Known Records of Births and Baptisms
In County Monaghan, Ireland before 1927
The following records of the births and baptisms of Breakey children were obtained when we visited Britain in May 1968. The present location of each Registry is given.
Records of the Breakey children were scattered through many pages of the Registeries (sic). This necessitated searching each page.
These records have provided documentary support for much that was little more than legend to many Breakeys of recent generations. Unfortunately, they are often incomplete and this makes problems for the genealogical researcher.
Unfortunately, too, there are other congregations whose records should be searched. For example, those of the congregations at Creeve and Creevagh.
E. P. B.
Ballybay, County Monaghan, Ireland
May 22, 1968
We (Nettie C. & Edward P. Breakey) drove to the home of the Rev. and Mrs. David Nesbitt. The Rev. David Nesbitt was ordained minister to the Congregation of First Ballybay, Derryvalley, Cahens and Drumkeen on 11th January 1968 by the Presbytery of Monaghan. He is a young man with a pleasing personality and had a sympathetic understanding of our mission. The Rev. Mr. Turtle, whom we met in 1961, is minister to the Congregation of Second Ballybay and Rockcorry. We did not learn the present status of the Congregations of Creeve and Creevagh. The Congregation of Lough Morne was apparently doing well in 1962. We did not visit this church in 1968. All of these congregations have been depleted by emigration, some to near extinction. Others have combined for survival.
We arrived at the manse, that of First Ballybay, about 10:30 A. M. and the Rev. Nesbitt set about helping us in our search for records and information relating to the Breakey family, residents in that area since 1690. We were pleased to learn the Rev. Nesbitt is endeavoring to locate and preserve such relics of the congregations in his area of responsibility as the Baptismal Registries and Sessions Books. These are showing the effect of aging and use. They have become faded and fragile and will become more precious with the passing of time.
The Rev. David Nesbitt was able to loan us the “Registry of Baptisms in the First Presbyterian Congregation of Ballybay.” We took this Registry of Baptism to our room in Riverdale House and copied out all of the baptismal records of Breakey children we could find. When the Rev. Mr. Turtle learned we were seeking the “Registry of Children Baptised (sic) by the Rev. John H. Morell, Minister to the Second Congregation of Ballybay,” he obliged by bringing the book to Riverdale House. Both of these books were left with the Rev. David Nesbitt when we had finished with them.
Earlier (May 14, 1968) we had found the “Session Book of the Congregation of First Ballybay Presbyterian Church;” “A Registry of Children Baptised by the Rev. James Morell, M. A., of the (first) Presbyterian Congregation, Ballybay;” the “Baptismal Register of the Derryvalley Congregation of the Presbyterian Church, Ballybay, The Rev. David Bell, Minister;” and the “Baptismal Register of Drumkeen Congregation, Presbyterian Church, the Rev. William Cook Minister,” in the Library of the Presbyterian Historical Society, Church House, Fisherwick Place, Belfast. We were able to obtain the baptismal records of John Breakey’s (John of Drumskelt, 1782-1878) 13 children from an old Bible printed by George Grierson of Dublin in 1790. John Breakey’s children were all baptised by the Rev. Thomas Cathcart of Creevagh Meeting House.
We copied the baptismal records of 184 children from these registries. All but six of these are Breakey children. The six exceptions are Burgess children. Grandmother Breakey’s maiden name was Jane Craig Burgess, hence our interest in this family name. When the mother’s maiden name was recorded as Breakey, the child was given the status of a Breakey. Unfortunately, in many instances, only the father was named; in others, only the mother’s Christian name (or names) was recorded. These copied records are being transcribed on the typewriter and will be reproduced for preservation. Already, they have enabled us to complete the rosters of certain families that were incomplete, have provided birth dates where there were none, and have enabled us to verify others.
James McClure Breakey
After being served tea by the charming and hospitable Mrs. Nesbitt, the Rev. Nesbitt took us in his auto to the home of James McClure Breakey who lives on his family’s old homestead in Corleck Townland, situate several miles north and west of Ballybay. Because of Mr. Breakey’s age (he was 76 on February 15, 1968) and because he is one of the few living Breakeys who haven’t emigrated, it was thought he might be able to help us in our search. He lives alone in the old stone house where his father, William Breakey, and his mother, Mary Flack Breakey, established a home in 1886 or 1887. James McClure Breakey never married and at 76 lives the life of a recluse. He explained his lack of information and his inability to help us by stating that he had been raised by an uncle. He is presently a member of the Congregation of First Ballybay Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Nesbitt is very much concerned for the elderly gentleman’s welfare.
James McClure Breakey gave us this information about his family: his father was William Breakey and his mother was Mary Flack. His sister, Sarah Jane, was the oldest of five children. She died about two months past. Mary Elizabeth came next. Ann was the third sister. She died when only a child. James McClure was the fourth child. A brother, John William Breakey, was the fifth and last child. He was named for an uncle. He died sometime past. None of the children married. The old and present address for the home is Corleck. Sarah Jane made her home with her brother, James McClure, in recent years. She was buried in Drumkeen Church Yard. We went there on the return to Ballybay. The birth dates and baptismal records of these people will be found in the “Baptismal Register of Drumkeen Congregation, Presbyterian Church, the Rev. William Cook Minister.” James McClure Breakey passed his youth in Drumsnat in the townland of Kilmore between Smithborough and Monahgan. His uncle lived at Smithborough.
Edward P. Breakey, PhD
Each congregation will be listed individually:
Presbyterian Congregation, Ballybay
Second Presbyterian Congregation of Ballybay
First Presbyterian Congregation of Ballybay
Old Bible Records
Drumkeen Congregation, Presbyterian Church
Marriages of Derryvalley Congregation, Presbyterian Church, Ballybay