In the 1700's and early 1800's Portaferry was a very important shipping port, trading with the U.S.A. This was the way a lot of the early settlers from the Ards traveled to the New World. North & South Carolina also were a popular destination as this early grave in Ballyhalbert's old graveyard attests.
Ballyhalbert Old Graveyard
Erected by John Gee of the state of SOUTH CAROLINA USA for his father Robert Gee of Ballyhalbert who died 6th Jan. 1818 age 64 yrs. [ BORN 1754]
Also his wife Elizabeth Gee alias JELLY who died 25 Oct. 1836 age 75 yrs. [BORN 1761]
Also of John Bailie of Ballyeasborough who died 27 July 1861 age 63 yrs. [BORN 1798]
Also his wife Agnes Bailie who died 17th Feb. 1889 age 82 yrs. [BORN 1802]
for full listing see this linkhttp://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=9317.0
A lot of the merchants in Portaferry also had houses and connections all over the Peninsula as the PRONI wills are starting to show.
Is a respectable town in the County of Down, agreeably situated on the north side of Strangford Bay and just opposite the town of Strangford.
There is considerable general traffic as well as an extensive corn trade carried on.
Here are the remains of an old castle, built by the family of the Savages, who assisted the renowned John De Courcy in the conquest of Ulster in the 12th century.
The present proprietor of this estate, Andrew Nugent Esq., has a splendid mansion and an extensive demesne immediately adjoining the town.
The house, which is in the first style of architecture, and fitted up with superior elegance and taste and seated on a gentle eminence commanding one of the most extensive, varied and beautiful prospects, that can be well imagined. The demesne diversified with charming walks and plantations, the surrounding country, highly cultivated and improved, a view of the lake and the town of Strangford, and a distant one of the Isle of Man, and the mountains of Mourne, cannot fail to impress the mind of the beholder with sensations of pleasure and delight.
The town is in the Parish of Ballyphillip, and is governed by a seneschal. the Church is a decent building in a good situation; the Presbyterians have a commodious meeting house; the Wesleyan Methodists a place of worship; and the Roman Catholics a chapel about a half mile from the town.
The breadth of the estuary from this place to Strangford is one English mile, the current runs five to six miles an hour, and a continual intercourse is kept between the two towns by the means of ferry boats.
the upper classes are hospitable and polite, the lower orders cleanly and industrious.
From the quay an entrance to Mr Nugent's domain is gained, where there is a delightful walk, the promenade or mall, open at all times for the recreation of strangers and inhabitants.
It is well planted, and from different positions there are charming views of both land and water.
The charity school which was built by the Hon. Mrs Nugent; is on the Kildare-street establishment.
Along the neighboring coast and in Lough Strangford there is a productive herring fishery, commencing in June and ending in September; and during the season it is not uncommon to see 500 smacks engaged in this profitable employment.
There are two established book societies in this place.
The weekly market is held on Thursday and there are 5 fairs in the year viz.,
the first of January, the first Thursday in February, 31st July, the first Thursday in November (old style), and the 12th December.
At the distance of six miles from this town, on the high road to Belfast, is Kircubbin, a small place, pleasantly situated on the eastern verge of Lough Strangford; a linen market is held in it once a fortnight.
The market house was built by the Right Hon. Robert Ward who is the owner of this place.
About a mile to the right of Kircubbin is Echlinville, the beautiful residence of John Echlin Esq.
Three miles further on the road is Greyabbey, noted for the magnificent ruins of an ancient monastery. This spacious and sumptuous edifice was founded in 1129 by Africa, daughter of God-red, King of Man, and wife of John De Courcy; the great eastern window is a noble specimen of Gothic architecture. This place is the property of William Montgomery Esq. who has a handsome house and extensive demesne adjoining.
Post mistress Mrs E Pollock. the mail arrives in the afternoon at half past three, and is dispatched in the morning at two. the office closes at 10.
GENTRY AND CLERGY
Bowden Hugh Esq. : Denvir Rev..-- P.P. : Echlin John Esq. : Gardner William Esq. : Gelston Thomas Esq, Seneschal of Portadown : Greer Lieut. William H. P. 11th Regiment of Foot. : McDowell John Revenue Officer : McKibben Mrs. : Montgomery Rev. Edward : Nevin Mrs. R : Nugent Andrew Esq. Portaferry House : Orr Rev. John : Savage Mrs F : Savage Mrs T.
MERCHANTS AND TRADESMEN
Chermside Thomas Surgeon
Filson Alexander Surgeon (built and lived in 8 Ferry St.; daughter Jane married Rev. Thomas Young: Lena) The artist/author Alexander Bell Filson-Young often visited here http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Alexander_Bell_Filson_Young
Moore T G Esq, Attorney.
Conway James [Ship owner] : Davis John Redfoord [General] : Fitzsimmons Nicholas [ship owner] : Gelston & Davies [General & ship owners] : Gelston Samuel [Wine & spirits] : Gelston Thomas [General] : Pollock James [Ship owner] : Porter James [Ship owner] : Shaw James [General] : Small James [Ship owner] : Smith James [ship owner]
SHOPKEEPERS & TRADERS ETC.
Anderson Wm. Boot and shoe maker : Baillie George Baker : Baillie James Publican : : Boyd Hugh Grocer : Brown M Milliner : Bryne M Publican : Davidson M Publican : Donnan Samuel Grocer & draper : Donning James publican : Edmond John saddler : Ferguson Mrs. Ladies day school : Fitzimmons Thomas Publican : Glass Thomas Tallow Chandler : Gowan Eliza Milliner & haberdashery : Grey Robert Grocer & chandler : Hassan Henry Grocer : Hogan Peter ship owner & publican : Jackson Thomas auctioneer : Keown Mary Haberdasher and Inn & posting house : Kerr Henry Grocer : Lawson David Publican : Linton John boot & shoe maker : Little Samuel block & pump maker : Livingston Grocer : Mc Cappin Thomas Publican : Mc Cleery Baker : Mc Cleery Grocer & tallow chandler : Mc Cleery Wm. Jun. Woolen draper : Mc Cleery Wm. Sen. woolen draper : Mc Cracken Francis Watch & clock maker : Mc Donnell Andrew grocer : Mc Kee James Grocer : Mc Kibben Robert Grocer & salt manfacturer : Mc Mullan James Publican : Mc Namara Patrick Grocer : Matthews
Samuel Publican : Maxwell Thomas Miller : Moore Saamuel Linen and yarn shop : Mooreland James Baker & dealer in delph. : Neisbett William Grocer : Phillips William Baker : Ringland William Baker : Warnock William Grocer, tanner & spirit dealer : Wilson Hugh Grocer.
A car every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at five from Samuel Matthew's and returns the same evening.
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