Cos. Tyrone, Donegal, Londonderry & Fermanagh Ireland Genealogy Research

Official Website of the Mailing List

Dunn Families in North Co. Tyrone 1613-2000

Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
James Dunn Laird, Lord Laird of Artigarvan

Note - While there is evidence for the existence of all the individuals mentioned in this document some of the relationships are speculative rather than definite. In the case of speculative relationship the supporting evidence is usually made clear in the text.

Acknowledgement - Very many of the Dunn family details is this document were contributed by my cousin James Dunn of Glenagoorland whose knowledge of his family history is both very extensive and also amazingly comprehensive.


Webmaster Note - we wish to acknowledge the Lord's detailed research effort on behalf of all Dunn researchers.

Localities are identified by townland. The vast majority of these are in Co. Tyrone but a few such as Creevedonnell and Curryfree are in the nearby parts of Co. Londonderry. All the localities lie within aprox. six miles of Glenagoorland. The main Parish concerned is Donagheady Church of Ireland. Some of the individuals became Presbyterian or married Presbyterians. Some also changed their Parish and attended Glendermott [Clondermott] or Cumber Churches – [Church of Ireland].


Donagheady Old Church and Graveyard
Donagheady Old Church and Graveyard


The Plantation of Ulster involved the Counties of Cavan, Londonderry, Armagh, Tyrone, and Donegal. Counties Antrim and Down were not part of the official Plantation because by 1610 they already contained a fairly large number of Scottish, and to a lesser extent, English settlers. Estimated numbers of the people involved are surprisingly small. Percival-Maxwell in his book “Scottish migration to Ulster in the reign of James 1” gives the following figures. In the nine counties of Ulster immediately prior to the Plantation he suggests that there were only between 25,000 and 40,000 native Irish living in the Province. The figures for Scottish adult settlers in the west of Ulster is --------

Tyrone [1613] 770 adults [1619] 1725 adults

Donegal [1613] 520 adults [1619] 900 adults

[1622] 1120 adults [1625] 1480 adults

[1625] 1480 adults




Plantation land grants in N. Tyrone and Donegal

In N. Tyrone Sir Claud Hamilton of Shawfield, a brother of James Hamilton the First Earl of Abercorn was granted the manor of Dunnalong in 1610. This included Dunnalong Fort on the banks of the river Foyle. Dunnalong also included an extensive sweep of land along the Tyrone Londonderry border with townlands such as Cavancreegh, Cullion, and Dullerton [all places where Dunns lived subsequently].

Also in 1610 the Bishop of Derry was granted the townlands of Fawny, Benone, Ardcame, and Leitrim in the parish of Donagheady [the parish also had three townlands of glebe land {land owned by the Church}– Glenagoorland, Tyboe, and Creaghan].


In east Donegal James Cunningham of Howmilne, Ayrshire was granted 1,000 acres in Portlough precinct in 1610. Most of the men to whom he leased land were described as Lowland Scots on the basis of their names. John Cunningham of Cawfield [a nephew of James] was also granted 1,000 acres in Portlough


George Murray of Broughton, southern Wigtonshire, [later Earl of Annandale] was granted a very large tract of land in west Donegal called Boylagh and Banagh.

Development of the Plantation

The Ulster Plantation went through a number of stages. The undertakers [those who received land on condition that they undertook specific development tasks] were given their land grants in 1610. Over the next few years many undertakers brought tenants onto their land and built the required fortified houses or small castles. Many built homes for themselves on their new land and brought their servants and families to live there. However this did not occur everywhere. Some undertakers did not secure tenants or build the necessary fortifications. In some cases the land was so poor that tenants moved away soon after arriving. In other cases there were boundary disputes, which held up development.

The settlement at Dunnalong got off to a very bad start with the death of Sir Claud Hamilton in Oct. 1614. His son James was a minor and so his uncle Sir George Hamilton managed the Estate. Little effort was put into settling this area. Pynner reports in 1618 that there were only three or four houses for British settlers on the estate. There was no castle or bawn and there were only twenty four British families in the entire area. He reported that this represented 106 men who could bear arms. The 1622 Plantation survey reported a good castle [as yet unfinished] with a large bawn. [The ruins of this castle can be seen at Mountcastle]. This survey recorded five freeholder and twenty-four leaseholder families. The vast majority of these had built themselves stone houses and there was a water –driven corn mill and a quay on the Foyle. The free-holders included the Rev. Patrick Hamilton who left his house in Cavancreegh and land in four townlands to his son John in his will of 1635. As with most Plantation areas Donagheady showed development up to aprox. 1620 but then stagnated for a number of years. In 1630 the Muster Rolls show only 44 men who could bear arms in Dunnalong.

The Bishopric of Derry was given four townlands in Donagheady [Benone, Ardcame, Fawny. and Leitrim]. These were Glebe lands whose income supported the Church. The old Donagheady church [at Church Hill] was in a poor state of repair and in 1622 a Bishop’s inspection found that it had walls but no roof. The church had a rector [Robert Sempill] so there must have been enough Anglicans locally to support him. Information about the Glebe lands is sparse but no British settlers are recorded as tenants so they were probably let to Irish families [traditionally members of the Devine family]. The 1641 Rebellion brought devastation to Donagheady and Dunnalong. The Dunnalong castle, Donemana castle, and Strabane castles were all taken by the rebels led in some cases by members of the Devine family. Donagheady church was attacked and defaced. The rector was wounded and subsequently developed a fever from which he died. The Bishop of Derry went into exile for over ten years and let his land [a total of only 160 acres of arable land] to Sir George Hamilton who in turn, sublet to Patrick groome Devin[e]. The 1654 survey uses Irish names for townlands and the glebe lands are therefore hard to identify but do not appear to be mentioned and so were probably not occupied.

With the Restoration of King Charles I the area began to return to some form of normality. New settlers appeared including the Dunn families. The poll tax returns [1660] show 134 British adults in Dunnalong. This survey also shows that over half the inhabitants of Donaghheady were Irish. The Hearth Rolls [1665] show 52 British families in Dunnalong. The 1669 Rolls show an increase to 83 British families.

The Hearth Rolls of Donagheady[1665] also show some interesting features: -

Gortavea --- leased by Walter Douglas

Cullion ----------------- Donald McMorris, Owen O’Hegarty

Cavancreagh ---------- James Dyne , Robert McCrea

Leitrim ----------------- John Dunn , Robert Dunn

Bunone ----------------- Fergal O’Devine, Robert Gibson, Gilbert Nilson

Ardcame --------------- James Mont , Thomas Gilgore , John Gilgore

Castlemellan ---------- Arthur Hamilton

Aughtermoy ---------- Claud Hamilton, Robert McFarland

Drain ------------------- Richard Ellis

Creaghin Glebe ------- Laughlin Mullaghlin, Walter McFarland


Glenagoorland is not mentioned. It is notable that most townlands had only one or two families leasing the ground; a reflection of the small amount of arable land. Two of the families [Hamilton and McFarland] appear in the marriages of the next generation of Dunns. It is also worth mentioning that half of Cullion was leased to an Irish tenant.

In Donegal James Cunningham took possession of his thousand acres at Moiagh, Portlough in Sept. 1610. This estate lies just to the west of the town of Raphoe. James started to move tenants onto the land [including John, John [jun.], and Alexander Dunne in 1613]. He built himself a house and moved, with his wife and family, onto the estate. He fairly soon became involved in a boundary dispute with Sir Ralph Bingley. This was eventually settled by the King in favour of James Cunningham. However the lengthy dispute held up development of the estate for a number of years. Pynner [1618] reported forty-two British men on the estate. The 1622 report indicates that a house and bawn had been built but the number of British men had been reduced to thirty-three. The Muster Rolls of 1630 show Andrew and John Dyne still on the estate,

In the far west of Donegal George Murray [later Earl of Annandale] was given a large tract of land at Boyagh and Bannagh [around Glenties, just west of the Blue Stack mountains]. Initially Georges’s brother moved onto the estate. Later George built himself a house and moved onto his land. Soon afterwards he died at Lifford in Aug. 1613. A lengthy and bitter dispute arose between his widow and Sir Richard Gordon of Lockinvar. Sir Richard claimed the Irish estates on the grounds that George Murray had not fulfilled the conditions of his grant. However in 1619 George Murray is recorded as owning Boylagh and Bannagh. In 1630 the Muster Rolls list the estate as ten thousand acres belonging to Sir George Murray. These Muster Rolls show two Andrew Dunns who are recorded far apart on the documents suggesting that they may have lived some distance apart.

The 1641 Rebellion appears to have hit west Donegal hard [like N. Tyrone]. The east of Donegal was protected by the Laggan army [commanded by brothers Sir William and Sir Robert Stewart]. This militia army was very successful in protecting settlers in Londonderry town and throughout the Laggan valley [E. Donegal]. A Muster Roll of Sir Robert’s Stewarts army at Raphoe in Aug. 1642 records John Dunn as a corporal.

The general disorder produced a large shift of population throughout all the Plantation areas. The Hearth Rolls of 1665-66 show only one Dunn family still in Donegal [at Leck parish in Raphoe]


Summary – Three or four Dunn families arrived in Co. Donegal by 1630, possibly from Northumberland. Following the 1641 uprising only one family appears to have remained [in Leck, Raphoe].


Origin of the Dunns

The name Dunn occurs in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The settlers were predominately Scottish. However Dunn does not appear to have been a common name in Scotland at this time. It was probably more common in Northumberland than in the corresponding Border areas in Scotland. The Dunn families all attended Donagheady Church of Ireland. Initially there were no Presbyterian Churches in the locality at the time so they may not have had a choice. During the years 1650 to 1660 [the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell] a Scot called John Hamilton served as Minister to the Donagheady parish. {Note – In the early years of the Plantation there was considerable toleration of Presbyterians in the Anglican Church so John Hamilton was more Presbyterian than Anglican}. At the Restoration John would not accept the Established Church {Anglican} and so for ten years he served Presbyterians in Donagheady with open-air meetings, [which were illegal]. In 1672, when the restrictions on Presbyterians had been relaxed, he helped build the first Presbyterian Church in Donagheady. The Dunns therefore had an opportunity to choose between the Anglican and Presbyterian faiths. However the Glenegoorland Dunns and several related Dunn families were leasing Church land . This would have made it less likely to declare as Presbyterians. Another very relevant feature is that prior to this period the English /Scottish borders were being cleared of troublesome people [Reivers]. For over two hundred years a state of lawlessness prevailed on both sides of the Scottish/English border. With the accession of James 1st of England and also 6th of Scotland in 1601 this state of affairs was finally tackled -by expulsions of the main families to Ireland or the Continent of Europe or in more difficult cases by hanging the offending men. One of the Reiver families was the Dunnes of Redesdale in Northumberland. [There is a tiny hamlet just north of Otterburn called Dunn Houses and Dunn Cottages.] When the Reiver families came to Ulster they tended to settle in the West, as far away from the forces of law and order as possible.

However there are other possibilities. For example Dunns is a small but very beautiful market town in the eastern part of the Scottish borders.

The simple answer is that it is not possible at this time to say where the earliest Dunns settlers in Donegal came from although there is a slight preference for Northumberland. Later settlers are more likely to have come from Scotland.




Summary- The Dunn families in Co. Donegal may have originated in Northumberland.


Dunns in Ulster

The numbers of settlers in Tyrone and Donegal was remarkably small especially in the early days. The land was considered hostile and remote [in an era when travel was difficult]. For this reason much of the settlement was by young men who, for safety, travelled with relatives or perhaps close friends. For these reasons the appearance of more than one person of the same surname in a locality suggests that they were related. This is particularly true for a relatively uncommon name such as Dunn.


The earliest record of Dunns arriving in Ulster is the lease of a piece of land by a James Cunningham from Ayrshire who had been granted 1000 acres in east Donegal at Moyegh in the parish of Raphoe. On the 1st of May 1613 some of this land was leased to Alexander Dunne, John Dunne, John Dunne [jun], Donnel Mckym, John Young, William Hendry, Alexander Grynny, and William Stewart. The 1630 Muster Roll [a list of all men between 16 and 60 with a note of their arms] shows John and Andrew Dyne on the same land [misspelling was very common]. A William Doone is also shown on nearby land leased by John Cunningham [a relation of James]. In west Donegal in Boylagh and Bannagh there were two Andrew Dunnes leasing land from the Earl of Annandale. The surviving Muster Rolls do not show any other Dunns in any of the other planted counties or Cos. Antrim or Down. A second Muster Roll in Co. Donegal in 1631 shows that in west Donegal only one Andrew Dunne was recorded. These early records strongly suggest that there were two Dunn families living quite close together in east Donegal and one or two further families in west Donegal.

The next surviving records are Donagheady Church of Ireland parish records. This parish is on the North Tyrone/Londonderry county border. These records show Robert Dunn as churchwarden in 1661. The Hearth Rolls [a form of tax based on each house which had a hearth] of 1665 show a dramatic change in the distribution of Dunn families. At this point there was only one Dunn remaining in Donegal - Andrew Dunne living in Leck, parish of Raphoe. There were two Dunns [John and Robert] living in Leitrim, a townland in north Tyrone. In 1666 James Dyne and Robert McCrie leased an area of land [the townland of Cavancreagh] reasonably close to the land occupied by John and Robert [A townland is an Ulster name for an area of land usually big enough to contain several small farms.]

The Hearth Rolls show Dunns appearing in new areas. George Dunn is shown living in Co. Down. In Co. Antrim eleven Dunns are shown. Of these two have Irish Christian names and lived near Carrickfergus. Of the others three lived in or close to Glenarm and were probably related. Two lived close to Belfast [Knockbreda and Ballyrobin], and one each in Kells, Randallstown, Dundennett, and the last near Toome. There was a James Dunn living at Farlow in the Parish of Tamlagh Finlagan [near Ballykelly]. No other Dunns are shown elsewhere in Ulster apart from the city of Londonderry.


The city of Londonderry was built, fortified. and settled by the various guilds of the city of London. While some of the settlers were Scottish most were English. There was at least one family of Dunns in the city but it is more than likely that they came from a completely different part of England or Scotland to the Donegal planters. A roll of householders in 1628 shows Michael Dunn owning a house and garden. In 1665 Alexander Din acted as godfather to twins James and Mary, children of David Orr. Alexander was buried in St. Columbs Cathedral graveyard on the 13th Feb 1673. The cathedral records also show Charles Dunn married to Mary with children Elizabeth [born 9th Oct 1681], Katherine [born 3rd Sept 1684], Mary [born 8th June1688],Francis [born4th March 1695]. Also in this parish John Millar married Jannett [Janet] Dunn. T

In 1697 William Dunn and Thomas Dunn [gents.] are recorded on the Co. Londonderry voters list. [Later records suggest that William probably lived in Legachory and therefore Thomas probably came from Tamlagh Finlagan]. Subsequent records show Dunn families in Londonderry City and the Parishes of Clondermott, Faughanvale, and Bannagher.


Summary – from 1660 to 1665 three Dunn families appeared in N. Tyrone, two closely related [apparently brothers] and the third possibly a relative. It appears possible that they came from Co. Donegal although some new settlers were coming from Scotland. Dunn families also appeared in Co. Antrim one in Co. Down and one in Co. Londonderry. Given the dispersal from Co. Donegal, at least some of these may also have come from Co. Donegal. Dunn families [unrelated] had also been living in the City of Londonderry for at least one generation


Family movement

Families tended to be large and the vast majority of males appear to have married. Ulster was also hostile territory not unlike the American frontier to which so many families eventually emigrated. Families tended to stay close together for mutual support. The Dunns lived in Donegal for at least one generation and so their numbers should have increased. By the 1660’s all but one family had left. Two or three Dunn families appeared in north Tyrone. These could be new settlers [who were predominantly Scottish] or families from Donegal.

From 1660 onwards there was a second wave of settlers, mainly from Scotland. Many of these settled in Co.s, Antrim and Down. By the mid to late 1700’s the lists of voters [males whose property had a 40 shilling valuation] showed Dunns as follows—Co. Antrim 7, Co. Down 108, Co. Londonderry 3, Londonderry city 3, Co. Fermanagh 5, Co. Armagh 2, Co. Donegal 1, Co. Tyrone 3. There were clearly many others who did not have the property qualification.


Glenagoorland map
Glenagoorland and surrounding areas


Arrival of Dunn families in N. Tyrone

The earliest record of Dunn families in N. Tyrone occurs in the parish of Donagheady.

Robert Dun and his wife, Yeoman. [The Poll Book of the Parish of

Donaghkiddy, circa 1661]


Robert Dun, John Dun. [Hearth Money Rolls, undated circa 1665]


Robert Dunn, John Dunn [Hearth Money Rolls 1669]


  1. Robert Simson and Robert Dunne ---- Church Wardens

  1. Andrew Dunn of Clanegorly ---------- Church Warden


1667 Robert Dunn [tenant of Capt. James Galbrith]


1665 James Dyne [Hearth Money Rolls]


James Dunn James Dunn Robert Dunn Andrew Dunn John Dunn

married married married married married

Joan Lowry Eliz. McFarland Mary Muirhead Eliz. McFarland Marg. McFarland



John Dunn married to Margaret McFarland -children


Robert James Isobel Andrew Agnes Joan John Elizabeth




Andrew Dunn James Dunn


The Donagheady Parish records cover the following years: --

Baptisms 1697-1723, 1753-1765, 1818-1819.

Marriages 1697-1726, 1754,-1764, 1826-1844.

Burials 1698-1726, 1754-1756, 1829-1919.

There are therefore a number of critical gaps. The records show the following –



25 Jan. 1700 James of James Dunn and Joan [or Jean] Lowrie [Cullion].

25 Mar.1701 Sarah

8 Apr. 1702 Robert

21 Aug.1704 James married Hannah and had three children Stephen [baptised 13

Dec.1754], Hannah [bap.5 Mar. 1759], William [bap.18 Sept.1763].

9 Mar. 1707 Janet

3 Jan. 1708 Stephen married Janot and had three children [Stephen [bap. 30 Sep.

1753], James [bap. 25 Oct. 1755], Hannah [bap. 22 Apr. 1762].

10 Mar. 1713 Elizabeth

16 Feb. 1717 William


9 Feb. 1702 Robert of John Dunn and Margaret McFarland [Tyboe and


19 Oct. 1704 James [died Glenagoorland 27 Mar. 1757. Son Robert died

Glenagoorland Feb 1763]

19 Mar.1707 Isobel

2 Jan. 1710 Andrew

20 Mar.1713 Agnes

2 Feb. 1716 Joan

12 Dec. 1718 John married Margaret had two sons James [born 1755] Andrew [born


25 Dec. 1722 Elizabeth married John Arthur [Ardstraw] 27 Jun 1764.


2 Aug. 1704 Andrew of Robert Dunn and Mary Muirhead [Ardcame].

12 Oct. 1706 William

19 Feb. 1709 James


8 Jul. 1701 Janot of James Dunn and Elizabeth McFarland [Benone].

1 Dec. 1705 Sarah

12 Jun. 1719 Agnes


23 Feb. 1716 John of Andrew Dunn and Elizabeth McFarland [Glenagoorland].

18 Dec. 1717 Jannott

28 Jan. 1719 William


15 Jun. 1703 Arthur of Joan Dunn and James Hamilton [Ardcame].

31 Aug.1704 Robert




30 Jun. 1698 John Dunn to Margaret McFarland

27 Aug. 1699 Janot Dunn [appears to have lived in Leitrim] to Patrick McFarland

Had two children Robert [born 8 Aug. 1701] and Margaret

[born 17 Feb. 1704].

8 Nov. 1699 Thomas Dunn married Elizabeth McFarland.

31 Jan. 1700 Isobel Dunn [Donagheady] to James Robinson [Clondermott].

27 Apr. 1702 Isobel Dunn [Donagheady] to William Hamilton [Ardstraw].

15 Apr. 1703 Margaret Dun [Donagheady] to John Scott [Cumber].

14 Oct. 1712 Robert Dunn to Isabella Dunn [Donagheady].

11 ---- 1717 Robert Dunn [Donagheady] to Elizabeth Blair [Donaghmore].

14 Jan. 1718 Jonnett Dun to James ---------.

10 Apr. 1722 Jonnett Dunn [Donagheady] to William Blair [Donaghmore].

13 Apr. 1725 Jonet Dunn [Donagheady] to George Wark [Donagheady].

23 Jan. 1761 Andrew Dunn of Cullion to Jane Hamilton of Gortreagh.

21 Jun. 1761 James Dunn of Stoneyfields to Ann Gallagher of Lisdivin.

13 Dec. 1761 Oliver Dunn of Glenlough [Cumber Parish] to Martha Davison of




1696 James Dunn [aged 22 yrs.] gravestone in old Donagheady Ch.

7 Mar. 1712 Mary Muirhead wife of Robert Dunn Ardcame

27 Aug 1715 John son of Andrew Dunn Glenagoorland.

30 [?] Feb. 1713 Agnes, wife of Robert Dunn [jun.] Glenagoorland.

30 Sep. 1754 Robert son of James Dunn Glenagoorland.



This book records the Vestry Meetings for the Church from 1697 to 1720 and contains the signatures of Vestry members attending. Comparison of the Christian names of Dunns attending these meetings shows that on several occasions there are more Dunns recorded than can be accounted for by the records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths.

26 Apr. 1698 James Dun, Andrew Dun, Andrew Dun [one too many Andrews].

18 Apr. 1704 Andrew Dun, Andrew Dun, Andrew Dun, John Dunn, Robert Dunn,

Robert Dunn. [too many Andrews].

6 Apr. 1708 Robert Dun, Andrew Dun, James Dun, Robert Dunn, Robert Dunn,

Andrew Dun, John Dunn. [one Robert and one Andrew too many].

This pattern persists with clearly one too many Andrew Dunn and probably one extra Robert as well.





LEGACHORY [Cumber Parish] William Dunn

GLENLOUGH [Cumber Parish] Robert Dunn

CREEVEDONNELL [Cumber Parish] Robert Dunn


Summary – by the early 1700’s Dunn families appeared in a number of townlands around Glenagoorland and Leitrim. The prevalence of certain Christian names indicates that there must have been at least three families [two in Leitrim one in Cavancreagh]. In nearby Cumber Parish, Co. Londonderry three Dunn families were present in 1740 --- two of these may be directly related to the N. Tyrone Dunns.



In the early 1660’s there were three Dunn families in N. Tyrone. There does not appear to be any trace of other Dunn families in the N. Tyrone locality. Two of the families shared the same land and they were probably brothers. James Dyne in Cavancreagh was aprox. four miles from Robert and John in Leitrim so he was possibly a relation [although on balance this appears unlikely].

Robert and John leased Church land. Robert first appears in Leitrim in 1661 when he was recorded as a Churchwarden. Most Churchwardens at that time appear to have been young men so Robert, who was noted to have a wife, was probably starting his family during the 1660’s. John appears to have been his younger brother so would have had his family slightly later. Robert had a son Robert [junior]. The Andrew Dunn recorded as a churchwarden in Donagheady in 1686 was also Roberts’s son [see Vestry notes]. Andrew is reported as living in Glenagoorland and was the first reported Dunn to farm there. Robert [junior] married Agnes Hamilton whose death in Glenagoorland is recorded in1713. Andrew and Robert [junior] are recorded as the first two Dunns farming Glenagoorland. There were several male Dunns who got married around 1700. These are likely to be John’s sons. It is notable that three of these men, when they got married, leased Church land [John -Tyboe, James -Benone, Robert -Ardcame]. Indeed at this point almost all Church land in Donagheady was leased to Dunns. Some of Robert [senior] or John’s families were still in Leitrim in 1699 because Janet Dunn of Leitrim married Patrick McFarland in that year.

The Church records show the death of Agnes Hamilton the wife of Robert Dunn [sen] on 3rd Feb 1713. Mary Muirhead the wife of Robert Dunn of Ardcame died on 7th Mar 1712. On 27th Aug 1715 John the son of Andrew Dunn died.

All these families lived very close together, within two or three miles of each other.

It is interesting that this was the pattern adopted by the Border families in Northumberland and also used by later immigrants to the frontier lands in America.

James Dunn [married Jean [?Joan] Lowry 1699] lived in Cullion and does not fit the above pattern. Cullion is about five miles from Glenagoorland and James would have been a bit further away than the other Dunns. James also did not lease Church land [Cullion forms part of the Abercorn estate]. There is no earlier record of Dunn families in Cullion in surviving records. This suggests that James came to Cullion when he married a a girl from this locality [Jean Lowry]. An earlier Dyne [Dunn] family lived in nearby Cavancreagh. James may therefore have been the son of James Dyne of Cavancreagh.

Robert Dunn of Creevedonnell appears on a list of tenants of the Goldsmith Company who were summoned to a Leet Court in New Buildings on 19 April 1716. Creevedonnell is also close to Cullion and Cavancreagh This Robert appears to be another son of James Dunn of Cavancreagh and hence the brother of James of Cullion [the Cullion and Crevvedonnell families show the names James and Robert extending over a number of generations].


Glenagoorland in the late 1700’s and the early 1800’s.

In the 1750’s there were two Dunn families living in Glenagoorland.

John [born 12 Dec, 1718] married to Margaret

Andrew married to Elizabeth McFarland

John had at least two children: --

James [born 17 March 1755].

Andrew [born 3 Sep. 1758, bap. 5 Oct. 1758, died 4 July 1846] – by strong

family tradition [and in the unfortunate absence of Church records] believed to

the father of Andrew [the black] born 1788.

Andrew had three children: --

William [bap. 28 Jan 1719] who appears to have married and stayed in

Glenagoorland. A male child is recorded as dying in 1756 of William Dunn

of Glenagoorland.

Jannet [bap.18 Dec, 1717].

John [bap. 23 Feb. 1716, died 27 Aug. 1716].

In addition to the above Charles Dunn [born 1730, died Glenagoorland 1811] must have lived on the farm and raised a family. His gravestone and that of his wife Catherine [died 1 May 1775 aged 42] is in Donagheady old graveyard. While it must have been erected after his death the details on the stone indicate detailed knowledge of the family, so the person responsible was almost certainly a son. It is therefore possible that Charles was the father of Noble Dunn [who also had a son called Charles –a name, which only occurs as the main Christian name on these two occasions in these Dunn families]. If this is the case Charles must have have married twice as his first wife Catherine died in 1775 and Noble was born in 1788.

Charles had a brother called John [born 1737, died 16 Aug.1788]. Charles’s father is a matter for conjecture but on balance he was probably James [born 19 Oct. 1704-the son of John and Margaret McFarland]. James certainly remained in Glenagoorland and apart from Robert, his brother, is the only man who was the right age to father Charles in 1730.

There was also a Margaret Dunn living in Glenagoorland [born 1764, died 12 Feb. 1847]. She was probably John’s wife.


Towards the close of the 1700’s the inhabitants of Glenagoorland were: ---

Andrew [the black] born1788, died 14 Sept. 1869.the son of Andrew

[born 1758].

Jane [born 1792, died 22 Mar. 1854] probably Andrew’s wife.

Noble [born 1788, died 26 Feb. 1854] son of Charles.

Jane [born 1790, died 2 Apr. 1851] wife of Noble.

Annie [born 1799, died 9 Oct, 1869].


Summary – Glenagoorland was farmed by two Dunn families throughout the 1700’s.

Mossfield Dunns

Mossfield is a farm aprox. half a mile from Glenagoorland. In the past there was a flax mill associated with the farm. The first recorded Dunn family in Mossfield included John [born circa 1788, died 18 Mar. 1865] who later took a lease on a farm at Ballyskeagh [near Leckpatrick]. His brother Andrew [the miller] married Nancy Hall and raised a family in Mossfield. Although there were several Dunn families in Glenagoorland there was a very strong family tradition that the Mossfield Dunns were not related to the Glenagoorland families. Indeed this was emphasised by my uncle John Dunn of Ballyskeagh and by my mother.

The Griffith valuation of 1858 shows: ---

Glenagoorland annual valuation

Andrew Dunne [the black] --- house, offices.----£1-15-0 ----land --- £13-15-0

1 labourers house and forge --------------------£0-15-0

Thomas Dunne ----------------- house, offices ----£1-15-0 ----land ---£12-15-0

2 labourers houses -------------------------------£0-10-0

William Dunne ----------------- house, offices ----£1-05-0 ----land ---£11-05-0

James Dunne -------------------- house, offices ----£2-00-0 ----land ---£19-00-0

Mossfield annual valuation

Andrew Dunne [the miller] ---- house, offices ----£3-10-0 ----land ---£28-05-0

Flax mill ------------------------------------------£3-00-0

4 labourers houses -------------------------------£1-00-0

It appears that the Mossfield Dunns were somewhat better off than their neighbours.

This impression is reinforced by Andrew [the miller] buying his farm and mill in 1864. This was before the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1870 when the church was forced to sell its entire glebe and other lands [and the Glenagoorland Dunns bought their farms].

The major problem is the origin of the Mossfield Dunns. The church records are sadly lacking at this critical point. The last Dunn to live at Mossfield was Alexander

[born 1 Mar. 1890, died 1972] who was clear that the family came from Cullion. Alexander’s grandfather was Andrew [the miller] who was one of the two brothers who first appeared in Mossfield so this family history was relatively recent and should be accurate. John [born circa 1788] and his brother Andrew [born 1793] were certainly in Mossfield. However there is no record of other members of the family including their father or mother dying there. In view of the then prevailing custom that the successful sons looked after the parents, this absence is interesting. There is also no definite indication of the date upon which the family arrived in Mossfield. Examination of the surviving records of Dunn families in Cullion at this time yields important facts.


Cullion is an area of good farmland and, for many years, formed part of the Abercorn estate. A Dunn family was living in Cullion from at least 1700 [but not in 1660]. This family appears in the Donagheady C of I Parish records from 1700 for a period of some 70 years. The Abercorn estate records shows them still in Cullion till the late 1800’s and a Dunn appears in Cullion in the 1901 census – Fanny Dunn widow of William Dunn.


Donagheady Church records [for Cullion]


James Dunn and Jean [Joan] Lowry had eight children, the eldest of whom [James] died as an infant. They were: - (1) James baptised 25Jan 1699/1700.

[ died in infancy ].


  1. Sarah baptised 25 Mar. 1701

  2. Robert baptised 8 Apr. 1702.

  3. James baptised 21 Aug 1704.

  4. Jane baptised 9 Mar 1706/7.

  5. Stephen baptised 3 Jan 1708

  6. Elizabeth baptised 10 Mar 1712/13.

  7. William baptised 17 Feb 1716/17.

The Donagheady Vestry Book shows James attending meetings from 1699 every year until 31 Mar 1719. James was overseer for roads in his area from1704 until 1719. It is worth noting that the Glenagoorland Dunns who were also on the committee signed their own names but James of Cullion did not.


The gaps in Church records are now a problem.

[Baptisms are missing from 1723 to 1753 and marriages from1726 to 1754].

There are however a number of other sources.

In the 1736 Abercorn Estate records there is a letter of complaint from Robert and James Dunn of Cullion to the Duke concerning a visitation by the rector of Donagheady Dr Hamilton to their farm. It appears that this one of a number of disputes over the collection of tithes [usually between the Church of Ireland and Presbyterians –who were forced to pay for the upkeep of the C of I as well as their own Church]. On 21 Aug 1736 the rector and sixty of his supporters rode over the Dunn’s crops deliberately destroying them. This James Dunn appears to have been the James born in 1704 and Robert his brother. There is another interesting glimpse into the past due to an Abercorn record of 1745. This was the year that Bonnie Prince Charlie tried to restore the Stuart Monarchy in Britain. This obviously caused great alarm throughout England, Scotland, and Ulster. The Duke of Abercorn ordered a Muster Roll of all his male tenants who could bear arms. The record for Cullion lists James Dunn and his sons having four muskets and Robert Dunn having one. This is strongly suggestive that these were the only two Dunn households in Cullion at this time.

There is also a record of the Will of a Robert Dunn of Cullion which was proved in 1747 [The actual Will itself has been lost].

In summary therefore the original James Dunn and Jean Lowry had four sons. They held the farm on a joint lease [a system called rundale in Ulster]. The Abercorn records show that the farm comprised a maximum of 112 acres. The letter to the Duke of Abercorn is interesting for a number of reasons. The dispute over tithes was often a Presbyterian affair and yet the Dunns attended the Church of Ireland. The fact that the letter was from Robert and James shows that there were two separate households even earlier than 1745.

The Muster Roll shows that James [born 1704] had his sons at home with him [at this time men usually only left home when they married.] The original James [husband of Jean Lowry] was a Vestry member, overseer of roads, and churchwarden up till 1719. The gap in the Vestry records extends from 1720 but so that it is not possible to determine when James died.

The Donagheady Church records now resume the tale.

James and Hannah Dunn of Cullion were shown as having three children baptised –

    1. Stephen baptised 13 Dec 1754.

    2. Hannah baptised 5 Mar 1759.

    3. William baptised 18 Sep 1763.

There was also an unnamed daughter of James and Hannah who was buried on 14 Jan 1756/57.

Stephen and Janet Dunn are shown as having three children baptised-

  1. Stephen baptised 30 Sep 1753.

  2. James baptised 25 Oct 1755.

  3. Hannah baptised 22 Apr 1762.

Andrew Dunn and Catherine Dunn had a son baptised-

  1. Robert baptised 17 Jan 1762.

There is another entry for a son William baptised on 5 Jun 1763 to Andrew Dunn and Margaret Dunn – this could well be Andrew and Catherine again.


There was another Andrew Dunn of Cullion at this time –

23 Jan 1761 Andrew Dunn of Cullion married Jane Hamilton of Gortreagh [probably Gortavea]. This Hamilton Family appears to have been fairly well to do and descended from a man known as William Hamilton of Leat. This connection would explain the later appearance of Hamilton Dunn in Cullion. Hamilton must have been named in honour of his mother’s family.

The appearance of two Andrews shows that they must have been the sons of the second generation of Dunns –probably, but by no means certain, of James and Robert.

The large gaps in the Church records means that there must have been more more siblings whose names have been lost.

The above records suggest that James, Stephen, and Andrew were some or all of the sons of James mentioned in the 1745 Muster Roll. The second Andrew was probably Robert's son -this may be the Andrew who married Catherine because they called their [?eldest] son Robert


The Abercorn records contain a map of 1777 recording James, Andrew and William Dunn as tenants in Cullion.

James could have been the husband of Hannah but is perhaps more likely to have been their son James born in 1755.

Andrew was probably the husband of Jane Hamilton.

William is a problem. This cannot be the child born to James and Hanna in 1763 because he would have been too young. This William must have been a mature man in 1777. This suggests that he was born circa 1750 or earlier. This is a period without Church records and clearly there were more children born to the Dunns prior to1753. However there is no obvious father for William and so his origin may not be traced.


In 1787 the Abercorn estate gave new leases to its tenants [D/623/C/4/3] and phased out rundale. The Dunn farm was split into three and let to –

[1] William Dunn. A note in the margin of the record says previously James and this could perhaps indicate his father.

[2]Jane Dunn. The only known Jane in Cullion at the time was Jane nee Hamilton who would have been the widow of Andrew Dunn.

[3]Hamilton Dunn. It could be assumed that this is Jane Hamilton and Andrew’s son.


It is notable that none of the children of Stephen appear on the leases. They must have left Cullion at some point.

Jane lived until 1794 when the rent books show her name replaced by that of yet another Andrew. [Amost certainly another son of Jane [Hamilton] and Andrew.]

By 1800 the Dunn farms in Cullion were leased by William [perhaps the same man as earlier or a son], Andrew Dunn and Hamilton. These must have been successful farmers because Hamilton Dunn and a William Dunn are both listed in the flax subsidy register of 1796 [Hamilton received a subsidy of three spinning wheels and William four – these were a Government subsidy for flax growing. The maximum subsidy was five wheels.]

In 1809 the Abercorn papers show Hamilton’s name stroked out and replaced by those of James Brown and James Gilmore. This would suggest that Hamilton had died and did not have any sons or perhaps any suitable of taking over the lease. The following year [1810] Andrew’s name is replaced by that of Thomas Dunn. Thomas Dunn was definitely born in Creevedonnell and was therefore a member of a different Dunn family. However as previously indicated, it is possible that the Creevedonnell Dunns and the Cullion Dunns were related three generations earlier.

When Thomas died his son [also an Andrew] erected a gravestone in the old Donagheady Churchyard which describes Thomas as a farmer from Cullion.

In 1829 a number of freeholdings were registered including two in Cullion – to Thomas Dunn, and to Andrew Dunn. This Andrew must have been the son of William.

(When Thomas died in Dec.1850 he left only one surviving son Andrew [the other son William had died when he was twenty]. Andrew did not farm but went first to Scotland and then to England. He was very successful in the Iron trade and clearly became quite rich. He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament and died in London.)


From 1830 to, at latest, 1850 there were two Dunn farms at Cullion [Thomas and Andrew]. The Griffith valuation [circa 1860 shows only one Dunn farm – leased by Jane Dunn. Jane is therefore likely to have been the widow of Andrew. To complicate understanding of the situation a William Dunn of Cullion married Fanny Lowry [near neighbours] on 15 Mar 1850. The marriage was in second Donagheady Presbyterian Church and the records show William’s father as Alexander Dunn, farmer. Perhaps the most likely relationship is that Alexander was Andrew’s brother.

In 1878 William died but his widow Fanny stayed in Cullion and the 1901 census shows her still living there with her nephew Robert Ellis [a carpenter].


From my family point of view it is interesting to try to work out who was the father of the Andrew and John Dunn who appeared in Mossfield in roughly 1810. There are no useful Church records. Family history is clear that the family came from Cullion but otherwise does not help. The Dunns appeared in Mossfield sometime around 1800 -1810.

There are some clues. The Dunns, like many Ulster Scots followed a very traditional pattern when naming their children. The Mossfield Andrew and John's son names shows that both called their first sons James and their second Andrew. Hamilton does not appear in either of these families effectively ruling him out as the father [of Andrew and John].

Another helpful point is that both Andrew and John [and their wives] were buried in the Old Donagheady Church Burial Ground . No other contemporary Dunns were buried from Mossfield. If Andrew and John moved from Cullion because of the death of their father they would probably have brought with them any dependant sisters and their mother [if she was still alive]. There are no burials to suggest that this happened.

The above features suggest that their father was called James. However there is no James on the lease records in Cullion at the crucial time. Also if James had held a lease it would probably have passed to his son[s]. Thiss would suggest that the man we are seeking was not a first son.

The Mossfield Dunns [Andrew and John] were probably sons of a James Dunn of Cullion and moved to Mossfield because they stood no chance of obtaining a farm at their old location. If they came on their own they would have arrived in Mossfield

circa 1810 [because of their ages]. If however they came with their father they could have arrived earlier [circa 1800 ].


Summary – James Dunn took out a lease of a farm in Cullion prior to 1699. Some of his four sons continued to farm there for over one hundred years. In 1809 Hamilton Dunn died and in 1810 so did Andrew. The Mossfield Dunns moved from Cullion about this time. While their father is not definitely known there are features which suggest he was called James.

Glenagoorland 1800’s

In the early 1800’s two Dunn families [Noble Dunn and Andrew Dunn [the black] leased farms at Glenagoorland.

Noble Dunn married Jane


William Thomas Elizabeth Charles Jane


Andrew Dunn [the black] married Jane


Andrew Catherine


1 Noble Dunn [born1778, died 22 Feb. 1854] married Jane [born 1790, died 2 Apr.


Personal note – Family history states that Nobe lived in a house directly across the road from the site of James Dunn's House [the last remaining Dunn family living in Glenagoorland]


[1]William [born 1823, died 17 Apr. 1883]. Married Catherine on 9 Dec.1845 –the daughter of Andrew [black].

[2]Thomas [born 1824, 21 Aug. 1904]. Married Jane Kennedy [died 24 Sep. 1917].

[3]Elizabeth- married Samuel McComb on 6 Jul. 1848.

[4]Charles- married Mary Dorough [Milltown] on 14 May 1846 in Leckpatrick Presbyterian Church. On the register he was described as a farmer from Glenagoorland. His birth date is not known but he appears to have been Noble’s eldest son. A Charles Dunn is recorded as dying at Ardstraw in 1853 aged 38years. Certainly by 1857 he was no longer in Glenagoorland and there is also no record of his death there.

[5]Jane married Andrew Dunn [born 1803, died 1838] on12 Jan 1837. Jane’s birth date is unclear but she appears to be Noble’s eldest child and was probably born circa 1816. She had a daughter Margaret, who was born in 1832 – that is five years before Jane was married. [Much of detail comes from written notes of family history.] Church records of her birth are absent so her biological father is not known. When

Andrew married Jane he started to farm what appears to have been a quite large acreage in Glenagoorland. Andrew’s origin is unclear. He

was not born in Glenagoorland and even family oral history is of no help. Indeed it is very surprising that he was given a good acreage in

what must have become a crowded group of farms. He is very unlikely to have been Margaret’s father as Noble would almost certainly have

objected to giving land to a man who took five years to marry his daughter after getting her pregnant.

Jane and Andrew had one child James, who was born on the 9 Nov.1837 and died 1 Apr. 1838, the same year as his father died also. Jane

remarried to a widower James Starrett [Tykermaghan] on 30 July 1846.

It is also worth noting that Jane’s brother Charles Dunn got married in 1846 also.

Margaret would have been 14 years of age when her mother remarried.

Margaret almost certainly stayed on in Glenagoorland and nine years later [1 Mar.1855] married James Dunn [Creevedonnell] [born 12 Jun

1830 died 11 Oct. 1897]. Very surprisingly James was given a large acreage of land to lease in Glenagoorland. [The Griffith’s Survey of

1858 recorded James’s holding as having a greater annual valuation than Andrew [the black], Thomas or William’s.]

Margaret and James had one daughter Annie Jane Dunn [born 22 Jan. 1856.]. Annie Jane married Thomas Bond of Lackagh on 25

Aug.1874. She died in the same year [1874] aged 18 years, apparently in childbirth. Margaret herself died young on 3 Jun. 1857 [aged 25] also apparently in childbirth [family history].

Somebody appears to have been very protective of Margaret’s interests in the farm – going to great lengths to protect an illegitimate daughter.

This could have been either Noble [died 1854] or Andrew [the black] [died 1869].


James Dunn [of Creevedonnell originally] remarried to Elizabeth Lamberton [born 1829, died 1889]. James was living in Glenagoorland

for less than two years kept the lease and stayed on to remarry.

James and Elizabeth had two children –

  1. James Samuel Dunn born 1868, died of pneumonia on 15 Jan. 1892.

  2. Rachel Hyndman Dunn born 21 Oct. 1865, died 2 May 1948.


2 Andrew Dunn [the black] born 1788, died 14 Sep. 1869

Andrew was an exact contemporary of his namesake Andrew of Mossfield and so to distinguish one was called the “black” and the other the “miller”.

Personal note – In the National Archive in Dublin there is a record of a letter [CSORP1821/670] from Andrew [the black] to Earl Talbot, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, requesting quashing of a fine for possession of four barrels of malt found in his kiln. He pleads that although the malt was found in his kiln he knew nothing about it and the fine would cause great hardship to his family and he would be reduced to beggery. There is no record of the response].



  1. Andrew born 1824, died 18 Feb. 1900, married Christina

Hyndman born 1834, died 20 May 1880.

  1. Catherine born1828, died 6 Aug.1899 married her cousin William,

son of Noble Dunn.


MID 1800’s.

The original two Dunn farms in Glenagoorland were subdivided to accommodate four families: - these were


Andrew Dunn and Christina Hyndman

William Dunn and Catherine Dunn

Thomas Dunn and Jane Kennedy

James Dunn [originally from Creevedonnell] and Margaret Dunn

[later Elizabeth Lamberton].


William Dunn married Catherine Dunn on 9 Dec. 1845


Jane James Catherine John William Ann Jane Andrew Samuel Thomas


Thomas Dunn married Jane Kennedy



James John Fanny Alexander Charlotte Elizabeth William


Andrew Dunn married Christina Hyndman


Isabella James David John Matilda Catherine Andrew Fredrick Annie



William [born 1823, died 17 Apr.1883] and Catherine [born1828, died 6 Aug.1899]

had ten children. [married 9 Dec.1845]

  1. Jane bap. 16 Oct. 1846.

  2. James bap. 27 Oct. 1848 died 14 Nov 1910 in one of the Glenagoorland houses [McDermott,s]. Inherited the farm, married and appears to have had a son called James who married Margaret. [daughter Mary Catherine bap.31 Mar.1900].

  3. Catherine baptised 20 Mar. 1851

  4. John [illegitimate] born 16 Dec. 1852 bap. 18 Jan. 1853.

  5. William baptised 1 Apr.1855, died 17 Jul. 1855.

  6. Annie baptised 14 Mar.1858, died 13 Dec. 1865.

  7. Jane born 1859 married Robert McFarland [Killeney] in 1889.

  8. Andrew baptised 9 Dec. 1860 died 27 Jun. 1902 at his brother-in-laws house 25 Emerson Street Londonderry.

  9. Samuel William [Rev.] baptised 11 Mar 1866. Ministered in a parish in England? Devon.

  10. Thomas baptised 14 May 1863


Thomas [born 1824, died 21 Aug. 1904] and Jane [born1845, died 24 Sept. 1917] had

seven children.

  1. James baptised 14 Jul. 1863, died 24 May 1907 in Denver

Colorado. Married Margaret Anderson [Letterblatt, Plumbridge] on 2 May 1889. Had two children Margaret and Catherine.

  1. John baptised 24 Feb. 1867, died 28 Feb. 1925. Inherited the farm. Did not marry.

  2. Fanny Jane baptised 15 Nov. 1868.

  3. Alexander born 11 Aug. 1871, bap. 29 Oct. 1871.

  4. Charlotte Ann born 1 Mar. 1874, bap.27 Jun. 1874.

  5. Elizabeth Mary born 16 Sep. 1876, bap. 3 Mar. 1877.

  6. William Kennedy born 1 Aug.1879, bap. 5 Jun.1880.


Andrew [born 1824, died 18 Feb. 1900] and Christina [born 1834, died 20 May 1880] had nine children.

  1. Isabella born 13 Nov.1854 married John Kennedy [Cullion] in

1882 and moved to Londonderry. They had four children –

Fredrick, Andrew, William, and John.

  1. James Hyndman born 1 Jan.1857, died 1941 married [16 May 1899] Rachel Hyndman Dunn born 1862 died 2 May 1948 [the daughter of James Dunn and Elizabeth Lamberton]. Through this marriage he inherited James’s farm.

They had four children –

(a) Fredrick who married Isobel Dunn*

[Ballyskeagh]. This couple had two children -James and

Kathleen. James married Elizabeth Kee three children Derek

Caroline and Gemma.

[James still lives in Glenagoorland -2013- and the farm is worked by his son Derek]

    1. Louisa Christine born 29 Jan 1902, who married Henry T Danton [Raspberry Hill].

    2. James Samuel Albert born 6 Apr. 1904, who did not marry.

    3. Andrew T. born circa 1908.


(3) David baptised 20 Sept. 1860, died 18 Feb.1861.

(4) John W. baptised 19 Dec. 1861, died 1933. Inherited the farm.

He never married.

(5) Matilda Mary born 24 Dec. 1863, bap.31 Jan. 1864, died 3 Oct.


(6) Catherine born 16 Jan. 1867, bap. 5 May 1867.

(7)Andrew William born 6 Jan. 1869, 22 Mar. 1869, married E, Ross

and moved to Springtown Londonderry. Part of the firm of

Holmes, Mullan, and Dunn. They had four children – Roland,

Christine [who married P. Dixon], Rosaleen [who married

P.Fitzgerald of Dublin], and Andrew DFC an RAF pilot who was

killed in 1941.

  1. Fredrick Charles born 27 Jun. 1871, bap. 15 Jul. 1871,died Feb.1943.

  2. Annie Jane born 24 Dec. 1858 married William Kennedy

[Gorticross, Drumahoe]. Their daughter married J.T. Henry


*Isobel Dunn was a descendant of John Dunn who left Mossfield

for Ballyskeagh – see below

NOTE The Dunn farms were leased for many years but in 1871 James Dunn [originally of Creevedonnell] bought his farm]


Summary – the farms at Glenagoorland were originally split between two families. However by the mid 1800’s there had been a further subdivision into four farms leased by Andrew, Thomas, William and James

Mossfield 1800’s

In the first part of the 1800’s John [born circa 1788, died Ballyskeagh 12 Mar. 1865] and his brother Andrew [the miller] [born 1793, died Mossfield 9 Apr. 1869] appear to have been living in Mossfield. The exact date of the arrival is unknown but must have been roughly 1800-1810. [see Cullion].

John married and his first wife died. This is a likely explanation for John’s move to Ballyskeagh in aprox. 1820.


Andrew Dunn [the miller] married Annie [Nancy] Hall on 15 Dec.1831


Margaret Mary Jane Annie James Andrew Samuel James


Isabella Love


Samuel Agnes Andrew James Isabella William Alexander John Bessie


Andrew [who was known as “the miller” to distinguish him from Andrew Dunn of Glenagoorland who was almost the same age and was called “the black”] married Annie [Nancy] Hall on 15 Dec. 1831. They had six children: --

  1. Margaret born 23 Sep. 1832, died 3 Jun. 1857.

  2. Mary Jane born 5 Jul 1834 married James Dunn of Donemana on 8 Aug.1861.

  3. Annie born 31 Mar. 1835 married John Aiken [Edymore, Strabane] in 1870. N.B. A witness at the wedding was John Dunn – nobody of suitable age in Glenagoorland so perhaps from Ballyskeagh.

  4. James born 2 Oct. 1837.

  5. Andrew born 16 May 1839, died 1915 married Isabella Love on 12th Dec 1872, [Cullion] born 1856 died 1922. A witness at the wedding was John Dunn [probably of Ballyskeagh].

  6. Samuel James born 11Jan. 1841, died 22 Dec.1873. Qualified as a doctor and practiced in Swanton, Scotland, died in Mossfield.

Andrew and Isabella had nine children: --

  1. Samuel James born 15 Dec. 1873, died 4 Jul. 1938. He was recorded in the census of 1911 as still living at Mossfield. Note that Samuel James; his uncle, [above] died just 7 days before this childs birth. This would suggest that Dr. Samuel had a chronic or sub-acute illness and came home to Mossfield to die and that this Samuel James was named in his honour.

  2. Agnes born 9 Jul. 1877 married Andrew Long Pollock

[Castlewarren] on 5 Apr. 1904.

  1. Andrew born 18 Mar. 1879, died 4 Sep. 1933. Probably did not

marry and was still home in 1911.

  1. James William born 24 Jul. 1880, died 7 Apr. 1881.

  2. Isabella born 4 Jul. 1881.

  3. William Andrew born19 March 1887. He worked as a mechanical engineer and was still at home in 1911. He emigrated to Australia [son William Andrew Herbert Dunn –and Helena Clarke’s [of Melbourne] grandfather].

  4. Alexander born 1890, 17thJun 1972. He was still at home in 1911. He was a very colourful character who [although a batchelor at the time] organised a “strike” among the children attending Glenagoorland School which achieved considerable fame throughout Ulster. He married in the 1950’s and moved to Dungannon where he kept a Public House –[ very surprising in a very temperance family]. He was the last Dunn to live in Mossfield.

  5. John born 1892 died 26 May 1897.

  6. Bessie Love born 9 Sep. 1882, died 17 Apr. 1897.


Summary – Mossfield was farmed by three generations of Dunn families.


Ballyskeagh [1800’s and1900’s].

Ballyskeagh is a townland aprox. ten miles from Glenagoorland. John Dunn first leased the farm at Ballyskeagh circa. 1824. The exact date is unclear. John appears to have been older than his brother Andrew and so could have been have been expected to stay in Mossfield. Perhaps the death of his first wife prompted him to find a new farm in Ballyskeagh. He took a joint lease with James Knox [whose family had farmed nearby for some 100 years] on the farm owned by the Abercorn estate and previously leased by the Boak family.

[A joint lease must have been very difficult to work -was the land devided or did they rotate fields].


John Dunn born circa. 1788, died 10 Mar. 1865 [buried 18th Mar 1865 in Donagheady Church Graveyard] married twice. The name of his first wife is not known but his second wife was called Elizabeth born circa 1800, died 12 Mar. 1869 buried 15th Mar 1869 in Donagheady Old Burial Ground.. John, just like his brother Andrew in Mossfield, was a very successful farmer who expanded his land and was clearly highly regarded in the community. John and Elizabeth had eight children:

  1. Mary born circa 1824 married Andrew Thompson [a widower aged 50 years, farmer of Woodend – Mary was 21 years] in Leckpatrick Presbyterian Church on 16 Jun. 1845.

  2. James born circa 1830 married Sarah Lowry in 1st Donagheady Presbyterian Church on 9th Dec 1858. Emigrated to Canada circa 1889 [aged 58].

  3. Sarah born 1838 died Fri 29th Nov 1901, married John Moorhead of Ballymalarty, Ardstraw, on 19 Mar. 1863 in Leckpatrick C of I Church. Emigrated to Canada with her husband and son in 1865.

  4. Andrew born circa 1831 died 9 Mar. 1901.Married Margaret Adams 28 Oct.1858 in Glendermott C of I Church.

  5. Catherine Annie born?.. Married Thomas Laird, farmer [Ardstraw] 18th Dec. 1850 in Leckpatrick C of I Church.

They had five children –

[a] Moses born circa 1857, died1926. married Ann Julie Marshall ----daughter Sarah Dunn Laird.

[b] Mary Sarah born1859 married John Wilson.

[c] Catherine Jane born1861 married Joseph Anderson [Tullywhisker].

[d] Isabella born 1864, married Joseph Harper.

[e] Julie born 1866, married David Eakin [Castlederg].

  1. Jane born circa 1836, died 29 Mar. 1857 and is buried at Donagheady Parish Church.

  2. Robert born?. Emigrated to Toronto Canada.

  3. John born circa 1833, died 5 May 1920, married Isabella Lowry [father was John Lowry of Glebe farm Leckpatrick] born circa 1831.


James Dunn [born circa 1831] married Sarah Lowry [Castlemellan – the daughter of William Dunn Lowry] on 9 Dec 1858 in 1st Donagheady Presbyterian Church [note-William Dunn Lowry was born in Cullion and was a direct descendant of the Lowry family whose daughter Jean married James Dunn circa 1699].

James and his brother John took over the lease of the Ballyskeagh farm when their father died in 1865. James was already married and had a growing family. John was unmarried at the time. They jointly worked the farm and lived side by side in a two story farmhouse devided into two seperate homes. James and Sarah had eight children.

  1. John Robert born 8 May 1861, died 21 Jan. 1939 married

Annie Mary Clarke [from the farm immediately adjacent to the

Dunn farm Ballyskeagh] on 19 May 1887 in First Donagheady

Presbyterian Church [witnesses James Clarke and John James


They emigrated to Canada very soon after their wedding

their wedding.

Annie was born in 1861 and died in Toronto on 29 Apr. 1943

They had at least two children—Mary

Ellis Dunn born 1 Mar 1888, and John James Dunn 3 Apr 1890

[in Scott Township Ontario].

  1. William born 16 Feb. 1864, died 25 Mar. 1866 in


  1. Margaret born 18 Sep. 1866, died during the great influenza

epidemic on 20 Oct. 1918. Married Isaac Davis Pegg on 20

Jan. 1892 in Sandford Methodist Church Ontario. These are the great grandparents of D.K.Dixon Ontario.

  1. William James Dunn born 11 Jul. 1869, married Alice Maude

Warren in Scott Township on 29 Jan. 1896 in Mount Albert Methodist Church. Alice was born in England on 1 May 1875

and died in 1946. William went to western Canada for summer work and never returned. William and Alice had at least one

daughter Sarah Dunn born 1 Sep, 1896.

Note = recorded as starting in Leckpatrick National School

on 1st Jun 1874 aged 5 years.

  1. Heyland born 11 Feb 1872 [called Heyland for his

maternal grandmother] died 14 Oct. 1908, married Hattie E. Woodruff of Mount Albert, Ontario. They had at least three children – Ethel Dunn born 25 Dec. 1895, William Dunn born

15 Dec.1899, and Thomas Dunn born17 Sep. 1901.

  1. Sarah Jane [Bella] Dunn born20 Sep. 1874 died circa 1909.

Sarah married Louis Sawdon on 4 Apr. 1894 in Zephyr,

Scott Township. They had an adopted son Samuel Sawdon Smockum born 30 Mar. 1895, and Guy Sawdon born

26 Jun. 1897.

  1. Bessie born 8 Feb. 1877 baptised 9th Apr 1877 in Leckpatrick Presbyterian church.. Bessie died at an early age? teens.

  2. Annie Mary Dunn born 8 Aug. 1879, baptised 16th Oct 1879 in Leckpatrick Presbyterian Church. Died 29 Jul. 1954 in Toronto. Annie married Frank Windross on 11 Jan. 1899 at

Mount Albert Presbyterian Church and had two children.


Emigration. Robert John and his wife emigrated in 1887. Quite soon afterwards James and Sarah with their remaining family joined them in Ontario [circa 1888].


Andrew Dunn born circa 1831, died 4 Mar. 1901 married Margaret Adams on 28 Oct. 1858 in Glendermott Parish Church. Farmed in Ballykelly on the farm of his aunt by marriage. They had five children –

[1] Margaret born 16 Jul, 1859. married Joseph Love [born 5th Apr 1855 in Cavancreagh]on 8 Sep. 1892. Died 8th Oct 1941 in Vancouver.

[2] David Dunn born 5 Apr. 1866.

[3] Elizabeth Gilfillan Dunn

[4] Sarah Moorehead Dunn born 16 Apr. 1971.

[5] Isabella Jane Dunn born 1 Jan. 1874.

[6] Annie Mary Dunn born 16th July 1869, married John Gaston on 19th Mar 1907 and promptly emigrated to Vancouver.


John Dunn born circa 1833, died 5 May 1920. Married Isabella Lowry on 18th May 1865 in Leckpatrick Presbyterian Church. Isabella’s father was John Lowry who farmed at Glebe very close to Ballyskeagh. John stayed in Ballyskeagh.

He and Isabella had five children –

[1] Robert John born 16 Mar. 1866 died 1952. Married [15th Oct 1903 in Leckpatrick Presbyterian Church] to Rebecca Colhoun White born 12 Aug. 1879 in Killynaght a townland next to Ballyskeagh, died 8 Mar. 1956. Robert John and Rebecca had three children-Margaret born 26th Oct 1904 who married Norman Davidson Laird [sons James and John],Isobel born 1st Feb 1906, who married Fredrick Dunn of Glenagoorland [son James, daughter Kathleen], and John always called Jack, born 17th Nov 1907 who inherited the farm and never married.

[2] Andrew born 14 Sep. 1867. Andrew never married and lived at Groarty in Londonderry City He was a very cultured man who ran a milk distribution business in Londonderry City.

[3] Elizabeth Jane born 20 Mar. 1870. Kept a boarding house in Portrush. Never married.

[4] Annie Catherine born 21 Feb. 1877.

[5] Thomas born 11 May 1873. Presbyterian minister at Maze Co. Antrim. Married Margarita McCammon [sons Wallace and Andrew, daughter Annabel].


Cavancreagh, Creevedonnell and Curryfree

Cavancreagh is a townland close to Ardcame and south of Creevedonnell and Curryfree. The later two townlands lie side-by-side and just across the County border in Londonderry.

The Hearth Rolls of 1665 show James Dyne in Cavancreagh. In 1700 James Dunn is recorded in Cullion and in 1717 Robert Dunn appeared in a Leet Court in New Buildings and gave his address as Creevedonnell. This proximity suggests that these represent a father and two sons. Robert died in Creevedonnell in 1747. He appears to have had at least four sons: -


NOTE Records from the 1700's are few and far between. It is clear these this Dunn family was, along with the Glenagoorland Dunns, the earliest settlers of this name in N Tyrone. Small glimpses of the Creevedonnell [etc.] Dunns have survived but clearly there there were many more whose names are now not known.

The Dunn family lived for generations in Curryfree and Creevedonnell but appear to have left Cavancreagh by 1787 when a survey of the area by the Abercorn estate showed none living there.



A survey in 1771 for the Manor of Goldsmith [the landlords in this area] [PRONI] showed Dunn, Rufsel [?Russell], and Mobray leasing 100 acres of arable land , 14 of pasture, 32 of bog, and 82 of mountain in Curryfree.

On the 1stJuly 1788 Andrew Dunn signed a lease for land in Curryfree from Richard Ponsonby.

In 1792 the Will of Andrew Dunn of Curryfree was registered. In 1814 the Will of James Dunn of Curryfree was also registered.



The 1771 survey [above] showed a Creevedonnell lease as follows – John Dunn and Robert Dunn leasing 50 acres of arable land, and 33 acres of scrub. A note on the map says that the land is steep but good.


Robert Dunn [of the 1771 survey] appers to have had a son called James [born 1799] who married Rachel Hyndman [born 1802]. These were the parents of the James Dunn of Creevedonnell who married Margaret Dunn of Glenagoorland – the daughter of Andrew and Jane. When James moved to Glenagoorland he later took his parents with him and both James [born 1799 and Rachel [nee Hyndman] died in Glenagoorland [James on 7 Mar. 1879 and Rachel on 16 May 1875].


James Dunn and Rachel Hyndman had five children: -

[1] James Dunn born 12 Jun. 1830, died 11 Oct. 1897 married Margaret Dunn born 1832 died 3 Jun.1857 [the daughter of Andrew Dunn – see Glenagoorland.]

Children – Ann Jane born 29 Dec. 1855 married Thomas Bond [Lackagh], died in childbirth in 1875. James then remarried to Elizabeth Lamberton born 1829, died 13 Apr. 1889. They had two children – Rachel Hyndman Dunn born 21 Oct. 1865, died 2 May 1948 [who married James the son of Andrew Dunn of Glenagoorland] and Samuel born 14 Jun 1868, died 2 Jan. 1892.

[2] Margaret Jane born26 Dec. 1832 died 1900 married William Fleming [Inch Island] on 24 Dec. 1863. They had three children – James Dunn Fleming, Rachel Hyndman Fleming, and John Gilmore Fleming. Rachel married R.H.Beattie- the great grandparents of Tim. Hutchinson 401 Princess Street Apt.1204 K7L599 Kingston Ontario.

[3] Andrew born 25 Sep. 1835 died 20 Apr. 1902 married Sarah Jane Boggs [Cardonagh] born 1847, died12 Jul. 1898. They had two children – Rachel who married James Dunn, and Jane Matilda who married William O’Neill [Carrickatrain] on 8 Jul.1899.

[4] Christina born 2 Apr. 1838 married J. Gamble. They had three children John, Margaret who married J. Bredin, and Alice who married McGilliway.

[5] Mary Ann born 30 Sep. 1833.


John Dunn [1771 survey] had at least two sons –



Thomas married Margaret and moved from Creevedonnell to Cullion where he farmed very successfully. Thomas and Margaret had only two sons – William, who died at the age of 20 years, and Andrew. This Andrew did not stay on his father’s farm but moved first to Scotland [Glasgow] and then to England. He worked in the Iron trade and was very successful. He tried to get elected to Parliament for a London constituency but without success. He remembered his origin in Creevedonnell throughout his life and gave financial help to his relatives especially Andrew Thomas Dunn and John Dunn the sons of John Dunn and Margaret Hanna.


Andrew Dunn [Thomas’s brother above] stayed on the family farm in Creevedonnell and raised a family of two sons and three daughters.

One daughter married Thomas Kennedy of Tyboe.

Another [Annie Agnes Dunn] married Thomas Houston in 1829.

One son was called John and he married Margaret Hanna.

The other son was called James.

John inherited the farm and he and Margaret had a family of four sons and one daughter -

[1] James baptised 3rd Mar. 1845 in 2nd Donagheady Presbyterian Church – who inherited the farm and had three children Robert [emigrated to Vancouver], Margaret and Anna.

[2] Andrew Thomas – who never married. He went with his brother John to Australia and then via Texas and California to Vancouver. He died in his nephew [Robert’s] house in Vancouver.

[3] John - who went with Andrew Thomas toAustralia and N America but finally returned to Australia where he married Catherine Collins. They had eight children John Albert, Margaret Jane, Anora Agnes, Catherine Ann, Elizabeth Florence, Alice, Lillie, and David.

[4] William married Mary McIntyre [Tullyard] and farmed in Tullyard. They raised eight children – Jane died 27 Oct. 1933, Isobel, Margaret, Minnie, Lydia, Andrew Thomas, William, and John James.

[5] Elizabeth married James Wilson a blacksmith [Carnafree] on 4 Jan. 1866. They had six children – Andrew Thomas, Samuel, Matilda, Eliza Jane, Margaret, and Catherine.


James Dunn [born 1799 =above] was also living in Creevedonnell in the mid 1800's

[The Griffiths Survey of 1858 showed John farming 177 acres with five farm labourers.

James was farming 78 acres plus 93 acres of mountain Unfortunately much of the land was in small pockets and so must have been harder to farm.. He had one labourer. When James became too old to farm he and his wife joined his son in Glenagoorland.]

Dunnamanagh [Donemana], Stoneyfalls and Aughtermoy

Dunnamanagh is a small town in N. Tyrone only a few miles from Glenagoorland and Cullion. The town appears to have been a result of the Ulster Plantation as there is no mention of it prior to this. Dunnamanagh is built on the steep slopes of the Dennett River. An old ruined castle lies within the town.

The earliest Church records of any members of the Dunn families in Dunnamanagh appear to be the marriage of James Dunn of Stoneyfalls to Ann Gallagher of Lisdevin on 26 Jun.1761. Stoneyfalls is on the outskirts of Dunnamanagh. It is also interesting to speculate upon the origin of this James Dunn. Dunnamanagh is right in the centre of townlands where Dunns were living in 1700- 1750 [Leitrim, Glenagoorland, Ardcame, Bonown, Cullion, and Creevedonnell]. This makes James very likely to be the son of one of the earlier Dunn families. The most likely person to be James’s father is James Dunn [born 1709] the son of Robert Dunn and Mary Muirhead living in Ardcame. The reasons for this are because this James fits the age profile best, Ardcame is only some three miles from Stoneyfalls, and lastly the Christian name James is prominent in this family.

In circa 1825 James Dunn of Donagheady [died 30 May 1873] married Matilda Campbell [born 1807 died 1868]. James was described as an innkeeper in Dunnamanagh. The family lived at Stoneyfalls and several of James’s [the innkeeper] children were described as living there when they died.

James Dunn and Matilda had ten children; --

[1] Matilda baptised 15 Oct. 1826 . She died on 17 Apr. 1881 at her brother Samuel’s house in Dunnamanagh but at the time of her death she was said to have lived at Stoneyfalls.

[2] Andrew born 15 Nov. 1829

[3] James baptised 18 Oct. 1831, died 29 Oct. 1892. James bought land and a house at Aughtermoy [close to Stoneyfalls and Dunnamanagh] in circa 1862. He was a successful farmer and married twice the second wife being Mary Jane the daughter of Andrew [the miller] of Mossfield. James had four children [a] William Samuel James born 1862, died 8 Dec. 1883. [b] Andrew Thomas born 1863 [c] Matilda born 1865 [d] Anne born 1866.

James bought more land in 1881. he left the farm to his son Andrew.

[4] Thomas baptised 13 Aug. 1833.

[5] Catherine baptised 8 Feb. 1835, died 1836.

[6] Catherine baptised 4 Dec. 1836.

[7] Thomas baptised 9 Sep. 1838.

[8] Samuel Hamilton baptised 27 Apr. 1841. [ Note the middle name Hamilton which suggests some connection with the Cullion Dunn families. Samuel never married. He eventually took over his fathers business and the census of 1901 shows him as Samuel H. Dunn and Co. Dunnamanagh. Several of the male children must have lived off the proceeds of the inn [which had expanded to involve a grocery business]. The valuation revisions for the property show James Dunn as the owner in 1860 – this could have been either the father or his son. In 1876 John, 1883 James, and 1890 Andrew are shown as owners. Presumably at intervals individual sons were bought out providing capital for James to buy Aughtermoy and for John and Robert to emigrate.

[9] Robert baptised 18 Jun. 1843. Emigrated to Australia.

[10] John baptised 2 Jul. 1845. John married Jeannie Lyttle of Magherafelt on 5 Jan. 1883 and emigrated soon afterwards to Australia. He died in Melbourne on 2 Nov. 1884. Jeannie was pregnant at this time and gave birth to a daughter Victoria on 17 Apr. 1885.


There are a number of other Dunn individuals in this area about this time who must have been close relatives. In Stoneyfalls Samuel Dunn lived in 1856. He may well have been James Dunn the innkeeper’s brother. He also appears to have been the father of Charles Dunn who married Elizabeth Graham in Dunnamanagh Presbyterian Church in 1866. The Griffith valuation of circa 1860 lists James Dunn owning five acres in Stoneyfalls. In 1876 and 1888 John Dunn is living at Stoneyfalls.

On the 19 May 1881 John Dunn of Aughtermoy married Susan Jeffrey of Terkernaghan. Finally a William Dunn of Dunnamanagh is mentioned in the Vestry notes of Donagheady in 1801 – this could be the father of James Dunn [the innkeeper] and the link to James Dunn who married Ann Gallagher.



Drain is a townland immediately beside Aughtermoy and close to Stoneyfalls.

On 28 Feb. 1828 Hamilton Dunn of Drain married Rebecca of Donagheady. This appears to be the earliest mention of a Dunn in Drain. The Christian name Hamilton is very unusual and the only other person with this is Hamilton Dunn of Cullion who died in 1809. Hamilton of Drain could be the earlier Hamilton’s son but there are two problems. Firstly Hamilton of Drain died on the 26 May 1874 and his age was believed to be 93 years. Hamilton of Cullion would have been 19 when the second Hamilton was born. This is not a major difficulty because, in an age before records, many old people must have exaggerated their age. The second difficulty is that on his death Hamilton of Drain was described as a labourer. The Griffith’s valuation shows him leasing a house but no land. Hamilton of Cullion was a successful farmer when he died [but the lease on his land was lost to the Dunn family on his death].

Hamilton [born ?1781 died 26 May 1874] and Rebecca [born 1792 died 1872] on 28 Feb.1828. They had four children; -

[1] Letitia [baptised 8 Feb. 1829], married Robert Campbell 1851.

[2] Alexander [baptised 23 Sep. 1832] married Ellen Taggart [Drain] [born 1832,

died 1872] on 17 Nov.1854. They had six children –

[a] Sarah Jane bap. 3 Sep.1855.

[b] Robert Hamilton bap. 4 Nov. 1857.

Married Isabella Fulton, Moneycannon.

On 22 Nov.1876.

[c] John bap. 3 Mar. 1860, married Susan

Jeffery[Terkernaghan] on 19 May 1881

Witness Robt.H. Dunn. Children James

born 24 Dec.1890. Alexander born

30 Oct.1885. Susan born 28 Jan.1895

N,B. This family lived in Aughtermoy.

[d] Rebecca bap. 25 Oct. 1862.

[e] William bap. 6 May 1865, married

Francis Craig on 28 Sep.1887.

Children James bap. 4 Aug 1888.

Alexander bap. 4 Oct.1890

William bap. 2 Dec.1892

Robert Hamilton bap. 14 Mar.1899

Rebecca bap. 15 Dec.1895.

[f] Alexander bap. 30 Jul. 1867. ?Married

Rebecca Kitson [Eglinton].


[3] Margaret baptised 17 Apr 1836, married William Davis.

[4] Elizabeth baptised 8 Dec. 1838.


Living immediately beside Hamilton was James Dunn [born 1806 died 4 May 1866] who married Charity [born 1805 died 10 Feb.1871]. This could be Hamilton’s brother. This James is unlikely to have come from nearby Stoneyfalls because there was already another James of much the same age living there.

James was a successful farmer and the Griffith’s valuation of circa 1860 shows him leasing 69 acres from Jane Porter.

James Dunn and Charity had at least two children – Edward baptised 25 Sep.1831 [died 14 Nov. 1872] and Matilda baptised 4 Dec. 1833. Edward Dunn married Margaret [Tyrconnelly]. They had five children: -

[1]Anne Jane bap. 5 Jun 1853.

[2] James born 7 Feb. 1855.

[3] Matilda born 10 Dec. 1856.

[4] Eliza born 17 Apr. 1862.

[5] John Robert born 16 Jan 1864, married Jane Black, witness James Dunn.

[6] Mary bap. 23 Jul. 1860, married John McCain, witness Alexander Dunn.

[7] Ellen born 26 Jun. 1868.

James inherited Edward’s house but in 1912 W.S.Craig owned it.


On 7 Dec. 1848 Robert Dunn of Drain married Catherine Adams of Kildogue. Although there are no church records to support this Robert would appear to be Hamilton and Rebecca’s eldest son. Robert and Catherine had seven children: -

[1] Rebecca born 18 Mar. 1849.

[2] Isabella born 4 Feb. 1851.

[3] Alexander born 15 Aug. 1854.

[4] Margaret born 21 Feb.1856, married Samuel Young 19 Nov.1891.

[5] Mary Jane born 20 Jan. 1857.

[6] Elizabeth Jane born 1 Jul. 1860, married Henry Deans 18 Dec.1888.

[7] Matilda born 30 Jun. 1863, married Robert McBrine 9 Dec.1894.

[8] Catherine born 15 Jul. 1865, married John McGowan 1 Feb.1894.

[9] Robert born 9 Jun. 1867. ? Married Isabella Brown [Desertone] on

18 Oct. 1894.

[10] Joseph born 15 Nov. 1869.

[11] James born 4 Jan. 1873.

[12] Samuel George born 10 May 1875. Married Lizzie Young on

29 Aug. 1901. Samuel lived and farmed at Tyboe. They had at least one

daughter Ellen Jane Dunn who married Samuel Marshall on 19 Apr. 1922.


Summary - Three Dunn families arrived in N. Tyrone in the 1660’s. Over the next two hundred years descendants of these families spread into many townlands in the area including Glenagoorland, Cavancreagh,Cullion, Curryfree, Dullerton, Dunnamanagh, Stoneyfalls, Aughtermoy, Drain, Tyrconnelly,Ardcame, Tyboe, Bunowen, and Fawney. Links uniting these families can be demonstrated in about half of the localities and conjectured in the others.



The Hearth Rolls for Co. Londonderry 1669 show only one Dunn family -- William Dunn living at FERNISKY, TAMLAGHT FINLAGAN. [Near Ballykelly].

In 1697 William Dunn and Thomas Dunn are recorded as voting in a Co. Londonderry by-election. William is presumably the man mentioned on the Hearth Rolls.

In 1730 a William Dunn leased a piece of land at Slaughmanus. This is almost certainly the same man who appears on the list of Protestant Householders in 1740 living at LEGACHORY. [Close to the N. Tyrone border and reasonably close to the Bonds Glen area].



Glenlough is on the southern slope of a river valley called Bonds Glen. Bonds Glen starts close to Leitrim and Glenagoorland in Co. Tyrone and runs eastwards for some five miles finishing in Co. Londonderry. In 1740 Robert Dunn is recorded on a list of Protestant Householders as living in Glenlough. A search of records of this period reveals three Robert Dunns. There are two marriages recorded –[A] Robert Dunn married Elizabeth Blair of Donaghmore Parish on 11 Nov. 1717, [B] Robert Dunn married married Isabella Dunn of Clondermott Parish on 14 Oct 1712.

Robert [A] is difficult to place as his origin is unclear. Donaghmore is many miles away and at the other end of Co. Tyrone. He cannot be ruled out but is not an obvious candidate to have lived in Glenlough. Robert [B] married a girl from Clondermott Parish [which is near Creevedonnell]. Robert [B] is therefore probably the Robert Dunn who lived in Creevedonnell.

The third Robert Dunn is the son of John Dunn and Margaret McFarland [Glenagoorland]. This Robert was born on 9 Feb. 1702 and no other records have so far been traced for him. Glenlough is aprox. three miles from Glenagoorland and on balance this Robert may be the most likely person to have gone to Glenlough. However this is purely speculative and this family could be completely unrelated to the Glenagoorland Dunns.


Records for Glenlough show –

1774 recording of a free holding - Glenlough James Dunn and James Dunn.

1796 recording of a free holding - Glenlough James Dunn and Andrew Dunn

1792 recording of a will - Glenlough William Dunn.

Gravestone inscription Priory Graveyard Dungiven --

Ann McClelland daughter of William Dunn Glenlough died 4 Jun. 1849 aged 54 years. In the same plot is Catherine Dunn the wife of Robert Dunn, surgeon, Royal Navy. [The dates for Catherine are illegible. She was Ann’s niece by marriage.]

Donagheady Church of Ireland records --

13 Dec. 1761 Oliver Dunn [Glenlough] married Martha Davison of Gortavea.


The family history appears to have been –

Robert Dunn [wife unknown]


William Dunn


James Dunn


Ann Dunn James Dunn Andrew Dunn Oliver Dunn

mar. T McClelland Anne Martha Davison

probably also William Dunn born 1769, died 13 May 1857 in Ardground, Lower Cumber Parish, Co. Londonderry

[married Catherine born 1786, died 6 Aug. 1864]


Andrew and James stayed on the farm. Andrew and Anne had at least one son John Dunn. John must have given up the farm because the Griffiths valuation c.1870 does not show any Dunns in Glenlough. Andrew died in Glenlough 4 Jun.1849 aged 82 years. Anne died in Clooney Tce. Londonderry on 5 Aug. 1864 aged 85 years.

John died in Clooney Tce. on 14 Mar. 1877 aged 69 years.

Oliver Dunn is a very interesting character. He married Martha in 1761. In 1771 Martha’s father must have died and Oliver took over the lease of the farm at Gortevea.



Gortevea is an area of farmland close to the river Foyle and a distance from Glenlough [fifteen plus miles]. The farm was on the Abercorn Estate and the records of this mention Oliver Dunn several times. The farm was not large but Oliver made considerable improvements [to the extent that the Abercorn Estate Manager wrote to the Duke giving a glowing account of the work]. Oliver’s farm also had a major fire, which is mentioned in the Estate records.

Oliver and Martha had at least four children –

[1] Robert Dunn who became a surgeon in the Royal Navy. Robert was born in 1764 and joined the Navy in Oct. 1790. He served in various ships until Jun 1810 when he became Surgeon to the Royal Naval Dockyard Woolwich. He died still in post in Woolwich on 9 Apr. 1841. He married Caroline but he must have left her in Ulster and she was buried in her Aunt [by marriage]’s grave in Dungiven.

[2] David Dunn was born in 1785 and died on 16 Jun.1859 in Chudleigh, Devon.

He was married twice --[1] the eldest daughter of William Hopkins of Newton Abbott, Devon, [2] Louisa Montague of Burlington Hall, Lowestoft, Norfolk.

DDavid joined the Navy on 30 Apr. 1800. He had a very illustrious career. He was shipwrecked and taken prisoner by the French as a midshipman. Later on board the 74 gun ship of the line “Donegal” he took part in the capture of the Spanish Frigate “Amfitrite” [44guns] which had a cargo worth £200,000 on board. He served in Lord Nelson’s fleet when they pursued the French to the West Indies and back in 1805. In 1810 he was made First Lieutenant on the 32 gun “Amphion”. He was severely wounded off Lissa on 13 Mar. 1811 when a British squadron of 156 guns and 879 men completely routed a combined Franco-Venetian fleet of 284 guns and 2655 men.

The battle lasted six hours and during it the captain of the Amphion was severely wounded. David, although badly wounded, took command of the ship. He was rewarded for his most “ zealous, brave, and intelligent” conduct on the occasion with a Commander’s commission. Admiralty records show his further rise to fame as a Captain of various ships in the Mediterranean, and the Adriatic. He rose to Post Captain and eventually Rear Admiral. He was knighted in Aug. 1835 and left the Navy in 1843. He appears to have been a rich man when he died.

[3] John Dunn born 1763, died 31 Dec.1834. John continued to farm Gortevea and had at least one daughter Martha who married Rev. Porter.

[4] Catherine Dunn born 1781. Catherine did not marry and died at her residence “Nelson” House, Dullerton, Co. Tyrone on 31 Aug. 1851.


ARDGROUND, Lower Cumber Parish, Co. Londonderry

Ardground lies in the Eastern end of Bond’s Glen on the opposite side to Glenlough but close to the latter. The first Dunn to live there appears to be William born 1769, died 13 May 1857. Given the very close proximity of Glenlough William is most likely to have been born there and to be the son of James Dunn [and the brother of Oliver].

William born 1786, died 6 Aug. 1864, married Catherine. They had six sons –/font>

[[1] William born 1769, died 13 May 1857. Stayed in Ardground and had at

least one son James who took over the farm and died in Ardground on 4

Apr. 1886./font>

[2] George born 1788, died 21 Jan. 1846.

[3] John

[4] Robert born ?, died 1856 at his residence Union Cottage, Georges Street,


[[5] Thomas born ?, died 30 Dec. 1850.

[6] Alexander.


ARDGROUND DUNN’S (Lower Cumber Parish, Co. Londonderry)
The following information has been thoroughly researched by a Dunn of Ardground descendant Duncan van Reijswoud (lillyduncanr[at] as of April 2016. This data is more accurate than the foregoing.
Ardground lies in the Eastern end of Bond’s Glen on the opposite side to Glenlough but close to the latter. It’s likely that Ardground in the early 1700s was part of the original larger Glenlough farm. The first Dunn to live at Ardground was my ancestor William Dunn born 1769, he died there on 13th May 1857. However a John Dunn owned an adjacent farm c1800 also part of Ardground, John was likely a brother. Another point that ties the Dunn’s of Glenlough to the Ardground Dunn’s: Andrew Dunn born c1767 – died 4 Jun.1849. This Andrew Dunn was a farmer at Glenlough farm but his children were born at Ardground including a William Dunn (photo) born 10 Jan 1819. Therefore we have several brothers on the Glenlough & Ardground farms. We can name 5 of these Dunn men as being brothers:-
1. James Dunn c1762 Died at Glenlough, farmer
2. Robert Dunn of Tartnakelly 1764 – 1837 who married in 1793 Ann Strawbridge
3. Andrew Dunn 1767 – 4 Jun.1849
4. William Dunn 1769 -  13 May 1857
5. John Dunn farmer at Ardground c1800.

Given the very close proximity of Glenlough to Ardground the 5 brothers including William Dunn 1769 were most likely to have been born at Glenlough and to be the son of James Dunn a farmer at Glenlough [and the brother of Oliver].
William Dunn born 1769 – died 13th Nov 1857 (photo), first Dunn farmer at Ardground, he married Catherine Millar c1786 – 06/08/1864, she was much younger than William its possible William may have had an earlier wife. There was a story that William Dunn owned & was master of a ship. Also that the Dunn’s back then were for a time into piracy. There is one very early photo of Dunn’s on the hull of a ship at least the son mentioned below William Dunn 1819 was on the ship with other Dunn relatives. The children of William Dunn & Catherine Millar were:-
1. John Dunn b 1803 d 1863 m 26 Aug 1858 Mary Ann Irons
 2. George Dunn 1809 – 21/01/1845 never married.   
 3. James Dunn 1812 - † 04/04/1886 never married. Farmer at Ardground, he left the farm to an uncle-in-law James Henderson.
 4. Jane Dunn 1813 – †06/09/1865 never married. She helped out her mother in the farm house.
 5. Catherine Dunn c 1814 died in infancy
 6. Martha Dunn c 1816 died in infancy
 7. William Dunn 18/02/1819 – †14/11/1865 died in Victoria, Australia (photo)
 8. Robert Dunn 1820 - †  died West Derby, Lancaster 16th April 1857
 9. Andrew Dunn 17/12/1822 – †01/01/1893 died at Petersburg, Virginia, America. Major ADC to General Longstreet civil war. 
 10. David Dunn 1825 – †1845 died at Petersburg, Virginia, America.
 11. Thomas Dunn 1827 – †20/12/1850 never married.
 12. Alexander Dunn 24/11/1828 – †30/01/1847 never married
Of note is Robert Dunn of Tartnakelly 1764 – 1837 who married in 1793 Ann Strawbridge
Family of Robert and Ann Dunn of Ballyspallen as follows
 1. James Dunn born Feb 1791
 2. Thomas Dunn born Feb 1793
 3. Mary Dunn born July 1795
 4. Robert Dunn born Aug 1797
 5. Margaret Dunn born Oct 1799
 6. Martha Dunn born Dec 1801
 7. Nancy Dunn born June 1803
 8. John Dunn born June 1805
 9. Jean Dunn born Oct 1807
10.Eliza and Catherine Dunn born May 1810.

The John Dunn above married Page Bragg Dunn they moved to Petersburg Virginia USA near their cousin Andrew Dunn

While the Dunn's of Ardground ancestor was Robert Dunn who was alive in 1740 & house holder at Glenlough an adjoining farm to Ardground. It is unlikely John Dunn and Margaret McFarland [Glenagoorland]are his parents because records show a Robert Dunn who settled in Lower Cumber in 1650 and in 1663 was living at Glenlough, Lower Cumber, Londonderry, he must surely be the grand or great grandfather of Robert Dunn house holder at Glenlough 1740. See Hearth Money Rolls for Dunn at Glenlough.
Therefore traditional history is as follows:
Robert Dunn alive 1740 house holder at Glenlough
Father of ;
William Dunn a farmer, died 1792 at Glenlough
Father of;
James Dunn living at Glenlough Freeholder 1774–96
Father of:
William Dunn 1769-1857 & his before mentioned brothers
There was an Oliver Dunn born circa 1740-44 who married 13 Dec. 1761 Martha Davison of Gortavea, he seems to be a brother of the James Dunn, freeholder1774 – 96


Legaghory is an area of good farmland several miles North of the Eastern end of Bond’s Glen. While it is only five or six miles from Glenlough Dunn families appear to have arrived in Legaghory before any arrived in Glenlough. In 1730 William Dunn took a lease on land at Slaughmanus which is close to Legaghory. In 1740 a William Dunn is shown as a Protestant Householder in Legachory – probably the same William. There are no records, in Donagheady Church or elsewhere to suggest that this William came from Glenagoorland or Leitrim. While the possibility of a family connection cannot be totally excluded it appears probable that this William Dunn is not directly related to those in the Glenagoorland area.

William appears to have seven sons of whom only two are currently known. These are John who remained on the farm and in 1774 appears on a list of Freeholders in Legachory. The other known son is Rev. James Dunn who graduated from Glasgow and became Minister to Faughanvale Presbyterian Church [Co. Londonderry, near Ballykelly] in 1771. Unfortunately James ran into trouble and was suspended [1783] for “celebrating marriages irregularly” and for being seen drunk in the street. In 1784 he was struck of by the General Synod for receiving the “ Regium Donum”. He and his family emigrated to America.

In 1797 Robert Dunn is listed in the Cumber Yeomanry Cavalry [A volunteer force raised to protect against French invasion.] About this time a Dunn family appeared in Ervey a nearby townland, While no definite records appear to have survived to confirm the connection it is very probable that a brother of Robert married and went to Ervey.

In the early 1800’s Ann Dunn born 1814, Madge Dunn born ?, John Dunn born 1817, and Samuel born 1819, are recorded in Legaghory.

The last Dunn to live there was Joseph who died on 13 Dec.1886.



Ervey lies very close to Legaghory [see above].

In 1810 a farm in Ervey is recorded as leased by Widow Dunn. The estate records show that the widow’s name was replaced by those of John and Robert Dunn [presumably her son’s].

John Dunn married Margaret Huey in 1818 [John died on 12 Nov. 1835 [aged45].

Children Margaret born 26 Dec.1819.

Robert born 1820 married Margaret Browne.

John born 11 Nov. 1827.

Thomas born 7 Dec.1831.

Robert stayed on the farm. Margaret, John, and Thomas emigrated to America.

Robert Dunn married Jane Williams in 1827.

Children Robert baptised 27 Jan. 1828.

Jane baptised 10 Jan. 1830.

Thomas baptised 1 Apr.1835.

Eliza baptised 15 Sep. 1835.

James baptised 19 Apr.1838.

Mary baptised 1841.

John baptised 1843.

RRobert [jun.] and family emigrated to America on 28 March 1849.


Robert [son of John] married Margaret Browne on 29 Jan. 1846.


James born 13 Oct.1848, died 18 Jan. 1926.

John born 1849 died 16 May 1929 did not marry.

William born 20 Sep. 1850, died 1936 did not marry. Emigrated to Springhill,

Kansas, USA.

Mary Ann born 1 Sep. 1852 died 19 Jul. 1920 married Hamilton McCool.

Robert born 12 Sep. 1854 died 25 Dec.1943 married Margaret Gurney,

Springhill, Kansas.

TThomas born 20 Oct.1856, died 6 Mar. 1921 married Anne Jane Dunn

Elbing, Kansas.

Ellen Jane born 1 Apr 1859, died?, married J.H.Solomon. Emigrated to


David born 6 Jul. 1861, died 1943, married Lizzie Curry, Kansas.

RRachel born 30 Oct.1863, died 20 Jun.1901, married James Cairns.


James Dunn [son of Robert] married Mary Rosborough on 30 Jul.1879.


James married Mary Jane Ritchie, moved to Scotland.

Mary Ann married John Curry.

Robert Henry

William John

Jacob Morrow

----------William John married Martha Kelly on 5 Dec.1916.



William James

David George

Mary Ann


David George Dunn extensively investigated his family locally, in Australia, and in the USA.



Return to County Tyrone's Home Page/a>