The LANE/LAIN(E)s of Ulster, Ireland, Chapter 3

The "LANE Family" section of this site is divided into 8 chapters and 8 appendices. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the "Quick Nav" at top right. Please note the companion photo galleries which show the LANE family house ruins in Co. Tyrone, Ireland; the LANEs' Parish church in Lissan; the homes and graves of the LANEs in Jarrow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Note the styles: links to individual images: …#2 ; citation of sources: …ix) If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the Sitemap page.

Do you have information, opinion or a question relating to either this site’s contents or its copyright? Please use the e-mail link available at the bottom of each page. I look forward to corresponding with you.

LANE/LAIN(E) Farms, Co. Tyrone: Further Details of the Three Farms

The Three Farms

See the LANE Family Photo Gallery for photos of this area from Unagh to Birch Hill. I am indebted to Bill Cardwell …i) for his permission to include his photos, extending from the Unagh farm (old fashioned stooks), with several photos on the track to Birch Hill and the remainder showing stone ruins (houses etc) at Birch Hill …#3 to …#8. I have just expanded the range of photos as well as their size to create a new photogallery… the Lissan Excursions Photogallery. Speed of broadband made it possible to use more large images!

A letter writing search led to contact with the present day owners of the LANE Unagh farm …i1), who kindly sent photos of an old stone house… most likely that this was James LANE's home? This Unagh home is now a stone farm shed with a flat roof …#10 to …#14. Please also see the LANE Family Photo Gallery for these photos. The Unagh and Birch Hill farms were probably owned by members of the same family, and that family branches may have moved between the two farms depending on the accommodation at the time. There has been nobody living at Birch Hill in recent memory. These photos have now been re-scanned in large format and were then placed in the Lissan Excursions Photogallery.

I have been fortunate that Keith Ison…iii) and Laurence Campbell…iv) read the material on my website and volunteered to take further photos, now on the Lissan Excursions Photogallery. …v)Laurence's systematic and beautiful work is also included photos on the Staples Lissan House as well …#16 to …#29. Keith diverted his tour to take photos of the Lissan Parish Church …#31 to …#37. I am grateful to all these kind people.

Now locate the three LANE / LINN farms which have been colour coded on a 1935 map …vi)below… James (Unagh: Lot 7), William (Tatnagilta: Lot 6a) and Francis (Tatnagilta: Lot 4). The "Tenants in Unagh & Tatnagilta ~1860" table …vii-a) gives the lot numbers and the locations of these Lots are on "~1860 Griffiths Map" …vii-b). If you scroll backwards and forwards between these maps and tables it all becomes much clearer.

The maps below show that the farm in Unagh (Lot 7) had a circular hatched area at its southern extremity which coincides with the top of a hill on the OSNI map in the previous chapter. Would the hatched area have been a vegetated area? The 1834 map …vi) gives good detail of the distribution of vegetation, hedges etc and the circular area is shown quite plainly as a copse of trees. Was it originally a rath or a circular fort? This map also provides useful detail on the surrounds of all three farms. All maps showed a road through the Unagh farm, with the house on the southern side of the road. The Unagh house and the road detail is best in this 1834 map.

The Unagh National School was just down the hill from the Unagh farm in a SW direction. PRONI does not have records …xxii) of this school.... unfortunately most school registers start about 1860.…i) It is highly probable that the LANE children attended the school and the family presumably had a respect for learning, resulting in son Joseph's occupation of Marine Engineer. All the children had to do was walk down to the S end of their property to the copse of trees, then down SW through James M'GAGH's 14A property to the National School, which is shown in the below photo. It is still on the same tiny block shown on the Griffith map,…vii-b), with an area of only 88 m2.…xv) See present-day photo here.

Regardless of an absence of PRONI Unagh National School files …xxiv), some records of the school have been found:

The LANE children were not Presbyterian…xiv), but would have had no problem attending this National School which had 3 Presbyterian ministers from Cookstown as patrons. The school was careful to ensure that it was “open all days of the week to the public of all denominations” and that “no obstruction shall be offered to the children of such parents receiving (religious) instructions elsewhere as they may think proper.”…xviii) Notwithstanding this, the date stone on the school had a Co. Tyrone crest on its top left modified to an education logo, featuring a book, and on top right the logo of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland… the burning bush and the motto “Ardens sed virens”.…xiii) See the photo of the date stone at the bottom of this page.

Was there a push or pull factor which made the LANEs leave for Belfast? James left his occupation as a farmer in the beautiful surroundings of Unagh for an occupation as a yarn-bundler …ix) in the slums of Belfast!

The LANE family had been in the area a long while. James LANE (snr) was mentioned in the 1827 Tithe Applotments …x) and presumably our James LANE (Jnr) who was born in 1817 …xvi) was the person mentioned in the 1860 Griffiths. …vii-a ). Religion may have been a problem. Rev. John Knox Leslie's 1842-43 list of the Presbyterian parishioners in Unagh …xiv) did not contain LANE in the beneath surnames. Note that Rev Leslie was the Chairman(?) of the Unagh N.S. in 1840.…xviii) His list was:
Acheson, Armstrong, Barnes, Brunton, Campbell, Crooks, Dougl, Gourley, Hutchinson, Knipe, McGeagh, McGee, McKeown, McKinney, McKittrick, Moffat, Robson, Watters, Wray.…xiv)
Did this make the LANEs the odd ones out since they were possibly devout Methodists?

What happened to James LANE's farm? The table below of "1860 to 1881 Griffiths Records" …vii-c)give us a time frame of for James' departure, but no exact date. James' name was struck out some time in the 1864-80 period and John McKENNY substituted.…vii-c) Perhaps this date could be narrowed down a bit by the possibility that James lived with his 22 year old daughter Jane LANE in 1862 at Ross St., Belfast when she married Robert STRONG.…ix) The table also shows how the McKenny family progressively added to their holdings to subsequently make a sizable acreage which included James' farm.

It is interesting that Sir Thomas STAPLES Baronet was the immediate lessor of all the Lots…. with the exception in Unagh of Lot 28B (George GOURLEY), Lot 29B (William GOURLEY) and 30B (George GOURLEY), and only one other immediate lessor 14B (James M'GAGH) who was not a GOURLEY, but could have been related to the GOURLEYs.…vii-a) Why were the GOURLEYs in an exceptional relationship with Sir Thomas?


Resources which are used in the above text.

Overview of area- 1834 Map

Image of 1834 map of Tatnagilta with some Lissan and Unagh townlands1834 map of Tatnagilta townland with portions of Lissan & Unagh townlands. This map is good for detail of houses and vegetation. The S corner of James LANE's Lot is adjacent to the circular copse at the bottom of the map.

~1860 Griffiths Map

Image of excerpt from 1860 Griffiths mapsExcerpt from 1860 Griffiths maps showing Tatnagilta and Unagh Townlands.
Please match the numbers in the Lots with those in the table below.

Tenants in Unagh & Tatnagilta ~1860

Excerpts from valuation of the tenements
Number Occupier Immediate
Number Occupier Immediate Lessor Number Occupier Immediate
Tatnagilta Townland
1 Patrick Murray Sir Thomas Staples 6a William Linn Sir Thomas Staples 8b Arthur McLaughlin Sir Thomas Staples
2a Terence McConway Ditto 6b Veronica Toner Ditto 9 Arthur McConway Ditto
2b Andrew McConway Ditto 6c Hugh Corr Ditto 10a John McConway Ditto
3 George Martin Ditto 6d Henry Higgins Ditto 10b Arthur McConway Ditto
4 Francis Linn Ditto 7a John McKenny Ditto 11 Thomas McKenny Ditto
5a William Martin Ditto 7b John McKenny Ditto 12 William McKenny Ditto
5b John Henderson Ditto 8a Arthur McLaughlin Ditto 13 Sir Thomas Staples Ditto
Unagh Townland
1 Peter McElhannon Ditto 14c National Schoolhouse 27a William Weir Ditto
2 Hugh Donaghy Ditto 15 James McKenny Sir Thomas Staples 27b William Weir Ditto
3 David Corr Ditto 16a Thomas Robinson Ditto 28a George Gourley Ditto
4a Norman Tew Ditto 17a John McGagh Ditto 28b David Erskine George Gourley
4b Norman Tew Ditto 17b John McGagh Ditto 29a William Gourley Sir Thomas Staples
5 John Corr Ditto 17c John McGagh Ditto 29b John Weir William Gourley
6a Sarah Hopkins Ditto 16b John McGagh Ditto 30a Arthru Gourley Sir Thomas Staples
7 James Lane Ditto 18a Thomas McGagh Ditto 30b James Bryans Arthur Gourley
8 Anne Barker Ditto 19 Mary McKenny Ditto 31 Rev Henry McCaw Arthur Gourley
9 John McKenny Ditto 20a Rachel McKenny Ditto 32a Sir Thomas Staples Sir Thomas Staples
10 Thomas McKenny Ditto 20b Rachel McKenny Ditto 32b Sir Thomas Staples Ditto
11 William McKenny Ditto 21 Samuel McKenny Ditto 6b Sir Thomas Staples Ditto
12 Joseph Mckenny Ditto 22 William McKenny Ditto 16b Sir Thomas Staples Ditto
13a Anne McKenny Ditto 23 Robert Knipe Ditto 33 Sir Thomas Staples Ditto
13b Anne McKenny Ditto 24 James Slane Ditto 14 Ditto
14a James McGagh Ditto 25 Thomas Knipe Ditto      
14b Robert Potter Ditto 26 Joseph Fleming Ditto      

1935 Map & LANEs

Image of 1935 map with three LANE / LINN farms.1935 map showing vegetation, Townland and Lot boundaries and the highlighted three LANE / LINN farms.
Note the detail of the Staples Lissan demesne, even down to the icehouse!

Tenants in and next to LANE land

1860 to 1881 Griffiths Records
Lot 1860 1860-68 1864-80 1881
7a John McKenny John McKenny John McKenny John McKenny
8b Arthur McLoughlin Arthur McLoughlin John McLoughlin John McLoughlin
3 David Carr David Carr David Carr David Carr
4b Norman Tew Norman Tew John Hutchinson John Hutchinson
6a Sarah Hopkins Sarah Hopkins John Hutchinson John Hutchinson
7 James Lane James Lane John McKenny John McKenny
9 John McKenny John McKenny John McKenny John McKenny
10 Thomas McKenny Thomas McKenny Thomas McKenny Thomas McKenny
12 Joseph McKenny Joseph McKenny Joseph McKenny Joseph McKenny
14a James M'Gagh James M'Gagh Robert J Knipe Robert J Knipe
14c National School National School National School National School


Tenants in Unagh & Tatnagilta ~1827

                      Tatnagilta and Unagh extracts from the Lissan Tithe Applotment Book – 1827 (FIN 5A/203).
                    Transcribed by Len Swindley. Kind permission of the Co. Tyrone Mail List site and Len Swindley.
1827 Tithe Applotment Records

Crilly, Widow Sarah

McConway, Widow Pat.

McKinney, Thomas

Murray, John

Higgerty, Bernard

McGlaughlan, Arthur

McKinny, James

Murray, Patrick

Martin, William

McGlaughlan, James

McKinny, William

Quin, Robert

McConway, Patrick

McGlone, John

Miller, John

John McLoughlin

Barrin, James

McCanny, Hugh

McKinny, Martha

Snipe, Archibald

Devlin, William

McElgrew, Nail

McKinny, Robert

Snipe, Robert

Drew, Bartholomew

McElgrew, Widow

McKinny, Samuel

Staples, Thomas, Esq.

Fleming, James

McGeagh, R.

Miller, John

Watters, John

Hopkins, Robert

McGeagh, Thomas

Robinson, William


Lane, James

McGeagh, Widow Robert

Rodgers, Alexander


Loughran, Michael

McKinny, John

Slane, James



Townlands in Parish Lissan.

Source: Irish Townlands… which also provides a map of each Townland

      All Townlands (14) in Parish Lissan in Co. Tyrone
Ballynagilly, Broughderg, Cluntyganny, Creevagh, Creeve, Davagh Upper, Davagh Lower, Drumgrass, Dunmore , Lissan, Slaghtfreeden, Tamnyhagan, Tatnagilta, Unagh.
      All Townlands (24) in Parish Lissan in Co. Londonderry
Ballybriest, Ballyforlea, Brackagh, Caneese, Clagan, Coltrim, Derryganard, Dirnan, Drumard, Drummeen, Drumrot, Dunnabraggy, Glebe, Killybasky, Knockadoo, Letteran, Lismoney, Lissan Demesne, Mobuy, Muff, Rossmore, Tintagh, Tullynure, Turnaface.


Unagh National Elementary School.

Image of renovated National Elementary School at 19 Lough Fea RdNational Elementary School at 19 Lough Fea Rd on the B162, post code BT80 9QL…number near gate. A small block of land, only 88 m2. The trees in the upper R corner of the photo are in a NE direction at about 200 m, in the position of the copse of trees at the S corner of James LANE’s Lot 7 shown in the Griffiths Map above. The LANE children probably walked down this paddock to go to school. Note the date stone on the wall near the drainpipe.
Photo: 2016. To let 🔑 advertisement by Stanley Best Real Estate of Cookstown which said:
19 Lough Fea Road. Fully furnished two bedroom detached bungalow on the outskirts of Cookstown. This property becomes available at the beginning of July 2016.
Image of copy of an original date stone  placed on the schoolhouse at 19 Lough Fea Rd. Photo John Cotton.Detail of date stone shown in above photo. This was carved by John Cotton from the original sandstone block placed on the schoolhouse. John says: “The date stone had been plastered over and had been chipped to have the plaster stick to it. I still have this stone from which I carved the present one in the building.”
Photo: Kind permission of John Cotton. …xxiii)

      i) Bill Cardwell. Pers. comm. 2004.
      ii) Present-day owners of James LANE's Unagh farm. Pers. comm. 2004.
      iii)  Keith Ison. Pers. comm. 2007.
      iv) Laurence Campbell. Pers. comm. 2017
      v)  Lissan excursions photogallery. See here.
      vi)  Griffiths valuation maps: 1834, 1935.
     vii)   Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).
        —a) Griffith Valuation… Valuers' field book (VAL/2B). See here.
        —b) Griffith Maps (VAL/2A). See here.
        —c) Griffith Annual Revision Lists: VAL/12/B/37/11A (1860 - 1868); VAL/12/B/37/11B (1864 - 1880);
          VAL/12/B/37/11C (1881 - 1881). See here.
      viii) Joseph LANE's story. See here.
      ix)  Marriage of Robert Strong & Jane Lain. Latter Day Saints Genealogy Library Film: Film # 0101434,Marriages of Belfast Ireland, #194.
      x) Tatnagilta and Unagh extracts from the Lissan Tithe Applotment Book – 1827 (FIN 5A/203).
        Transcribed by Len Swindley. Kind permission of the Co. Tyrone Mail List site and Len Swindley.
      xi) Townlands in Parish Lissan. See: Irish Townlands… which also provides a map of each Townland
      xii) Google Maps.
     xiii) John Cotton. Photo of plaque on the wall of the National Elementary School at 19 Lough Fea Rd.
     xiv) Rev. John Knox Leslie. Notes on the Congregation of 3rd Cookstown Presbyterian Church, 1842 – 1843.
        Transcribed by Eddie Kelso from PRONI Microfilm MIC/1P/460 G3 – J4. See here.
     xv) Land & Property Services description of 20 Lough Fea Rd Unagh. See here.
     xvi) Death of James LANE. Year & quarter: Apr 1884. District: South Shields. County: Durham. Volume: 10a. Page: 385.
     xvii) Visit of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The Belfast News-Letter; 2 Oct 1835.
Unagh School House— While his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant was lately stopping for a short time at Lissan, the residence of Sir T. Staples, Bart. the Committee of the Unagh School waited on his Excellency and stated the circumstances of the School, to the funds of which he contributed in the most liberal manner. Sir Thos. and Lady Staples, and Col. Stewart of Killymoon, have also, from the commencement of the School afforded to it the most efficient assistance, for which the Committee have publicly returned to these distinguished persons their most grateful acknowledgements.
     xviii) Rev. John Knox Leslie. Application to the commissioners of Education (for) payment of teachers’ salary, and for supply of books. Received 12 Aug. 1840. (Held by John Cotton). Rev. Leslie wrote on behalf of Unagh N.S.
     xix) Parliamentary gazetteer of Ireland. 1844-45. Vol 11, D-M. A. Fullerton & Co; Dublin 1846:661.
     xx) Joseph M’Clean of Unagh said County School Teacher. The Will of James M’Clean late of Claggan County Tyrone Farmer who died 23 March 1894 at the same place was proved at Armagh by Joseph M’Clean of Unagh said County School Teacher one of the executors. 
     xxi) Farewell to Joseph M'Clean. Presentation to Mr Joseph M’Lean, on the occasion of his leaving Unagh National School. Unknown newspaper, date after 1894. (Held by John Cotton).
     xxii) The Belfast And Ulster Towns Directory For 1910: Cookstown Co. Tyrone.
     xxiii)  John Cotton and Paula Hobson. Pers. comm. 2017.
     xxiv)  Index to School Collections at PRONI. 2014. See here.


Especial thanks to Bill Cardwell who made photographic trips to Unagh and Tatnagilta, as well as immersing himself in PRONI on my behalf. A great person. Nobody seems to know what happened to him. Bill, if you read this, please contact me just to say hullo. Then there are Keith Ison and Laurence Campbell who went out of their way to take photos which have became an essental part of this account. The owners of James LANE's farm kindly took photos of his old stone cottage, and self-effacingly chose to remain anonymous. Paddy G. Loughran of the Lissan Historical Society gave me the benefit of his local knowledge. The webmaster of the Co. Tyrone Mailing List website Jim McKane and the website's resident historian and transcriber Len Swindley have been invaluable. Recent contact has been made with the COTTON family who have lived in the Unagh National Schoolhouse and who continue to own it. They have been most generous with photos and important original documents cited above.

The Story Continues