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[Bann Valley] Re: Downing family

In article <emb20ee654-5594-40df-b45f-58938afaaeb2@robert-dell>,
   Robert Stedall <robert@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I am one of a group of researchers trying the establish the extent and 
> antecedents of the Downing family who signed leases on the Vintners' 
> Propertion at Bellaghy in 1569.They are probably descended from George 
> Downing who held leases at Ballykelly from about 1618, but moved to 
> Bellaghy in 1569. We have a Victorian record of uncertain authenticity 
> that he had a son George, probably of Rocktown, who was the Comptroller 
> of Customs for Co. Londonderry. He seems to have had a brother Nicholas 
> of Drumard, whose will was proved in 1698, and there was another brother 
> William. It would seem that George Jr. married Jane Montgomery, the 
> daughter of Hugh Montgomery of Gransheogh, who held estates at Maghera. 
> They had at least five sons of whom the best known was Captain Adam 
> Downing (later Lt. Colonel) who fought at the siege of Londonderry and 
> married Anne Jackson of the Coleraine Jackson family. There were also 
> John, George ,Samuel and Bernard. We have identified a considerable 
> number of Downing names in the vicinity of Bellaghy, but apart from 
> Adam's and Samuel's descendants, we have not been able to link them into 
> the family. The problem is made more complicated, because several Gaelic 
> families adopted the name Downing when they anglicised their names, but 
> it is likely that several of the later Downing names were kinsmen of 
> Adam. For example there are families with the given name Stratford and 
> Hertford, and we are aware that an Anglo-Irish family with the the 
> surname, Stratford, also lived locally. There is also a grouping at 
> Dreenan, who may be of Gaelic origin.

> We are at present grasping at every possible straw, and I can provide 
> such information as we have unearthed (and its source) to anyone who is 
> interested. I would prefer to focus on records or leads that date back 
> prior to about 1800.


I assume you have searched the site for Downing - and any conceivable
spelling/pronunciation variation?

A number of Downings turn up.

But there seems to be an almost impenetrable wall to Bann Valley genealogy
around 1800 - very few families seem to have got bach further.

Good luck

             Richard Torrens  - Genealogy@xxxxxxxxxxx
        Genealogy site: http://Genealogy.Torrens.org/
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