I have been researching my Belfast Rolleston ancestry for some time, but have just discovered that the family originated in Darkley townland, Keady Parish, County Armagh and I also know that some emigrated to Canada. In earlier records there are spelling variatons, mostly Rolston or Ralston, but it could be anything phonetically similar. Anyway, I would like to go back further into the Armagh ancestry and it would be great to find someone else looking at the same lines.
My great-grandmother Margaret Jane Rolleston (1875-1918) was born in Belfast and married William Harbinson (1873-1926) on 10th February 1894. They had five daughters, only one of whom, my grandmother, Margaret Harbinson (1900-1971) survived infancy.
My great-great-grandfather was Benjamin Rolleston (c1850-?) a coal carter, who seems to have lived most of his life in Belfast, although he may have been born in County Armagh. He married Sarah Ann Halliday on 10th February 1875. They had at least eight children:
The afore-mentioned Margaret Jane Rolleston (1875-1918) who married William Harbinson
William (Bill) Rolleston (1878-1962) married Sarah (Sadie) Thompson
Emigrated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada (around 1906-1911), died in California, USA
Henry (Harry) Rolleston (born 1876-1890-died 1941) married Mary Lowans (or Hanley)
Robert Rolleston (1879-1907)
Mary Rollestson (c1880-c1960)
James Rolleston (1883-1962) married Frances Calderwood
Maude Rolleston (born 1876-1890-died?)
Benjamin Rolleston (1887-1889)
My great-great-great-grandfather was Robert Rolleston (c1825 -?) a painter (I'm assuming that means house painter, not artist!). Wife’s name unknown. They had at least two children, Benjamin (as above) and James (c1849-?). Either Robert moved from County Armagh to Belfast, or his two sons moved there without him. I’m not sure.
James Rolleston (c1849-?) lived in Belfast, but may have been born in County Armagh. He married twice, first to Elizabeth Curry on 16th November 1868 and, when she died, to Mary Jane Crawford on 20th August 1877. They had at least five children:
Jane Wilkie Rolleston (1878-?)
Robert John Crawford Rollestson (1879-1963) married, but wife’s name not yet known
David Wilkie Rolleson (1881-?)
James Crawford Rolleston (1883-?)
William Irwin Rolleston (1885-?) married Annie Hamilton Harrison
I have a plethora of old photos on the Rolleston side and two 1917 photos intrigued me as they showed Canadian Rolleston cousins I'd never heard of, taken by my great-grandmother's brother Bill Rolleston, who had emigrated to Ontario, Canada in the early 1900s. When I researched these names through the births, deaths, marriage, census and immigration records on Ancestry I worked out that my great-great-great-grandfather Robert had a brother, Benjamin Rolston [this is where the spelling change seems to have occurred, at least in some of the official records].
The information I've found out to date is as follows:
My great-great-great-grandfather Robert's brother, Benjamin Rolston [or Rolleston] (c1834-1878) of County Armagh married Catherine Jane Bell (c1833-1878) of Keady on 28th November 1853 at Armagh Registry Office. Griffiths Valuation shows a Benjamin Rolleston living at the Mill Village Keady (which I assume would be Darkley Mills?).
Benjamin and Jane Rolston [ or Rolleston] emigrated to Canada with their children, landing in Quebec on 22nd October 1873 and later lived in Bolton, Ontario.
Their known children were:
John James Rolston - born c1858 in County Armagh
married Margaret Hannah Butler on 29th January 1890 in Ontario
Louisa [or Louise] Rolston - born either 1855 or 1859 in County Armagh
baptised at St Matthew's Church of Ireland, Keady, Co Armagh
nothing known about her after emigration.
Jane (Jenny) E Rolston - born c1863, County Armagh
married John Sloan on 12th March 1879 in Ontario. They lived at Chinguacousy, Peel County, Ontario
Known children were:
John Samuel Sloan - born c1880 married Lillie Breadner on 17th June 1908
William Herbert Sloan - born 24th July 1885
married Ellen Whitney Purchase on 24th November 1915
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Sloan - born c1887
Annie Sloan - born 1st December 1897
James Sloan - born 24th December 1899
Benjamin Rolston - born c1863 in County Armagh
married Margaret Patterson on 23rd April 1911 in Ontario
Annabella (Annie) Rolston - born c1866 in County Armagh
married Henry (Harry) Dawson on 11th November 1891 in Ontario. They lived at Lansdowne Avenue, Toronto.
Known children were:
Clarence Dawson born c1893
Henry (Harry) Dawson born c1895
Walter Dawson born c1896
John Dawson born c1903
I'm hoping that Benjamin and Jane's marriage certificate will give me the name of the father of Benjamin and Robert Rolleston [or Rolston] back in County Armagh.
Please get in touch if you think you may be connected.