Mckays, Darraghs, Antrim and The Celtic F.C. connection

Bear with me on this first post!

I realise you probably get bored and or inundated with family history requests but mine is two fold both family and historical!

Through reading through this forum and your fine website I became aware that my family history has a fairly high likelihood of having evolved in The Glens based on griffiths, 1901/1911 census information and some albeit thin anecdotal family evidence.

My greatgreatgrandfather was James Mckay he was born in Antrim in around 1851/52 to James Mckay and Bridget Darragh, I found his place of birth through the 1901 census on Scotlands people and was surprised he was Antrim born until I undertook more research via your and other websites and became aware of earlier migrations of prereformation R.C Mckays some of whom returned to Scotland in the last century or two.

He must have moved to Scotland between 1871 and 1873-75 and is invariably listed in all census as a freestone quarryman, in fact he opened one of the first quarries in Fauldhouse west lothian where he eventually settled having at least ten of a family that I know off.
His parents are listed in most info I have as a farmer or ploughman and a domestic servant respectively. He was a tall man, around 6" 5" according to one uncle of mine and my great granda his son who was born here in glasgow was around 6" 3".

Through cross referencing the Darraghs and Mckays there seems a higher likelihood they came from the glens I imagine especially given his occupation as I understand there were a number of freestone quarries in the area.

I would be grateful for any advice or local knowledge on finding them, I have some anecdotal evidence from a "cousin" who was part of my grandads brothers family who moved to Yorkshire in the 30`s that the Darraghs may have came from Ballycastle and that some Coyles from the area may have visited Yorkshire in the past but thats very tenuous to say the least.
I have aslo started reading about the Mckays from Kintyre and Islay who followed the Clan Donald south movements and am finding this both informative and fascinating, any tips there welcome too!

Which brings me to the second separate part of my post!!

I am also a member of a couple of Celtic football club related forums one is kerrydalestreet and the other The Celtic Graves Society, we have recently been doing work on the history of the club and are at present working on the founding fathers and first commitee members.
Two names I came across were James Mckay and Hugh Darroch who were Celtics first treasurers, I speculated that both may be Antrim names based on my own family tree ( I did not make or claim any family connection as I doubt they are related, but you never know ).

We found through the 1851 census returns that Hugh Darrochs father (also Hugh, married to a Boyle ) was indeed from Co. Antrim, they at first stayed in New Monkland area before moving to he Calton area of Glasgow where most of the founding fathers had connections with local St Marys church organisations like the SVDP, League of the cross or additonally The Home Government branch in Glasgow.

Its an ongoing peice of work initially set up to honour them, find out more information about there lives and origins and locate their last resting places and hopefully descendants.

I have not been able to prove or disprove James Mckays Antrim connection yet as he was born in Glasgow as was his father and there may be a Highland connection as an alternative ancestry for him for further info please see these links.

Any help or advice in tracing Hugh Darrochs/Darraghs Antrim origins also appreciated.

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Thanks Susan I live in Glasgow but have two wee ones which makes visiting difficult just now, I will try to find out some more info about Glenravel and email the parish re the above.

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I have a tree on called Glenravel Historical Society, no Darraghs or McKays yet, but I'm still connecting. I found the name Darragh interesting - my great grandparents Frances and Susan Scullion McCann were born in Glenravel and moved to East Liverpool, Ohio, USA in 1868. In Susan's obituary, it says she was related to the Darraghs, another Irish family in East Liverpool.
Thanks again Susan please let me know if you do encounter any, I intend to try and "map" the Mckay/Darragh concentrations on a parishes map from the Irish Times website to see if this helps also, I am not sure how accurate Griffiths will be for concentrations as I imagine not everyone held land enough to be mentioned in it.

One other fact I forgot to add was that my greatgreatgrandfaher married in Scotland in 1875 to a local lass, the 2 witnesses were a Charles and Margaret Mckay, I have no idea whether they were siblings, cousins, Aunt/Uncle or other extended family and have been unable to trace them in relation to family here with any success, so they may have been visitors from Antrim.
In naming patterns Charles does not appear closer down the family line but Margaret does.
Hi again Susan I emailed the parish at the address given, father lyons indicated that the records would be up on your glenravel historical society site from 4th august via ancestry, I have checked but there does not seem to be anything as yet, do you have access to copies of all Glenravel parish records?

Thanks again
Fr. Lyons allowed my cousin to xerox the records, but she did not copy all of them - I just asked her for 8 specific families - however the sheets include many other families - in fact the stack is about 1 inch high. I know I hae seen some Darragh names, I will search through them for both names this afternooon.
I looked through all the church records I have, and could not find anyone named McKay. There are several Darragh births and marriages, but no Bridget - So I think you have to assume they were not from Glenravel.

We continue to work on the founding fathers and first commitee men of the Celtic f.c, there are definite long term connections with Antrim and the Glens. Confirmation that two very significant early founders/commitee men, brothers William and Daniel Mckillop were from Antrim stock. Though both born in Ayrshire their father Daniel was from Glenarm. Any additional information welcome.
You might want to try a fairly new genealogical seems to have access to the church records(and civil records) for most of the counties of Ireland. Registration is free and you can then search their records for free.The only problem is that you only get the most basic information e.g James McKay born 1852 and you have to pay €5 to get the full info on that person e.g parents etc. It might be the one you are looking for or it might be someone else. I just found a record for a James McKay born 1852 and it was the only one near that date. if you have precise info on your ancestors it can be very helpful tho' the €5 can mount up if you have difficulty finding what you are looking for. But it can give you pointers that you can follow up
Innisfayle thanks for the reply, sorry I have not said so sooner but I have been offline for a while. The link you sent is also used by a company previously called the Irish Family History Foundation and I think also the Ulster Historical Foundation, they seem to change thir name and website a few times and I have used them before, there are no new records to be had on there and I am not sure about the accuracy or reliability as I previously was informed they had password and account information compromised so have tended to avoid since.

They also know how to make a tidy sum of money with tantalising searches based on very basic info but many thanks for your help, I have a relative travelling to Dublin soon who will have a quick look up in the National Library, based on statitics i.e that 25 of the 70 or so Mckay households in Antrim from Griffiths were in Tickmacrevan or Carncastle we will start there, I note they border each other geographically so will check out the R. C. parishes within to start with.

Thanks again.
Hello maybe some information regarding Darraghs from the Glens. My granny was a Darragh from there and when she passed away her place of birth was listed as Ballycastle. However she was from Torr Head which is outside the town. She moved to Belfast about the 40s but her brothers and sisters remained in Torr. I was at the brothers funeral 20 odd years ago and he was the last of the clan from there. None of them had any kids. There is information and census records from Torr Head on this website but I could'nt find any Darraghs when I was searching a few months back. I suppose The church has all the records but i don't know if you can access them online. I hope this helps you a wee bit. If I can get any more information about Darraghs from the Glens Ill get back to you. Good to hear you supprt a good team. McGinn of the Calton was some man! Hail Hail
Thanks Sean, the cousin is off to Dublin tomorrow so I have let her know about Torr Head, the only connection we have with Ballycastle to date was a Coyle family from the same village in West Lothian used to visit my cousins family in Yorkshire and it was said they knew each other as they were from the same part of Ireland, the regular vsistor was called Dan "fenian" Coyle I think but that would be way back.

Matt Mcginn was indeed some man.

Any info you have on Darraghs much appreciated.
Hello Chris

Your post on Coyle Family Ballycastle County Antrim that Daniel Coyle you speak of was my GG Grandfather.
Or if not him my Grandfather was also Daniel Coyle and he married into the McKeown's from Fauldhouse.
Can you get back to me please if you are interested in any information exchange


Harry Coyle
I was just revisiting your previous threads and I noticed your reference to a Charles & Margaret McKay as witnesses to a marriage. I remembered seeing their name in a record I have from Tickmacrevan. They were sponsors for Alex son of Annie McNeill & Capt. McKavanagh on 28 Sept 1879. They could be the same couple tho' the relationship between them is unspecified. Needless to say they could be somebody else entirely.

There was a Charles McKay married to Hanna McNeill who had children John, Mary Ann, twins Charles & Catherine from around 1850+. I also have records from Tickmacrevan involving various McKays--Rose, 2 Marys, Patrick, William, Cormick, Dan, John, Alex, Ellen, Mary Ann, Catherine, Margaret(b.1862), Christina. Maybe some of these ring bells? I can elaborate on them if you wish.

There was also a Ronald McCay farming in Harphall in Griffith's tho' there was also a Roland McCoy so take your pick as to whether there was a misspelling by a dyslexic record taker or there two such people. There was also a Daniel McKay in nearby Gortcarney. Both these townlands were in Glencoy so were quite near one another.

These records I'm quoting from were gathered as I researched my own Mulvenna/McNeill connections so the McKay references are isolated ones. No doubt there are many more but it does suggest that McKays were quite numerous in Tickmacrevan. I have a suspicion that I'm connected to them through my McNeill line.
I live in Glencloy (Carnlough) and know there are a fair few McKay families (there used to be a James McKay but he moved out of the area years ago) and of 2 Darragh families. Not too sure about past generations though. Good to see a Bhoys man, I grew up in Scotland and was taken to Largs Hydro most Saturdays to watch the team train..Jinky Johnson was my favourite although I must only have been about 5 or 6 at the time.
Harry, sorry I have not replied sooner, I didn`t get the notification of replies in my email for some reason, but glad you have. My cousin ( shes really my 3rd cousin, I THINK) from Yorkshire is not 100% sure about the connection she says an aunt told her about the Coyles visiting but may be putting two and two together about there origins, any info you have on The Darraghs or Coyles and the Fauldhouse connections much appreciated.
From my original post we have received some contact from a greatgreat grandchild of Hugh Darroch the first Celtic fc treasurer whose family were from Antrim and they were delighted that some research was going on into the founders of the club and first commiteemen, it seems there have been Hugh Darrochs in the family for generations, usually the only surviving males!
Sue had no luck in Dublin but did not know where to start to be honest. I have been poring over Griffiths os maps and highlighting townlands and such, the Loughguille James Mckay in Griffiths (Loves Corkey) looked promising as there were Darraghs in the nearby townlands of Friary and Carrivcashel, but need to get to PRONI at some point in my lifetime to check, Sue may be visiting with family later this year and can check. Dont know where to start with the Tickmacrevan ones, there are plenty in the Glens on the census info to so will keep looking. Its also difficult to cross reference Griffiths with the census as townlands have changed name or disappeared in some insatnces which is confusing for a non local, but will keep pplugging away.
Innisfayle again apologies for not replying sooner, I need to check that my email is not junking replies!
Some of the names are familiar, my James and his wife Bella or Isabella had 10 children I know of to date, the naming patterns stayed for a couple of generations and were Margaret,Bridget,Wm James ( my great grandad always went by James)Peter,Hugh,John Henry,Thomas, Catherine and Ellen, Patrick being another possible.One or two of these names such as Peter and Thomas come from Bellas side of the family but she had little contact with her extended family and the rest will be named for James`s Darragh and Mckay Antrim extended family I am sure.I haven`t managed to trace Charles or Margaret Mckay, the witnesses as yet and suspect they may have been Antrim relatives.
My problem is my own Uncles and Aunts had no idea their great grandfather was from Antrim, they knew he came from Ireland but noone remembered where, Sue came up with a cracking photo of him recently from a relative in Canada. Any info you have on possible Mckay connection is welcome as at least I can rule it in or out , the freestone quarrying may be a clue also as he must have been reasonably skilled in this as he opened the first one in Fauldhouse. Though his dad is listed as a farmer or ploughman and i hope as such is one of the James Mckays i am working through on Griffiths.
Thanks again.
Pog101 thanks for that, we have moved the Celtic Graves Society site to a new one just last week, wee Jinkys grave is there amongst many others such as the Mckillops and Charlie Tullys and various ongoing projects if anyone is interested.
Also we are collating most of what we learn and contributing to the excellent celticwiki at if anyone has any info about Celtic, their fans or any connections at all this is the place for it.