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McGinnis connections in Eglinton, County Derry, Northern Ireland

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

In my previous blog, I shared two newspaper abstracts possibly connecting my ancestor, William McGinnis, to Eglington, Derry Co., Ireland. William and several others were named in the will of Mary Garrity who died April 5, 1895, in Homer, New York. Richard Ryan was the executor of the will. (Click here to see).

One of the heirs was Robert McGinnis of Eglinton, Derry County, Ireland. Who was he? And how was he related to William?

I recently renewed my subscription to Ancestry World Explorer so I figured now is my chance to do some digging in Ireland! Read on to see what I found relating to Robert and possibly relating to William McGinnis.

The first probable match I found for Robert McGinnis was on Findagrave.

There are at least 48 McGinnis burials of various spellings in Star of the Sea Church Cemetery, including four named William McGinnis, but there is one I believe may have been Robert's father, William McGinnis. Both men are buried in Section D, Plot 62.

I was able to locate Robert on the 1901 census and the 1911 census when he lived in the town of Carnakilly Upper, District of Eglinton, Barony of Tirkeeran, Parish of Faughanvale, Division of North Derry, County of Londonderry. The Irish name for Carnakilly Upper is Carn-na-coille. [Source]

On the 1901 Census, his name was spelled Robert McGinnis but his wife's name was written, Rose "McGuinness". He was a farmer, age 74 and Rose was age 70. Their son 30-year old son, "Edward McGuinness" was also in the home. He was unmarried and employed as a postman.

When the 1911 Census was taken, he was 83 and his wife, Rose, was 79. They were Roman Catholic. They report having 5 children but only 3 were still living in 1911. One of them was Edward McGinnis, age 40, still working as a postman.

You can tour Carnakilly Upper on Google maps here:

Robert's will, dated March 26, 1913, is in the registry at London, granted June 6, 1913. His effects totaled £41 0s. 2d. and the abstract reads:

Probate of the Will of Robert McGinnis late of Carnakilly, County Londonderry Farmer who died 26 March 1913 granted at Londonderry to Jeremiah McGowan J.P. Farmer.

Oddly enough, the only will found for William McGinnis that matches the date in the Findagrave memorial is William McGinnis will granted March 2, 1893, but stating that he died on Feb. 12, 1884:

Letters of Administration (with the Will annexed) of the personal estate of William M'Ginnis otherwise M'Ginness late of Dernaflaw County Londonderry Farmer who died 12 February 1884 at same place were granted at Londonderry to Mary M'Ginnis of Dernaflaw the Widow and Universal Legatee.

Another similar match in wills is that of "William Maginnes", who died February 21, 1893, with an estate of £459 9s. 6d., granted March 11, 1893 as follows:

The Will of William Maginnes late of Knockmore County Antrim Farmer who died 21 February 1893 at same place was proved at Belfast by William Blackburn and Henry Monroe both of Lissue said County Farmers the Executors.

It appears that this "William Maginnis" was also counted on the 1851 census in Killead, Lower Massereen, Antrim. He was 30 at the time and married to Susanna, age 26.

Stay tuned to follow my research on this branch of my family tree. If you have any information, please use the comments below or contact me.


William McGinnis Bio [Link]

Mary Garrity death cert. # 32085

1911 Census Ireland [Link]

Will of Robert McGinnis [Link]

Ireland, Civil Registration Deaths Index, Londonderry, Vol. 2, p. 139; FHL Film #0101605


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