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I am trying to trace the origins of Andrew and Mary Dickson (nee McKee) who were married and had their children in Newry during the 1840's. They came to Australia with their three sons George (b.1843), Samuel (b.1845) and Robert (b.1848) in 1858 and settled here. I have visited their graves in tenterfield and Glen Lyon ,Australia and it was very moving.

From the passensger list : Andrew originated from Lisnadill born about 1818, father James and mother Penelope.

                                       Mary originated from Kilclooney/Mullaghbrack ,father John and mother Mary.

 Andrew was  listed as a farm labourer.

My father maintained the family were originally from Scotland so i am trying to trace this however my searches have been hampered by destroyed records. Hoping someone can help. 

My husband and I are travelling to Ireland in June and hope to visit Lisnadill and Newry in search of more information. Any ideas or information would be most welcome.


Thursday 9th Feb 2017, 03:07AM

Message Board Replies

  • Duplicate post.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 9th Feb 2017, 09:17AM
  • I recently found a marriage that maybe of interest to you. I'm sure it must be connected to my family because of the unusual forename Hans but at present I can't fit it in.  It is for Jane Dickson married Hans McKee in 1791 in Drumgath, Down. They had at least one child Abraham born 1791.

    I've struggled to find the birth and marriage of my 2x great grandfather for some time but now have a new clue so I'm hoping someone may be able to help. From his 48th foot pension records I discover he was a weaver born in Clanduff, Rathfriland . He was Robert McKee who died in 1887 in Newry aged 83. His wife, Margaret, died the following year aged 76. They had at least 2 children, my great grandmother, Margaret born between 1843 and 1855 and Hance born between 1841 and 1851. They seem to have always lived in Newry. I think they were Protestant. Any help very much appreciated.

    My great uncle George Labrom, Margaret's son emigrated to Australia and then went to New Zealand and I wonder if was because he had McKee relatives there.





    Saturday 11th Feb 2017, 05:48AM
  • Dicko,

    Re your father’s belief that the Dickson family originated in Scotland, that’s highly likely. Literally half the population of Co. Down is descended from Scots who settled there, mostly in the 1600s. They came for various different reasons. Some as part of the Plantation of Ulster, some stayed behind after General Munroe’s 10,000 strong Scots army was disbanded in Ireland after the 1641 rebellion and a lot came in the 1690s due to famine in Scotland.

    There are no details of individual names nor of who  came from where, save for  a few big landowners, but most were Lowlanders (from the Clyde Valley belt) or from the Southern Uplands, They typically came from counties like Ayrshire, Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbright and so on. The distance from Portpatrick , Wigtownshire in Scotland to Donaghadee in Co. Down is something like 22 miles. So a very easy sea journey. (And many went back and forth of course).

    Dickson is not a native Irish name, but it is a name commonly found in Scotland. Your ancestors were Church of Ireland not RC (as most native Irish were), and they lived in Co. Down which was swamped by early Scots settlers. So all those factors point to Scottish origins.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 11th Feb 2017, 01:27PM
  • Thanks, Elwyn. Sounds as though it may not be possible to trace the family any further due to lack of records. :(

    When we visit in May, I will do some physical exploring of graveyards and local histories I think- unless you have a more productive suggestion?


    Sunday 12th Feb 2017, 12:14AM
  • Thanks Stsaud. I will see what I can find out.


    Sunday 12th Feb 2017, 12:15AM
  • I don‘t think there’s much more you can do. There is a church in Lisnadill townland which I think is the Church of Ireland so presumably that’s the very building where your family went to church. That’s something to focus on. You’ll be able to see most of the townland from there so it’ll give you an idea of what their landscape was like.

    Armagh library has the local studies section for that county. So they have old newspapers on microfilm and articles on life in the county in the 1700s and 1800s.

    If you are interested in seeing what life was like in Ulster in the late 1800s, then go to the Ulster Folk & Transport museum at Cultra, just outside Belfast (3 miles along the road to Bangor). You can get there by train if you are not driving. Cultra station. They have reconstructed every type of building there from all over the province. (Mostly taken down stone by stone and then reassembled at the park). So, for example, you can view a weavers cottage, a school, a pub, a bank, several churches, a courthouse, a sweetie shop and so on. Makes a good day out. (It’s in 2 parts. In one area on one side of the Bangor road they have old cars, buses and steam trains etc, and then across the road is a 500 acre site with all the old buildings. That’s the bit to aim for if you want to get a feel for rural buildings).






    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 12th Feb 2017, 05:15PM
  • Wow. Thank you so much! We will do all of that! Cheers.


    Monday 13th Feb 2017, 08:31PM

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