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History of Land Ownership around Killeter, Termonamongan Parish from the Middle Ages to the Land Reform of 1931

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History of Land Ownership around Killeter, Termonamongan Parish from the Middle Ages to the Land Reform of 1931

Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by Robert M. Simon, Berwyn Heights, Maryland

Land Ownership Prior to English Rule of County Tyrone

(click here for Appendices viewable as a pdf)


Webmaster's Note: Bob Simon is an American descendant of the Dolan family of the region around Killeter, County Tyrone. His great-grandfather was born there in the 1850s and his great-great-grandparents, John and Margaret (née McKane) Dolan, are buried in St. Patrick's RC Church cemetery in Aghyaran. His research into the lands that they farmed as tenants in Seegronan Townland led him to write this more general history of land ownership in Termonamongan Parish. Bob's research on the Dolan families of Termonamongan Parish can be found at his website Simon, Hurd, Dolan, and Related Families. He would welcome additional information on the topics covered in the paper at robertmsimon@gmail.com.

Termon Land

As is suggested by its name, Termonamongan parish was historically termon land – a class of land that was dedicated to the maintenance of a church or monastic establishment, that had by right the privilege of sanctuary, and that was free from the owing of any rents or other exactions by a temporal lord. The connection between termon land and the right of sanctuary from one’s assailants is especially strong. While the word “termon” is thought to come originally from the Latin word “terminus,” meaning “boundary” (a reference to the fact that the boundary of such lands where sanctuary applied had to be marked, generally with stones),2 the Irish word for “sanctuary” or “place of refuge” is “tearmann.”3

An early account of the origin of these lands was given by Irish clan leaders in 1609 to a set of royally appointed “Commissioners for the Plantation in Ulster” who were, in part, investigating the ownership of termon lands. These clan leaders testified that termon lands were originally granted, in perpetuity, by the temporal lords of their localities to hermits and other religious persons who had settled in those places and built churches or other shrines,

“to the intente that the said religious persons should maintain hospitalitie, praie for the soules’ health of the said lords, and repaire and keepe the said churches, and otherwise advance the service of God in that place, whereon hee lived….”4

As described further by the clan leaders, these religious persons, in turn, chose a local leader and his kinship group (whether a clan or a branch of a clan known as a sept) to whom they gave the termon land, to be maintained and used to continue the religious purposes for which it had been granted.

The ownership of land within termons was governed by customary Gaelic law, known as brehon law. Under brehon law, property rights were not vested in an individual, but in the extended kinship group. For this reason, property rights in the clan or sept were inherently temporary and subject to periodic redistribution through two practices. Under one practice, known as gavelkind, all male members of the clan were entitled to farm equal portions of the clan’s land, regardless of whether they were legitimate or illegitimate sons. Under the other practice, known as tanistry, the position of chief within the kinship group, along with his control over the group’s lands, passed at the chief’s death not to his son but to an heir-apparent previously chosen by the group from among the leading men in a broader circle of his relatives.5

Termons functioned under the leadership of lay ecclesiastics from the same clan or sept designated by the saint or holy person who founded the religious site. For more prominent religious sites, these chiefs were known as coarbs, from the Irish “comharba” (which means “successor”), indicating that they were considered the spiritual successor of the saint or holy person. For smaller church sites, these chiefs were known as erenaghs, from the Irish “airchinneach” (which means “superior”6), a term that originally was used to describe the head of an early Irish semi-monastic community.7

Coarbs and erenaghs were selected according to brehon law, as described by the testimony to the 1609 Commissioners:

“…the corbe [i.e., coarb] and herenagh [i.e., erenagh] was ever to be elected by the sept among themselves, and was commonlie the ancientest of the sept….”8

In some cases, coarbs served in a hierarchical role over one or more erenaghs, as described to the Commissioners:

“…the corbe, in many places, hath under him one or more herenaghes to whom he giveth a portion of the land free, or for rent or customes, and other liberties as he saw fit….”9

Coarbs and erenaghs combined their roles in managing the kinship group’s lands under brehon law with their leadership in terms of maintaining the church or sacred site. This included providing hospitality to pilgrims travelling through the lands.10 Coarb and erenagh families were also a source of clerical leadership for their territories by supplying family members who would serve as priests.11

Termon Davog

Evidence may be found for a very early establishment of the Catholic church in Termonamongan parish in the form of a square-shaped iron bell, coated with bronze, that is now in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, and that is labelled as being from Termon Moncan, Lough Derg.12 While the date of the bell is not established, it appears to be from before the ninth century.13 In the 11th century, the land that is now part of Termonamongan parish was part of Termon Davog, a pocket of church land located between the kingdoms of the O’Donnells, the O’Neills, and Maguires of Tyrconnell, Tyrone, and Fermanagh. The termon belonged to the monastery on Saint’s Island in Lough Derg14, and was named for St. Davog, the first abbot of the monastery.15

The Catholic Church in Ireland was reformed and diocesan boundaries established at the Synod of Rath Breasail in 1111. In Ulster, these boundaries were defined in somewhat general terms, and proved fluid over the next few decades. During this time, the lands in Termon Davog were split between two dioceses–with the western lands around Lough Derg becoming part of the Diocese of Clogher and the eastern lands eventually becoming part of the Diocese of Derry.16 The struggle for dominance between different branches of Cineál Eoghain (the dominant clan of Ulster, whose chief family was the O’Neills) in the parts of northern Ireland encompassing the eastern and western portions of Termon Davog may explain why episcopal jurisdiction over these lands were split.17

Notwithstanding this split in episcopal territory in the 12th century, the lands of Termon Davog in the 13th century seem to have been under the sway of Clan McGrath, the heads of which served as the coarbs of Lough Derg. The first mention of the McGraths in this role as coarbs is in an entry in the Annals of Ulster from 1290, recording that “Gilla-Adomhnain Magraith, superior of Termonn-Dabeoig, rested on the 13th of the Kalends of November” (i.e., he died on this date).18

The land in the eastern part of Termon Davog was served by the church of St. Caireall (in Irish, Cill Cairill). This may be the church that originally housed the church bell described above.19 A picture of the remains of its foundations is in Figure 1. St. Caireall’s Church is mentioned in a taxation list for the Diocese of Derry from about 1300, under the name of Kelkirell.20 A later rental roll for the Diocese of Derry from October 1397 lists it under the name of Kylchyrryll.21

By the early 1400s, the erenagh family of the O’Mongans was associated with this church; and this family gave its name to Termonamongan parish,22 as well as to Ballymongan and Trienamongan Townlands, which were given to members of this erenagh family for their use.23 Termonamongan hosted two prominent way stations on the pilgrimage route to Lough Derg—St. Patrick’s Well in Magherakeel and St. Davog’s Well in Crighdenis.24











Figure 1. Ruins of St. Caireall’s Church, as seen from Magherakeel Graveyard, outside Killeter, (photograph to right) and picture of what the church might have looked like (photograph to the left). In the photograph to the right, the remains of the church walls are on the right. On the left side of the picture is the former Magherakeel National School, built much later, perhaps using some of the stones from the former church.

(Photograph on right by Robert M. Simon, 2016; photograph on left from the historical marker on the site.)

The development of a diocesan structure in the Catholic church in Ireland was accompanied by the assertion of a degree of control by local bishops over termon lands. As described by the testimony to the 1609 Commissioners, over time, bishops took on the power to confirm new coarbs and erenaghs selected by their sept, and if the sept could not agree, then the bishop and the clergy of his diocese would elect one of the members of the sept to the position. In addition, if a sept became extinct, the bishop (again in consultation with the clergy of his diocese) could choose another sept that would provide a new coarb or erenagh to inherit and administer the termon lands.25

Coarbs and erenaghs thus served as the bishop’s chief tenants over the other hereditary tenants of these lands.26 As the above-mentioned taxation and rental rolls indicate, St. Caireall’s Church made rental and other payments to the bishop of Derry, similar to the other churches in the Diocese of Derry. In the area around the Dioceses of Derry and Raphoe, the system of dividing the tithes produced from the termon lands and their tenants initially involved giving a one-third share to the local rector of the parish, one-third to the vicar, and a final third to the Bishop. But as the payment of the tithes was often in kind, the Bishop’s third was hard, in practice, to collect. For this reason, the system evolved to one in which the erenagh was given the final “Bishop’s third,” and then was responsible for paying an annual pension to the Bishop, making him, to some degree, the Bishop’s ordinary collection agent.27


Land Ownership as English Rule Came to Be Established in County Tyrone

McGrath Ownership of Lands of Termon Davog

Coarb and erenagh families held title to their termon lands under brehon law, but English common law had a fundamentally different concept of property, founded on the rights of an individual, rather than of a kinship group. Under English common law, it is the individual who is vested with a variety of property interests and rights, including fee-simple estates and leaseholds.28 As part of its attempts to transform Irish patterns of land ownership into patterns closer to English practice, the English government in Ireland in the 1500s developed a policy of “surrender and re-grant,” by which Irish chieftains would surrender their lordships to the English government, in exchange for a royal grant of a heritable estate valid under English law. Several leading members of the Irish nobility did so in the 1540s, notably Conn O’Neill, who was granted (in addition to his estates) the title of Earl of Tyrone.29

For Termonamongan parish, this process occurred in 1596, when Donoghoe McGrath, the coarb of Lough Derg, surrendered his lands in Termonmagrath and Termonamongan to Queen Elizabeth of England, in exchange for those same lands being re-granted in perpetuity to him and his descendants. This transaction was probably engineered by Donoghoe’s son, Miler McGrath, who was first a Catholic bishop in Ireland but then joined the Anglican Church and held several Anglican sees in Ireland during his life, notably the archbishopric of Cashel. Miler McGrath was a colorful figure who travelled between Ireland and England, was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth’s,30 and was named in the grant to Donoghoe McGrath as his primary heir for the grant. The transaction was recorded in two writs for letters patent (or fiants) that were issued in Dublin on Queen Elizabeth’s behalf in 1596 – one for the surrender of lands31 and the other for the new royal grant.32

Boundaries of the McGrath Grants in Termonamongan Parish

Both fiants enumerate the boundaries of the land being surrendered and re-granted, as well as place names of locations contained within those boundaries. While many of the place names mentioned are now no longer in use, there are several indications that the lands covered by the surrender and re-grant extended to include Killeter.

The eastern extent of the termon lands in question is identified as “Corragh Rooe in the east” (in the surrender) and “Coreagh Roe in the east” (in the royal grant). This description of the eastern extent of the grant was called “Curraghroe in the east of Termon-Imonghan” in a 1610 re-grant of these lands to the grandson of Donaghoe McGrath (discussed below).

While Curraghroe is not a modern place name, two places in County Tyrone named Curraghroe are depicted in a map of County Tyrone produced as part of the 1656-1658 Down Survey of Ireland. The map was published sometime between 1660-1675 in a book entitled Hibernia Delineatio,33 and may be viewed on the Down Survey website of Trinity College Dublin.34 Figure 2 shows an extract of that map.

In the figure, the Curraghroe mentioned in the grants to the McGraths is most likely the one in the center-right of the figure – just east of the southward U-shaped bend in the River Derg that occurs before the river extends in a line northeast towards Castlederg (labelled “C. Derge” in the figure). This location appears to be in the present-day townland of Woodside outside Killeter. This location is deemed most likely because both Elizabethan writs also mention “Killcairll” (or St. Caireall’s Church) and an identifiable townland outside Killeter, “Saie O Gronayn” (or Seegronan).35 Both of these locations would have been outside the boundaries of the grant if “Curraghroe” meant the mountain to the west of both St. Caireall’s Church (which is also shown in Figure 2, just below the label for “Magherekill”) and Seegronan Townland.

Figure 2. Termonamongan parish, circa 1660, detail from Down Survey county map for County Tyrone. From Reference 34.

While the two fiants from 1596 identify the church in Termonamongan Parish by the Irish name-equivalent of St. Caireall’s Church, a 1607 preliminary survey of the Diocese of Derry by Anglican Bishop George Montgomery identifies this church as “Sti. Beotis” (or St. Bestius).36 Bishop Montgomery’s 1607 survey is considered an accurate depiction of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Derry prior to the changes that attended the implementation of the Protestant Reformation.37 For this reason, it appears that the change in the identity of the patron saint of the church in Termonamongan occurred prior to the re-organization and assignment of parishes in the Derry diocese to the Anglican church.

Termonamongan Parish During the Seventeenth Century

The Flight of the Earls

Of course, what the government of England could give, it could also take away, particularly if the recipient of a royal grant, or his heir, engaged in acts of rebellion. In that case, the lands granted as part of a “surrender and re-grant” were forfeited to the Crown, which could then grant the confiscated lands anew to others. This occurred on a grand scale in Ulster at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

From 1594 to 1603, the Irish and the English fought the Nine Years War, caused in part by continued efforts by the English government to project its power and authority into Ulster. During the latter stages of the war, a series of royal garrisons were planted in Ulster while a scorched-earth campaign of starvation and extermination led to the reported deaths of tens of thousands in rebel-held territories. The imminent death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, along with the prospect that the next ruler of England (James I) would seek a different policy towards the leading figures in Ulster (including Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone), resulted in the negotiation of a treaty to end hostilities.38

King James began his reign by pardoning the key Ulster leaders in the Nine Years War. Despite this, his Crown officials in Ireland, led by Arthur Chichester (Lord Deputy of Ireland—the senior Crown official) and John Davies (Solicitor General and later Attorney General for Ireland), adopted provocative tactics—using legal challenges and novel uses of the courts to seize for the crown and distribute to freeholders large parts of the territories of the northern earls.39 This created new discord and deep suspicion on the part of the earls.

Around the same time, King James appointed a new bishop, George Montgomery, to fill three vacant bishoprics in northern Ireland—Derry, Raphoe, and Clogher. Montgomery was a court favorite of King James. While the new bishop appears to have been somewhat indifferent as a spiritual leader for his dioceses—indeed, he lingered in England for a period of over 18 months after his appointment in 1605 before heading to Ireland40—once in Ireland he developed a keen interest in putting the dioceses (and their bishop) on a firm financial footing by laying claim to as many of the Church’s traditional endowments as possible.41 He initiated lawsuits with several key members of the traditional nobility in Ulster to dispossess them of lands he claimed were church lands. This further exacerbated tensions between the English and the native Irish nobility.

Ultimately, two key northern earls (the Earl of Tyrone and the Earl of Tyrconnell) became persuaded that their best course of action was to leave Ireland and seek a personal conference with King Phillip II of Spain, in hopes that he might agree to help them rid Ireland of English influence. These earls, along with members of their families and close associates, departed Ulster by ship on September 14, 1607. Although they had the intention of returning in force to Ulster, once the earls were on the continent of Europe, they found little practical support from the French or Spanish for such a return.

The “Flight of the Earls” and a subsequent abortive rebellion in the region around Derry by Cahir O’Doherty (both of which allowed the English government to declare the leaders attainted and to confiscate their holdings) created a power vacuum in Ulster. This enabled England to proceed with its plans to expand its influence and prevent future rebellions in this part of Ireland.42

The Plantation of Ulster

For decades prior to the Flight of the Earls, the English had pursued a policy, further south in Ireland, of importing English settlers to create a buffer of loyal inhabitants who would support English rule. In the aftermath of the Flight of the Earls, and the opening it provided for massive confiscation of land by the Crown in Ulster, Arthur Chichester and his associates lost no time in traveling to Ulster to survey the confiscated lands, to conduct trials of the absent and presumed traitorous earls, and to confirm the attainder of O’Doherty.43

Chichester and Davies also began planning (in concert with the government in London) for the transfer of the King’s vast new lands in Ulster to three classes of landowners: “undertakers” from England and Scotland who would be given land that they would undertake to own and manage, “servitors” who were veterans of the Nine Years War and had been promised land in exchange for their services to the Crown in the war, and “natives of Ireland” who were deemed trustworthy by the English.44 Land was to be allocated to these new landowners in “reasonable portions” (i.e., on the order of 1,000 to 2,000 acres) on the theory that this would be a more effective means of settling the land than granting huge estates (e.g., 100,000 acres) to nobles who would not have the same interest in managing and improving the land.45 In addition, landowners would be grouped locally to provide support to one another, with some districts being assigned to English undertakers and others to Scottish undertakers.46

The initial survey of Ulster was not of sufficient quality to be used to assign portions of land to the many interested claimants, and a further survey was undertaken in 1609 by a set of “Commissioners for the Plantation in Ulster,” with an additional focus on resolving the question of which lands had been forfeited to the King by the events of the preceding years and which were owned by the Church. The Commissioners responsible for conducting these surveys and inquiries into land ownership included representatives of the Anglican Church in Ireland, notably (for the survey of lands in his dioceses) Bishop Montgomery.47 They took testimony from clan and sept leaders in several locations in Ulster (including the testimony on termon lands quoted earlier in this paper). The Commissioners concluded that, while the Anglican Church was entitled to lands directly owned by the church in Ulster, the termon lands were appropriately considered to have belonged to coarbs and erenaghs who were subservient to the Irish earls, and therefore were included in the secular lands that were forfeited to the Crown.48

Despite this decision in favor of the Crown, Bishop Montgomery employed his influence with the King to obtain a different result for these termon lands, and the King and his Privy Council in London accordingly “resolved (albeit that they were not found to be the bishops’ lands but the King’s), that the bishops should have those lands entirely, as of his Majesty’s free donation….”49 The grant by the King to the bishops included a total of 32,280 acres to Bishop Montgomery across all three of his bishoprics in Ulster, including 27,280 acres in County Tyrone.50

The Anglican Church and Ownership over Lands in Termon Davog

The extensive grant of termon lands to Bishop Montgomery, however, did not include the lands of Termon Davog, including both Termon McGrath and Termonamongan parish. During the work of the Commissioners in 1609 near Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, a dispute arose between the Bishop Montgomery (who was interested in Termon McGrath in his role as Bishop of Clogher and Termonamongan in his role as Bishop of Derry) and Archbishop Miler McGrath concerning these lands. Archbishop McGrath cited the royal grant of these lands to his father (who apparently had not been attainted), and King James was not willing to revoke the Elizabethan grant. Thus, the initial attempt to acquire these lands for the Diocese of Derry was thwarted.51

The Second Royal Grant to the McGrath Family

Not only was this first attempt by the Anglican Church to acquire title to the lands of Termon Davog unsuccessful, on December 22, 1610, King James I issued a fresh grant of the lands of “Termon Magrath” and “Termon Imoghan” to James McGrath.52 James McGrath was the fifth son of Archbishop Miler McGrath, who was still living at the time. James had also been named as one of the successors in interest to the Archbishop in the Elizabethan grant of 1596.53 The bounds of the new grant were identical (except for the spelling of place names) to the boundaries described in the previous Elizabethan grant. The grants also included several new authorities for James McGrath, like those provided to English and Scottish undertakers receiving grants at the same time elsewhere in Ulster. These included powers to subdivide the grant into “precincts of 1000 [acres] each at the least, and to impose distinct names thereon, that each may become a manor,” to build a “capital house,” to hold a “saturday market” and two fairs each year, and to receive a “moiety of felons’ and fugitives’ goods.”54 The authorization for a “capital house” probably allowed the construction of Castle McGrath, which was built in 1611 by James McGrath on the Termon McGrath lands close to Lough Erne.55

Notwithstanding the renewed grant of lands in Termonamongan parish to James McGrath, the Diocese of Derry continued to assert that it owned these lands. This is evidenced by a statement in a document entitled “The Estate of the Diocess of Derry,” compiled by George Downham, Bishop of Derry from 1616-1634, drawing from a manuscript entitled “The Ulster Visitation Book – 1622.”56 In Part V of the document, it is stated that “In the parish of Termonamongan, the tithes of seven sessioghs [were] detained from the Incumbent by James McCraugh under pretence that they were Abbey Lands, being indeed (as they will most clearly be proved) the lands of the Bpp. Of Derry.”57 The “James McCraugh” in this complaint is almost certainly James McGrath, whose claim of “Abbey lands” was probably an assertion of his right to the former termon lands.

The weakness of the Diocese of Derry’s claim, at this point, to the land of Termonamongan parish may also be evidenced by the fact that no glebe land had been set aside in Termonamongan parish as of 1622,58 in contrast to other places in the Diocese where lands were turned over to the Diocese and it could make provision for glebe lands from its endowment.

Royal Grant of Other Lands in Termonamongan Parish to John Davies

As Attorney General for Ireland, John Davies had traveled extensively around the island, including throughout Ulster. He apparently viewed County Tyrone as a desirable locale for him to acquire land. Within County Tyrone, the Barony of Omagh had been set aside for English undertakers.59 John Davies and several of his relatives by marriage60 ended up monopolizing the royal land grants in that Barony. Davies himself received two proportions in this Barony. One was in the area around what is now Drumquin. The other proportion was an area partly in Termonamongan parish, around what is now Castlederg, in an area characterized as “Gravetagh” and which included the areas in Table 1.61 While the total amount of acres in this proportion was given as 1,000 acres, it should be noted that the acreage numbers in the original royal grants in Ulster only represented “arable land” and did not include vast amounts of so-called “unprofitable” land (which in many cases turned out to be very profitable for pasturage), bogs, and woodland.62 In fact, the Barony of Omagh was represented as having only 11,000 acres of land grants to John Davies and his relatives, while the accompanying map depicted them being granted nearly the entire area of the barony, which was over 224,000 acres.63

Table 1. Areas in Gravetagh granted to John Davies in 1610. Names of probable or potential modern-day equivalents given in second column, where apparent.

Area Named in Description of “Gravetagh”

Current Name

Current Parish








































Cartography of Land Holdings in Termonamongan Parish Around 1609

A map executed around 1609 by John Norden, and perhaps intended as a guide to planned distribution of land in Ulster, is in the British Library.64 A detail from this map for the western part of County Tyrone and surrounding areas is shown in Figure 3. The map shows both the lands granted in “Termon Magraghe” to James McGrath as well as the holdings of John Davies (including “Grauetagh”) and his brother-in-law, Mervyn Audley. The map is thought to be based on a survey by Josias Bodley, which did not involve measurements on the ground and which relied on information gathered from local inhabitants. While it is not a map drawn to scale, it does show the extent of Termon McGrath, including lands in Termonamongan parish.

Figure 3. Detail of map of Ulster by John Norden, 1609, showing the division of lands in Termonamongan Parish between the holdings of James McGrath and John Davies. In this map, the top of the map points West. From Reference 64.


Mid-Century Ownership of Land in Termonamongan Parish

As the seventeenth century unfolded, tensions between the English and Irish continued to grow,

culminating in the Irish Rebellion of 1641, which broke out first in Ulster and then spread throughout Ireland. During the time before and after the Irish Rebellion, surveys were undertaken by the English authorities to investigate and record land ownership in Ireland, with a view to facilitating additional Protestant settlement. These results were compiled in various Books of Survey and Distribution from 1641 to 1680.65 Perhaps the most complete of these surveys was the Down Survey, undertaken from 1656 to 1658. Trinity College Dublin has integrated the maps from the Down Survey with lists of landowners from 1641 and 1670 taken from other Books of Survey and Distribution of that era to create a geo-referenced dataset, searchable on a dedicated website (hereafter referred to as the Down Survey website), that can be used to identify patterns of land transfer during and after the Irish Rebellion.66

Lands Originally Granted to James McGrath

The Down Survey website shows that by 1641, the lands in Termonamongan parish that had been granted to James McGrath in 1610 were owned by the Anglican Church (which leased those lands to another “English Protestant,” Dean Wilson). This means that the Diocese of Derry had regained possession of the lands of Termonamongan parish from James McGrath before 1641.

The Down Survey website also shows that James McGrath continued to own lands in Termon McGrath in County Donegal in 1641. It is not clear why McGrath had lost some lands by 1641 and not others. Perhaps there was a continued push to acquire these lands by the Bishops of Derry that was more successful than that of the Bishops of Clogher, who would have had jurisdiction over the area in County Donegal where Termon Magrath was located.

The geographic information system (GIS) layer of the Down Survey website describes several present-day townlands in Termonamongan parish (Killeter, Gortnagross, Magherakeel, Aghalunny, and Ballymongan) as being owned by Dean Wilson in both 1641 and 1670,67 but this is not entirely accurate, on two accounts, as is shown by the map and terrier from the Down Survey reproduced in Figure 4 and Figure 5, respectively.

The Down Survey produced maps of parishes where land forfeitures had occurred, accompanied by “terriers,” which were textual descriptions of the lands and the persons associated with them. Termonamongan parish was one of those parishes. While the original map from the Down Survey was destroyed in the Custom House Fire in 1922, a copy made by Daniel O’Brien in 1786 was preserved, is now in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), and is available through the Down Survey website.68

Figure 4. Down Survey map of Termonamongan Parish. 1786 Copy by Daniel O’Brien. From Reference 68.

The map in Figure 4 shows the lands, oriented with South to the top of the page. The description of the lands is instructive—they are characterized as church land, and not escheated land. Thus, the actual owner of the lands was not Dean Wilson, 69 but the Anglican Church (i.e., the Anglican Diocese of Derry). This is confirmed by the terrier in Figure 5, which repeats the description of the map as “being Church Land” and describes “Deane Wilson” as a “Leasee.”

Figure 5. Terrier (or textual explanation) accompanying the Down Survey map of Termonamongan Parish. 1786 Copy by Daniel O'Brien. From Reference 68.

The other major inaccuracy in the Down Survey website consists of the extent of the lands held by the church and leased to Dean Wilson. While the map in Figure 4 shows four major divisions in the lease, each of the divisions contains many more townlands than those that happen to form part of the division’s name, as can be seen by the fact that the divisions extend to the boundary of the “Barony of Tyrehugh” (i.e., the border with County Donegal).

Table 2 lists the townlands (from the 1859 Griffith’s Valuation of Tenements) that appear to be contained within each of the divisions depicted in the map in Figure 4. As a check, the acreages in the Down Survey map are compared to the acreages in Griffith’s Valuation for the same lands. For this purpose, the definition of an acre in the Down Survey is taken to be a traditional Irish acre (or plantation acre), which is 1.62 times the size of a statute acre, the measure used in the Ordnance Survey maps for Griffith’s Valuation.

The acreage statistics from the Down Survey map, when compared to acreages in Griffith’s Valuation for the same lands, are relatively close and perhaps as close as might be expected. The definition of an acre in the seventeenth century varied from place to place, and sometimes was tied to the quality of the land. (footnote 70) For this reason, as well as the greater difficulties in taking measurements in rough terrain, it is not surprising that the acreage measurements for church lands in Termonamongan parish are closest between the Down Survey and Griffith’s Valuation for the best parish land, closest to the River Derg, and at most variance for the mountainous land in the west of the parish.


The set of townlands shown in Table 2 persists as a unit that was leased or owned together as a block from the date of the Down Survey map (around 1658) to the final distribution of the land to incumbent tenants under land reform in 1931 (see list of townlands in Appendix B, page 2).

Table 2. Termonamongan Parish Townlands in Down Survey Parish Divisions. Divisions from the Map of Tarmonomongan parish accompanying the Down Survey (ca. 1658), compared to townlands listed in the 1859 Griffith’s Valuation for Termonamongan parish. Acreage statistics between the two roughly agree, and diverge most for mountainous country in the west of the parish lands in the Down Survey.

Down Survey Map Division

Irish Acreage from Down Survey Map and Statute Equivalents

Griffith’s Townlands in Map Division

Acreage (Statute) from Griffith's Valuation









Curraghoe, also




Crilly’s Hill




Curraghroe (81)
























Magherikill, Gortnagross,








and Kilteragh (80)




Golundun Dolan








Golundun McHugh
























































Croy, Ballimongan, and








Aghilonrinny (79)
















































Curraghroe Mountain








































Total Irish Acreage








Total Statute Acreage




Grand Total




It is also worth noting that the map in Figure 4 identifies the three eastern divisions of church land in Termonamongan parish as comprising seven sessiaghs, the same area of land from which Derry Bishop Downham had stated that James McGrath was refusing to pay his share of tithes.

Lands Originally Granted to John Davies

The Down Survey website also shows changes in the status of the lands granted to John Davies in “Gravetagh” on the eastern and northeastern borders of Termonamongan parish (and extending into adjacent parishes). Davies outlived both his sons, and his relationship with his wife was strained, to say the least, by her erratic behavior. For this reason, he made his daughter Lucy Davies his sole heir. He had previously arranged for Lucy to be married, at the age of 11, to Ferdinando Hastings, the Sixth Earl of Huntingdon. Therefore, Lucy inherited all of John Davies’s estates at his death in 1626, including lands granted to him in Ireland by royal patent in 1609.71 A separate Civil Survey conducted in 1654-1656 for Counties Donegal, Londonderry, and Tyrone identified the sole proprietor for private holdings in the “Parish of Tarmonomongan” as Lucy’s husband, “Ferdinando, Earle of Huntington, English ptestant.”72

The Down Survey website also names the “Earl of Huntington” as the owner for many of the “Gravetagh” lands in both 1641 and 1670,73 but two different owners are involved. Ferdinando Hastings died in 1656 and was succeeded by his son Theophilus Hastings (1650-1701), the seventh Earl of Huntingdon. Therefore, the reference to the Earl in 1670 would be to Theophilus. Both Earls were absentee landlords, as they were residents of Leicestershire in England.74

Land Restrictions by the End of the Seventeenth Century

The original “Articles Concerning the English and Scottish Undertakers,” issued at the beginning of the Plantation of Ulster, restricted the English and Scottish colonists in Ulster from selling or conveying any of their lands back to the “meer Irish.” This prohibition gradually grew from a provision affecting Ulster to one that would encompass all of Ireland, and after the war of 1690, the English Parliament enacted a prohibition on the Irish purchasing, or even holding as tenants, any quantity of land greater than two acres.75

The Land Around Killeter During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

The Law and Practice Governing the Lease of Church Lands

During the century between 1670 and 1770, the record of the administration of the Diocese of Derry’s lands around Killeter is somewhat sparse. This is due to the destruction of many civil and church records in the 1922 fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin. What is known is that in the 1770s, the prime lessee of the Diocese to the former termon lands in Termonamongan parish was not a lineal male descendant of Dean Wilson, but Sir Patrick Hamilton (ca. 1730-1780).76

How might have this lease been transferred? To begin with, some background on leases of church lands is in order.

At the time that King Henry VIII seized church lands as part of the establishment of the Church of England, a law was instituted that churches could not sell or alienate their lands, but could grant leases for either (1) a term of up to 21 years or (2) a term of “three lives.” The latter meant a lease naming three individuals and extending to the end of the longest of those three lives. The 21-year leases could be renewed at 7-year intervals—at which point another 7 years could be added to the term of the lease. Leases for three lives could be effectively renewed upon the death of one of the named individuals, by adding a new person to the lease—someone much younger than the remaining two living individuals.

In practice, both kinds of church leases were managed in a way that involved the payment of nominal annual rents (known as reserved rent), with the bulk of the funds due being paid at the time of renewals, when the value of rents for the extended term was calculated and paid in a lump sum to the church authority (a payment popularly called the “fine”). Two important considerations provided the incentive for this practice of managing church leases. For the lessee, renewals before the term of the lease expired provided the prospect of indefinite tenure, so long as he maintained cordial relations with his lessor in anticipation of times when renewals could occur. For the lessor (e.g., the Bishop), renewals provided a large lump sum representing several future years of lease payments, and these renewal fines belonged absolutely to the lessor for his benefit and that of his family. Most Bishops found collecting fines at renewal times preferable to waiting for the end of 21-year term of a church lease (or the demise of the longest-lived individual on a lease for three lives), by which time the Bishop might have died or been moved to some other diocese.77

Lease of Church Lands in Termonamongan Parish by the Hamilton Family

The family of which Sir Patrick Hamilton was a member was prominent among the ruling class in County Tyrone in the 1600s and 1700s. His great-great-grandfather, William Hamilton, was a distant relative of James Hamilton, the first Earl of Abercorn.78 The first Earl of Abercorn was a promoter of the Plantation in Ulster who received a royal grant of a large estate from escheated lands in County Tyrone after the Flight of the Earls.79

William Hamilton came from Priestfield, Scotland and settled in Ballyfatton, Urney parish, County Tyrone in 1616. In 1634, he was granted title for the lands on which he had settled. He died in 1642 as a prisoner of the Irish during the Rebellion of 1641.80 He had two sons. His younger son, also named William Hamilton, eventually took possession of Ballyfatton. This second William Hamilton had 13 children, the eighth of whom settled in Killeter and was known as Patrick Hamilton of Killeter.81

Patrick Hamilton of Killeter was an attorney-in-law. He was admitted to the Honourable Society of King’s Inns in Dublin, Ireland’s oldest school of law, in 1671, suggesting a birth around 1650. He married Jane Newburgh in 1667. Jane was one of three daughters and co-heirs of Arthur Newburgh, High Sheriff of Tyrone. Jane’s mother was Ann Newburgh (née Downham), one of the daughters and co-heirs of James Downham, Dean of the Diocese of Armagh, and her grandfather was William Downham, who had been Bishop of Derry from 1617 to 1634.82

Although no documentary evidence has been found to date that the leases in Termonamongan parish were transferred to Patrick Hamilton, with the sort of church connections brought to him by his marriage, it is possible to see how the Diocese of Derry might have favored him with a lease to the lands in Termonamongan parish, if it were available. It is also possible that the lease rights came to him through his wife, Jane Newburgh. Everard Hamilton refers to lands in Termonamongan, County Tyrone, being mentioned in the will of Anne Newburgh, Jane’s mother, which was proved on May 28, 1712.83

It was around this time that the Anglican Church in Termonamongan parish (St. Bestius) finally was awarded glebe land, carved out from the lands of the Diocese of Derry next to the church, and made a separate townland (called, not surprisingly, “Glebe”).84

Patrick Hamilton of Killeter and his wife Jane had 8 children, the oldest of whom was the Rev. William Hamilton, born about 1683 in Dublin.85 The Rev. William Hamilton was appointed Rector in Termonamongan parish on August 8, 1716, and served in this and a concurrent position in another parish until his death on May 26, 1765.86 He was succeeded as Rector of Termonamongan parish by his son-in-law, Adam Harvey,87 who served there from 1765 to 1771.88

The third child of Rev. William Hamilton was Sir Patrick Hamilton. As of the 1770s, he held the lease from the Diocese of Derry for its lands in Termonamongan parish. A 1774 letter89 written to Bishop Frederick Augustus Hervey of Derry by the Rev. Matthew Galbraith, Rector of Termonamongan parish, 90 characterizes the inhabitants around Killeter as “Sir Patrick’s tenants.”

Rev. Galbraith’s letter is reproduced in Appendix A, and contains responses to a series of questions and suggestions by Bishop Hervey regarding the improved management of the church lands in Termonamongan parish. Some of the responses describe the difficulties faced by the Irish tenants on these lands. Rev. Galbraith notes that Sir Patrick’s local agent was less than helpful in providing information to answer the questions, so the inquiry appears to be a case of the Bishop going behind the back of his lessee to ascertain the state of payments of rentals and options for improving the land. This suggests that Sir Patrick may have been disengaged from the day-to-day management of the lands. Sir Patrick may not even have been a resident of Killeter during his time as the Bishop’s lessee (which made him the lessor to the tenant farmers)—he served as Alderman and Mayor of Dublin in 1760 and he died at Twickenham, outside London, in 1780.91

Sir Patrick died without children and his older brother, Thomas Hamilton, may have assumed the lease rights to the church lands in Termonamongan parish. Thomas had moved from County Tyrone and was resident both in Annesbrook (in County Meath) and Dorset Street and Leeson Street (in Dublin). He died in 1792 and his will was proved on October 24, 1792. Thomas’s will must have dealt in some fashion with the lands in Termonamongan parish, since the Hamilton Memoirs note that Thomas’s son, Rev. William Slicer Hamilton (also of Annesbrook), entered into a “deed of mutual agreement” with Thomas’s widow on December 13, 1792, relating, among other things, to lands in Termonamongan, County Tyrone.92

Lease of Church Lands in Termonamongan Parish by the Smith Family

Sometime before 1857, the Rev. William S. Hamilton assigned his rights to the lease of the areas around to Killeter to Henry Jeremiah Smith of Annesbrook in County Meath.93 It is logical to assume, since both parties were living in Annesbrook, that they were known to each other and that their acquaintance played a role in the transfer of the leases to Smith. The assignment of these rights could have taken place as far back as the period from 1803 to 1831, as a 1931 Abstract of Title for the lands mentions a lease agreement between Henry Jeremiah Smith and “the late William Lord Bishop of Derry,”94 who would have been Bishop William Knox.95

On February 3, 1857, Henry Jeremiah Smith wrote a will addressing his interests in and around Killeter. A copy of the text of his will is in Appendix C. In the will, he appointed trustees over these land interests—Hugh Montgomery (his son-in-law) and St. George William Smith (the second son of his second marriage). Henry Jeremiah Smith had decided that his primary heir for these land interests would be Frederick Augustus Smith, who was the sixth son of his second marriage.96 His will then laid out a complex series of contingent successors in interest, should Frederick Augustus Smith not have male heirs, including (in this order) his sons Stephen Henry Smith, St. George William Smith, Michael Edward Smith, and William Thomas Smith, with control of the land passing to the next son, if the previous son in the list died leaving no lawful male heirs.97

Henry Jeremiah Smith died on February 15, 1857 and his will was submitted for probate on March 26, 1857.98 Frederick Augustus Smith then became the lessor of the lands around Killeter under the existing lease from the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe (the two dioceses having merged in 1834). He must have engaged his brother Michael in the management of these lands, as both Michael and Frederick Smith are named as the lessors of these lands in the 1859 Griffith’s Valuation for this part of County Tyrone.99

It appears that the Smiths were also absentee landlords. A news story published in the Morning News (Belfast) on October 9, 1862, describes a visit by Michael Smith and a nephew to his Killeter estate and gives his residence as Newcastle, Staffordshire, England.100 An entry in Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1899, identifies his residence as Lansdowne Crescent in the West End of London.101 The 1862 news story indicates that Michael Smith had visited Killeter before and had exhibited “friendship and kindness to all, and liberality to the poor,” so he may have enjoyed some popularity as a landowner. It is difficult to be certain of the sentiments of his tenants, though, based on this source alone. The news story appears to have been written by a correspondent in Smith’s social class, inasmuch as its ends with a reference to the good example being set by the Smiths of “meeting in a friendly way with those over whom Providence has placed them.”

In November 1870, the trustees of the estate of Henry J. Smith signed a new 21-year lease with the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe for the lands in Termonamongan parish. The annual reserve rent on these lands of over 10,000 acres was only £21 4s 7d, payable in quarterly installments,102 an apt illustration of the nominal nature of annual rents for leased Church lands, as discussed above.

Acquisition and Management of Title to the Church Lands in Termonamongan Parish by the Smith Family

The Irish Church Act 1869 resulted in the transfer of the property interests of the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe to a newly-formed Commission of Church Temporalities in Ireland. On March 4, 1872, the trustees of Henry Jeremiah Smith’s estate made an offer to purchase the lands around Killeter from the Commissioners of Church Temporalities. The amount offered for the lands was £2,247 0s 7d, financed by a mortgage from the Commissioners at an initial rate of 5 percent annual interest, reducible to 4 percent. In addition, the trustees offered to make yearly payments of £228 4s 5d to the Commissioners in perpetuity. This was deemed to be a satisfactory offer, was approved by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in Dublin, and the rights to the land (except for mineral rights including quarries for marble and slate) were sold to the trustees of Henry Jeremiah Smith’s estate, which now held those lands in fee simple.103

On June 4, 1879, a further sale of the previously reserved mineral rights to the lands was made to the trustees of Smith’s estate by the Commissioners of Church Temporalities in Ireland.104

After the purchase of fee simple to the lands in Termonamongan parish, the ownership of the former termon lands in Termonamongan parish passed down the line of the sons of Henry Jeremiah Smith, in the sequence laid out in his will, after Frederick Augustus Smith died without any heirs in Duleek, County Meath, on July 22, 1887.105 This sequence is described in the 1931 Abstract of Title:106

On September 24, 1903, having assumed title, FitzHenry A. Smith executed a deed to disentail the lands.107

FitzHenry A. Smith married Kathleen Muriel Travers in 1910. Just prior to his marriage, on December 31, 1909, he executed a marriage settlement that created a life income that his wife would receive after his death, in part from the rentals from the lands around Killeter.108

On March 21, 1928, FitzHenry A. Smith wrote his will and established Coutts and Company as trustees for his estate, bequeathing it “All the real and personal property not hereby or by any Codicil hereto otherwise disposed of or to which I shall be seised [sic] possessed or entitled at my death or over which I shall then have a general power of appointment or disposition by Will….” Coutts and Company was directed to manage this trust for the benefit of Smith’s wife, his nephew Cecil Henry Briscoe, and his nephew’s descendants.109 This grant of property included his title to the former church lands of Termonamongan parish. While Smith subsequently executed three codicils to this will, none of them affected his grant to Coutts and Company.

On September 6, 1930, FitzHenry A. Smith died, and on November 7, 1930, the Principal Probate Registry in His Majesty’s High Court of Justice proved and registered his will and codicils and formally granted administration of his estate, including the lands in Termonamongan parish, to Coutts and Company.110

Land Reform and the Conveyance of Title to Lands Around Killeter to the Residents on Those Lands

The system of land ownership that left Irish rural residents as perpetual tenants on lands owned by others was recognized in the early 20th century as a major issue underlying the desire for independence in Ireland. During the Irish struggle for independence, the British government committed to undertake a scheme to purchase the lands from the landowners and to then distribute them to the tenants who had been working on them for generations. When the Irish Free State became independent, it implemented its own system to acquire and redistribute these rights. In Northern Ireland, after a delay occasioned by the political need to satisfy the British landowners (who ended up receiving more favorable terms in Northern Ireland than did the British landowners in the Irish Free State), the Northern Ireland Land Act 1925 was enacted, establishing a Northern Ireland Land Purchase Commission to conduct the purchase and distribution.

In 1931, the Northern Ireland Land Purchase Commission bought the interests in the lands around Killeter from Coutts and Company, acting as the Trustees for the Estate of FitzHenry August Smith. The Land Purchase Commission then conveyed title to the lands to the existing tenants in a series of vesting orders later that year. A list of the allocation of lands to specific tenants was published in the Belfast Gazette (the publication of record for the Northern Ireland government), in both preliminary and final versions. A copy of the final version of the list of lands to be distributed in Termonamongan parish, as published in the Belfast Gazette,111 is attached in Appendix G. The published list references maps at the Land Purchase Commission—these maps are in the Commission’s records at PRONI and two of these maps, covering the townlands listed in Table 3, are included at the end of Appendix G.

Table 3. Townlands in Maps in Appendix G.

Map in Appendix G

Townlands Included

Exhibit Map L


Appendix G, Page 10


Crilly’s Hill






Exhibit Map B

Golandun Dolan

Appendix G, Page 11




With the 1931 vesting of title to the former termon lands of Termonamongan parish in the occupants of those lands, the residents of the areas around Killeter were freed from a structure of land tenure that, even in the twentieth century, still had features of the medieval and colonial systems from which it arose. They came into the full possession of their land and what they could produce on it, without having tithes or rentals imposed to support payments to bishops or to provide faraway individuals with life incomes.

1 Correspondence regarding this paper may be sent to robertmsimon@gmail.com.

2 Robert King, A Memoir Introductory to the Early History of the Primacy of Armagh (Armagh: John Thompson, 1854), 18, http://books.google.com/books?id=9hcVAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA18.

3 “Tearmann” in Ó Dónaill’s Irish-English Dictionary, http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/tearmann.

4 Testimony of the jurors of Cavan, September 25, 1609, quoted in George Hill, The Conquest of Ireland: An Historical Account of the Plantation in Ulster at the Commencement of the Seventeenth Century (Kansas City: Irish Genealogical Foundation, 2004), 186.

5 Hans W. Pawlisch, Sir John Davies and the Conquest of Ireland: A Study in Legal Imperialism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 11-12; the practice of tanistry for termon and erenagh land in County Tyrone was specifically mentioned in testimony before the Commissioners, as recorded in Inquisitionum in officio rotulorum cancellariae Hiberniae asservatarum, repertorium, vol. 2 (Dublin: His Majesty’s Printers, 1829), otherwise Ulster Inquisitions, Appendix, county Tyrone, sixth page – “…these septs or erenaghs have, tyme out of mynde, inherited the said lands according to the Irish custome of tanistry….”

6 British Broadcasting Corporation, “Ireland Before the Plantation: The Religious System,” in “Wars and Conflict: The Plantation of Ulster,” http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/plantation/ireland_before/ib03.shtml.

7 Henry A. Jefferies, "Erenaghs and Termonlands: Another Early Seventeenth-Century Account." Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, 19, no. 1 (2002): 55, http://www.jstor.org/stable/29792717.

8 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 186.

9 Ulster Inquisitions, Appendix, county Tyrone, seventh page.

10 Henry A. Jefferies, “Derry Diocese on the Eve of the Plantation,” in Derry and Londonderry: History and Society, ed. Gerard O’Brien (Dublin: Geography Publications, 1999), 181.

11 Brian Mac Cuarta, “The Catholic Church in Ulster under the Plantation, 1609-1642,” in The Plantation of Ulster: Ideology and Practice, ed. Éamonn Ó Ciardha and Micheál Ó Siochrú (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012), 121.

12 “Square-shaped bell of iron, coated with bronze, from Termon Moncan, Lough Derg, Ireland,” Museum reference X.KB 5, National Museums Scotland, http://www.nms.ac.uk/explore/collection-search-results/?item_id=14499.

13 John R. Walsh, “The Early Church,” in History of the Diocese of Derry from the Earliest Times, ed. Henry A. Jefferies and Ciarán Devlin (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), 39 (note citing article by C. Bourke on “Early Irish Hand-Bells”).

14 Tom Gallen, “Aghyaran Parish, County Tyrone,” http://tomgallen.com/2014/09/aghyaran-parish-county-tyrone/.

15 Thomas M. Landy, “St. Patrick’s Purgatory, Lough Derg,” https://www.catholicsandcultures.org/ireland-republic-ireland/st-patricks-purgatory-lough-derg.

16 Gallen, “Aghyaran Parish, County Tyrone.”

17 Ciarán Devlin, “The Formation of the Diocese,” in History of the Diocese of Derry from the Earliest Times, ed. Henry A. Jefferies and Ciarán Devlin (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), 102, 104.

18 Annala Uladh: Annals of Ulster otherwise Annala Senait, Annals of Senat, Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition T100001B, entry U1290.15, http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100001B/index.html.

19 Charles Dillon and Henry A. Jeffries, ed., Tyrone: History and Society (Dublin: Geography Publications, 2000), 109.

20 Brian Bonner, Derry: An Outline History of the Diocese (Dublin: Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teoranta, 1982), 105.

21 “Metropolitan Visitation of the Diocese of Derry, A.D. 1397 (Concluded).” Ulster Journal of Archeology, First Series, 1 (1853): 240, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20563466.

22 Dillon and Jeffries, Tyrone: History and Society, 109.

23 Gallen, “Aghyaran Parish, County Tyrone.”

24 Brendan McGinn, “The Founding Fathers,” http://www.parishofaghyaran.com/thefoundingfathers.htm.

25 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 186.

26 Jeffries, "Erenaghs and Termonlands,” 56.

27 King, Memoir Introductory, 31.

28 Pawlisch, Sir John Davies, 11.

29 Pawlisch, Sir John Davies, 62.

30 L. Ó Mearáin, “Miler McGrath, Archbishop of Cashel (1571-1622),” Clogher Record, 2, no. 3 (1959): 445. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27695482.

31 “Indenture with Donoghoe Magrath, alias Gillagruama Magragh, gent., chieftain of Tearmonde Magragh, and of his name, in the province of Ulster,” Fiant No. 5993, May 5, 1596, in “Fiants of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth – (continued),” appendix 4 of Seventeenth Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records in Ireland (Dublin: The Queen’s Printing Office, 1885), 32-33, http://books.google.com/books?id=_lURAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA32.

32 “Grant (under queen’s letter, 9 Aug., xxxiv) to Donoghe Magrath, chief of Thearmond Magrathe; of all castles, manors, lands, and hereditaments surrendered by him (5993) known by the name of Thearmond Magrath and Thermond Imonghain, in the province of Ulster,” Fiant No. 5997, May 13, 1596, in “Fiants of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth – (continued),” 33-34.

33 Trinity College Dublin, “The Down Survey of Ireland. Map Sources,” http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/map-sources.html.

34 Trinity College Dublin, “The Down Survey of Ireland. Down Survey Maps. The County of Tyrone,” http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/down-survey-maps.php#c=Tyrone&indexOfObjectValue=-1&indexOfObjectValueSubstring=-1.

35 The explicit mention of Seegronan Townland in the bounds of the termon land prompts a question. Seegronan Townland is the location of a stone cross and other “standing stones” of great age. Might they have been erected to serve as boundary markers for the termon land?

36 Henry A. Jefferies, “Bishop George Montgomery's Survey of the Parishes of Derry Diocese: A Complete Text from c. 1609,” Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, 17, no. 1 (1996-97), 57, 73, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25746733.

37 Jefferies, “Bishop George Montgomery’s Survey,” 79.

38 John McCavitt, “Nine Years War,” http://www.theflightoftheearls.net/nine_years_war.html.

39 Pawlisch, Sir John Davies, 67-73.

40 Henry A. Jefferies, “George Montgomery, First Protestant Bishop of Derry, Raphoe and Clogher (1605-1610),” in History of the Diocese of Derry from the Earliest Times, ed. Henry A. Jefferies and Ciarán Devlin (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), 143-144.

41 Jeffries, “George Montgomery, First Protestant Bishop,” 150.

42 Roddy Hegarty, Imeacht Na nIarlí -- The Flight of the Earls: 1607 – 2007 (Armagh: Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive, 2010), 9, 18.

43 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 66.

44 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 80.

45 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 69.

46 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 92.

47 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 181.

48 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 193.

49 John Davies, “A Brief of the Proceedings of the Commissioners for the Plantation in Ulster since July last, as well in Ireland as in England,” March 19, 1609-1610, quoted in Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 206.

50 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 210.

51 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 183.

52 “Grant from the King to James Magrath of Termon-Magrath, Esq.” (Patent Roll 8 James 1, Part 3, No. 27), in Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin: 1800), 187, http://books.google.com/books ?id=XD5JAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA187.

53 “Grant (under queen’s letter, 9 Aug., xxxiv) to Donoghe Magrath,” 34.

54 “Grant from the King to James Magrath.”

55 Jonathan Bardon, The Plantation of Ulster: British Colonisation of the North of Ireland in the Seventeenth Century (Dublin: Gill and MacMillan, 2011), 211. However, see also Tarquin Blake, “Abandoned Ireland: Termon McGrath Castle, Co. Donegal,” which ascribes the building of Castle McGrath to Archbishop McGrath. http://www.abandonedireland.com/ Termon_McGrath_Castle.html.

56 George Downham and William A. Reynell, “’The Estate of the Diocess of Derry’ Part I,” Ulster Journal of Archaeology Second Series, 1, no. 3 (1895): 165-177, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20563573.

57 George Downham and William A. Reynell, “’The Estate of the Diocess of Derry’ Part V – Jurisdiction,” Ulster Journal of Archeology Second Series, 3, no. 1 (1897): 56-57.

58 Downham and Reynell, “Part V – Jurisdiction,” 56.

59 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 125.

60 These included his father-in-law, George Tuchet (11th Baron Audley and 1st Earl of Castlehaven), Tuchet’s two sons (Mervyn and Ferdinando Tuchet), and the husband of Tuchet’s eldest daughter Ann (Edward Blount or Blunte). Sir John Davies had married Tuchet’s youngest daughter, Eleanor. See Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 268-271.

61 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 271.

62 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, xiii.

63 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 268.

64 John Norden, “Ulster” (ca. 1609), British Library Online Gallery, http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/ unvbrit/u/001cotaugi00002u00044000.html.

65 “Books of Survey and Distribution,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_of_survey_and_distribution.

66 Trinity College Dublin, “The Down Survey of Ireland. GIS Sources. Related Historical Records,” http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/gis-sources.html.

67 Trinity College Dublin, “The Down Survey of Ireland.” Depiction of the holdings of the Dean Wilson in 1641 and 1670, http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/landowners.php#l1=Wilson,+Dean&l4=Wilson,+Dean&mc=54.652518,-7.68802&z=12.

68 Trinity College Dublin, “The Down Survey of Ireland. Down Survey Maps. Tarmonomongan Parish, Omagh, Tyrone,” http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/down-survey-maps.php#bm=Omagh&c=Tyrone&indexOfObjectValue=-1&indexOfObjectValueSubstring=-1&p=Tarmonomongan. The original map is in a volume of late eighteenth-century copies of Petty's Down Survey maps of the Counties of Down, Armagh and Tyrone in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, PRONI Reference D597/4/1. Reprinted with permission of PRONI.

69 It is not entirely clear whether the name “Dean” is a first name or an indication that he is a Dean of the Anglican Church in Ireland. On the one hand, “Dean” seems like an unusual first name for the seventeenth century. On the other hand, a listing of Deans of the Anglican Diocese of Derry from this period does not include a Dean with the surname Wilson.

70 A pertinent discussion of “Units of Land Measurement,” including a quote from the head of the Ordnance Survey in 1846, is on the website of the Library of County Clare (http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/history/territorial_divisions/ units_land_measurement.htm):

And, as if to complicate matters even further, the plantation acre also could vary considerably, the quality and situation of the land again being the determinant. In the Down Survey of Iveragh and other parts of Kerry, for instance, we are told that ten, twenty and sometimes thirty acres were counted for one. Writing in 1846, Captain Thomas Larcom, Director of the Ordnance Survey, had this to say concerning the acre:

The acres were by estimation only, and differed considerably. The origin of this measure (the acre) would lead me far beyond the present subject; but, for example, there were in times comparatively recent, the "large acre" and the "small acre", with no fixed ratio between them; and even now the acre differs: the Cunningham acre; the plantation and statue [sic] acre. The areas of the Ordnance Survey are all in statute acres.

71 Pawlisch, Sir John Davies, 28.

72 Robert C. Simington, The Civil Survey – A.D. 1654-1656. Vol. III – Counties of Donegal, Londonderry, and Tyrone (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1937), 349.

73 Trinity College Dublin, “The Down Survey of Ireland.” Depiction of the holdings of the Earl of Huntington in 1641 and 1670, http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/landowners.php#l1=Huntington,+Earl+of&l4=Huntington,+Earl+of&mc= 54.702625,-7.63825&z=12

74 Gordon Goodwin, “Hastings, Theophilus,” in vol. 25 of Dictionary of National Biography 1885-1900, ed. Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1891), 135-136, https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Hastings,_ Theophilus_(DNB00).

75 Hill, The Conquest of Ireland, 83.

76 Sir Patrick Hamilton is identified in the PRONI catalogue as the lessee referred to in a 1774 letter concerning the tenants of Termonamongan Parish (PRONI Reference D2798/3/19). This letter is reproduced in Appendix A and is discussed later in this paper.

77 Charles H. Elsley, Church Leases Considered (London: James Ridgway and Sons, 1837), 6-16.

78 Everard Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs: Historical and Genealogical Notices of that Family Which Settled in Ireland in the Reign of King James I, 2nd ed. (Dublin, private publication, 1920, typed copy with additional text supplied by Colin F.B. Hamilton published on the Internet in 2003), chapter II (n.p.), http://www.stirnet.com/articles/ selectfams/HamiltonMemoirs/CH2.html.

79 Ulster Ancestry, “The Papers of the Abercorn Estate, Ardstraw, County Tyrone,” http://www.ulsterancestry.com/newsletter-content.php?id=20.

80 Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs, chapter II.

81 Everard Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs, chapter V (n.p.), http://www.stirnet.com/articles/selectfams/


82 Everard Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs, chapter VIII (n.p.), http://www.stirnet.com/articles/selectfams/ HamiltonMemoirs/CH8.html

83 Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs, chapter VIII.

84 In the “Conveyance in Perpetuity of the Lands of Termonomongan [sic] County Tyrone” from the Commissioners of Church Temporalities in Ireland to Hugh Lyons Montgomery and St. George Smith, dated September 4, 1872, and reproduced in Appendix D, it is stated on page 2 that the conveyance did not include “the House belonging to the Rector of Termonamungan [sic] aforesaid and Twenty acres of land lying convenient to said House which was made Glebe to the Reverend William Reed formerly Rector thereof….” Reverend William Read was Rector of Termonamongan Parish from 1702 to 1716.

85 Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs, chapter VIII. The year of birth is estimated from the statement that he was 17 years old when he matriculated at Trinity College Dublin in 1700.

86 His name and these dates appear in a list of the succession of clergy in Termonamongan Parish in George Downham and William A. Reynell, “’The Estate of the Diocess of Derry’ Part II – The Deanry of Mohey,” Ulster Journal of Archaeology Second Series, 1, no. 4 (1895): 251, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20563596.

87 Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs, chapter VIII.

88 Downham and Reynell, “Part II – The Deanry of Mohey,” 251.

89 Letter of Matthew Galbraith, Killeter, to the Bishop of Derry, August 22, 1774 (PRONI Reference D2798/3/19). Reproduced in Appendix A.

90 Downham and Reynell, “Part II – The Deanry of Mohey,” 251. He served in Killeter from 1771-1812.

91 Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs, chapter VIII.

92 Hamilton, Hamilton Memoirs, chapter VIII.

93 In the “Conveyance in Perpetuity of the Lands of Termonomongan [sic] County Tyrone” from the Commissioners of Church Temporalities in Ireland to Hugh Lyons Montgomery and St. George Smith, dated September 4, 1872, and reproduced in Appendix D, it is stated on page 1 that “said Henry Smith was Assignee of The Reverend William S. Hamilton….” The lands were part of the will of Henry J. Smith, dated February 3, 1857 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1).

94 Abstract of Title for the Holdings of the Estate of Fitzhenry Augustus Smith in County Tyrone, prepared by Dickie & Carson, Solicitors, Omagh, and submitted to the Court of the Land Purchase Commission of Northern Ireland on March 7, 1931, p. 6 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1/A11). Reproduced in Appendix B, p. 7.

95 “Derry” in Crockford’s Clerical Directory (London: Church House Publishing), http://www.crockford.org.uk/ historical-successions/derry. Bishop William Knox of Derry served from 1803 to 1831. Since the reference in the Abstract of Title was not to a late Lord Bishop of Derry and Raphoe (as the two dioceses were merged in 1834), this reference could not be to Bishop William Higgin (1853-1867) of the combined diocese.

96 Bernard Burke and Ashworth P. Burke, “Smith of Annesbrook,” in A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland, 9th ed. (London: Harrison & Sons, 1899), 413, https://books.google.com/books? id=Ha0EAAAAIAAJ&dq=burke'%20target%3D'_blank'%20rel%3D'noopener%20noreferrer%20nofollow's%20landed%20ireland&pg=PA413#v=onepage&q&f=false.

97 “Will of Henry J. Smith, Esq.,” dated February 3, 1857, a copy of which was submitted to the Court of the Land Purchase Commission of Northern Ireland on March 7, 1931 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1/C). Reproduced in Appendix C.

98 Abstract of Title for the Holdings of the Estate of Fitzhenry Augustus Smith in County Tyrone, p. 4 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1/A11). Reproduced in Appendix B, p. 5.

99 Richard Griffith, General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland. Union of Castlederg. Valuation of the Several Tenements Comprised in the Above-Named Union, Situate in the County of Tyrone (Dublin: Alex Thom and Sons, 1859), 19-31, http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/.

100 “Landlord Liberality.—An Example Worthy of Imitation,” Morning News (Belfast), October 9, 1862, 3, col. 2, http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000428/18621009/009/0003?_=1478269160669.

101 Burke and Burke, “Smith of Annesbrook,” 413.

102 Abstract of Title for the Holdings of the Estate of Fitzhenry Augustus Smith in County Tyrone, p. 5 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1/A11). Reproduced in Appendix B, p. 6.

103 “Conveyance in Perpetuity of the Lands of Termonomongan [sic] County Tyrone” from the Commissioners of Church Temporalities in Ireland to Hugh Lyons Montgomery and St. George Smith, dated September 4, 1872 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1). Reproduced in Appendix D. One provision in the conveyance dealt with the future production of grain on the lands, mentioning that the principal grain grown at the time of the purchase was oats.

104 Abstract of Title for the Holdings of the Estate of Fitzhenry Augustus Smith in County Tyrone, p. 5 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1/A11). Reproduced in Appendix B, p. 6.

105 “Frederic Augustus Smith VC,” Lord Ashcroft Medal Collection, http://www.lordashcroftmedals.com/ collection/frederick-augustus-smith-vc/.

106 Abstract of Title for the Holdings of the Estate of Fitzhenry Augustus Smith in County Tyrone, pp. 7-8 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1/A11). Reproduced in Appendix B, pp. 8-9.

107 The deed is summarized in the 1931 Abstract of Title and the original is in the Land Purchase Commission records at PRONI (PRONI Reference LA1/2344/A/7).

108 “Settlement on the marriage of FitzHenry Augustus Smith, Esq., with Miss Kathleen Muriel Travers,” December 31, 1909, a copy of which was submitted to the Court of the Land Purchase Commission of Northern Ireland on March 7, 1931 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/A/5). Reproduced in Appendix E.

109 “Probate of the Will and three Codicils of Fitz Henry Augustus Smith, Esquire,” dated November 7, 1930, as submitted to the Court of the Land Purchase Commission of Northern Ireland, p. 6, item 14 (PRONI Reference LR1/2344/1). Reproduced in Appendix F, p. 5.

110 “Probate of the Will and three Codicils of Fitz Henry Augustus Smith, Esquire,” p. 1. Reproduced in Appendix F, p. 2.

111 Land Purchase Commission, Northern Ireland, “Final List No. 2148, Estate of Fitzhenry Augustus Smith,” Belfast Gazette, 502 (February 6, 1931), 119.

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