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This is a will that was saved at Gilford Castle by Mary MENARY. It is a mystery about the connection of Samuel STUART to the MENARYs. I also wonder if the bequests may have had some bearing on a later MENARY-COUSER court case. This document is shared thanks to the generosity of Christine WRIGHT. The transcription and footnotes (and hence all errors) are mine.
NAMES: Samuel STUART of Lisdrumard; Rev. Joseph Ford LEATHLY aka LEATHLEY; William MENARY sr. & William MENARY jr. of Magherkilcranny; Alexander MENARY of Cavanaballaghy aka Cavan Bellaghy; Sarah WILSON of Rowan, Parish of Derrynoose; Jane COUSER of Aghavilly; Anne COUSER of Aghavilly; Elizabeth ORR of Umgola; Margaret GRAY; James HAYES.
Sharon Oddie Brown, March 30, 2010.
Updated March 31, 2020 - NOTE beneath. Also revised footnotes: 2, 8 &17.
SEE also Killynure


Envlope for 1864 will of Samuel STUART


FRONT ENVELOPE (not pictured): The cancelled stamp appears to say MELBOURNE Oct 2? 63.

Mr Samuel Stuart of Lisdrumard,

Care of Mr. David Adams, Spirit Merchant, Thomas Street, Armagh, Ireland


REVERSE ENVELOPE: To be deposited with Mr. William Menary Maghery Kilcranny & not to be opened until I return or such time as God please to call me.

NOTE: One interesting aspect of this will is that it is clearly dated 1864, but the envelope that it was in was posted October 1863.

I am also puzzled by the various bequests to deceased sisters. This is a new one on me. How they all fit with the MENARYs of Magherkilcranny, I also don’t know. NOTE: I would not rule out the possibility that he was a half-brother to some MENARY.

In another MENARY line, there is a William MENARY who married a Martha COUSER August 9, 1860. Since her father was a Joseph COUSER, it is possible that Jane and Anne were also daughters of his since his representatives held land at Aghavilly where this will claims they resided.

NOTE: In Clogher Marriages, there is a record of a James STEWART who married a Mary OLIVER in 1841. This may tie in to Samuel STUART.


1864 May 21 will of Samuel Stuart


In the name of God amen, I Samuel Stuart[1], now of Lisdrumard[2] in the County of Armagh formerly a farmer but latterly not employed in any way and being now about to emigrate to some of her Majesty's colonies abroad and taking into consideration the uncertainty of this life and that it is appointed unto all men once to die do make and publish this to be my last will and testament in form following that is to say, whereas I am seized and possessed of a farm of land situated in the townland of Lisdrumard in the parish and County of Armagh, containing by survey 38 acres[3] English statute measure or thereabouts, held by lease under the Rev. Joseph Ford Leathly[4] in perpetuity, which farm of land and all my right and title and interest there in I leave and bequeath to William Menary Junr[5] of Maghery Killcranny[6] in the parish of Derrynoose and County of Armagh and if the aforesaid William Menary dies without lawful issue I then leave and bequeath my aforesaid property to William Menary[7] son to Alexander Menary[8] of Cavanbelaghy[9] in the Parish and County of Armagh; and I also leave and bequeath to each of my sisters that is to say, Mrs. Sarah Wilson[10] in the townland of Rowan[11] in the parish of Derrynoose and County of Armagh - deceased and Mrs. Jane Couser[12] in the townland of Aughavilly[13] in the parish and County of Armagh and Mrs. Anne Couser[14] in the town land of Aughavilly in the parish and County of Armagh deceased and Mrs. Elizabeth Orr[15] in the townland of Umgola[16] in the parish and County of Armagh deceased and Mrs. Margaret Gray[17] between three and 4 miles from Armagh on the road leading to Newton Hamilton in the parish and County of Armagh the sum of one shilling each. And this my last will and testament I hereby revoke and annul all former will or wills by me heretofore made in testimony whereof I the said Samuel Stuart have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 21st day of May in the year of our Lord 1864. Samuel Stuart. [SEAL]

Signed sealed and declared by the said Samuel Stuart the testator in our presence as and for his last will and testament and we at his request and in whose presence and in the presence of each other have affixed our names as witnesses hereto.

James Hayes[18].

William Menary.

William Menary Junr.

[1] Samuel STUART possibly aka STEWART.

[2] Lisdrumard, Parish of Lisnadill, Barony of Armagh was mostly owned at the time of Griffiths Valuation by Rev. Joseph F. Leathley. A Samuel STEWART held title at that time to 33A 0R 3P at Lisdrumard as well as two smaller parcels of land. He also had caretaker’s house, offices and land valued at £2.0.0. The total value of his holdings was £42.5.0. Significantly, in terms of his relationships in the family, Thomas and William OLIVER leased a parcel of 66.3.0. acres and Herds house, & offices valued at £4.10.0 for a total valuation of £65.10.0. These would be the two OLIVER brothers from Killynure. SOURCE: HAY TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION On Saturday, the 30th of August, instant, at Lisdrumard and Killynure, about two miles from Armagh, (by order of Messrs. Thomas and William Oliver,) ELEVEN LARGE PIKES of PRIME WELL-SAVED FORCE GRASS HAY, the growth of the years 1843, 1844, and 1845. Sale to commence at Lisdrumard, at eleven o’clock.— Terms at Sale. DANIEL M’ALLEN, Auctioneer. Killynure, 19th August, 1845.

[3] 38 acres would tally with the total of the three parcels of land that he held in free title.

[4] Rev. Joseph Ford LEATHLY aka LEATHLEY. It seems that he married a Frances OSBOURNE Feb 5, 1829. She died in 1840 leaving only one child. SOURCE: Life of Colonel Pownell Phipps. Pownoll W. Phipps, Richard Bentley and Son. 1894.  p.257.

[5] William MENARY (1838-1874) married Mary JACKSON and had a daughter Mary MENARY (1872-1946)who saved this document at Gilford Castle.

[6] Maghery Killcranny, Parish of Derrynoose, Barony of Armagh and long time home to MENARYs.

[7] William MENARY (1810-1867) father of William MENARY jr.

[8] Alexander MENARY husband of Martha HERRON and father of 5 children. It may be pertinent that a William COUSER was executor of his will.

[9] Cavanaballaghy aka Cavan Bellaghy, Parish of Eglish, Co. Armagh. Alexander MENARY held a lease on “House, office and land” from Sir. James M. Stronge at the time of Griffiths Valuation. The land was 33A 2R 25P and the buildings were valued at £2.10.0 for a total value of £39.10.0. This would most likely be a son of the Alexander MENARY and hence a brother of William MENARY sr.

[10] Sarah WILSON. I assume that STUART or STEWART was her maiden name.

[11] Rowan, Parish of Derrynoose, Barony of Armagh – I saw no WILSONs there at time of Griffiths Valuation.

[12] Jane COUSER. She is noted as a lessee in Griffiths Valuations at Aghavilly.

[13] Aghavilly, Parish of Lisnadill, Barony of Armagh. Jane COUSER has holdings in this townland leased from the Vicars Choral of Armagh Cathedral amounting to about 15 acres and buildings valued at £2.10.0 Also, William COUSER sr. (22 acres & buildings valued at £5.0.0) & William COUSER jr. ( about 9 acres) also hold lands there. The representatives of Joseph COULTER also have about 35 acres and buildings valued at £10.0.0 and £1.0.0.

[14] Anne COUSER.

[15] Elizabeth ORR

[16] Umgola, Parish of Armagh. Joseph OLIVER had been a prime lessee there until his death in 1837. The mills and such are leased at the time of Griffiths by William MAZIERE to William BOYD who owns the rest of the townland. There are no ORRs present at that time at Umgola. There are numerous COUSER records at St. Marks, Armagh.I have yet to organize the Umgola ones into a table.

[17] Margaret GRAY. There is a Margaret GRAY who married a John MENARY in another tree, but this is a “Mrs.” Margaret GRAY cited here. It still may be her. SOURCE:1st Armagh Presbyterian Church - 13th May 1867- John Menary, widower, a farmer of Letmacollum, par of Lisnadill; father John M. , farmer to Margaret Grey of Enagh, par of Kilclooney

[18] James HAYES. I do not know who he was, but there was a Sarah HAYES who married a Michael MENARY (1835-1887 - of Lime Hill, Co. Tyrone) in Australia. The name also shows up in a deed dated 1840 April 6.



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