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.
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—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.
Are you at a loose end this evening? The why not come along to our Talk at 8pm in The Meeting Place in Poyntzpass. Helena Gamble (of an indeterminate age) will tell us about the Construction of the Canal and its impact locally, a ground-breaking subject!
Hello. Does anyone have a picture of the Manchester Arms Dance Hall in Tandragee? Asking for a friend.
Last night’s Talk by Sean McClory gave an account of 3 local Irish speakers Brother Malachi Conlon, Mary McKiernan (nee O’Donnell) and Johnny McAloone. Great research by Sean and full of little stories about the three characters. Over 70 attended with visitors from Donegal and the Conlon / McSherry Clan well represented
Good on ye Robert Morrow. A bit warmer this year for the kilt!!!
Sad news today of the passing of our much loved member & former Committee Member. Such a wonderful person. R.I.P.
A follow-up to the previous post; Hugh Murphy of Lissummon faced, and the Shiels brothers of Poyntzpass fought alongside, these men led by Irishman Col. Robert McMillan of the 24th Georgia (The Irish Legion) on this day in 1862.
On this day 156 years ago, the battle of Fredericksburg was well underway, and the Confederates had entrenched on Marye’s Heights above the town behind a stone wall. The Union sent regiment upon regiment against the dug-in Confederates, to no end but slaughter. Poyntzpass was well represented, Hugh Murphy was present at the battle with the 21st Massachusetts of the Union army and a number of the Shiels family were serving with the Confederacy; shooting across the wall at one another. Image: The Confederate 24th Georgia (The Irish Legion) behind the stone wall on Marye’s Heights, 13th December 1863.