George Houston[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

Male Abt 1769 - 1836  (~ 67 years)

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  • Name George Houston 
    Born Abt 1769  Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Will 1826  Newry, County Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    _UID 759AD2167BE041A19675FB7BF5C803C53AAA 
    Buried 1836 
    Died 15 Aug 1836 
    Person ID I8305  Treefive
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 

    Father William Houston,   d. 29 Aug 1781 
    Family ID F5197  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Anne Ferguson,   b. Abt 1773, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Oct 1834, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 61 years) 
    Married 3 May 1794  Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
     1. Margaret Houston,   b. Abt 1794,   d. 24 May 1878  (Age ~ 84 years)
     2. Elizabeth Houston,   b. 31 Jul 1799, Hartsford, County Down, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1834, County Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years)
     3. Frances Houston,   b. 1804,   d. 5 Jul 1890, Oyster Cove, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)
     4. Thomas Mercer Houston,   b. Abt 1810,   d. 1862, Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 52 years)
     5. George Houston,   d. 17 Jul 1842, Berbice, British Guiana Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F2682  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 

    • Prior to the Tithe Applotment Books (1823-1837) in Ireland, various records were prepared including Valuation Office Field Books, which recorded details relating to soil quality. However, the book for Lisnacree, Kilkeel noted, under 'Houses', one property - a house and office of George Huston Esq. The valuation at 20 Jan 1835 was £12 14s. No entries for George Houston (or Huston) have been found in the Tithe Applotment Books which followed the Valuation Office books.

      The Newry Telegraph of 15 Sep 1842 carries an interesting death notice:
      'At Berbice [(British Guiana], of decline, 17th July, George Houston, Esq., son of the late George Houston of Heartsford'.

      This George is likely a son of George Houston of Hartsford (and brother to Elizabeth and Frances), as his death year is later than George (abt 1769-1836) who was the father of the 2 girls.

      Griffith's Valuation of the townland of Lisnacree in 1864 reveals much about the Houstons at that time. There are no Synnot entries, in fact there are none in Co. Down. The reps of George Houston were the head lessors (owners) of much of Lisnacree townland, over 85% of it by rateable value. In Lisnacree Upper, the reps leased a mountain from the Trustees of the Kilmorey Estate and leased a house and land to Henry Kilpatrick . It is not clear which George Houston the reps were acting for - the father (abt 1769-1836) or the son (died 1842 in British Guiana). It is assumed here that it was the father. There was one property (no. 18) owned by another Houston family member - a small property of 3 roods and 35 perches, comprising a house, office and garden owned by Margaret Houston (daughter of George Houston snr) and leased to Thomas M. Houston, her nephew (Thomas had died in 1862 at Lisnacree Cottage). Margaret Houston was not a lessee of any property at Lisnacree, so may have lived with Thomas and, if she was still alive in the 1860s, Thomas' wife Sarah (neé Smyth). This may have been Lisnacree Cottage, where Thomas died. It seems that Griffiths had carried out the valuation survey some years before the date of 2 Jul 1864 applying to Co. Down valuations.
      This situation is corrected in the Valuation Revision Books (1864-1879) where amendments to lessor and lessee of no. 18, recorded as at 1869, ended with the lessor of the property being the reps. of George Houston, and the lessee being Jas. Penman. By contrast, in 1878 Margaret Houston and her great nephew Charles Synnot were recorded as taking over the ownership of most of the properties in Lisnacree where the reps. of George Houston were owners/head lessors. Among such properties was the Church Education Society's School house and graveyard, noted as 'Exemptions' and having no rateable annual valuation figure. The School house and graveyard were the subject of a codicil to Margaret Houston's will.

      During the period of the Valuation Revision Books, 1864-1929, there are no properties in Liscranee either leased by Margaret, or owned by her in fee (i.e. owned and occupied), except the Church Education School house and grave yard, which was classed as an Exemption. It is possible that Margaret, and later her great nephew Charles Forbes Goodhart Synnot, lived in the school house, at least after 1869 when the property (no. 18) previously leased by Margaret to her nephew Thomas M. Houston is recorded as being leased to Jas Penman.

      Hartsford was the home of the Houstons for many years - George was born there abt 1869, and so was his daughter Elizabeth in 1799. Hartsford was renamed Lisnacree House, probably when the Houstons leased it to George Waring abt 1850. Among the leases in Lisnacree townland by the reps of George Houston, who were generally replaced as owners by Margaret Houston and Chas Synnot, recorded as 1878, was Lisnacree House, on a 49 acre site, the lessee in 1864 being George Waring.

      Susan Waring replaced George Waring as the lessee of Lisancree House, the change recorded as 1880. For the properties where Margaret and Charles were joint owners, Margaret's name was removed, the change being recorded as 1882 (Margaret had died in 1878).

      At Lisancree House, Holt Waring replaced Susan Waring as lessee, the change recorded as 1898.

      Charles Synnot continued as owner of much of Lisancree townland until his death in 1906. His name is recorded as being removed in 1912, when many lessees gained the properties in fee. This change may be related to the break-up of large estates in Ireland in the early 1900s, although Charles' holding were modest, at least compared to estates such as Ballymoyer, Co. Armagh (over 7,000 acres). The total area of Lisancree townland was 257 acres.

      In the final Valuation Revision Book (1915 to 1929), the reps of George Houston still owned one property - no. 18, once leased by Thomas M. Houston from his aunt Margaret. Charles Synnot owned 6 properties, total about 38 acres, including the school house and graveyard (1 rood 30 perches) which was no longer 'exempt'. Charles also remained the lessee of 'land and mountain' of 36 acres and 21 perches in Lisancree Upper.

      The Valuation Revision Books conflict with histories which say that the Warings purchased the Houston property Hartsford in 1850 and re-named it Lisnacree House. it seems that, at least initially, they leased the property from the Houstons. The Valuation Revision Books (1899-1914) is the first Book where a Waring is listed as owner of Lisnacree House in fee (i.e. ownership rather than lessee); Holt Waring was the owner in 1912.

      One could speculate on the rationale and/or source of the Houston/Synnot transactions over the years, but without the will of George Houston, there is only the will of his daughter Margaret to indicate what happened. It seems likely that much of the activity, even well after George's death, was dictated by his will or by some other instrument. At her death, Margaret owned 2 shares of the Houston properties in the townland of Lisancree. It does not say how many other shares there were, or who owned them. Also unexplained is how Margaret and her great nephew Charles Synnot replaced the reps of George Houston as property owners in 1878, decades after George died, nor why the reps had replaced Margaret as the owner of property no. 18 in 1869. But the 2 shares that Margaret willed to Charles most likely enabled him to take Margaret's share of the properties after she died.

      Also unknown is how the wider Synnot family influenced matters in Lisancree. Charles' father Robert (M.D.) died at Lisancree in 1871 and is buried in the Tamlaght graveyard there, then owned by the reps of George Houston. Robert's will was proved on 24 Nov 1871 by his son Charles, address 2 Royal Avenue, Chelsea, described as a 'gentleman, son of one of the executors'. One of the executors must have been Robert's wife Catherine. The effects of the estate were under £3000.
      Charles may have been in Ireland at various times, but the codicil to Margaret's Houston will notes that he was not in the country when it was written (1 May 1878).
      Charles's son Frederick was born at Lisancree in 1880, and his daughter Edith at Naas, Co. Kildare in 1882.
      He was in Wales in 1886, working as a school teacher, and both facing bankruptcy proceedings and administering his mother's will. A deposition by his widow Edith at probate hearing in 1906 said that Charles had made his will in Jan 1887 in Tenby, Wales, and that they had left for Australia immediately afterwards. Charles' two youngest children were born in Victoria in 1888 and 1893. Charles may have spent most of his adult life in Australia, but this has not been verified. In any event, he was most likely an absentee landlord to his Lisancree properties. When he died in 1906, he had no real estate in Victoria, and personal assets worht less than £60. His widow Edith inherited his real estate in Ireland, as well as all of his personal estate. This lead to most of Charles' Lisancree properties being sold. It is not known what happened to former Houston properties still in family hands in the Valuation Revision Book 1915-1929 - one property still held by the reps of George Houston and the six properties held, and the mountain and land in Lisancree Upper leased out by Charles Synnot.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4501] BOK Burke - A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 2 (Burke, 1894), page 1971, 1972 (Synnot).

    2. [S4504] BOK Burke - Burke's Irish Family Records (1976), pages 1089-1092 (Hart-Synnot).

    3. [S5571] TRE212 Houston, Frances, TRE212., 16 January 2017; Frances Houston; Family F48420.

    4. [S5572] TRE210 Houston, James, TRE210., 16 January 2017; James Houston; Family F48411.

    5. [S5577] DTH816 Death Houston, Mary Ann, DTH816., Death notice; 24 October 1834; Mary Ann Houston.

    6. [S5578] DTH815 Death Synnot, Elizabeth, DTH815., Death notice; 5 September 1834; Elizabeth Synnot.

    7. [S5645] Church Records, 7 May 2017; Marriage 5 Apr 1848, St Anne's, Dublin: Thomas Mercer Houston & Sarah Smyth.

    8. [S4780] MAR Ireland Diocesan and Prerogative Marriage Licence Bonds Indexes 1623-1866.

    9. [S5620] MAR Farrar's Index to Irish Marriages 1771-1812, May 1794, George Houston of Mauroe, co Down and Mary Anne Ferguson of Dawson St, May 1794.

    10. [S5621] MAR606 Marriage Houston, George and Ferguson, Mary Anne, MAR606., 1794 Houston, George and Ferguson, Mary Anne.

    11. [S5622] MAR, Ireland, Marriages in Walker's Hibernian Magazine, 1771-1812, May 1794, George Houston of Mauroe, co. Down and Mary Anne Ferguson of Dawson St.

    12. [S5632] MAR Houston, George and Ferguson, Mary Anne, Marriage 3 May 1794 Mary Anne Ferguson and George Houston, St Annes, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

    13. [S5633] MAR615 Marriage Houston, George and Ferguson, Mary Anne, page 396, marriage 3 May 1794 George Houston and Mary Anne Ferguson.