The Clugston merchants appear prominently in The Town Book of the Corporation of Belfast.
Another major source is the hearth tax rolls of 1666 and 1669 for County Antrim. This is the nearest thing we have to a census.
There is one also one more Clugston in the 1666 County Monaghan hearth tax rolls
Parish of Shankill, Town of Belfast: Mr John Clugston Sen 1666 Sen; 1669 2 hearths. John Clugston Jun, 1660, titulado; 1666 3 hearths; 1669 5 hearths. John Clugston 1669 1 hearth. William Clugston 1669 2 hearths. Parish of Shankill, Malone: John Clugston, 1666 1 hearth. Parish of Masserene, Blaris: (The town of Lisburn is mostly in Blaris) John Clugdeale (with Pat Palmer) 1666 1 hearth. (There is no surname "Clugdeale", this must be a mistranscription of "Clugstone". Parish of Tullyrusk, Dundrod: (This is west of Lisburn) 1669 Thomas Clugstone, 1 hearth Parish of Masserene, Muckamore Grange: (In 1669 this is headed "Muckimire eight towns") 1666 William Clugston, 1 hearth. Barony of Dunluce, Parish of Billy, Curramoney: 1666, 1669: William Clugstone, 1 hearth. Monaghan Town: 1666 Thomas Clugston, 1 hearth. 1669 Thomas Clunton, 1 hearth
William Clugston #1
1637-02-08 William Clugston and George Martin made Freemen of Belfast.
1639-05 Robert Neivin, George Martin, and William Clugstone were accused of conspiracy and imprisoned for a month. They went to Scotland at the time the oath was administered and their lands and goods were seized, to the value of £2500.
1644 William Clugston Jnr (with John Stewart Merchant Jnr, George Mankin Jnr, Nicholas Garner Jnr, Quintin Catterwood Jnr and Thomas Becke Jnr) elected to determine amounts to be charged to each inhabitant of Belfast for the support of the army. I don’t know what “Jnr” means; I doubt that ALL of them would have the same names as their fathers.
William had died or otherwise left Belfast by 1659.
In the Irish rebellion of 1641, Clugston and Hanna were the lieutenants at Lisburn. Possibly this was William, but John Clugston is known to loaned money from Captain Lawson. Sir Arthur Tyringham had been the governor of Newry when the rebels captured it; he was one of very few Protestants that escaped alive.
“The city of Derry was securely placed under the command of the governor, Sir John Vaughan, knt. So early as the fourth of November, the lords justices issued a commission to alderman Henry Finch, to raise a company of foot for the defence of the city. Not long afterwards, Captain Lawson, having received intelligence that one of his vessels, freighted with butter for France, had been detained at Derry, obtained permission from Sir Arthur Tyringham to place his newly-raised regiment at Lisburn, under the charge of his two lieutenants, Clugston and Hanna, and of his quarter-master, Stewart; and having considerable property embarked in trade at this critical period, he proceeded to Derry to engage in his mercantile concerns” “The History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland”, p346 Volume 1, J Reid (1835)
Note that in 1648, Captain Lawson loaned 48 pounds to John Clugston#1.
1641.7.29 “James Clogh the same day sworn a free Commoner” (Town Book of Belfast)
There is no surname “Clogh”. There is “Clough”. In 1643 Patrick Gough was admitted.
Robert Clugston #1 (brother of John #1) died 1658
Letter signed by W. Schaw, David Kenedy, William Leithes, Robert Clugston, ? Quentin O’Donnally and Mr. George Dick to Mr. Robert Douglas, minister at Edinburgh, asking his help in `the purchasing of a confortable answer to our supplicatioun for our wonted supplie of Ministers by turnes’ Newtoun [in Ireland], 10 Jan. 1645.
National Library of Scotland, CH1/5/4/27
(Petitions were sent from Presbyterians all over Ulster to the General Assembly in Edinburgh 1645.1.22. Six ministers were sent in response).
1645.5.15 Resolution of a dispute in Belfast between Robert Clugston and John Miller.
1645.7.3 Robert Clugston, Merchant admitted as Freeman of Belfast “and for his Fine he submitted himself to the order of the Bench”
1653 Proclamation of the Commisioners for Ulster
“…we have thought fit as the most probable expedient for the peace and settlement of this province, to transplant a certain number of such persons as we judge (by reason of their interest and disaffection) to be therein most dangerous, into the provinces of Leinster and Munster.”
For “Belfast and Malone quarters” these were “Lt. Thomas Cranston, Corporal Thomas McCormack, Hugh Doke, Robert Clugston, George Martin, Alexander Lockard, Robert King, and Quintin Caterwood”.
(The town of Carlingford, County Louth, where Thomas Clugston owned land in 1730, is the part of Leinster closest to Ulster; they may have actually moved).
1658, Clougston, Robert. Belfast Merchant. Intestate. 38:47
–Ireland Diocesan and Prerogative Wills & Administrations indexes.
1658/9.2.8 Perogative Grant.
Commision granted 8th February 1858 on behalf of John Clougston of Belfast, merchant, authorising William Leyth, Esq., sovereign of Belfast, George Martin of Belfast merchant, Thomas Waring of Belfast, Esq., and Francis Meek of Belfast, Esq. to administer to said John Clougston his oath to give sufficient security to administer the goods of his late brother Robert Clougston, late of Belfast, merchant, deceased.
Administration of the goods of Robert Clougston, late of Belfast, merchant deceased, intestate, granted 12th February 1658, to John Clougston, brother of said deceased, said Robert Clougston, together with Michael Bigger and Alexander McHoole, both of Belfast, merchants, giving security in £2000.
There is also an entry in the Particular Sasine Register of Scotland.
1663.1.9 “JOHANNES CLUGISTOUN, haeres Roberti Clugistoun, mercatoris, fratris” (ie, John Clugston, heir of Robert Clugston, merchant, brother)
(“Inquisitionum Ad Capellam Domini Regis Retornatarum, Quae in Publicus Archivus Scotiae Adnuc Servantur, Abbreviato”, item 4655 (1823)).
John Clugston #1 (brother of Robert #1)
1643-9-14 John Clugston, Merchant admitted as Freeman of Belfast
1647 John Clugston, merchant, Belfast, to export from Liverpool or Chester to Belfast 12r bags hops, 10 dozen hats, … to the value of 300 pounds.
“Bee it knowne unto all men by these p’nts that I John Clugston of
Belfast merchant doe owe and am indebted unto Captain Robert Lawson of
Londonderrye merchant the some of fourtye eight pounds eighte shillings and
seaven pence currant money of England to bee paid to the said Captane
Robt Lawson his heres Executors administrators or assignes in or uppon the
tenth daye of Novembr next ensueinge the date hereof to the w” paymt well
and truely to bee made I doe bynde mee and my heires Executrs and
administrators firmely by these puts. In witness whereof I have hereunto set
my hand and Seal the twentie sixt daye of Octobr 1647 ii the yeare of the
raigne of our Sovraigne Lord Kinge Charles &c
Sealed and delivered in HD Hugh Doak” (Town Book, page 58).
Some of John Clugston’s Belfast merchant tokens have survived from 1657. He seems to have standardized the spelling as “Clugston”.
Obverse: IOHN . CLVGSTON = 1D. 1657.
Reverse: IN . BELFAST . 1657 = I . C.
Obverse: IOHN . CLVGSTON . IN = 1D.
Reverse: BELFAST . MARCHT = I . C.
1659 John Clugston, Gent, Belfast appears in Pender’s Survey.
Note that William and Robert are not listed. This was because Robert died in 1658.
PRONI MIC19/1 1661.2.15 Letter from Geo. Macartney, merchant of Belfast, to Harry Browne.
Says the goods he would have bought “abound on William Scott’s or John Clugston’s ships”. 1663.12.9 Geo Macartne to Roger Sprouse. Mr clugston will not accept his two bills so he has returned them.
1661/2 John Clugston of Belfast, merchant, and James Taylor, sailor, indebted to John Outrie of Chester, “ropper”
(“Volume Concerning Protested Bills”, Cheshire Archives, Ref: ZTCB, http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/).
12 Sept 1664. John Clugistone, merchant, Belfast. Deed registered Mack. vol 11 page 572. — Scottish deeds. [This deed still exists in the Archives of Scotland].
9 February 1667 Petition of John Clogston, of Belfast, merchant, to the Duke of Ormond : written from Dublin. Plaint of debt against Sir Hans Hamilton, knight. [With the Order thereupon.]
Reference: MS. Carte 154, fol(s). 112v
A painted table of Legueires and Gifts in the Belfast Congregation Church includes
6 Aug 1671 By will £5-0-0 John Clugston
Commision granted to swear Grissell Clugston, widow of John Clugston, late of Belfast, Co. Antrim, merchant, deceased, directed to Thomas Magill of Newtoune, Esq., Samuel Downes of Belfast, gent. and Thomas Hens of Belfast, merchant; dated 12th August 1671.
Administration of the goods of John Clugston, late of Belfast, Co. Antrim, merchant, deceased, intestate, granted 26th August 1671, to Grisell Clugston, widow of the decreased.
Commission granted 21st September 1671, to swear Grisell Clugston, widow of John Clugston, late of Belfast, Co. Antrim, merchant, deceased, for the custody of Robert, Ellenor, Margaret, Grisell, Jennet, and Elizabeth Clugston, children of said deceased, directed to Charles Bolton, Esq., and Edward Fergusun, merchant.
Letters of tutelage of the persons and goods of Robert, Ellenor, Margaret, Grisell, Jennet, and Elizabeth Clugston, minors, children of John Clugston, late of Belfast Co Antrim, widow of said deceased, and mother of said minors, during their minority.
Commission granted 2nd April 1672, to value the goods of John Clugston, late of Belfast, merchant, deceased, directed to John Steward, James Chalmers, Michael Bigger, and John Clugston, all of Belfast, merchants.
(Note that Michael Bigger was also executor of John’s brother Robert’s estate).
Common Pleas 1660-1693 (Crossle)
“Hugh Savage to Grissill Clugston, prd M 26 C II 1674 – R10”.
“Hugh Savage to Robt Cluxton prd E 28 C II 1676. R1”
“John Clugston to Robt Leathes Issue E29 C II 1677 R 36”
“Richd Clugston to Mary Brevites prd E5 far II 1689 R20”
“William Shaw to Robt Clugston prd M2 W9 M 1690. R7 and R8”
“Robt Adair to Robt Clugston Deed proo M 1690 R6”
John’s wife, Grissell Shaw, remarried William Smith after his death.
The “Ireland Diocesan and Prerogative Wills & Administrations indexes” contains an
entry “Smith also Clugston, Grisell, Belfast, 1705 and 1717”.
John Clugston #2
1661.4.10 John Clugston Junior admitted as Freeman of Belfast. He had “served his apprenticeship in this town”
1672.4.30 John Clugston (together with other unnamed merchants) owned the ship “James” which was illegally seized in the West Indies by Sir Chas Wheeler, and “the master is still in the island in a starving condition”. They sued for 5000 pounds.
Thomas Clugston #1
1663 Thomas Clugston on hearth money rolls for Monaghan Town, County Monaghan
1669 Thomas Clunton, 1 hearth, Monaghan
1691 Thomas Clugston, Gentleman, in Monaghan.
William Clugston #2
These may both be the same person.
1666 and 1669 Wm Clugstone on hearth money rolls for Culquemonny/Billy, Dunluce Lower, Antrim.
1669 Hearth money roll for 1669, Town of Belfast, William Clugston, 2 hearths (He was not listed in 1666 or 1660).
1671.9.28 William Clugston, smith, admitted as Freeman of Belfast
William Cluckston had two daughters baptised in Dublin.
William Cluckston = Mary Sarah Cluckston 1670.2.10 St Michan, Dublin Elizabeth Cluckston 1672.2.19 St Michan
William Clugston #4
Parish of Masserene, Muckamore Grange: (In 1669 this is headed “Muckimire eight towns”)
1666 William Clugston, 1 hearth.
Michael Clugston #1
1672.8.22 Michaell Clugston, merchant, admitted as Freeman of Belfast
Served with Mr Clugston.
1695 Michael Clugston is operating as a merchant in Boston. He died in Fairfield 1697, married a daughter of Rev Samuel Wakeman.
Robert Clugston #2, and his son John Clugston, Sovereign of Belfast
1678-10-10 Robert Clugston, merchant, admitted as Freeman of Belfast.
Abstract of Will proved in the diocese of Conner:
Margaret Clugston of Belfast Co. Antrim, widow.
To my daughter Grizell Proctor 10s. in full discharge of any claim she may have upon me.
Whereas my dearly beloved husband, Robert Clugston late of Belfast, died intestate, but ordered that his estate should be equally distributed among his children; I therefore order my dearly beloved son John Clugston, Esq. may equally distribute same among my three daughters Elinor Clugston, Catherin Clugston, and Jane Clugston, he (John) having an equal share with them.
My own third part of my said husband’s estate to my said three daughters Elinor, Catherin, and Jane Clugston in equal shares.
Appoint John Isaac of Hollywood, Co. Down, Esq., sole executor.
In witness whereof 2nd September 1727. MARGRET CLUGSTON.
Witnesses: Patrick McCormick.
Anna Helena Dobbs.
John Isaac of Holywood, Esq. renounces the executorship, desiring that same may be granted to Elianor Clugston, daughter of deceased.
Sworn 16th Oct 1736.
(Signed:) JON ISAAC. Witnesses: Cha Boyd. Simon Isaac.
Probate granted at Belfast 2nd December 1736, to Ellenor Clugston, daughter of the deceased, John Isaac having renounced.
Although Margaret Clugston’s surname is unknown, her mitochondrial DNA is known! FamilyTree DNA kit#226241. She was probably from one of the prominent families in Belfast.
Abstract of Will proved in the diocese of Conner:
Jane Cluggston of Belfast Co. Antrim.
I desire to be buried at the discretion of my sister Catherine, whom I appoint my chief executrix.
To my dearly beloved sister Catherine Cluggston all my substance, except a green and white damasque suit of clothes for my dearly beloved sister Elinor Clugston.
In witness whereof 26th October 1727. JAEN CLUGSTON.
Witnesses: Mary Hamilton.
Jane Hamilton. x her mark.
Probate granted 30th April 1736, to Arthur Gower, husband to Katherine Clugston the executrix in said will named.
John Clugston Esq was Sovereign (Lord Mayor) of Belfast 1726-1733. He died in 1736.
PRONI D354/473. 1728.8.22
Certificate sworn by David Mussenden before John Clugstone, Sovereign of Belfast.
Deeds vol 85 page 481 #61082
1730.8.14. Rt Hon James Earle of Barrymore
Leased to John the farm in Lower Malone of 38 acres formerly posessed by Robert Clugston father of John. Bounded on the northeast by the road from Belfast to Drumbridge, south by the farm of Patrick Smith merchant, west by “Catherine’s Farm”. Leased for 23 years at £6s6 per year, followed by 18 years at £7s15 per year. Witnesses Thomas Banks Esq of Antrim and George Ross Gent of Castletons, Co Cork. Memorial made by Elenor Clugston Exr of John’s will on 1737.5.4, with witness Thomas Banks and John Arnold Gent of Belfast.
Deeds vol 73 page 8 #49472 (Part of photo of deed is missing)
1732.10.20 Assignment of _____
John transfered the lease he had from Right Hon _____.
North St Belfast 30 foot long to Robert Montgomery.
Deeds vol 83 page 212 #58475.
1734.8.17 John leased a dwelling house and garden to James Peacock of Belfast Sadler. For 31 years at £1s10.
It was on the west side of North St Belfast, 20 foot of frontage, 64 foot long, west was John Morrison, east John Maxwell, formerly William Greenlaw shoemaker and of late Robert Smith weaver.
Deeds volume 83 page 270 #58796.
1735.12.22. John Clugston of Belfast Esq leased 36 acres of land in Malone, Belfast, to Edward Harris of Belfast, drover.
The land was bounded on the east by the highway from Belfast to Lisburn, on the south by lands formerly posessed by Edward Whitside, on the west by the Black Water river and on the north by the Black Staff highway. The lease was for 35 years, at £17s6 per year.
Memorial made 1735/6.1.31.
Deeds v83 p487 #59915. Deed of Mortgage.
1736.11.2 Ellinor Clugston Executor of John, sold John’s tenements to John Duff for 135 pounds.
Tenements in Castle St and North St and 6 acres of land, formerly owned by John’s father Robert. And the farm in Lower Malone of 34 acres, formerly in the possession of Robert C, then of John C.
Mortgaged for 41 years from 1728.
Deed v84 p366 #61088 Deed of Mortgage
1737.5.1 As above except states that 38 acres in Lower Malone, two several leases were made to John Clugston by the Right Honble James Earl of Barrymore as surviving trustee of the Rt Hon Arthur Earl of Donegall.
PRONI D652/5 1729.3.22
Lease for 32 years from Nov., 1738. Rent £22. James Earl of Barrymore, Trustee of Arthur, Earl of Donnegall to John Clugston, Belfast., Gent., regarding to 243 acres of Marshell Towne and Cross Mary, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, in possession of Robt. Dallway.
Abstract of Will lodged in the diocese of Conner:
John Clugston of Belfast Co. Antrim, Esq
To my sister Grizell Clugston alias Prockter five shillings
To George Spaight, Esq. and his heirs, who is married to my niece, the lease of Marchalstown and CrossMary, granted to me by Earl Barrymore the surviving trustee of Earl Donegall, for a term of 41 years from 1st November 1730, which lease remains in the hands of Thomas Banks, Esq.
The residue of my goods, lands, plate, etc., to my beloved sister Elinor Clugston, whom I appoint sole executrix.
In witness whereof 21st January 1735. JOHN CLUGSTON.
Witnesses: Edward Brice.
Will was not proved, but is endorsed: 30th August 1736.
In a cause in which Arthur Gower was promovent, and Ellinor Clugston, spinster, was imugner, the following depositions appear:
Edward Brice swears 25th August 1736, that the above will was read in his presence, and that Mr Arthur Gower or his daughter were not mentioned or thought of by said John Clugston, and that George Spaight, alderman of Carrickfergus was present when said will was made.
Alexander Majores swears 30th August 1736, that he witnessed the above will about two days before the testator, John Clugston, died.
Hugh Anderson swears 30th August 1736, that he witnessed the above will and saith that he never heard that testator ever made any will in favour of Catherine late wife of Arthur Gower, and that no one persuaded the testator to leave out Mr Gower or his daughter Hannah Gower from said will.
Abstract of Administration Bond in the Diocese of Derry
Arthur Gower, James McKeady, and Patrick McVicker, all of Ballymenah, Co Antrim, bound to the Bishop of Down and Conner in £200, dated 27th August 1736. Condition of the bond that said Arthur Gower administrator of the goods of Robert Clugston, late of Belfast Co Antrim, deceased, will deliver a true inventory of said goods. (Signed only by:) Ar. Gower.
Abstract of Will proved in the diocese of Conner:
Ellaner Clugston of Belfast, Co. Antrim
I desire to be buried in like manner as my late brother John Clugston was.
To my niece Ann Helena the wife of Mr William Kerr five guineas to buy mourning.
The half of my wordly substance, consisting of money, jewels, and furniture, and leasehold interests (except my plate) to my niece Hannah Gower, minor, daughter of my late sister Catherine Gower late wife to Arthur Gower provided said Arthur Gower doth discharge my executors from all demands, actions, or causes he commenced against me relating to my late father Robert Clugston and my brother John Clugston, deceased, otherwise not one penny to go to my said niece. The said half of my substance (my plate excepted) to my said niece Hanna Gower upon her father perfecting such proper release.
The other half of my substance whatsoever to my nieces Margaret wife to George Spaight, Esq, and Mary wife to Mr Andrew Boyd, in equal shares.
My plate to my said niece Mary above her share.
Appoint said George Spaight, and Andrew Boyd, and Mr Archibald McNeill of Belfast, to be executors.
In witness whereof 18th April 1743. ELNOR CLUGSTON.
Witnesses: Francis Joy.
Probate granted 25th February 1758, to George Spaight, Esq.
The sovereign was member of the First Presbyterian Church of Belfast (Rosemary Street) for at least 15 years.
Around 1736 this church became Unitarian (ie, denied the doctrine of the Trinity) but the Clugstons may have left by then. However, Rev Josias Clugston of Larne may have been Unitarian, and his son Rev James Clugston of Bandon definitely was.
Rev John McBride (minister in Belfast 1694-1705 and 1708-1711, and 1714-1718). ‘John Clugstone sat in McBride’s meeting house, and accidentally pulled out a pack of cards with his handkerchief, scattering them on the people below. “Hech, Sir”, said McBride, “but your psalm-book is ill-bund.”‘
1727.7.11 Mrs Clugston, pr hir son the sofren
1727.9.6 Jean Clugson, pr hir brother the soneran in town
“Historic memorials of the First Presbyterian Church of Belfast : prepared in connection with the centennial of its present meeting-house”, Alexander Gordon, 1887 (https://archive.org/details/historicmemorial00gord)
Margaret Clugston’s descendants were significant in early US history.
Margaret was the second wife of Richard Dobbs, and he married a third time. This means she must have died by 1710. She was probably born around 1670-1680.
Margaret Clugston = Richard Dobbs (1660-1711) d. Castletown, Ballynure. High Sheriff of Antrim 1694 Margaret Dobbs = George Spaight d. 1770.5.17 (George son of James Spaight and Mary Tomkins of Carrickfergus) Surveyor of Customs at Carrickfergus. m. 1729.7.7 Catherine Spaight = Edward Bice d. 1796.7.4, principal surveyor of customs in Belfast Richard Spaight 1730-1763 b. Carrickfergus = Elizabeth Wilson m. 1756 Richard Dobbs Spaight 1758.3.25-1802.9.6 Governor of North Carolina (Signed the US Constitution. Killed in a duel with another politician. Duels were banned a few days later). Mary Dobbs = Andrew Boyd, Ballymoney Ann-Helena Dobbs = William Ker, Ballymena
Extant Irish Wills
The Clugston family is discussed in Crossle 2/434/34. https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/234637
The following early wills have survived:
Samuel Clugston 1707.8.1 Island Muck, Down. Perogative Court. Abstract is in Crossle/Smith/7/816
Edward Clugston. 1710.6.28 City of Kilkenny. Perogative Court. Abstract is in Crossle/Smith/7/818
John Clugston Drumbely, Down. Abstract in 1733 Crossle/Clugston/
Jane Clugston 1736 Belfast. Abstract in Crossle/Clugston/
Margaret Clugston 1736 Belfast. Abstract in Crossle/Clugston/
John Clugston 1736.8.30 Belfast. Abstract in Crossle/Clugston/
Elianor Clugston 1758 Belfast. Abstract is in Crossle/Clugston/
James Cluxton, 1760. Kilcullen Bridge, Kildare Abstract in Crossle/Clugston/
William Claxton 1760, Corbally, Queen’s County. Abstract in Crossle/Clugston/
Thomas Clugston 1764 Drogheda, Down. Abstract is in Crossle/Clugston/
Elizabeth Clugston 1784 Bandon, County Cork. Abstract is in Crossle/Clugston/
Hugh Clugston 1817 Ballysallough, Antrim. Abstract in Crossle/Beatty/8/52
Martha Clugston 1832 County Down. Transcript. Volume 4/237/33. Reference IAR/1832/F/35
Martha Clugston 1833. County Down. Transcript. Volume 4/237/33. IAR/1833/F/73
Robert Clugston 1832. Dromore Diocese. Transcript. Volume 4/236/20
Samuel Clugston 1839. City of Antrim. Linen Draper. Transcript. Prerogative Grant Book/F/193b; also in 4/237/36, IAR/1839/F/167
W Clugston 1839. Transcript. Volume 4/237/36 IAR/1839/F/167
Alexander Clugston #2
There is an Alexander Clugston recorded in 1707 in the Quaker records. Check location in findmypast.
Tombstone in Bangor Abbey.
Alexander Clugston 1655-1720.1.9 d. BallyMcConnell, Down = Margary Mills 1666-1732.4.9 d. BallyMcConnell, Down Sarah Clugston 1681-1747.1.9 d. Bangor, Down = ?? Kelly Samuel Clugston 1700-1781.8.9 d. Bangor, Down
Hugh Clugston #1
1709.3.12, Antrim “Hewgh Clwgston of 8towns had a child held wp by John Smith of [?] by Reason of hewgh being in fornication”
William Clugston #3
1730-09-26 William Clugston apprentice apothecary in Belfast.
He moves to Stranraer and marries Barbara Vans.
This family is very well documented.
William Clugston #4
Protestant Returns 1740:
William Clogstown, Magherafelt,
The next entry is James McKnight.