Thursday 1 June 2023

Miss Eliza Benning (abt 1811-1888) of Magheradonnell in Knockanboy, Dervock

 Just recently I noted the name of Miss Benning as a neighbour in an old Lyle farm map. I've discovered that she was the daughter of Captain Conway Benning and granddaughter of the Rev Conway Benning, rector in Glenavy Parish Church. Her father was an officer in the 66th Foot regiment and he perished in the Battle of Albuera in 1811 during the course of the Peninsular War.

I Eliza Benning of Magheradonnell in the Parish of Derrykeighan and County of Antrim do this Twenty eighth day of June in the year 1876 (six) make this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills and Testaments at any time heretofore made by me. I leave and bequeath to Mrs Jane Field (alias Wilson) of Knockanboy my Zebra Wood Work Table. I leave and bequeath to Allen E Douglas Esquire Medical Doctor of Warrenpoint in the County of Down all my Framed pictures and all my Drawing Materials and all things connected with Drawing which I possess absolutely also my old gold watch, Gold Medal and Clasp and miniature of my Father in Gold and I direct that at the death of the said Allen E Douglas the said old gold watch shall be given to some museum previously named by him together with an historical account of it. To Mrs Grace Brooke (alias Ledlie) I leave and bequeath my small gold brooch containing the hair of my dear friend Miss Annie Stuart also my two Indian broochs which she be so disposed she may give to any of her daughters she may select for the gift. To Marcus Allen Esquire Surgeon in the Royal Navy I leave Stackhouse's History of the Bible which History belonged to his Greatgrand Father Benning also my Grandmother's likeness in Gold Ring taken previous to her marriage. Also six silver Tea Spoons, Six Desert ditto one pair of Sugar Tongs, Two Salt Spoons with my grandfather's crest. Two Table Spoons, Six large Forks,Six Small ditto (not silver) an old fashioned Cross for Centre of Table a pair of Telescope Candle Sticks with silver edges and a large Mahogany Chest with handsome brass Mounting which came from the State of Vermont (Capital Bennington) America. I leave and bequeath to Miss Millicent Douglas of Rostrevor County Down my Aunt Higginbotham's Writing Desk also Jane Martin's Work Table which once belonged to Anne Martin (alias Higginbotham) was the first Rosewood worked in Dublin and originally cost Forty Guineas. To the wife of the aforesaid Allen E Douglas I leave my Cameo Brooch. To Miss Ellen D Allen and Miss Amelia Allen of Lisconnan I leave any of my clothes which they may wish to have. To Messrs William Johns and Alexander Johns of Carrickfergus I leave all my Books in remembrance of their dear Father and Mother's Kindness to me. I leave and bequeath to Richard Maginnis Douglas Esquire of Portballintrae my Hall Clock which formerly belonged to the old family of Lyle of Knockanboy. I direct that the Tenant right of my farm in the Townland of Magheradonnell shall be realized in such manner as to my executors shall be considered best and the proceeds thereof as also whatever other monies I may die seized possessed of or entitled to after the payment of my just debts and Funeral expenses I leave and bequeath to the aforesaid Allen E Douglas Medical Doctor of Warrenpoint County Down whom I appoint residuary Legatee. Having received permission to be buried in the vault of the Stuart family in Derrykeighan Grave Yard I direct that I shall be buried there. And I hereby appoint Alexander Johns Esquire of Carrickfergus and the aforesaid Allen E Douglas Executors of this my last Will and Testament. In testimony whereof I hereontu attach my hand and seal the day and year herein before mentioned.

E Benning (seal)

Signed and sealed in presence of us who in the presence of Testratrix and of each other and being both present together attach our signatures as subscribing witnesses thereto the words "in such manner" being inserted in first line of third page ___ Alexander Field __ Mary Robinson.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Quay Road, Ballycastle

 A old postcard of Quay Road, Ballycastle

and the demolition of part of a terrace following a fire

The terrace has now been replaced by modern apartments.

Thursday 16 June 2022

Where There's A Will ..

The contents of wills can shed some fascinating social insights. This North Antrim farmer didn't mince his words: 

If any relatives or friends of mine should turn up at any time I leave to each of them the sum of one shilling. I do this because no relative or friend of mine ever did any any act of work or kindness for me so that I prefer my house-keeper and servant man because they worked long and faithfully for me. 

He left the farm to his servant man and, apart from a few small legacies, the remainder of his estate was shared between his two faithful servants. 

 A brother of one of my Donegal ancestral relatives had this advice/direction for his wife: 

I leave and bequeath to my dear wife all that I have and possess having full confidence in her that she will do all she can for the benefit of each of our dear children I order my children to obey her and be kind to her and if any of the children should be disobedient or stubborn I order her to give such an one an outfit and pay his passage to a foreign country

An uncle and another brother of the same ancestral relative left her substantial sums of money for the late nineteenth century in their wills. The uncle included this limitation: 

.. and to my niece [name] two hundred and fifty pounds, to her sole and separate use, free from her husband's control. 

Perhaps the uncle didn't approve of my ancestor's second husband. I descend from her first husband.

Monday 3 June 2019

Sustainable Tourism and the National Trust in the Causeway Coast and Glens

Community Sentiment Survey

Tourism has significant potential to be a force for good in our rural communities, but we also understand too much tourism can be challenging and frustrating for local people. 

Our task is to discover directly from you, where you see that boundary, between what works for you and what absolutely doesn’t; how much tourism is too much, and what ideas do you have about how visitors could be welcomed, and attractions managed more efficiently, without negatively impacting your day to day local life. 

Matt and Cillian would like to hear about your experience of tourism locally and get your honest opinion about tourism and the National Trust’s ways of working. In order to do this we have designed this survey to get a better understanding about what you perceive as the benefits of tourism and to hear about where you have experienced its costs. This is completely confidential, and none of the information provided will be directly linked to you personally. The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

If you live in the vicinity of the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and would like to participate in this survey please click the following link. Please note that it is not secure.