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Visit to Newtownstewart Tyrone October- Wilson family research


Hi, Have previously posted about this family and received great information, so am posting a second time. I am visiting Newtownstewart in October and my visit is only 2 days, so would like to get maximum results in searching for the following family:

Sarah Wilson B 1854 D 29 Aug 1904 Kilstrule  and   her children (probably illegitimate although Sarah nominates a Robert Wilson as father) :  Charles  WilsonB 1881   and Sarah Wilson B 1885  

 Both children appear in 1911 census unmarried, living in Tyrone. Charles a flax dresser and Sarah a servant.    A third child Robert  (B around 1878) emigrated to NZ and is my ancestor.                      

I have found the family house near Newtownstewart (in ruins) but also wish to find any graves or records of the family if anyone can help. Might help me focus my visit.   Is there a local records office ? Most likely ( Church of Ireland) place they may be buried ? Did they ever marry ?        Cheers Stevie (NZ)





Friday 8th September 2017, 05:15AM

Message Board Replies



    Link to previous post:

    I can’t help with graves as I don’t know the area well enough to be able to say. Perhaps someone with a better knowledge of the area may be able to help.  If not, ask locally. The Church of Ireland does keep burial records though, so if you check locally as to which church they might have attended, then you could contact the Rector/Vicar and search the records. Make an appointment in advance. (There is normally a fee for searching Church of Ireland records held by the parish). Here’s a link to the current Rector in Ardstraw:

    Tradition was for a bride to marry in her local church (after which she’d attend her husband’s). So if you find the church the family attended, you could also check the marriage registers for any marriage for Sarah.  You could also go through all the Sarah Wilson marriages in Northern Ireland on the GRONI site but that’s a lot of marriages. I did search 1911 – 1925 in Strabane registration area (which includes Kilstrule), and only found one. She was illegitimate and did not know her father’s name; she married William John Logue on 2.10.1917 at Magheramason Presbyterian church, Co Tyrone. She was a farm servant in Co Derry. So wrong denomination and wrong geographic area.

    So I don’t think your Sarah married in the Kilstrule area, at least not up to 1925 when she would have been around 40. So either she remained single (and the 1939 Register may tell you that) or she moved away. In which case she may prove difficult to find.

    Death certificates are on-line to 1966 on the GRONI site. However with such common names and until you have some idea when they died, it would be an expensive search.

    Local enquiries around Kilstrule may also assist with the graveyard. People are not always buried in the graveyard associated with the church they attend. Some have family plots in other graveyards and some used publicly owned graveyards. Not everyone could afford a gravestone and not all graveyards have burial records, though most do by the 1950s. You may need to try several graveyards.

    As far as local records are concerned, Northern Ireland doesn’t have county records offices. Most records are stored centrally in PRONI in Belfast (save obviously for recent church records which are held by the Rector).

    You may be able to work out how long Charles lived in Kilstrule by checking the more recent Valuation records.  The records up to 1929 are on-line and show him (and a John) there then. There are records that take that data forward from about 1935 up to the 1960s. They are in paper format in PRONI, in the VAL/3 series of records.  They should show when the house changed tenant/owner or became unoccupied.

    If you think Charles & Sarah were still living in Kilstrule in 1939 you might also ask for information on them from the 1939 Register. The 1939 Register was a sort of census compiled across the UK at the outbreak of the war, to assist with conscription and issuing ration books etc.  That should show if Charles had married, for example, and the names and dates of birth of any dependents. The 1939 Register for Northern Ireland is held by PRONI. You need to apply under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information from it, as many people in it are still alive, and so the records are closed. However they will generally release records to next of  kin, upon production of a death certificate or if the person is over 100 (and so may be assumed to be dead). The latter should apply in your case. You should apply well before your visit, as it often takes several weeks to get a decision. But if approved they should have the data ready for you when you visit next month. You can make a request via the PRONI website.

    Probate abstracts up to about 1966 are on-line on the PRONI wills site. However I don’t see any files for Wilsons of Kilstrule.  If you find your ancestors died elsewhere,  there are 23 probate files for people named Charles Wilson who died after 1911, and 73 for Sarah Wilson. So you would need to know where they lived when they died, to narrow it down.

    Dealing with a minor point in your message of 29th Jan 2017, the informant to the birth of James Wilson on 4.7.1877 was Ann Glass. In the 1800s, good script used a long S for the first s in a double ss word. I note that the informant and mother were in Newtownstewart then. This is the only Glass family I can see in Newtownstewart in the 1901 census:



    Friday 8th September 2017, 07:53AM
  • Hi Steve,

    The only thing I can add to Elwyn's comprehensive advice is that this record from rootsireland -though probably not your family - may show the graveyard you are after: St Eugenes C of I Newtownstewart.


    Name:CharlesWilsonDate of Death:19-May-1975Age:Parish / District:ARDSTRAWAddress:NewtownstewartCounty:Co. TyroneStatus:Occupation:Sex:GraveyardGraveyard:ST EUGENEPlot No:H29Notes:



    Friday 8th September 2017, 11:47AM
  • Further to Col’s information, I can see from the GRONI site that Elizabeth Wilson’s death was registered in Omagh. She was 40, so born c 1892. You can view the full details on the GRONI site for £2.50.

    This could be her marriage, in St Eugene’s in 1915:

    They may also have had a son Thomas born 9.5.1916 in Omagh.


    Friday 8th September 2017, 12:17PM
  • Steve

    It’s been 15 years since my visit, so things may have changed but I made the trip out of town to 2 Bunderg Rd and it was the residence of the Rector and NOT where the records were kept. The Rector serves multiple churches and I was redirected back into Newtownstewart to an office just up the street from the actual church. I would stop in the post office on 16-18Main St and ask for directions to the church office.. The church itself, St. Eugene’s Ardstraw (Newtownstewart), is on Main St and there is a large cemetery behind it. This link has a map and email for Rev. Ivan Dinsmore (Rector).

    In reference to Sarah and her children, I am assuming that you are basing birthdates on Census dates. If you have not already done so, check the Civil Birth Records at

    I see these in the Strabane District :

    Charles b 27 Aug 1882 at Birnaghs  and Sarah Margaret b. 18 Sep 1883 Rathkelly (sic Rakelly)

    No father listed, Sarah as mother , informant Magy Wilson.

    Possible Robert: UKN Wilson male b.15 Jun 1881 Edenmore, Donegal (12 miles from Newtownstewart) father: Robert, mother: Sarah nee Bamford

    Oops I see I can upload, so I did.

    Happy Hunting

    Bill Hazelton


    William Hazelton

    Friday 8th September 2017, 02:11PM

    Attached Files

  • Thank you everyone.    Very informative and great leads.   I have a bit more direction to my search now- (only have 2 full days in Newtownstewart).      I will post my results on this page upon returning to NZ.....    regardless of the outcome, it will be a fascinating challenge    Cheers again   Steve  (I posted a reply recently but it has not appeared so am re-posting)


    Saturday 9th September 2017, 11:53PM
  • Thanks again Bill- I have emailed the Rev Ivan Dinsmore...maybe I will get a reply, hope so....   I  hopefully have found the records for all the births- James Wilson (I believe this to be Robert as he is later called and was known in NZ) B 1877,   Charles B 1882 and Sarah Margaret B 1883. All born to Sarah Wilson with no father named.   Thanks to Elwyn's suggestion, have traced the birth informants. Ann Glass (possibly died Jun 1880, so could have been present at James' birth) and Magy Wilson informant at births of Charles and Sarah Margaret- and living next door in Housing returns.....           so seem to be building a good case for the origins of my g grandfather   cheers to everyone and kind regards




    Sunday 10th September 2017, 05:35AM
  • Stevie ,

    Here is a list of what records you will find @ St Eugene’s Church of Ireland, Ardstraw Parish Newtown Stewart.

    In the early 2000's volunteers created a card index of the church records directly from the registers.

    Rev Ivan Dinsmore allowed access to the church records. 


    St. Eugene's Church of Ireland, Ardstraw Parish, Newtownstewart, Index to Baptism Cards 1882-1915

    Early baptismal register was destroyed in Dublin, 1922

    St. Eugene's Church of Ireland, Ardstraw Parish, Newtownstewart ,Index to Marriages 1845-1939
    Earliest registers destroyed in Dublin 1922

    St. Eugene's Church of Ireland, Ardstraw Parish, Newtownstewart, Index to Burials 1887-1964
    Earliest burial register destroyed in Dublin, 1922

    It appears Sarah did not baptise her children here.

    These and a number of other church records are on the County Tyrone Website:

    See “Church Records” on the home page for a list.

    Bill Hazelton

    William Hazelton

    Monday 11th September 2017, 10:17PM
  • Thank you Bill. And I've had a positive and helpful reply from Rev. Dinsmore to set up a meeting and view records. Many thanks.


    Tuesday 12th September 2017, 07:54PM