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Kirkwood family County Mayo

Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1194524096000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Kirkwood,Coffin,Morrison,Hammett,Brockman,Style ,Aubertin,
John Townsend Kirkwood
I recently found out that this gentleman was my ggg grandfather,Born c 1814 in Mayo,he was married to Eleanora Elizabeth Morrison Hammett.His parents were Tobias Kirkwood from the Dublin area and Amelia Coffin from New Brunswick Canada
Records for landowners in the 1870s posted by jeanrice list him as owning 8,345 acres of land in Mayo in the 1870's
On the same list there a lot of Kirkwoods based around Killala .Would anyone know if these families were related to him ?
Although John Townsend Kirkwood came from Ireland he seemed to spend most of his life in England and is found on each census return at a different location [1841-Salcome House Devon,1851 Cefencethin Mansion Ilandilo Camarthern,1861 Yeo Vale House Bideford Devon,1881 Newbridge House Devon]
I would be very interested to find out more about the family before they came to England?

Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1194568213000
Classification: Query
They/he may be of the Anglo Irish who were the land owners for the most part in Ireland. The had large estates but many were referred to as "absentee" landlords. They preferred England and their estates there. Usually they were Protestant since the Penal laws of the 18th century forbade Catholic's to own land.
That amount of acreage who be a clue. See if you can compare the 1879 list with Griffith's Valuation for County Mayo. If his name is listed as the landlord there, you might be able to establish where in Mayo his main Irish residence was.

Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1194602402000
Classification: Query
Jenny, the address for John Townsend Kirkwood in the 1876 Landowners of Ireland is 34 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, England so he was an absentee landlord in Ireland.

The addresses for Anne and Maria Kirkwood are listed as Canada, America. Louisa is Greenpark, Kilalla while Captain Charles Kirkwood is Barbra House, Kilalla, Captain Robert Kirkwood is Greenpark, Kilalla and Representatives of Mrs. Robert Kirkwood notes she was late of Greenpark, Kilalla. William Rutledge Kirkwood is Crosspatrick, Kilalla.

Generally the English Government had given lands previously owned by the local Irish to what's called Planters from England. They were originally from England and not Ireland. Many of the Planters were members of the British military and they were thus rewarded for their service to the Crown with lands/property in Ireland. Many of them who even had Irish addresses listed in the 1876 Landowners List spent most of their time in England at their main residences. The British Military was stationed in Ireland until 1922 when the Irish Government was established.

They may have received the lands in Ireland as a result of service in the British Army during the US War of Independence 1775-1783. Many of those from England who were in the British Colony (later the US) who supported the British in the US Revolutionary War went to Canada which remained British after the War. That would apply to those who served in the British Army. They received lands in Canada also as rewards for their military service.

The family would most likely have been members of the Church of Ireland (Anglican) in Ireland so you'd need to contact the Church of Ireland Representative Church Body Library/Archive in Dublin to find out what parish records survive for Kilalla and how they might be accessed to see if there are "events" in the local parish registers. Some of the parish records are held at the Archive while some are held locally at the parish. Many of the Church of Ireland parish records were destroyed in a fire in 1922. The "events" may actually be in England records. Here's the link to the Church of Ireland Archives in Dublin with contact information to ask about how to access Kilalla Church of Ireland parish records if they've survived:

And here's the link to the local parish:

There aren't any surviving census records in Ireland before 1901 and civil registrations records aren't computerised or available online as they are in England. Irish civil registrations records began in 1864 with Protestant marriages beginning in 1845. Microfilm copies of the Indexes of Irish civil registrations records are available for research on order through your nearest LDS Family History Centre. The Indexes only give the Registration District for the event. You'd need to order the actual cert from the General Register Office to find out where the location of the event actually occurred within the larger Registration District. The website is:

You can also get British Military Records through the UK Archives in Kew, London. Here's the link to the website:

The 1901 County Mayo census lists two entries for Kirkwoods in Kilalla:

Townplots West, Killala, Household Kirkwood Robert(80) farmer/not married Maria Gallagher(45) dtr.-Patrick Gallagher(50) son in law/stone mason-Maggie Gallagher(12) gd-Lizzie Gallagher(10) gd

Bartragh Island, Killala, Household Kirkwood Charles K.(60) land owner/widower Hansley? Charles(33) son/not married-Emma Mabel(31) dtr./not married-Laura Maud(29) dtr./not married-Patrick Judge(24) servant/not married-Bernard Mulhearn(16) servant

In the event any of the family had records in the Roman Catholic parish records in Kilalla here's a link to the Roman Catholic parish records including dates covered in the records and how the records might be accessed; there are only 7 years covered in the Killala Roman Catholic parish records. Many Roman Catholic parishes weren't established until later in the 1800s in County Mayo because the Church of Ireland (Anglican) was the official or established church in Ireland until 1871:

Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1194608372000
Classification: Query
Thankyou oceanstrands and maryellencham for your help,
I know very little about researching in Ireland or indeed Irish history beyond generalisations .

I think I was hoping to find an old Irish family so I could think "thats where I come from" but it doesnt look like thats what happened.
The military connection rings a bell as there is a listing for John Townsend Kirkwood as having been in the 40th and 64th Regiment when he marries his second wife in 1896 [aged 81 years]
On the English census returns his father Tobias Kirkwood says he was born either Dublin or Castletown Mayo [he varies his response]so I had assumed that this was an Irish family but they could have been just visiting Ireland when he was born ? .Tobias's wife /John Townsends mother, Amelia Catherine Coffin was born in New Brunswick Canada .I had thought that they were linked possibly by trade but a military connection between the families makes more sense.
Im not sure that absentee landords are what you want to uncover in your family history.
I think that my next move is to follow your advise and look at records for the 1775-1783 war and see if I can find out where this family started out from ,hopefully without finding any skeletons on the way.

Many thanks


Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1195077885000
Classification: Query

I'd recommend contacting the Church of Ireland Archives in Dublin to see if Kilalla Church of Ireland records survive and how they might be accessed. That way you can see if there are any records for John Townsend Kirkwood in the church parish registers in Mayo.

You can also ask the Church of Ireland about the Castletown Church of Ireland records and see if there's a baptismal record there for his father, Tobias Kirkwood, since he's indicated he may have been born in Castletown.

I would also see if there's a connection between Captain Charles Kirkwood and Captain Robert Kirkwood also listed as landowners but listed as living in Kilalla in the Landowners records.

Even though the family was English, they could have and probably did own land in Dublin also. There is also the possibility of a trade connection with Ireland but Tobias may have been stationed in Ireland as part of his military service also.

Absentee landlordism was quite common in Ireland or land owners, especially gentry, who spent a very limited amount of time at their properties in Ireland. England would have been the centre of the social scene and more members of the gentry would have been in England for longer periods of time than in Ireland.

Trying to research Church of Ireland parish records in Dublin would be difficult without a location in Dublin where the family was.

The Royal Military Calendar notes Major Tobias Kirkwood with various army ranks including New Brunswick:

Tobias Kirkwood and John Townsend Kirkwood also owned land in County Sligo and were also listed in the 1876 Landowners of Ireland there:

So it looks like the military records would be a good source to find out where both Tobias and his son John Townsend Kirkwood were stationed during their military career. Those locations may help find local Church of Ireland records for them in Ireland or even church records for them in England.

Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1195078808000
Classification: Query

There's apparently an article in the Oxford Journal about John Townsend Kirkwood that might be worth looking at,:

L MAY 7, loot] NOTES AND QUERIES. 361John Townsend Kirkwood, of Boldre-. wood, Berks, formerly of Yeo Vale, Bideford,. Devon, b. 7 Oct, 1814,o6.10 Jan;. 1902. G. S. PAKBY, Lieut-Col. ... - Similar pages

Here's the link to the Journal:

Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1195144645000
Classification: Query
Thankyou for your help,

I have been digging a little deeper and the Kilalla link keeps coming up so I will definately try to access records of births and marriages for that area to try and establish the relationships between what seems a lot of Kirkwoods.from the available online information they do seem to have married into a landowning family called Knox from Co Mayo .

I had easily found the Kirkwood family established in England from 1841 onwards but the problem was no records of them before about 1838 unlike other family lines that seem to produce reams of paperwork.The family estates of Yeo Vale ,Gore Court and Newbridge House do not link to their name before 1838.
I found a partial hit in Burkes Peerage [just the bit you can access without paying] that suggests that the family were Scottish who went to Ireland under James 1.
If this were true it would explain no earlier English records. I have ordered a copy from our library to see the full information.
It also suggested that they were Catholic?

Around Killala the Kirkwoods definitely seem to be minor gentry and career soldiers.So Ive had a brief look so far at the army careers.It looks like Catherine Amelia Coffin was the daughter of a career soldier General John Coffin from Boston Mass who ended up as gov of St Johns New Brunswick.
Her uncle was Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin who appears to have been an interesting character and even owned the Magdalen Islands North of Nova Scotia.
As The Military Calendar puts Tobias as a Major in The New Brunswick Fencibles in 1815 it suggests his father in-law was putting in a good word for him.
Unfortunately although Tobias and his son John Townsend Kirkwood feature on army lists and calendars listing appointments to different regiments I have yet to find any details of campaigns they may have been involved in but I have only just started looking and military history is a very new field for me.

I am not completely sure why a family from Ireland and a family from New Brunswick should decamp to the Bath/Cheltenham area by 1838? General John Coffin dies there at Newbridge house in 1838 Admiral Sir Issac Coffin dies in Cheltenham in 1839 .Tobias and Catherine Amelia continue to live at Newbridge House until their deaths in 1859 and 1881 respectfully. I can only suppose that they came to England to visit or retire near to the old Coffin family seat at Portledge near Bideford Devon. This is a bit of a leap of faith but the next generation of Kirkwoods live at Yeo Vale House Bideford.

The Notes and Queries article is a list of English gravestones in the cemetery at Port Ortava Tenerife .this gives us John Townsend Kirkwood interred there in Jan 1902.
This fits with his obituary so it is pretty certainly the same man but why was he was in Tenerife aged 89 years ?But apparently he remarried aged 81 years so who knows ?

Thankyou again for your will certainly help point me towards the right records to search.


Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1195226952000
Classification: Query

Church of Ireland parish records often contained burial records too so if they survive for Kilalla they should be very helpful to you.

Members of the Church of Ireland who married before civil registration of Protestant marriages began in 1845 posted what's known as Marriage Licence Bonds. Not all of those survive. You can ask the Church of Ireland Archives in Dublin if they survive for County Mayo and how they might be accessed. They may be available through LDS if they do survive and you may want to check the LDS catalogue for those.

They're by Church of Ireland Diocese which would have been the Church of Ireland Diocese of Kilalla.

There should be Church of England records in England prior to the beginning of civil registrations records in England in 1837. But all those would probably be location based wherever the family was in England.

I did check the online Peerage information but did it very quickly. There were some Kirkwoods there I believe, but it's probably not at all complete comparecd to the printed version:

Roman Catholics weren't allowed to own land in Ireland during the 1700s nor were they allowed to vote. Catholic Emancipation didn't start in Ireland until 1829 and that's when most the Roman Catholic churches started to be built, actually many much later than that.

The Church of Ireland (Anglican) was the "official" or "state" church in Ireland until 1871 when it was disestablished by the English Government.

If the family were Scottish and went to Ireland under James I, that was when the Plantation of Ireland was which I mentioned in one of my earlier messages. During that time, James I in 1603 began a methodogical Plantation of Ireland with Scottish and English Settlers. The lands of the native Irish were taken and given to the new English and Scottish settlers. They were even given certificates for the new lands by the English Government. But those certificates I don't believe have survived in the various families and if any records are in England, they'd be at the UK Archives in Kew Surrey.

You might want to search the UK Archives website for any possible remaining records that might include the lands the Plantation settlers received and where they were.

The Scots settlers were from the Scottish lowlands and were Protestant, mainly Presbyterian. The surname Kirkwood itself while often originating in the Northeast of England, has Kirk in it which is the Scots name for a Church.

Here's a link to earlier records in County Mayo which includes a list of Protestants in Kilalla in 1820 but those records are at the National Archives of Ireland and not online. You'd need to hire a researcher to go to the National Archives of Ireland for you in Dublin to research the records.

You could search the LDS Catalogue to see if any copies are microfilmed and available through LDS.

With British Military Regimental information, i.e. the names, most of the Regiments have records (very detailed) about where the Regiments were stationed and when. Most of those detailed records are at the UK Archives in Kew, Surrey.

There's also an online British Military Regimental website

And the link to the detailed records at the UK Archives on British Military History at Kew, Surrey:

Your ancestors sound like they have a very interesting family history.

When you contact the Church of Ireland Archives in Dubli

Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1195297328000
Classification: Query

There are a few more early records that might help with your family research in Mayo.

I mentioned James I in 1603 began a more coordinated approach to transplanting English and Scottish settlers in Ireland and removing the native Irish from their lands.

An assessment of the progress being made in the transplantation of English and Scots was a survey known as the 1641 Books of Survey and Distribution. County Mayo is covered in those books and they have been published by the Irish National Manuscripts Commission.

The 1654-56 Civil Survey also included land redistribution in Ireland but unfortunately the records for County Mayo didn't survive.

The Hearth Money Rolls of the 1660s that survive include information about the number of hearths, fireplaces/chimneys and the house owners.

Those and various other records are described more fully in the following:

Re: Kirkwood family County Mayo

Posted: 1259080595000
Classification: Query
Hi Jenny

I know it is a while since the last link. I own Castletown Manor in Sligo. This was bought by Andrew Kirkwood from a John Knox on 19/10/1770 for #3900. andrew died in 1810 and his son Samuel inherited and in turn passed the estate to Tobias in 1837. John Townsend Kirkwood inherited in 1839 and sold to Thomas Jones on 8th June 1839.
This information is located on a Summary of Title Deeds in the Land Commission offices in Dublin. The house was eventually sold to the commission in 2 lots in 1903 and 1914. Proof of title required the owner to prepare a detailed summary of previous owners and hence the information is accurate. The original family who built the original house are the Morgans and I have a lot of information on the house. Of interest when we were cleaning an old fireplace we came across a name carved into it in beautiful script of an 'Amelia Kirkwood' I know Tobias married an Emily Coffin and there were 2 daughters possibly one named Amelia!
If you go into the 'landed estates' database you can click on a link to the house. I think the fact that this is the Sligo branch of the Kirkwoods might have thrown you off a little. Anyway John Townsend Kirkwood's ancestral home where he was born is still standing and if you ever get to Sligo please visit. My email is
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