Friday, 1 April 2016

Harvey of Armaghbreague

My mother-in-law was born a Harvey.  Her Harvey great-great-grandfather was born in 1800 (the same year, by coincidence, as my Mullins great-great-grandfather) in the south Armagh townland of Armaghbreague.  Our guess is that what we presume to be his Scottish Protestant family had been ‘planted’ in this Irish Catholic area sometime in the previous century.  He leased land and farmed the southern slope of  Carrigatuke right up to its peak.
So here is a view from the top of the mountain looking south east, with the least productive of the land he leased in the foreground  and with the Mourne Mountains and a hint of Carlingford Lough Dundalk Bay in the distance.

And here is his gravestone in churchyard at Armaghbreague, where some of his descendants have continued to be buried up to as recently as 2011.

The ‘human geography’ across whole sections of Ireland such as this area is quite different to that of the village settlements of England.  There are very few centres at all (and, for example, the churches stand in isolated locations, often with modern provision of substantial car parks), the population being spread out at low density but evenly.

As we explored many churchyards and roadsides, we couldn't fail to notice both graves and memorials to those murdered by terrorists in the mid 1970s and the unexpected visibility of Irish republican flags in the week following the centenary of the Easter Rising.


dstb said...

Dear Peter,
I came across your blog as I was researching my Harvey family who are from the same area. My great-grandfather, Thomas, immigrated to the US in the late 1800's. It took me awhile, but several years ago I found he came from Cortamlet (really just a road name it seems - very near church you visited). I also was able to find cousins who still live in Northern Ireland. After corresponding for a few years, we finally met last summer. Absolutely wonderful people who drove us all over looking at places our ancestors would have been. They even made contact with the people who now live on the old Harvey homestead on Cortamlet road who invited us in for a visit. We also visited the Armaghbreague churchyard and I took the same picture you have in your post of John and Agnes' gravestone. I feel that John must somehow be connected to my family, but I have yet to figure out how. Here are the dates for my family:
Frazer Harvey born late 1700's - died 1856? (Sounds like a Scottish name, right?)
Thomas Harvey born abt 1819 - died 1885
Thomas born 1873 - to US - died 1927
If there is a connection it must be as far back as Frazer because I think I have all the names of his children and John is not one of them. John could be a brother.
I'd be happy to share what I have if you or your wife are interested.

Sarah Langdon

Peter Mullins said...

We are not experts but we were aware of another Harvey family farming very near by - distinctive as being Catholic rather than Church of Ireland (although that does nor absolutely rule out the two being descended from a common ancestor a step or two back). My wife is working on it a bit for you - and finds initially Frazer Harvey's Will (on a tree on the Ancestry website) which indicates he was father of both the Hugh who farmed in north Armaghbreague (the Catholic individual of which we were aware, who we can pin down in the Griffith Valuations for Armaghbreague) and the Thomas who farmed at Cortamlet (who your hosts seem to have pinned down perhaps via the Griffith Valuations for Tullyvallen?). Do you know whether your great-great grandfather Thomas was a Catholic?

dstb said...

Hi Peter,

I am no expert either, but I love doing the research. I do not believe Thomas was Catholic. I am thinking Presbyterian or Church of Ireland. I thought I saw something recently about Presbyterian, but now I can't think of what it was.

I have a copy of the will which you can also find on PRONI (Public Records Office of Northern Ireland). Hugh is an enigma. I can find next to nothing on him, but maybe because I am not looking at anyone who would have been Catholic. Perhaps I have to reconsider. I just assumed the whole family was Protestant. However, I think the reason I had excluded the Hughs I found (one bp. 1819 another 1823) is that the fathers were Charles and Frank, so not our Frazer. I believe these other two were Catholic.

Is your wife connected to John (married to Agnes) in the Armaghbreague churchyard? Does show know who John's parent's were?

I was just on Ancestry and saw that someone named pmmullins just made a change to a Harvey record. I am assuming it was you, so I will try to contact you through Ancestry and perhaps we can exchange information.


Peter Mullins said...

Yes, as my original post indicates, my wife descends directly from John and Agnes. No, I'm afraid there are no records which we can find to get back to any of their parents (so we can't pin down whether or not Frazer was something like a brother or cousin of John's). Yes, she updates an Ancestry tree: if you have access to that you'll have access to most of what she knows; she is about to add the things there which she has dug up for you in the last few days (you may well already have all or most of it) and looks forward very much to direct contact from you there to add to this and take the conversation forward. What fun!