John Lynn, Painter
in Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland
b. ca. 1807 - d. 1 May 1879

Most Distant Known Patrilineal Ancestor of Brian Lynn


Historical Account First Generation Second Generation Third Generation

H o m e

Most of the following was discovered through the efforts of Deborah Dawson,
of Brian Lynn, and the efforts of Colin Rodgers.

Historical Account

John Lynn was born about 1807 in Ireland.  He lived in Belfast, became a painter, married a woman named Margaret about 1830, and was the father of two sons and one daughter.  In 1837, he was registered as a freeholder on King Street in Belfast, but he moved to Ann Street in or before 1843.  The latter year’s Belfast Directory includes John Lynn, painter, at 54 Ann Street.  He was listed at the same address in 1846 and 1852, specifically as a house painter in 1852.

John was widowed on 8 February 1864, when “Margaret, wife of John Lynn, painter, aged 56 years”, died at 54 Ann Street.  Her obituary states that she would be interred at the “Dunmurry Burying-ground”.  At the time, Dunmurry was roughly four miles north of Belfast, but it is now encompassed within the city.

Another John Lynn, a farmer, stated in 1856 that he lived on Hannahstown Road in “Englishtown, Dunmurry”.  Today, Englishtown and Dunmurry are separate, adjacent townlands in neighboring civil parishes.  What relationship he had to John Lynn, painter, if any, is unknown.

Approaching the end of his own life, but apparently still in good health, John Lynn, painter, wrote his will on 18 October 1871.  He described himself therein as living at 54 Ann Street, Belfast.  Leaving his entire estate to his “beloved daughter Margaret Lynn”, he also appointed her sole executrix.  Margaret, however, predeceased her father by two days; and letters of administration were granted on 23 May 1879 to “James Lynn a child of deceased”.  John’s death had occurred on 1 May 1879, and father and daughter both were laid to rest in the Dunmurry Burying-Ground.

Burial at Dunmurry suggests a connection between this family and other early Lynns who were buried there.  Notably, the earliest known ancestor of Philip Lynn’s Y-DNA match Brian Lynn - a John Lynn who was born about 1807 and was a painter in Belfast - is also buried at Dunmurry.  In fact, not only is there a close Y-DNA match between Philip and Brian but also substantial atDNA* is shared between a number of Philip's and Brian's respective family members.  The DNA matches, Belfast connection, and common place of burial together suggest that the two ancestors - John Lynn the painter and Robert Lynn the carpenter - likely were close cousins.

John and Margaret Lynn's eldest son, James, married Mary Caldwell on 19 February 1862 at St. Anne’s Cathedral.  The marriage register includes James's occupation and the name and occupation of his father.  The father of the bride was described as John Cal[d]well, school master.  The couple had five children before Mary’s early death at the age of 41.  The register of deaths states that she was the wife of a painter, and James was present when she passed.  James himself died in Belfast on 30 December 1887.

John and Margaret Lynn’s younger son, John Lynn, Jr., also was a painter.  In 1874, he placed an ad for house painters and paper hangers.  In 1877 and 1878, he placed ads for an apprentice for his house painting business at 7 Corporation Street in Belfast.  Sometime later, he moved to permanently to Larne in northern County Antrim, where he died at the age of about 60.  He had only one child, William Lester Lynn, and a grandson, John Campbell Lester Lynn.  John C. L. Lynn is the father of Brian Lynn.

* atDNA refers to autosomal DNA, which is acquired from both one's parents.  It is called Family Finder by FamilyTreeDNA and Ancestry DNA by


1 : Ref. #D/2472/1


Henderson's New Belfast and Northern Repository for 1843-1844, James Alexander Henderson, Belfast


Slater’s Royal National Commercial Directory of Ireland for 1846, Isaac Slater, Manchester and London (1846)


The Belfast and Province of Ulster Directory for 1852, James Alexander Henderson, Belfast

5 The Belfast News-Letter, 13 Mar 1856
6 The Belfast News-Letter, 9 Feb 1864
7 The Belfast News-Letter, 1, 2 & 26 May 1879


Northern Ireland Marriages, Registered #M/1862/B1/418/19/36


Northern Ireland Deaths, Reg. #1877/49/1007/22/203


The Belfast Telegraph, 6 Jul 1877 & 15 Aug 1878

First Generation

JOHN LYNN : born ca. 1807; lived in Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland; died 1 May 1879 in Belfast; buried at “Family Burying-Ground” in Dunmurry; married ...
Margaret [possibly Lester] : born ca. 1808; died 8 February 1864 in Belfast; buried at “Family Burying-Ground” in Dunmurry.

Second Generation

JAMES LYNN : born ca. 1835 in Belfast; died 30 December 1887 in Belfast; married ...
Mary Caldwell : born ca. 1839; died 5 April 1879 in Belfast.

JOHN LYNN, JR. : born ca. 1842 in Belfast; died 31 January 1905 in Larne, County Antrim, Ireland; married ...
Margaret Campbell : born 17 November 1842; died 23 January 1907 in Larne.

MARGARET LYNN : born ca. 1849 in Belfast; died unmarried 29 April 1879 in Belfast.

Third Generation

   OF JAMES       

      OF JOHN


JOHN LESTER LYNN : born 1862 in Larne, County Antrim, Ireland; died unmarried 10 October 1942  in Belfast.

JAMES LYNN : born 6 August 1865 in Belfast; died 30 July 1877 in Belfast; marriage, if any, is unknown.

ALICE MAUD LYNN : born 1867 in Belfast; died unmarried 22 June 1932 in Belfast.

MARY JANE LYNN : born 12 September 1869 in Belfast; date and place of death unknown; marriage, if any, is unknown.

MARGARET "MAGGIE" LYNN : born 1877 in Belfast; died unmarried 9 March 1913 in Belfast.


WILLIAM LESTER LYNN : grandfather of Brian Lynn; born 18 May 1866 in Larne, County Antrim, Ireland; died 6 June 1913 in Fulham, London, England; 29 March 1897 married to ...
Mary Moore White : born 22 August 1876; died 2 October 1958 in Hampton Court, London, England.

U p


H o m e



Ancestors 1850 Census Y-DNA Phylogeny


Copyright 2019 Loretta Lynn Layman