Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Rowan of Mount Davys


The family of ROWAN is of Scottish descent, and derives from

JOHN ROWAN, of Greenhead, in the parish of Govan, Lanarkshire, born in 1548, who acquired these lands with his first wife, the daughter and heir of John Gibson, of Greenhead.

His only son by this lady,

JOHN ROWAN, of Greenhead, died in 1614, leaving, by Agnes Shanks his wife, an elder son and heir,

JOHN ROWAN, of Greenhead, who wedded Janet Anderson, of Govan, Lanarkshire.

He died in 1685, having had, with other issue, an eldest son,

THE REV ANDREW ROWAN, who went over to Ulster, and was inducted to the rectory of Dunaghy, diocese of Connor, County Antrim, in 1661.

He resided at Old Stone, alias Clough, County Antrim.

Mr Rowan married firstly, about 1660, a daughter of Captain William MacPhedris, of Camglass, in the same county, and by her had, with two daughters, two sons,
JOHN (Rev), of whose line we treat.
He wedded secondly, Alice Dunlop, and by her had, with two daughters, three sons,
George, of Maghera.
Mr Rowan's eldest son,

CAPTAIN WILLIAM ROWAN, of Londonderry, was attainted, with his father, by the parliament held by JAMES II at Dublin, 1689.

He espoused Mildred Thompson, and left an elder son,

WILLIAM ROWAN, of Richmond, in Surrey, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Eyre, County Galway, and left at his decease an only daughter and heir,

JANE ROWAN, who wedded firstly Tichborne Aston; and secondly, Gawn Hamilton, of Killyleagh, County Down.

The Rev Andrew Rowan died in 1717.

His second son,

THE REV JOHN ROWAN, espoused Margaret Stewart, of County Down, and had issue, his seventh son,

THE REV ROBERT ROWAN, of Mullans, County Antrim, Chancellor of the diocese of Connor, who married Letitia, daughter and sole heir of John Stewart, of Garry (by his wife, a daughter and co-heir of Redmond, of Blaris, County Down) and had an eldest son and heir,

JOHN ROWAN (1733-), of Mullans and Garry, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1755, who wedded, in 1753, Rose, daughter of Captain Charles Stewart, of Lisburn, County Antrim.

The eldest son and heir,

ROBERT ROWAN (1754-1832), of Mullans, Garry, and Belleisle, County Antrim, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1779,  espoused, in 1777, Eliza, daughter of Hill Wilson, of Purdysburn, County Down, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Hill Wilson, m Eliza Jackson, sister of Mr Justice Jackson;
Charles (Sir) KCB, Commissioner of Metropolitan Police;
Edward, Captain RN;
William (Sir) GCB, Field Marshal;
Eliza; Elinor.
Mr Rowan was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN ROWAN JP DL (1778-1855), of Garry and Ahoghill, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1814, Major, Antrim Militia, who wedded firstly, in 1809, Eliza Honoria, eldest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander McManus, of MOUNT DAVYS, County Antrim, High Sheriff, 1782, by Hester Henrietta, his wife, second daughter of Mark Kerr O'Neill, of Flowerfield, County Londonderry (cadet of O'NEILL of Shane's Castle), and had issue,
He espoused secondly, in 1823, Dorothea Shaw Ogilvie, widow of James Blair, of Merville, County Antrim.

Mr Rowan was succeeded by his son,

THE REV ROBERT WILLSON ROWAN JP (1810-86), of Mount Davys, County Antrim, who married, in 1834, Anna, second daughter of Joshua Minnitt, of Anabeg, County Tipperary, and had issue,
JOHN JOSHUA, his heir;
Alexander Macmanus;
Robert Kerr O'Neill;
Eliza Hester; Mary Dorothea Stuart; Anna Villiers.
His eldest son,

JOHN JOSHUA ROWAN JP DL (1838-1921), of Mount Davys, Lieutenant-Colonel, 4th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, wedded firstly, in 1866, May Amelia, eldest daughter of George Wright, sometime colonial treasurer of Prince Edward Island, which lady dsp 1879.

He espoused secondly, in 1881, Ellen Augusta, daughter of the Rev Edward W Vaughan, Rector of Llantwit Major, Glamorganshire.



The Macmanus sept, an ancient Irish family, was formerly possessed of extensive property in counties Antrim, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and in the town of Carrickfergus, descended from Magnus O'Conor, 48th King of Connaught, and 181st elected monarch of Ireland.

A branch of this sept settled in County Antrim, of which

BRYAN MACMANUS, of Ballybeg, married, in 1662, Esme Macnaghten, of Beardiville, County Antrim, and had issue,

ALEXANDER MACMANUS, of Carndonaghy, who wedded, in 1708, Honoria, daughter of McGuinness, of Cabra, County Down, and had issue,

ALEXANDER MACMANUS, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1782, who espoused Hester Henrietta, daughter of Mark Kerr O'Neill, of Flowerfield, and had a daughter,

ELIZA HONORIA O'NEILL MACMANUS, who married, in 1809, John Rowan, of Garry and Ahoghill (see above).

Click to Enlarge

Mount Davys was situated beside the River Maine, opposite Galgorm Manor hotel (formerly called Fenaghy House).

It was occupied during the 17th century by a family called Davys, from Carrickfergus.

John Davys was MP for Carrickfergus in 1640; Hercules Davis, 1661; Hercules Davys, 1695.

John Davys and Arthur Davys were MPs for Carrickfergus in 1713.

Later it came into the possession of the McManus family, when Bryan McManus purchased four townlands, in 1744, in the district of Ahoghill, and the Davys estate, from the heirs of Ezekiel Davys, and Mount Davys passed to the Rowans through marriage.

The Ballymena Observer recounted in 1902 that Mount Davys House was "large and commodious, and contained four reception rooms, seven bedrooms, dressing-rooms, and servants' apartments."

"The garden, with a conservatory, is well stocked, with the offices, consisting of stabling for eleven horses, coach-house, harness-room etc, are extensive and convenient."

"There is a good gate lodge at entrance."

I am seeking photographs of Mount Davys House and estate.

First published in June, 2015.


Unknown said...

Mount Davys Road and Mount Davys Woods are just South of Cullybackey, Co. Antrim on the West side of the River Maine. If any other information comes to hand, I will advise. Wee Gee.

Phil McManus said...

Not all MacManus descend from Magnus O'Connor. The Fermanagh, Mount Davys, Carrickfergus and Maynooth branches are from the Magnus Maguire, via Cathal Oge MacManus. DNA testing confirms this.