EG Gayer





William Gayer of Okehampton, Devon

John Gayer, Week St. Mary;

Samuell Gayer of Stratton;

Benjamin Gayer of Stratton


Rev John Gayer

Philip Gayer

Edward George Gayer

John Gayer of Dublin and children

EDWARD GAYER of Northern Ireland and Dublin, my great (x 5) grandfather

Edward Gayer was the second son of Phillip and Agnes Gayer. He was born in 1730, probably in Carrickfergus.  I have found no information about his education. In June 1758 he is registered with the Linen Board as a linen lapper (lappers measure and press linen ready for market).

Linen Board Notice 1757 (10)

In Pursuance of an Advertisement of the 28th of April last, requiring​ ​all Lappers of Linen Cloth to return to Arthur NEWBURGH, Esq; an​ ​Impression of their Seals, with their Securities, in three ​weeks from​ ​the ​date thereof (expressly setting forth) that those who neglected or​ ​refused complying therewith should be discharged; agreeable to the​ ​said Advertisement, the following herein named Lappers have returned​ ​their Securities; and all Merchants, Exporters and others, Dealers in​ ​Linen, are hereby desired to be cautious in buying Linens from Lappers​ ​whose Names are not contained in the here inserted List of Lappers.

As early as 1770 both William Watts Gayer and Edward Gayer are joint clerks of the Irish Parliament. They were still in that position in 1790


Edward Gayer married Henrietta Jones in 1758 (1), she was the daughter of Valentine and Mary (Close) Jones   They separated in 1780 (2).   Edward's older brother, William Watts Gayer, married Henrietta's sister Catherine Jones.  (3)

Mrs. Gayer was the daughter of Valentine Jones of Lisburn and married Edward Gayer, Clerk of the Irish House of Lords, in 1758. He was the son of the Reverend Philip Gayer, vicar of Derriaghy. He joined the Methodist Movement a few months after his wife and fitted out a building at their house for preaching-services.”

Henrietta (Jones) Gayer was an ardent Methodist

Some years after her marriage, Mrs Gayer became very concerned about personal salvation. In her spiritual search she met a regimental surgeon who was a Methodist and he directed her to ‘the old, old story of Jesus and his love.’ Having found saving faith and assurance, Mrs Gayer joined the local Methodist Society and was a loyal and devoted member until her death. She met John Wesley in 1773 and invited him to her home to meet her husband and from then on he was a regular visitor”.# 6. From Ten Wesley Cameos

Edward and his wife became followers of John Wesley, who stayed several times in the house at the Osier Cross, and a yew tree in the Gayer garden under which Wesley preached is still standing

“… there thousands of people in the Irish Methodist Societies at Wesley’s death, but, in addition, scores of Irish converts joined the ranks of Wesley’s travelling preachers. Among the Irish converts was a young woman, Henrietta Jones, a noted socialite. In 1758 she married Edward Gayer, Clerk of the Irish House of Lords and her new home was the beautiful Gayer mansion house at Derryaghy, a few miles from Lisburn in Co Antrim. Mrs Gayer’s part in one of the crises in John Wesley’s life is a story worth telling. # 6. From Ten Wesley Cameos

Edward Gayer died and was buried at Derriaghy in 1799 aged 69. He left his widow, three sons and a daughter.  Henrietta died in 1814 at the age of 85.

Children of Edward and Henrietta (Jones) Gayer

  • Mary Gayer 1759-1832, married Richard Wolfenden in 1778. Children:
    • Jane Wolfenden (1780-1855) married William Armstrong.
    • Andrew Wolfenden (1781-1856)
    • Edward Wolfenden (1785-1853) Married Jane Atkinson 1833.
    • Harriet Frances Wolfenden (1786-1866)
    • Charlotte Wolfenden (1787-1869). Married James Johnson 1806
    • Richard Wolfenden 1787-1819 married Olivia Gayer, his first cousin, in 1814 (4) Olivia was the daughter of Mary’s brother John Gayer and his wife Olivia Henderson.
    • Olivia Wolfenden. Born 1790-1879
    • John Wolfenden  1790-1829.
    • Mary Wolfenden 1793 in Lambeg, Antrim. Died in 1874 in Ballymena, Longford
  • Philip Gayer the second son, born in 1763, appears to have died unmarried. References to Philip Gayer:
    • In the Belfast Newsletter Index  (8) I found entries for Phillip Gayer in June 1789 ."Gayer,Philip quit boot shoe trade pay accounts =Wolfenden, Richard letter attorney house +Lisburn set stock trade disposed amount purchasers handsinterest 2". Note: Richard Wolfenden was the brother-in-law of Philip Gayer
    • In the Belfast Newsletter Index  (8) 1779 "Gayer,Philip partnership =Kinder, Robert masters +London +Dublin opening+Lisburn Boot Shoe warehouse leather-cutting business. +Shambles 1 Nov.journeymen 26"  
    • 1796 he was party to a deed and was described as "Gent. Lisburn, Antrim" (5); 
    • April 1798 a report in the Dublin Post from the Antrim Assizes where a Captain Philip Gayer is accused of assaulting William Kennedy, Attorney. This is the first evidence found that Philip Gayer served in the military. He probably served in the Lisburn Yeomanry which was a voluntary, part-time military force raised in 1796 for local law and order duties (9)
    • Release dated 1798 where he is described a gent of Balinderry, Co Antrim (6);
    • Deed dated 1800 between Philip Gayer and Thomas Weathered, both of  Ballymagharahan, Moira, Co Down. (a.k.a. Ballymagreehan) (7).
              Index to Wills lists Philip Gayer of Derrigahy 1806. His death would have been 1806 or after
  • Edward Echlin Gayer  - 1768-1814 was named after his grandmother Agnes Echlin. He was a major in the 67th Regiment, and served for nine years in the West Indies. In 1782 the regiment took a county title as the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot. In 1785 the regiment was posted to the West Indies: it arrived at Barbados and then moved to Antigua in autumn 1785. It moved to Grenada in 1788 and returned to Barbados in 1793 before travelling home in 1794. It is possible that Edward Echlin Gayer left the regiment before 1794 after being severely wounded several times.

Edward Echlin Gayer married in 1800 in Staffordhire, England, to Frances Christina Dobbs (died 1846), only daughter of Conway Richard Dobbs, M.P., of Castle Dobbs, Carrickfergus and had four children:
    • Arthur Edward Gayer  1801-1877, (author of "Memoirs of Gayer"). Married (1) Eleanor Harriet Whitty (1808-1844) in 1831. Children:
      • Edward John Gayer (1833–1878)
      • Eleanor Jane Gayer (1834–1928)
      • Henry William Gayer (1836–1905)
      • Frances Selina Gayer (1838–1929)
                (2) married Frances Molony (1817–1908)  in 1845. Children:
      • Edmond Richard Gayer (1846-1929)
      • Lucy Harriet Gayer (1847-1912)
      • Edith Mary Gayer (1851-1933)
      • Arthur Cecil Stopford Gayer (1856-1914)
    • Frances Eliza Charity Gayer   1802-1895. Married Lieut. Richard Alexander 17th Feb 1829 in Slavan, Fermanagh.
    • Charles Robert Gayer  1804-1848. Married (1) Catherine King (1804-1846) in 1828, 10 children:
      • Letitia Evelyn Gayer (1829-1894)
      • Edward Gayer (1831-1840)
      • James Arthur Gayer (1833-1878),
      • Robert Ventry Gayer, (1834-1904),
      • Charles Richard Gayer (1835-1889)
      • Harriet Anne Gayer (1837–1925)
      • Annie Frances Elizabeth Gayer (1839–1911),
      • Catherine Gayer (1840-1923)
      • Edward Ventry  Gayer (1841-1920),
      • Frances Hamilton Gayer (1842-1919)

Charles Robert Gayer married secondly Mabella d'Estere Parker (1822-1900), daughter of Nicholas Skottowe Parker and Dorcas Bousfield Steveley in 1847 in Monkstown, Cork. He died shortly after his daughter's birth:
      • Dorcas Charles Gayer (1849-1924)
    • Robert Gayer 1807. No further mention so presumably he did not survive infancy
    • Conway Richard Gayer 1808. No further mention so he presumably did not survive infancy
    • Harriet Anne Wilhemina Gayer  1809-1827. Died aged 18

In the Irish Birth/Baptism Records - Co Antrim and Co Down c. 1660-1930  There are baptismal records for three children, born to Edward Gayer of Antrim:
  • Daniel Gayer in 1793
  • Sarah Gayer, 1794
  • Edward Gayer in 1795.
There is no marriage record for an Edward Gayer in the 1790s. The only remaining Edward Gayer in Antrim in this period was Edward Echlin Gayer.  There is no evidence that he married before 1800 when he married Frances Christina Dobbs. It is possible that these were illegitimate children. The names Daniel, Sarah and Edward were not chosen as names for the children of Edward Echlin Gayer and Frances Christina Dobbs. A mystery remains.

Registry of Deeds: Vol #, Page #, Memorial #
(1)      Pre marriage settlement Memorial 190/531/128090     Image #285.
 (2)     Separation agreement    Memorial   351/105/235056   Image# 364
(3)      Memorial   336/564/226379    Image #309
(4)      Memorial   677/218/466397   Image# 502
(5)      Memorial   513/89/334908     Image# 49
(6)      Memorial  370/363/252799    Image# 192
(7)      Memorial  528/558/347752    Image# 302
To find the Memorial go to Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland. Insert Volume# and Image #

(8)      Belfast Newsletter Index 1737-1800
(9)      A Dangerous Species of Ally': Orangeism and the Irish Yeomanry Allan F. Blackstock
(10)   Pues Occurence Tuesday 27 June 1757
(11)   Journals of the House of Commons of the Kingdom of Ireland, Volume 15

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