Share This:

My GG grandfather, William Martin was born in Stranorlar, County Donegal on 14/12/1823. The record from Rootsireland give the address as Coneghmone but I haven't managed to find this as a place so far.

His parents are listed as Thomas Martin, Farmer and Peggy (no surname). 

I would be very grateful if anyone had any further information on

1) The address Coneghmone - was it a house or a hamlet maybe?

2) Any other details on William's parents

3) Any other members of the Martin family at this point.

William Martin came to Scotland and married Agnes Tonar, a Glasgow lady. They moved to Ratho, near Edinburgh and had several children including Mary Anne Martin, my great grandmother.




Ronnie Neilson

Friday 17th May 2024, 11:31AM

Message Board Replies

  • The residence is possibly a misreading or mistranscription of Curraghmongan townland which is in Stranorlar parish. The entry for the townland on the placename database at mentions several alternate spellings including Corraghamone

    The Tithe records cover certain types of properties with eligible agricultural land and was carried out in the 1820s and 30s, include a Thomas Martin holding a property at Cunaghmone/Cunaghamone townland Stranorlar parish, the entry is dated 1834, so possibly your Thomas...

    The baptism for William took place in Stranorlar Church of Ireland, RootsIreland seems to have transcript records for this parish back to 1802, possibly not back far enough to include any older details on Thomas or Peggy... The latest parish list from the RCB Library does not show any earlier records for the parish.

    I checked for possible siblings to your William and found two :
    one elder - Jane baptised 19th May 1821 Corramone, mother noted as Margaret (Peggy is a nickname for Margaret)
    and a 2nd William, possibly the elder one died young - baptised 12 March 1826, Corrahmone, father Thomas noted as a farmer.

    I didn't locate a probable marriage for Thomas and Margaret/Peggy in Stranorlar or nearby - not all CofI parishes in the are have records back far enough..

    The 1901 census shows one household in Curraghmongan townland with the surname Martin - two elderly brother, John and James, both Church of Ireland.

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 17th May 2024, 01:16PM
  • The family in the 1901 census appear to be descended from a James B Martin.  I think this is Frances (Fanny)’s marriage:

    James B Martin may be James Barr Martin. See:

    The PRONI wills site lists about 10 Martin probate files for that townland, eg:

    Administration of the estate of Thomas Martin late of Curraghamongan Ballybofey County Donegal Farmer who died 14 March 1900 granted at Londonderry to Margaret Martin Spinster

    The above Thomas was single and aged about 65:

    Letters of Administration of the personal estate of James Martin late of Corraghamoan County Donegal Farmer who died 22 August 1880 at same place were granted at Londonderry to Sarah Laird of Corrain said County Widow the Sister.

    In the 1901 census Curraghmongan had 42 homes and a population of 175. It is a rural area and the vast majority of the population were engaged in farming or agriculture generally. Plus a few weavers.

    Griffiths Valuation (1857) lists a Thomas Martin in Curraghomongan. He had plot 22 which was a total of about 60 acres. There’s a possible death for him in 1869 aged 81. And for Margaret in 1865 aged 57. Neither is viewable free on-line on the irishgenealogy site. You might need to order a copy of the certificates from GRO Roscommon if you want to see if they are the right couple.

    Here’s a John Martin, son of Thomas, marrying in 1847. So he may be a brother to your ancestor William:

    That couple stayed in the area for a number of years. Here’s a birth in Leaght, near Stranorlar:

    Trees on Ancestry indicate that the above couple emigrated to Ohio, USA by 1870, possibly following the death of both John's parents. At least 1 tree on Ancestry has this John Martin born in 1817 in both Magheralin Co Down and also Scotland. I’d say both are incorrect. Possibly Ancestry hints that should not have been accepted. He’s likely to have been born in Donegal, in my judgement.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 17th May 2024, 02:10PM
  • Thanks Shane and Elwyn for your prompt replies. Quite a lot of information to think about here, I'm very grateful.

    Ronnie Neilson

    Monday 20th May 2024, 10:22AM
  • Hi Ronnie

    I was interested to see your message because I have ancestors in that same townland, and some land records which I looked at last year in PRONI in Belfast might be relevant to your search.

    I think that the Thomas Martin of your rootsireland transcript, father of a William Martin, was most likely the Thomas Martin who - per information in an 1802 lease - was born in about 1788 to a John "Bane" Martin.   That would fit in with the Thomas who died in 1869 as referred to by Elwyn.   (Huge kudos to Elwyn and Shane btw for putting up so much information so quickly!)   

    John Bane Martin took land on lease at Crampan (which seems to have been a sort of sub-townland of Curraghamone/Curraghamongan) in 1802, and I think that's likely to be where Thomas lived and brought up his children.  The land shown for Thomas Martin in the late 1850s at Curraghamongan plot 22 in Griffiths Valuation - as mentioned by Elwyn - plus the adjoining land at plot 23, associated with Stephen Martin, Thomas's younger brother (who had died in 1855, according to a Church of Ireland burial record on roots ireland), together seem to correspond almost exactly with the description of the Crampan land in the 1802 lease.  

    Rootsireland have Church of Ireland baptism records for five, or possibly six, children born to Thomas and Margaret/Peggy Martin between 1821 and 1837: Jane, 1821; William, 1823; William, 1826; Margaret, 1833; Thomas, 1836; and possibly Rebecca Anne, 1837 (Rebecca Anne's mother's name has been transcribed as Mary but this could be a misreading of "Mgt" - unfortunately rootsireland do not provide images of the original register pages so there is no way to check).  

    Thomas b 1836 seems to correspond to the Thomas who died in 1900 mentioned by Elwyn, and the Margaret who took out the grant of administration for his estate could potentially have been his sister Margaret.  

    Strangely enough rootsireland do not seem to have a baptism entry for the John Martin born about 1817 who later emigrated to Ohio as mentioned by Elwyn, though from the details on Ancestry trees I think he must have been a child of this couple.   If he was, Thomas and Margaret must have married in or before 1817, which may explain why we cannot see a marriage entry for them: the Church of Ireland marriage and burial records for Stranorlar, which may or may not be where they married (often it would have been the bride's parish, which may have been different), only survive for 1821 onwards, though as Shane points out the (C of I) baptism records for the parish go back as far as 1802.  

    Rootsireland do also have Church of Ireland baptism entries for the children of Thomas's brother Stephen and his wife Hannah.

    I think that the James Martin who died in 1880 came from a different branch of the Curraghamone/Curraghamongan Martins.   His land was in the western part of the townland centring on Trankeel, where he had a couple of flax mills.  James Bane/Bawn/Ban Martin ("Barr" is possibly a transcription error?), who died in 1856, may also have been from the Trankeel branch, though I am not sure about that.   (In fact I am not certain whether there was only one, or possibly two, James Banes.  Working out which Martins were which is not too easy, since there is not too much information in the records, and there were a lot of Martins in the townland in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (including any number of James Martins!).  They would have been very surprised, I'm sure, to think that by 1901 there would only be two elderly bachelor Martins left to fill in a census return!).

    Having said all that - I have to admit that an alarm bell went off for me when you said that the William you are looking for was born in 1823.   That's because I don't honestly have the feeling that there was more than one Thomas and Margaret couple in the townland in the 1820s (though of course it's not impossible), and, like Shane, I'd tend to interpret the 1826 baptism of another William Martin son of Thomas and Margaret in the same townland as suggesting that the first William had very likely died in infancy.  

    Is it possible that your GG grandfather William was born in 1826 rather than 1823?    Or, if you are confident that he was born in 1823 but less sure about the connection to Stranorlar parish, you might want to pause before investing too much time and money in investigating the Curraghamone Martins - is it possible that he might actually have come from somewhere else?     

    It could be worth taking a look at John Grenham's website - sorry I haven't worked out how to paste the link on here, but his site is called - where you can do lookups by surname to get an idea of where various surnames were geographically concentrated in different parts of Ireland, per various different record sets.  He also has sections for individual parishes which show what church records have survived for the various denominations and for what dates, and where any surviving records can be accessed.   Sadly the truth is that the records which survive for the early nineteenth century often represent quite a small percentage of the actual baptisms and marriages from that time, so tracing people can be very challenging.   But we never give up hope!

    Barbara J





    Friday 24th May 2024, 05:50PM
  • Hi Barbara, thanks ever so much for the detailed reply!

    I'm busy with work and family at the moment, will come back to digest your message further in the near future.

    Best regards


    Ronnie Neilson

    Thursday 6th Jun 2024, 01:25PM

Post Reply