Ireland (Historical Counties) => Ireland => Topic started by: dukewm on Monday 21 January 19 21:32 GMT (UK)

Title: William DOWNING of Co. Derry (b.c.1765); Part 1 of 2
Post by: dukewm on Monday 21 January 19 21:32 GMT (UK)
I'm searching for any info on William DOWNING of County Derry (Londonderry).  He was likely born about 1765 (give or take a few years).

The DOWNING (Downinge) stronghold in County Derry during the 18th century appears to be the area including the Townlands of Drumard, Rocktown, Dreenan, Lemnaroy, Cabragh, Broagh, and other parts of Maghera, Bellaghy, and Castledawson.
We have identified two distinct branches; one headed by Col. Adam Downing of Rocktown, and another headed by Stafford Downing of Dreenan, finding no link between the two (yet).
WILLIAM is claimed to be descended from Adam, but it's possible he was connected to the Dreenan branch.

Working back in time, here is what we know:
1. William's son, James (my 3rd great grandfather, 1800-1875), had an older brother, William Colwell Downing, b. 1792 or 1793, d. 7 Jul 1868, aged 75.
William C. is buried at St Luke's Church of Ireland, Tamlaght Parish, just across the River Ballinderry from the village of Coagh, Co Tyrone.
He is listed in Slater's Directory of Ireland, 1846, as a "Linen  Manufacturer" of Coagh.

William (supposedly) died in 1803, leaving a wife and two young sons.  His wife, Jane Colwell (?), then married a second husband, Felix Devlin, who is also listed in Slater's Directory, 1846, as a "turner-in-wood".
We believe Jane may have moved closer to her family in Moneymore for support after William died, then met and married Felix.
NOTE: Maghera Parish is located about 12 miles north of Coagh.

2. There were several members of the DOWNING family engaged in farming during that period, specifically growing flax.
The Flax Grower's List for Londonderry, 1796, includes:
Downing, Dawson of Ballyscullion
Downing, James of Termoneeny
Downing, Samuel of Termoneeny
Downing, Daniel of Maghera
Downing, George of Maghera
Downing, John of Maghera
Downing, Stafford of Maghera, and
Downing, WILLIAM of Maghera - who may be my 4th great grandfather

Flax is used to make linen.  Although WILLIAM (supposedly) died when William C. was only about 10 years old, he may have had some early training in that industry.
If WILLIAM, the Flax Grower, was my 4th great grandfather, his family was obviously in Maghera Parish in 1796, thereby formulating the theory that Jane moved after he died,
and that William was likely buried somewhere in Maghera or Termoneeny Parish.

I personally surveyed 18 graveyards in the area during my visit in May 2018, but as you may know, headstones before about 1850 are very difficult to read, and church records in Ireland were mostly destroyed in the 1922 fire at the Four Courts Building in Dublin.
The PRONI Office in Belfast was of not much help either.

Please continue with Part 2 of 2

Title: Re: William DOWNING of Co. Derry (b.c.1765); Part 1 of 2
Post by: dukewm on Monday 21 January 19 21:33 GMT (UK)
Part 2 of 2

HOWEVER, if I stay with the assertions claimed in our family history, WILLIAM was connected to the tree of Col. Adam Downing, and working forward in time from Adam, we know the following:
1. WILLIAM was NOT a son of Alexander Clotworthy Downing, and great grandson of Adam, as our family history claimed, which has made him a "missing link", and the reason for this inquiry.
2. (Col.) Adam died 15 Dec 1719, mentioning sons Henry, John, Jackson, William, and Adam, along with brothers George and Samuel, in his 1716 Will.
He is buried at St. Tida's Church of Ireland, Bellaghy and interred with 8 other family members in a large vault just outside the church entrance.
3. (Col.) Adam had three known brothers, all named in the 1698 Will of Nicholas Downing of Drumard as his nephews.
The brothers were listed, in order, as John, George, and Samuel.
4. We have determined that Adam's brother, John, was "of Broagh", and left a 1734 Will, proved in 1743, wherein he mentions an unnamed daughter and two nephews.
It is therefore assumed he had no sons.
5. We have determined that Adam's brother, George, was "of Old Town, Rocktown", and his Will was proved in 1731.
From Betham's Abstracts at the National archives, Dublin, we know that George married Margaret Morris, and had by her, James, William, John, Nicholas, Alice, and Sarah (no dates).
I consider James, William, and John, each as PRIME SUSPECTS to be ancestors of my "missing link", WILLIAM.
6. We have determined that Adam's brother, Samuel, was "of Lemnaroy".
His 1753 Will names three Co-Executors; James Downing of Lemnaroy, William Downing of Cabragh, and John Downing of Ballynocker, Magherafelt Parish.
All three are suspected of being the sons of his brother, George.
Samuel's only surviving son, Adam of Lemnaroy, proved his father's Will in 1782, at age 60.  It is not known whether he married or had children.
7. We have determined that (Col.) Adam's son, Henry, whose Will was proved 1766, names only the children of his late brother, William (1 nephew + 3 nieces), indicating he had no sons.
The lone nephew had no children as evidenced by his own 1820 Will.
8. We know the full downline of (Col.) Adam's son John to a period that would post-date WILLIAM.
9. We know nothing of (Col.) Adam's son Jackson.
10. We have determined that (Col.) Adam's son, William, had 1 son and three daughters, as described in Item 7 above.  He is eliminated as a potential (direct) ancestor.   
11. We have determined that (Col.) Adam's son, Adam, was born about 1715, as he is mentioned in an Indenture dated 2 Apr 1734 as being "aged about 18", and mentioned in his father's Will, dated 4 Jan 1716.
It is assumed by the Will of Dawson Downing, dated 6 Feb 1797, who left "Sarah Downing of Lemnaroy, widow of Adam Downing", an annuity, that Sarah was Dawson's aunt.
It should be noted that this would be a second "Adam of Lemnaroy", not to be confused with the son of Samuel.
We have not yet found any children by the marriage of Adam and Sarah.  He remains a PRIME SUSPECT.

To summarize, I have identified four PRIME SUSPECTS to be potential direct ancestors of our "missing link", WILLIAM Downing, b.c.1765;
1. James Downing of Lemnaroy, son of George of Old Town, b. abt. 1700+/-
2. William Downing of Cabragh, son of George of Old Town, b. abt. 1700+/-
3. John Downing of Ballynocker, son of George of Old Town, b. abt. 1700+/-
4. Adam Downing of Lemnaroy, son of (Col.) Adam of Rocktown, b.c.1715

Our family history book asserts that WILLIAM's father was named 'Clotworthy', which I am assuming is correct because the book was written in 1901 by my great great uncle,
and he would almost certainly have been told by his father that his father's grandfather was named 'Clotworthy', which (information) would likely have been passed to him by his own father.
If that is accurate, we could estimate a time frame whereby one of the four PRIME SUSPECTS above would have had a son named 'Clotworthy', b. abt. 1730+/-,
and 'Clotworthy' would then have had WILLIAM about 1765+/-.
I would also suggest that William C. being born either 1792 or 1793, indicates it's likely WILLIAM was married to Jane about 1791, when he was about 26 years old.

All spellings are as shown in the records.
Any information relating to ANY of the individuals outlined above would be greatly appreciated.
I have a LOT of data on these DOWNING branches I can share.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post,
Title: Re: William DOWNING of Co. Derry (b.c.1765); Part 1 of 2
Post by: hallmark on Monday 21 January 19 22:39 GMT (UK)
Have you searched LDS to see if there are any Marriages Settlements or if any of the those Wills were registered?

Title: Re: William DOWNING of Co. Derry (b.c.1765); Part 1 of 2
Post by: BallyaltikilliganG on Monday 28 January 19 17:44 GMT (UK)
Apart from  all I can offer if you donít already know it, is a list of the spelling used in the tithes, arranged by Parish, I have included afew over county borders because they were there.

1823-1837 Tithes Applotment Books based upon the index work of the Irish Genealogy Hubís listing for each parish in Northern Ireland, which are quicker to lookup if you know the parish!  The relevant original books are in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) Belfast

Downing, John   Townland: Derrycloan Year: 1834   Aghagallon   Antrim
Downing, Patk.   Townland: Derrycloan Year: 1834   Aghagallon   Antrim
Downing, John   Townland: Moyntaghs Year: 1834   Aghagallon   Antrim
Downing, Patk.   Townland: Moyntaghs Year: 1834   Aghagallon   Antrim
Downing, Patk.   Townland: Ballydonaghey Year: 1826Camlin   Antrim
Downing, John   Townland: Carrenbrock Year: 1833Templecorran   Antrim
Downing, Thos.   Townland: Carrenbrock Year: 1833Templecorran   Antrim
Downing, James   Townland: Killyberry Year: 1828   Ballyscullion   Antrim & Derry
Downing, John   Townland: Killyberry Year: 1828   Ballyscullion   Antrim & Derry
Downing, Widow    Townland: Killyberry Year: 1828   Ballyscullion   Antrim & Derry
Downing, Dawson   Townland: Dunmurry Year: 1825   Ballynascreen   Derry
Downing, James   Townland: Killyberry Year: 1828   Ballyscullion   Derry
Downing, John   Townland: Killyberry Year: 1828   Ballyscullion   Derry
Downing, Widow    Townland: Killyberry Year: 1828   Ballyscullion   Derry
Downing, James   Townland: Drum Year: 1827   Bovevagh   Derry
Downing, Robt.   Townland: Lisgloss Year: 1834   Clondermot   Derry
Downing, Widow Margt.Townland: Goshedon Year: 1827Cumber Lower   Derry
Downing, John   Townland: Currin Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Alexr.   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Eliza   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Geo.   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Hartford   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, James   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, John   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Mary   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Robt.   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Samuel   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Stafford   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Staford   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Thomas   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Widow    Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, William   Townland: Dreenan Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Francis   Townland: Drummard Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, George   Townland: Drummard Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Morris   Townland: Drummard Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Peter   Townland: Drummard Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Tatty   Townland: Drummard Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Widow    Townland: Drummard Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Thos.   Townland: Drummuck Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Bernard   Townland: Gullyduff Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Samuel   Townland: Gullyduff Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, William   Townland: Gullyduff Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Dawson   Townland: Rocktown Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Francis   Townland: Rocktown Year: 1828   Maghera   Derry
Downing, Henry   Townland: Eden Year: 1833   Tamlaght O Crilly   Derry
Downing, A.                Townland: Glenone Year: 1833   Tamlaght O Crilly   Derry
Downing, Wm.   Townland: Dargenagh Year: 1828   Termoneeny   Derry
Downing, Dawson   Townland: Lemnaroy (Bellaghy) Year: 1828   Termoneeny   Derry
Downing, Rev. S.   Townland: Lemnaroy (Bellaghy) Year: 1828   Termoneeny   Derry
Downing, Bernard   Townland: Ballymoil Y: 1827   Tamlaght   Derry & Tyrone
Downing, John   Townland: Ballymoil Y: 1827   Tamlaght   Derry & Tyrone
Downing, Jacob   Townland::Aughrim Bates and Donnelly Yr: 1825   Artrea   Derry and Tyrone
Downing, Bernard   Townland: Ballymoil Y: 1827   Tamlaght   Tyrone
Downing, John   Townland: Ballymoil Y: 1827   Tamlaght   Tyrone
Good luck onwards
Title: Re: William DOWNING of Co. Derry (b.c.1765); Part 1 of 2
Post by: dukewm on Tuesday 29 January 19 14:12 GMT (UK)
Thanks so much to BallyaltikilliganG for your input.
I might have all that and just selectively posted some of the immediate area, but it's always good to have a complete list.

A lot of those folks are in my tree.