1740 Protestant Householders' Returns

In 1740 the Irish House of Commons required the compilation of returns of Protestant Householders in the North of Ireland. The work was undertaken by the Hearth Money Collectors in their various 'walks'. There were three walks covering Co. Londonderry:

  • The Londonderry walk which covered Keenaght, Tirkeeran and N.W. Liberties of Londonderry (3057 households).
  • The Dunluce walk which covered the barony of N. E. Liberties of Coleraine and the barony of Coleraine (2163 households).
  • The Toome walk which covered the barony of Loughinsholin (3426).

It appears that most of the Hearth Money Collectors did identify the Protestant population from the Roman Catholic population. Assuming that most Protestants would have had Planter names, the table below suggests that perhaps the collector on the Toome walk in Loughinsholin was not as accurate as his colleagues in the other baronies. Whilst we would expect a proportion of persons with Irish names at that time to have been Protestants, the figures for Loughinsholin are very much out of line with the rest of the baronies. It is also worth pointing out that there were probably persons with Planter names who were Roman Catholic and, consequently, were not listed.

Barony No. of Planter Names No. of Irish Names Not sure Total No. of Names % Irish
N. W. Liberties of Londonderry 665 30 16 711 4%
Tirkeeran 958 27 15 1000 3%
Keenaght 1290 30 26 1346 2%
N. E. Liberties of Coleraine 665 8 15 688 1%
Coleraine 1412 31 32 1475 2%
Loughinsholin 2502 750 174 3426 22%
Total No. of Names 7492 876 278 8646 10%

Note that in the baronies within the Londonderry walk (N.W. Liberties of Londonderry, Tirkeeran and Keenaght) the collectors recorded not only the parish in which a household was located, but also the townland. Unfortunately the collectors in the baronies of N.E. Liberties of Coleraine, Coleraine and Loughinsholin only listed the names by parish. However, the names in these parishes appear to have been listed in a geographical order within each parish and it is sometimes possible to decipher this order.

Below is a page from PRONI [T808/152258] showing the names listed for the Parish of Temoneeny in the Barony of Loughinsholin. Based on evidence from the 1734 perpetuity leases for the Bellaghy Estate, I can be confident that the names enclosed within the rectangle relate to the townlands of Derganagh, Cabragh, Broagh, Lurganagoose and Lemnaroy which lay in the eastern part of the parish. I also recognise the other names as relating to the western part of the parish. Incidentally, you might want to compare the surnames enclosed by the rectangle with the surnames listed in the 1831 Census Returns in the Knockloughrim example [Barony of Loughinsholin] in the right-hand  menu. 

I have databased the returns for the entire county. There is also another database that covers the counties of  Londonderry [All Baronies], Antrim [Baronies of Cary, Dunluce, Kilconway and Toome], Donegal [Barony of Inishowen] and Tyrone [Parishes of  Derryloran and Kildress, Barony of Dungannon Upper]. This database will allow you to look at the distribution of surnames across virtually the whole of North Ulster about the middle of the eighteenth century. However, it has to be said that it is just a sample of predominately planter names and being a tax return suffers from omission of names due to exemption and evasion. Nevertheless, I have found it useful in identifying areas where certain names tend to be concentrated.

The order in the document, referred to above, has been preserved in the Excel files. The entries in the PDF files are sorted by surname and place.

Copyright 2010 W. Macafee.