House of Lynn

A Description of Certain
Available Records with Respect to Scottish and/or
Protestant Inhabitants of Ulster Prior to 1850

Copyright 2015
Loretta Lynn Layman, Author of "Barony of Lynn", The Scottish Genealogist,

Vol. LVII No. 1, The Scottish Genealogy Society, Edinburgh (March 2010)
ynneage @ comcast . net

Following are descriptions of the four most common sources relevant to the question at hand.  There are many other sources not included here but cited on the page Scottish Protestant Lynns of Ulster).  One example is a Scottish deed which identifies a Lynn from Irvine, Ayrshire who went to Ulster in 1658 and which also mentions a Lynn,  no doubt related, who died in Irvine.  Another is the published autobiography of a woman who was eleven when her Ulster Scottish Lynn family left Ireland for America.  Also not described on this page but cited at "Scottish Protestant Lynns ..." are: (1) published historical records, some of which are freely available on the internet and others which this author has researched elsewhere); and (2) data extracted from several free Irish genealogical websites.

1630 Muster Roll

As noted in Nicholas Pynnar's 1618-19 survey of the Ulster Plantation, all Scottish and English undertakers were required not only to bring colonists to their settlements but also to have available "at all times a convenient Store of Arms, wherewith they may furnish a competent number of able Men for their defence, which may be viewed and mustered every half year".  Such musters occurred sporadically beginning in 1611 and taken up in earnest in 1629.

The result, popularly called the 1630 muster roll, in fact was carried out between the years 1629 and 1633.   For the county where it began (Fermanagh), the roll is believed to have been completed in the spring of 1629; for the two where last done (Down and Monaghan), in the spring of 1633.  It was typical for muster to be called in the spring of the year, although the original roll does not give specific dates and, in fact, some parts are entirely undated.  The dates listed here were arrived at in part by the known tenure of the man appointed to the roll, Lieutenant William Graham, Muster Master.

Extracts of some portions of the Muster Roll are available at various Irish genealogy websites, but the best source by far is 'Men and Arms' The Ulster Settlers ca. 1630 by R. J. Hunter.  Robert John Hunter, M.Litt. (1938-2007), lived all his life in Ireland and was a noted historian and lecturer with particular focus on the Ulster Plantation.  His 'Men and Arms' is searchable at : men and arms and available as an eBook at : men-and-arms.

1740 Protestant Householders Returns

In 1740, the Irish House of Commons apparently ordered a census of Protestant householders, which then became part of Irish Parliament records, which in turn were later transferred over to the PRONI.  Transcripts of some of those returns, including just six Ulster counties, were made before the 1922 fire which destroyed them all.  Those counties are Antrim, Armagh, Donegal, Down, Londonderry, and Tyrone; but even they do not include all parishes.  The parishes for which transcripts do exist are as follows.  As easily seen, relatively few 1740 returns were transcribed ...

County Parishes

Ahoghill, Armoy, Ballintoy, Ballymoney, Ballyrashane, Ballywillin, Billy, Clough (now, Dunaghy), Culfeightrin, Derrykeighan, Drummaul, Duneane, Dunluce, Finvoy, Kilraghts, Ballymena (now, Kirkinriola), Loughguile, "Manybrooks" (now defunct), Ramoan, Rasharkin and Rathlin

Armagh Derrynoose, Mullaghbrack, Shankill, and Tynan

Clonca, Clonmany, Culdaff, Desertegny, Donagh, Fahan, Moville, and Templemore

Down Kilbroney and Seapatrick

Aghadowey, Aghanloo, Artrea, Ballinderry, Ballyaghran, Ballymoney, Ballynascreen, Ballyrashane, Ballyscullion, Ballywillin, Balteagh, Banagher, Bovevagh, Carrick, Clondermont, Coleraine, Cumber Lower, Cumber Upper, Desertlyn, Desertmartin, Desertoghill, Drumachose, Dunboe, Dungiven, Errigal, Faughanvale, Formoyle, Grange of Scullion, Kilcronaghan, Kildollagh, Killelagh, Killowen, Kilrea, Learmont, Lissan, Macosquin, Maghera, Magherafelt, Magilligan or Tamlaghtard, Tamlaght, Tamlaght Finlagan, Tamlaguth O'Crilly, Templemore, Termoneeny - i.e., all parishes except Agivey, Arboe, and Derryloran


Derryloran and Kildress - Derryloran may include that small part of the parish that lies in County Londonderry.

1766 Religious Census Returns

Designed to preserve the monopoly of power held by the Anglican Church of Ireland [COI], the Irish Parliament's post-1691 Penal Laws restricted the activities of not only Roman Catholics but also Presbyterians.  In 1766, the Irish House of Lords sought to further that control by ordering Church of Ireland clergy to compile returns of all heads of households in their respective parishes.  The returns often distinguish between Papist (Roman Catholic), Protestant (usually Anglican), and Dissenter (primarily Presbyterian).  Unfortunately, the degree of diligence and thoroughness with which these returns were made varied greatly among the clergy ...

Transcripts of the 1776 religious census exist for a much greater portion of Ireland as a whole than do the 1740 Protestant householder returns.  For Ulster, however, there are transcripts for far fewer parishes than appear in the transcripts of 1740 returns ...

County Parishes
Antrim Ahoghill, Ballintoy, Ballymoney, and Ballynure
Armagh Creggan

Kinawley, Lavey, Lurgan, and Munterconnaught - Kinawley may include that part of the parish which lies in County Fermanagh

Donegal Inch (Island of) and Leck
Down Inch, Kilbroney, and Seapatrick

Derryvullan, Devenish, Kinawley, and Rossorry - part of Kinawley lies in County Cavan


Artrea, Ballynascreen, Banagher, Bovevagh, Cumber, Desertlyn, Desertmartin, Drumachose, Dungiven, Moneymore and Magherafelt


Aghaloo, Artrea, Carnteel, Clonfeacle, Derryloran, Donaghenry, Drumglass, Errigal Keerogue, Kildress, Tullyniskan, Magherafelt, and Dungannon Town and Corporation

1775 Dissenters' Petitions

The state of affairs created by the Penal Laws worsened and continued until about 1784.  Only marriages performed in the COI were legally recognized, anyone holding or seeking public office was required to take communion in the COI, etc.  Then, in spite of the fact that the COI governed those and other aspects of life for all citizens, Parliament passed the Act of 1774 excluding Dissenters, typically Presbyterians, from voting at COI vestry meetings.  In response, petitions against the 1774 Act were presented to the Parliament in 1775.  The Act was repealed in 1776.

Transcripts of the 1775 Dissenters' Petitions exist for only five Ulster counties, including just small bits of three of those (Armagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone).  Transcripts for the other two counties (Antrim and Down), although more extensive, are still are quite deficient.  There are 78 parishes in Antrim, and transcripts exist for only eleven parishes, six towns, one borough, and one individual congregation.  There are 69 parishes in Down, and transcripts exist for only eleven parishes, two towns, and four individual congregations ...

County Parishes, Congregations, Towns and Neighborhoods, and Baronies (1)

Antrim Borough (probably 1st Antrim Presbyterian Church); Ballyclare Town and Neighborhood; Ballymena  Town and Neighborhood; Ballynure Town and Neighborhood; Belfast Town and Parish; Carnmoney Parish; Carrickfergus Town and County; Donegore, Kilbride, and Nilteen Parishes; Dunmurry Congregation (divided between Counties Antrim and Down); Larne, Raloo, Carncastle, Kilwaughter, Glenarm and Ballyeaston Parishes; Lisburn Town and neighborhood (divided between Counties Antrim and Down); and Old Antrim (probably Antrim Unitarian Church)

Armagh Armagh Parish; Benburb Town and neighborhood; and Clare Congregation

Ballee Congregation; Bangor Town and Parish; Comber Parish; Dundonald Parish; Dromore Parish; Dromara Congregation; Drumballyroney and Drumgooland Parishes; Dunmurry Congregation (divided between Counties Down and Antrim); Killyleagh Parish; Lisburn Town and neighborhood (divided between Counties Antrim and Down); Newry Parish; Rathfriland Congregation; and Seapatrick, Tullylish and Donaghcloney Parishes


Coleraine and Killowen Parishes; Londonderry City


Ardstraw and Newtownstewart; Coagh; Cookstown Congregation; Dungannon Barony; Dungannon Town and neighborhood; Strabane Town and neighbourhood

Loretta ~ 2015


For extensive collections from a nearly 600-page history of Lynns, Linns, etc. in Scotland and Ulster, see :




House of Lynn