Bellaghy Historical Society

Welcome to the official website of the Bellaghy Historical Society

Keen local  historian Mrs. Patricia Lowry organised the first meeting in Bellaghy  Bawn (known locally as The Castle)  on 16th February, 2000. There were 17 attendees including Bawn Curator, Mrs. Deborah Logan. The speaker that evening was Mrs. Muriel Bell  who gave a talk on “THe Workhouse”. The following month, Mrs. Logan talked on “The History of  The Bawn” and this time 31 people attended.

In April 2000, Mr. Graham Mawhinney of Ballinascreen  Historical Society shared his experiences of how to set up a society and, more importantly, how to keep going.

Then, in May 2000, Mrs. Logan facilitated a discussion on “Agriculture in the Last Century”,the  details of which were written up over the summer break and eventually became the basis for the first chapter of the Society’s publication, “Life in the Past”.

At that May meeting, those present agreed to form a society and elected a committee: Mrs. Mary Breslin was elected Chairperson; Mrs. Patricia Henry, Treasurer and Mrs. Patricia Lowry was elected Secretary.

When the new season started in October 2000, Mr. Alec Blair thrilled his audience with a presentation on “Ulster Dialects”. By this time membership had increased to the extent that the Bawn could no longer accommodate the numbers attending and it soon became necessary to move to the Old School House, Castle St., a short distance away.

One of the first projects undertaken by Mrs Lowry and others was to create a historical picture of the village, identifying buildings, occupants and their occupations over a number of generations.

Interest and membership grew and the variety of topics that has been explored at meetings over the intervening years has been extensive, reflecting not only the existence of settlements in the area dating back to the period after the ice age but also the economic, industrial, religious, cultural and political events that have influenced the lives of the people not only of Bellaghy, but across Ireland and further afield

More than fifteen years later,  Bellaghy Historical Society continues to meet in the Old School Building at 8.00pm on the second Tuesday of each month between October and May.

Everyone welcome

12 thoughts on “Bellaghy Historical Society

  1. My G.G.Grandparents were ANTHONY DAVISON and RACHEL DAVISON (nee KENNEDY), they lived in Bellaghy in the mid to late 1800’s. Rachel died on 2 January 1883 aged abt. 68 and Anthony died in February 1884 aged abt.78. They had children incl. Henry, Rachel and James who all migrated to Australia about 1880, however Henry returned to Ireland almost immediately. If anyone has information about this family I would love to hear about it. thank you, Peter Wood

    1. Peter, check out the local parish churches’ records. Also, PRONI, the Public records Office of Northern Ireland and the Census of 1901.

  2. Hello, I’m wondering if anyone in the society can help me please? My great uncle , Patrick Duggan, was baptised in Bellaghy in 1870 (not sure where he was born, but presumably Bellaghy or nearby). We presume that he was born there while his parents (living in England) were visiting relatives. His parents were Hugh Duggan (Irish) and Rebecca Ellen Hannah (born in England, but parents Irish) Rebecca’s mother had the surname Lindsay. I saw that one of your members had investigated who lived in the houses in Bellaghy over time and wondered if any of these surnames are listed – Duggan, Hannah or Lindsay? Also, whether anyone knows the location of 753, Bellaghy ie would it be an address for the local church perhaps and whether there is anywhere I could find out the godparents which might give a clue to other relatives? Hope you can help solve this mystery. Kind regards, Kathryn

    1. Kathryn, try PRONI, the public Records Office of Northern Ireland. Try the Royal Mail office in Magherafelt for confirmation addresses.

  3. do you have and advice as to what is the best place for me to find out more information about my ancestors who lived in Bellaghy?

    1. Colleen, check out PRONI, the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland. Also, the local churches records and graveyards might yield more information.

  4. Hello,

    My family history (surnames: Morgan, Wall, Downey ) is from Bellaghy. I’m very interested in Bellaghy history. Is there someone I can talk to about local history? Is there a Bellaghy Historical archive? I’m going to be visiting Bellaghy from June 18th to the 21st.

    Thank you,

    Stephen Morgan
    Portland, Oregon USA

  5. searching for family of Michael Scullion son of James and Rose who married Martha Mullen daughter of George and Sarah Denan/Dinan .Michael and Martha came to Australia 1841.

  6. Dear all,

    What a pleasure to come across your website about Bellaghy through George McIntyre!

    There is a very interesting book in the US Library of Congress written by William Colwell Downing in 1909. You can read the family tree online and I attach the link here:

    I am descended on the maternal side through my mother in the Australian branch of the family who arrived here in the mid 19th century direct from NI.

    Also, I attach a link to my blog about Adam Downing which members of the Bellaghy HS may enjoy reading (I write under my pseudonym Jack Hammersley).

    I have done a Downing family tree which establishes the ancestors of Adam Downing including many historical characters like Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet (1623-1684) who was the man who built Downing Street in London. Apparently if you enter No. 10 there is an oil painting of him on the wall in the entrance hall.

    Please don’t hesitate to use any of my material on your website.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes,

    Tim Mansfield (aka Jack Hammersley)

  7. Kia Ora from New Zealand.
    My grandfather John Walsh was born in Bellaghy, County Derry son of Daniel Walsh who I believe was a publican owning two properties in the main street. John Walsh, his father and one sister Mary Arabella (Minnie) came across to New Zealand in 1910 aboard the “Tainui”. His sister Elizabeth followed soon after and his brother Bernard (Barney) chose to go to America.
    I am seeking any information that anyone may have as I would love to know more about my Irish Ancestory.

    Thanks so much

    Carol Walsh

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