Emigration Led by Reverend William Martin in 1772 http://www.magoo.com/hugh/cahans.html#abbeville

Several Presbyterian pastors led their congregations in emigrations from Ulster to American in the decade following Doctor Clark's emigration from Ballybay in 1764. The most notable of these was the emigration of Covenanter Presbyterians in 1772 from the area of Kellswater in central county Antrim. We are interested in Reverend Martin because he settled in the general area of Abbeville, South Carolina (Rocky Creek in Chester County), and after his church was burned by the British in 1780, he took refuge in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

The emigrants led by Reverend Martin traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, in five ships from Belfast, Larne, and Newry, and settled throughout western South Carolina, many in the Abbeville area. The story is told in Scotch-Irish Migration to South Carolina, 1772: Reverend William Martin And His Five Shiploads of Settlers by Jean Stephenson (Shenandoah Publishing House 1970).

The background of the Rev. William Martin is in History of Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church: A Short History by Robert Buchanan. He was born the oldest son of David Martin of Londonderry. The Rev. Martin was the only Covenanter minister in counties Down and Antrim at the time. In 1760 he resided at Kellswater. He had oversight responsibility for societies at Cullybackey, Laymore, Cloughmills, and Dervock. He preached also in Londonderry and Donegal. The Presbytery was founded in 1743 and Kellswater became the center in 1760.

See also: Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church. Chapter X: Irish and Emigrant Places and Lineages:

"First things first. Where is Kellswater? The name, is unofficial and not found on the maps, is wholly familiar to folk in Mid-Antrim. Local authorities suggest that it is most accurately applied to the district which lies between Ross's Factory, on the Antrim-Ballymena 'line', and Kellswater railway station, truly the 'terminus ad quem'. Here, in other words, is a general name, for an area beginning in the townland of Ballymacvea, but crossing the burn into Tullynamullan. What, then, about Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian church, the Covenanters' meeting-house at 'the back of the Water', above the Shankbridge, in the townland of Carnaughts. This oldest congregation (1760) in its denomination, the 'capital of Covenanting' in the phrase of Principal Adam Loughridge, is some miles distant. As the late Superintendent Robert Buchanan (R.U.C.) pointed out in his recently-published Short History, the congregation of Kellswater (like the sister cause of Faughan, county Londonderry) ... does date its title from a river, but no fastidious local (as opposed to anyone using 'Kellswater' in imprecise association) would apply the name to that place."

"Kellswater is in the townland of Carnaghts in the Parish of Connor.  See Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church, Co. Antrim, A Short History, by Robert Buchanan, published by The Congregational Committee, Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church, 21 Grove Road, Shankbridge, Ballymena, Northern Ireland, BT42 3DP, June 1989.  The Rev. William Martin is listed as the Minister from 1760 to 1772." County Antrim, Ireland to Chester County, South Carolina to Randolph County, Illinois—Dispersal of Some of the Descendants of John LYNN and Jennet MALCOLM by James H. Lynn.

From "Back to 'Bonnie Kellswater, 2'", by Eull Dunlop (of the Cambridge House Boys' Grammar School, Ballymena, Co. Antrim), in Familia, the Ulster Genealogical Review, volume 2, number 6 (1990), pages 91, 94:

"The Presbyterian preponderance in the parish of Connor has already been emphasised, but how many of those who emigrated from Kellswater in the last century (the 19th) were also ... members of the Orange Order? ... even today, men of senior years remark how, in their own youth, striplings in a homogeneous community 'rode the goat' (were initiated) as a matter of hereditary course. How much more so in the last century when, despite the transatlantic travel under discussion, the world was small and, as local marriage registers show, many married within their own townlands? What, on the other hand, about the mobility of the privileged class that was the Presbyterian ministry?.... Had not the Covenanting minister of Kellswater, Rev. William Martin, gone to South Carolina in 1772, taking with him five shiploads of settlers? While Jean Stephenson's volume (1971) on Scotch-Irish Migration presumes that Martin's fellow travellers were drawn from north as well as mid-Antrim, inspection of surnames reveals no small number (e.g. Allen, Dunlop, Hanna, McKee, Miller) that are still typical of the parish of Connor. From Maccadoo to Muddy Creek?"

Jean Stephenson expands the territory of those who emigrated with Reverend Martin to the north of Kellswater:

"The majority of them were probably from the vicinity of Ballymoney, Ballymena, Kellswater, and Vow, County Antrim." (page 15).

Ballymoney is a town in north Antrim, on the east side of the Lagan River, not far south of Coleraine.

There were five ships in the emigration led by Reverend Martin. All sailed in 1772. The first two sailed from Larne, the next two from Belfast, and the last one from Newry. For a map of the emigration ports from Ulster in the 17th and 18th century, go to Brian Orr's Emigration—the Ulster-Scots (Scots-Irish): What made them seek a better land?

The James and Mary sailed first on August 25 from Larne. There was smallpox on board (five children died) when they arrived in Charleston harbor on October 16, and they were required to remain on board in quarantine, lying off Sullivan's Island for over seven weeks, until the first part of December. Dickson, Ulster Emigration to Colonial America: 1718–1775, page 253. English America: American Plantations & Colonies, by Thomas Langford, contains ship lists of voyages to English America from 1500 to 1825. The site may be searched both by the name of a ship or by the port of destination. See also The Vessels, Voyages, Settlements, and People of English America 1500 - 1825.

The next ship to sail was the Lord Dunluce that left Larne on October 4 and arrived in Charleston on December 20. This is the only ship that listed "Rev. Wm. Martin (Kellswater)" as an agent. The original sailing date was to have been August 15. The sailing was delayed until August 20, and then rescheduled for September 22. On August 28, the ship announced that passengers must give earnest money by September 5 since a greater number had offered to go than could be taken. On September 15, the ship advertised that, since some families had drawn back, two hundred more passengers could be accommodated. Reverend Martin was on this ship when it finally sailed on October 4. One man and several children died of smallpox on the trip. (Dickson, page 254).

The Pennsylvania Farmer, whose destination had originally been advertised as Philadelphia, sailed from Belfast on October 16, 1772, and arrived in Charleston on December 19. (Dickson, page 248). The Hopewell sailed from Belfast on October 19 and arrived in Charleston on December 23. (Dickson, page 248). The Freemason sailed from Newry on October 27 and arrived in Charleston on December 22 (Dickson, page 252).

The five ships and the people who came with the Rev. Martin are discussed on the English-America website. A website that is no longer active, http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~merle/Rm/RMIndex.htm, can be accessed through the Internet Archives Wayback Machine. The names of the emigrants have been reconstructed from letters written home to Ulster and published in the paper and from extractions of the South Carolina Quarter Session Minutes, by Janie Revill and Jean Stephenson. There is on the Internet a Surname Summary of those who came with the Rev Martin.

There were five Patersons aboard the Hopewell, part of the emigration led by Reverend William Martin in 1772: Agnes (350 acres), Janet (100 acres), John (250 acres), John (100 acres), and William (350 acres). Aboard the FreeMason were: Samuel Patterson (350 acres) and Mary Patterson (100). Aboard the Pennsylvania Farmer was Andrew Paterson (250 acres). A Long Cane Settlers List in the Abbeville/Long Cane Research Archives shows that Samuel Patterson filed a plat on 100 acres on Long Cane Creek (Bold Branch) on September 3, 1772.

Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers by William Henry Foote Electronic Edition.

In 1750 Presbyterians from Octoraro, Virginia, and North Carolina, came to South Carolina and settled at Rocky Creek. By 1755 Irish immigrants, many of them Covenanters, began arriving. Various groups (Associate, Covenanter, Burgher, Anti-Burgher, Seceders) formed the "Catholic" (meaning a union of various groups of Presbyterians) church on Rocky Mount Road, 15 miles southeast of Chester. In 1770 Covenanters began holding society meetings and wrote to Ireland for a minister. Reverend William Martin answered the call in 1772, and preached many times at the Catholic church. In 1774 the Covenanters, under the leadership of Reverend William Martin, withdrew from the Catholic congregation and built their own meeting house, a log building on the same road as the Catholic church, and two miles east of it. In this context, a Catholic church means a church made up by a union of various groups of Presbyterians. (See Emigration Led by Reverend William Martin in 1772, above, and Stephenson, page 20).

"In County Down Ireland, James Blair's family was part of the congregation of Rev. William Martin, called the 'seceders' they were a splinter Presbyterian group. In 1772, Reverend Martin received a 'call' to South Carolina; about one thousand seceders, five shiploads, went with him. James Blair's ship was the Lord Dunluce, which left Larne Ulster, 4 Oct. 1772 and it arrived at Charleston, South Carolina on 2 Dec. 1772, after sailing against contrary winds. The land in America was to cost five pounds, and the acreage was determined by family size. If the immigrant had no money the land was free. Since, these were Scotsman and thrifty with their money, the book says not too many of them could come up with the five pounds. This was a large group, and as such they were scattered around the Abbeville district of South Carolina. James was given 230 acres on the shores of Fishing Creek near Rev. Martin in Craven County, later Chester County." Blair Ancestors of Barbara Blair Feldhaus.

See also: Porter, Howard Leonard (1985). Destiny of the Scotch-Irish: an account of a migration from Ballybay...to Washington County..., Winter Haven Fla.: Porter Co. P.O. Box 7533, Winter Haven.


Early Church History