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Robert LYONS (farmer) married Mary (Johnston or Houston - I have not seen the originals and the surname is noted these two ways) c 1839

Their children:

1. James c 1840. He married Isabella Caldwell on 22 Mar 1866 at Omagh 1st Pres. He died 14 Dec 1878 aged 38 and is buried with his daughter Annie Mayne aged 2 and his wife, Isabella who died 25 Feb 1919, aged 86 and they’re buried in Drumnakilly graveyard.
                     Frances (13 May 1867), Robert Andrew (22 May 1869), Alfred John (11 Jan 1873),

 2. Robert 1842. Married Ellen McFarland at Omagh First Presbyterian on 22 Feb 1872 (Drumragh parish). Had son Robert Andrew on 12 April 1873 Omagh. Mary 15 August 1874. Died 10 May 1907 in Drumnakilly (married farmer, 65, pneumonia, son Robert A present at death)

1901 census

house 37 in Drumnakilly (Drumnakilly, Tyrone)

Lyons    Robert    55    Male    Head of Family    C Ireland    Co Tyrone    Farmer    Read and write    English    Married    -
Lyons    Ellen    50    Female    Wife    C Ireland    Co Tyrone    Farmer's Wife    Read and write    English    Married    -
Lyons    Robert    25    Male    Son    C Ireland    Co Tyrone    Farmer's Son    Read and write    English    Not Married    -
Lyons    Maggie    20    Female    Daughter    C Ireland    Co Tyrone    Farmer's Daughter    Read and write    English    Not Married    -
Lyons    Walter    17    Male    Son    C Ireland    Co Tyrone    School-Boy    Read and write    English    Not Married    -
Broadley    Hamilton    15    Male    Servant    C Ireland    Co Tyrone    Farm Servant    Read and write    English    Not Married    -

1911 census
house 16 in Drumnakilly (Drumnakilly, Tyrone)

Lyons    Ellen    65    Female    Head of Family    Episcoplian Church    County Tyrone    -    Read and write    English    Widow   
Lyons    Robert    34    Male    Son    Episcoplian Church    Tyrone    Farmer    Read and write    English    Single    -    -    -    -
Quinn    Mary Jane    23    Female    Servant    Roman Catholic Church    Co Tyrone    Domestic Servant    Read and write    English    Single    -    -    -    -
Conway    Francis James    14    Male    Servant    Roman Catholic Church    Co Tyrone    Farm Servant    Read and write    English    Single    -    -    -

In 1911 Walter and Margaret Matilda elsewhere

Residents of a house 25 in Castlereagh Road (Pottinger (part of), Down)

Monteith    David    30    Male    Head of Family    Church of Ireland    Co Tyrone    Postal Clerk    Read and write    -    Married  
Monteith    Margaret Matilda    30    Female    Wife    Church of Ireland    Co Tyrone    -    Read and write    -    Married    -    4    1    1
Monteith    Robert A Lyons    4    Male    Son    Church of Ireland    Belfast    Scholar    Cannot read    -    -    -    -    -    -
Lyons    Walter    25    Male    Boarder    Church of Ireland    Co Tyrone    Postal Clerk    Read and write    -    Single    -    -    -    -

So Robert (junior), died between 1901-1911
Robert (junior x2) married Matilda Johnston in 1918, he a farmer of Drumnakilly.

      So their children: Robert Andrew (12 April 1873), Mary (15 Aug 1874),, Margaret Matilda (7 Nov 1877), Walter (11 Mar 1884),

3. Letitia 1844 - this is my ancestor who married Joseph McIvor of Brackey.

4. Andrew 29 Dec 1849 (a 20 year old of this name dies in Drumnakilly in 1869) - baptised 11 Jan (must be 1850). Died 3 Aug 1869 and Drumnakilly stone says it was erected by his parents RL and Mary

5. Mary 16 Nov 1850 Cloghfin, Edenderry. (Baptised 4 Dec 1850). Married Alexander Smith on 18 April 1876 in Drumnakilly church? YES marriage certificate confirms she was daughter of RL, farmer and he son of ?Christo Smith , farmer of Copney. Witnesses: William Smith and Joseph McIver (signed I think)           Their children all born in Copney and with AS as ‘farmer’:
    1. Jane 30 April 1877. Died 12 June 1894 Copney with father there.
    2. Robert 27 Aug 1879. A child aged 1 died in 1881 in Omagh region.
    3. Christopher Lyons 29 Mar 1881  29 Mar 1882 according to his US death record, 29 June 1950 (Illinois, he was a gardener)
    4. Alexander 15 Aug1882 died in Chester County Hospital Pennsylvania on 8 October 1949, his wife Isabella was informant on the death certificate, which correctly gave his DOB and parents (Alexander Smith senior and Mary Lyons).  Migrated to New York in 1927 with wife and 2 kids (joseph & William) on board ‘Transylvania’)

    5. Letitia 3 Mar 1884
    6. Robert James 12 June 1885. Did he migrate in 1907 and marry Minnie. In 1920 census.
    7. George 24 Mar 1887. Might have migrated to Halifax, CA on ‘Tunisian’ in 1907. In 1930 married to Elizabeth J (Aust born Irish) who is 11 years older.
    8. Mary 9 Jun 1888
    9. Joseph 7 Jan 1890
    10. Margaret 4 Nov 1892. Did she marry  X Donaghey on 10 Aug 1911?
    11. Andrew 15 Jan 1895 (recorded as Alexander at birth)
1901 Census living at House 10 Copney (of 10 houses!)
8 Rooms, 5 windows and ‘2nd class’ house and 10 people living there in total - 7 males & 3 females (Church of Ireland)

    1911TyroneLoughmacroryCopneyResidents of a house

Residents of a house 9 in Copney (Loughmacrory, Tyrone)

Smyth    Alexander    75    Male    Head of Family    Church of Ireland    Co Derry    Farmer    Read and write    -    Married    -    -
Smyth    Mary    60    Female    Wife    Plymouthite    Co Tyrone    -    Read and write    -    Married    -    34    11    8
Smyth    Alexander    28    Male    Son    Church of Ireland    Co Tyrone    Farmer's Son    Read and write    -    Single    -    -    -   
Smyth    Mary    22    Female    Daughter    Church of Ireland    Co Tyrone    -    Read and write    -    Single    -    -    -    -
Smyth    Andrew    16    Male    Son    Church of Ireland    Co Tyrone    Scholar    Read and write    -    Single    -    -    -    -


1860 Griffiths Valuation:

Robert LYONS seems to have had 2 farms close together.
1. Drumnakilly section 28 -25 acres – rented from Alexander Macausland (buildings rated 3 pounds and land 15 pounds)
2. Cloghfin (Upper Strabane, parish of Cappagh) – from Alexander Macausland, 15 acres valued at 6 pounds 5s for land and 1 pound for house (it seems to include a 'mountain' too)???? sections 7A - 7B (mountain -16 acres byt only rated at 10 shillings). In 1864-79 still the same but buildings rates have gone up to 2 pounds (happened in 1872) and so total to 9 pounds. 1880-81 still all the same. His rates dropped by 2 pounds in 1882 because took off the previous one they’d added. * YES this is ‘our Robert’ because in 1908 it goes to Ellen and then Robert A Lyons. The 1872 changeover wasn’t noted from ‘senior’ to ‘junior’ Robert.



Drumnakilly Graveyard - recorded in 1998 book ‘Tombstones of the Omey”

Robert LYONS died 11 April 1872 aged 73 (so born c 1799)
Mary LYONS (wife) died 2 days later 13 April 1872 aged 62 (so born c 1810)
John LYONS died 27 April 1872 aged 62 (presumably RL’s brother, born 1810)
Andrew Lyons died 3 Aug 1869 aged 20 and his parents RL and Mary erected the stone for him.


1. Is there a burial record or gravestone in Drumnakilly (Holy Trinity) graveyard? I would love a photograph if there is!

2. Anyone have any idea who the parents of Robert and John Lyons (born c 1799 and 1810) were?

3. There were others of Houston surname living in the area - including a Robert - does anyone know more?

4. Any record for a Mary Houston or Johnston born c 1810 in Drumnakilly or close area?

Thank you so much.



Thursday 4th May 2017, 01:37AM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear ChrisD:


    We have a local volunteer who may be able to assist with your queries.  I'm forwarding this to him and he should be in contact via the message board (and this thread) next week. 

    Many thanks for your interest in Ireland Reaching Out!


    Kind regards,



    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Tuesday 9th May 2017, 12:41PM
  • Dear Jane,

    That would be absolutely wonderful as have the two families from the same area. Irish history is much harder work than Scottish or areas like Sussex because far less records.



    Wednesday 10th May 2017, 12:37AM
  • Chris,

    I am slightly confused by Question 1. You ask if there’s a gravestone in Drumnakilly (Holy Trinity) graveyard. However in the previous paragraph you give details apparently taken from a gravestone in that graveyard. So the answer seems to be yes. Perhaps I am missing something? Regarding getting a photo of it, unfortunately I live rather too far away to be able to help with that. Regarding burial records, the early burial records for that church were destroyed in the 1922 fire in Dublin. (Ironically they had been sent there for safe keeping). There are records from 1877 onwards. These are held by the Rector and so you need to contact him for details from them. The Church of Ireland charges for access to those records, so expect to pay a fee. (It used to be around £19 an hour, according to the time spent, but the Rector will advise you). This appears to be the current Rector (who evidently is responsible for 2 churches):

    Question 2 regarding the parents of Robert & John Lyons, I can’t help you with that. Since the relevant church records are lost that may prove difficult to ascertain. I assume you have searched PRONI’s e-catalogue for leases etc? You could also try the Registry of Deeds to see if the family ever registered  a lease on the property. 3 lives leases were quite popular in the 1700s and these can sometimes reveal such family relationships. The originals are in Dublin and PRONI has a copy on microfilm. Search under the townland name. (You would need to get a researcher to do that for you, as they are not on-line and are also quite complex to search).

    Q 3 & 4 relating to the Houston family may face the same difficulty of lost records. Not only has the Church of Ireland lost its records but Sixmilecross Presbyterian church also lost its early records in a different fire, and so has nothing before 1900.

    Sorry I can't provide any additional or more helpful information. You are up against the 1800 barrier. That's the point at which so much Irish research comes to a standstill for the lack of records.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 13th May 2017, 09:41AM
  • Just confirmed Mary as Mary Huston or Houston after seeing a photo of the original registers for Edenderry Presbyterian church. Also, found another son, John born January 5, 1846.


    Wednesday 8th July 2020, 12:55PM
  • Delighted to hear that.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 9th July 2020, 08:36AM