McCool homestead in Northern Ireland, Part 2

Here are more pictures from our trip to the McCool property in County Londonderry.

McCooles Road

Street sign at the intersection with A6, about 1/2 mile northwest of the Castledawson roundabout.

IMC 1735

The stone found in the second (newer) McCool house.


Another view of the second McCool house


Wonderful view of the main McCool house and property from the start of the path


24 Responses to “McCool homestead in Northern Ireland, Part 2”

  1. 1 Bettye McCool Johnson December 3, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Oh this is just SO not right!!!! I’m just a wee bit jealous!! (just kidding!)

    I’m very glad you and your family were able to take a trip to the old homestead. My siblings & our families, hope to make the trip also, some day. 🙂

  2. 2 Bettye McCool Johnson December 3, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Meant to add that I get chills every time I see photos of this place…..

    • 3 Patrick Rooney June 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Hi Bettye,
      I am not related to the McCools but the 2 storey building in Toberhead was home to myself and four brothers from 1950 till 1963. I live in London now but have seen the house many times since.The house was known as “Hillmount” which is obvious when you see its location. The house had a hand made wood ceiling in the living room which you can still see.
      We spent happy years in the house which came with a small farm of 12 acres and it was close to the Moyola River where we used to fish for trout and eels.
      The house had 3 lovely gardens around it and they were filled with apple, pear and plum trees and my father grew vegetables there. The current owners the McMaster family removed all the gardens and hedges around the house. I will ask my brother in Ireland if he has any photographs of the house at the time we lived there and I could e mail them to you if you wish.
      It was a very happy childhood home for us so I hope you get to visit it.

      • 4 mccoolstuff June 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        So wonderful to learn about this relatively recent history, Patrick.

      • 5 Tommy McCoole August 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm

        I lived in the Castledawson area for quite a few years and my family history is connected with the house which you refer to as ‘Hillmount.’ I would be extremely interested in seeing photos of the actual house or immediate surroundings as they would have appeared in former times, and interested also in anything of the history of the place of which you may be aware, or find yourself able to recall.
        My last visit there was actually just a few days ago (Monday 29th July) in company with some distant cousins from the USA.
        If you manage to unearth anything of that nature and would be willing to oblige, you can reach me at or feel free to email me directly in any case if you wish to do so.

        Thank you in anticipation,
        Tommy McCoole

      • 6 Bettye McCool Johnson December 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm

        So glad I ran up on this today! How wonderful to hear stories of this old house from someone who lived in it. Of course we’d love to see photos from the time. I’ve daydreamed of gardens and fruit trees and a good life on the old place. Good to know you had a happy childhood there. Thank you for sharing! **Hello Charles and Tommy!** 🙂

      • 7 rockyclark March 26, 2014 at 7:11 pm

        Hi Patrick,
        I am a McCool descendant and will be visiting the area in May of 2014 with my brothers and parents. Do you have any contact information for the current owners of the old house or someone in the area who may be willing to help us with our visit from Texas?
        Anything is appreciated.
        Thank you,

      • 8 Patrick Rooney March 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm

        Hello Rockyclarke
        Toberhead is situated approx 2miles from the village of Castledawson in County Derry.
        The McCool homestead is owned by the McMaster family, and to gain access to the property you have to enter via the McMaster private residence and request their permission to travel via their private lane way to the property. There is no problem getting their permission, it is just that they need to know who is on their private property and why you are there. You call at their home and ask verbally,I believe the current person to ask is Mr Robin McMaster. I wish you and your family and friends a very pleasant visit.
        Patrick Rooney

  3. 9 Geneva Mearl Santos July 10, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    My son Albert lives in Burbank, CA and has been doing research on our family. This is the e-mail he sent me.
    Please send me as much infor as possible on the McCools.
    My dad is J.S. McCool from Texas.

    So John and Olivia McCool were my Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents. I found a record that John McCool owned his own house at Toberhead by December 24th 1707.

    • 10 Josephine October 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      My husband is John Craig McCool and his father was born in Ethel Ms. This would mean so much to me to find out what I can for him.

  4. 11 Steve McCool October 10, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I am wondering if I am related to this. My grandfather was from Ireland, served in the Boer War, and then emigrated to Canada.

    Any one know?

  5. 12 Patricia L. Pugh March 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I just found this blog about John and Oliva McCool. I have been researching the family for about 5 years and had everything back to Ireland. This is great information and pictures. I was in the area a few years ago, but on a tour. We did get to the Giant Causeway with the ledgend of Finn McCool but unable to do any research while there. John & Olivia are my 5th great grandparents, Lineage: John, James Adams, Gabriel, Thomas, Thomas S., Elmer and my mother Lois McCool Worthy. My lineage migrated to Tama Co. Iowa from Ohio. I live in Roseville, CA

    I would be interested in other information about the John McCools in Ireland, bd,dod, burial location and if anyone has parents for either Olivia or John.

    Love the pictures!!!


  6. 13 Sue McCool October 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I just spent the past two weeks looking for McCool coat of arms. Was unable to get any information from the Herarldry office In Dublin? Have a search coming to me from Kilarney. McCools were to be in Galway, Clare and Dublin.

    • 14 Josephine October 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      Where are you from Sue?

    • 15 Carol McCool December 13, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Is this Sue from Vicksburg

      • 16 Neil OConnor December 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        Carol I have the coat of arms in a book my cousin Tom McCool wrote. Have you any ancestry info before Michael McCool and Maria Flanagan circa 1809 in Donegal Town ?  Neil T.P. Neil O’Connor FIC, CSA, OST, RHU, EPC” I AM our brother’s keeper ” Knights of Columbus Complete Financial Services185 D’Youville Dr., Pembroke, ON, K8A 8R5 Phone: 613-735-7412 WEB SITE EMAIL “ Term & Perm & Mortgage Insurance, Income Replacement, Long Term Care, Investments & Annuities”

        From: All Things McCool To: Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 9:59 AM Subject: [New comment] McCool homestead in Northern Ireland, Part 2 #yiv9923193305 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9923193305 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9923193305 a.yiv9923193305primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9923193305 a.yiv9923193305primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9923193305 a.yiv9923193305primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9923193305 a.yiv9923193305primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9923193305 Carol McCool commented: “Is this Sue from Vicksburg” | |

      • 17 Neil OConnor December 13, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        How can I get in touch with Carol McCool ? T.P. Neil O’Connor FIC, CSA, OST, RHU, EPC” I AM our brother’s keeper ” Knights of Columbus Complete Financial Services185 D’Youville Dr., Pembroke, ON, K8A 8R5 Phone: 613-735-7412 WEB SITE EMAIL “ Term & Perm & Mortgage Insurance, Income Replacement, Long Term Care, Investments & Annuities”

        From: All Things McCool To: Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 9:59 AM Subject: [New comment] McCool homestead in Northern Ireland, Part 2 #yiv7379082301 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7379082301 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7379082301 a.yiv7379082301primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7379082301 a.yiv7379082301primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7379082301 a.yiv7379082301primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7379082301 a.yiv7379082301primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7379082301 Carol McCool commented: “Is this Sue from Vicksburg” | |

  7. 18 Richard Mason August 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    John McCool born in Ireland in 1675 and died in 1727 in New Castle Delaware. Olivia was born in Ireland in 1675 and also died in Delaware in 1730. John’s father was named John (B 1654) and his son was laso named John (1696-1761) spouse Sarah. My family tree went through the McCools to Mary Elizabeth McCool (1853-1908) who married John Thomas Burney. The Burney’s became the Mason’s which I am. Hope this helps.

    • 19 Samuel J Battista Jr December 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Richard – Most of my family settled in Delaware. Two Families that lived in Toberhead Ireland were the Backhouses and the McCools. Daniel Backhouse was born in 1708 and married a Sarah McCool. I am thinking that perhaps John McCool and Sarah may have had a daughter named Sarah and that is the Sarah of my family. Do you have any information that may help? Thank you – Sam

  8. 20 Patricia E Prentice December 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Hi my name is Patricia Martin Prentice. My grandmother was Alice Josephine McCool. I also go strait back to John and Olivia McCool of Ireland. Imagine that. Heres my question: I have recently found someone on line who believes that Olivia’s last name is McCracken. I have tired to email them by no answer. Does anyone else know about this last name for Olivia? In my research I have seen McCracken’s coming into Americal just after the pilgrims in New England, and in Virginia, SC, NC. But I have never found that John’s Olivia with a last name. This would be good if it were true but as yet I have no SOURCE. You know what they say: Genealogy without sources is nothing but mythology. I am still looking. In my line I have found tha Walter (1712-1796) had a Daughter Olivia, probably after his mother, and they called her Livia. That is most likely the Olivia that married John Hall. Walters mother would have been too old or dead by the time she was married to John Hall. I would be interested in communicating with other McCool researchers. Hope to hear from someone soon. Pat

  9. 21 Lew McCool July 20, 2014 at 9:59 am

    My wife, adult son and I visited Northern Ireland in early June and met Tommy McCoole and his wife, Doris. What a wonderful couple! They took us to the old McCool homestead as well as numerous sites in the vicinity. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will never forget. Wouldn’t it be great if we could put together a McCool/e gathering there.

  10. 23 Neil O'Connor August 9, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I have traced my McCool heritage back to Michael McCool in Donegal. He married a Maria Flanagan about 1809. They had 5 children, Mary, Francis Edward, Charles and my GGGGrandfather, James McCool. There is some evidence that this Michael’s father was also named Michael (Sr.) and married a woman named Breen (maybe given, maybe a surname). This elder Michael we have virtually no information for, He would be born about the mid to late 1700’s and there is evidence he and Breen had 7 children : Thomas, Mary, Catherine, James Sr. John, Edward and Michael Jr.

    I would be happy to share my tree info. The MIchael McCool and Maria Flanagan family lived in a rude homestead in Cullionboy, a few kilometres north and east of Donegal town.
    They attended St. Agnes Catholic Church and many of the family are buried in the cemetery there.

    If you have any information on this line of McCools, please get in touch with me at the email below.

    August 9, 2016

  1. 1 Travel Tip: 8 Great Ways to Learn About Your Family History on Trips « McCool Travel Trackback on October 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

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