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Born may 6 1763 in Ballymoney, Donegal and died April 7, 1810 Lewistown, Mifflin, Pennsylvania, USA
He is my 4th great grandfather. I believe his wife was Mary Hill who may have been born 1763 in Belfast, Antrim NI. Perhaps on McGee Island. Died in the USA.
Help with Irish paper trail if anyone has ancestry with these individuals.
These are such common names, it makes tracing harder.


Tuesday 21st Jan 2020, 08:27AM

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  • CFD,

    McGee Island is normally known in Ireland as Islandmagee. (That may help if you are researching the area). It’s not actually an island though reportedly it was at some time in the long distant past when sea levels were higher. It’s a peninsula in Co Antrim near Larne. About 25 miles from Belfast.;_ylt=AwrJQ54rvCZevVAAARFLBQx.;_ylu=X3oDMTBybDA1bGNhBGNvbG8DaXIyBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=Islandmagee&fr=yfp-t

    None of the churches on Islandmagee has any records for the 1700s. The earliest is the 1st Presbyterian church whose records start in 1829. So there’s unlikely to be any documentary record of Mary Hill, if that’s where she originated. Looking at Griffiths Valuation for Islandmagee in 1861, there were about 40 Hill households there then, so the name is prevalent in the area.

    If William Cunningham comes from Ballymoney in Donegal then that’s in the parish of Burt. You have a similar problem with lack of records there. None of the churches in the area has any records for the 1700s making it very difficult to trace him. I checked Griffiths Valuation for that townland but there were no Cunninghams listed in the 1850s. There are a number of places named Ballymoney in Ireland, including one in Co. Antrim (not too far from Islandmagee). Are you sure yours came from Donegal?

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 21st Jan 2020, 09:04AM
  • Thank you so much for your help with my geneological search. I am a novice. I will try looking at "Islandmcgee" for Mary Hill - but the name is so common it is difficult.  I assume they left for the USA from the Belfast area, rather than Covh.  My ancestors immigrated to the USA so long ago, it is hard to find a clear paper trail. I am not positive that my Cunningham ancestors lived in Ballymoney, Donegal rather than Antrim, but I think they were farmers from records in the USA. I looked at hints to trace to Ballymoney, Donegal for this ancestor, but the papertrail is challenging, and is often inaccurate. I do have other ancestry in Donegal, and from DNA testing, Donegal is the prime county for my Irish ancestry.   Christine Drommond  Portland, Oregon, USA


    Wednesday 22nd Jan 2020, 06:10PM
  • The ports that they may have left from in the 1700s include Belfast, Larne (immediately beside Islandmagee), Portrush and Derry/Londonderry. There was no requirement to create passenger lists in those days and so few exist. Tracing them can be very challenging.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 23rd Jan 2020, 09:50AM

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