Best Papers

Records of the (Du Bordieu/Dubourdieu) Best family of Aghagallon, Co. Antrim, 1779-1943. Of Huguenot descent, the Best Family were substantial tenant farmers living and working in the parish of Aghagallon, Co. Antrim. Comprising chiefly estate papers, the collection contains title deeds, 1779-1896, testamentary papers, 1790-1893, financial papers, 1802-1893, and a wide range of correspondence, some of it relating to the purchase of holdings under Ashbourne’s Land Purchase Act of 1885 and the estate known as ‘The Cairn’ in Aghalee, Co. Armagh where the family is still resident. Important for charting the development and administration of the Family’s property, the estate papers are notable for illuminating the relationships between tenant farmers, sub-tenants and landowners in the area. The collection also contains a number of maps, plans and valuations including a ‘Plan of the Cairn Hill Farm, the property of Mr. Robert Best' surveyed by M. Wardhaugh in 1846, and papers concerning the Nevin, Cousins, Turtle and McDonald families who were related to the Bests through marriage.


The collection is of value to students of estate ownership and management in the nineteenth century and, in particular, with regard to the purchase of land by tenants at the end of the century. The estate papers illuminate the relationships between tenant farmers, sub-tenants and landowners.

Physical characteristics

The Best papers consist of c.800 documents, 1779-1943, and occupy eight PRONI boxes.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/2838 for catalogue of the papers. The catalogue is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.


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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 09 February 2018