STEVENSON FAMILY OF KILDOWNEY, CO. ANTRIM, N. IRELAND DESCENDANT REPORT

STEVENSON DESCENDANT REPORT APRIL 2015

 

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE EARLY GENERATION:

 

JAMES STEVENSON:

POSSIBLY THE FATHER OF WILLIAM. HE IS LISTED IN THE 1740 PROTESTANT HOUSEHOLDERS’ RETURNS FOR NORTH ANTRIM:

JAS STENSON (STEVENSON) KILCONWAY, DUNAGHY

BY THE 1766 RELIGIOUS RETURNS, THERE IS NO JAS. ONLY 2 WILLIAMS AND A DAVID however it needs to be check if there are any surviving Antrim records. I think Antrim is missing.

PRONI card index for Stevenson:
Rowan Account book from Clough Church –
Stevenson, Allan T796/2 page 57 and 145, 1677 and 1679
Stevenson, David T796/2 page 24, 1675 – Kildowney, Co. Antrim
Stevenson, John, T796/2, page 129 – Sept. 11, 1678.

 

JOHN STEVENSON:  IT IS UNKNOWN FOR SURE WHAT GENERATION THIS JOHN BELONGS IN BUT WE ARE MAKING THE ASSUMPTION HE IS CONTEMPORARY WITH WILLIAM BECAUSE HE IS DEAD BEFORE 1847

JAMES STEVENSON:  IT IS UNKNOWN WHAT GENERATION THIS JAMES BELONGS IN BUT WE ARE MAKING THE ASSUMPTION HE IS CONTEMPORARY WITH WILLIAM BECAUSE HE IS DEAD BEFORE 1847

WILLIAM STEVENSON WHO DIED ABOUT 1819:

Logic connecting William Stevenson to our Stevensons:

1. Remnant of will for Willaim Stevenson of Kildowney names his son Nathaniel.
2. James Stevenson’s will mentions his uncle Nathaniel.
3. Land Lease record has name Adam Stevenson crossed out and replaced with James indicating he may be Adam’s son.
4. Executor of will is James Stevenson – likely his daughter Isabella’s husband.
5. Marriage of James Stevenson and Elizabeth Morrow names Adam as his father

1740 Protestant Householders’ Returns for North Antrim

Jas Stenson (Stevenson)Kilconway, Dunaghy
Rob Stenson, (Stevenson) Kilconway, Rasharkin

1766 Religious returns Ahoghill Parish

Protestant dissenters

William Stevenson – possibly William of Kildowney
William Stinson/Steenson
David Stinson

1790 POLL BOOK

WILLIAM STEVENSON – KILDOWNEY
DAVID STEVENSON – CARNLEA (I got this from a person who posted it on Rootsweb. She got it from the Ballymoney Museum) So who is this???

Will of William Stevenson of Kildowney
Probated 27 January 1820
Remains of will, portions burned …….. = missing words

(William) Stevenson late of (Kildowney) ……h of Ahoghill……………

I William Stevenson of Killdowney…………land, now in his possession………… a conveyence and subject ………………..…. my farm together…………………….my son NATHANIEL STEVENSON………………. own possession, also his house free…………… my houses and land now in the possession of ……..HUSTON and NANCY FERGUSON I allow to be let or otherwise disposed of by my Executors for ten years after my decease in case my lease lasts so long and after paying the due? rent, the remainder of the profits arising thereon to be equally divided among my daughters share and share alike and at the end of that time I allow that part to go to my son Nathaniel and he to pay to my daughter Jenny three guineas yearly and every year during the lease. I also allow the bed and bedstead I sleep on and any other thing she can properly call her own to my daughter Jenny. Lastly I nominate and appoint as executors of this my last Will JAMES KERR of Crankill and
PETER MANN of Tullyreagh empowering them to see the same performed according to my true meaning. I also revoke all former wills and ratify this and no other as my last will on the day year above written.

WILLIAM STEVENSON x his mark (seal)

Signed, sealed and delivered in the present of JOHN MURDOGH – PATRICK MURDOUGH -JOHN MANN
Effects £29 -19-10 ½ Words 300
A true copy
This will was proved in common form of Law & Probate granted to JAMES KERR one
of the executors this 27th day of January 1820. By Snowdon Cupples Vicar General of Down and Connor.

 

 

Interesting notes about the sale of the Mountcashel estate which included Carnlea:

Lord Mountcashel’s estate in the County Antrim, which yields a well-paid rental of 11,600l a year,
is to be sold for payment of 275,000l. incumbrances on his landed property in the south.
The Commercial Bank of London is a large creditor.
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********

The Encumbered Estates Court Act was one of
the first parliamentary efforts after the famine had
subsided. On a review of the situation the states-
men of that day were forced to face the awful facts.
It was not that labourers were starving, that farmers
could not pay rent ; it was found that at least one
third of the Irish landlords were bankrupt and unable
to perform those duties of property upon which so
much stress was then laid. What was to be done ?
Things could not be allowed to go on as before.
True, the people were working out their own salva-
tion in the only way possible : they were rushing
from the country in shiploads. No such exodus
had ever been seen. But the bankrupt landlords
the men to whom the famine and the non-payment
of rent spelt absolute ruin could not go. And the
‘ Encumbered Estates Court Act was the device of
English statesmanship for the cure of this evil. The
idea had doubtless something behind it. ” What
Ireland wants,” said the political economist, ” is
capital. Nothing else will or can be of the slightest
use. It does not matter whether the laws are good
or bad get money into the country. This is the
road by which salvation can alone be secured.”
And with this idea in their minds the Act was
passed. In ten years the property of these bankrupt
owners had been compulsorily sold to the extent of
20,000,000 sterling. A new race of landlords
were thus introduced, Capital took possession of
the country. And it is no exaggeration to say that,
looking at the results broadly, the country was worse
rather than better for the change. It was not, as is
generally supposed, that Englishmen became the
owners of the soil comparatively few English
buyers were ready to run the risks. The purchasers
were mainly Irishmen engaged in commerce, or the ^
owners of large grazing tracts. And with this class
was introduced for the first time in connection with
land the commercial instinct. These men had no
idea of philanthropy ; they meant business. And
with their advent, and the disappearance of the old
landlords, the rents were raised all round, and to an
extent that shocks the ordinary man to-day. One
of the largest estates sold under the Act was that of
Lord Mountcashel. A well-known solicitor in the
north of Ireland who has made a study of the
subject has supplied me with the following figures
illustrative of the process that went on all over the
country. The figures refer to a townland on the
Mountcashel estate in County Antrim :

This was the spirit which dominated the situation
at the time. The people, ruined by the famine and
contending with free trade, had now to meet the
commercial spirit applied to land. They were
everywhere rented upon their own improvements.
There was trouble of course how could anything
else be expected ? And to show the spirit in
which Parliament faced the problem, it is only
necessary to give one fact. Everybody knows
to-day that the Irish tenant builds his own house
and offices, drains the land, fences it, and makes
the farm roads. At the date under review he, of
course, had no legal property in all this work and
outlay ; it was all legally the property of the
landlord. And those who bought under the
Encumbered Estates Court Act, bought the fee-
simple of the land and everything upon it. Thus
the property of the tenant was sold to the new
purchaser as if it belonged to the bankrupt
landlord. The tenant, who had frequently been
able to secure a quasi recognition of his rights
in “the old stock,” as they were called, now
found himself in the grip of a new class who were
determined upon getting one thing a certain
percentage upon their invested capital. It was no
use for the tenant to plead moral ownership of
buildings, etc. ; these had all been legally con-
veyed to the new purchaser. To everything upon
the land he had secured a parliamentary title,
and there, so far as he was concerned, was the
end of it. A sad, sad business it all was. And
the end was not yet. Agrarian crime ensued ; the
Ribbon Society, in default of law, set up its own
courts. The members of that dreaded organisation
sat in secret, heard cases of hardship, pronounced
judgement, and executed it until the country rang
with horrors. But Parliament was satisfied. The
tenant after all had only a moral claim ; he had
no legal property ; and a landlord had the right to
get whatever rent the swing of the market gave
him. And so the play of the market plus fresh
Coercion Acts was allowed to work out the problem.
And while the bankrupt landlords were thus
being cleared out, a far greater clearance was being
effected. During the three years of actual famine,
1845-47, it had been impossible for rent to be
paid. The day of reckoning had now arrived.
That there were far too many people on the land
is indisputable I have already dealt with this
problem, and the case need not be re-stated here.
And now they were to go. Eviction notices were
served in tens of thousands. Processes for meal
and provisions at the hands of the shopkeepers
naturally followed. The courts were occupied with
little else. What could the people do under such
circumstances ? It was impossible to pay ; they
had no money. Time was of little use. The land
could not support the people seeking subsistence
from it. They must go. But how passionately
they clung to the land and to their misery ! They
were evicted in thousands. And now commenced
that great exodus which has meant so much to
both England and Ireland. The United States
became an El Dorado for these poor people.
There they went there they go even to-day
and there they carried feelings of hatred and
revenge which have complicated the relations
between England and America ever since.
Between the years 1851 and 1861 one million
AX and a half of Irish men and women had crossed the
ocean. The traveller through Ireland sees to-day
the ruined homesteads where these people once
lived. They see the lands converted into sheep
walks or grazing farms. Bullocks and sheep have
taken the place of men and women. According
to the political economist and the landlord it is
all right and proper ; but when the economist and
the landlord have said their last word, the fact
remains that the depopulation of large parts of the
country was carried out with every accompaniment
of horrid cruelty that to-day this cruelty lives in the
minds of the people who, deep down in their hearts,
cherish the hope that the time may come when the
Celt will be able to pay out the Saxon invader for
it all. An evil inheritance verily is that to which
England succeeded.
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* *****
PRONI referece from Liam: MOUNTCASHEL Earl Galgorm / Ant Estate sale details c1847 D 3751

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4 Responses to “STEVENSON FAMILY OF KILDOWNEY, CO. ANTRIM, N. IRELAND DESCENDANT REPORT”

  1. Brian Says:

    Firstly, congratulations on a very impressive history of the Stevensons.
    Secondly, I hope you can assist me. My 3 times great grandmother was Jane Stevenson, born around 1793 and died after 26 Dec 1865, which was the date of death of her husband Robert McWilliams. Jane and Robert married in 1827. Their daughter Jane McWilliams was born in 1832.
    I believe Jane Stevenson’s father was Adam (born around 1774) and her mother Jean who died 28 Dec 1797 at Kildowney.
    Your records don’t mention Jane Stevenson and I am wondering why that is…
    I hope you can help me fill in some gaps.
    My tree is on the Ancestry UK website and is accessible.
    regards,
    Brian.

    • genealogygirl Says:

      I have very little information about Adam Stevenson and his wife. I did not know they had a daughter Jane. I would be very interested in knowing how you know your Jane is their daughter. I believe they are likely buried in Killymurris Cemetery. My cousin Marion’s mother had the Stevenson tombstone removed from the grave where there are 7 people buried when her husband died and was buried there. None of them remembers who was on the tombstone. I am sure two of the people buried there are James and Elizabeth Morrow Stevenson. But that is all I know.

      I am also interested in your McWillams. There is a Peter Morton that I am quite sure is the nephew of Lydia Morton who married William Stevenson. He went to America with Lydia and William Stevenson and lived in Lenawee Co. MI His death certificate says his father was John Morton his mother was an M. McWilliams. It is a complicated story. Where did your 3 times great grandmother live?

      I am not sure how to look at your tree but will try to find it. I hope we will be able to help each other.

      You can contact me at ashierk@yahoo.com

  2. Brian Says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply Anne. I too hope we can help each other. I will send you details via email.
    Brian.

  3. Bj Morrison Says:

    Hi,

    Looking for any information on Richard Stevenson, b June 20, 1798 in the parish of Faughanvale, County Derry, N. Ireland. He married Feb. 1823 to Mary Long, in Saint John, New Brunswick. She was b Oct. 10, 1804 Gubacreeny, County Leitrim, Ireland. I’ve collected all of the family data to present, but cannot not find any info on his parentage.

    Kindest regards,

    Brenda Jean Morrison (Nova Scotia)

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