Thompson of the parish of Aghaloo, county Tyrone

The following is a list of research conundrums, pertaining to the Thompson family of the parish of Aghaloo, county Tyrone:

Who was the Rev. Robert Thompson (died bef.1740) of Dromore? as cited in three leases dated 1st May 1735 (2) and 5th June 1740.

  • Was the he the same man who was ordained at Belturbet congregation, 23rd March 1714. “But he did not long retain the charge in consequence of the insufficiency of his maintenance. He resiged it in 1721.” [1] 
  • In his journal article, “Belturbet, Cahans and Two Presbyterian Revolutions in South Ulster, 1660–1770,” Eoin Magennis elaborates further, after discussing the difficulties in establishing a congregation in Belturbet, ending in the submission of the Presbytery of Monaghan to the Tory administration:

    “‘Some good news came when, after all the drama, a minister, Rev. Robert Thompson, was finally ordained for the Belturbet congregation in August, 1714.’ But almost immediately the congregation was struggling financially. The Presbytery of Monaghan was, by 1716, contributing up to £20 a year to support the Belturbet minister. Rev. Thompson was heavily in demand for ‘mission work’ and frequently absent from the town due to his ability to preach in Irish. The financial problems were not ameliorated by a sympathetic landlord, as at Bailieborough. The landlords, the Butlers, were strong supporters of the Church of Ireland and one of them, Brinsley, was an MP for Kells and backer of Tory causes. This political climate made Belturbet hostile territory for Presbyterians. In 1721 Rev. Thompson resigned the charge and there was no minister or thriving congregation in Belturbet until the 1820s.” [2] 

  • If by Dromore, it was meant the Presbytery of Dromore, then he was not likely the Rev. Robert Thompson, minister of Ballyroney congregation who died in September, 1743, [3] our subject having died before 1740. [4]
  • Did the Rev. Mr. Thompson remove up to the Caledon district to preach at Minterburn during a period of general disorder in that congregation, as suggested by the Rev. W.D. Killen in his History of Congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland:

    In 1714 this congregation was divided. Part went to form an erection at Teugh [Treugh], or Glennan [co. Monaghan]; part worshipped at Minterburn, whilst part continued at Kinnaird or Lisluney—the original settlement. Mr. Ambrose‡ died towards the end of the year 1714. He was succeeded by Mr. Alexander Moor, who was ordained here on the 8th of October, 1716. He died on the 8th of July, 1724, … He appears to have been succeeded by Mr. William Ray, but some obscurity rests on this part of the history of the congregation. After this great disputes prevailed. In 1743 the result of a poll between two rival candidates, Messrs. Alexander Cumin and Adam Duffin, was reported to the Synod, but neither party succeeded. After much contention Mr. John Ker was at length ordained here by the Presbytery of Tyrone on the 9th of October, 1745. ‡Mr. William Ambrose, who was ordained at Minterburn by the Presbytery of Down in 1693. [5]

  • Next steps include:
    • Look up the Rev. Robert Thompson in the Fasti of the Irish Presbyterian Church, compiled by James McConnell and revised by S.G. McConnell (Belfast: Presbyterian Historical Society, 1951).
    • Look up entries for the Thompson surname in Dromore townland in the early rent rolls for the Caledon estate.

Sources:

1.

Killen, W.D. History of Congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Citing the Rev. Robert Thompson of Belturbet, 1714–1721 (pg 67). Belfast: James Cleeland, and Edinburgh: James Gemmell, 1886.

2.

Magennis, Eoin. "Belturbet, Cahans, and Two Presbyterian Revolutions in South Ulster, 1660–1770." Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical SocietyVol. 21/22, Vol. 21, no. 2 - Vol. 22, no. 1 (2007/2008), pp. 129-148.

3.

Reid, James Seaton. History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Vol. III. New ed. Citing the Rev. Thompson of Ballyroney, Presbytery of Dromore, who died in September, 1743 (pg 276). Belfast: William Mullan, 1867.

4.

Registry of Deeds, Ireland. Memorial no. 104-118-72247: Thompson to Irwin (dated 5 June 1740; registered 25 September 1741). Microfilm copy held by the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA (FHL film no. 522821). Transcribed and annotated by Alison Kilpatrick, and submitted to www.irishdeedsindex.net, 2016-08-04.

5.

Killen, W.D. History of Congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Citing the period in the history of Minterburn congregation from 1714–1743 (pg 195). Belfast: James Cleeland, and Edinburgh: James Gemmell, 1886.

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