Alexander Gordon and other Islandmagee
This Alexander is not yet confirmed as an ancestor, but it seems
highly likely that he was connected to our Islandmagee based Gordon family in Co. Antrim, Ireland.
The only direct reference found as yet to this Alexander is an item in
the Belfast Newsletter of June 20th 1815:
ALL Persons who stand indebted to the Estate of the late ALEX. GORDON, of ISLANDMAGEE, are requested to discharge
the same to the Subscribers, on or before THURSDAY the 29th inst. - All debts not then paid off will be put immediately into
the hands of an Attorney. - And all persons having any claim against said Estate, will please furnish their respective Accounts
properly attested, as above, on or before said day.
ISLANDMAGEE, June 19, 1815
This Sarah Gordon may well have been a widow,
nothing yet is known about her.
The next reference to a Gordon found concerns a Catherine Gordon of Kilkoan
(Kilcoan), noted as the farmer of 37 acres and one rood in the 1834 tithe appotment book for Islandmagee. The annual rateable
value of the land was 18s 6d. Catherine was the only member of the Gordon family recorded in the volume for the whole peninsula
(Source: PRONI MIC 15AA/15 Islandmagee).
Kilcoan certainly seems to be the main townland where the family resided. A later Alexander
Gordon appears to be connected to our family, and with the family being quite limited in its presence in the area
it may well be that he was named in honour of the older Alexander from 1815. As the younger Alexander died in 1871, it would
seem likely that he was a grandson of the original, and possibly a son of Catherine. The younger Alexander was the proprietor
of land on two adjacent townlands in Kilcoan Beg and Kilcoan More, which he had possession of until his death in 1871, being
resident at Whitehouse Farm.
David Gordon, the boys' 5 times great grandfather, appears to have resided
at a house overlooking Brown's Bay at Ballyprior Beg until 1875. Just across the road from his house was a Mary
Gordon, who it would seem likely was a sister. She too gave her house up in 1875, and in 1878 the revaluation rolls
note that she had taken possession of Alexander's lands at Kilcoan Beg and Mor following his death, along with two sisters,
after a short period residing in Ballycarry.
Although it seems possible of a strong connection, the destruction of the early 19th century
Anglican church records for Islandmagee in 1922 makes it difficult as yet to firm up these connections.
b: bet 1813 & 1820 d: 27/1/1876
David Gordon was Calum's and Jamie's five times great grandfather.
Little is known of David as yet. In his daughter's marriage record from
1863 he was described as a labourer from Islandmagee. It is possible
that he was Anglican by religion, which would be deeply unfortunate in that most of the records of St. John's Church
of Ireland from Islandmagee were destroyed in the Irish Civil War of 1922.
The Ordnance Survey memoirs for Islandmagee note that in 1838 a 25 year old David Gordon is included
in a list of annual migrants to Scotland, and also confirms that he was an adherent of the Established Church (Anglican).
It further notes that he was from Ballylumford in Islandmagee, and had 'no capital'. Whether this is our David cannot
be confirmed, though the age on our David's death certificate woud imply that this candidate is older - assuming our
David's death certificate is accurate with its information. This in itself is questionable, as his wife's death record in
1866 suggests that he was indeed older.
On consulting Griffith's Valuation, there is only one David Gordon resident on the peninsula in 1861, and that is in
the townland of Ballyprior Beg, adjacent to Dundressan where David's son-in-law Robert Montgomery hailed
from. A consultation of the first edition Ordnance Survey map used for the exercise shows that the properties marked
1c are on the shore of the townland overlooking Brown's Bay.
David was married to Eliza, surname as yet unknown, who passed away in Dundressan townland on 16 FEB
1866, aged 58. She was noted as the wife of a labourer, and the cause of death was apoplexy, suffered for four hours. David
was present at her death, and informed the registrar on 22 FEB (Source: GRONI D/1866/129/1016/1/170 Ballycarry).
Although the address at death was Dundressan, it appears from the Valuation Revision Books at PRONI that David in fact
continued to reside at Ballyprior Beg. The books show that David had left his property by 1875. It is interesting to
note that in Griffiths valuation, a Mary Gordon is also present in the same townland, the OS map showing
that her property (1d) was across the road from David (at 1c). Both she and David had given up their properties by 1875, with
Mary re-emerging in Kilcoan Beg in 1878, having taken over the property of an Alexander Gordon, along with
two sisters. It is highly likely that all were siblings, though much needs to be done to substantiate this.
David appears to have left Ballyprior Beg to go to stay with his daughter Jane in Belfast, presumably
because of poor health. He passed away on 27 JAN 1876 at 56 Rowan Street in the city, the cause of death being bronchitis,
suffered for 2 months. He was noted in the record as a 56 year old labourer, and a widower. The informant to the registrar
on 27 JAN was his daughter Jane Montgomery (Source: GRONI D/1876/48/1007/12/466 Belfast Urban 2).
Children of David GORDON and Eliza:
b: 1842 d: 19/1/1885
Jane was Calum's and Jamie's four times great grandmother - see
Elizabeth (Eliza) Gordon
b: abt 1843 d: 17/3/1919
Eliza Gordon was noted as marrying a Ballylumford labourer called Alexander Hopkins
on 13 OCT 1864. Eliza was noted as being of full age, from Ballylumford, and as being the daughter of a David Gordon, labourer.
The marriage took place at 2nd Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee, with the witnesses being Robert Stewart
and her brother-in-law Robert Montgomery. (Source: PRONI MIC/1P/337).
In the 1901 census, Elizabeth was noted as residing at Ballycronanmore, Islandmagee, as being
aged 57, Presbyterian, and able to read and write. Her husband was recorded as Alexander Hopkins, aged 58, and a farmer, whilst
three children were also present - 28 year old farmer's son Hugh, 15 year old scholar David
and 11 year old scholar John. All could read and write (Source: 1901 census, National Archives of Ireland).
In the 1911 census, Elizabeth was noted as being aged 67, as having been married 46 years, and with
having had twelve children, of whom nine were still alive. Husband Alexander was aged 68, and sons Hugh, aged 38, and
David, aged 25, were again present. Both were noted as farm labourers (Source: 1911 census, National Archives of
Alexander died on 21 JUL 1911, and left estate valued at £117 9s to his wife, recorded as Elizabeth
Hopkins. The will has not survived, but probate was granted on 28 AUG 1911 in Belfast, He was again noted as of Ballycronanmore,
Islandmagee (Source: PRONI Wills calendar database).
Elizabeth, also noted as of Ballycronanmore, died on 17 MAR 1919, and left estate valued
at £139 11s, with David Hopkins, farmer, noted as executor. Probate was granted 16 APR 1919 in Belfast (Source: PRONI
Wills calendar database).
Elizabeth is commemorated on a headstone in St. John's Church of Ireland cemetery on Islandmagee:
Erected by Alexander Hopkins in memory of his daughter Agnes
who died 2 APR 1885 aged 19 years.
Also his daughter Susan who died in infancy.
Also his daughter Martha who died 27 May 1905 aged 24 years.
The above-named Alexander Hopkins died 21 JUL 1911 aged 69
Also his son Hugh who died 6 APR 1918 aged 45 years.
Also his wife Elizabeth Hopkins who died 17 MAR 1919 aged
And their daughters:
Elizabeth Hopkins, died 9 MAY 1931
Susan Morrison, died 2 APR 1941.
Also her daughter Betty M. F. died 27 SEP 1962 aged 42 years.
CHILDREN of ELIZABETH GORDON and ALEXANDER HOPKINS:
b: 17/7/1865 d: 2/4/1885
Agnes was born on 17 JUL 1865 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI B U/1865/129/1016/1/241 Larne).
Agnes died on 2 APR 1885, and was buried in St John's Church of Ireland Cemetery on Islandmagee.
William was born on 18 DEC 1867 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI B U/1867/129/1016/2/72
b: 13/4/1869 d: 9/5/1931
Eliza was born on 13 APR 1869 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI
B U/1869/129/1016/2/259 Larne).
Eliza died on 9 MAY 1931 and was buried in the family plot St John's Church of Ireland Cemetery on
b: 11/6/1872 d: 6/4/1918
Hugh was born on 11 JUN 1872 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI
B U/1872/129/1016/3/200 Larne).
Hugh died on 6 APR 1918 and was buried in the family plot St John's Church of Ireland Cemetery on
Jane was born on 16 APR 1874 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI
B U/1874/129/1016/3/425 Larne).
b: 18/1/1876 d: 12/2/1876
Susan was born on 18 JAN 1876 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI
B U/1876/129/1016/4/161 Larne).
Susan died just a few weeks old on 12 FEB 1876 (Source: GRONI D/1876/129/1016/2/402 Larne).
She was buried in St John's Church of Ireland Cemetery on Islandmagee.
Alexander was born on 29 APR 1877 in Islandmagee (Source:
GRONI B U/1877/129/1016/4/344 Larne).
James was born on 12 NOV 1878 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI
B U/1878/129/1016/5/34 Larne).
b: 17/9/1880 d: 2/4/1941
Susan was born on 17 SEP 1880 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI
B U/1880/129/1016/6/20 Larne).
Susan died on 2 APR 1941 and was buried in the family plot St John's Church of Ireland Cemetery on
b: 22/7/1883 d: 27/5/1905
Martha was born on 22 JUL 1883 in Islandmagee (Source:
GRONI B U/1883/129/1016/6/369 Larne).
Marth died on 27 MAY 1905 and was buried in the family plot St John's Church of Ireland Cemetery
David was born on 8 MAR 1886 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI
B U/1886/129/1016/7/186 Larne).
John was born on 21 DEC 1889 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI
B U/1889/129/1016/8/81 Larne - NB: He is indexed as John Hopkin on the GRONI site).
b: 1842 d: 19/1/1885
Jane was Calum's and Jamie's four times great grandmother.
Jane was born in 1842, it is presumed in the townland of Ballylumford,
Islandmagee, Co. Antrim, Ireland, or at Brown's Bay in the townland of Ballyprior Beg there. Her father was David
Gordon, labourer, from Islandmagee.
Jane married blacksmith Robert Montgomery, son of farmer John Montgomery from Dundressan townland, on October 22nd 1863 in Islandmagee's
St. Johns Church of Ireland. Both were aged over 21. The witnesses were Samuel Montgomery and David
Stewart - the minister was Rev W. K. Lynas, with the marriage performed by license.
Jane eventually passed away on 19 JAN 1885 at 9 Earl Place, Belfast. In her death record she was noted
as the widow of Robert Montgomery, blacksmith. The cause of her death was bronchitis, as suffered for two
years. The informant to the Belfast registrar on 22 JAN 1885 was her son Robert David Montgomery, who was
present at her death (Source: GRONI/GENI D 1885 D/1885/47/1007/18/101 Belfast Urban 1).
Robert David Montgomery
b: abt 13/4/1866
b: 20/6/1867 d: 23/10/1923
John was Calum's and Jamie's three times great grandfather - see Montgomery page.
Isabella Jane Montgomery