Family and Home of James McFerran and Sarah McElroy

James McFerran was born in Ireland about 1773.  He married Sarah McElroy, who was of Scotch descent.  Sarah, born 1779, was the daughter of Andrew McElroy and Suzanna.  This family lived in Loughbrickland , Drumnahare Townland, in County Down, Northern Ireland. Wayne McPherren (deceased) had a picture of this house, a stone structure, slate roof, fireplaces on either end with a chimney in the center, barred windows and center barred door. There is a stone and ornamental iron wall surrounding the house.  The place is heavily shrubbed with roses and with large trees in the background.  Quite a respectable looking home for those days, and though Grandma's Bible does not so state, I assume the children were born there. Most of the McPherren history was taken from Grandma Emma McPherren's Bible. (Emma Clark m: James R. McPherren)


The photo on the left (above) is a copy of a copy of an old photo, now in the possession of Roger Bailiff. Roger recently visited the ancestral home near Loughbrickland, Northern Ireland and took the color photo shown on the right (above). The photos below were also taken by Roger during his trip there in 2016.





In April and May of 2016, Roger Bailiff and Robert Adams visited the Loughbrickland area of Northern Ireland, where our ancestors lived in the 1700's and 1800's. They were successful in finding the cottage where the McPherrens lived during this period of time!  Here are some of Roger's comments and observations.

"My name is Roger Bailiff and I live in Denver, Colorado.  Many years ago, Arlene (Cox) Kuehnle contacted me because she knew Larry Archer and knew that I had a photograph of the old McPherren home in Ireland and that I had visited the village in Ireland where the McPherren's had lived prior to immigrating to the US.  (Larry and I are first Cousins and our Great Grandfather was John McFerran of Brooks) I looked at the church records at the Presberterian Church in Lockbrickland but was unable to get any further in my search due to lack of time.  She then went to Ireland and took it a step further by finding the graveyard and the monument erected by our Great Great Grandfather.
Google Maps Street View of Church

I have been back 4 times but was never able to find the actual home where they had lived.  I just returned from 2 weeks in Ireland and this time I hit the Mother Lode.  Lockbrickland has only one Pub/Restaurant and we decided to eat there during our stay.  So we went into the Pub after dinner and spent some tiome talking tio the gentlemen in the Pub.  One of the guys asked why we were there and I explained.  They all looked at the old photo and one said, I think that is the house where I grew up.  The dead giveaway way the iron fence in front.  It is peculer to that house alone.  The next morning we drove the 1 or 2 km to the spot where he had directed us and low and behold he was right.  I had found our ancestral home. The dead giveaway to this being the actual house is the fence. the 3 chimneys and the pink roses.  The folks in and around the area called it the Rose Cottage.
Arlene will be glad to know that they have restored the old church and added a meeting hall on the side of the main structure.  They have also refurbished a lot of the Cemetery and stood the very old stones up in a section of the place for graves that they could not locate.  The only sad thing is the fact that the stone that Arlene is posed beside is laying face down on the ground. I tried to make contact with a company the could reset it but was unable to do so with such short notice.  I am attempting to connect with a company  that can do that for us.  Hopefully I can get that worked out. By the way, there is a huge fenced off section of the cemetary for the Heslip family and they have a restored hotel in Banbridge, I think it is anyway.

As you will see, the slate roof is gone and replaced with corrugated metal and the windows are missing but it is definitely the "Old Ireland Home" as it was described on the photo that I have.

Someone started to restore the farm yard and barns in 2009 but then stopped.  They did a beautiful job of it as far as they went but never finished.   The date on the new barn gable is 2009.  No one seems to know who was doing it or why they quit.

The house has 3 larger rooms, each with a fireplace.  There is a narrow steep stairway in the center that leads to the attic.  It is extremely steep and narrow.   There is a window in both gable ends.  I suppose that it is where the children slept.



I hope you are both as excited as I was when I found the home.

I have to tell you one other story about the find.   When I was done poking around, I walked across the road and leaned up against the car to take it all in one last time.  After a few minutes I looked down on the road and there between my feet, as if perfectly placed, was an Irish 5 cent peice.  It was heads up and it felt as if our Great Great Great Grand Father had said to me, "Here son. Something to remember us by"  It was very moving.  My GGG Grandfather had just given me a nickle.  I placed the coin in my left shoe and it stayed there until I got home.   It now rests in a piece of nice Belleek pottery that I have on my mantle at my cabin.

On the original photo, written at the bottom of the hardboard that it is mounted to, the following was written:
          "The Dear Old Ireland Home, St Lingh Brieckland where all our ancestors  
          were born and married their families, even Jim and the two girls.  You will
          love it as a keepsake.  From Eva and Jim"

I'm not so sure about the spelling of the Old Village name, It was hard to read the writing on the photo.  The minister, Rev. McGowan, had told me that the village had gone away and that was why he had the records in the Parsonage in town.  I was also told by the Irish Club in New York before my first trip there that St. Lingh Breckland was the old Irish name for the village.

Do you want to help buy an old run down house in Northern Ireland?  It had to have been built prior to 1849 so it's been around a long while.  I can almost smell the Peat Fires burning from here.

As far as the origin of the family and the name, I was in Blarney a number of year ago and we were staying at a B&B in the country where we had stayed before.  This time, however, the place had sold to a niece and her husband.  The first morning at Breakfast the husband asked if I was of Irish descent and when I answered yes he asked about the family name and I told him McFerren.  He huffed a bit and politely told me that I was not Irish, I was in fact Scots-Irish and explained that the Scots were imported by the English to be the overseers of the Irish People and he made it clear that he had little feelings for the Scots.  He did warm up later and went to great lengths to explain the disdain that he held for the Scots-Irish of old.

It is amazing that it (the house) is standing after all those years. Another thing that amazes me is that the iron fence is still there.  If that was in the US, it would be gone.  I don't think anyone has lived there for quite a while.  There were crows flying in and out of the attic window on the left.  We looked in the broken windows and the fireplaces are neat.  The middle one is fronted with a Green Tile.  We didn't go inside for several reasons.  The door was locked, we really didn't get permission to be there and then there were the crows.  As the Crow flies, it didn't seem far from the church.  It was a few KM if you drove on the roads as they are today.  The Barns and outbuilding are connected.  That doesn't seem to be the case in the old photo.  I've been Ireland 5 times but only 3 times to Loughbrickland.
I know that I was able to uncover some of the Family stuff on my first trip there which I shared with Arlene (Cox) Kuehnle and Larry Archer but Arlene's finding the church and the stone was a major key to getting us to where we are today.  The final key was us eating dinner in the village and being lucky enough to meet the guy who grew up in the house.  The Leprechauns were with us that night.  I really wasn't ready to come home when we left and I would really love to go back again.  That probably won't happen but I can dream."

The McPherren ancestral home is near the "D" in Drumnahare, shown in the map above.

Google Maps Street Level View

updated 29 June 2016