Beriah Robinson & Elizabeth Paterson
Family of Beriah and Elizabeth Robinson
G4 Beriah Robinson
(ca 1807 - 31 May 1887)
= ? Elizabeth Paterson
(ca 1807 - ca 1866)
G3 Anne Jane Mary James Elizabeth Paterson Matilda Jemima Charlotte Beriah Paterson William Sarah Isabella
The first record we have of the Robinsons is in the Griffith Valuation (as of the early 1860s), where Beriah is listed as:

Name Property (No.) Area (a/r/p) Land Value House Value
Parish of Desertcreat, Townland of Oughterard, from Charles Boyle:
Bariah Robinson Hs.,off., mill 2/2/30 2.15.0
kiln and land 18/1/20 13.0.0 17.0.0
From Bariah Robinson:
Samuel Moore House 0.15.0
The Robinsons, Pattersons and other associated families living in Desertcreat and recorded in Griffith, were:
Name Townland
Patterson Hamilton Cross Geebe
Patterson Hamilton Tullyard
Patterson James Downs
Robinson Alexander Annahavil
Robinson Bariah Oughterard
Robinson Catherine Grange
Robinson Ellen Annaghquin
Robinson George Annahavil
Robinson Henry Lowcross
Robinson William Lammy
Eccles James Annahavil
Eccles James Lisnanane
Eccles John Annahavil
Eccles Josias Gortavilly
Greer James Lime Hill
Greer Robert Gortavilly
Greer Robert Shivey
Greer Thomas Ballynacroy
Greer Thomas Cady
Greer Thomas Cross Geebe
Greer Thomas Derryraghan
Greer Thomas Drumraw
Greer Thomas Killyneedan
Greer Thomas Lisnanane
Greer Thomas Tullyard
Greer Thomas Tullylagan
Greer William Annaghmore
Greer William Gortavale
The Mill and Kiln mentioned seem most likely to have a Corn Mill, which were actually used for milling Oats:

Corn mills

(from MILLS OF CO LAOIS: AN INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE SURVEY by Fred Hamond for Laois County Council November 2005)

Corn Mill Corn mills were usually built by the local landowner and his tenants were compelled under the terms of their leases to have their grain ground at his particular mill. The throughput in such mills was on a relatively small scale, so there was no great need for storage space – hence the relatively small size of many such mills.

The miller either took cash or a proportion of the grain or meal as payment for grinding it. In the case of Mounteagle Mill [Co Laois], for example, the miller charged 10d per barrel. From these tolls, he paid the landowner his rental and eked a living from what was left. The miller usually had land attached to the mill and was able to supplement his earnings with agriculture. However, his finances were sometimes tenuous, as noted in the 1840s valuation of Eglish Cornmill: “Pays rental of £200 for mill and five Irish acres. Cannot make more than £200 per year.”

The grinding of oats into oatmeal for oatcakes and porridge (‘stirabout’) was a two-step process. First, they were passed through a set of shelling stones. These separated the inedible outer skin (shell) from the inner edible kernel (groat). The shelling process depended on the shell being parched and this was effected in an adjoining kiln. Once through the shellers, the shell was separated from the groat and the latter passed through the millstones where it was converted into oatmeal. It was then graded into fine, medium, coarse and pinhead oatmeal.The most primitive corn mills had only one set of stones, driven through a one-step gearing from the waterwheel. The stones doubled as shellers (being set wide so as to nip off the shell without grinding the groat) and grinders (being set close together to mill the groat).

Corn Mill A number of mills with only one pair of stones are recorded in the 1840s mill valuation book. Even then, their technology was regarded as old fashioned. Of the mill in Lea townland on the River Nore, the valuation officer noted that the machinery was “old and in bad condition … out of repair and gets little to do”. The mill in Doon townland was likewise described as "old". More sophisticated corn mills had two or three sets of stones – one pair specifically for shelling and two for grinding (sometimes wheat was milled as well as groats) – and had a great spurwheel power transmission system, by which one or all could be run simultaneously.

Besides the principal drives to the millstones, there would also have been secondary power takeoffs to elevators, sieves, fans, and sack hoists.

The only other records of the family in Tyrone were found an excellent overview of the Robinsons of Tyrone, the "KERR FAMILY CHRONICLES" by Christopher Earls Brennen, from which these records are extracted (note that Oughterard is erroneously recorded as Waterard):

John Thompson, full age, bachelor, farmer, of Alless(?) [possibly Kildress?] (father: John Thompson, farmer) to Anne Jane Robinson, 19, spinster, of Waterard (father: Bariah Robinson, farmer) on Oct.30, 1856, in Sandholes Presbyterian Church, parish of Desertcreat.

James Robinson, full age, bachelor, farmer, of Waterard, Desertcreat (father: Baria Robinson, farmer) to Mary Elizabeth Eccles, full age, spinster, of Kiltyclay, Desertcreat (father: Adam Eccles, farmer) in Third Presbyterian Church, Cookstown, on Mar.31, 1863. Both signed.

James Nicholl, full age, bachelor, farmer, of Tullyhurken, Ardtrea (father: Gilbert Nicholl, farmer) to Matilda Robinson, minor, spinster, of Waterard, Desertcreat (father: Beriah Robinson, farmer) on Jan.13, 1865, in the Presbyterian Church, Sandholes, parish of Desertcreat. Both signed. David Greer and Jemima Robinson were witnesses.

David Greer, full age, bachelor, farmer, of Gortavilly, Desertcreat (father: James Greer, farmer) to Mary Robinson, full age, spinster, of Waterard, Desertcreat (father: Beriah Robinson, farmer) on Sep.22, 1865, in the Presbyterian Church, Sandholes, parish of Desertcreat. Both signed.

Anne Jane and her husband John Thomson (who married in 1856 - see above) remained in Cookstown where they were shop keepers.

The remainder of the family except for Beriah's wife Elizabeth (nee Paterson) emigrated to New Zealand in 1865 and 1868. As Elizabeth did not emigrate we can safely assume that she died in Ireland. One possibility is that she died after 1865, precipitating the rest of the family's emigration in 1868.

In 1865 David and Mary Greer, James and Matilda Nicholls, their son Alexander and Elizabeth Robinson emigrated to New Zealand on the Victory. The ship departed London on the 16th December 1865 and arriving at Lyttelton on 24th March 1866. The families settled in Christchurch. The Greers bought land in what is now Greers Road and the Nicholls probably bought land in Halswell in the area now called Nicholls Street.

Presumably they liked New Zealand and wrote home about it as in 1868 Beriah, Beriah Jnr., William, Jemima, Charlotte and Sarah followed them, sailing on the Light Brigade, departing London on the 18th May 1868 and arriving in Lyttelton on the 26th August 1868.

James and his wife Mary Eliza (Betty) Eccles also emigrated to New Zealand (date and ship unknown).

Notes & References
  1. 'From Ireland'
  2. The Co Tyrone website
Issues to research:
  1. The Mill was almost certainly on a river. The southern boundary of Oughterard is formed by a river, perhaps this may give clues as to the whereabouts of their farm.
  2. There may be records of the mill in the Tyrone archives.
  3. How did James emigrate to New Zealand
  4. The English origin of the Robinsons - probably Lancashire but possibly Essex
  5. Elizabeth's death - probably in the Sandholes Presbyterian Church records?