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My 2x great grandfather was Matthew Donaldson, son of Thomas and brother of James.  Matthew was born on 12 July 1823 in Loughbrickland, County Down.  James was born on 28 February 1830 in County Down.  Matthew was recorded as being a weaver.  Matthew enlisted in the 65th Regiment on 30 May 1842 which came to NZ to fight in the Maori wars.  He arrived in NZ in 1845.  His brother, James, was a private in the 37th Regiment in North Hampshire.  He fought in India and received the Indian Mutiny Medal.  He came to NZ in 1860.  Could anyone please help with any information on the Donaldson family mentioned above.  The only information I have on Thomas is that he was of Abbeylex House in Tullamore County and that he had died prior to 1861.




Thursday 17th May 2012, 06:25AM

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  • Hi Alison,

    Could you please post your message on the Aghaderg ( Loughbrickland) parish page here: and here (Tullamore):

    Do you know what religion your ancestors were? There are Roman Catholic church records available for the diocese of Aghaderg (Dromore). These date from 1816 for baptismal and marriage records and from 1838 for burial records. You can find these at the National Library of Ireland, Pos. 5504, or the Public Records of Northern Ireland (PRONI), MIC.1D/29. If you have any difficulty, you could try writing to the parish priest for more assistance.

    Civil registration records are available from the General Register Office (GRO). These start from 1864 however. You can access the website here:

    There are a number of records you could check for information:

    You could try checking the land records called the Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38). Microfilm copies of the books for all of Ireland are available at the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) or the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS).

    1813-21 Freeholders list. PRONI T.761/19, or Church of Latter Day Saints Film 258701.

    1824 Freeholders list. PRONI T.761/20.

    1841-61 Religious censuses: Aghaderg. Representative Church Body Library (

    Also, Angelique Day & Patrick MxWilliams (eds.), Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland series, Belfast: Inst. of Irish Studies/RIA, 1990-7. Vol. 12: Co. Down III (1993), includes Aghaderg.

    You mentioned that Matthew was recorded as a weaver. Here are two documents you could look at:

    (a) Workers & Manufacturers in Linen, in The Stephenson Reports 1755-84, National Library of Ireland, Ir. 6551, Dublin.

    (b) 1796 Linen Board premiums for growing flax.

    1796: Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists This was part of a government scheme to encourage the linen trade, free spinning wheels or looms were granted to individuals planting a certain area of land with flax.

    The lists of those entitled to the awards, covering almost 60,000 individuals, were published in 1796, and record only the names of the individuals and the civil parish in which they lived. The majority, were in Ulster, but some names appear from every county except Dublin and Wicklow. A microfiche index to the lists is available in the National Archives, and in PRONI. You should check for the list.

    The best place to check for military records is the UK National Archives in Kew. You can access this site here:

    You mentioned that Thomas was from Abbeylex House in Tullamore. I wonder was this Abbeyleix House in Co. Laois? It wouldn't be too far away from Tullamore. There is a little information about the estate here:

    If so, it might be worth posting your message here too:

    Please make sure you link anyone else in your family who is interested in their Irish heritage to our site - and indeed anyone else you know of Irish heritage.

    Kind regards,

    Sinead Cooney

    Genealogist (Ireland XO)










    Tuesday 29th May 2012, 11:02AM