The LANE/LAIN(E)s of Ulster, Ireland, Chapter 2

The "LANE Family" section of this site is divided into 7 chapters and 6 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. 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

Family Farms

In what sort of an area did the LANE's live? The photo below shows the essence of the area, just north of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, North Ireland. Facing northwards near the LANEs' homes, the background is low mountain .... the Slieve Gallion, which is an outlier of the Sperrin Mountains. In the mid-distance towards the left is the Lissan Parish Church. The small stream in the foreground of the photo feeds into the Ballinderry river.

Photograph of area north of CookstownView looking north, away from the LANE farm
Photo: Bill Cardwell 2002

The photographer, my kind Irish friend, Bill Cardwell, has interests in both photographing Co. Tyrone and in researching its history. He has enabled the most significant break-throughs in my Co. Tyrone research by both directly accessing PRONI records in Belfast, and by visiting and photographing the LANE farm areas in Co. Tyrone.

Please see the Lissan Parish Church Photo Gallery for photos of the Lissan Parish church in Churchtown, Co. Londonderry and the Slieve Gallion, both mentioned above. I am indebted to Keith Ison, who diverted from his tour of Ireland to Churchtown for these photos taken in May 2006. These photos capture the feeling of the place where the LANEs were baptised. Their same baptismal font survives today, with the dedication date of 1685.

 

Griffiths Records

Initial examination of PRONI Griffith's Valuation records (1848-1864) held in Belfast, showed that a James LANE leased his house and land from Sir T. Staples. The area of James LANE's lease was 4 acres 3 roods 25 perches - land value £2-0-0 house value £0-5s-0, portion 7 in the townland of Unagh. Portion 7 was located on a Griffiths Valuation map for the Cookstown area (ref# VAL/2A/6/29D). This map rose from an 1833 survey with revisions in 1857. The family farm was near the intersection of the Unagh, Lissan and Tatnagilta townlands. This information was then placed on section of a modern Ordnance Survey (OSNI) map with the kind permission of OSNI.

Ordnance Survey (OSNI) mapModern map from the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland,
Cookstown area. Acknowledgement: The kind permission of OSNI.

Please note the location of the James LANE's farm in Unagh {F}, the Staples' home, Lissan House {L}, the Unagh National School {U} and the position of the photo at the beginning of this page {P}. It also gives townland and county boundaries and the position of Birch Hill {B} in Tatnagilta which was mentioned in LANE baptisms below.

The Parish of Lissan Church of Ireland baptismal records for LANE are now tabulated. This parish includes the Unagh, Lissan and Tatnagilta townlands:

LANE Births in Parish Lissan
# Parents Occupation Range of dates Birch Hill Unagh Tatnagilta No Location Total births
Last Updated on 1/10/2003 By PD STRONG
1 William & Sarah - 1806 - 1830 2 - - 7 9
2 James & Jane - 1812 - 1820 1 2   1 4
3 *James & Mary - 1839 - 1842 - - - 2 2
4 *James & Margaret farmer 1851 - 1 - - 1
5 William & Eliza farmer 1839 - 1856 1 - 3 2 6
6 William & Sophia coachman 1877 - 1879 - - 2 - 2
Totals: 12 or 10 (* same people?) 4 3 5 12 24

 

LANE Locations

We now have three NAMES of locations where 34 or 36 individual LANEs were found .... the Griffiths Valuation farm in Unagh, Birch Hill in Tatnagilta, and an unspecified Tatnagilta location. Local information, as well as our 1935 map, pinpointed a Birch Hill in Tatnagilta which was less than 0.5 kms from the Griffiths Valuation farm in Unagh. I thought it strange that there were no other LANEs mentioned in the Griffiths valuations when there so many LANE baptisms in Tatnagilta. Accordingly, I looked for LANE variants of spelling in the Griffiths Index and found:

  1. LINN, Francis of Tatnagilta
  2. LINN, William of Tatnagilta

It does seem obvious in retrospect that LANE would sound like LINN to the English tax-gatherers! Had not heard of Francis before, but William of Tatnagilta was probably the Birch Hill LANE.

 

Griffiths Records Revisited

We found that Francis LINN had 6 acres at number 4 in Tatnagilta and William LINN had 4 acres at number 6A. However, I could not find 6A on the Griffiths map, though there was a Portion 6 at Birch Hill. I measured areas 4 and 6 on the map and they were 6 and 4 acres respectively. The assumption was made that Portion 6 was equivalent to 6A .... right place, right area. The farms were colour coded on the 1935 map which shows the boundaries of the various portions as well as naming the location "Birch Hill" and showing the James LANE's house in Portion 7 in Unagh. Please use the following link to see the full sized map.

 

Further Details of the Three Farms

Please also see the LANE Family Photo Gallery for photos from Unagh to Birch Hill. I am indebted to Bill Cardwell 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. In addition there are two photos of the original LANE home at Unagh, kindly contributed by the current owners of this farm. This Unagh home is now a stone farm shed with a flat roof. 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.

Maps showed that the farm in Unagh had a circular hatched area at its southern extremity which coincides with the top of a hill on the OSNI map. Would the hatched area have been a vegetated area? An 1834 map gave good detail of the distribution of vegetation, hedges etc and the circular area is shown quite plainly as a copse of trees. This map also provides useful detail on the surrounds of all three farms, it is quite a large image and can be viewed on its own page. 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 was best in the 1834 map. I marked the Unagh National School {U} on the OSNI map which shows the school was just down the hill from the farm in a SW direction. PRONI does not have records of this school.... unfortunately most school registers start about 1860. It is highly possible that the elder LANE children attended the school and the family presumably had a respect for learning resulting in son Joseph's occupation of Marine Engineer. What happened to the farm? The Griffith Valuation books showed that James LANE's name is crossed out and another name inserted... regrettably there was no date on this transfer or on the book.

A letter writing search led to contact with the present day owners of the LANE Unagh farm, who kindly sent photos of an old stone house on the spot indicated by the maps. Please see the LANE Family Photo Gallery for these and other photos. It is most likely that this was James LANE's home.

 

Family?

Which LANEs from the cluster of LANE parish records described in the above table were my immediate family? Regrettably James & Jane (births 1812 - 1820) did not have a record of a child James b. c1818, otherwise we could have suggested that James & Jane were my g-g-g-grandparents, though of course it is possible. We made a break-through with the children of James & Mary (births 1839- 1842), finding probable records for both my g-grandmother Jane as well as her sister Sarah Anne. Also, an equivalence of James and Margaret (birth 1851) with James & Mary would give us the other sibling, William.

1839 Birth Record1839 Baptismal Register, Parish of Lissan

"(The Year 1839) Page 93 Jane daughter of James Laine and Mary his wife was Born 1st October and Chriftened 3 November Regiftered Same day by me W.J. Irvine" Similarly we made another breakthrough with the child of James and Margaret LANE. PRONI: MIC/1/103; 3rd section, p. 21: William, son of James and Margaret, Unagh, b. 24 Apr 1851, farmer. This is the right time frame, and it should be noted that Mary could be using her alternate name of Margaret which she used later in life at Newcastle upon Tyne. As mentioned before, the location of Unagh is most important since it links with the location of the Griffiths Valuation James LANE.

 

Some Conclusions & Possibilities

The LANE farm at Unagh was probably where my g-grandmother Jane LAINE was born. Jane LAINE would certainly describe herself as coming from Cookstown if she was born at Unagh, and the date of the baptismal record matched (as do the dates for her siblings). Furthermore, James LANE of the Griffith's records could well have been Jane's father James LAIN b. c1818, since James' son William was probably born in Unagh in 1851, within the Griffith Index period (1848- 1864). Note the anomaly that James' son Joseph was born in Belfast ~1848. However, there is the other possibility that Jane's grandfather might have been the Griffiths Valuation James LANE and feasibly the same person mentioned in the 1827 Tithe Applotments for Unagh. The cluster of 34 or 36 individual LANEs found in the locations Unagh/ Birch Hill in Tatnagilta/ west of Birch Hill in Tatnagilta was very likely part of my extended family.

The Story Continues