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My great, great grandmother Mary Wilkinson was baptised in March 1827 n Conwal, Donegal. She was the daughter of William Wilkinson and Martha Gailey. From research on Roots Ireland I have discovered siblings John (1824), Samuel (1833), Thomas (1836) and Sarah (1840). 
In 1846 Mary married William Stewart of Windy Hall Parish of Conwal. Her address is given as Ballibo Green, Parish of Conwal. Religion given as Presbyterian. 
in 1851 however Mary is in Glasgow and not with William. In 1852 she has a child by a man called William Duncan. She goes on to have a number of children by an Arthur Helferty (my great, great grandfather). Mary has a very difficult life and was in and out of the poorhouse which is where she eventually died. 
In May (16-20) I’ll be visiting Donegal and would like to track down some of the places relating to the family and to find out if there might be any churches or graveyards where I might find further info. 
I’ve been unable to find any other info on her parents and siblings. On her last poorhouse admittance (March 1871) she states that her father is dead and she doesn’t know where her mother is. 
any would be much appreciated. 



Sunday 4th Feb 2024, 03:57PM

Message Board Replies

  • Paula,

    This looks to be Martha Wilkinson’s death in 1882 at Ballyboe. Informant was her grand-daughter Sarah Wilkinson.

    I don’t see a death for William Wilkinson 1864 – 1871, which suggests he died pre 1864 which is when death registration started.


    Eliza Wilkinson had an illegitimate child in Ballyboe in 1874. The informant was the child’s grandmother Martha:

    This might be another illegitimate child to the same lady. Different father. Informant was Matty Wilkinson which is a nickname for Martha.…

    I note that in 1858 Griffiths Valuation lists a Matthew Gaily in Ballyboe Glencar. Possibly Martha’s family? Ballyboe Glencar is just part of Letterkenny on the R229.  It borders Windy Hall where William Stewart lived.  Today it’s all built up, with suburbs of Letterkenny. Letterkenny University Hospital is in the middle of Ballyboe Glencar.

    Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church which, in Mary's case was Letterkenny 2nd Presbyterian. So I’d start looking for Wilkinson graves at that church (if it has a graveyard), and failing that in the Church of Ireland graveyard which many Presbyterians used. Bear in mind that William Wilkinson was a weaver and they were often too poor to afford a gravestone. Also that Presbyterians in Ireland generally didn’t keep burial records. (Being Presbyterian and living in Donegal suggests the Wilkinson family probably originated in Scotland and moved to Ireland in the 1600s).

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 4th Feb 2024, 10:46PM
  • This is great. Thank you so much. I’m looking through the records now. The information on Eliza is very interesting. I will check with the church but not optimistic of finding headstones. 
    It’s so kind of you to take the time. 




    Monday 5th Feb 2024, 03:55PM
  • Paula,

    If you are coming to Ireland you should fill out the Meet and Greet form ( and we will do our best to arrange someone to meet you.

    Best wishes, Kieran

    Kieran Jordan, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 6th Feb 2024, 12:22PM
  • I will do that Kieran. Thank you



    Tuesday 6th Feb 2024, 02:06PM

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