AN ANCIENT DOCUMENT
The property described here was lived on by the Killough family in County Antrim from the time of James Killough, (1740-1809) grandfather to Martha Ann Killough. She was the last of the family to live here and was an aunt of Walton Barr Killough of Baytown, TX. He came to early Killough reunions and contributed most of the original genealogy material in the Ireland section of the Killough Family book. His daughter, Linn Killough Buss, graciously donated copies of much of her family documents to the Killough Reunion Assoc. before her death in 1999. This document is difficult to read but the main facts in it are quite interesting. In this document, the word demise is used as the legal term meaning to lease property for a limited time or the property that is leased. This property was eventually in the full ownership of the Killoughs and remained in their possession until Sept. 22, 1959, after Martha’s death earlier in that year. At Martha’s death, it was sold to the Dysart family, long time neighbors whose family had intermarried with Killoughs long before.
Lois Lynn Killough wrote: “ This battered and moisture-damaged document, kept in a drawer at Gortahar (Carra Big House, it was called), was copied by L. L. Killough in June, 1951. Text follows:”
This indenture made the 1st day of December in the year of our Lord 1793 (or 1792) between Sir Robert Bateson Harvey, Baroner, of the one part, and James Killough of Gortahare in the County of Antrim of the other part:
Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the yearly rents, reservations, duties, covenants, conditions, and agreements hereinafter referred and contained on the part and behalf of the said James Killough to be paid, done, performed, he the said Sir Robert Bateson Harvey hath demised, granted and to Farm let and by these presents doth demise etc. James Killough (--out--) sale to him thereof made by the said Sir Robert Bateson Harvey, for one whole year, in indenture bearing Date the day next before the day of the date of these presents, in consideration of 5 shillings and by force of the statute for transferring (--out--) administrators and assigns all that farm or parcel of land in the townland of Gortahare aforesaid containing by estimation 34 acres, 2 roads by the scene more or less – and all houses etc. which now are or at any time hereinafter shall be thereupon erected etc. except and always reserving out of the present demise unto the said Sir Robert Bateson Harvey his (--out--) and other trees etc. now growing or hereinafter to grow on the said demised premises etc. – with full liberty to the said Sir R.B.H. unto James Killough, his heirs, etc. during the natural Live and Lives of (--out--) Prince of Wales and Prince Frederick Duke of York and the life of the survivor of them; and from and after the decease of (--out--)21 years, to commence and be computed from the first of November yielding and paying yearly and every year during the Co--?— Robert Bateson Harvey, his heirs etc. the yearly sum of 14 pounds14 shillings of good and lawful money of Ireland at or (--out--) Nov. in each year, etc. and also yielding and paying to the said Sir R.B.H., his heirs etc. the further yearly rent or sum of (--out--) the said premises, Cunningham measure, etc., the same to be paid on (--out--) sowing and yielding and paying yearly and every year unto the said Sir R.B.H., his heirs and assigns in the case the said James Killough or his wife and heirs, etc. - - James Killough and the under-tenants and cotters inhabiting said premises, shall from time to time grind for sale and pay the accustomed toll for grinding unto Sir R.B.H. (--out--) sterling, for every barrel of grain ground at any other Mill, to be levied and recovered by distress or in such manner as the rent herein before reserved are and shall be paid (same applies to turf cut from property (--out--) that he the said James Killough, his heirs, etc. shall and will yearly and every year during the continuence of the demise after the year of our lord thousand 700 and 93 etc. of 10 perches (a perch is a linear rod equaling 5 ˝ yds.) of a good and single earth ditch in straight lines etc. and also shall and will in every year after the said first of May 1793 preserve such trees as are planted on the said premises and shall replace any that are destroyed (or else a fine to be levied of a certain amount yearly to be levied and recovered in same manner as rent) or in default of the particulars aforesaid, it shall be lawful for Sir R.B.H., his heirs etc. to enter upon such premises and there to cut down any obstructions upon such roads etc. and to make new roads, etc. and it shall be lawful for Sir R.B.H., his workmen at all times during the continuance of this demise to dig bog timber or mine minerals except such trees planted by and cottages belonging to James Killough his heirs, etc. and that James Killough and heirs are not to injure or alter anything belonging to Sir R.B.H., his heirs and assigns doth hereby promise and agree to and with James Killough that James Killough, his heirs etc. paying and performing the several yearly rents etc. on his and their parts to be paid may peaceably and quietly have, hold, occupy, possess and enjoy the said demised premises, during the continuance of this demise without any interruption by Sir R.B.H. or anyone else claiming for him.---providing that James Killough, heirs etc. in the space of 5 years from date erect and build a home on said premises 30 ft. in length, 5 ft. in breadth, 7 ft. in height of good sound materials consisting of stone, lime or brick and roof and finish same and will enclose a garden adjoining said house containing 16 perches (sq. rods; 1 rod = 5 ˝ yds.) and plant the same around the ditch or wall with whitethorn “quicks” (a line of shrubs or plants forming a hedge) 12 ft. distant from each other and make around whole an earth-ditch or stone wall and that then and in such case his heirs, etc. shall peaceably hold, occupy etc. said demised premises (note: the spelling ‘premisses’ is now and then used) for and during the further term of 10 years to commence after the expiration of the before-mentioned term of 21 years.
In witness etc. (signed)
Robert B. Harvey
Signed in the presence of:
Henry Joy Tomb
On the back: Sir Robt. B. Harvey, Bart. To Jas. Killough
Dec. 1, 1792 (should this be 1893?)
Added later: John Killough, Ballymena 4th Sept. 1828
(--out--) lough, Oct. 1821
and (blank) 9th Aug. 1815
(These additions also with witnesses and signed consecutively one atop the other, earliest below.)