Andersons of Broughshane

Historical Background

Broughshane (pronounced brau-shane) is a village 5 km east of Ballymena in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. Broughshane meaning Shane’s fort takes it name from Shane O’Neill's nearby place of residence.
In the 1690s Ireland was a nation ruled by the English from Dublin. The English saw Ireland as a back door route by which its European Catholic enemies could threaten its independence and sought to populate it with English and particularly Scottish settlers. The Andersons, who were from the Scottish Lowlands, participated in this migration into Ulster. In general the Scottish settlers were poor and downtrodden. The Andersons were Presbyterians and at the time Presbyterians were discriminated against by the State. Presbyterians were excluded from certain professions (law and the military) and there were restrictions on their ownership of land. Also Ministers of the Presbyterian Church were not allowed to marry their own flock.
The arrival of the Andersons in Broughshane
There were 21 male Andersons born between 1805 to 1830 who became family heads:

Name DoB Married

A N Other c1805 Mary
John c1805 Margaret
Robert c1805 Isabella
Robert c1806 Mary
Richard c1811 Jane
James c1811 Rose
William 1811 Margaret
William c1812 Maria
Thomas c1812 Agnes
William c1813 Elizabeth
Adam 1813 Sarah
David c1813 Sarah
John c1814 Peggy
James c1816 Elizabeth
James c1818 Mary
Thomas c1820 Nancy
Joseph c1820 Mary
Robert 1820 Margaret
William c1823 Peggy
Alexander c1825 Mary
John ???? Jane
Assuming that 20% of children died before reaching adulthood and 10% of families had no children, there were 28 Anderson males (56 children) born in the 1805 to 1830 period. Anderson families in the early 1800s had an average of around 5 children (probably low due to missing records)*. A rough calculation shows that a ‘starter family’ consisting of parents and 2 children would have had to be resident in Broughshane c1700 to produce 56 children by 1805-1830. This is consistent with the wave of immigration into Ulster from Scotland in the 1690s.
* We know from a statistical survey undertaken by Lieutenant Edward Durnford for the Ordnance Survey Memoirs that the average number of children per family in Broughshane in 1832 was 6.
On examination of the 1901 census it is noteworthy how many Andersons had left Broughshane. There were only 23 people in Broughshane with the name Anderson in 1901. Some had moved to Ballymena while a number had fled to Belfast, particularly the Shankill and Ravenhill areas, as well as going abroad. One had fled to Dungannon. Today there is only a handful of males left but my impression is that there are quite a number of female Andersons still there having married into other families.
An analysis of the use of male family forenames shows that James and William are approximately equal top in popularity, twice as popular as the next two, Robert and John. This suggests that the first Anderson in Broughshane was called either James or William.
Only two of the above family branches used Adam as a first name, our g g grandfather Adam’s branch and James’ (born c1811). This suggests that they were brothers and their father may have been called Adam (born c1788). We know that an Adam was a leaseholder of a house in Drumaird townland on the south eastern edge of Broughshane village in 1861. This wouldn’t appear to be any of the Adams known to us so it just maybe is our(Stephen's) g g g grandfather (born c1788).
Sometimes children were given second forenames which were their mother’s surname. An example on the male side is William Anderson marrying Nancy McNeill and naming their son Arthur McNeill Anderson. An example on the female side is Henry Walsh marrying Jane (Jenny) Anderson and naming their daughter Jenny Anderson Welsh. There are 3 branches using the name Stuart (Stewart), Adam’s branch and James’ (born c1811) – the same two as used the name Adam – but in addition David’s branch. This reinforces the notion that Adam and James were brothers (also see para15). I believe that Adam (b1813) and James (bc1811) are brothers. It also suggests that their mother was possibly a Stewart and maybe David was a sibling.

Griffith’s Valuation – 1861

This was a nationwide valuation undertaken to establish the amount of tax to be paid. Because the pre 1901 census records were destroyed in 1922 these records are the nearest available to an early census.
 Townland  Name  Leased from Valuation 
 Creevamoy  William - hse,off+land  Rev. William O'Neill  £27.15s.0d.
   Thomas - hse,off+land  Rev. William O'Neill  £21.10s.0d.
   Thomas - hse  Thomas Anderson         15s.0d.
   John -hse,off+land  Rev. William O'Neill  £13.10s.0d.
 Dunaird  Adam - hse  Elizabeth Smith  £  3.15s.0d.
 Tullymore  Robert - hse+off  Joseph Sloane  £  1.10s.0d.
 Correen  David - hse,off+land  James White  £  6.10s.0d.
   Robert - hse+garden  James White  £  1. 5s.0d.
Knockboy   William - hse  Rev. A. Robinson  £  1. 0s.0d.
   James - hse  James White  £  1. 0s.0d.
   ?Abraham - hse,off+land  William Kean?  
 Buckna  Thomas - herds house,off  John Smith?  
   14 others + land    
 Lisnamurrikan  John - hse,off+land  Rev. O'Neill  
 Rathkeel  Alexander - hse,off+land  John Crawford  
hse = house off = offices (farm buildings?)
1901 Census
The following were noted as living in Knowhead:

Rosie Anderson aged 21, live-in servant of the Wilsons
Frances Anderson aged 19, ditto
James Anderson aged 50, Beetler
Martha Anderson aged 49
Annie Anderson aged 19
Adam Anderson aged 56, Beetler in Beetling Engine
Easter* Anderson aged 52
Robert Anderson aged 24, Beetler in Beetling Engine
Eddie Anderson aged 16, Tenter in woollen factory

Back to Index