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NAMES: Randal DONNALDSON AKA DONALDSON of Castle Dillon AKA Castledillon; ALEXANDER DONNALDSON; Samuel DONNALDSON; Joseph DONNALDSON;John DONNALDSON of Castledillon; Hugh McMASTER of Foxfield; Edward TRESHAM; Thomas VERNER. OTHER PLACES: Phillipstown.
Sharon Oddie Brown, June 11, 2008


DEED ?-?-116790


SEE: John Donaldson Family Tree.


To the Register appointed by Act of Parliament for the registering of all deeds wills conveyances and so forth--

A Memorial or an indenture of lease bearing date the nineteenth day of November on the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty made between Randal DONNALDSON[1] of Castle Dillon[2] in the County of Armagh Esquire of the one part and Alexander DONNALDSON[3] of Philipstown[4] in the County of Louth Farmer of the other part whereby the said Randal DONNALDSON for the consideration therein mentioned did demise, grant, set and to farm let unto the said Alexander DONNALDSON all that Quarter of Cloghog commonly called McSHANE's Quarter[5] now in his actual possession with the rights members and appurtenances thereunto belonging situate lying and being in the County of Armagh aforesaid to hold unto the said Alexander DONNALDSON his heirs and assigns from the first day of November then instant for and during the natural life and lives of Samuel DONNALDSON[6] and Joseph DONNALDSON[7] fourth and fifth sons of Alexander DONNALDSON the lessee which said indenture is witnessed by John DONNALDSON[8] of Castle Dillon aforesaid then a man servant to the said Randal DONNALDSON and by Hugh McMASTER[9] of Foxfield[10] in the County of Armagh Farmer and this Memorial is witnessed by the said Hugh McMASTER and by Edward TRESHAM[11] -to Thomas VERNER[12] of the City of Dublin Gents.


X [His mark][13]


[1] Randal DONNALDSON.

  • SOURCE: Irish edition of Alexander Ban Donaldson: Our ancestor 1698 – 1776, Ron Donaldson 1989. p243 ff. Notes: Randal Donaldson Esq. was a counsellor, an influential member of the bar and owner of several thousands of acres of land in County Armagh, in County Antrim. He was probably born in the late 1690s and died at 1770 he lived at Drumgher, Castle Dillon, County Armagh.  He invited Alexander ban Donaldson to settle on his estate in County Armagh.  They are probably Kinsman but the exact connection is not known.

Seemingly he was on very good terms with the fifth Earl of Antrim Alexander who lived 1713 -- 1775.  One of the leases between the two men was in 1748 March 6th  where Alexander the Earl of Antrim demised unto Randall Donaldson Esq. land in Parishagh, land in Carriveagh and Ringfad and two tenements in the town of Glenarm, County Antrim containing over 1588 acres.  10 acres of this was in the Desmesne of the Castle of Glenarm close to the Earl's home, so it seems that there was a relationship between the men.  In other latest leases dating back to 1738 Randall owned 1300 acres much of it in County Armagh.  He married Ann (last name is not known) was and known as a benevolent purpose person. 

One other link to him can be seen in the lease information with respect to the will of Louis Jane KELLY. http://www.thesilverbowl.com/documents/1823Apr5_LouisaJaneKelly.htm


[2] Castledillon, Co. Armagh. It is on Castle Dillon Lake which is about 3 miles northeast of Co. Armagh.

  • A current building at Castledillon has recently been remodelled SEE: http://www.smcconnellandsons.com/castledillon.html . Thanks to an email from Sean Barden, I understand that this is not the former home of the Molyneux family but a new house recently built. Castledillon house has been closed up and empty for about 10 years now since the nursing home which operated from the premises closed.
  • It was described in 1613 as 'certain small buildings within a strong rath' and in another account as 'a strong bawn, with houses for lodgings'.
  • In the late 1600s and early 1700s, the property was associated with Samuel Molyneux. The Ulster Architectural Society included the stables of Castle Dillon on its endangered list and included the description: The now vacant Castle Dillon House and its equally impressive stable block and unlisted gate lodges, have had a somewhat chequered recent history. First included in Buildings at Risk, Vol. 1, p. 50, and then again in Vol. 4, p. 43, the stables continue to deteriorate despite hopes being raised several years ago of a potential restoration scheme. The stables were described by Brett as having “...two storeys to the front but three-storey to the rear, thirteen bays long: the three central bays breaking forward and surmounted by pediment and cupola; each of the bays having a recessed archway framing either doorway or window-opening”. They were designed by Thomas Cooley in 1782 and built of limestone with ashlar dressings. A large number of roof slates are missing and part of the roof structure appears at serious risk of imminent collapse. Urgent action is needed to prevent further loss of original fabric.  


[3] Alexander DONNALDSON. (1671-1776) he was formerly of Phillipstown and in later life lived at Cloghoge. In 1709, he married Alice McILVEEN

·         SOURCE: "Irish Edition of Alexander Ban Donaldson" by Ron Donaldson [She] probably came from Killinchy in the area of Dufferin, Co. Down. "Alex probably lived not a great distance from her home and when they were married he was 18 and she was 22." The McIIlveen's: "Local tradition indicate the family has existed in Co. Down since the 13th Century ..." )

·         SOURCE: Account of the Barony of Upper Fews John Donaldson. Creggan Local History Society, 1993. p.13. One of the earliest of the settlers was Alexander Ban Donaldson the ancestor of the numerous families of that name in Cloghog and other places.  He first came from Lecale and the County of Down, and settled in the town land of Drumhammond in the County of Monaghan.  He gave this freehold to his eldest son John Donaldson, and then took out a lease of an extensive farm in the part of the lands of Philipstown in the County of Louth, to which he removed; and finally he left this last mentioned place to his second son, Andrew Donaldson, and took out lease from Counsellor Donaldson (Randall DONALDSON), then of Castledillon, near Armagh, of one fourth of the town land of Cloghog in this Barony, now called the North quarter, which contains above 140 acres Irish measure, besides bogs, at the yearly rent of £19, with fees and duties, for the tenure of three lives, or 31 years.  On this farm he built a dwelling-house and offices, where he resided during the remainder of his life.  The said Alexander Donaldson also took out a lease of the southern quarter of Cloghog, a portion of which was the most rocky and barren part of the townland, which latter part he set to two undertenants, amongst whom were Robert McKnight, and in later times Thomas McIveen, his brother-in-law, who were Presbyterians, and gave the remainder to his third son William Donaldson, and also the whole of said quarter at his death.  He likewise gave the one half of the North quarter to his fourth son Samuel Donaldson on his marriage; and then bequeathed among other things his houses and a half of the North quarter to his youngest son, Joseph Donaldson.

·         SOURCE: "Irish Edition of Alexander Ban Donaldson" by Ron Donaldson has a variant date of death: 1776. Of Cloghoge. "The first land lease to Alex ban was from the family of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Viscount Weymouth, later the Marquess of Bath. This lease of 127 acres comprised the townland of Drumhaman [Drumhammon, Co. Monaghan - according to John Donaldson, 1838] in Farney Barony in Donaghmoyne Parish. A Hill in the area was known as Donaldson Hill in olden days. On modern ordinance maps this is show directly south of Castleblayney on grids 25 and 28.

"Alex secured a lease of this farm for his eldest son John and stocked and cropped it so he could get a firm start. This shows Alex was a man of some means at this time and had some wealth behind him.

"This done, Alex and his family move several miles to the east and settle near Phillipstown, Co. Louth where he secures another lease.

"...Alex Ban lived there until it was stocked and cropped and let his second son Andrew take possession of it.

"... Around 1739 Alex ban Donaldson was invited by Randal Donaldson Esq. landed proprietor of several thousands of acres of land in the North of Ireland to settle on his lands in Cloghoge, South County Armagh.

"Alex ban took out his third lease and this was the North, one quarter of the Townland of Cloghoge containing 140 acres in Co. Armagh. Here he was to live the rest of his life and build his home.

·         SOURCE: Creggan Graveyard: Here lies the body of Alex Donaldson of Cloghog Co. Armagh, formerly of Philipstown Co. Louth who died 22nd Jan 1776 aged 85 years and of his wife Alice Donaldson who died 24 Aug 1769 aged 82 years and of Richard Donaldson M.D. whose father Joseph Donaldson was a grandson of the said Alex Donaldson; he died 4th March 1879 aged 54 years.

[4] Phillipstown, Parish of Philipstown, Co. Armagh was a townland that was mostly owned by members of the BELL family and in fact, members of the family live there still. I have photos of an excavation of earlier dwellings (they had been totally covered up in the intervening years) that was being undertaken in 2005. Numerous DONALDSON family members also lived there over the years.

[5] McSHANE's Quarter – I don`t know the borders of this designation.

[6] Samuel DONNALDSON (1725-Abt 1805), 4th son of Alexander ban DONALDSON & Alice McILVEEN, died at Freeduff. Married Elizabeth MAFFET abt. 1761.

·         SOURCE: "Irish Edition of Alexander Ban Donaldson" by Ron Donaldson p291"After his children joined the United Irishmen his fortunes declined somewhat because of property destruction by the English troops. Samuel suffered from rheumatism and was unable take care of himself so he lived with his son George."

·         Betsy Grey-Hearts of Down, W.G. Little Mourne Observer, 1968. pp 42,43

·         SOURCE: Ros Davies Web-site- Samuel Donaldson, Newtownards.

[7] Joseph DONNALDSON (b abt 1770), name of wife unknown, had a son Joseph.

·         Named in a lease of 28 Dec 1801 & acquired 41 acres of land from the Rev. KELLY & the CLEWLOWs (SEE Will of Louisa Jane KELLY 1823, April 5 for more background on the relationships). In 1828, he leased 18 acres in Cloghog & bits of farms in Freeduff.

·         SOURCE: Irish Edition of Alexander ban Donaldson: Our Ancestor 1691-1776. By Ron Donaldson, p304 "...on a lease of 28 Dec 1801 and acquired 41 acres of land near the present William Howe farm from the Rev. Kelly and the Clewlows. In 1828 he is listed as leasing 18 acres in Cloghog and a 3,7 and 24 acre farm in Freeduff."

[8] John DONNALDSON of Castledillon. I don`t know where he fits in – there are several choices.

[9] Hugh McMASTER

[10] Foxfield – Apparently, there is a Foxfield Road near Crossmaglen, but I have not been able to find it yet.

[11] Edward TRESHAM

[12] Thomas VERNER. Presumably related to the VERNER landlords of the time.

[13] I find it interesting that there is an X rather than a signature.



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