About Randalstown Historical Society

Randalstown Historical Society was founded in 1994 and aims to advance the historical knowledge of the general public in Randalstown and its environs by:

  1. The study and preservation of the history, cultural heritage and antiquities of the region.
  2. The promotion of public interest and understanding of the above in all sections of the local community.

Membership is open to anyone supporting the aims of the society subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. Membership fees can be paid when people attend their first meeting and the rates are:

Individual – £6

Family – £10

Concession – £4

The Society meets in the Community Hall on the first floor of Arches House, just off the main street.




35 Responses to About Randalstown Historical Society

  1. James Edgar says:

    I’m wondering do you have any BMD records for the Randalstown area? I’m specifically looking for Edgars on behalf of a Carol Proctor of New Zealand.
    In 1836, one Hans Edgar, a convict, was transported to NSW, Australia. I’m looking to find some of his records before departure. He apparently had sons Thomas, James, and John, who went out to Australia in 1848 with their mother, Mary (McGarry) Edgar.
    Father had done his 7 years labour and was a shepherd in Terrible Vale, Urella, NSW. He is buried in the tiny cemetery on the property.
    Any help you can provide would be appreciated. If you go to my Web site, you’ll see we publish a monthly Edgar Events newsletter. You’re welcome to submit anything of interest for our worldwide readers.

    • Secretary says:

      The society doesn’t hold any BMD records and doesn’t undertake genealogical research. I’ll ask at our next meeting if anybody has any info on the name.

      • Carol Prockter says:

        Do you have any information regarding Rev. James Heatley of Drummaul parish C1825-1850? I would like to know the name of the Church he was with, Also interested in a town called Crieve? Randalstown area in 1820-1840s and earlier.

      • Secretary says:

        We will do some investigating and get back to you, Carol.

    • Paul Cameron says:

      James … My name is Paul Cameron, a descendant of Hans Edgar, transported to Australia in1835 …….. We have quite a lot of information, including a New Zealand connection, of the family history back to his birth in Ireland. Unfortunately it seems prior to that time there are little or no records available.
      I am currently living in the US – as an Australian Expat. I would love to link up with other family members and compare notes ….. Never know what may turn up!

  2. Carol Prockter says:

    I came over to Belfast in 1995 but never made it up to Randalstown. I went to PRONI and found the baptisms for 3 of 4 sons of Hans and Mary EDGAR) nee McGARVIE/McGARVEY) at the O.C. Church in Randalstown. The boys were John Alexander 1825, William James 1828 and Hans 1833. I have since found a 4th boy called Hugh born c1838. The family eventually ended up in Australia. Hans was transported as a convict and the rest of the family followed years later.
    According to Hans’s death cert. in 1871, his father was also called Hans and mother is given as unknown. I would like to try and contact any EDGARS or other people that may have a link to this family. Unfortunately I have not found a marriage for Hans/Mary although they were, I believe in the Befast area and I would also like to know if Hugh was baptised in Randalstown.
    I really would appreciate any help or leads that could be given to me.
    I joined the online EDGAR forum and they have been very helpful but I seem to be the one that has the ancestors in the Randalstown Antrim area.

    Carol Prockter
    Naew Zealand

    • Paul Cameron says:

      Carol ….. My name is Paul Cameron, a descendant of Hans Edgar, transported to Australia in1835 …….. We have quite a lot of information, including a New Zealand connection, of the family history back to his birth in Ireland. Unfortunately it seems prior to that time there are little or no records available.
      I am currently living in the US – as an Australian Expat. I would love to link up with other family members and compare notes ….. Never know what may turn up!

      • Jim Ward says:

        Hi Paul, I am also a descendant of the above Hans Edgar….Henrietta was my G.G. Grandmother. I think I have that right, my Grand Mother was Jessie Anderson, née Kohry. I’m living in Perth. WA..age 72. (Born Whanganui NZ) came to Aus in 1973 full name James Sydney Ward

      • Carol Prockter says:

        Hi Paul, I am still researching my Edgars and have a lot more information than in 1995. I am trying now to connect the Edgars in Antrim before 1836.

  3. Anne McManus says:

    I wonder if any members of the Society have knowledge of James McManus,b.circa 1803and his sons James and John who all worked at Shane’s Castle as gardeners? I have tried to find the O’Neill Estate Papers with no luck. Thank you.

  4. John Bastow says:

    I am researching Storeys in Randalstown. Joseph Storey was bap 24 Dec 1843 Lenagh
    Randalstown and Margaret Storey was bap 31 May 1850 Cotton Mill Randalstown. I understand that many census records have been destroyed, but could anyone tell me about newspaper titles from the time and where I might find copies please.

  5. Elaine Aston says:

    Do you have any books on the history of Randalstown?

    • Secretary says:

      The Society has published 2 books of photographs, Old Randalstown, and Old Randalstown and District. The first is now out of print but the second is still available. It is in stock in Cameron’s of Ballymena or we could supply it direct at a cost of £10 plus postage and packing. There have been a few publications on history of local churches which might be sourced from libraries. The Society hopes to produce a publication on the Old Bleach Company but completion of this project is some way off.

      • Are there anymore Randalstown books (2nd printing) avail? I’m trying to get more information on my great great grandmother Martha Kennedy (born approx 1853) who married William Kidd (born approx 1850) who had 10 children in the Randalstown area. Their fathers were Robert Kennedy and Joseph Kidd (both born approx 1825).

        Thank you,

      • Secretary says:

        Reply sent privately. I hope you received it.

  6. Elaine Aston says:

    Thats fantastic. Do you accept payment via paypal?

  7. Yvonne Lascelles ( support worker SENSE N.I) says:

    Please can you help.. I am looking for information on the Old bleach factory, I have been told that at one time in the last fifty years Carpet was produced from the location, I am wondering if this building still exsists in any form as I would like to bring a former employee along for a visit if possible, I have read that it is part of the Coats viyella complex but also it was on the site of the recently newly built Cookstown textiles buisness…any help appreciated.

    • Secretary says:

      Hi Yvonne
      You are right. The Old Bleach Company did manufacture carpets at a building specially contructed on the Magheralane Road in Randalstown in 1947. The building is still there and is now used by Cookstown Textile Recycling. Old Bleach became part of the Carrington-Viyella Group in the early 1970s. Carpet production ceased in 1980 and Old Bleach became part of ‘Dorma Group’ within the Carrington Viyella Group – Dorma being a holding company for Coats VIyella Home Furnishing Ltd. Dorma production of household textiles moved into the vacant carpet factory in 1984 and production there continued until the plant closed in 2002.

  8. Clare McGill says:

    So happy I found this, I have been wondering if anyone could tell me about my grandfathers’s time at Shane’s Castle gardens. As far as I know he worked and lived there perhaps in the late 1940’s or 50′. His name was William McGill married to Margaret McLaughlin, they had a large family. Any information would be valued. Thanks, Clare McGill.

  9. Sarah Close says:

    Hi, I am trying to research my house, it used to belong to the castle but I am not sure when it changed hands and has also been modified over the years. I would be grateful if someone could email me to see if I can explain a bit more and advise details of the house. Thanks, Sarah

  10. sian leitch says:

    hello,my family interests are the doyles who lived in 123 barnish rd.
    Hugh doyle married to ellen macAdorey, was the engine driver and he used to stop the train at the cookstown junction so my grandmother Jeanie Doyle could give him his lunch.John Doyle Hughs father was also a signalman on the railways too.His wife was sara/jane storey
    I have some very small pictures from the 1930s of the tennis players that play in the field next to the Doyles.I believe that the McNallys are in the picture.
    I have some old copies of photos of flarnflough school where 2 of my doyle ancestors attended.
    I would love a copy of the new book on randalstown.

  11. John Bastow says:

    Hi Sian, thank you for your reply. Afraid I cannot add much more. This is all I have:
    The following entries record baptisms into the Roman Catholic faith, the children of William John Storey and Ann Donalson.

    Name/Date of baptism/Informant
    Joseph Storey/24 Dec 1843/Patrick Magrogan & Jane Storey
    Margaret Storey/31 May 1850/ Rose Graffan

    Do these other names mean anything to you?
    Regards John

  12. Robert Sharkie says:

    I was born in Belfast in 1948 but have lived in Canada since 1977. My Grandmother was supposed to be from a farm at Whitesides Corner. Her name was Mary Agnes Pickens and she married my Grandfather Henry Sharkie and they moved to Belfast. Do you know if there are any Pickens in the area?
    Thank you

  13. William D Romanski says:

    I am looking for the history by Patrick O’Kane “The Catholic Parish of Drummaul, Randalstown: Diocese of Connor” published in 1991. Can you offer any suggestions in locating it? My ancestors the McCashions were a Roman Catholic family living in Sharvogues as early as the 1830s. I would like to learn more about the history of the area

    • Michael Hager says:

      For what it may be worth, my great-grandmother ELizabeth Stor(e)y was born and baptized in Randalstown ca. 1832, a daughter to Robert Stor(e)y and Sarah McCashen.

  14. Gavin McGrath says:

    Anyone have an opening and closing date for the old cinema in Randalstown? Now an Elim Church I believe.

    • Secretary says:

      This is the information we have:
      1935 – Cinema erected
      1962 – Closed after being condemned over fire safety precautions
      1963 – Reopened under new management
      1969 – Destroyed by fire

      The building was demolished in the early 1970s and the site is now taken up by the pedestrian access to the viaduct footpath. The Elim Church is beside it.

      Hope this helps.

      • Gavin McGrath says:

        That’s great, thanks for the info. I am writing about cinemas that became churches so I guess it saved me from a bit of embarrassment!

  15. Carolyn Kidd says:

    My grandparents married in 1876 at the 2nd Presbyterian church in randalstown. (They went on to have 10 children…Matilda c1878 to agnes c1898.). Martha Kennedy (born prior to 1855) and William Kidd (born same). Their fathers are Robert Kennedy (born c1825) and Joseph Kidd (born c1825). Where can I go from here to get information going back further. Thank you, Carolyn Kidd Toronto Canada.

  16. Patrick McCauley says:

    Could anyone tell me where “Glenking” was in relation to Randalstown in the 1830-1850 time period? I have a marriage record (1833, Drummaul) that says they each lived in “Glenking”. I thought it might be a bad mishearing of “Clonkeen” but have since foudn reference to James and John Gamble being Linen manufacturers in Glenking, Randalstown (1843 BSD) so apprently it was a place. I have searched everywhere but can’t find a map or description of Glenking’s location. Saw that there is a Glenkeen Street in Randalstown, any connection? Thank you for any information.

    • Secretary says:

      We have some information on this and we are working on a reply for you, Patrick. Will email you directly.

  17. donna mcdowell says:

    Hi I wonder if you could possibly tell me who owns the old railway building? Many thanks, Donna

  18. James Anderson Forrester says:

    Greetings from Canada

    I was wondering if the Society has any information about “Shane’s Cottage,” which was located on Shane Street, near the Castle Gates during WWI. I have a photo of my grandfather Albert in front of the cottage, with his father James Andrew Orr Anderson, who was a retired Sgt of the IRC. The cottage had a distinctive rounded front door entrance. I wonder if it was destroyed by fire in the same time-frame (1922) as Shane’s Castle? The building may have stood where “Butlers Events” is located on Shane Street today.

    Thanks for your assistance.

    James Forrester

  19. Art Bailie says:

    I am the Gr Grandson of James Glover Bailie, born at Tamnaderry, Duneane Parish in 1820. I am referencing 2 comments above mentioning the family “Kidd”. My 3-gr grandfather, William Bailie (1750?-1824) of Tamnaderry married Margaret Kidd (1774?-1816). Her tombstone was the 1st one set at the new cemetery at Duneane Presbyterian Church (now Fulton Memorial) in 1816. This info is from “Bailie of the North of Ireland” (1902) by my gr grandfather’s brother George A. Bailie of Augusta, GA (google it). My 1997 edition of the N. Ireland phone book (1 of my important references for Scottish family names) notes several Kidds in the Randalstown area.

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