Elizabeth Read née Huggins, wife of Robert Read of Brigh

Elizabeth Huggins was the daughter of John Huggins (d.1756) and Lettice Kennedy (1718–1797), of Glenarb townland, parish of Aghaloo, county Tyrone. [1] Very little is known about Elizabeth, except that in May 1777, she married Robert Read, of Eary, near Stewartstown, county Tyrone. [2] A marriage notice in the 30th May 1777 edition of the Londonderry Journal cited Robert of Bray, [3] which may have been a spelling variant of Brigh. At Brigh is a Presbyterian congregation of long standing, situated within the civil parish of Ballyclog.

To date (2016-01-08), only a very few relevant items of genealogical interest have been found:

  • in the 7th February 1775 edition of the Belfast News-Letter, the name, Robert Reed, appeared in a long list of signatures appended to a series of resolutions agreed by a meeting of Linen Drapers at Dungannon; [4]
  • one of a very long list of subscribers to the Rev. John Anketell's Poems on Several Subjects (published by Wm. Porter in Dublin, 1793) was Mr. Robert Read, of Eary; [5]
  • in the 11th January 1793 edition of the Belfast News-Letter, Robert Read signed a declaration, by order of the Brigh Presbyterian congregation—during an unsettled time in the country when local militias of Volunteers were being raised to defend Ireland—of its support for the constitution and the House of Hanover, on the condition of "an equal Representation of the People." [6]

There was a strong family connection for Elizabeth Huggins to Brigh: her first cousin, Jane Kennedy, was married to the minister of the congregation, the Rev. William McKay.

Unfortunately, the Presbyterian records for Brigh survive only from 1837. [7] The Registry of Deeds and other archival documents represent the last chance to find any information about the family of Robert Read and Elizabeth Huggins.

2016-07-13 update: A  memorial (i.e., copy of an original document) of an indenture of lease held by the Registry of Deeds, no. 146-66-96703, dated the 10th October 1737, yields clues about Robert Read's family. The lease was granted by Robert Stewart, of Eary† near Stewartstown, to David Read and John Read of the same place, for two parcels of land in Upper Eary. The lease included a term of three lives or thirty-one years at an annual rental of £11 13s 10p, the lease to commence the 1st November 1740. In addition to the lessees, David Read and John Read, the memorial also mentions Robert Read, deceased, late of Stewartstown, who was the father of James Read, one of the lives cited in the lease.

Eary has at least two variant spellings: Irey, and Irry. The Stewarts' home at Eary was also known as Stewarthall. Eary Lower is in the parish of Arboe, while Eary Upper lies in the neighbouring parish of Ballyclog.

As a footnote to the above, the lessor and one of the witnesses—Robert Stewart,  and Dalway Stewart, Esqrs., respectively—were brothers-in-law to William Stevenson of Stewartstown.


  1. Registry of Deeds, Ireland. Huggins to Huggins. Memorial no. 290-482-193815, dated 27 November 1772. Copy on microfilm at the PRONI, Belfast, ref.  MIC/311/237, memorial no. 193815, dated 27 November 1772 (accessed 2003-11). Extract by Alison Kilpatrick.
  2. (a) The Belfast News-Letter, 16 May 1777. Marriage notice: "Robert Read, Esq; of Eary, near Stewartstown, to Miss Higgins [sic] of Dungannon." Digital copy online at ancestry.ca (accessed 2015-12-06, by subscription).
    (b) Church of Ireland. Marriage Licence Bonds, Armagh Diocese, 1727-1845. Robert Read and Elizabeth Huggins, 1777. Extracted from FHL microfilm no. 100859 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).
  3. Schlegel, Donald M. Irish Genealogical Abstracts from the Londonderry Journal, 1772-1784. (Clearfield; repr. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Maryland, 1990): "No. 520 - Fri., May 30, 1777. Robert Read, Bray to Miss Huggins of Dungannon."
  4. Belfast News-Letter, 5 November 1776. Meeting of linen drapers at Dungannon. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2002-12-22.
  5. Anketell, Rev. John. Poems on Several Subjects. Dublin: William Porter, 1793.
  6. The Belfast News-Letter, 11 January 1793. Declaration of Brigh Presbyterian Congregation. Digital copy online at ancestry.ca (accessed 2015-12-19, by subscription). Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick.
  7. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Belfast). An Irish Genealogical Source: A Guide to Church Records. Belfast: Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, January 2010. Digital copy online at www.proni.gov.uk.

If you have a family history connection to a Huggins family from the county of Tyrone—or if you have information to add to the biographical sketches presented here—please consider getting in touch via the contact page.

This page was updated 13th July 2016 for memorial no. 146-66-96703.

Return to Huggins of Glenarb, parish of Aghaloo index page.
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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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