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County Down
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County Down

Co Down shield

Co Down flag

from DH County Down was the first Ulster county to be colonized by the Normans. The knight John de Courcey took the area around Downpatrick after the Norman invasion. The county was formed about 1300 and leater came into the possession of the DeLacys. Most of this ocunty came to be known as the Earldom of Ulster during this peirod. One of the new Norman families who settled in the county is Savage. The major Gaelic families were O'Neill, McGuinness, McQuillan, McCartan, and Macgilmore.

In 1569, Sir Thomas Smith unsuccessfully attempted to bring English settlers into the Ards Pennisula and County Down. Hugh O'Neill, the major Ulster cheiftain, began a general rebellion in Ulster in 1594. A wel planned plantation of Ulster began in 1609, involving tghe introduction to the rpovince of thousands of settlers. These were brought in by adventurers who, in return for title to the land, brought in a specified number of settlers to their estates.

One Scottish adventurer, James Hamilton, brought over ten thousand Scots to northwest Down, Scottish names such as Boyd, Fraser, Johnston, Lindsay, Morrison, Patterson and Maxwell are consequently common in Down. English adventurers in Down who brought over English families included Annesleu, Hill and Montgomery. These settlers brought the names Wilson, Johnson, Young, Taylor, Walker, Jackson, Watson, Bradshaw, and Bradford to Ulster.

County Down was less badly affected by the Great Famine than many other counties. One of its effects was a large exodus from the rural areas to the city of Belfast, part of which is in County Down. The population of Down in 1841 was 368,000. In 1851 this had been reduced by approximately eleven percent.


Main Library, Main Street, Ballynahinch

Bangor Branch, Hamilton Road, Bangor

Downpatrick Branch, Market Street, Downpatrick

Ulster Historical Foundation
Balmoral Bldgs,12 College Square East,
Belfast BT1 6DD.
phone 1232 239885
[have indexed 95% of RC records for Co Down. Do charge fee.]

from DH South Eastern Education and Library Board
Library and Information Service
Windmill Hill
Ballynahinch, County Down BT48 8DH

from DH Family History Centre
403 Holywood Road
Belfast 4

from DH Bangor Visitors and Heritage Centre
Town Hall
Bangor, Co. Down

from DH Down Museum
Southwell Building
The Mall
Downpatrick, Co. Down

12 Miles of Mourne (annual), Mr. F. Hammond,
Mourne Local Studies Group, Kilkeel, Co. Down

Seanchas Dhroim Mor (annual), Very Reverend B. Treanor, P.P.
Parochial House, 141 Rathfriland Road, Dromara, Dromore, Co. Down

Saintfield Heritage,
Mrs. E.M. Minnis, Saintfield Heritage Society, 16 Moyra Drive, Saintfield, Co. Down

Ulster Folklife (annual),
The Ulster Folk Transport Museum, Cultra Manor, Holywood, Co. Down

Upper Ards Historical Society Journal (annual),
Mr. C. Murray, 57 Lisbane Road, Kircubbin, Co. Down

small HR

County Down On-Line


Co Down Data
Co. Down 1911 Census FHLC numbers 

Co Down - Church of Ireland Parishes from DH
Co Down - Methodist Records from DH
Co Down - Presbyterian Records from DH
Co Down - Roman Catholic Records from DH
Co Down - Memorials from DH
Co Down - Miscellaneous Records from DH

Other Online Resources

Down Queries
Mailing List: [email protected]

Northern Ireland References  The web site for the Scotch-Irish-L mail list from Rootsweb.

NIR - County Down
PRONI Map of Co Down Parishes

Ulster American Folk Park
Historic Sites
Civil Parishes of County Down
Down Family Heritage Centre computerizing parish records.
Provides search service for a fee.
See TIARA for customer comments.

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from DH Fianna Thanks Dianna Hanson for this donated information.

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Last modified Monday, 10-Sep-2018 17:03:14 MDT
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