The Townlands of Cabragh, Derganagh and Lurganagoose in the Parish of TermoneenyThe village of Knocklougrim, which lies between Maghera and Castledawson on the old Belfast road, is at the centre of the three townlands of Cabragh, Derganagh and Lurganagoose [see map of locality]. As the map shows the southern boundary of Lurganagoose is the river Moyola.
The townlands of Cabragh, Derganagh and Lurganagoose were part of the civil parish of Termoneeny in the barony of Loughinsholin. Later they were part of the District Electoral Division of Rocktown in the Poor Law Union of Magherafelt. These three townlands were also part of the Bellaghy estate which was sold to the Conolly family in the 1700s who then leased many of the townlands to individual or partnership groups in perpetuity.
Townland of Cabragh*
Townland of Derganagh*
Townland of Lurganagoose
* Note that there are no house details in the 1831 Townland Valuation for the townlands of Cabragh and Derganagh. This is because none of the houses in these townlands reached the £3.00 criterion for inclusion. I have included a copy of the first edition of the Ordnance Survey map c.1833 for each townland which shows the location of all of the houses within the townland.
The figures in the table below [compiled from the official census]
show how the number of people and [inhabited houses] in each townland
[and the locality as a whole] changed during the period 1831 to
The most striking feature in the table is the fact that by 1901 the numbers of people and houses in the entire locality had declined by 60% since 1831. In fact, in the townland of Lurganagoose the population had fallen by 78% between 1831 and 1901. Cabragh had the lowest fall of 36%. The decline began during the Famine decade of 1841/51 when the population fell by 25% in Cabragh, 36% in Derganagh and a massive 51% in Lurganagoose. The greatest impact of the Famine was on the labourer/cottier class and those farming families who had sub-divided their farms to excess. Due to emigration, consolidation of farms and later marriages the population declined a further 55% in Lurganagoose and 47% in Derganagh. Cabragh, where most of the village of Knockloughrim is situated, also experienced a decline of 15%. There is a note in the 1891 census for Lurganagoose that the decrease in population is attributed to emigration and removals.
The table below, constructed from the 1831 Census Returns, shows the number of houses and families in the three townlands and the religious breakdown of the population in the locality.
The locality was predominately protestant with a mix of Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Others which included Methodists and Baptists. The 1831 Census Returns also list the names of the householders in each townland and the Tithe Applotment Book of 1828 gives the names of the main landholders in each townland. You might want to compare these names and properties with those in the 1859 Griffith's Printed [Tenement] Valuation and see how many you can match up. It is also interesting to see who has disappeared between 1831 and 1859.
The 1832 Townland Valuation is interesting because it shows that only one of the 125 inhabited houses in the entire locality in the 1830s met the £3 criterion for valuation. This house was in the townland of Lurganagoose. This suggests that the area was in a fairly poor state at this time. This is confirmed in the Griffith's Manuscript [Tenement] Valuation Field Books of 1858 where there is a comment on improvements having taken place in the townland of Derganagh by 1858 and particular mention is made in Cabragh of the improvements which resulted from the arrival of Mr Bates who gave plenty of employment so that nearly £100 would be paid weekly at that time. Bates is not mentioned in either the 1828 Tithe Applotment Book or the 1831 Census Returns.
Bates is probably dead by 1859 because the Bates listed in the 1859 Griffith's Printed [Tenement] Valuation in Cabragh is a Jane Bates. This valuation shows that the largest farms were in the townland of Cabragh and there were many small holdings dotted throughout the locality. Also, there appear to be a large number of cottier houses in all of the townlands. The printed valuation lists a steam mill in Cabragh and a note in the Griffith's Manuscript [Tenement] Valuation Field Books of 1858 states These mills were partly burned. They are now repaired and must be ready to commence work according to contract by the 1st next March. That would have been 1857 because this statement was written on 4th November 1856.
The Griffith's Revision Books will show you the changes in each holding and help you to link the names and properties in the 1859 Griffith's Printed [Tenement] Valuation with those in the 1901 Census Returns as well as indicating when certain families left the townland or new ones arrived. However, it must be stressed that not every family who moved in and out of a townland at this time was recorded in the valuation records. This was particularly the case with agricultural labourers whose stay in a particular townland could be very short. Also, it looks as if during the latter part of the nineteenth century some of the farms in this locality were taken over by persons who lived in neighbouring townlands outside the locality and, therefore, they do not appear in the 1901 Census Returns.
The 1901 Census Returns provide both statistical and personal details of families living in the locality a century or so ago. These returns provide information on individual members of a family such as age, sex, level of literacy, marital status, religion, occupation and where the person was born. These returns are the only source that provides details of the relationships between persons in the latter part of the nineteenth century that can be matched to the civil and church records of the period. There is also some information on houses and outbuildings which, when decoded , can give some impression of the size and appearance of the house that each family was living in and the types of outbuildings associated with the property.
below shows the number of people and houses in the townland in 1901
plus the religious breakdown of the population.
As mentioned above the above table shows a substantial fall in the number of families and houses from 1831. Whilst there are some changes in the religious mix at townland level, the overall pattern is not significantly different from that of 1831.
As to employment, the 1901 Census Returns show that in the entire locality the occupations of the 60 heads of family were 30 farmers and 9 labourers, plus a wide range of occupations which included 2 clergymen, a general merchant, a publican, a manager, a station master, a miller, a millwright, a carpenter, a rural postman, a fireman, a teacher, a caretaker, a scutcher, a shoemaker, 5 female heads of family who listed themselves as housekeepers and a widow who gave no occupation. Such a mix reflects the fact that this locality was an agricultural community with a small village at its centre.
A glance at the birthplaces is quite interesting. As you might expect in a small rural community 57 of the 60 heads of households in the entire locality had been born within the county. Two of the three who had not been born in the county were the Rector of Termoneeny who had been born in Liverpool and the Rev. Hugh Sinclair McIntyre, Minister of the United Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, who had been born in Co. Antrim. The third was Daniel O'Callaghan, the Station Master on the Derry Central Line, who had been born in Co. Waterford.
Even more interesting are the birthplaces of individuals within households. Patrick McGlade a general merchant, had two governesses in his household - one had been born in Co. Roscommon and the other, Blanche Vageill, had been born in France.
Then there is Alexander O'Neill, a labourer in Derganagh, who had been born in Co. Derry, his wife had been born in Portadown and his two children had been born in Scotland.
Even more interesting is the family of John Spear in Cabragh who had clearly emigrated to America probably sometime in the 1880s. Was he one of the emigrants or removals referred to in the 1891 Census - see above. Since his wife was born in Co. Galway, he probably married in the USA, but we cannot be sure. Their first child was born there and then he appears to have come back to Cabragh some time around 1896. I'm assuming that he was coming back home to Cabragh because of the fact that there is another family of Spear [spelt Speer] living there in 1901, that of John Speer who is a miller. At this point I do not know if there is any relationship between the two families. In 1859 there were two families of Speers [both farmers] in the nearby townland of Broagh. There were also two Speers' families in the same townland in 1831. Clearly, further research would be necessary here before any firm conclusions can be drawn. In fact there may be no relationship whatsoever between the two John Speers/Spears. Incidentally, I would not attach too much significance to the fact that their surnames are spelt differently.
Another family whose profile raises a number of interesting questions is the family of Thomas Fisher, the Rector of Termoneeny, mentioned above. He was born in Liverpool as were his first two children. His wife, Elizabeth Jane, was born in New York. How did he meet her. Even more interesting is the fact that his third child was born in Gorries, Ontario - why? I think Gorries is Gorrie which is a small settlement near Lake Huron in Western Ontario.
With the exception of the name McGlade, the families listed above did not live in the townland until the latter part of the nineteenth century. Patrick McGlade's father, Charles, is listed in the 1859 Griffith's Printed [Tenement] Valuation but there is no mention of the name McGlade in the 1830s sources for the townland. However, the surname McGlade is well represented in the parishes of Maghera, Ballynascreen and Kilcronaghan in the 1831 Census Returns.
Examples of other families, not mentioned in the 1859 Griffith's, that moved in during the second half of the nineteenth century are Michael Crilly in Lurganagoose c.1867, Isaac McCready in Derganagh c.1862 and Joseph McLean in Cabragh c.1890.
The surnames Orrell, Averill and Scullion have been in the Barony of Loughinsholin for some time. Scullion is an Irish name and obviously predates the Plantation of Ulster. The parish of Ballyscullion indicates the dominance of the name in that area. The other two are Planter names and are mentioned in early eighteenth century leases - John Orrell in Cabragh and Adam Averill in Derganagh and Lurganagoose. Other family names that have a long attachment to this general area are Armour, Beare and Ewing. These are Scottish names which result from the Scottish migrations into the area in the second half of the seventeenth century.
Copyright 2010 W. Macafee.