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

Russell of Newry

Family Tree of Russells of Newry

The genealogy of the Russell family was collected by my great uncle, Rev John Morell McWilliam and was based on a pedigree generated by Rev William Campbell with additional information by Philip Crossle of Newry.
The grandmother of Matthew Russell's wife, Caeserea Smith married twice. The Russell family are descended from her first marriage to Roger Montgomery. Her second marriage was to Isaac Corry. The Corry's were a significant merchant family in Newry, including Isaac Corry, MP, and last Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer before the Act of Union.

Matthew Russell was a ship's master and from 1763 to 1775 was involved in the Emigrant trade from Newry to America. His direct involvement as captain ceased with the onset of the American War of Independence but later he and his son, Matthew II, continued their involvement as ship's agents.
I have found a series of contemporary newspaper advertisments detailing Matthew Russell's involvement as ships' master before 1775 and subsequently the family involvement as agents.

Ships Advertisments

(see Newspapers/Shipping Advertisments)

March 1763, Matthew Russell Capt of the new ship Newry sailing to Philadelphia
For Newcastle and Philadelphia in America - The ship "Newry" commanded by Capt Matthew Russel (Burthen 500 tons, a noted good sailor, & newly built for the accommodation of passengers) will be clear to sail from this harbour for said ports the 1st July next. Whoever incline to take passage in said ship, as Passengers, Redemptioners, or Servants, are desired to apply to Thompson & Waring, David Gaussan, or to the captain on board, who will agree with them on the easiest terms.

Photograph of Warrenpoint & Narrow Water

The Belfast News-letter & General Advertiser, Tuesday, 21 June 1768
The Ship ROBERT, Burthen 350 Tuns Matthew Russell Master, will be clear to sail from this Port the 10th of August next. Those who incline to embrace this Opportunity, or have Goods to send on Freight, will meet with proper Encouragement, by applying to Andrew Thompson, Merchant, or to the Captain, at Waring's-point. This Vessel is quite new, and has very good Accommodations for Passengers.
Newry, 17th June, 1768.
Said Thompson is now landing a Cargo of best White and Red Wood Deals, Train Oil, and Tar in Barrels, which he will sell on reasonable Terms.



The Belfast News Letter, Friday, 5 March, 1773.
The Ship Robert, Burthen 350 Tons Matthew Russell, Master, will be clear to sail for the above Ports the first of May next. Those that intend going may apply to the Owners Messrs Andrew and Acheson Thompson, Merchants, or the Captain at Warings Point. The Robert is a new Vessel, full five Feet six Inches high between Decks; Captain Russell has been many Years in the American Trade from this Port, his Humanity to his Passengers is well known.
Newry 1st March 1773

Extract from Richard MacMaster, Scotch-Irish Merchants in Colonial America

Thompson, who regularly advertised New York & Philadelphia flaxseed, flour & barrel staves, solicited passengers for ships to New York and less frequently Philadelphia with Gaussan & Waring.
His brother James spent several years in New York before settling in Derry in the later 1760s. Another brother Acheson Thompson a merchant in New York by 1764; by 1772 he was back in Newry advertising for passengers for the Robert sailing for New York as co-owner of the ship with his brother Andrew. John Eccles was also active in bringing passengers to New York. John Dickson of Newry & Hamilton Pringle of Caledon dispatched the Newry Assistance and Newry Packet to Philadelphia.

The Northern Star, 30 April to 4 May 1795
For Philadelphia, New-Castle, and Wilmington, The Fine New American Ship, ANDROMACHE; 450 Tons Burthen; John Moore, Master.
Formerly advertised in this Paper, now in Newry harbour, will sail for the above ports on the 20th May next, (wind and weather permitting). For Freight or passage apply to Mr James Wallace, Banbridge; Mr Cochran, Armagh; Mr Adams, Black Water Town; Mr Sloan, Coal Island; the Captain, at Thomboe's, Warrenpoint; or Matthew Russel, Newry; who pledges himself, plenty of the best provisions and water shall be laid in, and that there shall be no more passengers taken than can be comfortably accommodated. The Andromache is a fine new ship and very high between decks, and the Captain well acquainted with the passenger trade. Such passengers as are not prohibited by the late proclamation, and wish to embrace this favourable opportunity, had better make early application as the ship will positively sail on the day appointed.
Newry, April 27. (1795)
N.B. Permission has been obtained from the hon. commissioners of his Majesty's revenue to lay in sufficient provisions, etc. for the passengers.

Photograph of Corry Park, Newry

The sailing of the ship ANTRIM Captain Ferguson from Newry for Philadelphia and Newcastle, is at the request of several of the Passengers (who can not be ready sooner) further put off until Saturday the 25th instant, when she will certainly sail, Wind and Weather permitting.
For Freight or Passage apply to Messrs. Edward and Isaac Corry, Merchants, or the Captain, at Mr Darby Kane's Newry, John McCollum of Lurgan, or James McVickar of Larne, who will agree with them on the most reasonable Terms.
Dated April 16, 1767.

The Belfast News Letter, Tuesday, 29 March, 1803
FOR NEW-YORK, The Ship ANDROMACHE, JOHN PIERCE, Master, Burthen 300 Tons, Will sail out 15th April next, and will take a few Passengers, who can be well accommodated.
Application to be made out to the Captain on board, at Warrenpoint, or to ISAAC CORRY & SONS.
Newry, March 28. (1803)

The Belfast News Letter, Friday, 28 March, 1806
NOW in Dock at Warrenpoint, will sail on SATURDAY the 5th April, with such Passengers as shall engage by the 30th instant.
Apply to the Master at Warrenpoint, or to TREVOR & SMITHSON CORRY.
Newry, March 25. (1806)

Photograph of Victoria Lock & Newry Ship Canal

From Ordnance Survey Memoirs, October, 1836

Newry is a seaport town. It is connected with Carlingford Lough by a canal for 4 and a half miles and by the river Newry. Previous to this canal, governent had allowed a sum of 4,000 pounds for embanking the river so as to improve the navigation below town. There are lighthouses at the entrance of Carlingford Lough, one situated on a rock in the centre of the channel, the other on Greenore Point. An old lighthouse exists on Cranfield Point. Carlingford Lough affords good anchorage and can be made at almost any time. Pilots are obtained at Cranfield Point; they are paid according to what agreement they make with the masters of vessels. The vessels generally lie a short time at Warrenpoint, arriving and at departure off Rostrevor, when detained by contrary winds. Vessels unload at the quays and there are commodious stores and timeber yards in the vicinity. The imports are coals, iron, flours and timber, the exports corn, meal and butter.

Warrenpoint Harbour
The port of Warrenpoint is improving. It possesses some natural advantages, there being safe anchorage all over the bay of Carlingford. It is easy of access in all weathers and at half flood tide.
The vessels which frequent the port are principally from Liverpool, North America, the Baltic and the Mediterranean. The largest vessel which has been in Warrenpoint is 665 tons register. Vessels can go up to Newry through the canal, drawing 9 1/2 feet water and having 21 feet beam; greatest tonnage can pass, 150 tons, average at 50 tons to 120.
From the Newry Memoir; Vessels exceeding 11 1/2 feet of draught have to discharge or lighten at Warrenpoint, by lighters from 40 to 60 tons built for the purpose.

Photograph of Merchants Quay, Newry

408:45:268142 - 14th April, 1789
Roger Montgomery & Isaac Corry
Montgomery to Corry for £2 land on Merchants Quay bounded on North by David Gaussan’s tenement, on East by navigation bank, on South by Thompson & Gordon’s tenement & West by waste tenement, property of Edward Corry
Held on lease by late Wm Nedham to John Montgomery, late of Newry, merchant, who by last will gave to Roger Montgomery
Witnesses Geo Anderson & Wm Brown


The Drennan-McTier Letters (1776-1793) edited by Jean Agnew

55 Sunday morning [February 1783]

William Drennan, [Newry], to Martha McTier, Donegal Street, Belfast [73]

I have had a curious trial of hide and go seek with Templeton yesterday. About ten o’clock on Saturday night Mr I Corry called upon me at that time at supper in Mr Andrew Thomson’s and requested that I would go along with him immediately to see Mr Montgomery, a half-brother of his own who lay dangerous ill, had been first attacked with his complaint on Monday last from which time Dr T had attended him but very remissly, and as his wife and friends thought him a great deal worse they expressed their wish to Mr Corry (as he told me) that I should be called in to consult with Dr T as soon as possible. I went accordingly, found the old gentleman in the dangerous state represented, and waited until a message was sent to Dr T, the answer to which as I heard it was that he would not come, which had indeed been supposed by several of the relations before the arrival of the messenger. As the case appeared to me very urgent, I thought myself justified in taking my own measures and having ordered a large blister between his shoulders, with some other medicines, I departed, having given rather an unfavourable opinion of the event. The friends told me that the day before, Dr T had thought him better. I called again about half past twelve and found him in much the same situation. The next morning he appeared rather easier and less anxious, but the blister had risen little if any and case seemed to be now highly dangerous; I continued my directions, and on my next visit found that Dr T had been there in the mean time, had approved of the medicines, and ordered blisters to the calves of the legs which had been applied.
I begged to speak with one of the nearest relations. I told her that it was totally unprecedented for two physicians to attend a patient, each ordering medicines which might possibly, by counteracting each other or doubling quantities necessary to be ordered, endanger the sacrifice of the patient to the doctors if not to the disease; that I was resolved to order no additional medicine unless I was apprized of Dr T’s resolutions either to continue or discontinue his advice and attendance; that , on that account, if she thought it necessary to have our mutual advice on the case she might let Dr T know my determination, and if he chose to consult I would attend him on the shortest warning; if he meant to prescribe without consulting I could not attend the patient any longer, and if he meant to drop attendance I was ready to continue mine whatever might be the termination for I never chose to desert one at his utmost need.
A note somewhat to this purpose was sent, and I waited at Mr I Corry’s for the answer. In about two hours, a card came to inform me that Dr Templeton had called and was gone, and seemed to think if the blisters he ordered had their effect the patient would in a short time be better. On Mr I Corry’s particular request, I called about twelve and did not find him so much better as I expected. I expressed my fears again, and said that thought I could not in my situation prescribe, I thought every possible assistance was necessary. One happened to mention Dr Haliday and I instantly caught eagerly at it, not only as I said from great desire for his opinion, but from a wish of explaining my own which on his arrival I could do, and which at present I could not do, from a cause which the whole family seemed to think perfectly just and proper. I called on Mrs Scott, hald-sister to Mr M, after having given the direction to Dr Haliday and the horse and man was prepared, and she informed me that happening to be there at the the time the Doctor had called, she, and most of the family, had entreated him to consult with me on the case and he swore by God he never would. I smiled with contempt at the oath and the man who made it. This morning the apothecary called while I was in bed, as I had desired him to give me an account of his situation, and sent me up word that Mr M was worse and that the messenger to Dr Haliday had been countermanded by Templeton’s direction – and the thus the affair stands at present. Whether the poor man dies or recovers I am not to blame and indeed, as far as I can collect, few if any but rather imagine that what I have done has been for my credit both as a man and a physician. The old gentleman himself seems attached to T and that is an additional reason for my dropping my visits at least until they be again requested.
They have been again requested by Mr Edward Corry who arrived here last night and who called upon me about an hour ago. I went as I told him unwillingly, but on his request, and found Mr Montgomery in a very low and I fear hopeless condition. T had skulked in, in the morning, and signed his death warrant which I fear will be a true one. Mr E Corry tells me he has a letter for me from Dr Haliday which he is to show me at breakfast with him tomorrow. Mr Montgomery is an old man of seventy with a large family but grown up, one of his sons an officer daily expected from St Lucia.

249 Thursday, 12 June [17]88
William Drennan, Newry, to Martha McTier, Cabin Hill [257]

I went to Mercers and got my guinea, and after going to bed on returning (as I was much fatigued), was soon after summoned to Mrs Russell, one of the three who engaged me, and there I stayed by the bedside during a most painful and tedious accouchement of twenty-four hours continuance, unmoved by female tears and lamentations that issued from all quarters, and our patience and perseverance were recompensed at last by a living child, which would have been murdered by several of the practitioners in this place. The mother has continued tolerably well on this fifth day. I was in the very centre of the enemy and sustained the brunt of bed-chamber supplications and ante-chamber imprecations.

330:606:225401 - 10th August, 1779
Wm Nedham of Newry & Matthew Russell of Sugar Island, Roper
Rent - £1 10s to present Ropeworks on North side of Canal Bank
40ft front on canal and back 990ft – bounded on north by John Ogle’s field, South by canal and west by John Ogle’s & John Davidson’s fields
Witness; Ed Corry

Extract from letter re Matthew Russell, Roper.

PRONI: D607/E/214: Joseph Pollock, Newry, to Lord Downshire: [21 March 1797]

'The names of the chief and violent persons as agitators of late, are those whom your Lordship already knows probably - John Gordon, Robert Maitland, Sam Turner, some of the Ogles of the Liberty, even those of the Square are grown violent since the disarming, the sons of William Glenny are outrageous I hear, in expressions, Melling is so in fact, but more coolly in manner, he does not salute me, or some others, now as he used to do, not even stiffly, his brother-in-law Isaac George Glenny seems also infected, Abraham Walker, in whose house quantities of United song books were taken up, out of which some charge might perhaps be brought, if examined and circumstances compared, Mr Russell, junior, the rope-maker, Black the apothecary in North Street, who galloped out with Gordon, it is said, to alarm the country, perhaps Bell the apothecary, who distributes, or did, the Northern Star, and might deserve frightening (if the fact could be ascertained) and perhaps B.Moody, the Presbyterian minister, violent enough, and who encourages.
At the same time, I don't believe any charge can be given, on oath, against these people that would justify their being taken up for high treason, or for an unbailable offence at present, much reason as we have to know their wishes and suspect their intentions'.

Three of the daughters of John Russell married Presbyterian ministers: Anna married Rev Thomas McWilliams of Freeduff Presbyterian Church in Creggan Parish; Mary married Rev John Harris Morell of Ballybay; Sarah married Rev Henry Henderson of Hollywood, Belfast.


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