Co. Londonderry

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Abraham, James Johnston

Abraham, James Johnston (1876–1963), surgeon and writer, was born 16 August 1876 in Kingsgate St., Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, son of William Abraham (1849–1933) of Co. Fermanagh, tea merchant, general supplier, JP, and methodist circuit…

Adair, Rhona (Kathleen)

Adair, Rhona (Kathleen) (1881–1961), amateur international golfer, was born 2 September 1881 at Glenavon, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, one of six children of Hugh Adair, linen manufacturer, and (Mary) Augusta Lee Adair (née Graves). The family, who were presbyterian, were keen golfers:…

Alexander, Cecil Frances

Alexander, Cecil Frances (1818–95), hymn-writer, known in her family as Fanny, was born in Eccles St., Dublin, second daughter (and third among seven children) of John Humphreys and Elizabeth Frances Humphreys (née Reed). Her mother's brother was Thomas Reed (1796–1883), a general…

Alexander, William

Alexander, William (1824–1911), Church of Ireland bishop of Derry and Raphoe, and archbishop of Armagh, was born 13 April 1824 in Derry city, eldest of three sons and third child among eight children of Robert Alexander, rector of Termoneeny and subsequently prebendary of…

Anderson, Albert Wesley

Anderson, Albert Wesley (1907–86), industrialist and politician, was born 23 July 1907 in Derry city, elder son and second among four children of Sir Robert Newton Anderson of Derry, industrialist and politician, and his wife Lydia Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Elliott Smith, banker…

Anderson, Alexander

Anderson, Alexander (1858–1936), physicist and university administrator, was born 12 May 1858 near Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, son of Daniel Anderson of Camus, Coleraine. He attended QCG, graduating BA…

Anderson, John

Anderson, John (1815–1905), woollen merchant, geologist, bibliographer, and local politician, was born 8 July 1815 near Coleraine, Co. Londonderry. After moving to Belfast he entered (1840) the woollen business in Donegall St. founded by James Young in 1795. Anderson's eminence…

Aston, William George

Aston, William George (1841–1911), Japanese scholar and diplomat, was born 9 April 1841, near Derry, the son of George Robert Aston, a Unitarian minister. In the early 1850s the family moved to Saintfield, Co. Down, where his father established a school in which Aston himself taught…

Beamish, Sir George Robert

Beamish, Sir George Robert (1905–67), rugby international and air marshal, was born 29 April 1905 in Dunmanway, Co. Cork, son of Frank George Beamish of Carthall, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, inspector of schools for Ireland, and Mary Elizabeth (‘May’) Beamish (née Graham), teacher,…

Beatty, Sir William

Beatty, Sir William (1773–1842), naval surgeon, was born in the Waterside district of Derry, the eldest of four sons and two daughters of James Beatty, excise gauger, and his wife, Anne (née Smyth). Nothing is known about William's early life but he presumably attended a local grammar…

Benson, Peter

Benson, Peter (c.1570–1642), builder, was born in London, son of John Benson. He had three brothers and three sisters; one died of plague. A London bricklayer, he was selected in 1614 to build the walls of Derry, and also supervised the building of houses in the city. The…

Beresford, John

Beresford, John (1738–1805), politician, of Abbeville, Co. Dublin, and Walworth, Co. Londonderry, was born 14 March 1738, fifth but second surviving son of Marcus Beresford, 1st earl of Tyrone, and Lady Catherine Beresford (née Power), Baroness de la Poer. Educated at Kilkenny…

Beresford, John Claudius

Beresford, John Claudius (1766–1846), politician and banker, was born 23 October 1766 in Dublin, third son among nine children of John Beresford (qv), commissioner of revenue and son of Marcus Beresford (1694–1763), 1st earl of Tyrone…

Beresford, Tristram

Beresford, Tristram (1574–1647/9), planter, was third of seven sons of Michael Beresford and Rose Beresford (née Kevitt) of Kent, who also had four daughters. John Clotworthy (qv) was a relation. In 1610 Beresford was sent by the…

Best, Richard Irvine

Best, Richard Irvine (1872–1959), Celticist and librarian, was born 17 January 1872 at 3 Bishop St., Derry, son of Henry Best, excise officer, and his wife Margaret Jane (née Irvine), and educated locally at Foyle College. He did not attend university but worked briefly in banking…

Binnie, William James Eames

Binnie, William James Eames (1867–1949), civil engineer, was born 10 October 1867 in Derry city, elder son among two sons and three daughters of Sir Alexander Richardson Binnie (1839–1917), a prominent British engineer, and his wife Mary, daughter of William Eames, a well known…

Birch, James

Birch, James (c.1812–c.1851), journalist, was born in Londonderry; there are few other details about his personal life. He first came to prominence in 1834 when he offered the duke of Wellington (qv) his…

Black, Robert

Black, Robert (1752–1817), presbyterian minister, was eldest son of Valentine Black, farmer, of Mullabrack, Co. Armagh. Educated at Glasgow University, he graduated MA in 1772. He was licensed by the presbytery of Armagh in 1776 and ordained in…

Boyd, John

Boyd, John (1789–1862), politician, was born in Belleisle, near Dervock village, Co. Antrim, son of John Boyd, probably a farmer, and Elizabeth Boyd (née McCormick or McCormack). He was apprenticed to a doctor in Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, graduated in medicine from Glasgow…

Boyd, Robert

Boyd, Robert (1805–31), soldier and revolutionary, was born 7 December 1805 in Templemore, Co. Londonderry, the son of Archibald Boyd (d. c.1827), city treasurer, and his wife Annie (née MacNeil); he had three (possibly four) brothers and a sister. Educated at the Free…

Bradford, Robert John

Bradford, Robert John (1941–81), unionist politician and methodist minister, was born 8 June 1941 in Ballykelly, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, seventh child of his father, who sold his milk business while his mother was in hospital giving birth to Robert. Having moved to Grove St., Belfast…

Bradley, Daniel Joseph ('Dan')

Bradley, Daniel Joseph ('Dan') (1928–2010), physicist, was born in Derry city on 18 January 1928, the son of John Columba Bradley, a Post Office worker, and his wife Margaret (née Keating), one of ten daughters of farming stock, originally from near Cashel, Co. Tipperary. He was the…

Browne, Thomas George

Browne, Thomas George (1888–1963), veterinarian, was born 9 September 1888 at Moneymore, Co. Londonderry, third son among four sons and three daughters of John Browne and Jane Browne (née Eakin), both of whose families were farmers for generations in the locality. He was educated at…

Browning, Michael

Browning, Michael (d. 1689), captain of the Mountjoy, whose Christian name occurs in various forms, including Micah, Micaiah, Micaill, and Mihal, is said to have been a native of Derry city, although the family is not mentioned in the city's hearth-money rolls. He was a…

Brown, John

Brown, John (1788–1873), presbyterian minister, was sixth son of Samuel Brown, a farmer near Garvagh, Co. Londonderry. Graduating from Glasgow University (MA 1811), he was ordained (December 1813) in Aghadowey, and remained there till retirement…