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Desertoghill (Old) Parish Church, Church of Ireland Graveyard Transcriptions, near Garvagh, Co. Londonderry

Original transcription by Lavonne Kennedy
Formatted by
Jim McKane, Ontario, Canada

The ruins of Old Desertoghill Parish Church and historic graveyard lie on Kurin Road approx. two kms south-east of Garvagh, midway between the village and the present church (erected 1782-4 in the townland of Moyletra Kill) .

Many headstones and memorials are buried in the turf, and others badly weathered with inscriptions impossible to discern, while others are completed covered with creepers and moss. There are also numerous small field stones that rest against some of the iron gated area that contain absolutely no information. Only headstones with legible inscriptions have been transcribed for this project.

The graveyard is walled and covered with blackberries and the church itself is barely visible as it is covered with ivy and creepers. The roof has long gone and sections of the walls have collapsed and it is not possible to gain entry to the building.

In the Ordnance survey, Memoirs of Ireland, Parishes of Co Londonderry VIII, 1830, 1833-7, 1839, page 5 and 6 states, "The following are the names of families who still continue to bury in the old graveyard of Desertoghill, taken at random throughout the yard: Carother, Caskey, Doran, McGoigal, O'Kane, Kennedy, Loughin, Dunllap, McIntosh, Wallace, Knox, Alexander, Fullerton, Henderson, Miller, Gilmore, Thomson, Morris, Wood, Walker, Wilson, Toner, Young."

Additional notes state, "The old church of Deseroghill is situated in the townland of [blank], at a little distance from the old road to Kilrea. It is in a dreary bleak situation at the edge of a bog and appears to be decaying fast. The side walls are still 12 feet high, which appears to have been the original height. No vestiges remain of any doors or windows. It is said to have been founded by St. Columbkille in the 5th Century. It was in 1773 when it was deserted on the account of its unsound state and the expense of keeping it up."

In memory of John McLenaghan, Carhill, who died 17 March 1905, age 90 years 
and Ann Laughlin, his wife, who died 24 October 1888, aged 72 years 
also their sons 
John F. McLenaghan, who died 29 December 1881, aged 33 years 
and Thomas L. McLenaghan, who died 21 March 1910, aged 60 years 
and James McLenaghan, who died 16 March 1930, aged 76 years 
also Archibald McLenaghan, who died 16 September 1934, aged 82 years 
and Matilda McLenaghan, his wife, who died 4 December 1936, aged 63 years 
their daughter-in-law, Evelyn E. McLenaghan, who died 10 October 1940 
John F. McLenaghan, who died 8 March 1993, aged 90 years 
and his wife, Mary McLenaghan, who died 8 March 1995, aged 83 years
Nelly Carpenter, died 17 March 1901 
(The stone is buried in the ground)
Here lyth the body of Alexander Torner, who died Oct----- 
(Rest of stone is buried in the ground.
In memory of John Elder, of Ballury, who died 29 July 1858, aged 53 
and his wife, Maria, who died 15 January 1900, aged 93 years, 
their son, Robert who died in New York, USA, 3 June 1880 
and their son William died at Mettican, 17 November 1922, aged 82 years 
his wife Agnes Ross Elder, 23 February 1918, aged 77 years 
also their daughter Maria, died 5 November 1922, aged 82 years 
Elizabeth, died 1 September 1929, aged 94 years 
also Robert Ross Elder, who died 23 April 1941.
Here lyth the remains of Robert Elder, late of Ballury, who departed this life on the 22 January 1842, aged 69 years. 
This stone is found in the above John Elder's plot.
In memory of James Hamilton, late of Ballymenagh, died 4 June 1890, aged 73 years 
also his wife Letitia, died 28 December 1902, aged 78 years 
and his nephew, William Hamilton, died 9 May 1925.
In loving memory of my dear husband, William Turner, who died 26 August 1941, aged 76 years 
also his wife Martha, who died 14 February 1952, aged 82 years 
and their granddaughter Mabel, who died 7 December 1951, aged 23 years
Here lyth the body of James Walker who departed this life 29 December 1819, aged 60 years
W. M. Henderson, Crossland 
also his wife Nancy Henderson 
and father 
(No other information on this stone..see following stone added later)
Here lyth the body of William Henderson, late of Crossland, who departed this life, 27 July 1819, aged 79 years
William ---, of caw, to the memory of his beloved wife, -----, who departed this life 18 August --, aged 72 years 
the above named William, died 1 Nov 1891, aged ----
Erected by David Boyd, Kewrin, in memory of his wife, Hanna Jane Goodwin, died 9 June 1883, aged 3(8?) years 
the above named David,died 4 August 1918, aged 74 years 
also their son David, who died 25 July 1935, aged 55 years 
also their son John, who died 22 December 1939, aged 63 years 
also wife of above John Boyd, Serah, who died 8 July 1956 
and wife of above David Boyd, Annie, who died 22 November 1969
Erected to the memory of Hugh Park, Garvagh, who died 1 May 1946, aged 89 years
In memory of Robert Graham of Caulham, who died 23 August 1887, aged 76 years 
also his wife Fannie Jane, who died 17 July 1887, aged 72 years 
also his sons 
George, who died 16 June 1865, aged 6 years 
William John died 27 March 1877, aged 23 years 
Samuel died 24 January 1896, aged 48 years 
Robert Gardiner Graham, died 20 November 1922, aged 75 years 
his son William 
and his daughter Fannie 
and Martha, wife of Robert Gardiner Graham who died 10 September 1945 
and their daughter Ethel F. I. Graham, who died 22 January 1971
In loving memory of my dear husband William Turner called home 14 May 1934
Here lyth the body of John Kennedy, who died August 11, 1793, aged 70 years 
also Robert, who died 10 March ---- 
also the Kennedy Children
Erected by Matthew Meek, of Pittsbury, PA to the memory of his father 
William Meek, late of Tirkean, who died on the 20 August 1863, aged 56 years 
also his sister Jane who died 25 November 1885 
also his mother Margaret, who died 10 November 1837, aged 87 years
This stone was erected to the memory of James Knox who died Jan 1785, aged 26 years
Erected in memory of John Dorr---late of Trina- who died on 6 M 
also his wife, Letit---, 9 March 1851age is gone, 
lso their son, John---. 
(stone has been broken and the right side has deteriorated. Only the above information is readable. The stone is located outside of the Dorrance gated plot located on the side of a small incline.)
(Iron gated plot covered with vines in a dense wooded area on a small incline) 
Erected in the memory of John Dorrance, late of Ballury, who departed this life March 1819, aged 37 years 
also his wife Mary Ann Dorrance, who departed this life June 1826, aged 42 years 
also their children as follows 
Samuel Dorrance who departed this life, June 1829, aged 16 years 
John Dorrance who departed this life, March 1838, aged 23 years 
Jane Dorrance who departed this life, June 181, age 12 years 
James Dorrance who departed this life June 1854, aged 42 
Thomas A. McNeary, Greathrandy?, child of John Dorrance, son died 16 June 184(0?), aged 19 months 
Mary Ann McNeary, of Garvagh, mother of Thomas, departed this life on the 9 January 1868 aged 80 years 
James McNeary, died on the 19th February 1866, aged 65 years -------, died 30 day May 1877 
Jane, the beloved wife of Robert Moore, Garvagh, aged 68 years 
Jeannie McNeary, died 29 April 1889, aged 29 years 
Alexander McNeary, M.D., an elder in the Main Street Garvagh Church for upwards of 40 years died 13 June 1904, aged 77 years 
(Note: I am not sure of this listing with the McNeary intertwined with Dorrance listing. This could be an error. It needs to be rechecked.)
Erected to the memory of William John Wallace, Edenbawn, who died 18 July 1877, aged 28 years 
also Joseph B. Wallace, who died 18 June 1888, aged 82 years 
Also Nancy Lynn, wife of Joseph B. Wallace died Nov 1902, aged 76 years 
and Louisa Wallace, died 29 February 1924 (no age listed)
William Wallace, late of Trena---, who departed this life 9 January 1829, aged 82 years,
To the memory of Hugh Kennedy, late of Tamlaght, who departed this life 13 August 1819 aged 100 years. 
(This lone stone is located on the top of incline in a dense wooded area but is in fairly good condition)
Underneath lyth the body of David Dunlop, late of Killyvelly, who departed this life 20 July 1830/1850, aged 89 years 
also James Dunlop, son, (dates are unreadable), aged 19 years 
The remains of his wife Sarah are interred here who departed the life 10 January 18(-8) aged 80 years 
also his son John Dunlop, who departed this life 23 December 1877, aged 80 years 
Mary Dunlop, who died 16 May 190-, aged 60 years 
(A large stone, flat with ground and difficult to read due to age)
(The following stones are found in a walled garden area directly in back of the church. 
The church backwall makes a wall for this part of this area. Part of another wall is mostly gone. Also walls covered with vines)
(1) In affectionate and loving remembrance of Joseph Johnston Church, died 17 March 1899, aged 4 years 
also William Thomas Church, died 5 June 1900, age 19 years 
the father, William Church, died 19 January 1908, aged 72 years 
also James Clarke Church, died 18 June 1906, aged 24 years 
and his wife Sarah Clarke, died 1 November 1913, aged 67 years 
and his daughter Maud Church, died 7 June 1915, aged 25 years 
his son Arthur Church, died 26 April 1945, aged 69 years 
Sheila E. H. Church, died 28 April 1984, aged 62 years
(2) Erected to the memory of William Church who departed this life on the 14th March 1835, aged 74 years 
In memory of Annie Church, who departed this life on the 15 April 1819, aged 61 years 
and her son Thomas Church, who departed this life on the 30th November 1840, aged 45 years
(3) In remembrance of Ann Church who departed this life 22 August 1812, aged 63/65 years.
Erected in memory of John Stewart, late of Bellery, who departed this life, November 1815, aged 56 years 
also his son Archibald who departed this life November 1858, aged 30 years.
Robert Thompson, Junr, late of Garvagh, who departed this life (15?) January 1830, aged 77 years 
Also Jane Thompson, his wife, departed this life 1830, aged 75 years. 
(Note: no other dates are given for Jane Thompson, wife)
(A iron gated plot) 
In loving memory of John Smith, Ballyagan, died 6th December 1877, aged 94 years 
also his wife, Jane, died 17 January 1841, aged 41 years 
d his son-in-law, Hugh Gilmour, died 4 June 1895, aged 76 years
In memory of William Workman, Ballymenagh, who died 18 February 1929, aged 93 years 
and his wife, Sarah Jane, nee Hill, who died 4 December 1926, aged 82 years.
In memory of the Rev Archiblald Fullerton, Presbyterian Minister, Aghadoey, 
who died 1 January 1813, aged 48 years 
and of his eldest son, John Fullerton who died 3 December 1819, aged 23 years 
and of his affectionate wife, Elizabeth Fullerton, who died 8 February 1854, aged 86 years
Erected by William McIlfatrick to the memory of 
his brother, Sgt. James McIlfatrick, E. India Co., 14 June 1864, aged 63 yeaars 
also his wife, Jane McIlfatrick, who died 7 May 18-3 age (50? years) 
also his granddaughter Marry Patterson, Ma- (rest of stone is deteriorated)
Erected in the memory of Robert Stuart, late of Lisachrin, who departed this life 7 August 1855, aged 18 years.
Here lyth the body of Daniel Toner who departed this life August 26, 1814, aged 66 years
Here lythe the dust of John Young, late of Ballyagan, who was born in A.D. 1748 and died in 1784 
also his wife Sarah Young, who was born in 1744, who died in 1805
Erected to the memory of John Wilson, late of Ballyagan who died on the 6 August 1851 aged 73 years 
and his wife Mary, died on the 2 April 1865, aged 74 years 
and his daughter-in-law, Nancy, on the 14 February 1854, aged 32 years 
and his son William, who died 10 March 1875, aged 62 years 
also his daughter-in-law, Jane, who died 3 March 1892, aged 65 years 
also his daughter, Margt Ann, died 27 August 1895, aged 68 years 
John Wilson, above, 6 August 1851, aged 73 years
Robert Gilmour, who departed this life, -----, aged 79 years 
and his grandson, John Gilmour of Inchaleen, who departed this life 185? (1855?) aged 16 years
Dugal Campbell, who died March 18--, aged 80 
Mary Campbell, aged 70 
(Stone is buried into the ground and more information available)
Here lyth the body of Francis Caisidy, who departed this life the 10th Apri 17--, aged 52 years 
also his wife, who departed this life (1820?), aged 56 years 
and their son, (John?) who departed this life on the --March 1825, age --- 
also his mother, (rest of information is gone) 
(The wife of Francis is not stated on the stone)
Erected by James I---aghey, in memory of his wife Sarah, late of Magheramery, who departed this life, 6 May 1856, aged 30 years
Erected by David McIlfatrick of Crossland in memory of 
his brother, Robert McIlfatrick 
also John Stuart and wife and family of Lismoyle 
also the above named David McIlfatrick who died 8 March 1928, aged 79 years 
(This stone is broken in half and much of the information is missing)
Erected in loving memory of James McMillan, Killyvalley, and his wife Mary 
and their sons, John, Thomas and Alexander 
also their daughters 
Nancy Magee 
Mary N. McMillan 
and their grandson James Magee 
(No dates listed)
Here lyth the body of Jarimia M. Ready who departed this life 15 March 1807, aged 55 years
Here lyth the body of Alexander Hame-- who died July 14, 1807 A.D., aged -9 years
Erected to the memory of James Quigg of Gorlacleghan, who died 5 March 1846, aged 52 years 
also his wife Margared who died 27 February 1965, aged 75 years
Here lyth the body of Jane Wilson, late of Ballury, who departed this life 28 July 1820, aged 34 years 
Sarah Wilson, late of Ballury, Coleraine, who departed this life on the 7 June 1855, aged 57 years 
also James Wilson, late of Ballury, who departed this life _ April 1860 (day 0f month is gone)
Here is interred the remains of John Wilson, late of Ballury, who departed this life -- May, 1834, aged 74 years 
also Elizabeth Wilson, his wife, -- --- ---, aged 80 years
Lyth the remains of Daniel Carrothers and 
his wife Jane Carrothers 
also their daughter Letitia Adams who departed this life the 25 Dec 1831, aged 61 years