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Does anyone have a bead on Patrick Bradley and Elizabeth MacLaughlin?

I see them married in Magilligan Parish, both living in Ballynascreen, 14FEB1836, witnessed by James MacLaughlin and Mary MacLaughlin. I also see them having a son, James, in 1838 (Ballynascreen, Magilligan Parish) and that event was witnessed by James and Mary as well. 

Any information on Patrick's parents/family or Elizabeth's parents/family? Is my best bet to contact Magilligan Parish to see what they have on the families in question? While MacLaughlin is the way it is spelled, is it possible that they were a Mc? 

I believe this is my James Bradley who ended up a laborer in Rosendale NY as his death certificate lists CO DERRY as his point of origin and he's the only James that I can see being born in the 1838/39 timeframe in County Derry that lines up with his birth year listed in the US Census and marriage records. With so many Ireland census records being gone, I'm unsure the best route to gain more information.

A clue, confusing as it is, is that James Bradley's burial plot in NY was bought and paid for by a Frank Bradley when James died in 1864. I see no other children born to Patrick and Elizabeth though, so perhaps a cousin.

Thank you. 




Sunday 3rd Jan 2021, 03:03AM

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  • I am slightly confused about your information. You mention Patrick’s marriage in 1836 in Ballynascreen, Magilligan. I don’t know of a Ballynascreen in Magilligan parish. Ballynascreen and Magilligan are 2 different parishes about 40 miles apart. So I am not clear which one is the right one. I have attached a link to a map showing their relative locations:

    What’s the source for your information about the marriage and their son’s baptism?

    I checked the 1831 census for Magilligan (Tamlaghtarde) and there wasn’t a single Bradley family in the parish, (though there were 43 McLoughlin/McLaughlin households) which makes me wonder about where the information came from. Bradley & McLaughlin are both found in the parish of Ballynascreen.

    Regarding your questions about contacting the parish (whichever it is), the only records they kept are those in the parish registers (which are mostly on-line) so they are unlikely to be able to add any additional information over and above what you have already found, especially for events that were nearly 200 years ago. 

    Regarding the spelling of MacLaughlin, there is no difference between that and McLaughlin. The two are completely interchangeable. And further back in time it was M’Laughlin/M’Loughlin etc.  The Mc & O’ prefixes on Irish names are also detachable and were often used or dropped at whim so that’s worth bearing in mind too. Records might be under Laughlin (and variants). Spelling of both surnames and place names often changes all the time in the records.  Accurate or consistent spelling wasn’t something anyone bothered about in Ireland in the 1800s.




    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 3rd Jan 2021, 06:08PM
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    You always have the best answers, thank you.

    I have attached the records that I found on rootsireland to this post. It is my understanding that it was common for the wedding to take place at the church of the bride. However, I am unaware of customs around baptisms. Any thoughts from you are much appreciated as to where to search next or what you may gather from the records.

    Thank you again. And happy new year. 


    Monday 4th Jan 2021, 03:48AM
  • Your information is clear enough but also baffling because I can’t find a townland near Magilligan called Ballynascreen.  The RC parish that includes Magilligan is called Tamlaghtard and includes the civil parishes of Magilligan, Dunboe and Aghanloo. None of them has a townland called Ballynascreen, and indeed there isn’t one anywhere in Co. Derry, though there is a parish Ballynascreen, but that’s miles from Magilligan). 

    As you say tradition, was to marry in the bride’s church so that could mean the husband lived some distance away, but James’ birth is also recorded in Magilligan, in the same location. So that makes me think Ballynascreen must be a local name. But it’s not one I can find any references to on sites like Placenames NI or from Google.

    Some townland names have fallen into disuse and sometimes the records contain a local name for a smaller part of a townland, so these could be explanations but neither helps locate the actual place. 

    I had a look to see if I could find any trees on Ancestry with Patrick, Elizabeth & Jane but without success. The fact that there are no other children born in Magilligan after James could suggest the family had left the area. But that’s speculation. 

    I searched the 1831 census for the civil parishes and found the following James McLoughlins in the area:

    No easy way of knowing which was the witness to the 1836 marriage.

    As far as determining whether this James is your family, you have said it’s the only one that you can find in the records that fits. You need to bear in mind that not all RC parishes in the county have records for the 1830s, so what’s on-line isn’t a comprehensive record of all possible births. For example, the next parish south from Magilligan is Limavady and they have no records before 1855. Going east it’s Coleraine and their records start in 1843. I have attached a link to a map of the RC parishes in Co. Derry and if you click on each parish you can see what records exist and where they can be found. (I think there’s only about 4 parishes in the county that have records for the 1830s).



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 5th Jan 2021, 10:05AM

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