Family and Local History Studies

Derrykintone cottage in county Tyrone, home of our third great-grandfather in his elder years; to illustrate the home page of Arborealis, "Family and Local History Studies."

Welcome to Arborealis. This website presents family and local history studies researched and ongoing projects undertaken by Alison Kilpatrick. Arborealis features such formats as blog articles, biographical sketches, genealogical outlines, timelines, transcripts, and local history notes. These formats describe our ancestors’ origins in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and their migrations within Britain and Ireland or to far-flung places overseas.

The Arborealis logo§ depicts an estate worker’s cottage in Derrykintone townland in the parish of Aghaloo and county of Tyrone. The Earl of Caledon built a dozen or more of these cottages just outside the western wall of his estate in the early 1800s. Formerly a farmer and horse breeder in Glenarb townland close by, our third great grandfather, James Huggins (1775–1860), lived in this cottage during his elder years. His daughter, Anne Jane (1812–1893), and her husband, John Rodgers (1809–1913), herd for the Earl, also lived in the cottage. §Photo and style effects by Alison Kilpatrick ©2020.

Stylized photograph of Northern Red Oak leaf by Alison Kilpatrick 2011; representing the strength and breadth of connection in family and local history.

The word, Arborealis, was coined by the editor in 2006. It combines two Latin words—arbor for tree, in a nod to our collective roots through family and social history, and borealis for north, to acknowledge the northern clime in which this site is published. This portmanteau evokes the Latin name of one of our native trees, Quercus rubra var. borealis, the Northern Red Oak. The mighty oak, in all its forms, evokes an ancient symbol of strength, knowledge, and endurance in many cultures. In our part of the world, oak savannahs form the northern reach of the Carolinian forest region. The leaf exhibited here was collected in another province, in the Annapolis Valley in western Nova Scotia; it is probably a Northern Red–Black Oak cross.

How to explore family and local history topics on Arborealis:

Visitors may explore Arborealis in several ways:

  • read the blog articles, many of which provide introductions to essays and detailed research findings in other sections;
  • opt to sign up for e-mail deliveries of blog articles to your in-box;
  • cruise through the family history, local history, and records sections;
  • use the search function to find articles of interest: one search box is placed at the top, right corner, while a second has been installed in the sidebar of each page;
  • contact the editor to share information of mutual research interest, contribute to ongoing projects, or to request permission to use information published to this site.

Happy reading, and enjoy your travels through this site.


Latest from the Blog

Marriage settlement of Wm. Stevenson & Eliz. Fleming (1716)

William Hogarth. Marriage A-la-Mode: 1, The Marriage Settlement; about 1743. Oil on canvas, 69.9 x 90.8 cm Bought, 1824 NG113. Digital image online at The National Art Gallery.Creative Commons Licence: Attribution/Non-Commerical/No-Derivatives CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Just over three hundred years ago, Capt. James Stevenson of Stewartstown and William Fleming of Portadown executed a marriage settlement on…

Irish Deeds – Updates re: Indexing & Transcription Projects

The purpose of this blog article is to inform our readers of updates in the Irish Deeds section on Arborealis. At the time of writing, the sub-sections include: Irish deeds: indexes and selected transcripts, 1708–1943 — an introduction to the section, including: the scope of Irish deeds covered, indexing work in progress and planned, the…

View of Chatham, Kent in 1832, where John Burke and Mary McDonnell lived from 1825–1839.

Mary McDonnell in, “The lot of the soldier’s wife” (revisited)

Image credit: — Picturesque views in England and Wales: Chatham, Kent in 1832. (See details, below.) Since writing the first installment of “The lot of the soldier’s wife” in 2015, the recent discovery of a (third) marriage record lifts Mary McDonnell out of the inscrutable murk of family history mystery. Nevertheless, Mary has led us…

Christmas Day at the Poor-house in Armagh, 25th Dec. 1844

Published in the 31st December 1844 edition of The Armagh Guardian: Christmas Day in Armagh.   On Wednesday last the annual dinner was given to the inmates of the Armagh Poor-house, by his grace the Lord Primate; the dinner consisted of roast beef and plum pudding, with ale. Same day 100 of the aged and infirm…

Birth of Robert Kennedy at Carland, 22nd December 1683

On this day 337 years ago, the Rev. Thomas Kennedy (1625–1714) and Mary O’Brien (c.1651–1721), his wife, celebrated the birth of Robert Kennedy, their youngest child, at Carland in county Tyrone., During his early life, Robert ran the expected course of education in Glasgow prior to ordination at Benburb Presbyterian in county Tyrone. His life…