Christy, John

Birth Name Christy, John
Gender male
Age at Death more than 51 years, 2 months, 12 days


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth before 1720-06-00   Birth of Christy, John  
Death 1771-08-13 Armagh, Ireland Death of Christy, John  
Event Note

John Christy was burried in the Friends Burial Ground, Lynastown, Lurgan, Armagh, Ireland according to


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Christy, James
Mother Morton, Margaretbefore 1720-06-001765
    Sister     Christy, Margaret 1737-10-15 1810
         Christy, John before 1720-06-00 1771-08-13


Family of Christy, John and , Deborah

Married Wife , Deborah ( * + ... )
Name Birth Date Death Date
Christy, James
Christy, Margaret
Christy, John1764
Christy, Josephabout 17601784
Christy, Hannahabout 17661779-01-01


Will of John Christy of Stranmore - T/426/74-9
Bequeaths to wife Deborah £350. To sons Joseph, James and John £50 each. To daughters Margaret and Hannah £20. To sister Margaret Sinton 310. To sister-in-law Abigail Thompson £10. To nephew John Sinton £10. Executors included his wife, father James, uncle Thomas Christy, friend Thomas Greer of Dungannon, brother-in-law Samuel Watson of Derrigaren, King's County and friend James Richardson of Moyallan. Houses and lands in Stramore to his wife during her lifetime and then to his eldest son. Dated 1771.

From:, Research Services, Family History Report, Sample Reports, Christie Family.

For more detail, see second note below from same source.


From See note above.

The requested search for the client's ancestors has been completed and the findings presented in the following report. Civil registration of all births, deaths and marriages did not commence in Ireland until 1864. Non-Catholic marriages are registered from 1845. Before these dates virtually the only sources which directly relate to family history are local parish registers. However, relatively few of these survive from before 1800.

The records relating to the Quaker societies in Ulster are very extensive and survive from well back into the seventeenth century. From the client's own research it is clear that much work has already been done on the Quaker records and a great deal of information collected concerning the Christy family of Moyallan. Before we turned our son attention to these records we decided to examine a number of other potentially relevant sources.

In 1980 a book entitled Négoce et Industrie en France et en Irlande aux XVIIIe et XIXe Siecles was published in Paris which included a article written by Dr W H Crawford called `Drapers and Bleachers in the early Ulster linen industry', Dr Crawford is the leading authority on the Ulster linen industry and is currently one of the trustees of the Ulster Historical Foundation. This article contains some extremely useful information regarding the Christy family. A number of Quakers were instrumental in building up the linen industry in the Lurgan area. One of these was Alexander Christy, born in Scotland in 1642, who came to Ulster c.1675 and settled at Moyallan on the River Bann. He is traditionally regarded as the man who introduced the linen trade into that district.

His son John had five sons: Alexander, Joseph, John, James and Thomas. The eldest son, Alexander, moved to Scotland in 1731 and established a bleachgreen at Ormistown near Edinburgh on the property of John Cockburn, a noted encourager of agricultural improvement. His brother John assisted him on this venture and later took over the Ormiston green when Alexander moved to Perth in 1733 where he established another works. In 1741 John moved to Kinchey. Another brother, Joseph, also joined them in Scotland, taking possession of a new bleachgreen at Saltown Barley mill field on Lord Milton's estate. Thus with their own entrepreneurialship, backing from interested landlords and the use of skilled tradesmen from Ireland they introduced to Scotland Irish methods for finishing linens.

In the early 1750s John Christy was to claim that he had brought with him to Scotland the design of a `washing mill or put [sic] stock mill' which be believed was the first in Scotland used in a bleachfield. John Christy is also regarded as the man who brought to Scotland the drying house - a structure designed to allow air to circulate freely around the cloth. It is quite clear from Dr Crawford's article that the Christy family of Moyallan were extremely influential in the linen industry in both Ireland and Scotland.

As has already been mentioned the Quaker records concerning the societies in Ulster were exceptionally detailed. We looked through the registers of the Lurgan meeting but failed to find anything which would substantially add to what the client already knows about the Christy family of Moyallan. For this reason we decided not to go through the registers in laborious detail but rather to examine a wide range of alternative sources in the search for more information on the client's ancestors.

We consulted the Personal Names Index in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and found a reference to genealogical notes on the Christy family of Moyallan. We examined this and found much of interest including a family tree of the Christy family which we arranged to have photocopied. This includes extracts from these genealogical notes which are largely based on the Quaker registers though with a number of other interesting pieces of information. This includes a deed of 8 September 1764 by which Sir Richard Johnston granted to Thomas Christy 80 acres in the townland of Moyallan. In another deed of 5 August 1771 Joseph Richardson leased 25 acres in the townland of Loughan or Stramore to Thomas Christy. Previously this land had been held jointly by Thomas and James Christy.

We also found a manuscript containing a survey carried out of Moyallan in 1764. This records that Thomas Christy's holding in the townland amounted to over 85 acres, while James Christy and Joseph Christy held, respectively, 26 and 41 acres. In a subsequent survey of the townland in 1801 James Christy leased 66 acres at an annual rent of £40 while another James Christy (or perhaps the same man) leased 22 acres at £10 per annum.

In 1823, the Composition Act was passed which stipulated that henceforth all tithes due to the Established Church were to be paid in money rather than in kind as they could previously have been. This resulted in a valuation of all titheable land in Ireland the results of which have survived in manuscript form in the tithe applotment books. We examined the four volumes covering the parish of Tullylish and found Joseph Christy Esq. paying tithes on land in the townlands of Coose and Knocknagor. We also noted a Mr Joseph Christy paying tithes in the townland of Tullylish. The only Christy paying tithes in Moyallan by this time was Mary Christy. By the time of Griffith's Valuation c.1860, which recorded the names of all householders of rateable property in Ireland, the only Christy in the parish of Tullylish was Elizabeth Christy who leased a house in the townland of Ballydugan from Joseph Doak.

Generally speaking all original wills probated before 1900 were destroyed in Dublin in 1922. From 1858 we have, however, the copies made of each will before the originals were sent to Dublin. Before 1858 we simply have the diocesan will indexes and the occasional surviving original will together with a large number of will extracts. We firstly searched through the Index to Dromore Wills and found a number of Christy wills, including James Christy senior of Stramore whose will was probated in 1817. We also looked at the Index to Prerogative Wills and found several more relevant Christy wills including two linen drapers - John Christy of Stranmore 1772, and Thomas Christy of Moyallan, 1780.

Our next step was to try to see if any copies or extracts from the above wills have survived. We consulted the will index in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and found that the wills of both John Christy of Stranmore and Thomas Christy of Moyallan have survived. We examined both of these in original form and also discovered that the will of Thomas Christy of Moyallan has been published in Aspects of Irish Social History.

In his will John Christy of Stranmore bequeathed to his wife Deborah £350. He left his sons Joseph, James and John £50 each, while his daughters Margaret and Hannah were each bequeathed £20. His executors included his own father, James, his uncle Thomas Christy his `friends' Thomas Greer of Dungannon and James Richardson of Moyallan and his brother-in-law Samuel Watson of Derrigaren, King's County (now Co Offaly). His property encompassing his houses and lands in Stranmore (should actually be Stramore) was left to his wife during her lifetime and following her death to his eldest son.

The will of Thomas Christy of Moyallan, dated 19 January 1780, is a rather lengthy document, full of legal terms making much of it incomprehensible. The published version quotes only the main details which provide a real insight into the wealth and social connections of an eighteenth century Ulster linen draper. In the first place it is interesting to note Christy's concern for his `motherless grandchildren' who were in need of his support. The value of his bequests was immense with £2,000 each to his grand-daughters, Isabella, Mary, Hannah, Hilda and Elizabeth Wakefield. He also left his 6000 acre estate in North Carolina to his grandsons Edward and Thomas Wakefield. His property or interests in property extended through counties Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Louth and Monaghan and the city of Dublin.

As mentioned above one of the executors of John Christy's will was Thomas Greer of Dungannon. He was a fellow Quaker and also heavily involved in the linen industry. An enormous collection of letters mainly written to him in the eighteenth century have survived and these include a large number written by both John Christy and Thomas Christy. We went through the first 250, which represents around a quarter of the total number of them, and noted the references to all the Christy letters. Future research, were it commissioned, could examine these letters is more detail.

We also examined some extracts from the Belfast Newsletter which was first published in 1737 and continues to be so to this day. We found a number of references to both John and Thomas Christy. On 7 April 1758, John Christy's name appeared in a list of subscribers in support of action against a gang involved in robbing bleachyards. Later that month both John and Thomas Christy declared that they would not buy from any `hawkers' of brown linen. An index has been compiled of all pre-1800 editions of the Newsletter and we could examine this for any additional Christy references.

We examined a register of freeholders in Co Down for 1790-5 and another for 1813-20 but failed to find any references to the Moyallan Christys. In 1790 only Protestant men who possessed a freehold worth 40 shillings per annum were eligible to vote in elections. However, in 1793 Catholic freeholders were given the vote. That we failed to find any of the Moyallan Christys in these registers should not be regarded as surprising since Quakers tended to shun politics at this time.

The Ulster Historical Foundation has copies of all gravestone inscriptions in Co Down. However, the Quakers in Moyallan were not permitted to erect headstones until 1850 which means that this otherwise valuable source was of no use to us.

Time did not permit further investigation but it is hoped that the findings in this report may prove of interest. The Christy family of Moyallan were certainly worth studying and we could probably uncover much more about them if we had time. A book has just been published on the linen industry in the parish of Tullylish which unfortunately we did not have time to examine in detail. We could consult this for further information on the Christy family. In fact it would be possible to do a serious study of this family - in this report we merely examined the sources that are available for researching them - though this would require a greatly increased budget.


Genealogical notes on the Christy family - D/2714/5A
Alexander Christy, born in Scotland, fixed his residence at Moyallan c.1680. His son John (1673-1763) married Mary Hill and had issue:
I Alexander, died without heir
II Joseph, born 1703, married in 1733 Patricia, daughter of John Chambers of Lurgan. Died 1755. Issue: one daughter
III John, settled near Edinburgh, built Ormiston Lodge. Married Mary dau. of William Millar of Craigantinny, Edinburgh. His son, John Christy of Kiscassock, Co Down, married his cousin Sarah, daughter of James Christy of Lower Stamore.
IV James of Lower Stamore, born 1708, married in 1732 Margaret, dau. of John Morton, issue: John, born 1735, married in 1759 Deborah, dau. of Joseph Thompson of Castletown.
V Thomas of Moyallan, born 1711, married in 1739, Mary, dau. of John Bramey

Wills and Testamentary Papers

Index to Dromore Wills, pre-1858
John Christie, Donagreigh, parish of Magheralin, Co Armagh, 1846
James Christy, Growell, parish of Dromore, Co Down, 1793*
James Christy, Dunmore, parish of Dromara, Co Down, 1795
James Christy, senior, Stramore, 1817
Index to Prerogative Wills, 1536-1810
James Christy, Lurgan, 1793
John Christy, Stranmore, Co Down, linen draper, 1772
Thomas Christy, Moyallan, Co Down, linen draper, 1780

Will of John Christy of Stranmore - T/426/74-9
Bequeaths to wife Deborah £350. To sons Joseph, James and John £50 each. To daughters Margaret and Hannah £20. To sister Margaret Sinton 310. To sister-in-law Abigail Thompson £10. To nephew John Sinton £10. Executors included his wife, father James, uncle Thomas Christy, friend Thomas Greer of Dungannon, brother-in-law Samuel Watson of Derrigaren, King's County and friend James Richardson of Moyallan. Houses and lands in Stramore to his wife during her lifetime and then to his eldest son. Dated 1771.

Freeholders Registers

Co Down freeholders, 1790-95 - DOW/5/3/2
William Christy of Bangor
Co Down freeholders, Iveagh barony, 1813-20 - D/654/A3/1H
William Christy of Aghandanvarren; tenant of the Marquis of Downshire, lease for life of Wm Christy, registered 1 Sept. 1818.

Tithe Valuation

Tullylish parish tithe applotment book - FIN 5A/266 (1827)
Townland Tithe-payer Rectorial Tithe Vicarial Tithe
Coose Joseph Christy Esq £3 8s 9d £1 19s 0d
Knocknagor Joseph Christy Esq 0 7 1 0 4 0
Moyallan Mary Christy 0 3 1½ 0 1 9
Tullylish Mr Joseph Christy 4 19 8½ 2 16 6

Griffith's Valuation c.1860

Parish of Tullylish, Union of Banbridge
Ballydugan townland
Occupier Lessor Tenement Valuation
Elizabeth Christy Joseph Doak House £0 10s 0d

Extracts from Belfast Newsletter - MIC 19
10 April 1753 - Article concerning the division of 21 acres at Gilford, Co Down into three bleach greens. Proposals concering the leasing of these to be given to Mr Johnston or Thomas Christy of Moyallan
7 April 1758 - Names of subscribers in support of action to bring to justice the gang involved in robbing bleachyards included John Christy
28 April 1758 - Declaration by linen drapers that they would not buy from any hawkers of brown linen included Thomas and John Christy (two John Christys listed)


Greer letters - D/1044/1-949 (only first 250 examined)
/14 - 31 Oct. 1752, James Christy of Moyallan to Thomas Greer
/52 - 29 Dec. 1764, Edward Wakefield to Thomas Christy
/55 - 11 Jan. 1765, Thomas Christy to Thomas Greer
/78 - 31 Aug. 1765, John Christy of Moyallan to Thomas Greer
/99 - 31 May 1766, John Christy to Thomas Greer
/137 - 20 June 1767, Dob Christy of Moyallan to Thomas Greer
/155 - 10 Dec. 1767, Thomas Christy to Thomas Greer
/166 - 21 Jan. 1769, John Christy to Thomas Greer
/170 - ND, John Christy, Stranmore, to Thomas Greer
/184 - 4 July 1769, John Christy to Thomas Greer
/187 - 14 July 1769, John Christy to Thomas Greer
/210 - 28 Nov. 1769, John Christy to Thomas Greer
/222 - N.D., John Christy to Thomas Greer
/238 - 18 April 1770, John Christy to Thomas Greer
/241 - 2 June 1770, John Christy to Thomas Greer

Copies of parish and townland maps and certificates together with background histories of the localities plus explanatory notes on the sources used are provided with each bound report where appropriate.