, but most farmers grew a mix of crops eg barley, oats and flax. During the famine they could eat those (save for the flax) and prices for them also rose, so perversely perhaps, that compensated to some extent for the loss of the potatoes. Your two families appear to have been slightly better off than the average man, and probably got through it without starving. In fact they may have been in a position to assist others less well off living nearby.

    The people who really suffered in the famine were agricultural labourers and others with either no land or tiny plots of land. They nearly all grew only potatoes.  You can grow more potatoes to the acre than practically any other crop; they are also low maintenance and grow well in Irish soil. So labourers with large families grew no other food crop. (There had been a population explosion as well, with the population shooting up from 3 million in 1741 to 8 million in 1841, so there was no spare land for the average man to rent). So all these factors made labourers “one crop dependent.” Consequently when that crop failed they had nothing to fall back on. Especially in the bad famine in the late 1840s when it failed 3 years in a row, and they ate their seed potatoes and had nothing to plant the following year. That’s when they were in deep trouble.

    So in spite of the fact that the population of Ireland was starving, farmers with a bit of land were able to continue growing and selling their non potato crops, and life for them wasn’t quite so bad. (The government should have intervened, buying up all the surplus crops and redistributing them as famine relief, but that’s another story). It strikes me as inconceivable that the average farmer wouldn’t also have done something to alleviate the distress of labourers on his/her own farm by giving them some food or helping them in some way or other eg allowing them some financial credit in one way or another. Rent might be waived or paid for entirely by labour for example. Your families probably did something like that. But you would need to read up local information to get a feel for that.

    Another aspect to life in Tyrone and the rest of Ulster that made a difference for labourers, was the fact that most grew a little flax. Flax was then turned into linen using hand loom weaving machines (similar to those still used today in the Outer Hebrides to make Harris Tweed). That linen provided a little cash income (in a society that was otherwise largely based on barter) and this made the life of the average Ulster labourer just a little better than that for the rest of Ireland.


    If you want to read about the impact of the famine in Tyrone, it’s worth looking at the Clogher workhouse minutes. The workhouse guardians (ie the people responsible for running it) met every week, and the minutes of their meetings note increases in the number of inmates, efforts to help those who were starving by providing soup kitchens and so on, the numbers of deaths etc. Some workhouse guardians also made arrangements to send orphans to Canada and Australia to help save them.  The minutes give you a real flavour of what life was like in that specific part of Ireland. The minutes for the years 1846 to 1850 will likely be the most relevant for anyone interested in the effects of the famine. Workhouse records for Clogher are held in PRONI, in Belfast. (They are not on-line and you would need to go in person to read them).

    I have also attached a document from PRONI (T2279/2) which describes life in Tyrone in the 1800s and has quite a bit on the impact of the famine there. You might find it interesting. It was written in 1904/5 by someone born in the 1820s, so it's a contemporaneous account.


    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 11th December 2016, 08:48AM

    Attached Files

  • Hi Elwyn,

    I cant even imagine how bad life had gotten in some areas.  I did read an article about a journalist who had gone to Ireland and wrote about some of his encounters during that time.  I consider myself so lucky to have a roof over my head, food to eat and a healthy family most of all.  I look forward read the articles and Thank You.  BTW....I have not forgotten to add information about my ancestors in America.  I will certainly share the stories and records I have on this site.  Please let Me know if there are questions I can answer for You


    Kerry-Lynn Rafferty Houghton

    Monday 12th December 2016, 03:13PM