McKinney descendant returns to family home

Mayor Billy Webb presents Graham McKinney from Australia, grand nephew of William Fee McKinney with a book on the history of Sentry Hill with custodian Wesley Bonar.INNT 19-405-Con
Mayor Billy Webb presents Graham McKinney from Australia, grand nephew of William Fee McKinney with a book on the history of Sentry Hill with custodian Wesley Bonar.INNT 19-405-Con
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A DESCENDANT of William Fee McKinney paid a visit to his ancestral home at Sentry Hill this week.

Australian Graham McKinney, a grand nephew of William, spent four days at the Ballycraigy historical site researching his family history.

Graham inspects a Maori shield at Sentry Hill   INNT 19-407-RM

Graham inspects a Maori shield at Sentry Hill INNT 19-407-RM

William Fee McKinney was a dedicated historian and recorded much of the area’s development.

His family emigrated to many different parts of the world and included in the vast collection archived at the site are many artefacts from their travels.

The collection was maintained right up until 1996 by Dr Joe Dundee, grandson to McKinney, and the site was bought by Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Graham’s great grandfather left Sentry Hill in 1878, later becoming a Presbyterian Minister in New Zealand.

During Graham’s research at Sentry Hill, he came across letters from his grandfather in Australia to Sentry Hill, over 100 years ago.

Sentry Hill custodian, Wesley Bonar said: “He had been over before but just in passing and we have remained in contact over the years.

“On this visit I took him around some of the sites such as the family’s graves at Carnmoney Parish Church and Carnmoney Presbyterian Church where they were baptised and married in.

“We also visited Mallusk graveyard where the McKinney in-laws, the McGaws, were buried and a few other sites of interest and he also met with some of the remaining McKinney and Dundee families.

“He loved his visit this week and only wished he could have spent more time here.”