Saturday, 2 January 2021

Lyons of Old Park


This family was originally of Scottish extraction.

DAVID LYONS, of Belfast (son of Thomas Lyons (1624-93), who was buried at Shankill, Belfast), had issue, by Kate his wife,
DAVID, of whom presently;
Anne, m Thomas Foster.
Mr Lyons died in 1717, and was succeeded by his only son,

DAVID LYONS (1701-72), of Old Park, Belfast, who wedded firstly, Mary, daughter of Elias Boyd, and had issue.

By his second wife, Jane, he had issue,
THOMAS, of whom presently;
Mary; Anne; Eleanor; Elizabeth; Jane; Sarah.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS LYONS (1747-1806), of Old Park, who espoused, in 1778, Sarah, daughter of Andrew Armstrong, of Clara, King's County, and Dublin, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
WILLIAM HOLMES, successor to his brother;
Edward Forbes;
Eliza; Juliana.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY LYONS (1779-1839), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

WILLIAM HOLMES LYONS (1781-1849), of Old Park, who wedded, in 1810, Anne, daughter of the Rev William Bristow, Vicar of Belfast, and Sovereign of Belfast, by Rose, his wife, daughter of George Cary, of Redcastle, County Donegal, and had issue,
Sarah (1818-1905).
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM THOMAS BRISTOW LYONS JP DL (1812-87), of Old Park, Belfast, and Brookhill, Lisburn, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1866, who married, in 1840, Julia Maria, daughter of James Jones, of Mount Edward, County Sligo, and had issue,
Robert Colvill Jones, of Lime Hill house, Tunbridge Wells;
Henry Kenneth Thomas, of Denver, USA;
James Bristow;
Clarence Edward;
Eliza; Julia Maria; Dorinda Anna Henrietta; Edith Arabella Louisa Florence;
Constance Adela Hastings; Julie Marie Louise.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON WILLIAM HENRY HOLMES LYONS JP DL (1843-1924), of Brookhill, Lisburn, Old Park, Belfast, and Richmond Lodge, County Down, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1904, Grand Master, Orange Lodge of Ireland, who espoused, in 1888, Mary Eliza (Lily), eldest daughter of George Evans, of Gortmerron House, County Tyrone, and had issue, 
Vera Patricia Mabel; Evyleen Sara Evans; Lily Eileen.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM HOLMES ST JOHN LYONS (1888-1918), Lieutenant, Middlesex Regiment, who married, in 1907, Doris Margaret, youngest daughter of George A Walpole FRCS, of Gormanston, Tasmania.

Old Park House (Image: Richard Graham)

OLD PARK HOUSE, Belfast, would appear to have been mid-Georgian.

It was built for David Lyons, who also owned a bleach-yard in the Oldpark area of Belfast in the 1750s.

Old Park features in J A K Dean's Plight of the Big House in Northern Ireland, published in 2020.

Lyons Family Plot at Knockbreda Church-yard

David Lyons' wife, Mary, had her name recorded at Shankill graveyard in 1739, presumably before he took over or built the bleach-yard.

George Benn, the celebrated Belfast historian, described Old Park thus in 1877:
A beautiful rural home, with fine gardens and trees, and a convenient distance from the "madding crowd". Now, in our time, the 42 acres of which the demesne consists are advertised to be let in lots for villas or streets, which will doubtless be the case in due time.
Benn remarked that Old Park had been built a century ago, making its erection in the 1770s.

Old Park remained in the Lyons family until about 1868, when Thomas Lyons moved to Brookhill, near Lisburn, the Belfast boundaries having surpassed the old demesne.

Old Park House subsequently became the property of William Robertson, of Hawkins, Robertson & Ferguson, drapers, of the Bank Buildings, Belfast.

A plaque in the ambulatory of Belfast Cathedral, recording that Mr Lyons lived for some time at Brookhill, Lisburn, was placed in his memory by his mother, Anne.

The plaque was originally in St Anne's parish church.

First published in January, 2013.


Anonymous said...

Hello! I have been enjoying your blog!
I wonder if you happen to have any more information about the Lyons family? Specifically, I am curious to know where they came from in Scotland and if perhaps Thomas (1624 – 93) had any other sons? I have a Lyons family brick wall and I wonder if it is possible that a younger son might have been the elusive ancestor to the Lyons family that ended up in Canada. I know that one needs to work from what you do know back...but I would be interested in knowing about other branches in the Lyons tree that may help connect.

Timothy Belmont said...

Dear Anon, I'm afraid I tend to publish everything I know about families; though perhaps you might receive responses from other readers. Tim.

Unknown said...

I am a Lyons (1954). My father's name is Harold Andrew Lyons.(1919 - 1987) My grandfather's name was Alexander Lyons (1879 - 1952). My great grandfathers name was William T Lyons (1833 - 1913). My great great grandfathers name was Joseph Lyons (1795 - 1880). I believe his father, my great x 3 grandfathers name was also Joseph but information is sketchy. If any of these Lyons cross your lineage I would be interested in making contact with you.
Dave Lyons

Unknown said...

My Grandfather William Stewart told me a story about the night the SS Clyde Valley unloaded a shipment of arms in Bangor after coming from unloading in Larne. He was present as a guard on the pier. Part of the shipment was then taken to what I knew as the Windsor Hotel Knocknagoney by motor cars and stored in the cellar of the house. I do not know what the name of the house was at that time. It is now part of the Knocknagoney police station. My grandfather was ex Royal Marine and was involved in the training of a detachment of the UVF based there. Unfortunately I did not ask enough questions of him back in 1970. It is my belief that the owner of the house at that time was William H H Lyons and was wondering if you can confirm this? Are you aware of any writing covering this or photos taken at the time. I am researching this as part of my family history but there may be a wider interest.
Eric Stewart

Timothy Belmont said...

Hello Eric, there are several good sites on Facebook which discuss these matters, like Belfast Paper and Ephemera, and Arron Callan is knowledgeable on FB, too. Best of luck, Tim.

Unknown said...

I have a will of my ancestor, John Lyons of Charles County, MD. In the will he states that he wants his estate to go to his Uncle, Thomas Lyons of Old Park, Belfast, Ireland. Are the children of Thomas Lyons 1747-1806 or his brothers Henry & William known and available? This seems to be ancestral family from which I spring.
Richard Lee Lyons

Unknown said...

Dear Anon,
You wrote about Thomas Lyons(1624 – 93). He is directly my Great x 8 Grandfather. I have some information on the family, including some miniature portraits of his son or grandson (it's hard to know which!).
What is the Lyons brick wall? Is this the Knockbreda wall?


Timothy Belmont said...

Dear DL,

Many thanks for that. I’m not aware of the Lyons wall. Knockbreda is in another part of Belfast, so we can discount that. I guess that it could have been the boundary wall of their estate, now Oldpark district of Belfast. Tim.

Unknown said...

I am sorry, my correction. The Lyons wall at Knockbreda is a memorial wall and still stands proudly. The Lyons's of Old Park were buried there.