William Rogers and Elizabeth Murphy of Killowen, County Down

I assume that my vast readership knows where Killowen is located, but for the rare stranger to these pages, and so that Google might more easily store this page in its near-infinite memory, I will state here that Killowen is an area of County Down, Ireland, between Rostrevor and Kilkeel. The Catholic parish is Kilbroney. Killowen consists of seven townlands: Ballintur, Ballincurry, Ballinran, Ballyneddan, Ballyedmond, Ballindoalty, and Tamnyveagh. You can find Killowen today by looking for Killowen Point on the Carlingford Lough, just south of Rostrevor.

William Rogers was born about 1790, probably not in Killowen, possibly in Kilkeel, and almost certainly in Ireland. He and his wife Elizabeth Murphy have three children listed on the baptism records of Kilbroney Parish: Ellen (1836), Elizabeth (1838), and James (1844). Whether or not they had children earlier than these is not known. There were none after 1844 on the Kilbroney records.

A researcher more familiar than I am with the church records in this area suggested that William and Elizabeth may have moved into Kilbroney after their marriage. There are few Rogers on the Kilbroney records, but there are many families by that name a bit farther south in the Kilkeel townlands.

When their daughter Ellen was married to John Rourke of Ballintur on December 1, 1871, she said that she was "a spinster with no occupation, of Ballincurry," and that her father was a "laborer", not a farmer. Griffith's Valuation of Ballincurry, taken in 1864, shows a William Rogers renting just a home and no land from Hugh Brennan. This is probably our William.

It seems that John and Ellen Rourke took William into their home at the time of their marriage or soon after. The home that he had been renting from Hugh Brennan went to Rose Farrell in 1872. Remember that William was 81 when Ellen, his oldest known child, married, so she might have been caring for him.

William Rogers died a widower in Ballintur on December 19, 1877, and was buried December 21. John Rourke was the informant on the death record.

As of now, I have no idea what happened to the other two children of William Rogers and Elizabeth Murphy: James and Elizabeth. Since William had no land, I am guessing that James left the area and possibly left Ireland.

There is an Elizabeth Rogers who was a witness to the marriage of Bernard Dunne and Anne Woods in Kilbroney on March 31, 1864. That could be the daughter Elizabeth, but after that there is no trace of her in Kilbroney.

Neither James Rogers nor his sister Elizabeth were married or buried in Kilbroney Parish. If anyone knows their outcome, could they let me know? Their descendants would be my relatives, since their sister Ellen (Rogers) Rourke was my great grandmother.

Ed Hamilton