Thanks for all this wonderful information. I have some more information on a contemporary Alexander Holmes in Antrim from an Irish researcher. I am looking specifically for an Andrew and secondarily for Alexanders, since a DNA relation has Alexanders in every generation in Scotland back to the 1500s. Alexanders do not seem to be very common in other Holmes families in other DNA groups. We are excitedly awaiting a DNA result from a descendant of Alexander Holmes and Jane McCaw, a family whom Mr. McCartney referred to in his posting.
Here is the information for Alexander Holmes and relations in Glenarm/Larne. You gave one piece of information to connect your Alexander to Glenarm as well as Larne, and since they are only 11 miles apart, they may be either relatives or the same man. Here are the notes:
Holmes Family info from Ireland researcher—the Tickmacrevan Holmes
1/ We searched the church records of Tickmacreevan Church of Ireland:
Although these began in 1719 for baptisms and marriages, there was a very large gap in the records between 1727 and 1787. We carried the search on to 1820 and found neither baptisms nor marriages nor burials relating to the name Holmes.
2/ The grave inscription
This gave considerable need to work out the actual inscription. That given to you was obviously flawed and we had thought that perhaps everyone was buried in 1728, 1735 and 1732. The figures 3 and 8 can be easily misinterpreted on headstones.
Then we found another transcription of the same stone which read:
Here lyeth the body of Alexander Holmes, died June the 14th 1728 aged 75 years and Jonal his wife died February the 17th 1735 aged 73 years; also Andrew Holmes, brother to the above Alex, who departed this life the 31st of August 1782 aged 82 years; and David Holmes his son, who departed this life the 17th September 1802 aged 52.
As before this is flawed since the son David must have been born long after his father’s death. This leads us to suspect that the true inscription should have deaths for the first 3 people as 1778, 1785 and 1782, with the son dying in 1802. This makes much more sense and a good possibility.
There was another Holmes inscription transcribed on the same document from Glenarm:
True to the end. Here lyeth ye bodies of Hugh Holmes who died October ye 5th 1752 aged 58 years, also his daughter Margaret, died October ye 5th 1745 aged 18 years
The Belfast Newsletter report you mentioned was for 10-13 April 1787 not 1782. It refers to the sale by auction by the heirs and representatives of the late Andrew Holmes of farmland in Ardclenith and Galbolys in Largy near Glenarm. Apply to David Holmes for information.
This adds to the belief that the death of Andrew is 1782 and his son is selling the farm.
Another Newsletter report on 14 April 1772 refers to a reward being offered by many people including Andrew Holmes to catch those who had maimed some cows.
Two reports checked for Alexander Holmes of Glenarm show:
19 January 1773
Alexander holmes wants to find someone to be a lime burner who is both honest and sober.
6-9 July 1773
Sale of a ship – the brig “Two bachelors” at Glenarm. Inventory may be obtained from Alexander Holmes.
I suspect that these reports refer to the Alexander whose grave may show his death as 1778 not 1728.