EARLS FAMILY CHRONICLES

© Christopher Earls Brennen

Appendix 2B. EARLS FAMILIES OF SLAVIN

Several Earls families have lived for a long time in the neighbourhood of Slavin, County Fermanagh, and the parish of Inishmacsaint. There seems to be a general belief that these families are closely related to our Enniskillen family. Elmore Earls (see below) used to comment that the Earls of Slavin had come with the landowners from England and that they had previously lived at Kilmalanapy, south of Enniskillen. Much of the information on the Slavin families comes from the records of the parish of Inishmacsaint. It should however be noted that LDS transcription of the Inishmacsaint records seems to contain a number of discrepancies and peculiarities; the original records need to be consulted to clarify these issues and check the reconstructions which follow. It should also be noted that the parish of Slavin was formed by splitting the old parish of Inishmacsaint. Slavin lies along the main road from Belleek to Enniskillen and is on the southern shore of Lower Lough Erne. Travelling east from Belleek for about 2 miles one passes Carranbeg House on the right where the elderly bachelors, Stewart and Fred Earls, lived. One then passes Slavin Church on the left and, later, the road to Rosscor Viaduct. Just past this intersection the main road goes to the left of a hill over which an older road goes straight. Taking this older road one passes Carrickolagh House on the right where Robert Earls now (1992) lives and a little further on one passes the home of Edward Earls. Here the small island in the lough not far from the shore is Muckinish or White Island once owned by a John Earls. In this appendix we reconstruct some pieces of the histories of these Slavin families

No descendants have as yet been traced of the Francis Earls of Ballyshannon, who is listed among the Defenders of Derry in 1689. The name Francis however does recur frequently among the early Earls families of the region. We begin this account of the Earls of Baalyshannon and Slavin with another Francis Earls who may be his descendant:

  1. Francis Earls (sen) of Slaven East is recorded as Fras. Earls at Slevin (sic) in the Poll Book of 1788 and in 1796 as holding a freehold of house and land in Slaven East, parish of Inishmacsaint, barony of Magheraboy, value 40/-, date Jan.15, 1796 (PRONI D/1096/92). Jas. Earls of Slevin is also recorded in 1788 (T/543/1) and in 1796 as holding a freehold of house and land in Slaven East, parish of Inishmacsaint, barony of Magheraboy, value 40/-, date Jan.21, 1796 (D/1096/92) (see also below). The following may be his son:
    1. Francis Earls of Ballyshannon, born about 1775, married Jane Stephenson. They had at least three children. Agnes Earls who was christened on Mar.7, 1802, in the parish of Inishmacsaint: "i1-1 1802 Mar. 7 Agnes Frans. Earls Jane Stephenson Slaven," is doubtless the "Agnes Earls, second daughter of the late Francis Earls, Esq., and sister to the late C.J. Earls, Esq., of Ballyshannon", who was married on Mar.11, 1841, in Slavin Church, to G. Kittson, Esq., of Drumary Cottage, by the Rev. G. Reade (The Belfast News Letter, Tuesday, 23 March 1841). No Earls were listed at Ballyshannon in the Tithe Applotment Book of 1832, but a Frank Earles is listed at Slavin, parish of Inishmacsaint, Co Fermanagh, as is a Frederic Earles. The dates suggest that Jane Earls formerly Stevenson died soon after the birth of C.J.Earls and Francis Earls remarried, as other children are recorded as of Francis Earls and Euphemia STINSON. Francis Earls died before 1841 and probably before 1832. The prerogative will of Euphemia Earls of Ballyshannon. was registered in 1846.
      1. the eldest daughter of Francis Earls and Jane Stephenson.
      2. Agnes Earls was the second daughter of Francis Earls and Jane Stephenson and was christened on Mar.7, 1802, in the Parish of Inishmacsaint: "i1-1 1802 Mar. 7 Agnes Frans. Earls Jane Stephenson Slaven," She was married on Mar.11, 1841, in Slavin Church to G. Kittson of Drumary Cottage. The Griffiths Valuation of 1863 lists a George Kittson at Drumary, parish of Devenish, County Fermanagh. Drumary is a townland of 165 acres in the parish of Devenish; a further 115 acres lie in the parish of Inishmacsaint. A George Kittson, born in 1811, died in Sep. 1884 in Enniskillen, aged 73.
      3. C.J. Earls, born before 1804, of Ballyshannon, son of Francis Earls and Jane Stephenson, died before 1841.
      4. Thomas Earls was the son of Francis and Euphemia Earls of Slavin. He was christened on Apr.29, 1804, in Middle Inishmacsaint; " i1-2 1804 Apr. 29 Thos. Francis Earls Euphemia Slavin". He presumably died before Oct. 1806.
      5. Thomas Earls was the son of Francis and Euphemia Earls of Slavin. He was christened on Oct.19, 1806, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-4 1806 Oct. 19 Thomas Francis Earls Euphemia Stinson Slaven". Possibly the Thomas Earls of Higginstown, parish of Innismacsaint, County Donegal, close to Ballyshannon, listed in the Tithe Applotment Book of 1833 as holding 7acres 2r at a rent of 2 10s and tithe of 10/7d. May be the Thomas Earls, born in 1806 in Ireland, recorded in the Ontario census of 1861 at Fitzroy, Carleton, Ontario, Canada.
      6. John Earls is another possible son of Francis Earls. John and Sarah Earls of Ballyshannon are recorded as having a son:
        1. William Earls, son of John and Sarah Earls of Ballyshannon, was christened on Aug. 17, 1804, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-2 1804 Aug. 17 Wm. John Earls Sarah Ballyshannon". Possibly the William Earls, born in 1802, who died in Mar. 1884 in Enniskillen, aged 82.


Another early fragment that can be constructed from the leases in Slavin, County Fermanagh, dated 1769, 1774 and 1779:

  1. William Earls, the elder (c1700-1769+). The Earl of Ely granted on 7 June 1769 to William Earls the elder and younger a lease for three lives of land in Slavin. The three lives were those of Thomas Earls (b. 1753), Francis Earls, b. 1768, third son of William Earls the younger, and James Ovens (b. 1774) only son of Thomas Ovens of Kilcoo. He was the father of:
    1. William Earls (c1730-1793+), junior, was also a leaseholder, and, in 1793, is recorded as having paid 10-10-0 to the Earl of Ely for the quarter years rent for Slavin. In 1773 William was appointed "sidesman for the lower middle third" of the parish of Inishmacsaint. In 1793 he is recorded as having paid 10-10-0 to the Earl of Ely for the quarter year's rent for Slavin. William Earls of Slevin (sic) is listed in the Freeholders Lists for 1788 (T/543/1). He was the father of:
      1. Francis Earls, born in 1768, the third son of William Earls the younger, was one of the three lives of the 1769 lease. Presumably the Fras Earls of Slevin of the Freeholders Lists for 1788 and hence the Francis Earls Sen of Slavin East who held house & land at Slavin East, Innishmacsaint value 40/- registered 15 January 1796 (D/1096/92). About 1799, Francis Earls was married in Inishmacsaint to Elizabeth McBrien (then McBrine) and the following christenings are recorded for this couple. Doubtless the Earles, Frank listed in the parish of Inishmacsaint, townland of Slavin in the Tithe Applotment Book of 1834, as holding 10acres 3r 0p value 4/3 assessed for tithe at 1. His children:
        1. Thomas Earls, son of Francis Earls and Isabella McBrien, was christened on Jul.2, 1801, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-1 1801 July 2 Thomas Francis Earls Esble McBride Slaven".
        2. Elizabeth Earls, daughter of Francis Earls and Isabella McBrien, was christened on May 8, 1803, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-2 1803 May 8 Elizabeth Francis Earls Eliz. McBrine Slavin"
        3. Frances Earls, daughter of Francis Earls and Isabella McBrien, was christened on Mar.24, 1805, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-3 1805 Mar. 24 Frances Frans. Earls Isabella McBrine Slavan"
        4. Anne Earls, daughter of Francis Earls and Isabella McBrien, was christened on Jan.18, 1807, in Inishmacsaint.
        5. Edward Earls, son of Francis Earls and Isabella McBrien, was christened on Jul.1, 1810, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-7 1810 July 1 Edwd. Frans. Earls Issabella McBrien Slavan"
        6. John Earls, son of Francis Earls and Isabella McBrien, was christened on May 17, 1812, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-8 1812 May 17 John Francis Earls Isabella McBrien Slavan". Probably the John Earls listed as Earles, John in parish of Inishmacsaint, townland of Slavin in the Tithe Applotment Books of 1834, holding 10acres 3r valued at 4/3d and valued for tithe at 15/-.
        7. Mary Earls, daughter of Francis Earls and Isabella McBrien, was christened on Jun.25, 1814, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-10 1814 June 25 Mary Francis Earls Isabella Slavan"
      2. A second son. Probably the Jas Earls of Slevin of the Freeholders Lists for 1788. Probably the James Earls Sen of Slavin East who held house & land at Slavin East, Innishmacsaint value 40/- registered 21 January 1796 (D/1096/92). James Earls and Elizabeth McBrine [now McBrien] are recorded as the parents at the following christenings:
        1. Anne Earls daughter of Jas Earls and Elizabeth McBrine was christened on Apr.4, 1802, in Inishmacsaint: "i1-1 1802 Apr. 4 Anne Jas. Earls Eliz. McBrine Slaven"
        2. William Earls son of Jas Earls and Elizabeth McBrine was christened on Nov.24, 1805, in Inishmacsaint.
      3. A third son. A Frederic Earls of the parish of Inishmacsaint, townland of Slavin has an identical holding to Francis in the Tithe Applotment Books of 1834, namely 10acres 3r 0p value 4/3 value 1. Doubtless the Frederick Earls, farmer, and his wife, Jane, of Slavin known to us from the baptismal records of the parish of Inishmacsaint which tell us that they had five children:
        1. James Earls, son of Frederick and Jane Earls, was christened on Mar.20, 1840, in Inishmacsaint. Possibly the James Earls, born in 1839, who died in Dec. 1894, in Trim, Co Meath, aged 55.
        2. Francis Earls was christened on Mar.20, 1843.
        3. Jane Earls was christened on Feb.17, 1846.
        4. Frederick Earls was christened on Dec.18, 1847.
        5. Ellen Earls was christened on Jan.16, 1850.
        There is no record of the modern descendants of this family (CEB).
    2. Thomas Earls born in 1753.
    3. daughter Earls who married Thomas Ovens of Kilcoo near Lough Melvin and had a son. Probably the Thomas Ovens of Gortnaleemore listed in the Freeholders Lists as holding house and land in Gortnaleemore, parish of Inishmacsaint, Barony of Magheraboy, value 40/- registered Enniskillen Jan.15, 1796 (D/1096/92 - a Thomas Ovens Sen is registered as having two freeholds of lands in Slatinagh, parish of Devenish). In Griffiths Valuation of 1863 a John Ovens lived at Gortnalee, Inishmacsaint, County Fermanagh, and an Arthur Ovens at Corry, in the same parish. Several of the name are registered in the parish of Devenish, though none at Slatinagh. In 1901 and 1911 there were still Ovens living in both Gortnalee and Corry. The son of Thomas Ovens:
      1. James Ovens was born in 1774.
      Note: a Johnston Ovens, born in 1819, Churchill, parish of Inishmacsaint, County Fermanagh, is given as the son of Simeon Ovens or Johnston. He attested for Sixth Regiment of Dragoons, Enniskillen, Jun.5, 1837, aged 19. He served 24 years 24 days and was given free discharge with pension after 24 years service. Three good conduct badges and long service medal with gratuity of 10. Private Jun.6, 1837, to Dec.19, 1846, corporal Dec.20, 1846, to Apr.2, 1853, sergeant Apr.3, 1853, to Jul.31, 1858, troop sergeant major Aug.1, 1858, to Jun.27, 1861. No medical report or description (Chelsea). Johnston Ovens was married on Jun.9, 1848, in Enniskillen to Margaret Ovens, daughter of Hugh Ovens. He was aged 42 at the 1861 census of England and Wales.

It seems likely that one or more of the following families are descendants of the above.


From LDS records of the Parish of Inishmacsaint:

  1. Thomas Earls and Isabella McBrien are recorded as the parents at the following christening:
    1. Jane Earls was christened on Jul.24, 1808, in the Parish of Inishmacsaint.


From LDS records of the Parish of Inishmacsaint:

  1. William Earls and Anne McBrine are recorded as the parents at the following christening:
    1. Susanna Earls was christened on Sep.12, 1802, in the Parish of Inishmacsaint.


  1. James Earls of Slavin was born about 1810. DNA testing of James Earls' descendant James Frederick Earls (see below) has shown that this family is very closely connected to ours with an estimated common ancestor 10 generations before James Frederick Earls which would mean that common ancestor was born in the mid-1700s. There is therefore some possibility of locating that connection through the written records. James Earls of Slavin is listed as residing in the townland of Slavin in the 1856 Griffiths Valuation, held from the Marquis of Ely as land of 35 acres, comprising house, offices and land of value 21 (land) and 4 (buildings), as well as a further 2acres 3r of land valued at 2. He was probably the same James Earls who with four others rented a herd's house, offices and land totalling 234acres 3r 13p in the "Barr of Slawin" valued at 7 10s, his share being 1 9s. He was the husband of Elizabeth Earls, born about 1821. In the 1901 Census the widow Elizabeth Earls is listed as the 80-year-old farmer's wife and head of a household living in the townland of Slavin. As well as her son James and her daughters Eliza and Mary Jane, her grandson Albert Ernest and a 26-year-old Roman Catholic farm servant by the name of Michael McLaughlin are also included in the household. The family is listed as Methodist. The baptismal records of the parish of Inishmacsaint lists the following children of farmer James and Elizabeth Earls of Slavin: Jane born Jun.14, 1842, Edward born Apr.6, 1844, James born Nov.6, 1846, and Mary Jane born Sep.17, 1855. These years differ by more than a decade from the ages given in the 1901 Census. In 1911 James Earls, head, born in County Fermanagh, aged 48, farmer, lives with his sisters Eliza and Mary Jane and nephew Albert Ernest Earls. The children of James and Elizabeth Earls:
    1. Jane Earls, born on Jun.14, 1842, according to the parish baptismal records was unmarried and lived all her life at Slavin. She died quite young.
    2. Edward Earls is listed living at house no. 4 Slawin, Churchill, County Fermanagh, as a 48-year-old Methodist farmer of Slavin in the 1901 Census though he was born on Apr.6, 1844, according to the parish baptismal records. He married Margretta Allingham of Ballyshannon in Mar.1889 and they had three children listed below. Margretta died young and the following gravestone inscription in St. Anne's Church of Ireland, Ballyshannon, most probably refers to her: ``In loving memory of Lizzie Allingham who fell asleep in Jesus, May 5th, 1887. Aged 23 years. Also her sister Mary Anne Earls, died April 24th, 1896, aged 28 years. Also their father Richard Allingham of Tullyhurk who died 2nd August 1900. Aged 84 years.'' After Margretta's death, Edward remarried in Mar.1889. His second wife Lizzie is listed in the Census as a 43-year-old, born in Leitrim. Also listed are two children, Ethel and Elmore, and two servants: Mary Frebourne, a 60-year-old Methodist domestic servant, and John Moohan, a 20-year-old Roman Catholic farm servant. In the 1911 Census 64-year-old farmer Edward Earls (born in Slavin) and his 60-year-old wife Elizabeth are listed as living in Slavin, Churchhill, County Fermanagh, with their 18-year-old daughter Ethel and their 16-year-old son Elmore as well as a 33-year-old Roman Catholic farm servant, John Morhan. Their house was built of stone or similar with a slate or similar roof; it had 5 windows to the front and 8 rooms for six persons. The 8 office buildings included a coach house, two cow houses, a calf house and a piggery. There was no fowl house. In 1912 Edward signed the Ulster Covenant and and Lizzie the Declaration at Slavin (Fermanagh North). Edward died on Apr.6, 1919; his death was registered by his son Elmore Richard Earls. The children of Edward and Margretta Earls:
      1. Albert Ernest Earls was born in Mar. 1891 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 10-year-old living with his grandmother, Elizabeth Earls, in the townland of Slavin. In the 1911 Census he is listed as an unmarried 19-year-old farmer living in Slavin with his uncle James Earls and his aunts Eliza and Mary Jane Earls. Albert was a market gardener in Slavin most of his life though in 1939 he moved to Millisle, County Down where he gardened until 1960. In that year he moved to Belfast where he resided until his death in 1978. In 1925, Albert married Mary Walmsley of Kesh, County Fermanagh, and they had two daughters listed below. On Dec.3, 1923, Albert registered the death of James Earls who was probably his uncle. The daughters of Albert and Mary Earls:
        1. Olive Earls was born at Slavin in 1926 and attended Drumbad Primary School (see photo). She married Robert Bower, a market gardener from Oldcastle, County Westmeath, in 1948. They lived in Bangor. Robert died on Oct.31, 1992. All the family live in Bangor, County Down, where Olive lives at Churchill Park. Olive and Robert had 5 children:
          1. Ernest Bower, an electrician, lived in Bangor, County Down in 1992.
          2. Trevor Bower, a fitter, lives at 6 Glenariff Park, Bangor, County Down, BT20 4UY (2010).
          3. Alan Bower, a fitter, lived in Bangor, County Down in 1992.
          4. Victor Bower, a baker, lives at 29 Navar Drive, Bangor, County Down, BT20 4UY (2010).
          5. Sylvia Bower, a secretary, lived in Bangor in 1992.

        Drumbad Primary School, Belleek, 1937: Eddy Earls (above right side of sign),
        Olive Earls (lower left), Mina Earls (bottom right) and Jim Earls (bottom, third from right).

      2. Wilhemina Jane Earls, known as Mina, was born at Slavin in 1929 and attended Drumbad Primary School (see photo). She is a poultry farmer and lives at Parkgate, Ballyclare, County Antrim, where her mother Mary still lives with her. Mina is unmarried.
    3. Ethel Wilhelmina Margaretta Earls was born in Dec. 1892 in Slavin and is listed in the 1901 Census as an 8-year-old living with her parents, Edward and Lizzie Earls. In the 1911 Census she is listed as an 18-year-old living in Slavin with her parents. In 1916, she married Matthew Hammond, a farmer from Ballintra, County Donegal, and they had five children listed below. In 1936 they moved to a farm on the Ards Peninsula at Ballyhalbert, County Down. The children of Ethel and Matthew Hammond:
      1. Mabel Hammond was born in 1920 and, in 1940, married William Cowan, a dairy farmer in Ballyhalbert, County Down. Both are now retired (1992). They had two children. Cyril Cowan is an architect who lives in County Down and is married. Gladys Cowan is a secretary who married a man named Sloan and lives in County Down.
      2. Maud Hammond was born in 1922 and married Reginald Bailie, a farmer. They also ran a boarding house but are now retired and living in Portavogie (1992). They had three children, Earl Bailie, a car dealer, Vernon Bailie, a roofer, and Joy Bailie, all of whom live in County Down.
      3. Violet Hammond was born in 1926 and, in 1942, married Walter McFerran, a vetinary surgeon who practised in Lurgan, County Armagh, in Australia, in Belfast and again in County Down. They lived in Glastry House, Ballyhalbert. Walter died in 1982. He and Violet had 5 children:
        1. Ethel McFerran is married and lives in England.
        2. Noel McFerran is a lay preacher who has worked in Ireland and Australia; he is married with two children.
        3. a second daughter who is married.
        4. Ivan McFerran is an agricultural contractor in Ballyhalbert, County Down, and has recently (1992) married.
        5. Clive McFerran is married and lives in Costa Mesa, California.
      4. George Mackay Hammond was born in 1927 and became a Methodist minister in 1950. He has ministered in Ireland and Jamaica and is now a clergyman near Christchurch, New Zealand. In 1970 he married Margaret Morgan in Belfast. They have one daughter, Cherry Hammond, who is living in Western Australia (1992).
      5. John Earls Hammond was born in 1933 and became a farmer in Ballyhalbert, County Down. He married Edith Quinn and they have three children:
        1. Ruth Hammond is a teacher in Cookstown primary school.
        2. Sharon Hammond.
        3. Mark Hammond is a farmer.
    4. Elmore Richard Earls was born in Slavin in Mar. 1895 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 6-year-old living with his parents Edward and Lizzie Earls. In the 1911 Census he is again listed as a 16-year-old living with his parents in Slavin. Elmore farmed all his life in Slavin. In 1926 he married Annie Elizabeth Likley from Kinlough, County Leitrim and they had three children, Edward, James and Margaret listed below. Elmore registered his father's death on Apr.6, 1919. He died on Apr.14, 1981. The children of Elmore and Annie Earls:
      1. Edward George Earls was born on Oct.5, 1928, and attended Drumbad Primary School (see photo). He farmed all his life in Slavin and was unmarried. In 2010 he was still liiving in Slavin.
      2. James Frederick Earls was born in Slavin on Apr.19, 1931. In 1952 he joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary and was subsequently stationed in various places including Larne (1955-1960). In 1960 he was transferred to Cookstown where he still lives (1993). On Aug.26, 1956, he married Mary Watson of Ballyronan Road, Magherafelt. They have four children:
        1. Derek James Earls was born on May 12, 1958, and is a police officer in Surrey, England. He married Debora Carter of Leeds and they have one daughter, Loran Mary Earls.
        2. Richard Samuel Earls was born on Oct.20, 1960, and is a police officer living in Cookstown. He married Karen Simpson of Oldtown, Cookstown, and they have a daughter, Mary Emma Jayne Earls.
        3. Robert Edward Mark Earls was born on Jun.27, 1963, and worked with British Gas before emigrating to Surreyhills, Sydney, Australia where he is a computer operator. Possibly the R. Earls living 2008 at 32 Wharf Road, Gladesville, NSW 2111.
        4. Andrew Earls was born on Feb.24, 1965, and is a store manager in Cookstown. He married Joy Cardwell and they have a daughter, Lisa Mary Earls, born Apr.24, 1991; their address is 3 Ardcumber Road, Cookstown.
      3. Margaret Elizabeth Earls was born on Aug.27, 1933, and was married in Oct. 1956 to Thomas James Ovens, a farmer in Drumbadmeen, Belleek. He is listed in 2010 as Mr Thomas J Ovens Drumbadmeen, Belleek, BT93 3BT. They have three children:
        1. Margaret Ovens was born in 1958 and married a man named Cyril. They have two children.
        2. John Ovens is a farmer in Slavin. He is married with four children. Probably listed in 2010 as J.W. Ovens, Drumcrow West, Roscor, BT93 3BR.
        3. Robert Ovens is an unmarried farmer in Drumbadmeen, Belleek. Listed in phone book under Mr Thomas J Ovens Drumbadmeen, Belleek, BT93 3BT.
  2. James Earls is listed in the 1901 Census as an unmarried 38-year-old farmer living with his mother Elizabeth in the townland of Slavin though the baptismal records give his birthdate as Nov.6, 1846. In the 1911 Census he is listed as an unmarried 48-year-old farmer living in Slavin with his sisters Eliza and Mary Jane and his nephew Albert Ernest Earls. His death was registered by Albert Earls on Dec.3, 1923.
  3. Eliza Earls is listed in the 1901 Census as an unmarried 36-year-old farmer's daughter living with her mother Elizabeth in the townland of Slavin. In the 1911 Census she is listed as unmarried, 46 years old and living in Slavin with her brother James and her sister Mary Jane. Eliza and Mary Jane Earls signed the Declaration in 1912 at Slavin (Fermanagh North).
  4. Mary Jane Earls is listed in the 1901 Census as an unmarried 34-year-old farmer's daughter, born in 1867, living with her mother Elizabeth in the townland of Slavin. However her birthdate is given in the baptismal records as Sep.17, 1855. In the 1911 Census she is listed as unmarried, 44 years old and living in Slavin with her brother James and her sister Mary Jane. Mary Jane signed the Declaration in 1912 at Slavin (Fermanagh North).


  1. George Earls was about 1800 and became a weaver and farmer in Carrickolagh, Slavin, parish of Inishmacsaint. DNA testing of George Earls' descendant Gordon Earls (see below) has shown that this family is connected to ours with an estimated common ancestor 18 generations before Gordon which would mean that common ancestor was born about in the mid-1500s. Carrigolagh is a small townland of only 126 acres. He and his wife Jane, born about 1811, had at least seven children, five of whom are recorded in the baptismal records of the parish of Inishmacsaint. The family remained Church of Ireland and are thus distinguished from the other, Methodist, branches of the Earls family. Listed in the 1834 Tithe Applotment Books as Earles, George in the parish of Inishmacsaint, townland of Carrickgolagh [Carrigolagh], when he held 15acres of arable land, rent 4/-, paying tithe of 15/-. In Griffiths Valuation of 1860 George Earls is listed as holding from the Marquis of Ely 32acres 2r 6p of land valued at 16 10s and house and offices worth 1 5s, together with 4acres 3r 10p worth 1 5s (land only) in the townland of Carrigolagh. An upright dark grey polished granite headstone in the Slavin churchyard memorializes the family: ``Father: George Earls, Mother: Jane Earls, Brother: Edward Earls, Sister: Mary Earls, Sister: Everena Earls, Sister: Fannie Earls, Daughter: Eliza Ann Earls''. George must have died prior to 1901 for the census of that year lists Jane or ``Jean'' as the widowed 91-year-old head of the household in house #1, Carrickolagh, Churchhill, County Fermanagh. The house was built of stone or similar and roofed with thatch or similar; it had 3 windows to the front and 4 rooms inhabited by 9 persons. The family is listed as Church of Ireland and, as well as children and grandchildren, includes a 22-year-old unmarried Roman Catholic farm servant, Patrick Dolan. Probate of the Will of Jane Earles late of Carrigola, Belleek, County Fermanagh, widow who died Apr.12, 1908, was granted at Armagh on Dec.3, 1910, to George McBrien, farmer (effects 491 10s). The children of George and Jane Earls:
    1. Elizabeth Earls was born on Apr.2, 1837, according to the Inishmacsaint parish records. On Jun.30, 1859, Elizabeth was married in the Chapel of Ease at Slavin to William McBrien, a full-aged bachelor farmer of Corren, parish of Inishmacsaint whose father was also William McBrien, a farmer. On the marriage certificate, Elizabeth is described as a full-aged spinster from Carrigola, parish of Inishmacsaint whose father is George Earls, farmer. The witnesses were John and Francis Earls.
    2. Mary Earls was born on Aug.13, 1840, according to the Inishmacsaint parish records. Possibly the Mary Earls who was married on Oct.31, 1874, in Slavin Church of Ireland, Inishmacsaint, Ballyshannon, Fermanagh, to James Carberry.
    3. Anne Jane Earls was born on Apr.25, 1843, according to the Inishmacsaint parish records. Doubtless the Anne Jane Earls who was married on Apr.27, 1871, in Slavin Church of Ireland, Inishmacsaint, Ballyshannon, Fermanagh, to Thomas Wamsley. In 1901 Thomas Wamsley, aged 65, farmer, Church of Ireland, lived at 4 Garran West, Garrison, County Fermanagh, with his wife Anne Jane, aged 55, farmer's wife, and three children. In 1911 Thomas Walmsley, aged 75, lives at house #29 with wife Anne Jane, aged 69, and three children. They had been married 28 years and had four children, three still living. As the 1911 return was compiled by Thomas, the spelling "Walmsley" is no doubt the correct one. Their children:
      1. George Wamsley was born on Aug.19, 1872, and is listed in 1901 as aged 26, farmer's son, at parents' address. Aged 36 in 1911.
      2. Frances Wamsley was born on Apr.30, 1874, and is listed in 1901 as aged 24, farmer's daughter, at parents' address. Aged 34 in 1911.
      3. Elizabeth Wamsley was born on Jun.16, 1876. Listed in 1901 with parents as aged 22, farmer's daughter. As Lizzie, aged 32 in 1911.
    4. Rebecca Earls was born on Mar.16, 1846, according to the Inishmacsaint parish records. According to the 1901 Census she was an unmarried 32-year-old living with her mother in Carrickolagh. One suspects the wrong age was listed. In the 1911 Census she is listed as an unmarried 62-year-old housekeeper living with her nephew Thomas Earls in Carrigolagh.
    5. Everena Earls was born on May 27, 1848, according to the Inishmacsaint parish records. According to the 1901 Census she was an unmarried 28-year-old living with her mother in Carrickolagh. One suspects the wrong age was listed. In the 1911 Census she is listed as an unmarried 60-year-old housekeeper living with her nephew Thomas Earls in Carrigolagh.
    6. Edward Earls was born in 1847 and moved to Scotland where he remained during his working life. Late in life he returned to Ardees Lower where he owned a small farm. He was unmarried and, in the 1901 Census, is listed as a 50-year-old farmer living with his mother in Carrickolagh. In the 1911 Census he is listed as an unmarried 74-year-old farmer living with his nephew Thomas Earls in Carrigolagh.
    7. Thomas Earls was born in 1853 and was a farmer at Carrigola. He married Alicia Strong (born in 1873) about 1897 and they had five children listed below. In the 1901 Census they are listed as living with his mother in Carrickolagh; their ages are listed as 30 and 24 though one suspects some error. The family remained Church of Ireland and are thus distinguished from the other, Methodist branches of the Earls family. In the 1911 Census, 58-year-old farmer Thomas Earls is listed as the head of the household in Carrigolagh, Church Hill, County Fermanagh, which also contains his 38-year-old wife Alicia Earls (born in Carnhugh), their children Rebecca, George, Eliza, Thomas and Mary as well as Thomas's 74-year-old uncle, Edward Earls (born in Carigola), his 62-year-old aunt Rebecca Earls (born in Carigola), his 60-year-old aunt Everena Earls and a servant, 20-year-old Joseph Dolan. Alicia died on Mar.20, 1941, and Thomas followed shortly thereafter on Apr.7, 1941. Their deaths were registered by their son, George William Frederick Earls. The children of Thomas and Alicia Earls:
      1. Rebecca Jane Earls was born in Jun. 1898 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 3-year-old living with her parents in her grandmother's home in Carrickolagh. In the 1911 Census she is also listed as a 13-year-old living with her parents in Carrigolagh. She married William Beattie, a farmer in Tamlaght, Coagh, County Tyrone. Rebecca died in 1980 and is buried in Coagh. They had one daughter:
        1. Olive Beattie married Harry Frazer of Belfast and they have two sons. The family own cafes, one in Bangor, County Down.
      2. George William Frederick Earls was born in 1900 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 11-month-old baby living with his parents in his grandmother's home in Carrickolagh. In the 1911 Census he is also listed as an 11-year-old living with his parents in Carrigolagh. He became a farmer in Carrickolagh and married Violet Johnston of Magheramanagh, Belleek. They had five children:
        1. Robert Earls became a farmer in Carrickolagh. He married Florence Hamilton of Belleek and they live in the ancestral home in Slavin, Carrickolagh House. They have four children:
          1. Marcus Earls married Sharon ?.
          2. Gordon Earls (Gordon.Earls@IGT.com) works for Barcrest Video Group as a Quality Assurance Project Engineer. He lives at 12 Sandbed Lane, Mossley, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire. DNA testing by Ancestry.com in August/September 2010 showed him to belong to haplogroup I1b2 and related within 18 generations to John Anthony Michael Earls.
          3. Richard Earls
          4. Rhona Earls
        2. Charlotte Earls married Albert Elliott of Glen West, Garrison, near Belleek.
        3. Violet Earls married Albert Craig (born 1943) of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, a police superintendant. They went to live in Portadown, County Armagh. Albert was Albert was shot and killed by the IRA on Sep.18, 1976 in Brownstone Road, Portadown, while directing traffic. He was 33. They had one child, Earl Craig. Violet lives in Portadown where she works as a nurse.
        4. Joyce Earls is married and has children.
        5. George Earls became a farmer in Ardees Lower. He married Doreen Henderson, a teacher from Irvinestown, County Fermanagh. They have two children, one named Edwin.
      3. Elizabeth Ann Earls was born in 1903 and is listed in the 1911 Census as an 8-year-old living with her parents in Carrigolagh. She never married and lived at Carrickolagh all her life. She died about 1930.
      4. Thomas Edward Earls was born in 1906 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 5-year-old living with his parents in Carrigolagh. He never married and farmed all his life in Ardees Lower.
      5. Mary Alicia Earls was born in 1910 and is listed in the 1911 Census as with her parents in Carrigolagh. She married William Love of Roscor, Belleek. They had 3 sons and 3 daughters all of whom married and are still alive (1992). William Love died about 1980.
      6. Robert Earls was born in 1914 and farmed all his life in Ardees Lower. He never married. Robert died on Jun.12, 2001, at the age of 87 and was buried in the family gravesite.


  1. John Earls was born in 1851 and became a farmer at Gortnalee, Slavin. Gortnalee is a large townland of 495 acres in the civil parish of Inishmacsaint. On Mar.20, 1873, in Slavin Church of Ireland, Inishmacsaint, he married Eliza[beth] Somerville. He and his wife Eliza are recorded in the 1901 Census as a 50-year-old farmer and his 54-year-old wife living in Gortnalee with their son, William John Earls, and a 17-year-old Roman Catholic servant, Mary Campbell. The family is listed as Church of Ireland. In the 1911 Census they are listed as a 60-year-old farmer and his 70-year-old wife Elizabeth living in Gortnalee with their son, William John Earls, his wife and their two children. They had been married 38 years and had 2 children both still living. Their son:
    1. William John Earls was born on Mar.4, 1874, at Gortnalee according to the parish baptismal records (though he was registered as Henry). In the 1901 Census he is listed as a 24-year-old farmer's son living with his parents in Gortnalee. On Jun.27, 1907, in Ardess Church of Ireland, Magheraculmoney, Irvinestown, County Fermanagh, William married Elizabeth Jane Frazer who came from Kesh, County Fermanagh, about 1900. In the 1911 Census 38-year-old farmer William John Earls and 29-year-old Elizabeth Earls and their two children are listed as living with his parents in Gortnalee. Later William John sold the farm at Gortnalee and took up residence at Carranbeg House in Carnbeg, Belleek where he farmed until his death about 1960. William and his wife had six children:
      1. Mary Elizabeth Earls, known as Molly, was born in Jun.1908 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 2-year-old living with her parents in Gortnalee. She married a farmer named Samuel Crawford Donaldson, born in 1904. They lived at Cloghore (Clyhore), Donegal, about a mile northwest of Belleek. Samuel and Molly appear in the 1939/40 Ballyshannon voters list for Cloghore along with Samuel's brother Robert Donaldson. Sam died in 1966 and Molly in 1997; they are buried in Belleek (see the Donaldson Family Tree at http://www.mccaskie.org.uk/Don-Clogh.htm). Sam and Molly had 3 children:
        1. William Donaldson, born about 1925, was unmarried and farmed the family land at Cloghore.
        2. Derek Donaldson became a customs officer in Southampton, England. His second wife is named Sharon.
        3. Joan Donaldson married John Morrow in Ballintra, County Donegal, and they live at Rossnowlagh, near Bundoran.
      2. Norman John Earls was born about 1910 and is listed in the 1911 Census as a 1-year-old living with his parenst in Gortnalee. He became a farmer in Carnbeg and Gortnalee. He was unmarried and died about 1970.
      3. Stewart Ramsey Earls was a farmer in Carnbeg and Gortnalee and never married. He and his brother, Fred, lived in the old family home, Carranbeg House.
      4. Margaret ``Gretta'' Earls was probably the Margaret Stewart Earls who was born in Jun. 1913. She lived in Carnbeg. Unmarried, she died in 1964.
      5. Frederick Earls was born in Jul. 1921. He became a farmer and lived with his brother in Carranbeg House. He never married and died about 2002.
      6. John Earls was a grocer in Belleek. Unmarried, he died about 1970.
    2. Eliza Earls was born on May 15, 1877, according to the registration records and was still alive in 1911 according to the census. Possibly the Elizabeth Earls who was married on Jun.15, 1911, in Belleek Church of Ireland, Belleek, County Fermanagh, to Maxwell McBrien.


  1. James Earls and his wife, Elizabeth, were farmers in Callagheen according to the baptismal records of the parish of Inishmacsaint. In the Griffith Valuation of 1863, John Earls is listed as holding over 25 acres of land and a house worth 25 shillings in the townland of Callagheen from the Marquis of Ely. This family died out in the late 1800s and the land came into the possession of James and Elizabeth Earls of Slavin (see above). They sold it about 1920. The children of James and Elizabeth Earls of Callagheen:
    1. James Earls was born on Dec.31, 1849, according to the parish baptismal records.
    2. Eliza Earls was born on Jun.26, 1852, according to the parish baptismal records.


  1. John Earls was born about 1790 and became a merchant in Ballyshannon, County Donegal. The 1839 Enniskillen Directory lists ``James'' Earls of Main Street, Ballyshannon, as a haberdasher and linen and woollen draper. The 1846 Slater's Directory corrects that mistake and lists him as John. John died in 1844 and Sarah continued the business. The 1856 Slater's Directory and the 1863-64 Ulster Directory both list Sarah Earls as proprietor of a linen and woollen drapery and haberdashery store on Main Street, Ballyshannon. The 1857 Griffith Valuation lists Sarah Earls and "Fanny" Earls as resident on Main Street, Ballyshannon. Fanny may be John's sister. The 1863-64 Ulster Directory lists Sarah Earls, wholesale and retail woollen and general fancy trade, Main Street, Ballyshannon, County Donegal. Sarah died in 1865 in Ballyshannon, aged 50, and John and Sarah are buried in the Slavin churchyard where their gravestone inscription reads: ``Sacred to the memory of John Earls who departed this life on June 7, 1844, aged 54 years. Also in the memory of his wife Sarah Earls who departed this life on Dec.19, 1865, aged 48 years.'' According to the baptismal records of the parish of Inishmacsaint John and his wife, Sarah, had a daughter:
    1. Eliza Jane Earls, born on Mar.5, 1843. Possibly the Eliza Jane Earls who married in 1866 or 1876 in Dublin South.


  1. John Earls, parish clerk and farmer, and his wife, Jane, of Carrickolagh are known to us from the baptismal records of the parish of Inishmacsaint. Presumably the John Earls who is recorded in Griffiths Valuation (1860) as leasing from the Marquis of Ely house, offices and land in Carrigolagh measuring 41acres 2r valued at 17 10s (land) and 1 (buildings). The will of Jane Earls of Carrigola, Belleek, County Fermanagh was registered on Dec.3, 1910. John and Jane Earls had nine children.
    1. Francis Earls , born on Jul.9, 1837.
    2. Mary Earls , born Jul.9, 1837.
    3. James Earls , born Jan.30, 1840.
    4. Steenson Earls , born May 18, 1842.
    5. Thomas Earls , born Dec.2, 1844.
    6. Mary Jane Earls , born Jan.18, 1847.
    7. William Earls , born Apr.17, 1849.
    8. Joseph Robert Earls , born Mar.11, 1856.
    9. Anne Earls , born Jun.3, 1858.
    We have been unable to find any record of the modern descendants of this family.


In addition there is the following ancient Protestant Early family from Donegal which may well originate in the Belleek area, just across the county line from Slavin (information on this family from Kat Vallish, kvallish@bellsouth.net):

  1. John Early was born about 1642 and emigrated to Virginia from Donegal in 1661. The story of John and his descendants is told in the book "The Early Family which settled upon the eastern shore of Virginia" by Ruth Hairston Early. The family legend is that they were of English origin (not Irish or German) and that three brothers came to the colonies together. They were also Protestant. John married Margaret Loyall and they had at least one son:
    1. Thomas Early married Elizabeth Johnston and that marriage is recorded in the records of the parish of Christ Church near James City, Middlesex or Lancaster County. Thomas and Elizabeth died in 1716. Their son
      1. Jeremiah Early whose birth was also recorded in the records of the parish of Christ Church near James City, Middlesex or Lancaster County. After his parents death Jeremiah was raised by the Beuford family in Middlesex County. He married Elizabeth Beuford and they moved west to Madison County. They had 13 children and gave all the boys names beginning with J. Jeremiah was involved in civic duties and his name shows up in county records of all kinds. This lineage produced a civil war general, a Virginia State Senator, a Georgia governor and many farmers and teachers. Of Jeremiah and Elizabeth's children:
        1. Joshua Early left home with two other brothers and moved southward to Wolftown, Bedford County, Virginia where he lived next door to Thomas Jefferson. Joshua built a house and married Mary Leftwich and they had 11 children among whom:
          1. Thomas Early who went on to become a Southern Methodist minister. Thomas married Susanah Rucker stayed in Bedford County until their eldest son, William, was 19 or 20 years old and then moved to Franklin County, Tennessee, with their 8 or so younger children. Their son:
            1. William Buford Early stayed in Bedford County, Virginia, until the Choctaw Treaty created available land in Mississippi. In 1846 he and his family moved to Water Valley, Mississippi. His descendants were "farmers" who owned a 160 acre farm but mostly made a living as real estate brokers, etc. Kat Vallish is a descendant of this family.
          2. Another son who went on to become a Southern Methodist minister.
          3. A son who became the first Bishop of the Southern Methodist Church.

Last updated 7/28/11.


Christopher E. Brennen