Thursday, 7 May 2015

"My Dear Molly" - Bushmills, Ballymena and Islandmagee origins

James Edwin Love was born in Bushmills in 1830. He grew up in Ballymena but by the time he was 12 both his parents were dead and when he was 18 both his young sisters were dead too. He left his County Antrim home in 1849, along with his younger brother, bound for the USA to link up with a Love uncle and two Steel aunts, his mother's sisters from Bushmills. Some years later in St Louis, Missouri, he met Molly Wilson, a native of Islandmagee.

Just recently I've discovered some details of a connection between the Loves of Ballymena and the Macnaghtens of Bushmills. A PRONI file D1416/1/8 contains a Memorandum of Understanding between Sir Edmund MacNaghten of Dundarave House and James Love and Co for the erection of a mansion house 'agreeable to the directions and subject to the approbation of Charles Lanyon'. The contract is valued at £6020 and James Love, an uncle of James Edwin Love, and John Potts and Robert Corry, both of Belfast, sign a £1000 bond. The bond is dated the first day of August, 1846. A second Memorandum of Understanding, this time involving James Love of Ballymena and John Hall of Bushmills, is for the building of farm offices and a stable yard at Dundarave House. The contract is valued at £4339 and the £1000 bond, dated the first of January 1848, binds Love and Hall as well as two Ballymena merchants, James Taylor and James White. James' wife was Sarah Taylor.

Bundle of correspondence, bankruptcy papers, accts., statement of affairs and conditions of sale of property. Alex Patterson Love trading as James Love & Co. Timber, Iron, Coal and Slate Merchant, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, premises in High Street and Harryville, Ballymena, Co. Antrim. [c.1877 - 1878.] .. [PRONI ref: D1769/23/1]

Alexander Patterson Love was a younger son of James Love and Sarah Taylor. He may have been named after Rev Alexander Patterson who was minister of the Presbyterian Church in Wellington Street, Ballymena.