Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2001-07 > 0995076646
Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish] Seceders in Pa/Ohio
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 19:10:46 -0700
>I am familiar with the individual church, and have dug up what there is on
>the history of it, and early ministers, who were uniformly from
>Scotland....and, I also have the earliest lists of church members. I have
>written to and received info from the Historical branch of the Presbyterian
>Church in Philly, but they have precious little on Seceders, from looking at
>what they send me.
Right, they probably would have very little on them. If
you do want to find out what they have, you will have to go there.
When you write to them, they will provide a brief response. When
I visited the RP seminary library in Pittsburgh, in two days I barely
scratched the surface on what was there. I guarentee you they didn't
spend that kind of time -- unless you paid them. What this means
is that you must do the research yourself. In researching Reformed
Presbyterians I read about every history of Presbyterianism that
I came across in the FHL as well as a few seminary libraries. Maybe
you are luckier than I, but that is the kind of effort it takes.
LDS has the major works on Presbyterianism. I'll see if I can
locate them in the catalog. I should also warn you that there isn't
"one" history of either congregations or Presbyterianism in the USA,
though each group writes as if there is only one view and that is its
own. So you can read about the history of a church and due to the
whitewashing, never get told that there were splinter groups. These
things are embarrassing, after all. You will find another church history
in the area that will speak of its birth from the 'mother' congreg-
ation -- and only then will you realize there was at some times
more than one congregation.
>and it doesn't seem to me that things changed any or splintered.
You may find differently if you dig. I would suggest a place to
start is the LDS catalog.
>Without knowing where they were from (Scotland? Ireland?) I don't quite know
>how I'd know what parish records in either country, to view,
In Ireland Presbyterians are congregational, as in the USA. In
your time period it is highly unlikely you will find any congregational
records. They largely start about 1820 or so.
>them......that was why I was hoping for..... some hint of which country,
>with the date of arrival.
This is called immigration research. The hunt for the family
origin. Again, if you prefer free research, then
http://genealogy.com/university.html is the very best place to
go. Or you can buy Carmack's book "Discovering Your Immigrant
and Ethnic Ancestors". It sells at Borders and most large bookstores
as well as on line. Rootsweb has a good lesson on immigration
research: www.rootsweb.com .
The first place you look for immigrants in this period is Filby.
Let me say this again. The first place you look for 18th century
immigrants is Filby. His Passenger and Immigration Lists Index
is at a local FHC and on CD. You will need more information to
use it. That help is given at
> I'm a pretty canny researcher, and traced the Smiths to PA by searching
>for what I believed were the namesakes of several of their children; I
>couldn't believe that Andrew Finley Smith and Andrew Duncan Smith weren't
>named for existing people....
I suspect that they are as well. This brings us to Scottish/Scotch-
Irish naming patterns. use of a middle name suggests to me that they
were middle class. Being middle class suggests to me other kinds of
records that they might appear in.
As you attempt to do research in foreign countries, you m ust always
pause and learn how to do research in those countries. The records
are different in both Scotland and Ireland. How you access them is
I would suggest to you that you have not found t he repository for
information on the Seceders and that avenue may help you weed out
the rest of the Smiths who were not Seceders. I know it has helped
me with Andersons and Blacks (Reformed Presbyterian).
> if I found Andrew and there were Smiths in his
>"home" congregation, how would I know if they were "my" Smiths or
>not........it's just a terrible name to work with!
It's a rough one. For more advice than I can type in see the
above website, and do check Filby if you haven't already.
"Buick's Ahoghill" published by the Mid Antrim Historical Group has
a brief history of the Secessionist church in Ireland, explaining how
may Presbyterians left Scotland "for conscience's sake" due to the
non-separation there of church and state which induced what was to
some an "openly-expressed latitude in matters of doctrine". This
caused some Presbyterians in Ireland to lean towards the Seceders,
who grew to look on Ireland as the "mission-field" of the time.
To give you a sense of the time, the FIRST secessionist minister
was ordained in Ireland in 1746 according to this book. Where this
book can be invaluable is it tells us that on March 22, 1770
Bryan McManus, Esq, of Mount Davys, leased the plot of land called
Magg's Knowe that was one acre in size to Matthew Herbison of Bally-
conley, James McKeown of Ballybeg, both farmers, James Coulter
of Ahoghill, shopkeeper, and Thomas Meek of Moneydolog, linendraper,
as trustees for a congregation fo Seceders. (p 22).
In footnotes it goes on with more detail on these trustees.
We are told that the family of Matthew Herbison were still on the
farm in Ballyconley in 1901 and that 40 or 50 years before that
there were two families of that name in the village. The family
was still Seceder in 1901. There were several McKeown families in
Ballybeg who were Seceders, we are told, but some went to the
2nd Portglenone, which we are told was also a Secession church.
Huge amounts of detail here that will clearly help anyone id
secessionist surnames. What I'm saying is that often huge amount
of info does exist. But like this book -- there's no index. The
only way to know if there are Smiths there is to read the whole
All these folk had Scottish ministers. In the early 1700's in
America there were very few ordained American ministers. There were no
seminaries. See Hanna "The Scotch-Irish" for a history of early
presbyterianism in the USA -- he'll talk about Tenant's log cabin
school. My relation the Rev Charles Clinton Beatty went to it.
Best of luck,
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