Big thank you from

A letter from Tyneside

By the Rambler29/04/2005

A letter that I received this week from Newcastle Upon Tyne came as a pleasant surprise. Here it is.....

I" hope you don't mind me contacting you. I saw an article of yours on the internet.

"My Great Great Grandmother was called Mary Dargan and she left Ireland probably in the late 1840's and came to NE England (where she's buried).

"The story was passed down that she came from Darganstown' in Ireland, although no one knew where.

"We thought it likely that she came from either 'Ballydorgan' in Cork or 'Ballydargan' in Down.

'A photograph of her brother James then came to light and we discovered that she was born in Moira, Co Down in the 1830's.

'About the same time I came across your article 'A fascinating look at townland names' on the internet - and fascinating it was for us too, as, for the first time we came across the place called 'Darganstown'.

"This was a wonderful discovery for us and we feel sure this is the ancestral home of our 'Dargans'.

"I just wondered if you had any information you could kindly supply on Darganstown-in the form of history or photographs of the place or any surviving folk tales?

(I'm not after family history by the way - we can order the films of church records etc).

"I've 'sort of located it on a map - the Old Kilmore Rd - although I can't be sure of its precise location.

Hope you can help."

By a remarkable coincidence my family roots also lie at Darganstown in a small holding in the townland of Kilminioge which my father inherited from his mother's people about a century ago. It is now in the ownership of one of his grandsons, my nephew.

As a child I was taken through a small hamlet of unoccupied dwellings, the best of which was pointed out as Henry Dargan's.

It was located behind Darganstown House on the Old Kilmore Rd., Moira. Darganstown House was then occupied by William George Kerr (long since deceased). Now it is owned and occupied by a hospital consultant.

I have had a chat by phone with my very excited correspondent who 'sort of located it on a map'. Very good 'sorting', if I may say so. With an ordnance survey map before him he soon had me up and down the Old Kilmore Rd and has now gone off highly pleased.

Kilminioge is of course named after the first Christian saint of Moira parish.

Modern technology has certainly spread the coverage of 'The Star'. Who would have thought a 'Geordie' would have picked up my ramblings.

Can any reader add anything to the Darganstown story?

Ulster Star