Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal Updated 12 April 2024 Date of 'update' refers to the whole section update, not to every individual file.
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ROURKE, Eugene
(About 1764-)
(About 1765-)
(About 1751-)
HAGAN, Elisabeth
(About 1785-)
ROURKE, Francis (DNA Linked)
(About 1806-007/1883)


Family Links

1. CAMPBELL, Margaret (DNA Linked)

ROURKE, Francis (DNA Linked) 2 3 4 5

  • Born: About 1806, Ireland 6
  • Marriage (1): CAMPBELL, Margaret (DNA Linked) on 24 January 1835 in Dungannon RC parish, County Tyrone, Ireland 1
  • Died: 4 April 1883 at 7.00 pm, Clarkston, New Monkland Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland 3

   Cause of his death was bronchitis over 5 days.3

   Other names for Francis were O'RORKE, Francis,7 O'RORKE, Fras,1 O'ROURK, Francis,1 O'ROURKE, Francis,1 8 ROARKE, Francis,5 ROORKE, Francis,9 RORKE, Fran,5 RORKE, Francis,5 10 RORKE, Frank,5 ROURK, Francis,11 ROURKE, Frank 12 and ROURKE, Fras.1

  General Notes:

As yet, no documentary evidence of the date or place of the birth or baptism of Francis Rourke has been found.

The 1861 census for the village of Omoa in the parish of Shotts, Lanarkshire, recorded Francis O'Rourke, aged 52 years, and his wife Margaret O'Rourke, aged 47 years, living at 73 Omoa Square, in Omoa Iron Works, with their nine children ranging in age from 5 years to 24 years. Margaret O'Rourke's father, Patrick Campbell, aged 84 years, was also recorded living in the household of which his son in law was the head, as was a lodger, Hugh Trainer, a coal miner, unmarried, aged 24 years and Irish born like the O'Rourke family. Their dwelling was tiny, having only one windowed room.

Francis' son John Rourke married in 1862 in Cambusnethan parish. Francis was recorded in John's marriage certificate as a 'coalminer'.

Francis Rourk, who was present where the death occurred, gave notice of his grandson Francis Rourk's death before the registrar at Wishaw on 20 July 1868, and made his X mark.

In 1871 the census for the village of Clarkston, in the parish of New Monkland, recorded Francis Rourke as head of a household that comprised himself, his wife and their five unmarried sons and two unmarried daughters. The family's address was 'Houses South of Edinburgh Rd', the very same as that of their neighbours around them, and their house was recorded as having two windowed rooms. Many of the neighbours were, like Francis, working as coal miners, but not all. One was a grocer and spirit merchant, another a silk printer, and a third was a brass founder. Francis Rourke, however, born in Ireland, was a coal miner, and recorded as 58 years of age.

In 1872 Edward, Francis' son, married. Francis was a coal miner then, according to Edward's marriage certificate.

In 1874 Francis' namesake, his son Francis, was married. Francis senior was recorded in the marriage certificate as a coal miner.

The O'Rourke household recorded by the census of 1881 was noticeably fewer than number than those of the two previous census entries. There were only five members of the household, the two parents and three unmarried children. They were living still near Airdrie, in New Monkland parish, and their address now was Brown's Land, Clarkston. As in 1871, their house had two rooms that had at least one window. The head of the O'Rourke household, Francis, was recorded as a married, aged 61 years, born in Ireland and working still as a coal miner.

Ten days after the census was taken Margaret Rourke, Francis' wife, died. Then, about eight months after the census, in December 1881, Edward O'Rourke, son of Margaret and Francis, died suddenly. In their death certificate, Francis' employment was noted as that of coal miner.

In the marriage certificate of his daughter, Mary O'Rourke, in 1882, her father, Francis, newly a widower, was still a 'coal miner'.

On 10 March 1883, less than a month before his death, Francis Rourke notified the registrar at Holytown of the birth of his grandson, James McGonegal, son of Francis' daughter Mary. James had been born on 22 February 1883 at Chapelhall. Francis gave notice of the birth at Holytown and gave his own address then as Brown's Land Clarkston. He made his X mark.

Francis Rourke died at Clarkston in 1883 at the recorded age of 62 years, almost certainly an underestimate - perhaps he was a very vigorous man. In his death certificate he was recorded as a coal miner, widower of Margaret Campbell. Both of his parents were deceased.

In 1896 Daniel O'Rorke, Francis O'Rorke's son, died. Francis was recorded in Daniel's death certificate as 'coal miner deceased'. The same designation was noted in the death certificate of his son, William O'Rourke, in 1899, and on that of his son, John O'Rorke, who died in 1906. 3 7 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

  Research Notes:


This townland has various spellings historically, including Crinagh and Crenagh.
The list of townlands in County Tyrone in Wikipedia describes it as:
Dungannon Middle/(Barony)
Tullyniskan/(Civil Parish)
Dungannon/(Poor Law Union)"


In the list held for the parish of Tullyniskan in County Tyrone, the townland of Crenagh features fifty seven times. Amon those surnamed Rourke in Crenagh are:

"ROURKE Frank Crenagh"


Since Francis and his family were first researched more information had been found in the church baptisma of County Tyrone records and the Tithe Applotment lists which alter what we know about the family, in particular the time range and the number of children they had.


Since we have no documents to tell us when Francis was born or baptised, we have to rely on other sources to enable us to calculate when he was born. This is no easy task if we want to be precise, since there is a good deal of inconsistency in the ages attributed to him in the evidence we do have.

The age recorded in the census entries we have for Francis are:
1861 - 52 years - birth year 1808-1809
1871 - 58 years - birth year 1812-1813
1881 - 61 years - birth year 1819-1820
We know Francis Rourke and Margaret Campbell married in 1835, though we do not know what were their ages then. If the baptism records for the children born before their marriage are accepted, that is from June 1823, it can be seen that Francis must have been born no later than about 1810. If the five year differential in age between husband and wife recorded in the 1861 census is accurate, then Francis would have been born about 1805-1806, making his age at death about 77 or 78 years.

One or two more considerations are due. First, the average age of males marrying in Ireland, in the period 1830-1840, was 27-28 years. Generally people, especially non-literate people, tend to create a younger age for themselves in census entries as they advance in age. That means that earlier entries, on the whole, are more reliable than later ones for many people. Taking these two points together, it's not unreasonable to suggest that in 1835 Margaret may have been about 25 years old and Francis a few years older, not necessarily as much as five but at least about three or four years older.


Francis worked as a coal miner at the Omoa Iron Works, and his family lived in one of the workmen's houses around the works. The cashier from the works, John Ferguson, acted as enumerator for the local 1861 census for the houses numbered 1 to 80 around the Square.

The Cleland Estate, in the parishes of Bothwell and Shotts, Lanarkshire, passed from the ownership of Alexander Inglis Hamilton to that of the Dalrymples in the mid-eighteenth century. In 1797 Omoa Iron Works was erected by Colonel William Dalrymple, a military man who had helped to capture Omoa in Honduras, South America. Colonel Dalrymple of Cleland it was who sought and gained the right in a new Bill of the 1790s to 'make a line' from the new road proposed between Glasgow and Edinburgh, through the villages of Airdrie and Bathgate, which would leave the Shotts road at Bellshill and would return to it at the confines of Whitburn parish. Then in 1813 he also opened the Omoa Waggonway from Newarthill collieries to Omoa Iron Works.

At first there was only one furnace at Omoa, employing about 40 miners, and 40 smelters and other workmen, and 12 horses. The furnace consumed nine tons of calcined ironstone per day, with casts every eighteen hours, yielding about two tons of pig-iron each cast.

Coal works were numerous in that part of Shotts parish, and pits were sunk in, among other places, the areas of Knowenoble, Windyedge and Greenhill. Robert Stewart, who had worked in finance and accounts for Dixon of Govanhill, and later became Lord Provost of Glasgow, a city of which he was a native, followed his father as iron and coal master at Omoa, reconstructed the works, and leased a rich mineral field that contained a very fine seam of black ironstone, making himself a rich man in the process.

Industrial development demanded iron be produced, and mining coal profitably was fundamental to the work of an iron works. The coal mines in Ireland were looked to for labour. The Iron Company sent representatives over to Ireland to hire miners for the Scottish mines, including those in the Cleland area. This is one of the reasons why so many Irish families came to Omoa in Shotts parish. Many came from County Donegal and nearby districts, and the Castlecomer coal fields in what is now north County Kilkenny and south County Laois.

The influx swelled the numbers or residents of what had been modestly small villages previously. In the whole of the parish of Shotts, the Old Statistical Account recorded for 1791-1799, there were 518 families. In the New Statistical Account of 1834-45, the population of the whole of the parish of Shotts was quoted as 3750. In 1861, the first year we have evidence of the O'Rourke family living in Scotland, Omoa and Cleland together had a population of 1233: Cleland had 190 males and 175 females; Omoa had 509 males and 359 females. In 1866 Robert Stewart died; in 1868 the Omoa Iron Works closed. By this time there a much competition. In 1871 the Omoa/Cleland population was 819. In 1881 it was 1626. This seesawing of population visited other Lanarkshire villages too throughout the 19th and into the 20th century.

The census enumerator, among others, witnessed the changes that had taken place in Omoa Square by 1871:
"Omoa Square lying on the west boundary of this parish (Shotts) consists entirely of workmen's houses about 153 in number lying around what was at census 1861 named 'Omoa Iron Works' but as the works have since been entirely demolished and as about half the houses are at present empty it is considered that 1 enumerator instead of 2 (as at census 1861) will be perfectly able to overtake the enumeration of this division."


Airdrie is situated on a ridge of land running between east and west Scotland. The monks of Newbattle were responsible for the inital development of the 'Monklands' area in the medieval period, and it was they who established the original Glasgow to Edinburgh road through Airdrie and Bathgate. This road or track became know as the King's Highway.

In May-June of 1795 a new road was opened between Glasgow and Edinburgh passing through Airdrie and Bathgate, on which ran a regular stagecoach service. Cross streets linked it and the King's Highway which ran roughly parallel to it. That new road is now the main street of the town.

Communications were very important in the ongoing development of the Industrial revolution, and the coming of, first, the waggonway and the canal network, and, later, the railway. Railways were vitally important in the shifting of goods and general mobility of the population. With the Industrial Revolution Airdrie grew from a village to an important town; indeed New Monkland parish was in the forefront of the development. The network of smaller hamlets and villages around Airdrie, too, shared in this growth and transformation. The railway crisscrossed this industrial centre of Scotland through its major systems, like the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway.

When the Rourke family moved to Clarkston, or Clerkston as the New Statistical Account names it, in the parish of New Monkland, some time between 1861 and 1871, the village had developed as a result of the changes brought by the industrial revolution. It sat to the south and east of the town of Airdrie, on the right bank of the North Calder Water, and, like its neighbouring parishes, was rich in mineral resources. Coal, iron, paper and cotton mills offered jobs to many who flocked in. It had a station on the main Bathgate line. The railway line had a branch to Dr Clark's pits at Clarkston. In the early days the line was had been worked with horses, then later with steam powered locomotives. Dr William Clark of wester Moffat was a Town Councillor of Airdrie, and in 1843 part of Graham Street, Airdrie, was renamed Clark Street.

The period 1871-1921 saw the first substantial extension of Airdrie burgh beyond its original boundaries. The burgh took to itself the eastern part of Rawyards and the villages of Clarkston, Drumgelloch and Colliertree. These were previously part of New Monkland. At present, Clarkston, or what remains of it, is a suburb of Airdrie, rather than a separate village. A large electricity sub-station occupies the site of Clarkston Station. Some railway track and a signal box remain.


St Margaret's RC Church was built in 1839, and the School was set up in Airdrie about 1850. The first incumbent of the Church was Father Daniel Gallagher who ministered on horseback journeys to "most of the Romanists in Lanarkshire."

There was also a subscription school at Clarkston. The Catholics had schools in Watt Street, Rawyards, and in Market Street, before they founded the present St Margaret's School near the church at the turn of the century.

By 1871 there were five exclusively Roman Catholic friendly societies. Since Roman Catholics were debarred from many, if not all, of the friendly societies, this was an important development for poor people with no social security cushioning in their lives. Any help they needed had to come from within their own community. During the great Coal Strike of 1894, Fr Van Stiphout recorded how St Margaret's Church provided bread for the children of the miners daily for fourteen weeks.

There was serious hostility in the Monklands area of Lanarkshire between Protestants and Catholics, for a great many reasons, and this broke out into open violence on many occasions. There is a tale that one Father McNab, the 'tough' priest of St Margaret's, kept a keg of gunpowder in his house in preparation for a last ditch stand against a band of Orangemen who were threatening to wreck his chapel. 12 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

  Medical Notes:

The cause of death, 'bronchitis etc', was certified by J. M. Alston MD.

John Rourke, son of the deceased and who had been present where the death occurred, gave notice of his father's death before the registrar, John Macarthur, at New Monkland on 4 April 1883, and made his X mark. 3

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Emigration: to Scotland, Between 1855 and 1861, Ireland. Mary, the youngest daughter of Francis and Margaret Rourke was born in 1855 in County Tyrone, Ireland. The family were recorded by the 1861 census living in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Francis married Margaret CAMPBELL (DNA Linked), daughter of Patrick CAMPBELL and Sarah HAMMEL, on 24 January 1835 in Dungannon RC parish, County Tyrone, Ireland.1 (Margaret CAMPBELL (DNA Linked) was born about 1810 in Ireland 35 and died 13 April 1881 at 11.40 pm in Clarkston, New Monkland Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland.). The cause of her death was 'affection of stomachie'.3

  Marriage Notes:

"Church Marriage Record

Date of Marriage:24-Jan-1835
Parish / District:DUNGANNON
Husband:Fras Rourke
Status:Not Married
Wife:Margaret Campbell
Status:Not Married
Husband's Father:Rourke
Wife's Father:Campbell
Witness 1:Rourke Sarah
Witness 2:Mallon Mary
Notes: //

Copyright Irish World Heritage Centre (Tyrone + Fermanagh)"


In the Church Marriage Record transcribed (above) and made available by the Irish Family History Foundation, Fras Rourke and Margaret Campbell were recorded as having been married on 24 January 1835 in the parish of Dungannon in County Tyrone Ireland.

The address noted beneath Margaret Campbell's name was 'Derry'. The record noted that each of the couple was 'not married'. Only the surnames of the father of each was recorded 'Rourke' and 'Campbell'; no name was entered for the mothers of either bride or groom. Two witnesses were named: Sarah Rourke and Mary Mallon.

The parish of Dungannon referred to here is the Roman Catholic parish of Dungannon in the Diocese of Armagh.


1 Irish Family History Foundation, Dungannon RC parish County Tyrone Church Marriage Record.

2 1871 UK census, Vol 651 Clarkston new Monkland En Dist no. 13.

3 GRO Scotland, Deaths New Monkland Clarkston no 89 1883.

4 Poor Law records, General Register of Poor: Parish of Bothwell Lanarkshire 1888.

5 Irish Family History Foundation, Dungannon RC parish County Tyrone Church Baptism Record.

6 1861 UK census, Shotts parish 655 Omoa Iron Works 73 Omoa Square.

7 GRO Scotland, Deaths Bellshill 625/3 no 195 1896.

8 1861 UK census, Shotts parish Omoa Iron Works 73 Omoa Square.

9 GRO Scotland, Shotts 1862.

10 GRO Scotland, Deaths Dalziel 639 no 74 1895.

11 GRO Scotland, Cambusnethan Parish Lanarkshire Deaths 1868.

12 Internet Site, PRONI: FIN 5A/268/1&2 Transcribed by Len Swindley.

13 1881 UK census, New Monkland Clarkston 651-2/15/10.

14 1861 UK census, 655 Shotts En D not noted page 16.

15 GRO Scotland, Holytown 1883 birth certificate RDS 625/2 no 80.

16 Personal Communication, Jim Boswell e-mail 12 Feb 2003: marr cert RDS 651/1 No 119 Airdrie 1874.

17 GRO Scotland, Deaths Hamilton 647 no 474 1881.

18 GRO Scotland, Deaths Holytown 625/2 no 27 1899.

19 1871 UK census, New Monkland parish Clarkston village Houses South of Edinburgh Road.

20 GRO Scotland, Holytown district Lanarkshire Marriages 1882.

21 George Thomson, Airdrie: A Brief Historical Sketch (1971), page 28.

22 George Thomson, Airdrie: A Brief Historical Sketch (1971), page 25.

23 George Thomson, Airdrie: A Brief Historical Sketch (1971), page 7/8.

24 The Book of Airdrie: A Composite Picture of the Life of a Scottish Burgh (1954), page 121.

25 The Book of Airdrie: A Composite Picture of the Life of a Scottish Burgh (1954), page 183.

26 The Book of Airdrie: A Composite Picture of the Life of a Scottish Burgh (1954), page 186.

27 The Book of Airdrie: A Composite Picture of the Life of a Scottish Burgh (1954), page 229.

28 The Book of Airdrie: A Composite Picture of the Life of a Scottish Burgh (1954), page 240.

29 The Book of Airdrie: A Composite Picture of the Life of a Scottish Burgh (1954), page 243.

30 The Book of Airdrie: A Composite Picture of the Life of a Scottish Burgh (1954), page 278.

31 Internet Site,,_North_Lanarkshire and

32 Internet Site, Google Book Why Ireland Starved By Joel Mokyr

33 Irish Family History Foundation, County Tyrone Dungannon Church Baptism Record.

34 Internet Site,

35 1861 UK census, Shotts 655.

Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal

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