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Weir Acheson

Weir ACHESON; born in Tyrone County, Ireland about 1781 and died there in 1854. Little is known of our first Acheson ancestor, and only of one son who emigrated to Canada to start our family line.

Family reference: 1

Born Born 1781 Tyrone County, Ireland1
Married Married unknown  
Died Died 29 May 1854 Tyrone County, Ireland

Photo Album - Family album of photos and documents.


  • Father: unknown
  • Mother: unknown


  1. Joseph Acheson; b. 1815; d. 1901
  2. Alexander Acheson

Weir and the Land

A Weir Acheson was living in the parish of Lower Langfield, also known as Longfield West, in county Tyrone in 1826 with a land holding of 34 acres, a sizable piece of property for farming. Ay that time, Weir was some 47 years old and with children. His only known son Joseph was by then eleven years old and likely helping with the land chores.


Notes from the Ulster Historical Society (Ireland), obtained by Gert [Webber] Lawrie about 1986-88:

We began our search with a check for the name of Acheson in the Tithe Applotment Book for the parish of Lower Longfield, also known as Longfield West, in County Tyrone. The Tithe Applotment Books for each parish recorded the names of each occupier of a holding and the titheable value of that holding.

The Tithe Applotment Book for the parish of Lower Longfield, compiled in 1826, has several entries for the name of Acheson and among them was found one for Wier Atcheson (sic) who lived in the townland of Collow. Apart from having a noticeably larger than average holding of 34 acres he was one of the few men recorded whose name was prefixed by the title 'Mr.', suggesting that he might also have been one of the more respected members of the community. Despite the spelling of the surname in this entry (and there were to be several variations on the spelling throughout the course of this search) it is most probable that this Wier Atcheson (sic) is indeed the one for whom the search was made; Wier being a very uncommon Christian name.

There were two other Atchesons recorded in the parish in 1826, Cunningham Atcheson and Mr. John Atcheson, both in the neighbouring townland of Lackagh. Due to the proximity of these two townlands to each other it is again quite probable that these three men were related.

Early Acheson Settlers of Tyrone County

from Acheson Surname web page.

There are several possible early ancestors for the Achesons of Cookstown, county Tyrone, and though they may perhaps be closely related, of this we are as yet uncertain. The earliest mention of an Acheson in County Tyrone yet uncovered, is in the vicinity of Cookstown. Occuring understandably during the period in which Scottish "planters" were taking and developing land in Ulster, we find several mentions of a Robert Atcheson (also Atchison, Atginson, Atkinson) in the early Summonisters Rolls, Tyrone Assigns of King Charles I.

Robert is cited several times between the years of 1625 to 1629 as a Gentleman of Kilmoon, and Seneschal of Donaghmore Manor. He is also cited in two undated earlier Summonister Rolls from roughly 1615 to 1622. Judging by the dates of his apparent Plantation, and his "Gentleman" status it appears that he was granted some parcel(s) of land in Kilmoon (probably Killymoon today) probably around the commencement of the Plantations in 1609 under King James I. Also cited among the early Tyrone Assigns, was a Henry Achinson (1622) who probably is the same who was also granted lands over the county border in Armagh (2000 acres), and whose brother Archibald became the ancestor of the Earl's of Gosford at Markethill after Sir Henry passed him his landholdings.

This Gentleman Robert Atcheson may well have been related to the Acheson brothers Henry and Archibald who coincidentally or not took lands very near to Robert, and were later knighted in the mid 1620's (probably indicating that like Robert, they were also Gentlemen prior to Knighting). This being the case, Robert too may have originally been from the region of Edinburgh where the brother's came from, since there was a heavy population of Achesons in Edinburgh during the 1600's, many of whom seem to have been of substantial means. The early Achesons of Edinburgh appear to originally have dwelled just east north-east of Edinburgh (15 to 20 miles) at what was then called Gosford House. A sheltered bay on the south shore of the Firth of Forth (near the Gosford estate) took its name from this family in the mid-1600's, being called "Aitchison's Heivine".

Robert's rank as Seneschal indicates that he was Steward of, and saw to the household affairs of Donaghmore Manor. The manor was probably owned by someone of better means, who may not have taken a great interest in these Tyrone lands at this early time, or perhaps the Donaghmore property was even owned by a relative of Robert's.

Robert Atcheson, Gt. would have been a contemporary of James Stewart who took possesion of a small parcel of land in Ballymenagh in 1620. As contemporary gentlemen and neighbors in this sparsely populated region they would almost certainly have known of one another, if not having known each other personally. James Stewart of course later became the grandfather of William Stewart who features so prominently in Cookstown's history as the primary early developer of "Cooke's town" during the 1730's and 1740's.

Other possible progentors of the Cookstown line of Achesons might be derived from Achesons who settled in County Armagh, which includes- Sir Henry and Sir Archibald of County Armagh from 1612+; William Acheson who settled on the Hamilton Estate (1629-30) in Killycarn, Loughgilly Parish, County Armagh; Nathaniel Acheson recorded in the Muster Roll of 1630 in Oritor? Barony, Armagh Co. as Lord Mountmorris' man-at-arms; or Robert Acheson who settled on the Gosford Estate (1630), in Fews Barony, Markethill, Co. Armagh

By 1659 we find that a Patrick Acheson is of Omagh, Drumra Parish, Co. Tyrone, and appears to have commenced a line of Acheson descent in the vicinity of that town*.

During the period of William Stewart's restructuring of Cookstown (plans being drawn up in 1734, and completed in the 1740's) we find that a David Atchison was a farmer of Loy (Hill), Derryloran Parish, Co. Tyrone (1735-6). Thus David was a contemporary of William Stewart's and an early citizen of the redesigned community of Cookstown. Assuming that David was born ca. 1700, he might be presumed to be the Grandson or perhaps Great-Grandson of Robert Atcheson Gt. of Kilmoon. Note that the modern day "Killymoon desmesne" lies southeast of the small townland of Loy.

* This appears to be the earliest Acheson mentioned for county Tyrone.

There was another Acheson family from county Down, Ireland that emigrated first to Grey county, Ontario, then some moved on to Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. A researcher has posted some correspondence in the 1850's between the Irish and Ontario families.

The given name "Weir" is uncommon in Ireland. It may have come from a grandparent. The Irish have a tradition of giving a greeting name to their first son of the surname of the mother's father. For the second son it would be the maiden name of his mother's mother. "Weir" is a surname in Ireland. If this is the case, then Weir's parents were possibly an Acheson-Weir marriage.

Other researchers have posted the Irish marriage of a George Acheson to Elizabeth, daughter of a David Weir. David Weir was a merchant of Belfast. George and Elizabeth raised seven children in northern Ireland in county Armagh, which is on the southeast border of county Tyrone. George was born in 1724 and died in 1812, Elizabeth having preceded him to the grave in 1808.

At this time there is no evidence linking George and Elizabeth to our Weir Acheson.

"The peasantry are very industrious. The houses of the farmers are built in some parts of stone, in others of clay; slating is becoming more prevalent than thatch for roofing. The want of native timber has also been much felt in the construction of the houses of the small farmers and cottiers. The cabins are generally built at the joint cost of landlord and tenant, in which case the latter has an abatement of rent; when the whole is executed at the tenant's cost, a year's rent is usually allowed him. The use of turf for fuel is universal except in the immediate neighbourhood of the collieries. The food consists of potatoes and oatmeal, and in seasons of scarcity, barley meal; milk is used in summer and autumn; in winter, herrings. Sometimes a pig is killed at Christmas, or several labourers join in the purchase of a cow. The Donagh, which is kept at Brookborough, near Five-mile-town, is a box or casket about the size of a thick quarto volume containing a representation of Christ and the Apostles in high relief on brass coated with silver, under which are some relics; it is used as a test of veracity in taking evidence among the people. A belief in fairies, called here the Wee People, is universal among the poorer peasantry; as is the custom of driving their cattle round fires lighted on Midsummer-eve. A kind of hurling here called "common" is a favourite amusement of the young men; formerly they devoted eleven days at Christmas to this exercise, now they give only one; a proof of the increase of habits of industry. There are chalybeate springs at Dunbonrover in Badony parish; at the foot of Douglas mountain; besides several of less note among the Munterlowny mountains. At Aghaloo is a sulphureous water stronger than that at Swanlinbar; and a very valuable mineral water at Scarvey, two miles from Aughnacloy. Tyrone gives the inferior titles of Earl and Viscount to the Marquess of Waterford, the head of the Beresford family."
From: Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
at website:


  1. "Who's That Sitting in our Family Tree?", by Gert [Webber] Lawrie; private publication 1988; history and stories of Canadian families of Webber, Acheson, Miller and Henry

Family Outline

Descendancy Chart for WeirAcheson1781
0 WeirAcheson1781
1 JosephAcheson1815
1 AlexanderAcheson1848
1 RosenfeldHamlet
2 SarahAcheson1879
2 ArabellaAcheson1857
3 SamuelAcheson1853
1 GeorgeAcheson1884
2 JosephAcheson1890
3 NormanAcheson1888
4 WeirAcheson1850

-- JimBenedict - 30 Mar 2006
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Acheson.WeirAcheson1781 moved from Acheson.WierAcheson1781 on 18 Dec 2006 - 04:56 by JimBenedict - put it back
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