Vyger Irish Genealogy

Our search to further our Eggleton, Surgeoner, Smiley & Gracey
ancestry in Ireland and around the world building new
family relationships in sharing what we have learnt.




Thompson farm, Ballynaris, Dromore

My Father in law, Stanley, always describes the trip to the Thompson farm in Dromore and always wonders how this family was connected to him. This trip took place when he was a small child so we must be talking about 1930 or 1931. I believe this was a dwelling on the Bishops Well Road just inside the townland of Ballynaris.  "We got off the train the last stop before Dromore and walked to the Thompson farm"

thompson-mcgrady-gracey-ballynaris-dromoreThe last stop before Dromore was Magherabeg, they walked the same direction as the train (towards Dromore) and the Thompson farm was next to the lines on the right. As far as I can make out that places it as a dwelling on the Bishops Well Road which would now appear to be redeveloped.

Stanley visited with his mother Kathleen and his Aunt Emily who were Gracey sisters. On the 1901 census return for Ballynaris I have found three Gracey households which must point to some family connection back in time.

This is the 1911 census for house number 19 in the townland of Ballynaris, Dromore. I believe this to be the household that later around 1930 Stanley describes as the Thompson farm. It is interesting that the name McGrady appears while Stanley's grandmother was a McGrath from Dromore, are these two families the same?, I don't know yet.

1911 census return for household 19 in Ballynaris townland

  • John McGrady (head) Church of Ireland 88 years Farmer
  • Margaret McGrady (wife) Church of Ireland 70 years
  • Eliza McGrady (daughter) Church of Ireland 22 years
  • Jane Thompson (daughter) Church of Ireland 32 years
  • Matilda Thompson (grand daughter) Church of Ireland 3 years
  • William Thompson (son in law) Methodist 40 years
  • Mary Thompson (daughter in law) Methodist 34 years
  • Mary Sarah Thompson (granddaughter) Methodist 12 years
  • Lissie Sophia Thompson (granddaughter) Methodist 10 years
  • John Thompson (grandson) Methodist 8 years
  • Charlotte Thompson (granddaughter) Methodist (6 years)
  • George Thompson (grandson) Methodist 2 years
  • Joseph Thompson (grandson) Methodist 8 months

The 1901 census return shows the same family occupant with the exception of the last five entries on the list above.

Other census returns in the townland of Ballynaris show three Gracey families. These three families were sequential households on the census return they do not appear to have been direct neighbours to the Thompson farm.

The first household was that of James Gracey and his wife Eliza and three daughters, Margaret Ann, Christina and Helena.

The second household was that of Mary Gracey, a widow, her daughter Mary, son John and grandson David Mills.

The last household was that of Robert Gracey living alone as a widower aged 71 years.

If any of this pops up in your own research then please do get in touch with me so that we may share notes.

If anyone has any old photographs of Magherabeg halt or farmhouses in Ballynaris, I know for sure my father in law would be thrilled to see them.