Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886372788

From: Edward Andrews <>
Subject: Re: Records
Date: Sun, 01 Feb 1998 22:39:48 +0000

J & KL Dinsmore wrote:
> The ancestors for which I am seeking information were supposedly
> "regular members of the Church of Scotland," although the family lived
> in County Donegal in the mid 1700's. I recently was given some pictures
> of church ruins in Fahan Upper where the family supposedly worshipped.
> Of course, it may be a hoax since there are ruins everywhere in
> Ireland. My question? Are there Church of Scotland records available
> for this period for the North of Ireland? I would appreciate any
> assistance.
By definition the historic Church of Scotland did not have parishes
generally outside Scotland.
While the Presbyterian Church in Ireland traces its continued history
from a Military Presbytery set up in the 1640s until the various
Secessionist bodies were set up in Scotland after 1700. there were no
real formal ties between Churches in Ireland and in Scotland. It is
unlikely that members of the dissenting bodies - by mid 18th Century
Covenanters, Burghers or Anti burghers, would have been described as
"regular members of the Church of Scotland".
I would assume that your ancestors were Scots, who thought they may
well have worshiped in the local Presbyterian Church continued to
claim adherence to the Church of Scotland to avoid the penalties which
they would have incurred as dissenters.
There is a long tradition of people travelling between Donegal and
Scotland for seasonal work, and it could be on the seasonal residence
in Scotland that your ancestor could be claiming membership fo the
Church of Scotland.
If he paid his passage across the Atlantic, that might suggest that
he had an alternative source of income.
There is still a Presbyterian community in N. Donegal. I preached my
first sermon in one of their Churches there over 30 years ago.
I hope that this helps
Edward Andrews
St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith
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