Wedding – Thompson Mulholland Portglenone

Here is the wedding photograph of my paternal grandparents, Thompson (always known as Tommy) Mulholland and Isabella Armstrong, who were married on the 6th July 1927. 

There was only one photograph, so obviously this was an expensive enterprise.  But it was a quality picture.  Also note, in this early era of photography, nobody smiled.  This was a serious business.   Then again, as Tommy Mulholland often said, these were hard times.  He often referred to “the roaring 20s, and the hungry 30’s.”  Not that there would have been much of a roar heard in Eden, or indeed anywhere else in rural Ireland.

Tommy Mulholland, Ballymacpeake, Eden
Mulholland wedding July 1927, Eden, Portglenone

Standing (back row): Samuel Armstrong (the bride’s brother); sisters Cissie and Meta Crockett; John Mulholland (the groom’s brother) and Joe Smyth.

Joe Smyth was a cousin of the groom i.e. Tommy Mulholland’s mother was Smyth.  Joe was a sibling of Robert and Ada Smyth.  Tommy and Isabella went on to name their first child’s middle name, Smyth  (i.e. Charlotte Smyth Mulholland).

Okay, some detail on the two Crockett sisters, Cissie and Meta.

Thomas Burnside Crockett and Sarah Crockett (nee Adams), from Fallahogey (beside Moyagoney), had seven children, four girls and three boys.  Elizabeth (born in 1907), Mary (1909), Margaret (1910), James (1911), John (1912), Thomas (1913) and Annie (1915).  They worshipped at the local Church of Ireland.

Cissie Crockett – ‘Cissie’ is one of those rare short-form names that often gives no clue as to the girl’s real christian name.  Cissie is often a shortened term for ‘little sister’ and/or for referring to an only girl in a family of boys.   Cissie in this instance refers to Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Burnside Crockett, born in 1907, was 19 years old when Tommy and Isabella’s wedding took place.  She was the oldest sibling.

Meta Crockett – “Meta” was a name commonly found in Germany and Scandinavia.  It is the short form of Margaret.  Margaret Samuelina Crockett was born in 1910 in Fallahogey.  She had just turned 17 years old, in the month before the above wedding photograph

Sitting (front row): Isabella’s father, Samuel Armstrong of Moyagoney, is sitting at the very left. 

Next is the groom and his bride, Tommy Mulholland and Isabella Armstrong.  Tommy was 31 years old, and Isabella had not long turned 20.

Agnes Neely sits to the right of the married couple.  She was the bridesmaid and had turned 29 years old in 1927.   Agnes was a close friend of the bride, and lived nearby in Moyagoney (Agnes in House 11 in Moyagoney, and Isabella in House 20).  She was the daughter of William James and Margaret Ann Neely. She had 12 other siblings.  The Neely family were Church of Ireland, while Isabella’s folks were Church of Ireland.

On the right of Agnes is Tommy Mulholland’s brother-in-law, Joe Armstrong.  Joe Armstrong was married to Tommy’s sister, Charlotte Maria Mulholland.  Joe and Charlotte lived in Greenlough, outside Innisrush.

Tommy (as he was known), and his wife, lived and farmed in Eden.   They had four children, Charlotte (born in 1928), Richard (1929), Samuel (1931) and Stanley (1936).    Tommy’s two brothers, John and Willie, also lived at his home (Hill House, Eden).

My memories, as a young child… grandfather was always entirely bald.  And when the hourly news came on the wireless, he always demanded absolute silence, of everyone, with a WHEEEEESSSST.

Tommy Mulholland died 19th December 1979, aged 83 years.  And his wife, Isabella Burnside Mulholland, died 13th December 1983, aged 76 years.  They are buried together, in a little country graveyard, in Innisrush (Tamlaght O’Crilly Lower).



"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

15 thoughts on “Wedding – Thompson Mulholland Portglenone

  1. Sorry for delay, I couldn’t work out how to reply. This is our Neelys/Armstrongs etc. Agnes Neely would be my grand-pa’s maiden sister. I remember her well.

    Have you been to Ireland? Would you like me to send pictures of the the headstones at Tamlaght upper, Church of Ireland.

    I also have seen Agnes’s family bible and took a picture of it. I can send that also.

    Lovely photograph, thank you. I have some I can share with you.


    May Milton

  2. I would like to try and tie this Armstrong family in w/ my family from this area.
    If anyone is a descendant of these people, had completed DNA testing and can contact me to try and tie it together – it would be greatly appreciated.

    Andrew Stewart

    1. Andrew,
      There are a few of us, Mulholland’s and Stewart’s, on ancestry who should be able to show you their research. I’ll send you an email.
      Barry Mulholland

  3. I am trying to trace Burnsides of Fallahogey, parents of James Burnside born 1828 and John Burnside born 1832. I have notes written by an aunt that parents could have been William Burnside and Jane McMullan. Jane died after birth of second son and William remarried and they had a daughter Ena, who married a Mr Crockett.
    Any information would be gratefully received – thank you.

    1. Hi Susan. Thanks for your post.

      My granny (seen in the photo above on her wedding day) had Burnside as a middle name. I don’t know where it came from (though she will have told me many times, but I was young). She was from Fallahogey – as were her bridesmaids in above photo.

      There were/are several Crocketts in the area. Indeed, I played indoor bowls with several in the 1970s (at the nearby Tamlaght O’Crilly Upper church hall). One of them, a Mrs Crockett was the main teacher at nearby Innisrush primary school. She is top left in the photo in the article below:

      I vaguely recall a Tony Crockett and an Alex Crockett.

      Thanks Barry – I will send Susan your email details.

      1. Hi,
        If you could send me your email address then I could send you a copy of information that my aunt wrote. That would answer your question as to how/why your granny had Burnside as a middle name. I’m stuck at two generations earlier than your grandmother.

  4. Susan,
    There are hints of the Burnside, McMullan, Crockett in the distant extremities of my tree. And I have checked, it’s similar with one of my distant cousins who has his own extensive tree. But nothing specifically with the names you gave.
    If you don’t get any direct information, and don’t have access to research tools (ancestry websites), I’m happy for my email to be passed on.
    You may be able to help me with Burnside information too.

  5. Hi Barry,
    Thanks for your reply, I subscribe to Ancestry but I’ve come to a dead end with my research of the Burnside family at Fallahogey. Please do have a look at my tree on ancestry- I’ve made it public, and I’d gladly help with any Burnside information if I can. Happy to share my email address too.

  6. My grandfathers, father was William James Neely his wife was Margaret Anne Armstrong
    Grampa s sister Margaret married a Joe Armstrong, also Mayogney
    Margaret and Joe were in USA for a time , she was married to an Archibald Barkley according to a census, she was 17 lived at family home but marked as married, he was never heard of after that , she traveled to NY on the ships manifest as a housewife
    She and Joe met up and came back to Ireland, the lived at Henry Neely (they bought her uncles house)
    One of Henry Neely’s daughters , Zeta married a farmer Kyle , they are buried in Innisrush C of Ireland
    My grandmother a Stewart married Neely,, but her grandmother was an Armstrong
    Granny’s sisters married into Mayberry ( remember Willie , they called him the butcher, went to the farms to slaughter the pigs, I’ll never forget , he had red hair and I can still hear the poor pigs squealing, he offered me a bladder blown up as a balloon, ,,, didn’t help one bit)
    Fanny Mayberry married Samuel Garvin
    The Mayberry lived around the Lislea area
    Anyone know the Wallace family, they were Covenanters , came from a Wallace hill ,, Crockett now has the house and farm, Crockett lives up the next lane , it’s up from the Morrons crossroads at Killygullib ,

  7. The names you give appear in the complex family trees of many descendants of the area. My research has only taken me to a basic outline of this section of my family tree, as I have been concentrating on my direct lines, and particularly my mother’s family around Kells/Ballymena.
    I hope you are prepared for one of the more sensational stories. William James Neely 1855-1939 and Margaret Ann Armstrong had a large family, including Margaret Jane 1883-1959. Archibald Barkley was a teacher aged 45, Margaret Jane Neely was 15 when they had a child Margaret Jane Neilly Barkley on 19 Aug 1899, having married on 13 April. That’s as far as I have gone, but others have more information, and it doesn’t take too long include this.
    You won’t believe this, but Samuel Hamersley Garvin and Fanny Louisa Mayberry also appear in my tree. Though they are also not on my direct family line. My cousins married into the Garvin line.
    As someone said, is there any family along the Bann valley that isn’t married into all the other families.
    Barry Mulholland

  8. Does anyone have a DNA test done by chance w/ Ancestry or MyHeritage?
    We might be able to link some together this way…..w/out records – DNA is the closest chance we have.

    I do not need yours May 🙂

  9. My Burnside / Armstrong / Neely / Mulholland / etc section of my family tree has just been expanded with further information and new names. I fear there is more family to be found!
    It is a right ‘staghie’ (if that’s the correct spelling?)
    My tree is viewable on ancestry, and I can send you an ‘invite’ if you don’t subscribe. I’d appreciate your contributions to clarify the information.

  10. The story that I was told by my mother was that Margaret Jane Neely, the above mentioned, was a housekeeper in a teacher’s house (some scandal there) and had a daughter, who was seemingly brought up by Neely at the house called the castle I believe near Aghadowy (sorry if my spelling is wrong). After that she went to New York, USA. I have her passage, ship details, etc etc somewhere. Seemingly she left for America on her own.

    She the then married Joseph Neely also from Moyagney. He was in NY. I think they then came back to Ireland and Moyagney. They had no children and they bought the house that Margaret’s Uncle Henry Neely lived in.

    George Neely, son of William James, lives there now. He is the grandson of George, Margaret’s brother. My grandfather Tommy Neely was also her brother.

    So there was a wee bit of a scandal in that story.

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