Welcome to the Poyntzpass and District Local History Society Web Site. On this site you will find information about our society and some historical information about Poyntzpass and the surrounding District. This site will be continually expanded and improved. You can also find us on Facebook – details are at the bottom of this page. It is our hope that this site will bring the history of the area to as wide a selection of people as possible, so if you like this site please bookmark it and make sure to tell your friends.

You can Contact Us Here. Please note: We do try to answer our e-mails, but usually the load is too great. We also have families, pets, and day jobs. All we can do is try. Unfortunately Poyntzpass and District Local History Society does not carry out personal family history searches.


Special Recent Posts

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"Before I forget" issue 14 Magazine Launch

Over 100 pages long and costing just £5 ‘Before I forget..’ is a genuine bargain and is sure to be a[...]

Our Facebook recent posts

Not history related, but someone from 200 years ago would be surprised to see this field in the townland of Greenan in the month of May. What is being grown?

3 likes, 15 comments4 days ago

Book of Kells

The Book of Kells is now available online. There’s a prize for the first person to find a reference to Poyntzpass (which of course would be quite impossible). https://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v#searchresults

0 likes, 0 comments1 week ago

Petty Sessions

0 likes, 0 comments2 weeks ago

Here’s an interesting newspaper article from 1919. Where is Rafferty’s Corner? Is the first name Ringham still in use?

20 likes, 2 comments2 weeks ago

Our next Society outing is on Thursday 2nd May to St. Mary’s Church and Graveyard, Drumbanagher. Everyone should make their own way to the Church for a 7pm start. Everyone welcome and hope to see you there!

4 likes, 1 comments3 weeks ago

Here’s a pleasant photograph of Loughadian bog outside Poyntzpass. Back in the year 1759, this would have been a lake. But in 1760, William Fivey had it drained to feed into Acton Lake (Lake Shark) and raise the level of Acton Lake, which in turn feeds that Canal running to both Newry and Portadown. We can only imagine what Loughadian lake looked like in 1760, but when it was drained, a variety of stone age or Celtic implements of war were found such as spear heads, swords, hatchets and flint missiles. Later in 1796 and a curious boat was dug up and in 1797 a golden tiara was found.

43 likes, 3 comments1 month ago

Wee reminder – our Dawn Chorus is at 5:30am on Saturday. Meet at the top of the Canal tow path near the railway signal box. Breakfast afterwards in Petty Sessions. If you have not been before then I highly recommend it.

9 likes, 2 comments1 month ago

April 2019 Talk by Robert Morrow

Did you miss last night’s talk by Robert Morrow? Oh dear! Well, here he is singing a song called “Barrett’s Privateers”. It was written by a Canadian folk singer called Stan Rogers about a Royalist privateer from Nova Scotia called Elcid Barrett. In 1778 he was granted a letter of marque by King George to plunder American (or ‘Yankee’) vessels during the Revolutionary War, but his ship is destroyed and he’s killed in battle with the Americans. The last survivor recounts the tale through this shanty. https://youtu.be/sxxgtmZg0Zw

12 likes, 1 comments1 month ago

Don’t forget – our Talk this evening is by Robert Morrow

7 likes, 1 comments1 month ago

—Dr. William Robert MacDermott, the Confederate— The name is known to many of us, but not the full story. William Robert MacDermott was born in 1839 in Dublin, the son of Dr. Ralph Nash MacDermott of Clare. MacDermott entered Trinity College in 1859, aged 20, and left Trinity in 1864. However, between the years of 1861 and 1864 MacDermott served in the Confederate States Army in Missouri during the American Civil War. At the time, Missouri was the gateway to the West and was still mostly a frontier. Missourians’ loyalties were split right in half during the Civil War, with some supporting the Confederacy and others the Union, but the State never officially seceded. Most of the Irish in Missouri enthusiastically took up arms for their adopted State, mostly in Missouri’s Confederate militia. There were two Irish regiments from Missouri, one in the Union army and the other, the more famous one, was the Confederate ‘Kelly’s Irish Brigade’ which was led by Col. Joseph Kelly of Galway. We don’t know for certain which regiment MacDermott served in, but clues from his book “The Green Republic” tell us he did fight in Missouri, but left the army before the war’s end and came home to Ireland. He was assigned to the Poyntzpass district in 1867 at the age of around 28 and diligently looked after us right up until his passing in 1918. That such a man lived and worked among us and for us is truly a blessing, and to think our ancestors were treated and looked after by someone who saw combat in Missouri’s Confederate forces during the Civil War is amazing. He rests in the Church of Ireland graveyard, and his headstone has recently been restored so as to be readable again; he deserves to be remembered.

19 likes, 1 comments2 months ago