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Templecorran Graveyard

Disappeared families


In terms of surnames which are found in the graveyard, there are some which are no longer to be found in the district. These would include, for example, Symington, Sillyman, Simonton, Wisnom, Nickle, O’Prey, Newburn, Menair, McGiffin, Leck, Horsborough, Gembell, and Feer. Surnames taken from the memorials listed in the Ordnance Survey memoir in the 1830s, but which do not appear in the volume of Templecorran gravestone inscriptions published by the Ulster Historical Foundation in 1981, include Ackin, Black, Cocktry, Giles, McElwayne, Martin, Noteman, Ramsey, Templeton, Walker and Williams, suggesting that stones have perhaps become dislodged and might now be buried. Three stones discovered in a similar condition were taken inside the church ruins, including a finely executed Symington stone, and another which may have the surname Topham.


One of the prominent families no longer represented in the area is that of Wisnom. A number of gravestones of this family survive in the graveyard. The Wisnoms were prominent as seafarers, and some of the family also emigrated to California and are regarded as pioneers of the city of San Mateo, where they were builders. A relative, William Calwell, who lived with the Wisnoms in San Mateo for a time, later returned to Ballycarry, bringing with him ideas for houses based on what he had seen in America.


It is clear from many of the gravestones that younger members of families had moved from the area; there are a number of instances of family members in Belfast, for example, having erected stones in honour of their parents or others. The Templecorran graveyard was also clearly a burial ground for families from the surrounding districts of Magheramorne, Loughmourne, Carneal, Glynn and elsewhere, as can be gauged from some of the gravestone inscriptions mentioning place names. This is not surprising given that the Presbyterian congregation in the village was so early and attracted families from a wide area prior to churches being established more locally in their own districts.

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