The Facts As We Know Them
-- by Ronald Ardis Brooks, Lakeland, Florida USA RonBrooks@ardisnet.com
ARRIVING IN ARMAGH
Our earliest knowledge of the William ARDIS Family history goes back to the late 1700s and the early 1800s in County Armagh, Northern Ireland UK.
Of these early years we have very little knowledge, but what we do have is quite interesting, to say the least. It perhaps raises more questions than it really answers. It certainly leaves much room for supposition and, hopefully, defines several avenues for additional
ABOUT THE EVIDENCE
In brief, we have one biographical article about Samuel Boyd (3) ARDIS, letters by
Samuel Boyd (3) ARDIS written from Armagh, Northern Ireland UK, and one letter from Mary Scott
(3) [ARDIS] KNOX.
From these we can piece together a number of facts. Our desire, at this point, is to discuss the facts as they are,
and occasionally, to throw out some suggestions and/or assumptions for your consideration. You will be able
eventually to see the actual documents and thereby will be armed to judge the soundness of our reasoning.
Additional facts, thoughts, or suppositions
you may have, that would bear on these matters, would certainly be appreciated by us.
WILLIAM (2) ARDIS WAS AN "ENGLISHMAN"
Samuel Boyd (3) ARDIS states that his "father was an Englishman", referring to William (2) ARDIS. He further states that his "mother came from Scotland", referring to Mary
We do not know whether he used the term "Englishman" in the narrow sense, meaning
he came from England, or in some wider sense, perhaps referring to Great Britain or The United Kingdom.
In Ireland, at the time, very little distinction was made between Englanders, Welshmen, and Scotsmen… all of them being referred to as the "English", by the indigenous Irish people. Indeed, the peoples of Great Britain, and all of Ireland at this time, were "English" citizens.
Still, the apparent distinction made by Samuel Boyd (3) ARDIS, between
his mother and his father, is intriguing, at the very least.
[NOTE: The Encyclopedia Britannica Online refers to "Great Britain" as an "island off the western coast of Europe that consists of England, Scotland, and Wales. The term is often used synonymously with United Kingdom, which also includes Northern Ireland."
In the subject time, of course, Ireland was not divided and was therefore all a
part of The United Kingdom... or, as in common usage, a part of
MARY BOYD WAS BORN IN 1825 -- IN NORTHERN IRELAND, TO SCOTTISH PARENTS
Unlike ARDIS, BOYD is readily identifiable as a surname with a clear Scottish
heritage. In addition to Samuel Boyd (3) ARDIS' testimony regarding his mother, there is overwhelming evidence that the
BOYD family did indeed emigrate to Northern Ireland from Scotland. Evidence from letters, and from the
BOYD family history, support this notion. Mary BOYD herself was born in "Ballymire,
County Armagh, Ireland" which later became known as Newtownhamilton. She was born in 1825.
WILLIAM (1) ARDIS MARRIED SARAH EMERSON AND HAD THREE (3) CHILDREN
Mary Scott (3) [ARDIS] KNOX, who is the younger sister of Samuel Boyd (3) ARDIS, however, throws us an interesting curve. She
states in 1948, at the age of 86, that her grandparents, referring to William
(1) ARDIS and Sarah [EMERSON] ARDIS, came from "Persia"!
According to Mary Scott (3) [ARDIS] KNOX her grandfather was "William Ardis", who married "Sarah
Emerson", and had three children --
- 1) David (2) ARDIS
- 2) William (2) ARDIS
- 3) Sarah (2) ARDIS
She then states that the family of five (5) arrived in Scotland, and the next stop was Ireland. Sarah
(2) ARDIS married a
WILSON somewhere along the line.
Still, it gets even more interesting. This particular letter was written by Mary
[ARDIS] KNOX to her niece, Minnie (4)
ERSKINE. Minnie made a notation in the margin, stating that she felt her Aunt Mary,
in referring to "Persia", had actually meant... "Switzerland"!
We obviously need some further research here.
WILLIAM (2) ARDIS WAS BORN IN 1810 -- PLACE UNKNOWN
Samuel Boyd (3) ARDIS states that his father, William (2) ARDIS, was born in 1810. His older brother, Mark (3) ARDIS states that his father died in December, 1889 at age
Personally, based on the information we have, I feel comfortable in assuming that the birthplace of William (2) ARDIS was
somewhere other than Ireland or Scotland, possibly even outside of Great Britain.
None of what we have here speaks directly to the issue of "nationality".
The possibilities raised are intriguing, indeed. Still, finding a
Presbyterian family in Northern Ireland at the time, a casual observer
could not be faulted for concluding, "Scotsmen, they!"
Suggestions of an "exotic" European or Eastern origin
aside, we will see that at some point the ARDIS family certainly began
an heroic migration... very much in synch with the great "Scottish
diaspora"... first from Scotland to Northern Ireland... and then from
Northern Ireland to America. We will also see a distinct propensity over
the years for ARDIS Folk to live with... go to church with... and to marry... what are
clearly other Scottish folk.
WILLIAM (2) ARDIS OWNED "EVERLASTING FARM", IN COUNTY ARMAGH, NORTHERN IRELAND, UK
Erika [ERSKINE] LAUFFER, who was possibly our first ARDIS Family historian, did this research. This has
also been substantiated by the
BOYD family research, done by Art AITKENS, who tells us that the BOYD Homestead, where Mary
BOYD grew up, was in the same area as the ARDIS "Everlasting Farm".
We also can verify this by Griffin's Valuation of Ireland. In that comprehensive tax record we see that a
"William Ardis" owned property. Also, a "David Ardis" either owned two
(2) pieces of property, or two (2) people named David Ardis owned one (1) piece each. Either of these could be
true, I suppose.
BOYD Homestead is still standing outside of Newtownhamilton,
County Armagh, Northern Ireland UK, and up until a few years ago so was the ARDIS Homestead at "Everlasting Farm".
[NOTE: We have it on good authority from our "agent-on-the-ground"
in County Armagh that Tullyvallan, or "Townland", is a rural residential area south of Armagh Town and north of the village of Newtownhamilton, Northern Ireland UK. We
further believe that the location of both the ARDIS "Everlasting Farm" and the
BOYD Homestead is the former Ardises Road, now Dungormley Road, perhaps two (2) miles north of Newtownhamilton,
west off the Armagh Road.]
THE WILLIAM (2) ARDIS FAMILY
William (2) ARDIS married "the girl next door", Mary BOYD. There were fourteen children born to this union:
- 1) Mark (3) ARDIS (1844)
- 2) Agnes Nancy (3) ARDIS (about1845)
- 3) David (3) ARDIS (about 1846)
- 4) Elizabeth (3) ARDIS (about 1847)
- 5) William (3) ARDIS (1849)
- 6) Asa Marie(3) ARDIS (about 1851)
- 7) George (3) (1854) ARDIS
- 8) Samuel Boyd (3) ARDIS (1855)
- 9) Robert ((3) ARDIS (1858)
- 10) Sophia (3) ARDIS (about 1860)
- 11) Martha Jane (3) ARDIS (about 1861)
- 12) Mary Scott (3) ARDIS (1863)
- 13) Sarah (3) ARDIS (1865)
- 14) Hugh (3) ARDIS (1867)
[NOTE: We are certain of the names and the order of birth. Some exact dates are not known, and so are shown as "about".]
We know from personal comments that Mark (3), William (3), George (3), Samuel
(3), and Robert (3) ARDIS were all on their own by age fourteen (14) and were working full-time to support themselves. We also know that these five (5)
brothers came to Evart, Osceola County, Michigan USA, between 1860 and 1880. We know that
Agnes (3), Asa (3), Sophia (3), and Mary (3) ARDIS also came to the United States. We know that David
(3) ARDIS went to the Belfast,
Northern Ireland UK area, where he ran a feedmill in Portadown, County Armagh. Hugh
(3) ARDIS was
said to be a tall young man that stayed at home and was bothered by arthritis. We know most of the married names of the girls.
As you can see, we have a bit of basic information. We hope this will serve to focus your interest as we assemble the supporting documents and other exhibits for your consideration.
In addition to interesting facts about ARDIS Family history we hope to also bring you exhibits and links to "ARDIS Lands". Along the way we may also discuss economics, politics, religion, world events, migration patterns, and other factors that have shaped the ARDIS character and, perhaps, account for the geographic distribution of present-day ARDIS Folk across the globe.
Please bear with us as we assemble this material for you. Your
information, comments, criticisms, and ideas are always appreciated.