Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Boyd of Ballycastle


THE REV WILLIAM BOYD, Vicar of Ramoan, 1679-81, married Rose, great-granddaughter of Hugh McNeil.

Hugh McNeil, who was appointed 1st constable of Dunynie by Randal MacDonnell, 1st Earl of Antrim, was granted lands which formed the basis of the Ballycastle Estate.

The Vicar's second son,

COLONEL HUGH BOYD (1690-1765), born at Drumawillan House, Glentaise, inherited his father's estate in 1711, aged 21.

Colonel Boyd became manager of Ballycastle Colliery Salt Works and Company, and quickly began expanding the business. In 1737, he was granted £10,000 by the Irish Parliament for the establishment of a harbour at Ballycastle. 

Colonel Boyd also built Holy Trinity Church in the town, in 1756, at a cost of £2,769.

HUGH BOYD, of Ballycastle, County Antrim, MP for County Antrim, 1794-96, married and had issue, an only son and daughters.

This Hugh's second daughter, Harriet, wedded Sir John Boyd Bt in 1818. 
His second son,

ALEXANDER BOYD (1791-1886), Lord of the Manor of Ballycastle, espoused, in 1821, Ann, daughter of Henry Huey.

His eldest son,

HUGH BOYD, of Ballycastle (1826-91), married Marianne, elder daughter of James McKinley, of Carneatly.

The eldest son,

ALEXANDER BOYD JP (1865-1952), of Ballycastle, married, in 1903, Letitia, fifth daughter of John Nicholl, of The Orchard, Ballycastle.

His eldest son,

HUGH ALEXANDER BOYD, of Islandview, Ballycastle, married and had issue, his eldest son,

ALEXANDER JOHN BOYD, born in 1940.

THE MANSION, Ballycastle, County Antrim, is a mid-18th century building.

It had an archway above which was set a statue of an Indian river god, presumably supplied by Major-General Hugh Boyd, of the Bengal Army, at the time of the mutiny,

"Boyd - Major-General Hugh - Bengal Army - died 24th December 1876. Ensign Hugh Boyd, 62nd Native Infantry) served at Bhurtpore 1826 (medal and bar).

Memorial at Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland - "In memory of Major General Hugh Boyd. Who died 24th December 1876 aged 76 years. General Boyd (of the Late Bengal Army) served with his regiment and on the General Staff throughout India for a uninterrupted term of 32 years from January 1824, a period of India's history as eventful in military successes and glory as any preceding it, returning to India after a short furlough in 1856.

He closed his military career commanding a brigade throughout the memorable Sepoy Mutiny of 1857-58."

There is a stable block with cut-stone window surrounds.

The Manor House became a Barnardo boys' home.

Little remains of the original house.

First published in April, 2013.


Unknown said...

Was not a Dr Barnardo establishment boys home but a home for all children initially mainly babies and young children. I know because I was a baby in this home.

Nicholas Wrigth said...

Hello Alison,

Causeway Coast and Glens Museum Services are currently researching a statue that once stood above the archway into the yard of the Boyd Manor (yard opened onto Mary St).

I don't suppose you have any memories or photos of the statues?

If you, or anyone else, does remember the statues, it would be great if they could drop us an email at



Unknown said...

Does anyone know the Y Haplogroup of these Boyds? My Boyd line is the A Haplogroup rather than the R.
It seems it is a mystery as to how my A Haplogroup lineage came to have the Boyd name.

Unknown said...

Have no memories or photos sadly. Felt it was such a shame such a beautiful manor house was abused and neglected . Then used for commercial gain. When you see what has been done for the Manor House on rattling ( which is great) Yet I remember the beautiful fireplaces and furnishings ripped out when it was turned into an OAP home. Then neglected when the house and grounds could have been developed into a major tourist attraction but that was the times. A bit like so many original store fronts and many aspects of this lovely little town with incredible lovely genuine local people. The best thing about the children's home was how the local people loved and looked after the children. The sweet shop ( post office)round the corner on pocket money day and the lovely Italian ice cream next door. The loveliest thing catholic and protestant people locally looked out for us even when stealing apples next door or getting a few free fish from the harbour Happy Memories was so sad when they closed it and booted us kids out across the country.Lovely wee town 😃🍹☘🍻🥂☘❤

Unknown said...

Hi Alison that is my family the boyds im from ballycastle my fathers name was Denis my grandfathers name was Hugh my grandmother was philis my family built that town all those years ago its nice people like you still have memories Brendan

Colin Brooks said...

A Grotta and "Unknown". We have a large group working on the genealogy and DNA for the Boyds in northern Antrim. Please contact me at We have separated out the DNA for the Boyds but are working on cleaner connections. Your family line could play a huge role in moving our research further.

Thank you,
Colin Brooks
The 1718 Project