BADGER FAMILY CHRONICLES

© Christopher Earls Brennen

CHAPTER 11

THE PORTERFIELD FAMILY


Location of Gortlogher townland where Porterfields lived (bottom center)

This chapter delineates the family of Jane Porterfield, the mother of Jane Fyffe and grandmother of Frances Jean Miller (see preceding chapters). Jane Porterfield, the daughter of farmer John Porterfield came from the townland of Gortlogher, parish of Urney, County Tyrone, according to her 1871 marriage certificate. Gortlogher is a townland about 2.5 miles southwest of Sion Mills and about 6 miles southwest of Strabane. This is a probable reconstruction of Jane Porterfields's family:

  1. Robert Porterfield of Gortlogher is listed in Tithe Applotment book for Urney Parish for 1825-27. It seems very likely that he was the father of
    1. John Porterfield of Gortlogher was born about 1817 or before and married a woman named Fanny. In the 1835 records of the Abercorn estates in the Manor of Strabane, John Porterfield is listed as leasing just over 29 acres in Gortlogher, Co. Tyrone, at a rent of 15 pounds, 9 shillings and 3.5 pence. In the Griffith Valuation of 1860, John Porterfield is recorded as leasing house, offices and 27 acres of land in the townland of Cortlogher, parish of Urney, Strabane, County Tyrone, from the Marquis of Abercorn. The following story appeared in the Belfast News-Letter of Sep.20, 1883, and probably relates to John and his children: Report on an accident on the Great Northern Railway at Ballyfatton. An accident by which three persons had a near escape from death has occurred at the level crossing at Ballyfatton near Strabane. It appears that a man named Porterfield residing at Gortlougher, near Sion Mills, was returning with his son and daughter from Strabane market in a cart. On reaching the crossing at Ballyfatton it would appear that the gates were open, and they were just crossing the line when the 1.10pm up train from Derry suddenly swept round the curve which is very sharp at this place. The young man, perceiving the danger, jumped off the cart when the engine caught the trams of the cart, pitching the young woman out with great violence, upsetting the cart, smashing the shafts, throwing the horse partly under the train and smashing two of his legs. The young woman was rendered unconcious and remained so for a long time. The father was also knocked down but managed to escape without injury. The horse was shot. It seems likely that the following were children of John and Fanny Porterfield:
      1. Mary Porterfield was born on or before 1837, the eldest daughter of John Porterfield of Gortlogher. On May 18, 1866, in Urney & Sion Mills Presbyterian Church, County Tyrone, she was married to Joseph Carnwatts (or Carnwaith)(single, father: James Carnwatts) of the parish of Leckpatrick. Their children:
        1. Fanny Cornwath was born on 12 Mar 1867 in Strabane , County Tyrone, to Joseph Cornwath and Mary Porterfield.
        2. William Cornwath was born on 10 Nov 1869 in County Tyrone to Joseph Cornwath and Mary Porterfield.
        3. Joseph Wray Cornwath was born on 04 Dec 1870 in Strabane, County Tyrone, to Joseph Cornwath and Mary Porterfield.
        4. Mary Cornwath was born on 27 Jan 1873 to Joseph Cornwath and Mary Porterfield Cornwath.
        5. Anna Mary Cornwath was born on 26 Feb 1874 in Strabane, County Tyrone, to Joseph Cornwath and Mary Porterfield.
        6. Robert Cairnwaith was born on 29 Oct 1875 in County Tyrone to Joseph Cairnwaith and Mary Porterfield.
        7. Hanna Cairnwaith was born on 07 Apr 1878 in McLeck, County Tyrone, to Joseph Cairnwaith and Mary Cairnwaith Porterfield.
      2. Robert Porterfield, son of John and Fanny Porterfield of Gortlogher, was christened in the Urney Presbyterian Church on Jun.12, 1837.
      3. Joseph Porterfield, son of John and Fanny Porterfield of Gortlogher, was christened in the Urney Presbyterian Church on Aug.25, 1840. On Jan.24, 1884, Joseph Porterfield was married to Matilda Park in Ardstraw Presbyterian Church, parish of Ardstraw, civil district of Strabane, County Tyrone. Joseph must have died before 1901 for in the 1901 Census, 58-year-old widowed farmer Matilda Porterfield (Presbyterian, born in County Tyrone) is recorded as living at house #2 in Gortlogher, Altaclady, County Tyrone, with her children Fanny and Robert as indicated below. In the 1911 Census, 65-year-old widowed farmer Matilda Porterfield is recorded as living at house #7 in Gortlougher, Attaclady, County Tyrone, with the same two children. Matilda Porterfield of Gortlougher signed the Ulster Covenant on Sep.28, 1912, in Sion Mills. Matilda Porterfield of Gortlogher, Sion Mills, County Tyrone, a widow, died on Mar.31, 1921; the administration was given to Fanny Porterfield, spinster. The children of Joseph and Matilda Porterfield:
        1. Fanny Porterfield was born about 1884 in County Tyrone. In the 1901 Census 16-year-old unmarried farmer's daughter Fanny Porterfield is listed as living with her mother at Gortlogher, County Tyrone. In the 1911 Census 24-year-old unmarried farmer's daughter Fanny Porterfield is listed as living with her mother at Gortlogher, County Tyrone. Fannie Porterfield of Gortlougher signed the Ulster Covenant on Sep.28, 1912, in Sion Mills.
        2. male Porterfield was the twin brother of Fanny.
        3. Robert Porterfield was born about 1886 in County Tyrone. In the 1901 Census 14-year-old unmarried farmer's son Robert Porterfield is listed as living with his mother at Gortlogher, County Tyrone. In the 1911 Census 22-year-old unmarried farmer's son Robert Porterfield is listed as living with his mother at Gortlogher, County Tyrone. Robert Porterfield of Gortlogher near Sion Mills, County Tyrone, died on May 24, 1924; administration of his will was awarded to Fanny Porterfield, spinster.
      4. Jane Porterfield, daughter of John and Fanny Porterfield of Gortlogher, was christened in the Urney Presbyterian Church on Dec.30, 1843. Our ancestor, she married James Fyffe on Mar.16, 1871, in Urney and Sion Mills Presbyterian Church, Strabane. On the marriage certificate James is given as of full age, a bachelor farmer of Castletown whose father is James Fyffe, a farmer. Jane is described as a spinster of full age from Gortlogher whose father is John Porterfield, a farmer. The witnesses were W.A.Russell and Thomas Fyffe. Their descendants are described in the preceding chapters.
      5. Fanny Porterfield, daughter of John and Fanny Porterfield of Gortlogher, was born on Feb.1, 1847, and was christened in the Urney Presbyterian Church on Mar.7, 1847. Fanny Porterfield, full-aged, spinster, of Gortlogher (father: John Porterfield, farmer) was married in Castletown by the Strabane Registrar on Nov.22, 1883, to Matthew Fife, full-age, widower, gentleman of Castletown (father: Matthew Fife, farmer).
      6. John Porterfield, son of John and Fanny Porterfield of Gortlogher, was born on Aug.27, 1850. This could well be the John Porterfield who, on Aug.30, 1875, was married to Sarah Lindsay in Donagheady First Presbyterian Church, parish of Donagheady, County Tyrone. The children of John and Sarah Porterfield:
        1. Annie Margaret Porterfield was born on Aug.20, 1876, in County Tyrone to John Porterfield and Sarah Lindsay.
        2. John Porterfield was born on Jun.24, 1878, in County Tyrone to John Porterfield and Sarah Porterfield Lindsay.
        3. James Porterfield was born on May 29, 1880, in Terkernaghan, County Tyrone, to John Porterfield and Sarah Porterfield Lindsay.

Last updated 9/20/11.


Christopher E. Brennen