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I am looking for information on my greatgrand parents- William Kelly an& Mary Ann(Slater). They were married in Three Trees in1871 at the Greenbank Presbyterian church. Griffith's Valuation I find them as tenants for her grandfather- Joseph Anderson. I am looking for family left behind when they emigrated to canada in 1880. I would also like to contact people who currently live on the property. Planning a trip in 2022 and would love to be able to see the land. And if there are and decendants of family left behind to meet them too. Thank you in advance for any help, Sharon


Monday 22nd Feb 2021, 07:01PM

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  • Sharon,

    Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church (after which she’d normally attend her husband’s). Greenbank Presbyterian church only has records from 1862. I don't know if that’s when it opened or whether there simply are no earlier records.  Knowhead Presbyterian is nearby and has baptisms from 1826 and marriages from 1846, so might be worth checking their records for the family. (Statutory birth registration only started in 1864 so prior to that you need church baptism records, where they exist). The Kelly family may have been Church of Ireland. Muff COI records start in 1837.  A copy of all 3 sets of records is held in PRONI in Belfast.

    Griffiths Valuation shows Joseph Anderson having a farmhouse (plot 22a) and 39 acres of land. There were also 2 labourer’s cottages on the farm 22b (occupied by William Kelly) which had an outbuilding where perhaps he kept his materials, and 22c (occupied by John Anderson). 22a and 22c are marked on Griffiths maps, but unfortunately b is not. On Google Earth, I can see a clump of trees where 22a was (and perhaps the remains of some outbuildings) but the site does not look occupied to me. The nearest occupied property is probably what was 23b. That still looks to be a farm.

    Births here for William, Joseph & Sarah Jane (all at Three Trees):

    Informant was Eliza Kelly of Three Trees

    Informant was Jane Kelly of Muff.…

    There were no Kellys or Andersons in three Trees in the 1901 census:

    There was however a Kelly family in Muff, and the head was a shoemaker, so that would make you think there may be a connection. The family was Church of Ireland.

    The wife’s maiden name was McKimm:

    They married in 1880. Robert’s father was William a shoemaker. So he might be a brother to your William. Same family in 1911:…

    This might possibly be Fanny Anne Kelly’s death in Governor Rd, Londonderry in 1919. Robert was the informant. It would suggest the couple had moved down from Muff to the city by that date:


    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 22nd Feb 2021, 10:45PM
  • Elwyn, thank you so much for this information! I am adding new information about brothers etc into my family tree to see if that raises any new info from them. Do you know of a way that I could contact the people who currently own the property shown on the Griffith's Valuation? The program that shows the site has a map that transitions from Griffith's Valuation time to present day and I have Google mapped it so I have a good idea of the location- right down to the bend in the Aught River close to R238. I would love to be able to take my sons and grandchildren there. Do you know someone local that I could contact ? Thanks again for your help, Sharon



    Tuesday 23rd Feb 2021, 02:19PM


    In Ireland we have only been registering who owns land comparatively recently (since the 1990s). There’s no easy way to search on-line and find the current owner of a property. If it’s changed hands in the last 20 years or so it should be registered but if not it won’t appear in Land Registry records. Plus they have search fees and if you don’t have an accurate reference, it can be costly to search. 

    There’s not much alternative but to get someone to go and knock on a few doors in Three Trees to find out who owns the land today. I can see from comparing the Griffiths map with Google Earth that some consolidation has gone on over the years. Some hedges or drystane dykes have been removed. So some farms have been enlarged by acquiring adjacent land, including plot 22. I would be inclined to get someone to call at the 2 houses in Irishtown and ask them who owns the land. Failing that go on up the lane past the location of the house on plot 22a, and there are 2 more properties there.  One of them will surely know and may even be the current owner.

    As for finding possible relatives in the area, you could write to the Minister at Muff Church of Ireland to see if there are any Kellys in the congregation today. (It is a common name as you probably know so some sifting maybe necessary).

    Ven Robert Miller 

    The Rectory
    1B Heathfield
    Culmore Road
    Londonderry Co Londonderry
    BT48 8JD

    028 7135 8925

    Or the church probably has a Facebook page. You could try posting there.

    As far as finding someone local to help you, try Brian Mitchell at Derry City Council. He’s their resident genealogist. He doesn’t do individual research - his focus is on giving group talks to overseas visitors - but he may know someone locally willing to assist you.

    Someone has obligingly photographed the legible gravestones in Muff Church of Ireland. No Kellys I am afraid but many people couldn’t afford gravestones so your ancestors could still be buried there.  The burial register starts in 1847 (copy in PRONI).

    Three Trees National School’s attendance records exists and include a Joseph & a William in 1877/78 whose father was a shoemaker. So that’s your family. Note that their denomination is recorded as Church of Ireland so that confirms my suspicions. (EC = Established Church which meant the Church of Ireland).

    The school was down on the R238 just where the lane up to Three Trees bears off to the left.

    I had a look for the death of Robert Kelly (married to Fanny Anne McKimm). There’s a likely death as follows: 18th April 1926 aged 71 registered in Londonderry.  You can view the original certificate 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. 

    I found this probate abstract on the PRONI wills site which confirms (to me) that the 1926 Robert death is probably the man in Muff in the 1901 & 1911 censuses (and I suspect, born in Three Trees). The PRONI file should contain his will and that should give some leads on his descendants. (At the very least it suggests Robert & Joseph were sons who lived in the area).

    Kelly Robert of Governor Road in the county of the City of Londonderry shoemaker died 18 April 1926 Probate Londonderry 7 May to Robert Kelly shipwright and Joseph Kelly labourer. Effects £286 1s. 6d.

    There were a couple more possible deaths in the 1920s but both are buried in the city cemetery. They were natives of the city and can therefore be eliminated. The 1926 death was apparently buried somewhere else, eg Muff, and so seems more promising.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 23rd Feb 2021, 05:49PM

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