Eastwood Family History

On Newry Journal we are great enthusiasts of genealogy and especially interested when one’s family history impinges on some of the great events of the nation. The Eastwoods were very influential locally and especially in Creggan/Ballsmills district. They also had some dealings with the traitor to the United Irishmen cause, Samuel TURNER. 

For these reasons we reproduce the Eastwood history in full (32 pages of it). Read it all or scan/skim as suits you. Then wonder whether your own family history could be outlined in similar fashion. We’d be glad to reproduce it here.


Early History of the Eastwood Family in Ireland

The surname Eastwood is not native to Ireland. The first known mention of the name in Ireland occurred in 1631. The reference, contained in a church register, concerned Abraham Eastwood who was a clothier or weaver originally from Nottinghamshire in England, but then living in the parish of St. Catherine’s in Dublin. Abraham, by religion a Protestant, was married to Jane and they had four children.

Their eldest son John (b. circa 1625) ascended through the social ranks of the day to become a wealthy and prominent merchant. In 1658 he became Sheriff of Dublin and in 1679 he was appointed as Lord Mayor.

John married his wife Bridget Whitty in or about 1656. Their youngest child Abraham was born in 1665 and he was appointed as Sheriff of Drogheda Co. Louth in 1720. In 1690, he had married Mary Conly and they had a son John who was born in 1701.

John became a merchant in the town of Drogheda. He married Elizabeth Murphy from the townland of Belcotton in the parish of Thermonfeckin Co. Louth in 1721. Surviving records show that they had six children but only two, Francis (b. 1723) and John (b.1726), survived past childhood.

It is with John the youngest of these two brothers and his descendents that this narrative is concerned, for John begat Samuel and it was the problematic relationship that arose between these two that was at the root of the difficulties that followed.

Abraham Eastwood + Jane

 John Eastwood + Bridget Whitty


 Abraham Eastwood + Mary Conly


 John Eastwood + Elizabeth Murphy


 John Eastwood + Letitia TURNER


 Samuel Eastwood.


Simplified Family Tree of Abraham Eastwood down to Samuel Eastwood

John Eastwood

John Eastwood was baptized on 31 July 1726 at St Peter’s Church, Drogheda. His father died within three months of his birth and it is probable that his siblings and his mother Elizabeth were left in difficult financial circumstances. The evidence for this belief is that in 1734, Elizabeth entered into a 31 years lease on 250 acres of rich agricultural land near Belcotton Co Louth. The farm that she rented was one of numerous properties owned by her elder brother Patrick Murphy.

Abraham Eastwood (died 1743) + Mary Conly

  John (born 1700 marr c 1720) Elizabeth Murphy

  Mary (born 1705 marr 1722) John Ross

Family tree for Abraham Eastwood and Mary Conly.

Patrick Murphy

Although Patrick Murphy or Pat, as he is sometimes referred to in documents, was a central character in the Eastwood story very little is known of him. What we do know is that in 1711, Sir Henry Tichborne and his son and heir apparent William Tichborne granted and leased to Patrick Murphy, his heirs and assigns: “the Town & lands of Ballycotton & Ballymaglane in the Barony of Ferrard & County of Louth containing approximately two hundred acres and including all Houses Messuages Cottages Tenements Gardens Orchards”.

In the following year, 1712, Sir Henry Tichborne and his son William further granted and leased to Patrick Murphy, his heirs and assigns, “the Lands of Glasdrumen Kiltabane Lisletrim Camoly Lurgancolenby Creganduffe, Skirmakillea, Drumloughry Carnally Tullydonnell, Dunravy Ballanaghleragh”. Most of this property was situated in County Armagh and excedded two thousand acres.

 In 1716 Patrick Murphy increased his holdings further when he came into possession of the lands of Roach and Ballurgan, situated in Co Louth, from George Hoy of the City of Dublin.

In July of 1734 Patrick Murphy died. His last will and Testament makes bewildering reading, for although he left

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