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John Moore of Bovevagh

Article written by Brian Willis.

Bovevagh Parish Church

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Dungiven: John Moore of Bovevagh

Sharon Ricketts wrote to us from Barry's Bay, Ontario, Canada asking if we could find her father's grave in Limavady, Northern Ireland and also wanting pictures of the area in which her father ( John Moore ) was born.

So I took the idea under my wing and this is the result of our research. I say "our" because my wife Angela helped me in this interesting project.

Benbradagh mountain and Sperrins
"Looking east - Benbradagh Mountain (465m)
and the Sperrins form a backdrop to Bovevagh

AN OPEN LETTER TO SHARON

The Library

First stop was the Library at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. They have helped me before with details about Flax . The Library is not generally open to the public but you can make an appointment and are then usually allowed to visit.

Well I put your father's townland birthplace to the librarian and she rose to the challenge. Soon I was presented with huge ancient volumes of information and she and I settled down to some detective work.

Here's what we found.

Ardinariff Orange Hall sign
Ardinariff Orange Hall sign

The correct modern-day spelling of the townland is Ardinarive and that is how it appears on modern maps. It used to be called Ardenarrif. However, when we visited the area we discovered yet another spelling.


Topographical Dictionary

In Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of 1837 it was said to have several ·principal houses, one of which was called Ardenariff (after the townland name I suppose) and at the time was lived in by a man called W. Douglas esq.

This Lewis book also states that Ardenariff was in Bovevagh which was in the Barony of Keenaght which in turn was in the Parish of Drumchose.

Bovevagh signpost
Bovevagh signpost
Spelling

Note the spelling of Bovevagh, All these names are spelt differently in different documents and nowadays Drumachose often has the letter ·a· inserted in the middle. Which makes it easier to pronounce for a start.


Boveva Post Office Sign
Boveva Post Office Sign

And here's a sign on the village Post Office which I photographed recently .


So although on modern maps it is spelt Bovevagh it would appear the local residents have other ideas.

Location

Ardinarive is a townland in Bovevagh which is off the B192 road about 4 miles north of the town of Dungiven and about 6 miles south of the town of Limavady, in the County of Londonderry. And if you really want to pin it down to an exact area, the Ordnance Survey Grid Reference/Ulster Index, is OS.266414

Celtic Names

The old name for Ardinarive was "Lofty Croft" and Bovevagh is derived from "Both Maeve" meaning the hut, house, tent, or church of Maeve. Maeve apparently was a pre Christian chieftainess. (What's the correct spelling of a lady chieftain?)

Population

According to an 1821 report of "Six Derry Parishes", Ardanarive (a different spelling again!) then had 69 houses and 405 inhabitants.

On to next page of Bovevagh>>

Your Responses:

Nicole Edmand
- Nov '06
My name is Nicole Edmand William Moore was my great grandfather and Sharon Ricketts is my grandmother. Wow thank you so much for this information! Its really interesting and neat. Very kind of you too!


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