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The Gordon Family

This line of the Gordon family has so far been traced back to 19th century County Antrim, Ireland, to the peninsula of Islandmagee.

Alexander Gordon and other Islandmagee Gordons
 
This Alexander is not yet confirmed as an ancestor, but it seems highly likely that he was conected 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:
NOTICE
 
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.
 
NAT. ENGLISH
SARAH GORDON
 
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.
 
 

David Gordon
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:
Jane Gordon
b: 1842  d: 19/1/1885
 
Jane was Calum's and Jamie's four times great grandmother - see below
 
 
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 Ireland).
 
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:
Hopkins
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 years.
Also his son Hugh who died 6 APR 1918 aged 45 years.
Also his wife Elizabeth Hopkins who died 17 MAR 1919 aged 75 years.
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:
Agnes 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 Hopkins
b: 18/12/1867
 
William was born on 18 DEC 1867 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI B U/1867/129/1016/2/72 Larne).
 
 
 
Elizabeth Hopkins
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 Islandmagee.
 
 
 
Hugh Hopkins
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 Islandmagee.
 
 
 
Jane Hopkins
b: 16/4/1874
 
Jane was born on 16 APR 1874 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI B U/1874/129/1016/3/425 Larne).
 
 
 
Susan Hopkins
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 Hopkins
b: 29/4/1877
 
Alexander was born on 29 APR 1877 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI B U/1877/129/1016/4/344 Larne).
 
 
 
James Hopkins
b: 12/11/1878
 
James was born on 12 NOV 1878 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI B U/1878/129/1016/5/34 Larne).
 
 
 
Susan Hopkins
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 Islandmagee.
 
 
 
Martha Hopkins
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 on Islandmagee.
 
 
 
David Hopkins
b: 8/3/1886
 
David was born on 8 MAR 1886 in Islandmagee (Source: GRONI B U/1886/129/1016/7/186 Larne).
 
 
 
John Hopkins
b: 21/12/1889
 
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).
 
 

Jane Gordon
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).
 
Children of Jane GORDON and Robert MONTGOMERY:
Robert David Montgomery
b: 9/2/1864
 
 
Eliza Montgomery
b: abt 13/4/1866
 
 
John Montgomery
b: 20/6/1867 d: 23/10/1923
 
John was Calum's and Jamie's three times great grandfather - see Montgomery page.
 
 
Hugh Montgomery
b: 28/2/1869
 
 
William Montgomery
b: 13/1/1871
 
 
Samuel Montgomery
b. 18/8/1873
 
 
Isabella Jane Montgomery
b: 14/8/1876