Oakmans are known to have been in Northern Ireland from as early at 1669. The “Hearth Money Roll for 1669 – Mazareene Barony” lists a Widow Oakeman as living in Ballymoneymore (not far from Ballyminymore and Ballydonaghy where later Oakmans are known to have lived).
Forty years later, in 1709, we find Robert Oakman being chosen as one of the “Surveyors” for Glenavy Parish Church at a Vestry held in the Church of Ireland Parish of Glenavy (source: “Glenavy: Past and Present“, compiled by Charles Watson, Vicar of the Union, 1892).
In 1714, Walter Oakman is “present at Vestry” in the parish records of Glenavy Parish (Church of Ireland).
In 1719 and 1728, William Oakeman is renting land at Aghadolgan, County Antrim (source: PRONI Person Index – Rent Roll Hertford Estate, Documents D427 page 220 and page 61-2).
In 1728, Walter Oakman is renting land at Ballydonaghy, County Antrim (source: PRONI Person Index – Rent Roll Hertford Estate, Documents D427(2) page 61 (rental roll for the Manor of Killultagh)).
In 1728, Walter Oakman (presumably the same as above) renting land at Glenavy, County Antrim (source: PRONI Person Index – Rent Roll Hertford Estate, Documents D427(2) page 65).
By the 1800s there are four prominent homes/farms being occupied by Oakman families in the Parish of Glenavy — Ballydonaghy, Clements Mount, Pigeontown, and Ashvale. These were substantial properties in their time and show these particular Oakman families to be quite wealthy and prominent citizens in the area. It is very likely there were also other, less wealthy, Oakman families living nearby.