This little girl is the only one of my ancestors, back to 1800, not born in south Ulster.

It brings to mind another little girl, her great-grandmother, who was born in India about 1794 and married 11 years later.

Picture of Elsie Henry
Family Genealogy By Peter Morell McWilliam

Eccles of Fintona & Shannock

Family Tree of Eccles of Fintona

PRONI: D526/1/1: 30 May 1671
Description: Release of 2000 acre. Consideration: £1410. Arthur and Dorothy Meredith, Dublin to Gilbert Eccles, Shannock, Co. Fermanagh. Manor of Fintona, Co. Tyrone.

The above deed is the first concrete evidence that I have found that I can conclusively tie to the Eccles family of Fintona. There are however a number of other references to Gilbert Eccles prior to this.

He is supposed to have acquired the Manors of Shannock and Rathmoran in the Parish of Clones, Co Fermanagh some years earlier and both of them remained associated with his descendants right through to the end of the nineteenth century.

Is he the same Gilbert Eccles who was a merchant in Belfast in 1646/7 and listed for deportation to Munster as a Presbyterian in 1653?

From Town Book of Belfast
Gilberte Eccles Merchant was admitted a ffree Comon of the said Corporation according to the ancient use and Custome of the same 1646 / 7

A proclamation was published by "the Commissioners for the settling and securing the Province of Ulster," specifying the conditions on which it was proposed to transplant the leading Presbyterians in the counties of Down and Antrim to certain districts in Munster. This proclamation was accompanied with a list of two hundred and sixty persons—including all those who, by their known attachment to monarchical and Presbyterian principles, and by their station and influence, were most obnoxious to the reigning faction—who were required, within a specified time and under certain penalties, to embrace the terms now offered.
Declaration by the Commissioners for the settling and securing the Province of Ulster; dated at Carrickfergus, the 23d of May 1653.
A list of the names of such as are to remove according to the foregoing Declaration :

Broadisland and East Quarters of Carrickfergus :
Gilbert Eccles, John Dowglesson, Captain Edmonston, David MacClee, David Harpur, John M'Kerger, Walter Hutchinson, Thomas MacColpin, Matthew Logan.
West Quarters of Carrickfergus : John Murray, John Russel, John Reid, John Young, John Donnelson, John Hanna, James Reid, James Patterson, William Kiggard, George Russel, John Holmes, George Gibson, Robert Tikye, John Clark, sen., Patrick Martin, Nicholas Campbell, Andrew Read, sen., Andrew Read, jun., Quarter-master Archy Crawford.
Belfast and Malone Quarters:
Lieutenant Thomas Corston, Corporal Thomas MacCormick, Hugh Doke, Robert Cluxton, George Martin, Alexander Lockard, Robert King, Quintin Catherwood.

Is he the same Gilbert Eccles who is recorded as owning 12 townlands in Westmeath, near Athlone in 1670 as shown on the TCD web site on the Down (Petty) survey?

Jean Agnew in her book 'Merchants of Belfast' does link the two names. She therefore suggests that John Eccles b. 1632, whose daughter, Jane, married the Belfast merchant John Black, was a half brother or cousin of Gilbert's children, Charles, Joseph & Daniel.

While the direct records are sketchy it appears that Gilbert was married twice. His family from his 2nd marriage inherited his landed estates while children from his first marriage remained as merchants in Belfast and elsewhere. Jane a daughter of one of these married John Black and this family lived for a period in Bordeaux. Their son ,also John Black, records a visit to Fintona in a journal entry dated 18th August, 1752.

Entry from Journal of John Bllack, 18/08/1752

(“Son Robert and I having suposed he to demand a former debt We parted Blamont to Richhill Armagh ----- church Caledon Achnacloy & Aucher & arrived at Char Eccles’s Esq Fintinach a descend’t from Dan Eccles brother to my grandfather Jo Eccles of Malone the possession as he told us consisting in about 40000 cares mountainous & other land (gainsing) we could not spare to him wherewith to pay the debt we returned to Blamont”

***        NB Charles was in fact a descendant of Charles not Daniel.)

Interestingly in my Ancestry DNA test one of my matches is to a descendant of John Black and Jane Eccles. While this is consistent with a common descent from Gilbert it can not be considered proof. I would need to identify at least one other individual sharing this fragment of DNA who can also trace a descent from Gilbert.

I (HW Swanzy) have lately come across an Exchequer Bill in the Public Record Office, Dublin, dated 20 January, 1703 (Michael Law and Sarah his wife V. Gilbert Eccles, Adam Nixon, and Mary his wife, Hester Eccles, and others), which identifies Gilbert Eccles, and gives details of a branch of the family hitherto unnoticed in the memoir of Eccles of Ecclesville in Burke's Landed Gentry, sub tit. McClintock. The following information as to Daniel Eccles and his children is derived almost exclusively from this Bill:
Gilbert Eccles of Shannock, Co. Fermanagh, served as High Sheriff, Co. Fermanagh 1665, and Co. Tyrone 1673. He purchased Shannock in 1656 from Henry Gilbert, who at the same time sold Castlecoole to John Corry (Chancery Bill, 1681, /. Carry and G. Eccles V. A. Champion, quoted in Lord Belmore's History of the Corry Family, p. 15). (Gilbert Eccles died 1692, leaving, besides Charles (ancestor of the Ecclesville family) and Joseph, of Rathmoran, Co. Fermanagh, both mentioned by Burke, an eldest son Daniel Eccles, of Shannock, High Sheriff, Co. Fermanagh, 1675. He married (articles dated 9 March, 1670) Sarah, daughter of William Moore of Tullyvin, Co. Cavan, and died, during the lifetime of his father, in March 1688, leaving three sons and five daughters ; namely, (i) Gilbert Eccles of Shannock (mentioned in the Betham-Phillipps MS.), who served as High Sheriff, Co. Fermanagh, in 1696 and 1698 ; (2) William Eccles ; (3) Chichester Eccles. (i) Mary Eccles, married, before 1696, the Rev. Adam Nixon, m.a., j.p., of Drumcrow, Co. Fermanagh, Rector of Aghalurcher, in that county, son of George Nixon of Granshagh, Co. Fermanagh, ancestor of the families formerly living at Nixon Hall, near Enniskillen, and Nixon Lodge, near Belturbet ; (2) Sarah Eccles, married, 2 February, 1692, Michael Law of Coleshill, Co. Fermanagh ; (3) Hester Eccles ; (4) Jane Eccles ; (5) Anne Eccles.
HW Swanzy in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology in 1902 and extracted from an Exchequer Bill from the PRO, Dublin dated 20 Jan, 1703 and presumably now destroyed.

Note by WH Dundas Eccles
Daniel Eccles, died 1688, to whom a monument was erected by his son Gilbert was probably the Daniel Eccles from whom the Enniskilleners received a letter from Clones on Dec 12th 1688, giving them notice that the two companies of Newcomen's Regiment had arrived at that place. His father Gilbert had obtained the manor of Shannock near Clones in 1656 and was High Sheriff for Fermanagh in 1665. Daniel was High Sheriff in 1675 and his son Gilbert in 1696 and 1698. Jane Eccles, daughter of James Lowry Eccles of Shannock was married in 1784 to the Rev Alex Auchinleck, Rector of Rossory. {History of Corry Family, pp. 15, 191, and 208.}.

A fifth cousin of mine, a descendant of Gilbert Eccles, shares a DNA fragment with a descendant of Adam Nixon and Mary Eccles. As above this is merely a pointer. Additional individuals with the same fragment also descended from Gilbert are required to confirm that this DNA segment does derive from Gilbert (or his wife).

Donacavey Church
This cenotaph Charles Eccles of Fintonagh in County Tyrone esquire, caused to be made in memory of his father Gilbert Eccles of Shanock in County Fermanagh, Esquire, who honourably lived and piously died on the 6th of the Kalends of August in the year of our Lord 1694, in the 92nd year of his age.

Both the Shannock and Rathmoran estates ended up in the possession of Gilbert's youngest son, Jospeph, and reverted to Joseph's eldest brother Charles and the Fintona branch on the Joseph's death in 1723 (see Wills)

Photograph of Ecclesville

The Eccles Estate:

The Ordnance Survey memoirs give a description of the Eccles estate in 1835 and that is useful for scene setting.
At the time the estate, held by Charles Eccles, comprised 48 townlands. Presumably most of these were in the parish of Donacavey.
The people were employed in agricultural pursuits and the manufacture of linen cloth, most farmhouses having a loom, which is constantly at work in the winter months.
Ecclesville, the residence of Charles Eccles sits on the Fintona river, south of and close to the town. It is handsome and commodious, improved by the late John Dickson Eccles 10 years since. (Architecturally - if 4 walls and a slated roof can be called architecture)
The demesne has 229 acres, 34 planted by John Dickson Eccles, whose memory will be long remembered by his numerous tenantry for his active benevolence and kind attention to their interests during a long and constant residence among them.

Photograph of Castletown Square, Fintona

The memoir states that the house was built by Charles Eccles 80 years ago & improved by Daniel Eccles 40 years ago.
The town can't be improved as all tenements are held off Charles Eccles on leases for ever. It has 354 houses.

Here it is best if I go back to my records.
The estate was acquired in 1661 by Gilbert Eccles of Shannock. Charles Eccles (1660-1726) erected a monument to his father, Gilbert of Shanock, in 1703 in Fintonagh church. A date stone suggests that he built his residence in Fintonagh in the same year.

A deed of 1718 between Charles and his son Daniel with Robert Lowry of Aghenis probably relates to the marriage of Daniel to Mary Lowry which occurred about that time.
A deed of 1743 was registered in 1750 when Daniel died. This deed relates to lands (Shannock) conveyed in trust to third parties to provide a competence to Daniel’s wife, Mary, though provision for the younger children is mentioned.
One son, Robert, inherited Rathmoran while the rest of the younger children of Daniel and Mary appear to have shared in Shannock. My ancestor, Rev John Harris Morell of Ballybay left his share in this estate to one of his sons on his death in 1888. John Morell's share appears to come to him from a daughter of Daniel and Mary, Isabella, who married Rev Francis Lucas.

The eldest son of Daniel and Mary was Charles (abt 1724-1763). He married Rebecca Stewart in 1745 and again the occasion is marked with a marriage settlement. The couple were married in St Michan’s in Dublin.

Charles died in 1763 and was succeeded by his son, Daniel who married his cousin, Anna Dickson. It is with him that some of the characters come to life or are at least mentioned (see Biographies).

A son of Daniel and Anna, John Dickson Eccles, married his cousin, Jemima Dickson; a daughter, Mary, married Jemima's brother, Rev James Lowry Dickson.

Links to main Family Index / Lowry of Aghenis / Dickson of Ballyshannon / Lucas of Castleshane

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