Name: Matthew Beckett
Birth: FEB 1757 in Newfield House, Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Ireland
Death: FEB 1841 in Helena Beckett Hill Home, Winfield Twp., Butler Co., Pennsylvania
Residence: Arthur Hill farm, near Boggsville, Butler Co., Pennsylvania
Occupation: Farmer at "Fairy Hill", Townland of Moygarriff, Aghalee, Co., Antrim, Ireland
Burial: Cemetery, Slate Lick, Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania
Emigration: 30 APR 1823 Left Belfast for Canada
Emigration: 10 JUN 1823 Arrived at St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada
Emigration: JUL 1823 Women & children used the high wheeled, horse drawn, covered wagon, the men walked to Pittsburgh, then to the Arthur Hill farm; ( Matthew's son-in-law and daughter Helena)
Emigration: ABT 25 JUL 1823 Arrived at Baltimore, Maryland
Emigration: AUG 1823 Arrived at the Arthur & Helena Hill farm in Winffield Twp., Butler Co., Pennsylvania, on the Armstrong Co., border, about three miles from Boggsville, Pennsylvania.
Religion: Church of Ireland
Reference Number: 3
See the diary of his grandson, Samuel Martin who was born on December 1 6, 1818, their voyage to Canada, then to USA in 1823.
Lord Hertford's records supply us with many facts, and from 1611 onwar ds these may be more easily ascertained. Tenants rolls are available and m any old maps are clearly marked, the smallest cottage being shown.
An interesting event happened at Lord Hertford's hunting lodge. AI t he western corner of the Parish is a fertile coastal strip dividing Lou gh Neagh from the bogland. On this stands the Deerpark, which was once sur rounded by a high wall l2-I5 feet high, and where Lord Hertford kept a he rd of deer. One calm day a huge oak tree fell, the girth of which was so v ast that two men on horseback holding long sticks could not make them me et across it. The trunk was taken away by boat and used for the keel of t he famous battleship, the Royal Oak - the branches were used for buildi ng at Portmore.
The surrounding land, being low-lying, in periods of flood, the rais ed ground became an island and many of these so-called islands retain t he name ' Island, such as Branken's Island and the Island Hill. Branken 's Island was used by Lord Hertford for duck shooting. It is thought by so me authorities that Bracken was a Dutch engineer, spelt Vranken, who was e mployed by Lord Hertford to improve his estate and to drain the land.
In 'Heterogenea or Medley' by J. M. Johnston, written in 1803, is an inter esting account of Aghalee district.
`Some of the tenants farming here at this time were called:- Gresham, H igginson, Waring, Close, Bullmer, Bunting, Charlton, Aprichard, Gwilliam s, Haddock, Wheeler, Garrett, Bennet, Gregory, Willis, Shillington, Hammon d, Moore, Richardson, Clark, Smyth, Peel, Bickett, Lamb and Carter etc.'
'The estate is in an oval form from Clogher in the Co., of Down to Hogp ark Point in the Co., of Antrim and about ten miles in breadth from near M oira to Crumlin. It is one of the most populous, best improved, and occupi ed by the most wealthy and substantial yeomanry of any perhaps in Irelan d. The farms are in general 20-100 and 200 acres. The houses are neat a nd in general white, surrounded by fields well cultivated and well plante d, much after the English fashion, the tenantry being descended from Engli shmen in general, and follow the customs, manners, industry and religi on of their ancestors
Father: James Beckett b: 1705 in Newfield House, Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Ireland
Mother: Mrs. James Beckett
Jane Hall b: ABT 1760 in Soldierstown, Aghalee Parish, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
in Co., Antrim, Ireland
- Mary Beckett b: ABT 1787 in "Fairy Hill", Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
- William Beckett b: OCT 1787 in "Fairy Hill", Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Helena Beckett b: 1789 in "Fairy Hill" Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Anna Jane Beckett b: ABT 1795 in "Fairy Hill", Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Henrietta Beckett b: 7 JUN 1798 in "Fairy Hill", Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Thomas Bickett b: 28 DEC 1801 in "Fairy Hill", Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Eliza Beckett b: 1 FEB 1803 in "Fairy Hill" Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Matthew Bicket b: 1805 in "Fairy Hill", Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Margaret Beckett b: 31 OCT 1810 in "Fairy Hill", Ballinderry, Co., Antrim, Northern Ireland