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I am Patrick McGlamery, a retired map librarian. Decades ago, when I was beginning my search, I asked a Irish librarian colleague at the Nat'l Library of Scotland if she knew of the name "McGlamery". She did, around Ahoghill and Ballymena she said.

It is a small family with a rare but distinctive name, spelled all sorts of ways. John McGlamery appears in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia before the Revolution. He may have been born around 1746. He may have had a brother, Mathias (Matthew).

The 1766 Census of Religons for Ahoghill Parish has 10 men with the name or a variation.

So, my questio is, does anyone in Ahoghill have knowledge of this family?

Thanks on advance,


Monday 20th Sep 2021, 03:57PM

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  • The first record for John McGlamery is the Augusta Co. [Virginia] Court of Claims, p. 95, court of April 1782 
    John McGlamery, a claim for supplies furnished in American Revolution

    He married Isabella McKittrick in 1778 in Augusta County.  She was born in Augusta Co.  Their first child, Jane,  was born in 1773.


    Monday 20th Sep 2021, 04:12PM
  • Almost the only reference I can see to this name in that area is a gravestone in Aughnahoy Old cemetery for James McGlamry who died 4th March 1757 aged 54. No other information and no townland on that gravestone, but for him to have had a gravestone at all he was probably a farmer. No McGlamry (and variant spellings) in the tithe applotment records forAhoghill parish in the 1830s. It looks as though the name had largely died out by then.

    Aughnahoy Old cemetery is a very old cemetery on the road from Portglenone to Ballymena. It's fairly overgrown. You usually need climbing boots, GPS and a scythe if going in there.

    There was also a birth of an un-named illegitimate male child on 28.2.1865 to Robert McGlamery, farmer, of Galgorm Parks, and Ann Herbison. Galgorm Parks is between Ballymena and Ahoghill village. I searched Griffiths Valuation 1862 for a McGlamery in Galgorm Parks but did not find one. Can't find any other obvious references to Robert or his son.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 20th Sep 2021, 08:23PM
  • Thank you Elwyn, very much!

    I have found an Andrew McGlamery in the 1669 Hearth Money Rolls for Antrim:

    4736 McGlamery McGlamry James Antrim Upper Nilteen Grange Dunadry Dunethery

    3134 McGlamery McGlamery And[rew] Toome Lower Portglenone Aughnahoy Aghnehey

    And an  Andrew McGlamery Ballyclose (Ballyclos) in Deputy Court Cheque Book for County Antrim. [].

    At some point, I came across some McGlamerys in Tullynahinnion.  I will dig around in my notes and see if I can get some more info.

    In Virginia, from 1778 to 1940, they were farmers and blacksmiths.  My grandfather was a well-reknowned horseman and horse dealer. Until recently, horses have always featured large in the family. It generally ended with my generation.  No one was a merchant.


    So, as farmers in Ireland, I suspect they would have rented or worked as a farm-hand.  Here we might call them share-croppers, in Scotland 'cottars'.

    Next steps... Should I reach out to other communities in the Ireland Reaching Out site?


    Thanks for your time, interst and aid,



    Tuesday 21st Sep 2021, 11:37PM
  • I see on the 1766 Religious Census of Ahoghill more McGlamery heads of families that I have seen anywhere!

    James McGlamery

    Andrew McGlamery

    William McGlamery

    John McGlamery

    William McGlamery

    William McGlamery

    Hugh McGlamry

    William McGlomery

    John McGomery

    George McGomery





    Wednesday 22nd Sep 2021, 12:04AM
  • Patrick,

    Dunadry is about 25 miles from Ahoghill. Aughnahoy is tin he parish of Ahoghill (or it was till the 1830 when the parish was divided in 3 due to population chnages). Ballyclose/Ballyclosh is nearby a mile north of Cullybackey.

    Only relatively wealthy people could afford a gravestone in the 1700s which is why, in a rural area like Ahoghill, I would expect the Aughnahoy burial to be a farmer. The term cottar/cottier was used in Ireland too. The definition varied slightly across the country but in general terms it was someone with a small amount of land (less than 10 acres) and often no real security of tenure. As in Scotland, they were gradully eliminated over time as farms consolidated and agricultural advances reduced the need for additional labour.

    In Ireland in the 1700s there are very few records, particulalrly so for labourers and cottars. Very difficult to research. DNA might be a way of linking to others who know more about your family's origins. If you don;t really know where in the county the fmaily originated, you could repeat the post on the county board as that should get a wider readership.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 22nd Sep 2021, 06:01PM
  • Elwyn,
    Having brought my ancestry back to the original immigrants to America, both paternal (McGlamery) and maternal (Duty/Duthie) in approximately 1670, I am beginning to deepen my examination of Y-DNA.  After some professional analysis, which placed my paternal ancestors, the Gallery/McGallery Family in Lurgan, Armagh, it brings me to an original Gaelic surname, Mac Gille Riabhaich, which is what I was hoping for.
    I have been studying both genealogies, "The House of Mac-Gille-Riabhaich" and "A Genealogical History Of The Mcilwraith Family of Auchenflower, Drummurchie & Knockdolian Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland". 
    As I noted in a previoous post I noted thatt the most McGlamery males I have found in Ireland are in Ahoghill in the 1766 Census of Religions
    In that census, there are 6 McGlamerys.  Interestingly enough in the "The House of Mac-Gille-Riabhaich" genealogy, which goes into great detail about the Ballyclose McIlwraiths, I found a Hugh McIlwrath and 5 other males in the Ahoghill Diocese established in Ballyclosh near the town of Cullybackey.  However, there were no McIlwraiths in the census but a lot of McGlamerys with the McIlwraths' Christian names.  Interesting.  So, through either a scrivener's error or the order of Old Hugh, the group of McGlamerys of Ahoghill became wraiths and disappeared!  I believe Hugh McIlwraith may have been may have been a fugitive Covenanter from the Battle of Bothwell Bridge.  The Battle of Bothwell Bridge, or Bothwell Brig, took place on 22 June 1679.
    Page 43 reads, "During 1700’s this author has seen records of an Andrew Mcilwraith, being born to a Hugh Mcilwraith 1698 – 1772 in Ballyclose, Down, Ireland. Old Andy Mcilwraith lived at Ballyclose and had married a Mary Ann King. Was Andrew Mcilwraith in Barbae the founder of the Ballyclose Mcilwraith line? It is very possible." p. 43
    Old Andy labels as Andrew McGlamery Ballyclose (Ballyclos) in Deputy Court Cheque Book for County Antrim. [] in 1776.  
    And there is an Andrew McGlamery in the 1669 Hearth Money Rolls for Antrim in Aughnahoy.
    I have been tested to be 5th-6th cousin to the two auhtors of  "A Genealogical History Of The Mcilwraith Family of Auchenflower, Drummurchie & Knockdolian Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland"
    Elwyn cayou share information on the McIlwaiths of Ballyclose?

    Tuesday 30th Aug 2022, 01:57AM
  • Patrick,

    We have had some technical problems with our notification systems and your message has only just reached me. Sorry for the delay.

    Re McIlwraith in Ballyclose, I have no specific knowledge of them. MacLysaght’s “The Surnames of Ireland” refers you to the surname “Kilrea” which it says: “A Co Sligo for of Mac Giolla Riabhaigh (Riabhaigh = brindled) elsewhere MacIlrea. MacIlwraith, the Scottish form of this name, is now very numerous in north east Ulster.”

    So it’s a common name in Ulster in general, and is found in the Scottish form, almost certainly linked to the fact that the families in Antrim will have originated in Scotland, probably in the 1600s.

    According to the Ordnance Survey memoirs for Ahoghill parish (compiled in 1833), the majority of the population in the parish are descended from Scots, and some English who arrived between 1572 and 1690. The main settlement was in 1642 after General Munroe’s 10,000 strong Scottish army was disbanded in Carrickfergus. Many of the soldiers chose to stay in Ireland and many settled around Ahoghill.

    Not sure if that adds much to your knowledge. You can obtain the OS memoirs from the Ulster Historical Foundation website for around £10. (They are not on-line anywhere). Ahoghill is in Vol 23, and has 50 pages of information.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 12th Oct 2022, 11:10AM
  • Good Morning Elwyn,

    I keep chugging along with the research.  I appreciate your help so far.  It keeps me looking.

    For the past few years I have been exploring my DNA, lately my Y-DNA, I've gone to the 111 level and find: two McGlamery, four Montgomery, three McLain. The interesting thing is Charles and Hugh Montgomery, the mention of Ballymena and came over on the "Lord Dunluce" with Rev. Wm Martin to South Carolina in 1772.

    Charles Montgomery b 1748 Is mentioned as having some Dessenter troubles in Ballymena. (The records are lost.)

    Margaret Reynolds (Charles wife) b 1758

    Hugh William Montgomery b 1728

    Margaret Montgomery (Hugh's daughter, Charles' sister) b.1755 married with the Bell family, especially Wm Bell (1754) Bells may or may not have been part of the Covenanter group of Kells-water.


    Does this make any sense?


    Thanks for your attention,







    Monday 25th Mar 2024, 04:02PM
  • Patrick,

    You mention Dissenters and Covenanters. That's all familiar territory. Presbyterianism, like many other denominations, had many schisms and today in Ireland we have the Presbyterian church in Ireland (PCI), the Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church (NSP, or Unitarian), the Reformed Presbyterian church (or Covenanters), Congregationalists and Free Presbyterians. All Presbyterians.

    In the 1700s and until the mid 1860s, the established church in Ireland was the Church of Ireland. Most other Protestants were regarded as Dissenters including the various forms of Presbyterianism.

    Presbyterianism was brought to Ireland by Scots in the early 1600s (the denomination was established in Scotland by John Knox in the mid 1500s). Most Scots were what might be regarded as mainstream Presbyterian. A wave of Covenanters (who favour a stricter interpretation of the gospels) arrived in the late 1600s, escaping persecution in Scotland (the Killing Times) and also famine there too. In those early days they either attended mainstream Presbyterian churches or had occasional services by itinerant Covenanter Ministers from Scotland. The first Covenanter Minister based in Ireland was the Rev Wm. Martin. Educated in Scotland, he was licensed around the mid 1750s at The Vow in Co. Antrim. (There's a plaque there now to commemorate him).  He was based in Kellswater (near Ballymena) and for many years was the only Covenanter Minister in Ireland. He had no church and more importantly,left no records. And as you know he left in the 1770s along with many Presbyterians and other Protestants. (They weren't all his own congregation. He advertised in the Belfast newspapers for emigrants to join his 5 vessels). He didn't keep any records and we don't know their origins, at least from and Irish sources.

    If your ancestors came from Ballymena (very close to Ahoghill), then as you probably already know, none of the Presbyterian churches in that area have any records for the 1700s, save for Cullybackey Presbyterian which has records from about 1729 when it was established. There were plenty of functioning churches there then but they either didn't keep records or they have been lost. Copy of the early Cullybackey records is held by the Presbyterian Historical Society in Belfast. Perhaps worth checking with them.

    Not sure if any of this helps you really. Yes your more immediate ancestors probably came from Ulster. Yes they probably came from Scotland 100 years or so earlier but that's about it. Probably no records of them in Ireland and I can't say where in Scotland they came from save it was probably the southern part of the country. And no there are unlikely to be any records in Scotland that might help either.  Sorry if that's not all that helpful.

    As mentioned previously DNA is the usual advice at this point in the hope that someone with more knowledge of the family will be able to tell you about their precise origins.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 26th Mar 2024, 02:01AM

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