Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2002-04 > 1019315126
Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish] William Hamilton 1720 Belfast, Ireland
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 08:12:45 -0700
Hi Ralph, geez, this is a hard one: the date is early and the name
is very common. Half of Ulster was surnamed "Hamilton", it seems <grin>.
Some tips -- search collateral lines in the hopes that one of them
retained some clue to the exact family origin. Belfast is a little
vague. It's possible that that was just the point of exit. It does
narrow things down.
Carefully study their economic situation. If they came as a family
they were relatively 'well off' in IReland since they could afford
to pay money for the passage for the family. There was a cash shortage
so people didn't tend to have wads of cash about in banks, even
merchants, that they could use to buy tickets. They sold things.
What? Check Falley "Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research" for
info on how to look into the deeds to see if they sold a lease and
actually registered it. Or someone died and they cashed out the
inheritance. Agnew's book on Belfast Merchants in the 1600's gives
a lot of info on how the upper crust lived. They were still not living
very well and were very short of cash. If that was their situation,
imagine the rest.
Check lists of freemen in Belfast to see how many Hamiltons appear
on it. I'd go to Ryan "IRish Records" to see what exists. Check
lists (find these in the major indexes: Hayes, Smith's Inventories,
and NIDS. For some info see www.rootsweb.com/~bifhsusa ) of merchant
families, of apprentices, etc. Pay close attention to what they
did in PA -- blacksmiths? Stonemasons? Then check records in
Ireland for these same occupations. There's a few about. Read a lot
of Belfast local history.
All this though will do is turn up scores of Hamiltons.
So research the families about them too. At least know their names.
Research their church affiliation. In your area of Lancaster
you had a PResbyterian, a Covenantor, and eventually Seceder congre-
gations. Their religious preferences gives you clues into family
back in Ireland. If they were Covenentors, then the people whom
they lived by and married into were also Covenantors and it is highly
likely they knew them back in Ireland. Though my family forgot why
we "knew these people", 200 years later, my mother's family STILL KNEW
and socialized with the people in my ancestor's covenantor society
in Western PA.
The names associated with some of the earliest Covenantor Societies
in Antrim are in the archives of this list, extracted from Irish
church histories. The names of those societies are the names of the
townlands where the people lived. In some of them, the same surname
has been in that society for as long as we have names -- early 1700's.
If you see a pod of people with these same surnames -- could be
the same folks. The names are so distinctive, I spotted a parish of
them in Tyrone in the Tithe Applotment. "These are Ballymena
Covenantors!" says I. Bottom of the parish the Church of Ireland
vicar wrote that these people were the "Spawn of Scottish Covenantors"
and the root of the Hearts of Oak disturbance.
So don't know what the key is for you, but if you research them
thoroughly you will find something distinctive that will help.
---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Ralph W. Wyndrum Jr." <>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 23:43:00 -0400
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Dave P" <>
>Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2002 9:38 AM
>Subject: [Scotch-Irish] William Hamilton 1720 Belfast, Ireland
>> Looking for information on William Hamilton born 1720 in Belfast, Ulster,
>> Ireland. He was married to Jean (or Jane) McIlwain. William emigrated
>> about 1733 to Leacock Twp, Lancaster Co, PA with his brother Hugh and
>> sisters Ann and Mary. He died in 1781 in Lancaster Co, PA.
>> Trying to find the names of his parents and more information on his wife
>> Jean who died in 1808.
>> > ==== HAMILTON Mailing List ====
>> > Visit: http://members.aol.com/johnf14246/gen_mail.html for the most
>> accurate list of Mail Lists available!