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Would apprecite any links or leads concerning Pillars/Pillows, Campbells in the area oe even mills and weaving in the 19th century.

Annie Pillar (daughter of James Pillar, a weaver) married in the parish of Aghaderg in 1878 and lived for a time with her husband in Legannany. Her cousin William Pillar, witness to the marriage married around the same time and by the time of the 1901 Census was living in Mullaghglass. Annie herself does not appear again in births or deaths and her husband remarried in Dromore.

Any help appreciated no matter how tangential!



Wednesday 29th Jan 2020, 03:42PM

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  • You ask about weaving and mills. In rural areas most weaving was done at home using hand loom weaving machines, such as are still used in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland to make Harris Tweed. These machines were collapsible, so as to be stored out of the way when not needed and for ease of transport should the weaver move home, as they often did, to follow the available work.

    Most weavers in Ulster were labourers who earned a bit of extra money by weaving in the winter months when there wasn’t much labouring work required on farms.  This meant that labourers in Ulster had a slightly better standard of living than elsewhere in Ireland. It also gave them some ready cash (in a society that mostly operated by barter) for the things that could not be bought by barter, eg a ticket to America.

    At one time weavers wove a lot of cotton but the interruption of supplies from the southern US states during the American War of Independence  in the 1770s meant they focused on other materials, notably flax (which linen is made from) and which grows well in Ireland in contrast to cotton which won’t grow at all.  They did weave other products eg calico and wool as required, but by the 1800s it was mainly linen. Linen made at home was taken to the local linen market and sold there.

    As the 19th century progressed, water powered linen mills were introduced all over Ulster. These were faster than home weavers and often made better quality material and so gradually made the home weaver redundant.  In addition, the factories also mostly employed women and children (being nimbler and cheaper) so this impacted on male employment too. At a time when farms were starting mechanise and so needed fewer labourers, the average labourer/weaver therefore faced a bleak future and so these combined changes were a major factor in many a labourer’s decision to leave Ireland during the 1800s.

    A little more information on this link:

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 29th Jan 2020, 04:41PM
  • Dear Elwyn,

    That was really useful, thank you for taking the time to share that.

    Best wishes




    Saturday 1st Feb 2020, 09:18PM
  • Hi Annie,

    Yes, I think they may be too. William (i believe the same William) was a witness at the wedding of my ancestors Annie and Joseph at the parish church of Aghaderg in 1878 where he himself married. Initially I thought William was a brother of Annie but I think they may be first cousins. Annie Pillar's father was James Pillar a weaver. They were both living in the townland of Legannany at the time of their marriage but moved nearby to Edenderry for the birth of their only child George Joseph. I noticed that George Pillar was on Griffith's valuation for Legannany and that George was a family name (it passed down to my grandfather) so I was reasonably sure that they were linked.  Do you know if William had any siblings? How far back can you trace George Pillar? 

    Thank you for reaching out.

    Best wishes



    Thursday 29th Jul 2021, 08:23AM

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