Subscribers to The Sure Way to Heaven … a book by a Co. Antrim priest, Rev. MacCary, in 1797

By William Roulston (originally published in the Directory of Irish Family History Research in 2012)

In 1797 Rev. James Mathew MacCary, Catholic Rector of Carrickfergus and Larne, published a volume in Belfast entitled The sure way to heaven, being a new volume, such never before published in English on the truths of salvation. This included an extensive list of subscribers which is reproduced below. According to Monsignor James O’Laverty, in his Historical Account of the Diocese of Down and Connor (1884, vol. iii, pp 111–12), MacCary,

was a native of the parish of Culfeightrin, and became a member of the Dominican Convent of Coleraine. At that period the friars of the Coleraine Convent were scattered through the counties of Derry and Antrim, where they officiated generally as assistants to the secular priests. He was sent to the Dominican Convent, in Lisbon, where he was ordained, in 1781, and was appointed to Larne and Carrickfergus, in 1787. When M’Carey was appointed to the parish which then comprised the present parishes of Carrickfergus, Larne, and Ballyclare, there was not a church in all that extensive district. He erected the Chapel of Ballygowan, and a temporary chapel at Carrickfergus, and he published a very instructive little volume, entitled, The Sure Way to Heaven …In January, 1798, he delivered a very loyal address to his parishioners, which was afterwards published. In the meantime the temptations thrown in his way, while he was collecting money for the chapels, and while he was selling his book, were fast undermining the early training, which the poor friar had received in the Dominican Novitiate of Lisbon. Falling into intemperate habits, for which he was suspended, he long continued to disgrace the Church, and outrage society, by celebrating illicit marriages. At length, weighed down with years, many of which were spent in gaol, he died a very penitent and edifying death, in the General Hospital, Belfast, in 1833.

O’Laverty also quotes from an advertisement issued by MacCary, dated 21 July 1811, which begins:

To whom it may concern. The Most Reverend James Matthew Vincent MacCary, by Christian, lawful marriage, a surviving son of Cornelius MacCary and Margaret MacCary, who when living, were land possessors of Carey Hills, Carey Mills, and Carey Mill Townlands, tenements, &c, of the Parish of Culfaughtrin.

The list of subscribers runs to over 450 names. From the addresses given, it is clear that many were from his own congregation, while others were from his home area in North Antrim. Others were from further afield. Several priests were resident in Lisbon in Portugal and one or more of them may have been colleagues from MacCary’s own time there. Over 90 of the subscribers were named McCary suggesting the author had made full use of his family networks in securing support for his volume. A number of these McCarys were resident overseas, in Glasgow, Whitehaven and Philadelphia. Among the more interesting names listed are those of Charles and Luke Teeling, leading inhabitants in Lisburn and prominent in the events surrounding the 1798 Rebellion. Another interesting subscriber is Edmond McGildoney Esq., Ballycastle Quay. He was the agent for the Earl of Antrim’s estate and numerous documents relating to his activities are available in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (ref. D1375). Some Protestants were also subscribers to this book, including the Rev. ‘Foot’ (Futt) Marshall, Presbyterian minister of Ballyclare. The subscribers are listed in the order in which they appear in the published volume. Note that names prefixed by Mc or O’ are arranged by the letter that follows the prefix, i.e. McCary is listed under C and O’Neil is listed under N. There are some exceptions to this, such as a John Bruslee listed under D. The last three dozen names are not listed in any particular order. There are also some names that have queries hanging over them, but we have let them stand as they are. Thanks are due to Mark Campbell for preparing this list of names.

Details of subscribers

Title Forename Surname Residence Other
Patrick McAlister
John McAlister Belfast
John McAlister Kilwaughter
James McAlister Kilwaughter
Neal McAlister Kilwaughter
James McAlindon
Henry McAlindon
Denis McAulay Ballycastle
William McAnally
Tobias McAulay Clady, Glendunn
Daniel McAulay Clady, Glendunn
Arthur McAulay
Rev Mr Burns Villa-Nova
John Joseph Breen Downpatrick
Thomas Burns
John Betty
William Byers
Henry Braney
William Betty
Henry Bleaney
William Bleaney Glenwherry
Patrick Bleaney Glenwherry
Rev Peter O’Boyle Randalstown
Rev James Brodley Lisbon, Portugal
Rev James Brodley Maghera
Patrick Bennet Ballyclare
Thomas Burke
Patrick Burke
Robert Burke
Martha Burke
Mrs Burke Ballycastle
Nathaniel McConn
John Clynton
Mr George Croley Ballykilbeg
Edward McCann
Andrew Crawley
Thomas Carr
Bernard Coyle Lurgan
Thomas Coyle
William Crinnan
Eleonor Carr
Margaret Carolan
Patrick Connor Belfast
Patrick O’Connor
Edward Carvel
William Corran Knockeneldon
Miss Elizabeth Corran Knockeneldon
Thomas Curtis
Catherine Corran Knockeneldon
James Corran
James McNamara
Henry McNamara
Henry Connor
James Crangle
Henry McCann
Alexander Carson
William Clark
Rev Thomas Clark Lisbon, Portugal
Rev John Cunningham Lisbon, Portugal
James Carvel
Patrick Carvel
James McCarton
Fergus McCarton
Patrick McCarton
Very Rev Paul McCarton Catholic Dean of Down
Rev Patrick McCarton PP of Loughin Island
John Crangle
John McCary Cary
Neal McCary Cary
Cornelius McCary Cary
James McCary
Jane McCary
Mary McCary
Margaret McCary
John McCary
Daniel McCary
Christian McCary
John McCary Usher’s Quay, Dublin
Catherine McCary
Mary McCary
Bryan McCary Glendun
Bernard McCary
Patrick McCary
Hugh McCary
Daniel McCary
Patrick McCary
James McCary Kedbays [Red Bay?]
Patrick McCary
Bryan McCary
John McCary
Jeremiah McCary
Patrick McCary
Eneas McCary
Catherine McCary
Jane McCary
Bridget McCary
Margaret McCary
Mary McCary
Hugh McCary
Margaret McCary
Susanna McCary
James McCary
John McCary
Patrick McCary
Mary McCary
Penelope McCary
Jane McCary
Catherine McCary
Rose McCary
Ann McCary
Isabella McCary
Mary McCary
Denis McCary
Shean McCary
Hugh McCary
Bryan McCary
Peter McCary Cregbilly
Richard McCary
Margaret McCary
Sarah McCary
Eleonor McCary
Hugh McCary Glasgow, Scotland
Daniel McCary Glasgow, Scotland
John McCary Glasgow, Scotland
Mary McCary
Margaret McCary
Bridget McCary
John McCary
Mary McCary
Margaret McCary
Patrick McCary Whitehaven, England
John McCary Whitehaven, England
John McCary Colerain[e]
Hugh McCary Larne
Patrick McCary Carrickfergus
Margaret McCary
Catherine McCary
Patrick McCary Liberty of Carrickfergus
John McCary Liberty of Carrickfergus
Cornelius McCary Liberty of Carrickfergus
James McCary
Mary McCary
Catherine McCary
Margaret McCary
Rose McCary
Elizabeth McCary
Chelly McCary
Elizabeth McCary
Alice McCary
James McCary Kiliff Islekell
Cornelius McCary
Neal McCary
Denis McCary Ballycastle
Margaret McCary Ballycastle
Catherine McCary Ballycastle
Margaret McCary Ballycastle
John McCary Philadelphia
James McCary Philadelphia
Neal McCary Ballycastle
John McCann Dublin
Eleonor McCary
Margaret McCary
John Cox
Edward Cusgrehan
James McCurdy
Francis McCurdy
Miss Capples
Eleonor Dogan
James Doran
Edward Doran
Patrick Donnelly Triplo
Bernard Dogan
Mary Dogan
John Dorby
Rev Mr Denver Ballykilbeg
Peter Denver
Hugh Drake
Eleonor Dogan
Rev Francis McDonagh
Alexander Darroch Larne
Henry Darroch
John Darroch
John Bruslee
Rev Hugh Develin Duncan
Rev Hugh O’Donnell Belfast
Rev Mr Mr McAley Islekeal
Mrs Ennis Kilwaughter
Rev Hugh Egan
Rev Dominick Egan
Mary Egan
Susanna Egan
Thomas Egan
Francis Egan
Thomas Eley
James Eley
John McEley
Mary McEley
Jane McEley
Patrick Ewer
Mrs Ewer
Nicholas Fitzsimons
John Flanigan
Patrick Flanigan
Rev William Fegan
James Fowler
Margaret Fitzsimons
Bernard Fitzsimons
Rev Mr Fitzsimons
Patrick Foy
Hugh Flinn
Eleonor Fitzsimons
Eleonor Fitzpatrick
George Fowler
Luke Fowler
Arthur Fyce?
Edward Fitzsimons
Patrick Fitzsimons
Henry McFale
Daniel McFale
Rose McFale
Francis McGill Carncastle
James McGill
Henry McGuire
Thomas McGuire
Ann McGrath
Hugh Gribbon
John McGenty
James McGuire
Charles McGarel
John McGreevey
Nicholas McGenty
Thomas McGlenan
Rev Mr McGlenan Downpatrick
Henry McGrath
Nicholas Gribbin
John McGrath
Daniel McGrath
Patrick McGiveran
John McGiveran
Henry McGrath
Nicholas Gribbin
Isabella McGradey
Edmond McGildoney Ballycastle Quay Esquire
John Gorman Carrickfergus
William Gorman
John McGildowney Merchant
Charles McGildowney
John McGawlow
Jane McGildowney
Mary McGildowney
John Higgins Ballymon[e]y
Dr Christopher Higgins
Patrick Higgins Killimurry
Patrick Higgins Belfast
John Haughey Belfast
James Haughey Belfast
John O’Hagian Ballymena Merchant
Thomas Hand
John Hynes
John Honan
Charles O’Hagan
William Heaney
Patrick Henevey
Henry O’Heveran
Peter O’Heveran Belfast
John O’Heveran Larne
William O’Heveran Larne
Rev Patrick Hologan Mullingar
Mrs Innis
Brother Francis Joseph Jennings Belfast 5 copies
Brother Francis J. Patrick Jennings Belfast
Thomas Jennings
Elizabeth Jennings
Francis Jennings
Dominick Jennings
Mary Jennings
Very Rev Charles Keatean Philadelphia
Henry Kaine
Charles Kaine
John Kaine
Nathaniel Kelly
Michael Kelly
Patrick Keenan
John Keenan
William Keenan
Sarah Keenan
Hugh Kelly
William Keirnan
John McKeirnan Cary, near Ballycastle
Thomas Killing?
Rev James Killon
Hugh Killon
John King
Elizabeth Killon
Mathew Kenedy
Mary Kelly
Philip McKeiver Ballycastle Merchant
Daniel McKeiver Ballycastle
John McKeiver
Very Rev Dr F. Levans Lisbon, Portugal
Rev Mathew McLorenan Armoy
Nicholas Lenon
James Lenon
Patrick Lenon
John Lee
Bernard Laverty
James Leard Ballyclare
Isaac Lee
Rev. Peter Linch Leitrim
Rev Mr Foot Marshal Ballyclare
Mrs Marshal Ballyclare
Anthony Mutes Ballyclare
Denis McAulay Ballycastle
Patrick D. Monan Belfast
Mary Monan Belfast
Hugh McMullan
Mary Mulholme
Patrick McMullan
Edward McMullan
Ann McMullan
James Murry
Daniel McMurry Craigbilly near Ballymena
Patrick McMurry Craigbilly near Ballymena
Patrick McMullan
Elizabeth Maddin
Patrick Murphy Ballyclare
Stephen Murphy Ballyclare
Bernard McMurry
Rev Francis John McManus
Rev Fr Roger McManus
John McManus
John Murtock
Thomas Mullan Belfast Merchant
Catherine Moore Whiteabbey
Margaret Moore Whiteabbey
Hannah Moore Whiteabbey
Edward Moore Whiteabbey
Loughlin Morrison
Alexander Morrison
Archibald Morrison
James Morrison
Thomas Moate
Henry Nevan Macheraconey
Bryan O’Neil Cary Mills
Edmond O’Neil Cary Mills
Neal O’Neil
Patrick O’Neil
Catherine O’Neil
Jane O’Neil
Mary O’Neil
Susanna O’Neil
Bridget O’Neil
James O’Neil Ballymena Merchant
Bernard O’Neil
Con O’Neil Larne
Daniel O’Neil Grenachan
Denis O’Neil Grenachan
John O’Neil
Michael O’Neil
Felix O’Neil
Michael O’Neil
John O’Neil
Charles O’Neil
Neal O’Neil
Patrick O’Neil
Hugh Owens
Patrick O’Connor Belfast
Daniel O’Connor
Rev Peter O’Boyle PP of Antrim, Drimall etc
Denis O’Brien
Andrew Porter
James Plunkett
Michael Pyce
Miss Mary Pyce
John Price
Nicholas Price Ballycarry
Miss Mary Price Ballycarry
Jinkin McQuilon Creigbilly
Bryan McQuilon
Alexander McQuilon
Charles McQuilon
John Davis McQuilon Carrickfergus
William McQuilon
Thomas Query
Michael Ranachan
John Ranachan
Patrick Roney
John Reaney
Nicholas Richey
Hugh Roney
Patrick Rogan
Edward Rogan
James Roney
John Roney
Mathew Rogers
James Roche Belfast
Rev Father Roche Limerick
Thomas Savage Portaferry Esquire
Rowland Savage Personhall Esquire
Philip James Savage
William Savage
Francis Smyth
Thomas Smith
Daniel Smyth
Bernard Smyth
James Smyth
James Smyth
Mary Smyth
Robert Savage
Ann Smale
Bernard McSharry
Patrick Strange
Patrick Straney
Daniel McE. Shanogee Drimeroan at Ballycastle
Neal McShanogee Drimeroan at Ballycastle
Mary McShanogee
Cicily McShanogee
Margaret McShanogee
Catherine McShanogee
Daniel McShanogee
Nelly McShanogee
Bridget Sheridan Belfast
Luke Teeling Lisburn Esquire
Charles Teeling Esquire
William Torney Downpatrick
John Tegart
Timothy Tomulty Lambeg, Lisburn
John Toole Glenoo
John Tucker Dublin Esquire
Felix Venny
Hugh McVeay
Rev Patrick Walsh Lisbon, Portugal
Peter Waterson
Thomas Waterson
Thomas Waterson Jnr
Rev Patrick Ward Naas
Thomas Gribbin
John Davey
Bernard Murray
Francis Jennins
John Haughey
Patrick Mullin
Edward Cushnaghan
John McGan
John O’Cougherty
Patrick Murray
Laughlin Black
Michael Black
Archibald Black
Frances McCurdey
Rev John O’Brien
Walter O’Brien
Richard Walsh
John Maghlachlin Doagh
Catherine Kelly
John Sheart Whiteabbey
Alexander Stuart Whiteabbey
Frances Stuart Whiteabbey
Catherine Stuart Whiteabbey
Margaret Moore Whiteabbey
Catherine Moore Whiteabbey
Hannah Moore Whiteabbey
John McCacherty Whitehouse
John McGiveran Whitehouse
Henry Curry Whitehouse
Charles Mullan Whitehouse
Henry Nevan Whitehouse
Edward Andrew Whitehouse
Charles Lennan Stramillis
Henry Callican Bushmills
Catherine Callican Bushmills
John McMichael