Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Newtown - A history of Newtownards

Newtown - A history of Newtownards

When researching family history it is vitally important to get a feel of, and gain knowledge of, where you live - it is your DNA!
As mentioned in my previous post of the Anderson's settled in a few areas of Ulster, my (our) branch  of the Andersons settled in The Ards. Newtownards is the main town and is home of Ards Borough Council - find more about Newtownards here.....Newtownards, also a very good web-site to visit is here Derek Beattie - Newtownards. As I progress with my family history I will return again to Derek's web site for more information.
A few weeks before Christmas I attended a book launch for 'Newtown - A history of Newtownards' in the Town Hall (Market House), there was an turn out of local folk! The book written by Dr. Trevor McCarvery was a reprint of his earlier work. The updated version was commissioned to coincide with the 400th Anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter to Newtown by King James I in 1613. So, rather than regurgitate everything that is in the book why not but yourself a copy - perhaps put it on your birthday list of Christmas present list. You can order a copy here.
As I write this, I have traced my Anderson family roots back to the early 1800's using a number of sources including the 1911 and 1901 census, PRONI - Valuation Revision Book Search and the Wills calendar.
But the best place to begin your family history trail is living relatives - take notes of what you have been told, but take most information with a pinch of salt, as much you will be told is inaccurate, dates and stories are either wrong or embellished in some way!
More Later.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Ulster Surnames - Anderson

I bought this book some time ago on eBay for £1.75 plus postage and packaging - worth every penny!
It was an ex St Patricks Library book from Co. Antrim and was published by The Blackstaff Press and written / compiled by Robert Bell, Linen Hall Library, Belfast in 1988.

Anderson - (also Andrews)

The Scottish name Anderson, which is among the forty most common names in Ulster, has two principal origins, both of which derive from the Greek name Andrew, meaning 'manly'. In Scotland the names among the ten most common and the majority of those names are low-landers. In this case Anderson means 'Andrew's Son', as indeed does the name Andrews. As the name of the Scottish patron saint, Andrew was a very popular christian name and both Andrews and Anderson sprang up, as patronymics, in a wide variety of locations. Most of the Ulster Andersons and Andrews's are of Lowland stock, their ancestors arriving before, during and after the Plantation of Ulster. A family of Andersons was one of the lesser of the riding clans of the Scottish Borders. They lived in Redsdale on the English side of the Middle March.
However, earlier in Scotland the name of the patron saint had been gaelicised as Andrais. There is mention in early records of the name Mac Gillie Andreis, meaning 'son of the servant' of (St) Andrew. This name was anglicised to Anderson, Andrews, MacAndrew, and Gillanders. Gillanders is also found frequently in Co. Monaghan, where it is an Irish name of the same Gaelic derivation. The Clan Donald Mac Gillie Andrais set were numerous in the West of Scotland, particularly on Islay and Kintyre. They later anglicised their name to Anderson, and the Andersons of Rathlin Island, off the County Antrim coast and many of those in North Antrim ore of this origin. (MacLandish, another Anglicisation of the Gaelic name, is also common on Rathlin.
In the mid-nineteenth century the main Co. Antrim concentration of Andersons was found to be in the barony of Lower Antrim near Broughshane and in the main Co. Down centre was in the barony of Ards near Newtownards. The Andersons are also numerous in Co. Londonderry.

Anderson Family History

I have initiated this blog to give an insight into the Anderson Family in Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland (Ulster).
I also want to use it as a point of contact to provide tips on family history as well as, I hope, an opportunity for others to provide advice and information.
If you 'fall into' this blog you are very welcome - if you want to comment, please do, if you want to contact me privately you can do so at newtownardsandersonfamily@Hotmail.co.uk at any time.
I further intend to post local history stories from 'Around The Ards' as ever with history projects you are inclined to find a few gems of information about social history of Newtown (Newtownards) so I look forward to sharing those with you.
By the way, my name is Mark Anderson - born in the 'Front Deed' (Wallaces Street No1) in Newtownards a way back in 1964!
More Later.