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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Lavalade Records in Donaghcloney Parish

On my father's side, we descend directly from Agnes Lavalade and Reid Wilson of Donaghcloney who married there in about 1826.
The Huguenot name 'Lavalade', in many phonetic forms, only occurred in the 15-mile area stretching between Lisburn and southern Dromore, and seems to have entirely died out as a family name in about the 1830's.   The tithe applotment books note Edward Lavalade farming in the Donaghcloney townland of Monree in 1834, but following this the name disappears in the records.

This post collates the records I've come across for the Lavalade family of Donaghcloney. It's most likely that this family is somehow related to the family of Rev. Charles Lavalade of the French Church in Lisburn, fifteen miles or so north of Donaghcloney,  but I've not come across any evidence of this connection as yet, other than a poitive DNA result which links me - a direct descent of Agnes Lavalade -to a descendant of the Crommelin-Delacherois family of Donaghadee.  The sister of Charles Lavalade was married to a member of this family.

It is believed that a linen industry was founded in the Donaghcloney area by the Waring family, and this may explain the existence of Huguenot names in this area;  alternatively,  it is known that many of the French families, who settled in Lisburn in about 1700, had migrated south to the Dromore area in 1707 following a devastating fire in the town of Lisburn.

The first record of the Donaghcloney Lavalade family is a record in the Registry of Deeds which details the sale, in 1770, by Peter Lavalade of a house in Dromore town;  the document linked Peter Lavalade to Donaghcloney.

I also accessed the register, in the Proni office in Belfast, of the Donaghcloney Church of Ireland which showed up a cluster of baptisms in the Donaghcloney area from 1784 until 1829.  As in all the records I've come across, the spelling of the name was freely interpreted, and seems to have been written phonetically.  The same spelling rules applied to the Esdale family who also lived in this area;  the Wilson name was occasionally spelt as 'Willson'.

The membership registers of the Irish Masonic Order (1733 - 1923) have recently been made available on the website and these show up Peter Lavalade as a member of Lodge 372, Gill Hall, Dromore, having been admitted on 24th June 1764, presumably before his move south to Donaghcloney in 1770.

The Freeholders' Records on the Proni website record Peter Lovedale, aka Lavalade, farming in Lurgantamary, Donaghcloney, in July 1781, with an added note that his wife was a 'Papist'.
Peter Lavalade was recorded as a freeholder in 1791 in the Donaghcloney townland of Lurgantamary/Lurgantamry.

 Peter Lavalade married Catherine Durry in 1793 in the same area.   Catherine was either his second wife, or there were two Peter Lavalades, possibly a father and son - earlier, as already noted above, a Peter Lavalade had already been married to a 'Papist' in 1781.

A Peter Lavalade made his will which was probated in 1805.

On 28th January 1801, Agnes Lavelet was baptised in Donaghcloney parish church;  she was the daughter of Peter and Mary Lavelet of Donacloney.  This was possibly our immediate ancestor who married Reid Wilson of Ballygunaghan in about 1826, although there may well have been two Agnes Lavalades - an Edward Lavalade was also noted as a farmer in the area in the 1830s' tithe applotment records, and Reid Wilson and Agnes Lavalade named a son as 'Edward' possibly in honour of Edward Lavalade.

Ballygunaghan,  Lurgantamry and Monree are adjacent townlands in the parish of Donaghcloney and about five miles away from the town of Dromore.   The Lavalade family was concentrated here;  before Reid Wilson married Agnes Lavalade/Lavelet, there were few Wilsons farming in this area - they possibly originated in the townlands immediately south of Ballygunaghan, and migrated north to the Ballygunaghan area following Reid Wilson's marriage to Agnes Lavalade in about 1826. (Their first child, Mary Anne Wilson, was born in Ballygunaghan in 1827.)
  • The Donaghcloney Church of Ireland register, which I consulted in Proni in Belfast, shows up the baptism, on December 6th 1784, of Henry Levalet, the son of Edward Levalet of Ballygunaghan.
  •  A Mary Lavelet, daughter of John Lavelet and Elizabeth Stephenson, was christened on 18th July 1790 in Dromore Parish (LDS website.)
  • The Donaghcloney church register (C. of I.) records the baptism in 1791, of Margaret Levalet, the daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Levallet.
  •  A later Mary Lavelett, daughter of Richard Lavelett and Mary Beard, was christened in Dromore Parish on 19th June 1797 (LDS website.)
  • Peter, son of John and Mary Levellet of Lurgantamary was baptised on 1st March 1801.
  • A Richard Lavalade married Isabella Ezdal in 1808 - this is recorded in the book 'Marriage Licence Bonds - Down, Connor, Dromore 1721 - 1845.'    The Esdaile/Esdale family were associated with the Donaghcloney townland of Monree/Munree, where Edward Lavalade was farming in the 1830s.  The PRONI website shows up two members of this Esdaile/Easdell family farming in Monree - their searchable records for freeholders indicates that John and William Esdaile were farming in the same townland as Edward Lavalade, but earlier, in the 1780s.  They were noted together in 1785; by 1790, only William Easdell was mentioned.   The name - of Huguenot origin - has no definitive spelling, which makes tracking this family difficult.  

Esdales from the Donaghcloney C. of I. records:
John Esdale of Donaghcloney married Hannah Dick in 1767.
Samuel, son of David and Isabella Eastdale of Munree, was baptised in Donaghcloney on 12th May 1827.
Elizabeth, daughter of Sarah Estdale and James Wright, was baptised in Donaghcloney in 1830.
A Sarah Esdall married Henry Thompson here on 10th May 1831.

  • On January 15th 1809, the baptism took place of Jane, the daughter of Richard Lavalade and his wife, named only as Bell, of Lurgantamary.
  • The burial took place, on July 12th 1829, in Doncloney Parish Church, of ......Lavalade of Munree.  The first name of this individual had faded.
  • In 1834, an Edward Lavalade was farming 7 acres of land in the Donaghcloney townland of Monree, which is wedged directly inbetween the townlands of Lurgantamry where Peter Lavalade had been noted as farming in the 1790s and where Peter Lavalade made his will in 1805, and Ballygunaghan where Reid Wilson married Agnes Levelet/Lavalade in the 1820s/1830s. The same Tithe Book of 1834 shows Reid Wilson already in Ballygunaghan, farming 4 acres of land.   
  • An Edward Lavalade was a member of the Masonic Lodge 577, the lodge associated with the 3rd Regiment of Horse, 6th Dragoon Guards - he was noted there on both 7th September 1780 and on 21st July 1790.     The 'Royal Hospital Pensioner Discharge' documents record Edward Lavaledo (sic), pension admission, aged 33, who was discharged at Dublin from Regiment 6G, on 15th July 1807.

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