John Huggins (c.1740–1795), of Glenarb, parish of Aghaloo, county Tyrone

   John Huggins was the son of John Huggins (c.1715–1756) and Lettice Kennedy (1718–1797). He was the third of his namesake to take up residence in Glenarb townland, parish of Aghaloo, county Tyrone.

   John Huggins was one of two Presbyterians elected annually to the vestry for the parish of Aghaloo in the capacity of churchwarden. In the 18th century, the vestry of the Established Church [1] managed the affairs of the parish. The matters with which the vestry were concerned ranged from collecting cess (taxes), building roads, and allocating funds for repairs to the parish church, to sending foundlings to the orphanage in Dublin and approving emergent expenses for the poor. [2]

   In August 1772, John Huggins married Jean, daughter of James Thompson, of Creevelough townland. In the month before the marriage, John paid £950 to his mother for the leasehold interests in Glenarb and Kedew townlands, in the parish of Aghaloo, and in Drumnacanver and Lisglin townlands, in the parish of Derrynoose, county Armagh [3]. John and Jean had ten children: John (d.1849), James (d.1860), Letitia (d.1841), Mary (d.1865), Eliza Anne (d.1861), Jane, Sarah, Martha (or Matilda; d.1876), William H. (d.1868), and Thompson. John also fathered a natural daughter, Margaret. [4]

   It isn't clear what business John Huggins engaged in. However, in addition to the purchase of Glenarb cited above, the following list of deeds, registered in Dublin, indicate a man with sufficient means to engage in matters of property:

  • in 1762, renewal of the lease for the family's holding in Glenarb townland, measuring 79 acres 3 roods 10 perches, which lease was renewed again in 1796 by Jean, after John's death in 1795 [5,6];
  • in 1788, purchase of the upper half townland of Kennedies, in the county of Armagh, measuring about 97 acres, for the consideration of £600 [7];
  • in 1794, a mortgage agreement with John Stewart, of Dublin, in the amount of £1,100 [8]; and,
  • in 1794, a memorial of a lease between John Huggins and James Girvin with respect to the lands, water, appurtenances, &c. of Greenvale, in the parish of Keady, county Armagh [9].

   John Huggins' name appeared in several news articles:

  • Belfast News-Letter, 5 November 1776: monies subscribed by twenty-one men, to reward the discovery and prosecution of the person or persons who "burglariously broke into" the dwelling-house of James McMullan, of Blackwatertown, county Armagh, and "out of the Cellar thereof, sixteen Rolls of Tobbaco feloniously taken, the Property of John Marshall and said McMullan;" [10]
  • Northern Star (Belfast), 25 January 1793: a meeting of the parochial delegates of county Tyrone, at which twenty-six persons were elected to represent the county in a provincial meeting to be held at Dungannon on the 15th February 1794, and resolutions passed sympathetic with the spirit of Volunteering in local regiments of militia [11];
  • Belfast News-Letter, 14 September 1793: as trustee, with Anthony McReynolds, for the late Charles Man, of Moy, county Tyrone [12]; and,
  • Northern Star, 26 December 1794: an advertisement for the sale, by auction, of a moiety of the lands of Drumnacanver and Lisglinn, in the parish of Derrynoose, county Armagh, then in the possession of John Huggins and his under Tenants [13].

   John Huggins died in July, 1795, having devised his last will and testament on the 8th of the same month—being sick and weak in Body but of Good and perfect memory. He left legacies, totalling £4,800, to his children; the residue of his real and personal estates to his wife, Jean, subject to the sale and disposition of such chattels as would be required to satisfy the monetary bequests to the children; and, an annuity, for life, of £7 to his natural daughter, Margaret. His Majesty's Prerogative Court granted probate to John Huggins, jun., and James Girvin on the 28th July 1795. [14]

The following memorial was inscribed into the eastern wall of Caledon church yard, behind the family burying place (which is enclosed with iron rails):

Sacred to the memory of
of Glenarb
who died July 1795
and of his wife
who died in 1826
And their children
who lie buried here
Erected by their son James Huggins.

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See also Local history notes for Glenarb townland.

Notes and sources:

  1. Until 1871, the Established Church, or the state church, was the Church of Ireland (Anglican, or Episcopalian), funded by tithes.
  2. Marshall, John J. Vestry Book of the Parish of Aghalow (County Tyrone). Dungannon: The Tyrone Printing Co., Ltd., 1935.
  3. Registry of Deeds, Ireland. Huggins to Huggins. Memorial no. 290-482-193815, dated 27 November 1772. Copy on microfilm at the PRONI, Belfast. 
  4. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Copy will of John Huggins, Glenarb, parish of Aghalow, county Tyrone, dated 28th July 1795. PRONI ref. D889/1/41B. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick (November, 2003).
  5. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Lord Charlemont to Huggins. PRONI ref. D2433/A/45/1 & /2, dated 30 July 1762.
  6. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Lord Charlemont to Huggins. PRONI ref. D2433/A/45/6, dated 18 July 1796.
  7. Original record: Registry of Deeds, Dublin. Oliver to Huggins. Memorial no. 403-346-267727, dated 7 November 1788. Transcript by Sharon Oddie Brown (25 October 2006), online at The Silver Bowl,
  8. Registry of Deeds, Ireland. Stewart and Huggins. Memorial no. 305208, dated 31 March 1794. Copy on microfilm at the PRONI, Belfast, ref. MIC/311/360.
  9. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Huggins and Girvin re: lease of Greenvale, county Armagh. PRONI ref. D889/1/41B, dated 1794(?).
  10. Belfast News-Letter, 5 November 1776, re: reward for capture of person or persons responsible for breaking into the dwelling-house of James McMullan, Blackwatertown, &c. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2002-12-22.
  11. The Northern Star (Belfast), 30 January 1793, re: Parochial delegates of county Tyrone, meeting at Dungannon. Digital copy online at (accessed 2014-10-23, by subscription).
  12. Belfast News-Letter, 14 September 1793, re: John Huggins and Anthony McReynolds, trustees for the late Charles Man, Moy, county Tyrone. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2002-12-22.
  13. The Northern Star (Belfast), 26 December 1794, re: Auction of land, Drumankenver and Lisglin, county Armagh." Digital copy online at (accessed 2014-10-23, by subscription).
  14. Copy will of John Huggins, 28 July 1795, op. cit.

This page was published on the 14th November 2015, and edited subsequently on the 15th November 2015.

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.

Return to Huggins of Glenarb, parish of Aghaloo index page.
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© Alison Kilpatrick, 2015. 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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