Posted by: Dorothy Arthur | October 26, 2008

Ballymoney Press Release


From: Keith Beattie, Ballymoney Museum Date: 19 September 2014


People from Kilraughts will be able to ask ‘Who do you think you are?’ after the launch of the latest book by genealogist Dorothy Arthur in Ballymoney Town Hall on Wednesday, 24 September at 7.30pm.

In her latest book, Dorothy has painstakingly studied all of the headstones in Kilraughts Old Church Graveyard and deciphered the ancient inscriptions which, so often, are almost illegible. To compliment these details, the author then reveals the story of the family – dates for births, marriages and deaths; where they lived; who they were related to; their occupation and, occasionally, an anecdotal tale or published account of events linked to their life.

Her previous books (on Ballymoney Old Church Graveyard, St. Patrick Parish Church and Derrykeighan Old Church Graveyard) have proved invaluable for people researching their ancestors and copies are regularly purchased in America, Canada, Australia and around the globe.

“Kilraughts Old Church Graveyard” by Dorothy Arthur will be available at a discount price of £15 on the night of the book launch only; thereafter, it can be purchased for £18 from Ballymoney Tourist Information Centre, Ballymoney Town Hall or by visiting .

To coincide with the launch of her book, on Sunday, 28 September at 2pm, visitors will have a unique opportunity to join Dorothy on a guided tour around Kilraughts Old Church Graveyard. Dorothy will take visitors to see a selection of the more interesting headstones and reveal the stories of the families that are buried in this fascinating old graveyard which is now carefully maintained by Ballymoney Borough Council. The tour is free admission; no dogs permitted except Guide Dogs. Walking boots or heavy outdoor shoes are recommended as paths do not extend throughout the entire graveyard.


New Ballymoney family history resource unveiled

A superb new book is to be launched at Ballymoney Town Hall on Saturday 1st November.

Ballymoney Old Church Graveyard is the new publication by local historian Dorothy Arthur. Members of the public will have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the book at the special discounted price of £20. Dorothy Arthur will be delighted to meet with those who attend at 2pm.

The book is a culmination of over three years of meticulous research. Dorothy Arthur has investigated over 400 gravestones in the Old Church Graveyard, maintained by Ballymoney Borough Council. It is every genealogist’s dream as it contains not only a transcription and photograph of each grave, but also commentaries on the family histories along with family trees.

There is much interest in this long awaited publication, as it will provide a valuable resource for everyone with an interest in the families of the Ballymoney district. Until now, anyone researching the Old Church Graveyard, had access to a map and headstone listing, both held in Ballymoney Museum’s records. However, thanks to Dorothy Arthur’s comprehensive research, readers will be able to discover much more information about their ancestors, including where they lived and their occupations. For some of the families, she accumulated so much information that not all could be included, though she is happy for people to get in touch.

So what prompted Dorothy Arthur to tackle such a mammoth task? The Ballymoney-born author explains that her interest in family history began at a young age, when she would spend hours pouring over the gravestones in the Old Churchyard where her ancestors are buried. While delving into her own family tree, she acquired knowledge about other Ballymoney families. She decided to publish her research with the hope that she could help others looking for their Ballymoney ancestors.

Dorothy Arthur points out that many of the graves are illegible and some only partly readable, and she was required to come up with a number of approaches to try and unlock their secrets. It has been a long road, and many long hours have been spent ploughing through records at the museum, PRONI, and various churches.

The resulting publication is a remarkable achievement and given the high interest in researching family history in this part of the world, the book is sure to be a big hit with both genealogists and local people alike. This could be the perfect present for someone you know this Christmas. Don’t forget, the special discount price is only available on Saturday 1st November at the Town Hall. Refreshments will be provided.

For further information on the book please read this site or email

Copies of the book will be on sale in the Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall, Ballymoney from 1st November, priced £25.


  1. How do I purchase a copy for my library in the US?

  2. My book costs £25 plus £7 p&p. A money order for £32 GBP would be most appreciated. Is this fine with you? Dorothy

  3. I ordered your book July 1, was informed that it had been shipped July 4, and still have not received it, as of August 5. How long does your international shipping usually take?

  4. Hi Dorothy,
    Im trying to find a place called “Ballynahone”,
    Drumdallagh, Stranocum, County Antrim
    Any ideas?

  5. It is usually spelt Ballinahone and Drumdollagh and is in the Kilraughts area. What families are you looking for as I am writing another book – this time on Kilraughts Old Churchyard.

  6. hi
    The Gardner family

  7. Hi Dorothy,I was wondering if you have come across any information about the “McMurray”family from Kilraughts?

  8. There no McMurrays in my Kilraughts research but you may find them in Kllymurris which is nearby. What era are you searching? Have you tried looking at the “Braid” site run by Ballymena Council?

  9. Thanks for your reply,Dorothy.I am just starting my family history and am looking into late 1800-1900 era.I may have the wrong county as I thought Kilraughts/Artiferral were in the Ballymoney area.The other name related to these McMurrays was Tweed.
    I will try the Braid as suggested.Many thanks,Sylvia

  10. I have found some more re a McMurray married to Tweed.
    Email me at

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