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Bogstown Farm Steelstown Road former Lairds Lane Shantallow Circa 1966

‘Scots Hardened on the Anvil of Ulster’ – Lord Laird

Welcome to the Laird family website; this site contains the genealogies and biographical information on several Laird families from County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and County Donegal, along with many inter-related families, including the Hunter, Neely, Wilson, and Boggs families.

It is the historical repository of my research and the work of other dedicated researchers who have spent countless hours in search of the lives and stories behind ordinary everyday people who no longer have a voice. Our ancestor’s decisions and accomplishments echo across time and are a part of where and who we are today. I hope you will find the information interesting and that you may be able to find other family members and help contribute to this rich history.

Kilderry is a civil registration district just outside the present-day City of Londonderry. The District covers the Shantallow, Ballyarnett area within Northern Ireland. It extends across the border into County Donegal, encompassing the village and District of Muff, any birth in the District is shown as Kilderry.

Bogstown or Boggstown was built around 1698 and consisted of a farmhouse and farm buildings with a row of labourers’ cottages within a stone courtyard. It was situated in the townland of Shantallow on a small country road that leads to the village of Steelstown; the farmhouse had been the residence to a family of 17th-century Scottish plantation settlers called Boggs. From 1742-1753 it was the home of Joseph & Sarah Boggs, in 1797 Richard Laird died, leaving Bogstown to his nephew James Laird and subsequent generations of Laird’s lived at the Bogstown Farm until the early 1900s.

On August 19th, 1886, a grandson of James, Richard Laird, at 20 years of age sailed from Tilbury docks in London on the SS Orient for Melbourne, Australia. He joined his older cousin John Laird Hunter who left Donegal and settled in Melbourne four years earlier. Richard’s mother Ann Laird, sister Mary and elder brother, Thomas remained at Bogstown, where the family lived until about 1900. It was later sold in the late 1920’s and rented; Bogstown remained largely unchanged until 1960.

Around 1966 Bogstown was purchased by the Catholic Church, the buildings removed and a new Chapel was built there in 1976, which is as it is today. The narrow country lane which led to both Bogstown and Steelstown called the Steelstown Lane (formerly Laird’s Lane), was widened to become the Steelstown Road, and throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s new private bungalows and houses were built, which now line the road.

Bruce Laird – 2023

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