I wonder if your W.M.B. Forde is descended from Matthew Forde, of Seaforde. Do you know what the W.M.B. stands for? I wonder if the "B" stands for Brownlow?
I descend from the Forde's of Seaforde. Unfortunately, I don't have a direct link yet. My GG Grandfather sent a letter to his son in Canada in 1927 outlining the Forde's of Seaforde, but, unfortunately he only mentions that we descend from a younger branch of the Forde's of Seaforde. No names given.
Here is the letter that he wrote:
THE FORDE'S OF SEAFORDE, COUNTY DOWN, IRELAND
The Forde family was originally of Welsh extraction but the Down branch is more immediately descended from Nicholas Forde of Coolgreany in the County of Wexford, Ireland who married Catherine White and died in 1695 being succeeded in the estate by his second son Mathew.
Mathew Forde of Coolgreany, who was member for the County of Wexford married Margaret, sister of Isabella Hamilton Comptese de Grammont, youngest daughter of Sir George Hamilton, the fourth son of James, Earl of Abercrombie and Mary Butler, daughter of Lord Thurles, and sister of the first Duke of Ormond. Mr. Forde was clerk of the crown in the reign of Charles 1, from whom he received patent confirming the title to a County Down estate, which he had procured in 1607 by grant from Thomas Cromwell and this property is still in the possession of the family.
In 1659 Nicholas Forde succeeded his father and married the daughter of Sir Adam Loftus, by whom he had one son Mathew, the second of that name, who was a member of the Parliament for Downpatrick and died in 1695. He was succeeded by the third Mathew, who removed from his Estate in Wexford and built the Mansion House, and the Village of Seaforde, at the Neaghan where the family have ever since resided. This gentleman was referred to in Delany's remarks on the life of Dean Swift, as an associate of the latter, and as a man of family and fortune, a fine gentleman and the best lay scholar of his time and nation. He died in 1728 and was followed by Mathew, the fourth, who was a member of Parliament for Bangor, after his death in 1780 he was succeeded by Mathew the fifth of that name and after the death of the latter in 1796 the inheritance descended to the sixth Mathew, who rebuilt the manor at Seaforde. He married Catherine, eldest daughter of the Right Honorable William Brownlow, member of Parliament for Armagh, and dying in 1812 he was succeeded by Mathew the seventh proprietor of that name, who died in 1839. The property then devolved on the Rev. William Brownlow Forde who married Theodosia, daughter of Thomas Douglas of Gracehill in County Down. The Rev. William Forde died in 1856, and his eldest, Mathew Thomas Forde in 1847. The property consequently descended to the second son, Lieutenant Colonel William Brownlow Forde, who sat for many years as member of Parliament for County Down. In the church of Seaforde there is a handsome monument erected to the memory of this Colonel Forde.
Seaforde is about a mile from Cloagh. There are six Almhouses for six aged widows in the village erected by the late Colonel Forde in fulfillment of a request made by Mrs. Forde, and endowed by him with an annuity of sixty pounds per annum.
Seaforde House is a handsome mansion in the Grecian style, approached by a lofty self-opening gateway. It was erected in 1818 to replace the mansion which was destroyed by fire in 1816. It stands in an extensive and well planted demesne, consisting of more than 1000 acres. In the great storm of January 6th 1839 no fewer than 60,000 trees were blown down here, and on the same night the neighboring chapel of Drumabard was also leveled with the ground by the violence of the hurricane.
My Grandfather, also a Mathew Forde, of a younger branch of the family, suffered sever losses from the repeal of the corn laws and the great famine of 1846 and 1847. He sold his property in County Tyrone, and emigrated with his whole family, my father excepted, to Canada in 1847 or 1848.
His eldest son, my father Lewis Forde remained in Ireland for a time, but by medical advice went out to the milder climate of Morocco, and settled for many years in Saffi, Morocco. He was one of the earliest British settlers on the coast, and in trading with them gained the respect of the Moors. For a time he became Financial adviser of the Sultan, and negotiated a loan for half a million pounds with Lord Russell, then Prime Minister of England, to buy back for the Sultan a town in Morocco captured in war by the Spaniards. He died at Tangier, Morocco in 1869, a comparatively young man.
My brother Lewis Forde, also settled in Laraiche, Morocco and was for many years British and German counsel there.
Hugh Forde, L.L.D.
One time Rector of Tamlaghtfinlagan Parish,
Diocese of Derry and Canon of Derry.
Portrush 18 June 1927