Horace pointed out that in 1998, on her bi-centenial,
there was no such trouble and today the Ballynahinch
Regeneration Committee are trying to promote her image
as a positive one, a heroine for all people, bringing
Protestant and Catholic together. Indeed her story featured
in a mural, displayed in Ballynahinch for a number of
years before it was sadly destroyed by a low-flying
pigeon. Interest in Betsy has never waned and in fact
her memory was being debated in a local newspaper article
as recently as October 2004. Her story has been retold
in a Flash
Do you know anything more about the story
of Betsy Gray? Can you offer any more details on
her life and death? If so, don’t hesitate to get
in touch with the team.
victor johnston - Feb '08
Hi My mothers maiden name was Boal and she came from
Newtownards, she had a brother William who has now
passed on and also lived in newtownards all his days
and was a memeber of the orange order, i would dearley
like to know is there a connection with my mums maiden
name and the name of betsy grays fiance name. I will
watch your comments closley, many thanks.
Jean Driver - Mar '07
Interesting reading. My great, great grandfather a presbyterian,Robert
Hagan farmed in Drumnaquoile in the early 1800s also
his son Robert. Are there any Hagans still out there?
Alex Korwin - Nov '06
I stumbled across your fascinating article during my
on-going (though largely fruitless) searches for the
origins of the surname Granshaw. The connection was
made because of Betsy Gray's origins.
I notice that there are a number of places called granshaw
in Ireland, and in the absence of any other leads at
present, assume that people with that surname would
probably have originated from one of these places. I
wonder if Horace Reid can shed any light on this?
I'm sorry that this does not bear strictly on the subject
of your article, but would assure you that I found it
most interesting, and (bearing in mind that my ancestors
may well have been involved in the uprising) particularly
Mrs. I.G. Patterson-O'Regan - Nov
Although the family information is very vague, it is
handed down that domething happened in 1798! The furthest
ancestor known is Henry Patterson Jnr. b.c.1730 who
settled in England in Norfolk, England! We believe his
parents came from Ireland: and that his father, was
the Henry Patterson snr. found in Griffiths Valuation
of Ireland in the parish of Termoneeny, location, Knocknakielt,
Londonderry in the barony of Loughinsholin, a province
of Ulster! Have already tried to contact the Tower Museum
by email, but so far have not as yet received a reply.
Justin Gardener - April '06
Two of my great, great, great grandfathers fought at
the battle. They were John Denvir, grand father of the
writer and historian of that name, and Brian O'Loughlin.
Both came from Lecale.
Joan O'Connor - March '05
Thanks so much Rory. That will give me a place to beging
the Ireland search, so kind of you to post this. If
you see them, please tell them I'd like to make contact
with them. My father and brother were in Ireland in
1996, but at that time, we thought we came from an area
farther south, so they were searching in the wrong parish
( which had its records destroyed by fire anyway).
Glenna Morrison - March '05
Beautifully done and a fascinating piece of history.
One of my ancestors is Valentine Swail of Loughkeelan,
Ballyculter. I have read about a Dr. Valentine Swail
who was involved in the Battle and have to believe he
is connected to my family, but I haven't been able to
prove it ... yet. The article stated "Munro’s
second adjutant, Dr. Valentine Swail, was from Ballynahinch.
It was he who advised Munro to attack the army during
the night, while the Monaghans were busy drinking and
plundering the town. Following the battle, Swail hid
successfully on the Montalto demesne for several weeks.
His family knew where he was concealed, but dared not
go near his hiding place, though a faithful old servant,
Shulah Durnin, managed to supply him with food and necessities.
Eventually Swail obtained the government’s permission
to remove himself and his family to America, and local
people did not forget Shulah Durnin’s heroic constancy."
Joan O'Connor Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Great story! I think my forefathers might have come
from that town. My great great grandfather came from
ireland, but there is little history of him....of his
brother daniel O'Connor, there is more. In 1811 Daniel
was shipwrecked off Cape Breton Island , Nova Scotia,
Canada. he stayed and eventually was granted land and
two of his brothers came to join him. We think they
came from Ballynahinch because he named his land, ""Drumna
Quoile". .....and we know he came from County Down.
Can anyone tell us if there are other O'Connors in the
Rory O'Neill - March '05
There are still O'Connor's living in Drumnaquoile, close
to Castlewellan, Co.Down. Danial, Seamus, Colm, and
Liam I know them all quite well so maybe that would