The Family Tree of the Mulhollands at Hill House, Eden,
Portglenone, County Londonderry, Ireland
The Family Tree of the Mulhollands at Hill House, Eden,
Portglenone, County Londonderry, Ireland.
This page is a work in progress. It will be updated if, and when, additional information comes to light. Notably, I am still searching for Mulholland-related birth, marriage and death certificates from the 1800s.
It was 1775. The US Revolution had just begun. And in Europe, nine old women in Poland were burnt as witches, for supposedly causing a bad harvest. Another lady was similarly labelled a witch in Germany and put to death. In this same year, near Tamlaght O’Crilly, Richard Mulholland was born. He married Mary Barnes (born 1785). They had at least one child, Thompson. Richard was only 50 when he died on the 20 August 1825. His son Thompson had been born only three years earlier. Richard’s widowed wife, Mary Barnes, raised their young family. She survived her husband by another fifty years. Mary was 90 years old, when she died on 15 June 1875. There appears to be conflicting data as to when he was born and died, and other anomalies as well. I am still trying to verify this top level of our tree. But given that records are so sparse on the ground – e.g. the law did not require weddings to be recorded back then – it is rather difficult.
Richard and Mary’s son Thompson Mulholland was born in 1822. To date I have been unable to recover a birth or marriage certificate. And unfortunately the Ireland Census data from 1841 and 1851 was lost in Dublin. But 79 year old Thompson does appear, as a farmer and head of the household, in the Ireland census of 1901. His house and land are also referred to in an earlier property tax audit of the Eden area during the 1800s. The 1831 Census indicates that Hill House, Eden was owned by an Andrew O’Neil, with 9 people living in the house (6 males and 3 females). Therefore the Mulhollands must have, at some point after 1831 bought the property. Modern family members do recall Tommy Mulholland often referring to an Andrew O’Neil.
Thompson appears to have been relatively well off. In the 1901 census, it is noted that he employs two live-in servants, namely a 45 year old farm servant called Henry Dougherty, and a 17 year old house servant called Margret McPeak.
Thompson’s wife Ellen Mulholland (in the absence of a marriage certificate, there is no maiden name available) is listed in one government document as a “house keeper”. Ellen was born in 1818. Given the year their son was born, one imagines that Ellen and Thompson were probably married relatively late in life. They had at least one child, James Richardson Mulholland. There is some confusion as to what year their son was born. One record suggests 1860 (derived from his gravestone), while another suggests 1865 (Ireland census, 1901). 1860 is probably the most likely, given that his mother Ellen would have been 47 years old by 1865.
Ellen Mulholland died at Hill House, Eden, on the 25 October 1896. She was 78 years old. The death certificate lists “cardiac disease” as the cause of death. She had been suffering from this ailment for the previous two years. James Richardson Mulholland, was by his mother’s bedside when she passed on. And he notified the authorities at Bellaghy, and signed her death certificate, some two weeks later, on 9 November. Ellen never got to see her grandson, Tommy, who was born some 7 weeks after her death.
Thompson survived his wife for almost a further ten years. He was 84 years old, when he died at home (Hill House, Eden) on the 29 May 1906. James Richardson, his son, was present when he passed on. The death certificate indicates that he died of cardiac failure.
Probate was granted to his son, James Richardson, on the 2nd August 1906. His effects came to the value of some 463 pounds.
On the 3rd October 1895, James Richardson Mulholland married Charlotte McGaw Smyth. Between 1896 and 1906, they had four boys and a girl (Thompson, John, Charlotte, James and William).
Charlotte McGaw Mulholland was only middle-aged when she died on the 31 March 1913. Her death certificate lists her cause of death as being “pernicious anemia.” She had been certified as having this ailment for some three months prior to her passing.
Pernicious anemia is an auto-immune condition. It is a vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia, and is caused by the victim’s inability to absorb the necessary B-12 vitamin, that is needed to make sufficient healthy red blood cells. If left untreated, potential complications of the illness include brain and nerve damage, heart problems, chronic anemia, and stomach cancer. It is a very rare condition. This type of anemia is called “pernicious” because it was, at one time, considered a deadly disease. This was due to the lack of readily available treatment. In modern times, the illness is straightforward to treat with the use of B-12 injections or supplements.
It is probably worth noting that Charlotte’s second child, John, was given B12 injections, as an adult, for the same condition (pernicious anemia). Perhaps the ailment ran in her side of the family.
Charlotte’s husband, James Richardson Mulholland, was with her when she passed on, at home (Hill House, Eden). There is some confusion about her age. Her gravestone in Innisrush churchyard indicates that she was 45 years old. Her death certificate, completed in Bellaghy, and signed by her husband, says she was 40 years old. The Ireland Census of 1901 lists Charlotte as 26 years old (on 31 March 1901), and the Ireland Census of 1911 (early April 1911), lists her as being 48 years old. None of these ages match up. We do know that she was middle-aged when she died, and left a young family behind. The youngest of her five children (William) was only seven years old when his mother passed on.
Probate was granted to John Smyth (farmer, and brother) for her estate on the 19 December 1913. Her effects came to £210, 8 shillings and 9d
James Richardson Mulholland raised his young family alone. He survived his wife Charlotte for some ten additional years. He was 62 years old when he died on 11 November 1923.
Some seven months later, probate was granted to his son, Thompson Mulholland, on the 4 June 1924. The effects of his estate amounted to £149, 0 shillings, 0 d. His effects, surprisingly, were much smaller than those of his father (or indeed his wife). This was possibly due to a fire that destroyed the house in the early 1900s, and the cost of the subsequent rebuild. His children would often speak of these being very hard times.
The early 1900’s were not easy times. In Eden, like everywhere else, times were hard, and money was very tight. In his later years, Tommy would chasten society’s over-confidence, or folk getting ahead of themselves, by often referring back to “the roaring 20s, and the hungry 30s.”
Tommy, born in 1896, was the oldest child. Along with his younger siblings, he farmed the land. The early deaths of his parents, put tremendous pressure on his young shoulders. By his late 20s, on free evenings, he would ride his push-bicycle to nearby Moyagney, to date Isabella Burnside Armstrong. Isabella was ten years younger than Tommy. She was only twenty years old, when they got married on 6 July 1927.
Between 1928 and 1936, they had four children – Charlotte, Richard, Samuel and Stanley.