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Linde: thank you so much for your response to the information I
posted regarding Kennedy, Gilmore, Giffen (Given). Your offer of
making inquiries and keeping an eye out is greatly appreciated.
In particular, thank you for clarifying the location of the two
Ballywillen Parishes and the names associated with them. As noted in
the data I posted, Ballywillen first came to my attention when it was
mentioned as the home of John David, Robert and Isabel Giffen (Given)
in their wills. County Antrim was also given as the county for this
Ballywillen. While David, Robert and Isabel died in Massachusetts
about 1769/1770, John was living in Ballywillen on that date. It
would be a big step forward if it could be confirmed that this Giffin
family was indeed from County Antrim, Ballywillen, and if there were
a record of Robert Giffen's mother being a Gilmore. That connection
would lead into my own Thomas Keennedy's genealogy.
The county Londonderry Ballywillen (in the Parish of Aghadoney) came
to my attention when a researcher of the Blair family named it as the
home of her Blair ancestor. Along with the Kennedys and Gilmores who
settled in western Massachusetts was a Blair family,. One of them
married a Gilmore in the 1730's. I did not want to exclude the
possibility that the Kennedys might also have come from the same Bann
Again, thank you for your interest. It is a special treat tro hear
from a researcher in Ireland. I am always happy to share my research.
>This is all of considerable interest, both for those of us
>interested in early n.Irish history and those interested in the
>1718 and later migrations. You are so lucky to have such an amount
>of information; it might well be of importance to any number of
>people locally, to fill out sketch family histories. There are a
>few slight queries
>. First of all, Ballywillen in the parish of Aghadowey is in co.
>Londonderry, and the note about a county Antrim origin therefore
>looks a bit astray. The names Gilmour and Kennedy certainly are
>those one would expect in Aghadowey; they're still there in
>quantity! Given would be much more of a co. Antrim name. I'll
>pass on your message to someone who is researching co. Antrim
>Givens. Another possible location is the parish of Ballywillin
>which is (mostly) in co. Antrim; it's close to the town of
>Coleraine, and there may be a small portion of the parish of
>Ballywillin in the county of Londonderry, though the surnames you
>mention aren't strongly associated with this parish.
>One possible scenario is that the Gilmours and Kennedys were from
>Ballywillen in co. Londonderry and the Givens were from co. Antrim.
>It is entirely possible that people could be related to families
>from the next county, even at that date. The minister of Aghadowey
>in the early 1600s was a rev. Boyd, who I believe was of a county
>Antrim family; a family of Cargills went from Aghadowey to New
>Hampshire in 1718, and one of them was married to a man from
>Ballymoney, co. Antrim, McKean.
>there are Blairs in most areas of NI; certainly the Aghadowey Blairs
>were very prominent in the early 18th c. and before.
>Not sure how much this will help; I'll keep an eye out for possible
>confirmation of locations of your family, and I hope that hearing
>from people researching these families here in Ireland will help in
>the long run
>all the best