Stevenson of Stewartstown, Killyfaddy, Fortwilliam, and Mineveigh

The purpose of this blog article is to give a bit of a guided tour to the work that has been done to date on this particular series of chapters of family and local history.

First, here is the index, or home, page for the study:

Stevenson of Stewartstown, county Tyrone

The focus of my research started with this particular branch of Stevensons, which descends from Capt. James Stevenson (d.1747). However, in the course of digging through old records and history books, three other branches have inveigled their way onto the research horizon:

  • Stephenson of Killyfaddy, parish of Lisnadill, county Armagh;
  • Stevenson of Fortwilliam, near Tobermore, county Derry; and,
  • Stinson of Mineveigh, parish of Tullyniskan, later Stevenson of Roughan near Stewartstown.

This expansion of the scope of my research transpired when the records revealed financial dealings between the Stewartstown and the Killyfaddy branches, and an intermarriage between the Killyfaddy Stephensons and a near relative of the Fortwilliam line. In the case of the Mineveigh family, I was curious to see whether there was a relationship with the Stevensons of Stewartstown, given the proximity of Mineveigh and Roughan to that town. I had hoped to determine whether a common ancestor existed for any or all of these branches; however, to date, the available records have not satisfied this research objective.

After compiling as much data from testamentary and other records and context from history sources as possible, I  conducted an intensive, three-week study of deeds records dating from 1708–1869. The transcription, analysis, and presentation of all of these records—while interweaving news articles and local history resources—will form the basis for telling the stories of the Stevenson family of Stewartstown and these other branches.

During the past week or so, a series of introductory pages—pertaining to the distribution of the Stevenson surname in the north of Ireland—have been uploaded to Arborealis:

By conducting this survey of early references, it became apparent that the surname—in all its forms: Stevenson, Stephenson, Steenson, Stenson, Stinson, Stevinson, and even Stivenson—was common to all northern counties. Of course, the documents are imperfect: not all 17th and 18th century records survive for all counties and parishes; and for certain records, e.g., deeds, the dealings of only the more prosperous inhabitants were captured. In spite of these shortcomings, I think we get a reasonably good sense of where various and sundry Stevensons were pitching their tents ... and that there were a lot of these transplanted Scots.

To narrow the focus further to the subject branches of my study, the following maps have been prepared:

... and this is the point at which my own focus has been sufficiently trained that the story telling may begin ... with the earliest document found for the Stevensons of Stewartstown, a deed dated 4th August 1692.

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© Alison Kilpatrick, 2016. All rights reserved.
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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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