Thomas Jones (d.1808) of Derryanvil

Thomas Jones is our earliest known ancestor of the Derryanvil line. The following timeline contains all that is known of him to date.

1757-11 – A survey map of Derryanvil townland in 1757, drawn by James McClatchy for the administration of the estate of the late landlord, the Rev. Henry Jenney, Archdeacon of Armagh. The table annexed to the map provided the following details about the tenants and land:

  • Dorsey Wentworth, arable and meadow, 55A 0R 15P
  • James Matchet, arable &c., 40A 2R 3P
  • Thomas Joans [Jones], arable &c., 41A 2R 1P
  • green bog, 7A 3R 10P; brown bog, 88A 1R 0P; total area of bog, 96A 0R 10P

“Red and brown bog are least valuable for fuel, and are supposed to have been formed on the sites of extensive lakes or wet morasses.” Murray, John. Handbook for Travellers in Ireland. London: John Murray, 1878. “Green bog” is capable of being drained and converted to meadow. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Sources for the Study of Local History. PRONI: Belfast, 1968. Sometimes, the green bog was burned for the purpose of spreading ashes, as manure, in upland areas. United Kingdom. Report from Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of the Law and Practice in respect to the Occupation of Land in Ireland. Dublin: Alexander Thom, 1845.

The brown bog occupied the northeastern proportion of the townland, while two patches of green bog lay adjacent to Thomas Jones’ land, on the northwestern, northeastern, and southwestern boundaries. A road ran out of Derrycory townland through the western green bog and bisecting Derryanvil, in a southwesterly direction towards Corbrackey townland. The survey map shows three houses on Mr. Jones’ allotment, and one each on Mr. Matchet’s and Mr. Wentworth’s lands. Lying in the middle of the townland, Mr. Jones enjoyed a favourable position removed from the river Bann which flooded in springtime with great regularity.

Portadown lay two miles distance by this road, which still exists today by the name of the Derrycarne road, until it branches off on the west as the Corbrackey road and on the east as the Derryanvil road. Within a short span of years, the Methodist meeting house would stand at that intersection. The 1757 map does not depict the Derryanvil road.

The map, below, is this writer’s attempt to superimpose the 1757 drawing atop the 1865 Griffith’s Valuation map:


Superimposition of Thomas Jones’ 1757 holding (c.41 acres) over the
1865 ordnance survey map of Derryanvil townland
Please note that the drawing is approximate but, for the most part, true.

Sources: (1) Map of the estate of Henry Jenney, showing the boundaries and tenants’ holdings in Derryanvil townland, parish of Drumcree. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Belfast). PRONI ref. D243/5. Photocopy purchased by A. Kilpatrick.(2) Griffith, Richard. General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland…Union of Lurgan…County of Armagh. Dublin: Alex. Thom and Sons, 1865. Adapted by A. Kilpatrick from a digital image from (accessed 2017-07-04).

Click on image to view in new window.
File size = 321Kb.

Postscript – By 1865, the Joneses’ holdings in Derryanvil had diminished to William Jones’ 3A 3R 5P [Acres, Roods, and Perches], and Benjamin Jones’ 4A 3R 10P. See codes 13A and 13B/a/b/c for William on the map, above, and 14A and 14B/a/b/c/d/Aa/Ab for Benjamin. From this, we can surmise that William sublet very small holdings to three cottiers, and Benjamin to five. In all, but 8A 2R 15P remained of the 1757 c.41A holding.

1763-11-22 – Index entry for a news article published in the Belfast News-Letter: pg. 3: 19 stolen bleach-yards Robb,William PortaDown linen cloth reward 17. Gardner, Thomas; Wentworth, Darcy; Matchit, James; Hale, Thomas; Jones, Thomas; Overend, John; Wilson, James; Wilfey, John; Hardin, Thomas; Erwin, John; Segwige, Matthew; Black, Samuel. Source: Queen’s University of Belfast. The Belfast News-Letter Index, 1737–1800. Online at
☛ Unfortunately, Ancestry does not hold the issues for the year, 1763. I’ll try to make a transcription from copies held at the Linenhall Library in Belfast.

1767 – The following reference to Thomas Jones of Derryanville in Charles Henry Crookshank's book, History of Methodism in Ireland: Wesley and his times (Belfast: R.S. Allen, Son & Allen, 1885) describes Mr. Jones' introduction to Mr. Wesley and the Methodist form:

   About this time [c.1767] Methodism was introduced into Derryanvil, a place described by Mr. Wesley as “a little village out of all road, surrounded with bogs, just like my old parish of Wroote, in Lincolnshire.” The wife of Mr. Robert Johnson, residing here while on a visit with some relatives in the county of Meath, who had become Methodists, was strongly impressed with the change she witnessed, and became concerned for her own salvation and that of her family and friends. She invited a Mr. Doolittle, a local preacher, to visit her, and he came no less than seventy miles to declare in that neighbourhood "the unsearchable riches of Christ." His sojourn at Derryanvil was brief, but much owned of God; and to this day “Mother Ailse” (Alice) is spoken of with respect and gratitude as having been the first to bring a Methodist preacher to the neighbourhood. Mr. James Matchett heard the Gospel preached by one of the itinerants, and it proved the power of God unto his salvation. When a class was formed he was appointed the leader. Through his instrumentality Thomas Jones was induced to attend the services, became impressed with the truth, and was led to decide for God. He opened his home for the preachers, and for upwards of thirty years walked in the unclouded light of his heavenly Father’s countenance. He was a man of strict integrity, and of a warm and genial spirit.” (pp. 210-211)

In his article, “John Wesley in the Diocese of Armagh,” (Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2006), pp. 133-148), Dudley Levistone Cooney cites the year, 1769; also that Mr. Wesley visited Derryanvil again on the 27th June 1771, finding the best congregation, i.e., for growth and liveliness, at Derryanvil. Apparently, Wesley visited Derryanvil six times (1769,- 71, -73, -75, -78, and -85).

1793-06 – On his tour of Methodist congregations, the Rev. Adam Averell stopped with his relatives, Mr. and Mrs. Shillington, of Drumcree:

   … While there he preached in the church to an overflowing
   congregation, many of whom were Methodists, and ornaments
   to religion. Next day he called to see Thomas Jones of
   Derryanvil, a man rooted and grounded in love, and who for
   thirty years had been living in the uninterrupted sunshine
   of the divine favour.

Source: Stewart, Alexander, and George Revington. Memoir of the Rev. Adam Averell. London: Partridge & Oakey; Dublin: A.B. Keene, W. Curry, jun. & Co., J. Robertson; 1849.

1808-05-02 – The will of Thomas Jones of Derryanvil was proved.

Postscript – An obituary written in 1823 for Thomas’ son, William Jones, states that Thomas Jones of Derryanvil and his wife were "respectable parents, who, being in easy circumstances, gave their children a good education, suitable to all the necessities of a country life.” Thomas died at a very advanced age, and reference was made to “his aged partner.” Source:  Averell, Rev. Adam. Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Church in what appears to have been the inaugural edition of its journal entitled, Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine and Miscellany in 1823, pp. 359–262. Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2013-12-09.

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© Alison Kilpatrick, 2017. 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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