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I have discovered that members of my family are from Northern Ireland in the Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry area.

The family is with the Surname PORT. 


AMBROSE PORT birth abt 1785 and death on 19 November 1862 in Ballinderry, Tyrone, Ireland.

RACHEL PORT (nee PALMER) birth abt 1790 and death 15 June 1857 in Ballinderry, Co., Tyrone, Ireland.

Their children 

JANE PORT born 1816 in Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry, Ireland

ROBERT PORT born 22 Dec 1822 in Ballinderry By Moneymore ,Londonderry

RICHARD PORT born 20 March 1825 in Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry

JOHN PORT & WILLIAM PORT 14 March 1827 in Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry unknown death place.

ELIZABETH PORT born  13 June 1828 in Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry

WILLIAM JOHN PORT born 8 July 1830 Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry

RACHEL PORT born 1 Sep 1833 Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry unknown death.

The children migrated to New Zealand in 1860 s except the unknown deaths stated above.

Any more information about the family would be appreciated. Jane Port later married William Loudon in 1844 in Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry and this is my family Link.




Thursday 19th Mar 2015, 12:26AM

Message Board Replies

  • Val,

    Griffiths Valuation for 1859 lists Ambrose in the townland of Belagherty. He had plots 3a & 3b which were a farmhouse, outbuildings and about 37 acres. That farm today is on the Ballyneill Rd. After Ambrose?s death, the tenant was a George Scott.

    Ambrose is listed in Belagherty in the 1831 Irish census at which time there were 5 males and 4 females in his household. No servants.

    PRONI have a record of an Ambrose Port whose will was probated on 19th December 1772 or 1776. He resided in Salterstown, Co Derry. I can?t locate that place but it was probably in the same area as Belgaherty, since your Ambrose was renting from the Salter?s Company. With it being such an unusual name, there might be a connection.

    According to the 1831 census, the family were Church of Ireland. Ballinderry?s parish records start in 1801. If you haven?t already checked them you may be able to get confirmation of some events from them.


    Ahoghill Antrim

    Thursday 19th Mar 2015, 05:48AM


    Hi Val, I also have Ports from Moneymore in my family tree, though not sure how they link up with yours. 

    David George Port


    BIRTH 5 MAY 1844 • Ballinderry By Moneymore, Londonderry, Ireland

    DEATH 17 DEC 1912 • Londonderry . He married Ann McIvor and their daughter Matilda Adeline Port b 1867 emigrated to NZ, through whom I am descended.







    Tuesday 25th Sep 2018, 08:02AM
  • Attached Files
    ballinderry_coi.jpg (393.45 KB)

    I too am a descendent of the Ports of Ballinderry. My great grandmother, Margaret Port, and her sister Catherine port emmigrated to the US around 1887, while the rest of her family moved to Glasgow. I recently visited Ballinderry, and have photographs of the church.


    Sunday 7th Jun 2020, 06:13PM
  • Kia ora everyone,

    I have Ambrose Port is my 4th Great Grandfather so it is really exciting to find this message board.

    My mother is Sally Huia Fenwick (born Love) who was born in 1945 and my grandmother Frances Elizabeth Love (born Clifton) 1920-2003) mother was a Port. Her name Nora Elizabeth Clifton (born Port) and her brothers and sisters were Ambrose Kingsley Port, Ernest Gordon Port, Ella Ruth Port, Arthur Basik Port and Alisa Hazel Jean Port. I can add their birth/death dates if thats helpful?

    Their parents names were Ambrose Hughey Port 1817-1952 and Sarah Elizabeth Port (born Batt) 1867-1947. These two immigrated here to New Zealand and are buried here.

    Ambrose Port and Rachel were their parents. 

    I am really keen to find out who their parents are and any information you can give me. Thank you so much for sharing the information you have.

    If there is anything I can help with then let me know. You can find Ambrose Hughey Port and Sarah Ports headstones along with some of their children at this site: 

    I am reasonably sure my mother has the Port family bible which is usually passed down to the eldest girl. My sister isn't in New Zealand and her daughter has a disability. So I will care for it until the next generation is ready. I will let you know what I find when I visit mum next.

    Go well everyone.

    Nga mihi nui





    Louise WIndleborn

    Wednesday 1st Sep 2021, 05:47AM
  • Dear Louise

    I am not an actual blood Port relative.

    I have been compiling all the Port family from Ballinderry/ Moneymore area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland as a present for my niece and her new Port husband and his family for Christmas. His family are from Ambrose's son Richard Port. But I collected Robert Port bits too and the other siblings. 

    Of course I was late and had to pass it on, in a falshdrive as far as I got. I did notice your name and Nora Elizabeth on one of the many branches in New Zealand.. In fact I think another family member was connected from Nora Elizabeth, I will have to check.  I concentrated on getting the tree back to Ambrose and Rachel Port.

    I am hoping the NZ family will correct any mistakes over their Xmas and New Year reading of what I have done and then I can add to that. A lot of people are doing the tree so I cannot claim to have done all the work!

    I am now looking at what I call my Pre Ambrose Port and Rachel Palmer section and trying to sort out the 1600-1700's section.

    I doubt that I will get much further back as the records were burnt in Ireland. But I am looking at alternative Port records which may never connect. The Port wider family seem to have gone to Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA,  India. just a few of the places. Mostly Commonwealth emigration but some stayed in Ireland.

    So I found some in: the Salters Guild,  History of the Ballinderry/Moneymore Parish, Salterstown history, Flax Growers, Online trees and notes, Ulster Plantation etc .

    I have never looked at Irish history before and now I understand what they meant by Plantation!


    In other words I gathered all I could find and I am still looking. Various trees have different ideas of who Ambrose Port's father is. There is the Crossle's abstract that mentions Ambrose Port in a will document 1776 who could possibly by the father of our Ambrose Port or he could be a relative. There is a Donnell Port in the early 1600's. I am hoping one of the Port trees that went overseas may have some notes or memories on the earlier times.

    I am interested in the Port bible you mentioned and wondered if it could be photographed.-not the whole thing but maybe the outside and any family notes and the front /title page. I think the present Ports would be very interested as they are religious. There is another bible in the Kaipatiki Museum which I think was from either Robert Port's family or the other ones who came to NZ later. That Museum has online a lot on the family. It is called the Port collection. I hope to visit it one day.

    I am happy to share what I have put together, but is there some way I can do so privately, as I am new to this message site ?

    Regards Liz



    Tuesday 28th Dec 2021, 11:32PM
  • That museum should be Kapiti Museum on the Kapiti Coast New Zealand.

    Sorry Liz


    Wednesday 29th Dec 2021, 02:59AM
  • I too am descended from Anbrose and Rachel. My ancestor is their son William John Port who married Georgina Campbell.

    I have been researching this family for twenty years. and have a great deal of information about Ambrose and Rachels' descendants.



    Friday 17th Jun 2022, 09:02AM
  • Wow BJB you would be better informed than I.

    Have you found a link to the Hugenout family that is believed to have started the Irish link?

    I am still torn between Irish, French or English background. There was an English family and French one using the name Ambrose but no proof of a link could be found by me.

    I picked up your line of William John Port. 1830. as he and Richard came to NZ on the Asterope together. I have not been able to find a picture of the boat.

    I believe they worked on a farm together at Sandon/Sanson Rangitikei, before Richard moved to Pohangina.

    Was Jane Adams Port the twin of William John? As she was on some trees but not others.

    Did you find the photo of the house of William and Georgina in Makino Road- that was one of my latest finds.

    I like the photo of William John Port he looks a very happy person.

    I would like to know more about the sister Margaret. she lived with William John Port and then with Richard Port.

    I found five children for William John Port and Georgina Campbell. But I may have mixed up the children and grandchildren of William and Georgina. Could you confirm the names and order please?

    Do you know what made them decide to move to NZ?

    Have you got back further than Ambrose?

    I live in Auckland and I am a member of The NZSG  so if you are too we could communicate through the Member's forum if you also belong?

    Happy to share what I have gathered but I would imagine you have better records. Of course not living people details.

    I have shared the information as a present as I intended and then with others doing Port members, I saw some had made contact with Australian ones. I am on Ancestry until the end of the year if you belong to that,  but I have not put Port information on it as I am busty adding my own family and I did not like to without their permission.

    Funnily enough I did a DNA kit in January and there is a wee bit of Irish in my famiy tree just when we thought there was none.

    The Port family in Auckland have one grandchild and are now expecting another one. As both fathers are identical twins there was speculation that this new generation might be also, but the first one is not and there are no signs of twins so far on the scans for the second one!

    Regards Liz




    Saturday 18th Jun 2022, 08:44AM
  • I found William John Port and Georgina Campbell had four chuldren I had mixed up one generation!

    So don't worry about those children and I have checked and added to that branch of the tree.

    Thanks Liz


    Tuesday 21st Jun 2022, 05:23AM
  • Hi Liz,

    Starting at the beginning,

    No, I don't know about a hugenot connection.  Although I believe that there may be a English connection to do with the  Plantation scheme where Protestant English and Scottish people were brought to Ireland to farm the land.

    My original informant apparently had records going back to David Port in the 1740 Protestant Householder Survey. He believed the first Port arrived at Ballyronan, Ireland in 1685. This fits with timeframe of the Plantation immigration.

    My information says that James and Mary Porte were Ambrose parents.  But as you know, the records were destroyed and that is open for debate.

    Jane Adams Porte is not William John's twin.

    If you believe that James and Mary Porte were William's parents, then there was a brother called Robert who married Sarah Ann Turner who are the parents of Jane Adams Port.

    (The surname changes from time to time from Port to Porte without any obvious reason)

    There is however another branch of the Ports who consistently use the Porte spelling)

    Jane Adams Port descendants ended up in Otago, New Zealand.
    She married John Sheppard in Ireland and emigrated first to Victoria, Australia and then to New Zealand.

    No I haven't seen a photo of William and Georgina's house.  Their granddaughter's home was burnt down and all family photos were lost. 

    Knowing what I do about William and Georgina's life, I don't think he would have been a very happy man nor the family.

    I believe that Margaret lived with Richard's family (although I can't for the moment remember how I know this). She never married and died in May 1899.

    William John Port and his brother Robert were in business as Flax merchants and owned a Flax Mill in Manawatu.  But they went out of business in 1871. They both owned several properties at various times.

    The brothers William John and Robert married 2 Campbell sisters, Georgina and Margaret Campbell.

    I believe there was a large advertising campaign trying to get Irish to emigrated to New Zealand.

    As the Port family were involved in the flax trade in Ireland, the prospects of continuing this in New Zealand was probably very inviting. Flax was big business in New Zealand.

    As you know, two of William John's children died in infancy.

    His only daughter, my greatgrandmother, was came to Australia with her Australian born husband but died young (26 yrs.) leaving one child (my grandmother) who later lost her father also at a relatively young age. (44 yrs.)

    I need to dig up my records and refresh my memory.  I have collected so much over the years from various sources.

    My own family never talked about their New Zealand relatives and anything that may have existed was destroyed in a housefire, so everything I now know has come from so many different sources.

    There is a Porte family branch in Australia who I don't believe is related to our Ports. Again, that is open to debate depending whether you believe official documents or hearsay.







    Tuesday 21st Jun 2022, 09:03AM
  • Attached Files
    house.png (751.38 KB)
    house notes.png (272.47 KB)

    Thank you BJB

    Trying to pu the photo in which I got from an online site called History of Manawatu.

    so not for commercial piblication but personal research.



    Wednesday 22nd Jun 2022, 04:56AM
  • Hope that worked there should be the house photo and the notes so two files

    Let me know if you can get them

    Regards Liz


    Wednesday 22nd Jun 2022, 04:58AM
  • I discovered the house photo and notes were from an online search I did for Manawatu History and it was from an article called ' Signs of the Times Part Two: Naming Fielding's Streets 1874-1894 by Dorothy Pilkington. It was in The Manawatu Journal Of istory, Issue9, 2013. I think you could download the articles from the site.

    So I hope it was ok t put on this site to you. Probably was ok for personal use only.

    Regards Liz


    Wednesday 22nd Jun 2022, 05:39AM
  • Found the site.  Thank you for that.  We went to Feilding on a New Zealand trip 10 - 15 years ago but was unable to pinpoint the house site at the time.

    Obviously, there is new information always being added to the internetall the time. A late life seachange put a lot of my interest in the family tree  on hold.  Need to start reading again.  Thanks for sparking my interest.


    Wednesday 22nd Jun 2022, 09:32AM
  • Attached Files

    There are Ports mentioned here.

    Louise WIndleborn

    Saturday 5th Aug 2023, 06:27AM
  • Hello all. Very happy to find this thread, although it was from some time ago so I hope you are all still reading it! 

    I am also descended from the Ports from Ballinderry. I actually have a DNA link on ancestry for someone in NZ descended from Ambrose. 

    I am not descended from Ambrose however I think he was my ancestors brother or cousin. My descendants at the time were James Port junior and James Port senior in Killymuck, Ballinderry. Just round the corner from where Ambrose lived during 1831 census and 1859 Griffiths valuation. 

    I am descended from one of 3 James Port juniors sons who emigrated to Scotland in the late 1850s. I can see someone mentioned a Margaret and Catherine emigrating to the states who were sisters?? 

    I think there was a 4th brother called George who after his father and grandfather died moved to Ballyronan. I think the farm at Killymuck was given up at this point - but unsure how I can check? 

    I am unable to get any further back than my James Port senior due to lack of records. Any help or links would be much  appreciated! 

    I have also visited the area and been to Ambrose’s grave. I am visiting the area again this week to try and find out more! 

    thank you 

    Kenny Port


    Monday 27th Nov 2023, 04:10PM
  • Hi Kenny, welcome to the Port family, It has been a long time since anything new has turned up in this family.  I have been researching for 20 or so years.  Very interested in the Scotland connection. Can I ask who you share a dna connection with in NZ.

    Regards BJB


    Tuesday 28th Nov 2023, 06:19AM
  • Hello 

    I’d love to speak with you more. Is there anyway to share an email address without posting it publicly? I don’t want to clog up this feed with all my questions! 

    my DNA link is with a Stuart Ritchie who’s grandparents were a Richard Port and Sarah Hughey. Stuart believes Richard’s father was Ambrose. 

    the Scottish connection is as such. The 3 below brothers all moved over from Ballinderry to Glasgow in the 19th century  

    John Porte (used the e, his living descendant's now still have it) born 1816. 

    Elijah Port born 1827 

    James Port born 1832 (my ancestor) 

    Their parents were James Port and Elizabeth Bennet of Killymuck, Ballinderry.  

    I believe there was a 4th brother. George Port. Born 1831 that did not leave and stayed in the area. 

    I believe James Port (the father) is one of the James Ports on the 1831 census and 1859 Griffiths valuation in Killymuck with his own father (also James Port) next door. So 

    James Port junior or wee 

    James Port senior or long 

    I think either James Port junior or senior is likely a brother to Ambrose 


    Tuesday 28th Nov 2023, 06:56PM
  • Great to have notice of new people on this message board!

    Richard Port also had a brother Robert Port and with other family members came to New Zealand. Later on other family members came too. Linked to other family names from Ballinderry and Moneymore, in Londonderry, Ireland. Such as Hughey, Louden and Palmer. They seem to have arrived in NZ and intermarried with other local Irish families.

    They definitely link to Ambrose. We also have a copy of newspaper article on the sale of Ambrose and Sons farm etc before the sons moved. I suspect Ambrose had died.

    I am concentrating on trying to go backwards from Ambrose and suspect by the records and their dates  that there was another Ambrose who could be related to the Ambrose who was the father of Robert and Richard. The Slaters Guild online records (see post above) also had Port names and I am trying to link them up but records are sparse!

    I have almost completed my Port e booklet which was a wedding present for my Niece and her Port husband and have added encouragement as they now have a new son and nephew so the Port name carries on from Richard!

    So the updates are going to be for their children in the end.

    The Port family are steadily growing for Richard and Robert's families and I have accumulated any references and photos that I have been able to locate from online sites.

    I have been sharing my e -booklet as NZ Ports have requested it but it has become a very large file. It is not for publication or public use but I am happy to look in the file for anything that might assist.

    Irish cousins of the two original NZ Port brothers seem to have come in later on so I have tracked them back also.

    From memory the Port family moved to USA, Australia, NZ, Scotland. Family rumour says they were originally Hugenouts from France but there is no actual proof yet and I suspect possibly English origins. Or maybe they moved to Scotland as they had come from there before, but I am not so sure of that.

    I would love contact from any more NZ Ports as that was the best sources of information, photos and articles and my main focus. But if Ports from Ireland, Scotland, Australia would like information I am willing to help out. I tracked the Irish ones that stayed in Ireland and the Scottish ones as a matter of interest.

    I am a member of Ancestry until the end of this year. I was thinking of making a separate tree for the Ports as my own family tree is getting too big with all my nieces and nephews marrying now. 

    I am not a Port descendant myself and the connection is only through my niece's Port husband and son. They connect through George Port and his wife Sadie Suisted. His aunt has been doing the tree before and I have been sharing with her any new information. I have used My Heritage, Family Search, Geni and Find My Past sites for information over the years too. 

    I am busy doing another niece's husband's Hobbs family from Adelaide, Southern Australia as a present for next year and also still moving into my new home. So I have to have the booklets in front of me to focus on which name I am doing rather than off the top of my head when replying to people.

    Regards Liz



    Wednesday 29th Nov 2023, 12:12AM
  • Hi everyone, 


    Its been a long time since I have been here and begun my search again for more information about Ambrose and Rachel.

    I noticed people mentioning the 1740 Protestant Householders survey. I found it interesting to see that there was a Henry Palmer and a David Port in Londonderry and wonder if this was how this is how Ambrose and Rachel met? Maybe the families went to church together? It may just be a coincidence. 

    Apart from that I thought you all might like to look at this collection from the NZ Ports history. Its all stored safely at the Kapiti Museum. I can't post the exact link for some reason however if you google The Port Family Collection Kapiti Museum New Zealand (Cut and Paste), you will get the link.

    I do suspect that Ambrose's family was French. With a few added vowels, and either spelling Port as Porte or La Porte, it is a common name in France. Mind you I don't actually know if that is the case however it does ring a bell of an old story I recall about a marriage which wasn't met with the approval of the wife's family who were wealthy dignitaries because she "jumped the fence" and went and married a gypsy?? or someone less desirable. Not that I think for a minute that it was the case by today's standards. Perhaps back then it wasn't a popular choice? Maybe someone can clarify that for me. Its just an old story that I recall hearing and I don't want to cause any offense. 

    I look forward to hearing more.


    Louise WIndleborn

    Wednesday 29th Nov 2023, 08:34AM
  • Hi again,

    Just to clarify, that story was in relation to someone in my great grandmothers families history. She was a Port. I will see if I can find out more.



    Louise WIndleborn

    Wednesday 29th Nov 2023, 08:36AM
  • Attached Files

    Here is one of many photo's from the Port Family Collection.

    Louise WIndleborn

    Wednesday 29th Nov 2023, 08:46AM
  • Hi everyone,

    I decided to ring my mum to see if I could clarify the story she was told. She has confirmed that my great grandmother had told her that the Ports were French and it was indeed Ambrose Port and Rachel who were the couple who got married against Rachels parents wishes. Mum does say that Rachels family were French dignitories however due to what was happening at the time in Ireland I think that Ambrose's (in French his name is spelt Ambroise and is common) family was part of the Huguenots movement to Ireland. The Palmer family may well have been French too however I suspect they were British in Ireland. So I hope all of this helps in some way? It is a story I have heard for many years however I thought it was about another family member. If anyone can make more sense of this then I'd be keen to hear your thoughts.


    Louise WIndleborn

    Wednesday 29th Nov 2023, 09:04PM
  • Hi Louise

    Sorry my post above should have said Salters Guild based in London.

    So more than one family reckon on the Huguenots of French origin. Especially in NZ. I did try looking for the 

    I did collect Palmer family notes from the Ballinderry area which were on a separate site in case they tied in to Rachel Palmer or later on a Job Palmer married a Port girl. But Palmer could just be a common name.

    A couple of streets in Wellington have their name derived from Robert Port family names as he was in business there when he first arrived and then joined his brother Richard in Pohangina, North Island, New Zealand.

    I also searched for the name Ambrose Port and the spelling variations to see if it was a hereditary first name and the Hampshire Ports did have one. I wondered if the French Ports could have moved to England first and then Ireland if they were Huguenots? Spelling has varied between Port, Porte, La Porte etc.

    1773 26th Nov 1773 Crossle Gen Abstracts – Ambrose Port mentioned. If this is a will then prior to NZ Ambrose Port being born. I wonder if he is a close relative and maybe the Ambrosee who was a father to Richard and Robert etc Port of NZ line.

    Richard and Robert Port's sister Margaret born 1821 came to NZ with them and lived with her brother William John and later on before she died with Richard Port and family. They had arrived in 1861 on the ship Asterope. I believe Robert may have come through Melbourne. One job is to see if there are any records there or it may be that he just was on the ship that called there.

    Robert Port's wife was a Campbell whose family had arrived from Londonderry about 1840 and also had a mother whose maiden name was Palmer!

    1740 Hearth Tax has David, Andrew, Jane and John Port listed name also copied as 'Post". with their Lot numbers.

    The furthest back Port was a Donnell Port in 1630 Muster Rolls for Estates in County Londonderry. An Ironmonger of the Coleraine area.  Unsure how they all link up or if they do!

    Samuel Port born 1792 ended up in  Fayette County, Indiana, USA and his family line I noted as they came from the Ballinderry and Moneymore area,



    Thursday 30th Nov 2023, 01:05AM
  • Hi Kenny, Stuart is my 3rd cousin once removed on the Port side and my 5th cousin once removed on the Campbell side.  So you and I are related somehow,

    My family descends from the William John Port family,  one of whom came to Australia. 

    Private email would be good but I don't know how to do that.

    I am not sure that John Porte born 1816 would be Ambrose's brother because of the age difference and the age of the supposed parents.  It is so hard to establish the exact relationship because of the lack of proper records in Ireland.




    Thursday 30th Nov 2023, 09:22AM
  • I would like to correct info I posted above in 2018 regarding my Port family from Ballinderry.

    I wrongly gave a date of birth and death for my ancestor David Port, but believe I had the wrong person. I don't know his birth or death date but he did marry Ann McIvor (or McKeevor) on 7 May 1857. The fathers of the couple were both called Thomas. The couple were both residents of Ballygillan More Townland at the time of marriage. 

    Sorry that this is off the current topic - the thread pops up in my email every now and then but I've not been successful at logging in till now.


    Friday 1st Dec 2023, 06:01AM
  • Wrong again! Just double checked and David Ports father is David, not Thomas.

    Matilda Adeline Port is my ancestor and one of the 5 daughter's, 1 son of David Port and Anne McIvor. She travelled to NZ in 1883 as a servant. Sister Mary also ended up in NZ while 2 others emigrated to the US (one was Helena Eleanor or Lena).

    I see people have been speculating on a French connection with some of the Port families. Not aware of that but I'm seeing some of the names in a new light now.


    Friday 1st Dec 2023, 06:59AM
  • I remember seeing that a Robert Port (son on Ambrose and Rachel) married Margaret Campbell whose mother was a Palmer. She married a John Campbell and they bought their children here from Ireland. Eliza Jane (known as Jane Palmer) Palmer died on the voyage to NZ on the lady Nugent in 1840. So it left John a widower with children. He then married a Margaret Port!!

     I remember mum telling me that Nana Clifton (Port) had to move some of the Port graves when they put in the new Wellington motorway. It appears I have been driving past their graves on a regular basis without realising though because Robert and Margaret's grave are perched next to the motorway. 

    I need to go over the records here because its seems that some of the information is mixed up here in NZ. I'm not sure if its because the graves were moved or why that has happened. My head is hurting over this so I will go back to looking at the information about Ambrose lol.

    Louise WIndleborn

    Friday 1st Dec 2023, 08:09AM
  • Sorry guys, there is a lot of misinformation in here.  John Campbell's second wife was Maria Gibson and I should know because they are my 3 Times great grandparents.

    I have never been able to make a connection between the DavidPort/Anne McIvor family and Ambrose Port although I am sure there probably is one.

    Margaret Campbell who married Robert Port, and Georgina Campbell (my 2 times Great 
    Grandmother) were step sisters.  Margaret was from John Campbell,s first ,marriage to Eliza Palmer and Georgina was from John,s second marriage to Maria Gibson.

    Was there any markers for a french connection in the dna test?  I have reservations about this theory.

    Regards, BJB


    Sunday 3rd Dec 2023, 06:05AM
  • Re the French connection. My family always said that the Ports of Ballinderry were Huguenots who fled France, however there no evidence of this. It could just be an assumption someone had in my families past and passed it down. 

    The only other French name that I have noticed in the parish and surrounding area is Gaussen. They were a prominent Huguenot family who founded the village of Ballyronan a few miles north of Ballinderry. I have thought for a while there could have been a Port who worked for this family who came over with them and that all Ports in the area are descended from them. The Gaussen family arrived just after 1685 in Ballyronan. 
    The first mention of a Port in the Ballinderry parish is 1740, a David Port on the 1740 Protestant householders, so the timing does suit. 

    However there are a number of other possibilities- 

    - Normans came to Ireland as early as 1169, the first Port could have been come as early as then. 
    -the Ulster plantations of people from Scotland or England. If this is the reason it’s likely the family had come from France over to Great Britain first since the name is mostly French in origin. 
    -a male Port could have been part of a British army who came over for the many military actions that took place. There were Huguenots who fought in the British army at the time. The Salterstown castle in Ballinderry was built by the Salters Company, the Irish captured the castle during a rebellion in 1640 and killed most of the English settlers there. The original inhabitants list of the village are families and none of them are Ports. The English army soon drove the Irish out of the castle however (they destroyed the castle before retreating.) could it be possible a Port was part of the army that retook the castle and Ballinderry and decided to stay and live on the land that was now vacant? Or Salters Company brought more settlers over to fill the empty tenancies. 

    So many possibilities. I think the next step is to investigate the Gaussen family. They originated from Lunel, Languedoc in France. If they were a prominent family that means they are more likely to have surviving wills and letters etc that may mention staff. Possibly a Port. And with that said more likely a Du Porte or Le Porte before the names was shortened in Ireland.  

    Kenny Port 

    Sunday 3rd Dec 2023, 11:19PM
  • Thanks Kenny! That is very interesting. 

    No doubt there are different possibilities about where the Ports originated. The problem has been that we all seem to have come to a dead end when searching for more information.


    BJB, You are correct. I am sorry if I caused some confusion about John Campbell. 

    Louise WIndleborn

    Monday 4th Dec 2023, 06:14AM

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