The Parish of Badoney was originally a very large parish, stretching up the Glenelly Valley, with the oldest church site in the townland of Glenroan. This church is also called St. Patrick and this part of the parish eventually became Upper Badoney. The parish of Badoney was separated into two parts in 1730 and the first church of Lower Badoney, St. Patrick’s, was built in the village of Gortin . It was not until 1774 that the parish of Lower Badoney was constituted. The two parts were reunited again in 1924.
In 1856 a new church was built in Lower Badoney at a cost of £1,921-15-00. This is the current church and is on a slightly different site to the older one. For many years parts of the old church, and the school, could be seen in the graveyard. In 1939 the graveyard was measured by J.C.M. Knox, Londonderry. In the 1980s all signs of the old church were removed when the graveyard was “tidied up.”
From the First edition of the Ordnance Survey Maps (1832-1846) the position of the first church can be seen, along with the school. The graveyard is smaller than now and the road to Omagh is shown as joining Gortin Main Street about half way down. In the Second edition (1846–1862) the graveyard is larger and the path from the small gate is marked. The road to Omagh is now also marked in its present position. By the Third edition (1900-1907) the new church is shown and the old church and school have disappeared.
I have spent many years recording the inscriptions in the graveyard and I
have many relatives buried in the graveyard. Because of the age of the
stones many of them are weathered, inscriptions are now faint , in some
cases the surface of the stones is flaking away and there has also been
vandalism in the graveyard. It is impossible to read some of them fully but
I have attempted to record what is still visible and so make a
written record of them. Many of the stones are covered in moss and in some cases grass. Some of the dates on the stones may be wrong because of human error when the stones were inscribed. I may also have made mistakes in deciphering the stones. Many of the graves had metal number markers, which have mostly been removed. I have recorded in the inscriptions where some of these markers used to be.
Looking at the ages given on the headstones many people lived into their 90s and some were over 100, including some of my own relatives. The youngest age recorded on a stone is 5 days. Of the legible stones the earliest stone seems to be for Walter Clark who died in 1718, aged 60, which seems to be before the first church was built. There was a Walter Clarke who was churchwarden of Upper Badoney 1693-4.
Some headstones record the names of family members who are not actually buried in Lower Badoney but whose names are remembered on the headstone. Many people buried in the graveyard have no headstone to record who they were, or else the stones are long gone. Hopefully these inscriptions will go some way to safeguarding the rich history of the people of the area and the heritage of the site.
The following surnames are contained in the inscriptions:
Anderson, Andrews, Armstrong, Ballantine, Barbour, Bettridge, Bradley, Brown, Campbell, Carson, Chadwick, Christie, Clarke, Cochrane, Cole, Colhoun, Connell, Cooke, Cotton, Craig, Crawford, Crigan, Crowe, Davis, Davy, Deniton, Devlin, Dickson, Dobbin, Dunn, Dunn, Elliott, Fallen, Fleming, Forsythe, Fowler, Fullerton, Fulton, Galbraith, Given, Glass, Glenn, Graham, Gray, Gregg, Hallifax, Hamilton, Harkness, Hempton, Henry, Houston, Huston, Irvin, Johnston, Joyce, Knox, Kyle, Laughlin, Leitch, Lenan, Lindsay, Logan, Lunney, Mathewson, McCausland, McClelland, McConnel, McConnell, McCullough, McFaden, McFarland, McFarlane, McGaughey, McKane, McKelvey, McKimmin, McKimmon, McKnickle, McLaughlin, McMullan, McMullin, McNichol, McNicholl, McPhilimy, Miles, Mitchell, Mitchell, Moffat, Moffett, Montgomery, Moore, Moorhead, Noble, Parke, Pattison, Pentland, Pollock, Reilly, Rippey, Roberts, Robinson, Scott, Speer, Steele, Steen, Stitt, Stump, Sumerville, Thompson, Turner, Tyrwhitt, Walker, Wark, Whelan, Whittaker, Whyte, Willis, Willoughby, Woodward, York, Yorke
Click Here to Open the inscription file
N.B. - please note the number reference the gravestone number on the map!