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The Kings and Laughlins of County Down

The King Sisters from Ballymaginaghy, County Down

    Bridget King was the ninth child (of eleven) born to James King and Ellen Loughlin (sometimes O’Loughlin) of Ballymaginaghy in the Civil Parish of Drumgooland in County Down.  In the 1901 Census, Bridget is listed as nine years old, however her birth certificate states she was born in 1889, making her twelve years old at the time of the census.  It’s hard to understand how a child could lose three years by age twelve, especially with the number children.  I need to confirm the birthrates of Bridget's siblings since the next oldest sibling in the 1901 census is listed as being born about 1889 putting in question the ages of all of the other children.  I'll start with the Civil Registration Indexes at FamilySearch looking for records in the Registration District of Banbridge.  Bridget’s parents were married on the 18 Nov 1869 at the Chapel of St. Patrick Gargory in the Roman Catholic Parish of Lower Drumgooland.  The fathers of the bride and groom are listed as Edward O’Loughlin and John King.  If you’re not familiar with the jurisdictions in Ireland which are important to finding the correct individual, refer back to my previous blog.

    This is a good example of one of the problems encountered in Irish research.  Dates and ages just weren’t important and so age discrepancies are frequent.  Add to this the problem of the common name, and you might need to view many certificates (at €4 each) to find the correct individual.  

    What else do I know about Bridget?  By age eleven she was working in a shirt factory and she emigrated to the United States between 1905 and 1910 to join her four sisters, Mary, Anna, Lizzie and Nellie.  Bridget married Patrick Moughty in New Rochelle, New York on 20 June 1910.   

    In the 1901 Census ten children are living with their parents and Ellen states that she has given birth to eleven children all of whom are living.   One child, probably the oldest, is no longer living with the family.  It doesn’t appear that any of the of sons emigrated and there is a family story that states that one of the sons was killed by the Black and Tans, an English paramilitary group active during the Irish Civil War. We’ll have to see if there is any truth to that.  The youngest child is a daughter named Theresa, and by the time I began my research, no one in the family was aware of this child.  I have her birth certificate from 1895 and she appears in both the 1901 and 1911 censuses.  Patrick and Bridget also named their youngest daughter Mary Theresa.

    I'm not sure I’ll have time to get to Belfast on this trip.  If I don’t, there are still a number of things I can do to research this family.   First, before I leave, I need to check the Civil Registration Indexes for the birth records for the other King children.  Since King is a common name, especially in this area, I may have to look at multiple certificates to find the correct ones.   For example, there are two James Kings, born in the registration district of Banbridge in 1879…one in Q1 and one in Q3.  Until I view the certificates and see the parents' names, I won't know which is correct. Since I know the townland and the parish church, I can also search the church records at the National Library in Dublin.  Parish records for this church date to 1832.  Prior to leaving, I’ll check also check the Irish Family History Foundation site to isolate possibilities.  I have found both John King and Edward O’Laughlin in Ballymaginaghy in Griffith’s Valuation.  Although I’ll be visiting the Valuation Office in Dublin for other records, the Cancelled Books for Down have been transferred to PRONI.  If I can  get there, it might tell me which of the sons remained on the property and might help pinpoint dates when events such as death or emigration occurred.  

   A few other things I know about the members of this  family who remained in Ireland…Theresa King married Hugh O'Hagan and had two sons, John and Hugh; John King, the oldest son, married Cecilia McAleenan; James King married Catherine Hogan and had a son James Edward.  I have not yet found anything on three other sons, Edward, Patrick or Thomas.  Maybe someone in Ireland will read  this blog and contact me about this family…one can always hope!

    Happy Hunting!


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© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2013