Wills of Johnston Irwin and wife Ann Irwin
Transcribed by Tom McFarland, June 2013

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These two Wills were recovered from PRONI in connection with a search for the husband of Charlotte Kelly. Charlotte (born about 1857) was a daughter of Joseph Kelly and Charlotte (McFarland) Kelly. The search was initiated because Charlotte (McFarland) Kelly left a Will which names Ethel Mary Irwin (born about 1889) as a grandchild, implying that her daughter Charlotte married a man with the surname "Irwin". An 1887 civil registration exists (through RootsIreland) for the marriage of the younger Charlotte to a Johnston Irwin.

However, an "Ann Irwin" claims (in her Will below) to also be the wife of Johnston Irwin. And another RootsIreland search reveals an 1855 marriage of a Johnston Irwin to someone named Ann. Neither Ann's Will nor the Will of Johnston Irwin below make any mention of either Charlotte or Ethel. Therefore, it is likely that there are two people named Johnston Irwin , one marrying Ann in 1856, the other marrying Charlotte Kelly in 1887. Evelynn Cartwright found a more complete record of the former: Ann Anderson married Johnston Irwin on 1 Fen 1855 at Derrygortreavy COI, Clonfeacle Parish, Tyrone. As revealed in the Will of Johnston Irwin below, this marriage produced a daughteer, Jane Eliza Irwin, and Emerald Ancestors has a record of her marriage to Moses Frazer on 22 Feb 1888 in the same church.

In the 1901 census, there are 2 entries for Johnston Irwin, and a third for Johnston Stevenson Irwin. A 78-year-old Johnston is a widow in 1901, so he is likely the Johnston Irwin whose Will appears below, and in the same house #10 in Carrowbeg lives his son Johnston Stevenson Irwin, with wife Prudence. The third "Johnston Irwin" lives in house #5 in Carrowbeg with wife Margaret and 3 children, including 5-year-old Samuel, who appears in house #8 in the 1911 census reproduced below.

Ethel Mary Irwin is listed as being in the Ann Jane Irwin home in Carrowbeg for both the 1901 and 1911 censuses, as a neice of "Ann Jane Irwin", the unmarried 1911 head of household.

1901 Ireland census, house 9 in Carrowbeg (Benburb, Tyrone)
Surname Forename age Sex Relation to Head Religion Birthplace Occupation Marital status
Irwin Mary 82 Female Head of family Protestant Episcopalian Co. Tyrone Farmer's mother widow
Irwin Ann Jane 43 Female Daughter Protestant Episcopalian Co. Tyrone Farmer not married
Irwin Margaretta 27 Female daughter Protestant Episcopalian Co. Tyrone Farmer's sister not married
Irwin Ethel 12 Female Grand daughter Protestant Episcopalian Co. Tyrone Scholar not married
Hughes John 39 Male Servant Roman Catholic Co. Tyrone Farm servant not married

1911 Ireland census, house 8 in Carrowbeg (Benburb, Tyrone)
Surname Forename age Sex Relation to Head Religion Birthplace Occupation Marital status
Irwin Ann Jane 68 Female Head of family Church of Ireland Co. Tyrone   single
Irwin Ethel Mary 22 Female Neice Church of Ireland Co. Tyrone   Single
Irwin Samuel 15 Male Nephew Church of Ireland Co. Tyrone Scholar single

Several RootsIreland searches were run, to test parentage of the above. A RootsIreland search will reveal free of charge whether a record exists with the entered search parameters, but will ask a 5 fee to actually see the full record. The results are as follows. :
[1] Ethel's father of record is Johnston Irwin, and her mother is Charlotte (no surname discovered)
[2] Samuel's father of record is William Irwin, and his mother is Charlotte (no surname discovered)
[3] In spite of [2] above, the 1901 census lists Samuel as a son of Johnston Irwin, both in the same house.
[4] RootsIreland returns only one death record for Charlotte Irwin between 1880 and 1920 (in 1907)

In any case, there is an unresolved problem of relationship among these people, and a question of the role and location of Charlotte Irwin after her 1887 marriage to a Johnston Irwin.

Will of Johnston Irwin dated 1904
Irwin, Johnston

This is the last Will and Testament of me Johnston Irwin of Carrowbeg in the County of Tyrone, Farmer, hereby revoking all former Wills and Testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me. I give and bequeath the proceed of my life Policies to my sons Johnston Stevenson Irwin and William John Irwin to be dividedd between them in equal shares. I give all the rest of my property consisting of monies, securities for money debts due to me, and any other property of which I may die possessed to my said son Johnston Stevenson Irwin subject to the payment by him of the following legacies : a legacy of Two hundred pounds to the present wife of the said Johnston Stevenson Irwin, a legacy of Two hundred pounds to my daughter Jane Eliza Frazer which is in addition to what I have already given to her, said legacy to be paid to her on the expiration of two years from my decease, and a legacy of Five hundred pounds to my said son William John Irwin. I appoint my said son Johnston Stevenson Irwin my sole Executor.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 6th day of December, One thousand nine hundred.

_______________(signed) Johnston Irwin ______________

Signed and acknowledged by Testator as and for his last Will in presence of us at same time who in his presence at his request and in presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses _____

Simmons Solr Dungannon
Saml. Christie Solr Assistant Dungannon

Probate 4th May 1904

Will of Ann Irwin dated 1897
Irwin, Ann

This is the last Will and Testament of me Ann Irwin of Carrowbeg , wife of Johnston Irwin. I hereby by the permission and with the consent of my husband give devise and bequeath the Policy of Assurance on my life No. 39.012 for three hundred pounds with the Scottish Widows Fund & Life Assurnce Society & all sums or bonuses payable thereunder to my four children: Andrew, Lizzie, Johnston Stevenson, & William John Irwin, to be equally divided between them, share & share alike. I hereby appoint my husband Johnston Irwine & James Millar of Corrincalman executors of this my Will, given under my hand this 27th day of November 1897

_______________(signed) Anne Irwin ______________

Signed by the said Ann Irwin as and for her Last Will and Testament in presence of us present at same time, who at her request and in her presence and in presence of each other subscribe our names as Witnesses

Bridget MrDonald
Charlotte Sloan

Probate 2nd April 1898