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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2009-06 > 1244125845

Subject: Re: [S-I] ARP Archives
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 14:30:45 +0000 (UTC)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Richard, it's very hard to say where his records are deposited.

The name "ARP" in the USA has been used by several groups. For instance after 1800 when the Covenantor church split over the issue of slavery, it was used by the minority group, largely situated in South Carolina. Of the four ministers, only one didn't vote to disallow slave ownership -- that Rev. Martin. Clearly this group is largely in the American south and though they used ARP they weren't seceders but Covenantors!

So I wonder what the dates are for the "ARP" churches in the USA? Presumedly before 1812 and his death....That makes a world of difference.

Because the groups split and merged and split again the history of each congregation is complex. In addition, congregations could deposite records whenever they saw fit, where ever was the norm for themselves at that time. So after the 1834ish split in the Covenantors, when 2/3rds left, after that date, you do NOT find that they deposited records with the RP church body (headquartered in PGH). Their historical connection didn't matter. They tended to deposit at the PCA (I think it is now) in Indiana....(I am recallng from memory).

Anything the folks at the RP library have in Pittsburgh, they say would NEVER be at Phily at the Presbyterian Historical Society. This would be like depositing things with the devil <grin>! Or so their looks conveyed to me. However that doesn't mean that some church body, not terribly well educated in the political issues of the Presbyterians and wanting to unload some paper, never did. In prowling around the UP seminary library here in Pittsburgh, It is very diverse -- takes anything. Not so particular as the dissenting groups. Ie you can find information on dissenters in the UP seminary libraries.

There is also the possibility that his records were not deposited with a congregration but as his own personal records.

Probably the best way to do this is:
1. Contact the churches and see if anyone knows where the records were deposited or even exist. As my mother likes to say "log churches burnt up a lot" -- and the records sometimes went with them. Some churches may even hold their own records. We have run into that here in the Pittsburgh area.

2. Research the history of the congregations paying attention to which 'side' they went with throughout. You will need to check the depositing organizations. The Internet is a great help to finding these.

3. Consult histories of Seceders in the USA -- even if the congregations are not mentioned, the bibliography may suggest places to check.

It can be very confusing. Everyone knows there were Presbyterian congregations at places in Mother Cumberland County, PA -- and we got the names of some of the ministers. As I dug deeper, I found that what you had was originally lots of Presbyterians who joined together in the early/mid 1700s to worship. At most they had a visiting minister. Eventually they got one to stay on. Then enough people came who were non-orthodox that there was a split. Since the meeting place was central, they may have shared. The big group may have had a minister and the little ones didn't, like the RPs. The histories will name the big group. You check their records...nada. You dispair. Actually, there were others there; you didn't check all the records. The records may be with the minister who itinerated -- NOT a place.

For the smaller groups, their individual histories are invaluable at identifying congregations. You could have a place like "Hopewell" that had a large group and two splinters -- RP and Seceders.

But its key to know at what date they labeled themselves ARP and what group they associated themselves with to understand where to check (other than 'everywhere').

Another idea is to check with the York Co Historical Society -- it may know the history of this group. You have the same problem with the Quakers and the librarian at the library at Swarthmore knew the history of all the meetings by heart! You'd mention the name and she'd tell you which records to search in what period. The York people are the ones most likely to know that. Or a local Presbyterian historian.

We got one here in my area (a Presbyterian historian) who would know the congregational histories by heart, but he won't help you for York County. But the historical society would know him. Or see what has been published in the area. - where'd this info come from?

Timeline of SEceders in the USA:

Linda Merle

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 6:44:11 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [S-I] ARP Archives

I have a copy of the autobiography of the Rev. Josias Wilson, written in
1804 at Ballymena, Co. Antrim. It takes his story down to 1796-7,
concentrating on his studies for the ministry and medicine. The original manuscript
is in the Historical Society of York County, Pennsylvania.

He served two congregations Hopewell and Chanceford in York County, PA
until 1812 when he died.

He was a Seceder (Associate Presbyterian Church) in Ireland and the
congregations he served in PA were Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP).

Some of you are very familiar with their archives and published histories
in PA. Who (and where) should I contact to find out whether anything has
survived from his ministry in PA?

Thanks for your help.

Richard MacMaster
**************Shop Inspiron, Studio and XPS Laptops at

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