Richhill Resources - Lists and Maps

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Introduction

This section contains lists of information relating to the people of Richhill that may be of interest to genealogists or others researching their family tree.

Lists, when displayed, can be sorted by clicking on the headings on the top row. For example, if you wish to sort the Muster Roll alphabetically by surname, you would click on the 'Surname' heading. Clicking on this again will sort the column in reverse order. All the columns, including dates, can be sorted in this way.

Muster Roll - 1629

In the years after the Ulster Plantation the government wanted to know how many men at arms it could raise in an emergency. It appointed one Lieutenant William Graham in 1628 as muster-master for Ulster and Leinster. Between then and 1634 he travelled through these areas requiring settlers to parade before him. He visited County Armagh at Easter 1629 and the list of the names he recorded still survives. This provides the first census of English settlers on the Richhill estate, the owned by 'Francis Satcheverall esquire, undertaker of 2000 acres'. It shows 46 men equipped with swords, pikes, calivers and snaphances and a further 58 settlers with no weapons. A snaphance was a type of gun like a rifle with a firing mechanism that, in the history of such things, came between a wheellock and a flintlock. A caliver was an early type of portable gun supported on a tripod or a forked rest.

Hearth Money Roll -1664

The government imposed a new tax on hearths in 1663. The rate was set at 2s and every house that had one or more hearths was required to pay. This was a very regressive tax, in that the rich man paid as much as the lowliest labourer, but the law continued in force until the Act of Union. This list shows who paid the tax in Richhill and its townlands. It shows there were twenty houses in the village and fewer than fifty elsewhere. However, many cabins did not have a hearth so the total number of households in Legacorry was probably much higher.

The Ulster Covenant -1912

The Covenant, an expression of Unionism’s rejection of Home Rule, was signed on 28 th September 1912 by 237,368 men. The accompanying Declaration was signed by 230,046 women.

The text of the Covenant read:

“BEING CONVINCED in our consciences that Home Rule would be disastrous to the material well-being of Ulster as well as of the whole of Ireland, subversive of our civil and religious freedom, destructive of our citizenship, and perilous to the unity of the Empire, we, whose names are underwritten, men of Ulster, loyal subjects of His Gracious Majesty King George V., humbly relying on the God whom our fathers in days of stress and trial confidently trusted, do hereby pledge ourselves in solemn Covenant, throughout this our time of threatened calamity, to stand by one another in defending, for ourselves and our children, our cherished position of equal citizenship in the United Kingdom, and in using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland. And in the event of such a Parliament being forced upon us, we further solemnly and mutually pledge ourselves to refuse to recognise its authority. In sure confidence that God will defend the right, we hereto subscribe our names. And further, we individually declare that we have not already signed this Covenant.”

That of the Declaration:

“We, whose names are underwritten, women of Ulster, and loyal subjects of our gracious King, being firmly persuaded that Home Rule would be disastrous to our Country, desire to associate ourselves with the men of Ulster in their uncompromising opposition to the Home Rule Bill now before Parliament, whereby it is proposed to drive Ulster out of her cherished place in the Constitution of the United Kingdom, and to place her under the domination and control of a Parliament in Ireland. Praying that from this calamity God will save Ireland, we here to subscribe our names.”

In Richhill, 1,444 men and women signed at tables draped with union flags set up at Ahory Orange Hall, Richhill Temperance Hall, Woodview House and at an unrecorded location in Kilmore. The most common name of those that signed was Wilson (65 signatures), followed by Hewitt (39), Hutchinson (35) and Troughton (33).

Credit: This list is derived from data collated by the Orange order and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

Roll of Honour -1914-18 & 1939-45

These lists show all those who are known to have served in the armed forces, at home or abroad, during the two great conflicts of the twentieth century. Every effort has been made to include the names of all those who served. It is likely, however, that the lists are incomplete. `the Royal British Legion is currently (August 2017) collating a revised list of those whose names should be on the War Memorial. Should this identify anyone whose name has been omitted from this book, or whose details are inaccurate, please send in the the correct information through the contact page so that the mistakes can be corrected.

Townlands of Richhill

The term townland is a rough translation of the Irish baile bó, anglicised as ballyboe. In the original Irish, the word ‘baile’ translated as ‘a piece of land’; but by the fourteenth century it had acquired the meaning of ‘settlement’.
The English in translating baile bó used this later meaning which is why the word ‘townland’ is found in circumstances where there is no town. The other mistake the English made was to assume that, in the same way that an acre in Somerset was the same size as an acre in Herefordshire, a ballyboe in Armagh had to be the same size as one in Cavan. In fact, the Irish used a different principle. The size of a ballyboe was defined as ‘the land providing one cow for rent’. This meant that the area of a ballyboe could range from small to large depending on its productivity and value. This was later to cause the planters huge difficulties as their conversions from ballyboes to acres proved wildly inaccurate. The average size of a townland in Ulster is 357 acres; but they vary from 4,551 acres (Slievedoo, Co. Tyrone) to 4 acres (Acre McCricket, Co Down).

The Church of Ireland Parish of Richhill, established in 1837, and the Civil Parish of Richhill, established in 1901, do not contain the same townlands, although there is a significant overlap. The Richhill estate included most of the parish, but not all. However, it also included several townlands outside both parishes, such as Derryhale and Ballintaggart.

Map of Richhill - 1890

This map, published in c1890, shows Richhill and the surrounding area. The railway runs from Portadown in the North-East to Armagh in the South-West. The map not only shows towns and villages but some of the larger private houses.

Richhill Census Data(Open in new windows)

Census data collected in 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were lost when the records were destroyed in June 1922 during the Irish Civil War.