Frizzell Family of Glenlough, Glasgow, Charlotte St., Union St. & Church St. Ballymoney

I used parts of this case study during my talk to the Route Back Home Family History Conference in Ballymoney, 19th to 22nd September 2012. The title of the talk was Locating Families and Houses in North Antrim c.1830-1911. This case study concerns a man called William John Frizzell who was born c.1857/1858 probably around the Ballyboyland/Glenlough area which lies to the east of the town of Ballymoney - see townland map of the parishes of Ballymoney and Kilraghts. By the age of 19 William John, a journeyman baker, was living in Scotland where he married and had five children. In 1887 he returned to Ballymoney where he had a further four children. He first lived in Charlotte Street. Later he moved to Union Street and then to Church Street and finally to Belfast where he died at the age of 72 at 12 Capstone Street off the Lisburn Road in Belfast.

I first came across William John Frizzell when a descendant [a grandson of one of his daughters] contacted me from England in 2009. He had just found the family in the 1911 Census living in 24 Union Street in Ballymoney. I knew from previous experience that the street number of the house was unlikely to have been 24. So I began to look at both the 1901 and 1911 Census and the Griffith's Valuation, including the Revision Books, to find out exactly where the family lived in Union Street. It turned out to be No. 33, a house where the Ulster comedian, James Young, was born in 1918. The 1901 Census produced further information viz, that half of his children were born in Scotland and the other half in Co. Antrim. So my research shifted to Scotland and then back again to Ballymoney in 1887. One of my main interests throughout this research has been to find the exact location of the houses in Ballymoney where the family lived between 1887 and c.1920 and to see if I could establish where he lived in the Ballymoney area before he went to Scotland. I have, therefore, chosen this particular case study to illustrate the process of locating properties and families within a townland or street. The sources that I researched are presented below in the same order as they appear in the links in the left-hand menu but, as you can see from what I have just said, I did not conduct the research in this order.


I have put together three tables in a PDF file that provide details of available births deaths and marriages for the relevant Frizzells in the Ballymoney area from c.1860 to c.1920.

The data in the tables were obtained from four websites - Emerald Ancestors where I carrried out a general search for any Frizzells married in the Ballymoney Registration District - see the results of my search in this PDF file. I used the Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes on the [LDS] website to identify some marriages, births and deaths. I looked up the details of some of these BDMs, especially marriages, in the [UHF] databases and I used the ScotlandsPeople website to search for the marriages and births in Scotland. I also paid a visit to the GRONI in Belfast.


I wanted to use the 1901 and 1911 Census Returns to find any Frizzell families living in Co. Antrim. I knew there were Frizzells in Co. Londonderry, particularly in Portstewart, but I do not think they were connected directly to the Ballymoney Frizzells. Below are the results of my search. Note that when searching I had to use variant spellings of Frizzell. There were three Frizzell families in the 1901 Census and two families in the 1911 Census. William John, James and Thomas are brothers. Jane Frizzell in 1901 is a servant in the house of Samuel Pinkerton in Seacon and, at the moment, I have no idea who she is. Click on the Forename link to access Form A which gives details of the individuals present in each house on the night of the census. Particularly useful are the first names of wife, where children were born, how many children were born alive and how many still alive [in 1911 Census only]. This type of information can help in the search for marriages and births.

Year Surname Forename Townland/Street DED County Age Birthplace Occupation Marital Status
1901 Frizzell William John Union Street Ballymoney Antrim 44 Co. Antrim Pastry Baker Married
1901 Frizzell James Caldanagh Dunloy Antrim 53 Co. Antrim Railway Ganger Married
1901 Frizzell Thomas Winchester Street Shankill/ Belfast Antrim 42 Co. Antrim General Labourer Married
1901 Frizzle Jane Seacon Ballymoney Antrim 40 Co. Antrim Domestic Servant Not married
1911 Frizzell William John Union Street Ballymoney Antrim 53 Co. Antrim Baker Widower
1911 Frizzell James Caldanagh Dunloy Antrim 63 Co. Antrim Railway Ganger Widower

Clicking on the address link will access Form B1 which provides details on the house in which they lived. The lists of houses in a Form B1 can be matched to a similar list of houses in the Griffith's Revision Books datiing from the same period [see below]. However, before doing this it is now necessary to look in more detail at the Valuation Records, particularly the Griffith's Revision Books.


The Griffith's [Tenement] Valuation of c.1860 [with its accompanying 6 inch maps for the countryside and large scale street maps for towns] provides details of where households were located in the middle of the nineteenth century. This valuation was periodically revised right up until 1930. These revisions can be seen in the Griffith's Revision Books. These books are in original manuscript form and where held, until recently, only in PRONI. A few weeks ago PRONI launched them on the Internet as the latest addition to their growing online record collection.

There are also maps to accompany these revisions [for rural areas only] at which means that we can see where families were living at the time of the 1901 and 1911 Census and indeed as late as c.1930. Unfortunately there are no large scale street maps for towns online - these are only available in PRONI.

In this case study we need books and maps to cover the streets in Ballymoney where William John Frizzell and his family lived between 1887 and c.1920. We also needs books and maps that cover the rural area where he must have lived for some of the time before he went to Scotland. I will deal first with the streets in the town of Ballymoney.

I used the PRONI eCatalogue to find the PRONI references for the revision books and maps for Ballymoney town - read this. The books covering the town are VAL/12/B/4/3A to G and the accompanying maps are VAL/12/E/14/1 c.1880 and VAL/12/E/14/2 c.1895. The table below contains links to the relevant pages and maps for the streets where the family of William John Frizzell lived in Ballymoney. I have added some comment and explanation which, if you are not familiar with the revision books, should help you to intrepret the information on each page. Each set of revision pages is presented in a sequence wich opens in the same window.

Location Pages from Griffith's Revision Books Valuation Maps of Ballymoney Town
41 Charlotte Street VAL/12/B/4/3D & E. VAL/12/E/14/1 c.1880 VAL/12/E/14/2 c.1895 [only available in PRONI]
33 Union Street VAL/12/B/4/3E, F & G. VAL/12/E/14/1 c.1880 VAL/12/E/14/2 c.1895 [only available in PRONI]
11 Church Street VAL/12/B/4/3F & G. . VAL/12/E/14/2 c.1895 [only available in PRONI]


Once you have looked at the Griffith's Revisions for Union Street you should be able to see how to match the valuation numbers and the census numbers. There is a geographical pattern to the numbers in both the revision books and the census returns but remember it is the Griffith's Revision number that is the key to locating families and houses. This is the number that appears on the accompanying valuation map for that period. Click on 1901 and 1911 to see both the Griffith's Revision numbers and the Census numbers for some of the houses in Union Street. This should help you to pinpoint the location of each of these houses in the street today. In the case of William John Frizzell the house as listed in 1901 and 1911 is still standing today in Union Street probably looking not that different from how it looked in 1901 and 1911 when it was just a few years old - see photo. Note that this will not always be the case. If you look at the Charlotte Street example you will find that the house that William John lived in before moving to Union Street is no longer standing - see photo.


Before going to Scotland William John probably lived in the Glenlough, Ballyboyland, Craigatempin area to the east of the town of Ballymoney. There is no record of his birth or baptism. Based on the 1901 and 1911 Census information it looks as if he was born c.1857/58. His Scottish marriage certificate gives his age as 19 suggesting a birth date of c.1856/1857. It also tells us that William John's father was David Frizzell and his mother was Ellen Kane. The Griffith's [Tenement] Valuation of c.1860 shows us the exact location of David Frizzell's house in the townland of Glenlough in 1861 and the Griffith's Revision Books show that by 1908 the house was down. Click on the links in the table below to see the pages and the maps which pinpoint this house.

Location Griffith's Valuation Books Maps
Glenlough Townland* Printed Griffith's [Tenement] Valuation VAL/2/A/1/17A [1859] [PRONI or Ballymena Library]
Glenlough Townland Griffith's Revision Book VAL/12/B/4/24D [1898/1912]. VAL/12D/1/17A [c.1861] []

Note that for rural locations there are online copies of both the c.1860 [Printed] Griffith's Valuation pages and the accompanying valuation maps at [Griffith's Valuation].


We can also Google all of these houses and localities in the Ballymoney area as well as the houses in which William John and his family lived in Scotland and the house in Belfast where he spent his final years. The links below will directly to these addresses.

Townland of Glenlough 17 Church Street, Port Glasgow 4 Watt Street, Greenock 35 Nicholson Street, Greenock
41 Charlotte Street Ballymoney 33 Union Street, Ballymoney 11 Church Street, Ballymoney 12 Capstone Street, Belfast


There is no mention of William John Frizzell in the Ballymoney Street Directories before 1910 when he was listed as a baker in Union Street. We know from valuation records that he had been living there from c.1896. Before that he had been living in Charlotte Street. On their birth certificates he gives his profession as baker and, of course, he was a baker during the time he lived in Scotland. From 1910 to 1914 he is listed annually in the Belfast & Ulster Directory as a baker in Union Street. From 1915 W. Frizzell was listed as a baker in Union Street and J. Frizzell was listed as a tobacconist and confecctioner in Church Street. Are J and W the same person? If not then who is J? The Griffith's Revisions show that he had left Union Street by 1915 and his name appears in Church Street on that date. Furthermore his elder son, William John, dies in 1916 and his place of death is given as Church Street on the death certificate. Clearly someone was living there, probably above the shop. The entries cease after 1923. I assuime that by that time he had moved to Belfast and he died in 1928 at 12 Capstone Street, off the Lisburn Road in Belfast.

Note that the PRONI online Street Directories, at the moment, do not go beyond 1900. My database of Street Directories for Ballymoney in the left-hand menu only includes a selection of years and, unfortunately, I included only the 1905 and 1928 directories, both of which are outside the period when he was listed.


PRONI now have many wills online - click here - enter Frizzel in the Surname box, select, at least, 30 in the Results per Page box and click on Search. You should get 22 matches - two for Martha Frizzell [1926], William John's second wife and one for William John himself [1928]. Unfortunately, at the moment, the images showing the details of the wills are not included.

There is a headstone in the St. Patrick's Parish Church Graveyard in Ballymoney, which lists these burials plus some of William John's children. This headstone also appears in Dorothy Arthur's book on St. Patrick's Parish Church Graveyard, Ballymoney.


Go to the Ulster Covenant on the PRONI website and search for Frizzells. You should find 85, so select 50 in the Results per Page box. You can sort the results in a number of ways to make its easier to identify the Ballymoney Frizzells. The overall results show where Frizzells are to be found in the different parts of the province and includes some Frizzells who have emigrated to Scotland.

Copyright 2013 W. Macafee.