Family History of Lisburn

While the history of Lisburn (Co. Antrim) is well documented and there is much information online, here follows a condensed presentation of information relating to particular families in and around the time of its foundation in the 17th century.

17th Century Timeline

This is a rough timeline to give an idea of context :

    • 1604 - Con O'Neill, in exchange for royal pardon, grants his land in Killultagh to Sir James Hamilton.

    • 1609 - Hamilton grants lands to Sir Fulke Conway.

    • 16xx - Sir Fulke Conway buys further lands from Con O'Neill and town is developed.

    • 1624 - Sir Fulke dies and estate inherited by his brother, Sir Edward Conway (1st Viscount Killultagh).

    • 1631 - Sir Edward dies and estate inherited by his son, Edward (2nd Viscount Killultagh).

    • 1631 - George Rawdon arrives - manages the Estate of Viscount Conway.

    • 1641 - Irish rebellion on Friday 26th of November, Lisnegarvey town burned by retreating natives.

    • 1649 - Cromwell's Parliamentarians lead by Col. Venables & Sir Charles Coote beat the Royalists near the town (December)

    • 1649 - Sgt Major George Rawdon of Rawdon, granted lands at Brook Hill (Brookhill).

    • 1655 - 2nd Viscount dies and estate passes to eldest son Edward, 3rd Viscount and later Lord Conway.

    • 1662 - Town referred to as Lisburn in charter.

    • 1684 - Sir George Rawdon dies aged 80 yrs.

    • 1707 - Town destroyed by accidental fire.

Original Inhabitants

We are very fortunate to have records from the 17th century which claim to list the original native Irish families of Killultagh - the area around what would later be Lisburn. This extract is taken from the State Papers relating to Ireland [1] :

A Note of all the True Natives of Kilulta

Neal Galt O'Neale, formerly lord of this Killultagh. He married three times - first to the daughter of the McQuinlan,

who was then Lord of the Ruta [the Roote?], now the Earl of Antrim's lands. Then he married upon O'Neale's daughter,

named Una ny Neale, and by her have had many children. Lastly he married the Lord of Iveagh's daughter, Rose ny Magennis,

and got many children with her.

The following except that they paid a token of rent, had the freedom of Killultagh, the Magillmuryes, the MacRories, the

Hamels, the McTrealawnies, the Heaghians, the Greemes, the Hillins, the Magveahs, the Macavagans.

Lists follow of -

1. Those that were true inhabitants and undertenants in the country aforesaid.

2. A note of those that are but strangers of other countries dwelling in this county of Irish.


The lists are as follows :-

(1.) The Magillreawies, McShanes, Lawries, O'Mulhalons, McQuaids, McRobins and others.

(2.) The McCaines, Magrues, Magowrans, McStranogs, Makeaghrakes, O'Deemans, O'Quins,

McGeeans, O'Mildownes, O'Kanes, Tallons, Gribins and O'Mullcrewy with their strange

followers, the O'Closes, O'Lorkans, O'Forfyes, O'Connorys, O'Conweeles, O'Monans,

Mageralls, McRories, O'Mulveanines, O'Prontyes, MArlies, MacVoloonyes [?],

McDonnells, Hinneries, McQooicks, Flannegans, Maghagans.

English & Welsh Settlers

There is also a list of the original English and Welsh settlers of the town of Lisnegarvy [2]:

Sir Fulke imported inhabitants for his new town of Lisnegarvy, and tenants for the good lands on his estate, from his family property near the confines of Gloucester, Worcester, and Warwick

Henry Cloughanson, John Norris, John O'Murray, Thomas Date, Simon Batterfield, John Slye, John Golly, Hugh Montgomerie, Marmaduke Dobbs, Richard Dobbs, Thos. Paston, John Tippen, Stephen Richardson, Christopher Calvert, Ann Morgan, George Rose, Edward Steward, Henric Wilson, Robert Browne, William Averne, John Dilworth, Katherine Bland, George Davis, John Savage, Jerome Cartwright, Robert Taylor, Symon Richardson, Humprey Dash, William Smith, John McNilly, Askulfe Stanton, Henrie Hollcote, Francis Burke, Thomas Symonson, Richard Howie, John Houseman, Patrick Palmer, Robt. Warton, William Cubbage, John Aprichard, Owen Aphugh, Antonie Stottard, John Mace, Humfry Leech, Richard Walker, Henrie Freebourne, Edward Gouldsmith, Robert Bones, William Edwards, Peter O'Mulred, and John O'Murray.

We know that Sir George Rawdon also brought people over and these were also followed by linen weavers and Huguenot settlers as the town and regional industry developed.


    1. Calendar of State Papers Relating to Ireland

    2. "An historical account of the Diocese of Down and Connor, Ancient and Modern", Rev. James O'Laverty M.R.I.A.,