Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2001-07 > 0995044638
Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish] Seceders in Pa/Ohio
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 10:17:18 -0700
Right, and while some of the issues that arose in the Scottish
Presbyteian church gave rise to splinter groups in both Ireland
and the USA, each country tends to have its own history. American
Presbyterianism is actually Irish in origin, not Scottish. (I do
have refernces to back me on this; I didn't make it up.) I could
go on and on about what this means to us, but it's rather subtle
and it's not terribly interesting (and I am on my lunch hour).
> A friend suggest I go back and read the list archives, with Presbyterian
>Seceders in mind, and I did so, only to find that my Scottish family could
>have been in Ireland before they emigrated to the colonies. I had just
>assumed (wrong, wrong, wrong and I do know better) that because the Seceder
>"sect" of Presbyterianism seemed to be a Scottish phenomenon,
It arose in Scotland but you find Seceders in both Ireland and
> I've been able to trace my Smiths to York Co, PA, and a couple of
>churches......they were members of the Round Hill Church in the 1780s
>(earliest records), but may well have been there since the church's
>beginnings in the 1750s. This church was also known as "Shrewsbury", "Round
>Hill" by 1770, and "Hopewell" by 1779.
I am not personally familiar with the church (ask me about Lancaster
County Presbyterian churches or Westmoreland co!), but I would
urge you do become very familiar with it. This means looking for
congregational histories, understanding the succession of ministers,
searching the Presbyterian Historical Society (via LDS at least) for
deposits made by the church or a pastor, searching the local DAR
records for church records, searching usgenweb.com for on line records,
searching where ever else the church may have deposited records (so
believe they all deposite in the Philly Presbyteian Historial
Society but this is incorrect), etc. What often happened is the early
immigrants established a meeting house. Eventually it got caught
up in politics and split. It may have split into Reformed and...eh...
unreformed ?? factions early in the 1700's (some did). Then it might
have reunited in the late 1700's. Or perhaps some subgroup remained
separate. It's hard to tell, not knowing who moved there. Each
splinter group may have deposited somewhere different, drawing on
my experiences with the Wallkill, New York Presbyterians. You
yourself should become familiar with the ethnic makeup of early
members. Were they predominantly Scottish or Irish? You cannot
tell by the surnames, by the way, unless the surnames are very Irish.
I have seen Presbyterian groups in Western PA with lots of Irish
It appears the original emigrants
>arrived ca 1750 , from requests made for supplies, etc. Would this date be
>any way to help figure if these folks came from Scotland or Ireland?
No, the date will not help. The history of the congregation and the
county will help.
> The Smiths also were members of another "congregation" in York, the
>second one of Rev. Cathcart, who was also minister of the Round Hill
>Congregation...this was in the
>late 1700s-early 1800s. My branch of the family then moved to Jefferson
>Co., Ohio, where they are buried in the Seceder's Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant,
>established in 1803.
If they show signs of being committed Seceders, you can learn a
lot by studying t he movements of Seceders. More church histories.
Mine were committed Reformed Presbyterians. They never seem to have
mixed with the Seceders in new or old world. I have searched the
surviving church records of the Seceder church in Ballymena, for
example (Rev Buick's) -- none of my surnames. They only occur in
the RPs. Very interesting. You can get so you recognise the
surnames that are "your" group. I recall once viewing a parish in
Tyrone in the Tithe Applotments looking for MARSHALLs. This parish'
was full of Ballymena Covenantor surnames. At the end of the parish
the Church of Ireland minister had written "This parish was settled
by the spawn of the Covenantors and is where the Hearts of Oak
began". He hated these people --- and though I can't recall his exact
words, they did indicate they'd moved from County Antrim. (No
Marshalls! My Marshalls were "normal Presbyterians", maybe from the
Calydon estate, donno).
> I've been unable to find any sort of passenger lists to document the
>arrival of the Smiths, or their port of embarkation, and was just hoping
>that the date of the inception of their church might be a clue as to where
>they had originated.
Most likely you will not ever find passenger lists because you are
attempting to do 18th century genealogy using a 19th century
methodology. In 1820 the US congress passed a bill that required that
lists be made of all people coming into the country. From that date
we have fairly complete passenger lists. Before that date we do not.
A few th ings do survive. They are largely published and then indexed
in Filby. You won't ever find a third of all immigrants in the
post 1820 ship lists -- that third came first to Canada and then
crossed over the border. My paternal great grandparents are among
them. (You can use the census to pinpoint their arrival date).
To locate information on these people look to the history of the church
and the county/township and then followup on Seceder congregations
further east. If you've not done a thorugh study of deeds and wills
for 50 years or so, that might turn up their origins too. We climbed
over a brick wall in our family when an ancestor who had inherited land
from his father registered that deed 50 years after he inherited it.
He named everyone who might be able to be a witness to the fact that
he had inherited it and had a clear title to it. That's how we learned
the names of his dad and siblings. We already had the gravestones
of these people -- we were then able to plug them into the family
There's a lot of good info at
http://genealogy.com/university.html especially the courses on
immigration. They can show you how to look for this family.
You can always make a stab at trying to locate them in the Scottish
OPRs. These are free at any FHC or you can pay money to access the
indexes at Scots Origins (please help pay down the Scottish national
debt<grin>). Probably most of them are in IGI. I've heard conflicting
opinions as to whether they are all there or not. But you will need
a more unique name than "Smith" or you'll be looking for a needle
in a haystack! Also they may or may not be in the OPRs. My Scottish
ancestors were ultimately Free Kirk, which split in the early 1840's
but some of them were part of an earlier split and were "out"
from the 1750's. Up to a third of the Scottish population did
leave the Church of Scotland in the 1840's. That's not counting the
portion that was nominally Church of Scotland but too poor and dispised
to get their children baptized in the kirk. If you do have a way
to distinguish yours from other Smiths in Scotland, it's worth a
stab. A unique first name that got passed down to sons would
work nicely to help you at least tenitively eliminate Scotland.
Best of luck,
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