In that county, the ancestors of the family of which we are about to treat, possessed considerable estates, and ranked amongst the most eminent of the gentry of the baronies of Forth and Bargy.
TOBIAS SYNNOT, of County Londonderry, was brought up a Protestant, and was in Londonderry during its celebrated siege.
The family is said to have come originally from Flanders, where the name "Sigenod" meant "Victory-bold". Translations and modifications over time saw the name become "Synad".
Various explanations of when and how the family travelled to Ireland have been documented, however all revolve around the Norman Invasion of Ireland.
It is believed that a Richard de Synad was one of the Flemish that crossed to Ireland with Strongbow in the invasion force. After various campaigns from Waterford to Wexford and on to Dublin, he returned to the Wexford region to settle down.
He later built a castle at Ballybrennan, close to the present village of Killinick, on the main Wexford-Rosslare road.
This was the family's chief castle, which remained until dispossessed in the Cromwellian confiscations. The castle is long gone, but part of its walls is incorporated into the present large dwelling house at the site.
Tobias's eldest son,
THOMAS SYNNOT, Town Major of the city of Dublin and Captain in Lucas's Regiment of Foot 1711, left a son and heir,
RICHARD SYNNOT, of Drumcondragh, Registrar of the Diocese of Armagh, had issue,
MARK SYNNOT, whose son,
SIR WALTER SYNNOT (1742-1821), knighted by Lord Buckingham, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; high sheriff of Armagh, 1783; died in 1821. He married and had issue,
Sir Walter built Ballymoyer House in County Armagh. By the time of his death in 1803 he and his son Marcus had made considerable improvements to the estate and many of the beautiful trees, buildings and structural improvements date from this time. The demesne was noted as being very ornate.
MARCUS SYNNOT JP, of Ballymoyer, who served as High Sheriff in 1830. His heir, also
MARCUS SYNNOT JP DL, of Ballymoyer House; High Sheriff, 1853; died without issue in 1874, when the estates devolved upon his brother,
MARK SETON SYNNOT JP DL, of Ballymoyer; High Sheriff, 1876. His heir, also
MARK SETON SYNNOT JP (1847-90), of Ballymoyer, County Armagh; born 1847; Captain, Armagh Light Infantry. His son, also
MARK SETON SYNNOT, a captain in the Armagh Light Infantry, died unmarried in 1901, whereby the estate devolved to his eldest sister,
MARY SUSANNA SYNNOT (1844-1913), who married, in 1868, Major-General Arthur FitzRoy Hart CB CMG, who had then adopted the surname Hart-Synnot. Their son,
Brigadier-General Arthur Henry Seton Hart-Synnot CMG DSO, inherited the demesne on his father's death in 1910 and sold portions of it to his tenants prior to 1919 under the Land Acts.
He demolished the house ca 1918 after it had been damaged by military accommodation during the 1st World War and donated the remaining land to the National Trust in 1938.
The estate is now open to the public.
The family were involved not only in the linen industry but also had lead mines in their possession. By 1838 the family had bought the eight townlands and continued to improve the estate.
In 1901 the demesne passed through marriage to the Hart-Synnot family, who presented it to the National Trust in 1937.