Friday, 3 August 2012

A Broad Brush across Antrim

The other day I made an A3 map of County Antrim and went out and bought 200 map pins. The pins were in six colours so I could easily pinpoint where the different clan families settled. There are four on or near the coast (not counting Belfast), Larne, Islandmagee (two) and Carnmoney. There are four in  inland rural areas, Templepatrick, Connor, Quarrytown and Newton Cromelin. (I am using the names on my contemporary OS map). There are four in the central town of Ballymena and there are six in the big city of Belfast. There were also three individuals in Ballymena who were probably part of the Quarrytown (= Ballycloghan) family and one individual from Ballymoney who was brought into a Ballymena family. Discounting any 'breakaways' who settled in Scotland, England or Belgium, there were also parts of these Antrim families who settled for a time in other parts of Ireland, namely Coleraine (County Derry), Dublin and Galway.

On a rough count, but not including women who 'married in', the numbers in the respective families are approximately as follows:

Islandmagee  10 + 7 (=17)
Larne             14
Carnmoney    21                (Total 52)

Templepatrick  5
Quarrytown    14
Newton Cromelin 12
Connor           139              (Total 270)

Ballymena (1) 38
Ballymena (2) 34
Ballymena (3) 71
Ballymena (4) 38                (Total 181)

Belfast (1)       59
Belfast (2)       12
Belfast (3)       17
Belfast (4)       32
Belfast (5)       11
Belfast (6)         6                 (Total 137)

                                            Grand Total  640.

Clearly the majority worked originally in agriculture (say 350). Most of the rest were in trades and a few became industrialists or academics. On a time-scale from 1650 - 2000 the first three families (Islandmagee, Larne and Carnmoney) died out quite early. Of the next group, Templepatrick, Quarrytown and Newtown Cromelin all emigrated (as did sections from the rest) leaving three large groupings in and around Connor, Ballymena and Belfast.

I realise that this is a very generalised picture of our clan distribution and there are a number of places I haven't mentioned which feature in the above families, like Loughguile, Craigs, Ballyclare, Doagh, Lisburn, &c. Maybe I'll get around to taking a closer look at these eighteen clan families who settled in County Antrim and in particular at any movement from one place to another, which in turn may indicate links between families that we have yet to discover, to prove, as we said yesterday, that 'all are related'!

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