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Ballykelly Presbyterian Church Co. Londonderry

Ballykelly Presbyterian Church
26 Main Street
Ballykelly, Co. Londonderry, UK
BT49 9HS

Many Thanks to David McKamey for taking the photographs on this page of Ballykelly Presbyterian Church for me, while he was on a visit to Northern Ireland, in 2019. if you would like to contribute data please contact Teena.

Sign of Ballykelly Presbyterian Church Photograph by David McKamey

28 Mar. 1828 – New Meeting House of Ballykelly

On Sunday, the 2nd instant, the new Meeting-house of Ballykelly was opened. The congregation assembled on the occasion was immense, consisting as was supposed, of between 2,000 and 3,000 persons. Notwithstanding the greatness of the assembly, they were with very few exceptions, all suitably accommodated within the walls of the building. The services of the day commenced by singing psalms. This part of the service was followed by a fervent and scriptural prayer, offered up by the Rev. G. H. HAY of Derry, who assisted at the solemnity. The Rev. R. DILL, minister of the congregation, then preached a most appropriate and excellent sermon. Mr. DILL was then succeeded, again by the Rev. George HAY who addressed the assembly in a strain of persuasive and impressive eloquence, at once simple and elegant, in which he congratulated the congregation of Ballykelly on the auspicious occasion of their then happy meeting, assembled as they were, to worship God and receive instructions, for the first time, within the walls of this splendid edifice- the munificent gift of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers – a gift so well calculated to afford an important accession to their congregational comfort and respectability, while it cannot fail, during the lapse of many succeeding generations, to exhibit a substantial and an honourable proof of the good taste and well-directed generosity of that liberal body, from whose bounty they have received it. (Belfast Newsletter)

Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, & Graveyard Main Street in Ballykelly, on the A2. Photograph by David McKamey

Headstone Inscriptions from left to right, in the foreground of the above photograph.

Treasured Memories of
a Devoted husband and father
Samuel Marcus
died 9th January 1985, aged 54 years.

Treasured Memories Of A
Loving Son and Dear Brother
Roland James
(day cannot be seen) th October 1982, Aged 19 Years

In Loving Memory Of
Joseph Forsythe
Killed in Bomb Explosion in Limavady
on 28th March 1972
And his Wife, Mattie
Died 20th february 1980
And his Brother George
Died 16th December 1995

In Loving memory Of
A Beloved Husband and Dear Father
Samuel Edward
Died 20th April 1985
An His Wife
Anne Elizabeth (Nan)
Died 27th December 2004
A Devoted Mother
And Much Loved Nana
Till We Meet Again

(Other surnames in the photo include MOORE, SIMPSON, ELSTON, & CASSIDY, SHERRARD (headstones unreadable)

The earliest minister of whom we have any notice here was Mr William CROOKS. He appears to have been ordained in this congregation about 1665. He was in Derry, during the siege and afterwards returned to Ballykelly, where he continued till his death in 1699. The next minister was Mr John STIRLING, who was ordained in 1701. Mr STIRLING died in this charge 21st Jan. 1752 and was succeeded by Mr John HASLETT, ordained here by the Presbytery of Derry 21st April 1752. He left his congregation about the year 1757 and settled at Bandon, in the south of the kingdom. He was succeeded here by Mr John NELSON, who was ordained 5th Oct. 1762. Mr NELSON appears to have been at heart, a Unitarian, but he contrived for a time so to gloss over his creed, that it could not be well detected acting upon the principle of Erasmus, ‘to think with the wise and speak with the vulgar’. But his wisdom only proved to be Jesuitism and the people of Ballykelly soon found that his preaching was quite unprofitable. The Synod of Ulster at the time, was in a very lukewarm condition and gave them little encouragement when they remonstrated against the doctrine of their minister, so that they were obliged to take up the matter earnestly themselves and they quickly made the place too hot for their false shepherd. Mr NELSON was accordingly obliged to demit the charge in the year 1765 and soon afterwards published a pamphlet in which he appeared in his true colours. He was succeeded by Mr Benjamin M’DOWEL (afterwards D.D.) one of the most eminent ministers ever connected with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Mr M’DOWEL was ordained here on the 2nd Sept. 1766. In July 1778, he was removed to St. Mary’s Abbey, Dublin. The congregation was now annexed to the Presbytery of Route and Mr Robert RENTOUL, formerly minister of Lurgan, was installed here 3rd Oct. 1779. Becoming infirm on the 22nd Dec. 1822, the people gave a unanimous call to Mr Richard DILL, formerly minister of Drumachose, but the Presbytery of Route, refusing to sustain it, the Synod of Ulster in 1823, removed the congregation, at their own request, to the Presbytery of Derry and Mr DILL was installed 9th October 1823. Mr RENTOUL died 1st Nov. 1824 leaving a widow and family. During Mr DILL’S ministry, the present large and excellent church was erected at Ballykelly, at the expense of the Fishmongers Company; an act commemorated in an inscription, on an elegant marble tablet placed in a conspicuous position behind the pulpit. The erection of Ballykelly Meeting-house gave an impulse to the cause of ecclesiastical architecture among the Presbyterians of the North of Ireland. Mr DILL died 17th Dec. 1854 and was succeeded by Mr Thomas Y. KILLEN, formerly minister of 3rd Ramelton, who was installed here by a commission of the Assembly 31st Mar. 1857. Receiving a call from Duncairn, Belfast, Mr KILLEN, now D.D., resigned this charge on the 27th Jan. 1862 and was succeeded by Mr William Charles ROBINSON, formerly of Ramelton, who was installed here on the 27th March 1862.

Ballykelly Presbyterian Church & Graveyard by David McKamey

1638 William CROOKES A.M. had his degree from the Univ. of Glasgow in 1619 licen. by the Presb. of Stranraer* 21st Dec 1625; became assistant to Mr Thomas PROVEN min. of Leswalt 9th Nov 1631; pres. by Charles I, 29th Oct 1641; he continued 2nd July 1650; went to Ireland and was min. at Ballykelly, from which he was obliged to remove for a time and received xxx s. from the Kirk session of Torphichen 12th Sept 1659, and also charity from the Kirk session of Newbattle 20th June 1662. He died in 1697 aged about 90 and had a son James. *located in the historical county of Wigtownshire in S.W. Scotland (Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ: pt. 1. Synod of Glasgow and Ayr. pt. 2)

Robert CROSS was born near Ballykelly in Ireland in 1689 and his credentials as a probationer were approved by the synod in 1717. After spending some time in Newcastle, he was called to that place on 17 Sept. 1718; he was ordained and installed 17 March 1719. The congregation of Jamaica, Long Island, New York U.S.A., called him 18 Sept. 1723. (The History of the Presbyterian Church in America By Rev. Richard Webster, Cortlandt Van Rensselaer)

Siege of Derry April 18, 1689 – July 28, 1689
Some of the Presbyterian ministers who sought an asylum in Derry, induced a number of stout young men belonging to their congregations, to accompany them and assist in the defence. Among those influenced by Mr CROOKS, the minister of Ballykelly, were James WALLACE and Robert MORRISON. The Rev. James WALLACE, the missionary of the Irish General Assembly in India, is descended from James WALLACE. Robert MORRISON, had a son named John, who was born in 1702, and who was an elder of Ballykelly congregation. He took a very active part in ejecting Mr NELSON, a concealed Arian, who was for some time, the minister. The Rev Hugh MORRISON of Killymorris is the great-grandson of John MORRISON
(Mackenzie’s Memorials of the Siege of Derry Including His Narrative By John Mackenzie)

Records of the General Synod of Ulster

18th June 1728 – At Dungannon
A supplicaon from the session of Ballykelly; a supplicaon from the session of Bovevy; were read these sessions, sett forth that they are uneasy on account of Mr HIGGINBOTHOM’S being a member of the Presby of Derry to which they belong & earnestly desire that he may be disjoined from said Presby. Mr Gilbert KENNEDY and Captain HENDERSON are appointed to converse with the Comrs. from Bellykelly and Bovevy sessions and report to this Synod  (He was removed to Templepatrick Preby.)

16th June 1752 – Meeting at Dungannon
Rout presbytery reports that Mr Ch. LYND dyed 21 Dec. 1751

29th June 1762 at Antrim
A Supplication from Ballykelly also presented by Messrs. Sam. M’CLELLAND & Jno. GIFFEN Commrs. wherein they offer several exceptions against the arrears charged on them by Mr Jos. HASLET & pray that this Synod would not insist upon the payment of sd. arrear. Mr. HASLET & the Commrs. being heard at large, the Synod resolved that nine months Stipend shall be deducted out of the arrear & the Congregation are to pay the remainder to Mr Joseph HASLET.

26th June 1764 at Lurgan
A long complaint in writing exhibited by some members of congregation of Ballykelly to the Revd. Pby. of Derry was referred by Pby. to Synod setting forth their suspicions of Mr NEILSON’s in the Christian faith & the grounds upon which their were founded.
names mentioned

30th June 1767 at Lurgan
Ordained Mr (Benjamin) M’DOWELL (born America) at Ballykelly 24 Sept. 1766 and subscribed to the Westminster Confession of faith & Widows Fund

27th June 1769 at Dungannon
Mr. GORDON received £1 6s. of the synod’s fund from Ballykelly for which he was not entitled; therefore the sum given him from Ballykelly congregation ought to be refunded.

26th June 1770 at Dungannon
Rout Presbytery (of which Ballykelly was a part of)
On the fund (Widow’s & Orphans Fund) in their bounds
and the family of Mr BROWN

Before the Rev. Samuel HILL emigrated from Londonderry in April 1819, and landed at St John’s, New Brunswick, Canada, his testimonial (recommendation) was signed by the following members of the Synod of Ulster-

John PATTERSON Mod’r Presbytery of Route
James BROWN, Clerk of Presbytery
R. RENTOUL, Minister of Ballykelly
Richard DILL, Minister of Drumachose
J WHITESIDE, of Colraine
Samuel BUTLER, Minister of Magilligan

Marcus DILL M.D. of Ballykelly was among the signatures of another recommendation.

John HEMPHILL was born at Ballykelly, Co. Derry, Ireland on 16th May 1844. His father was an elder in the Presbyterian Church of that place.

The following articles are transcribed by Teena from the Belfast newsletter, Coleraine Chronicle, Derry Journal, Londonderry Sentinel, & the Londonderry Standard. (unless otherwise noted)

13 Jan. 1835
The session clerk of Ballykelly Presbyterian Church was James KINKEAD


23 Dec. 1828
On the 9th inst. by the Rev. Richard Dill of Ballykelly Wm. CATHER Esq. of Nn-Limavady to Jessy, eldest daughter of Henry H. TYLER Esq. M. D. of same place.

3 May 1845
On the 29th ult., in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Richard Dill, Mr. Benjamin IRWIN, Moneygranald, to Miss Elizabeth M’CULLEY Ballyspallen, Newtownlimavady.

22 Mar. 1858
March 18, in the Presbyterian church, Ballykelly, by the Rev, Mr. Killen, Joseph DOUGLAS Esq., of Derrybeg, Newtownlimavady, to Maria, only daughter of the late James TURNBULL Esq., of Walworth, Ballykelly.

9 Dec. 1858
November 25, at Ballykelly, by the Rev. T. Y. Killen, Mr. William John HAMILTON, of Mulkeragh, to Jane, second daughter of the late Mt. William RITCHIE, Tully, near Newtownlimavady

19 Oct. 1861
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 3rd inst. by the Rev. T. Y. Killen, Mr. Wm. GILLESPIE Templemoyle Seminary to Eliza, second daughter Mr, James HYNDMAN Greysteel

30 Dec. 1865 – December 26th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. B. Kennedy A.M., Myroe, Mr. Robert ALLISON Newtownlimavady, to Helen, daughter of the late Mr. Archibald STEEL, Oystervale Myroe

28 Jul. 1866
July 26th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Thomas Kennedy, Larger, Mr. Samuel DOUGLAS, merchant, Newtownlimavady, to Elizabeth, second daughter of Mr. Alexander M’CLORG, Templemoyle

3 July 1869
July 1st in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Thomas Kennedy, Mr. John Hunter TAYLOR, Boveva to Sarah daughter of Mr. Daniel SIMPSON, Moyse

17 Aug 1870
August 16th in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. O. Leitch, brother of the bridegroom, Mr. David LEITCH Creeve, to Fanny, second daughter of Mr Arthur GIBSON, Broighter, Newtown Limavady

20 Sept. 1871
Sept. 19th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, Robert, eldest son of Mr. W. SIMPSON Station Master, Ballykelly, to Ann Jane second daughter of Mr. James HUTCHISON millwright, Wallworth Mills

28 Sept. 1872
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 20th inst.. by the Rev. W. C. Robinson. Wm. KING Esq. Claggan. to Miss Martha WALKER, Catherine Street, Newtown Limavady

28 Oct. 1872
Oct. 24th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, Mr. James M’CLELLAND Newtownlimavady, to Eliza Jane, only daughter of Mr. Matthew FERGUSON, Carrickhugh Faughanvale

14 Nov. 1873
November 6th in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, John M’CULLY Esq. merchant, Londonderry, to Kate, only daughter of Matthew WATT Esq. Tullyhor, Ballykelly

14 Feb. 1876
February 10th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, A.M., Mr. David M’ELHATTEN, Boley, to Sarah, relict of the late James KERR, Glassvey.

21 Apr. 1876
April 20th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Richard D. Mackey, Balteagh, assisted the Rev. H. W. Robinson, Ballykelly, the Rev. James P. DICKSON, Leckpatrick, to Lizzie, eldest daughter of Joseph REID Esq., Barnakelly, Co. Derry

12 May 1876
May 4th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., Mr. William JACKSON, Boveva Hill, to Sarah Eliza, daughter of Mr. Hugh BOYD, Moneyrandle

24 June 1876
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 15th inst., by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, A.M., Robert eldest son of Mr. Jos. THOMPSON, Carnamuff to Jane, eldest daughter of the late Samuel CRAIG, the Nedd

23 Nov. 1878
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 18th inst., by Rev. W. C. Robinson, Mr. Joseph KANE, Burnally to Sarah, youngest daughter of Mr. David ORR, Ballykelly

4 Apr. 1881
March 31st at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by Rev. W. C. Robinson, Mr. John COCHRAN Aughill, to Eliza, second daughter of Mr. Robert ROBINSON, Carrichue

15 Oct. 1881
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, on the 13th inst., by the Rev. Robert Gault, Kingston Free Church Glasgow, uncle of the bride, assisted by the Rev. William C. Robinson, Samuel OSBORNE, Springtown, Londonderry, to Mary M’Lelland, eldest daughter of the late Thomas GAULT, Walk Mills, Limavady

11 Apr. 1885
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, on the 2nd inst., by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, Alexander M’CLELLAND, Ballymore, to Catherine MILLER, Drumreighland.

7 May 1887
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 3rd inst. by the Rev. James Gallagher, Largy, James LIVINGSTONE, Limavady to Isabella WILKIN, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh

12 Nov. 1887
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, on the 3rd inst., by the Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., Alex. M’CORKELL Drumakerney, to Jane (Jeanie), eldest daughter of Robert JACKSON, Claggan, Co. Derry

21 July 1888
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 17th inst. by the Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., John W. RYAN, Belfast, to Jennie, eldest daughter of the late Joseph DAVIS, Limavady

12 Jan. 1889
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, on the 8th inst., by the Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., George M. CHARLETON, Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, to Rebecca, eldest daughter of the late James KINKEAD, Ballykelly, Co. Derry

6 Jun. 1891 – married
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, on the 2nd inst., by the Rev. R. Gault, Glasgow, assisted by the Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., Ballykelly and the Rev. J. W. Drennan, M.A., Fife, Alexander DRENNAN, Glasgow, son of James DRENNAN J. P., Carsehall, Limavady, to Jeannie youngest daughter of the late Thos. GAULT, Walkmills Limavady.

12 Oct. 1891
October 8th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., William, second son the late Robert FERGUSON, Dunbrock, to Marian, third daughter to the late David TOWNLEY, Ardstraw, Co. Tyrone.

19 Mar. 1892
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 10th int., by the Rev. W. C. Robbins. John IRWIN, Limavady, to Catherine (Cassie) MacDONALD, of Ballykelly, Limavady.

18 Mar. 1893
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 15th inst., by the Rev. H. M. Butler Magilligan, assisted by Rev. James Connell, 2nd Donagheady, William BROWN, Northern Bank, Newtownstewart, son of David BROWN, Loop, Moneymore, to Maggie ROBINSON, Limavady, youngest daughter of the late John ROBINSON, Magilligan

15 Sept. 1893

Sept.14th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by the Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., assisted by the Rev. John Lyle Donaghy, Larne, cousin of the bride, John HUNTER M.D. L.F.P. and S.G., L.R.C.P. and S.E, visiting surgeon, Maryland State Hospital Baltimore, only son of the late Joseph HUNTER, Claggan Limavady, to Margaret daughter of J. H. HORNER, Magheramore House Limavady

28 Sept. 1895
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on the 18th inst., by Rev. Wm. C. Robinson M.A., Robert J. NEIL, to Rebecca, youngest daughter of Wm. CRAIG, both of Ballykelly. (Northern Constitution)

The Headstone in the foreground of this photo at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church reads
“In Memory of Margaret, the beloved wife of William CRAIG who died 20th June 1882 aged 57 years. Also William CRAIG, who died 5th Jany. 1902 aged 78 years. Also his sister, Mary CRAIG who died 26th March 1910 aged 77 years.”

4 Apr. 1898
March 31st at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William C. Robinson M.A., Samuel M’CAUGHEY to Jane, eldest daughter of William SMITH, both of Limavady

22 Nov. 1898
November 17th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, by Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., Henry CAMPBELL, Ballyspalland, to Margaret, daughter of William CRAIG, Ballykelly

29 Jul. 1899
At Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, on the 20th inst., by Rev. William C. Robinson M.A., John WHITE to Esther NEILL, both of Ballykelly.

11 Aug. 1902
August 7, at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. S. Semple M.A., Faughanvale, John LIVINGSTONE, Limavady, to Hessie SIMPSON, Ballykelly. (Belfast Morning News)

16 Aug. 1902
August 7, at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. S. Semple M.A., Faughanvale, Robert TAIT, Sestrokeel, to Annie KING, Ballykelly.

4 Oct. 1902
October 2, at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A.. and the Rev. W. G. Robinson, B.A., Robert MILLICAN, Aghadowey, to Sarah, daughter of Robert CUMMINGS, Magilligan.

1 Aug. 1903
July 28th at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church by Rev. W. G. Robinson B. A., Monreagh, William MORRSION, son of the late Hugh MORRSION, Sessagh(?) to Nancy, daughter of James MULLEN, Ballynarig, Ballykelly.

July 21st at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church, Co. Londonderry, by the Rev. T. E. Culbert B.A., John J. MORROW of Glasgow, to Sarah G., eldest daughter Samuel COLLINS, Derryork House, Dungiven.


Headstones at Ballykelly Presbyterian Church Photograph by David McKamey

15 Mar. 1881 Charitable Request
In the goods of Andrew LONG, late Magheramore, in the County of Londonderry, Farmer, deceased. Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the statute 30th and 31st Victoria. cap. 54, that the said Andrew LONG, deceased, who died on or about the 3rd day of JUNE 1880, by his will, bearing date the 6th day of May 1872, bequeathed to the Rev. William ROBINSON, Minister of the Ballykelly Presbyterian Congregation, the sum of Seventy Pounds, to be divided by him amongst the Missions in connexion with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, in such proportions as he may think fit and probate of the said will and one codicil thereto was granted forth of the District Registry at Londonderry, of the Probate and Matrimonial Division of the High Court of Justice in Ireland, on the 16th day of August, 1880, to William MORRISON of Claggan and David HOPKINS of Bolea, both in the County of Londonderry, farmers, the executors named in said will. William WILSON, Solicitor for said Executors

28 Nov. 1883
November 25th at his residence, Loughermore, William SWAN. (His remains will be removed for interment in Ballykelly Presbyterian burying-ground, today (Wednesday) the 28th inst., at the hour of 11 o’clock a.m.

20 Nov. 1895
November 17th at Creston, Hellensburgh, Scotland, Jennie Gault, beloved wife of Alexander DRENNAN. Funeral tomorrow (Thursday) morning, the 31st inst., from Limavaday Railway Station at half-past 11 o’clock, on arrival of train from Londonderry. Interment in the burying-ground of Ballykelly Presbyterian Church. Friends will please accept this the only intimation.

22 Jan.1896
January 21st at 111 Spencer road, Waterside, Londonderry, Mary, relict of the late Rev. Alexander DAVIDSON, of Cleator Moor, England. Her remains will be removed for interment in Ballykelly Presbyterian Burying ground to-morrow (Thursday) morning, at ten o’clock, proceeding by road. Friends will please accept this the only intimation.

23 May 1896
The hand of death has been hard at work amongst us for the last fortnight, and has snapped from our midst not only the silver haired, but the young. It is with the deepest regret I chronicle the death of John Hemphill TOWNLEY, which sad event took place after a few weeks illness on Monday 11th inst., at his father’s residence, Nedd. Deceased had just past his 21st year and was a bright and promising young man, loved and respected by all who knew him. The funeral on Thursday 14th inst., was one of the largest that ever passed through the district. The remains were enclosed in a polished oak coffin, with massive brass mounting and were interred in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church burying ground. The Rev. W. C. ROBINSON M.A., was the officiating clergyman. The coffin was supplied and the funeral arrangements carried out by Mr. Robert ROGERS, undertaker, Limavady. (Northern Constitution)

26 May 1898
May 21st at the Infirmary, Londonderry, of meningitis, Nurse Annie Mary LIMERICK, second and dearly beloved daughter of John LIMERICK, Ballykelly. Her remains will be removed from her father’s residence for interment in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church Burying ground today (Thursday), the 26th inst., at 1 o’clock. Friends will please accept this the only intimation.

8 Dec. 1899
December 6th at his residence, Drumballydonaghy, John PATCHELL, in his 89th year. His remains will be removed for interment in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church Burying ground today (Friday), the 8th instant, at eleven a.m. Friends will please accept this the only intimation.

17 Mar. 1900 – The late Thomas COCHRANE

On Friday last death closed a young and promising life at the age of 20 years – Thomas COCHRANE, a young man of unassuming character, the very light of a family circle that now mourns for a dear one gone before, and a vacant chair left which can never again be filled by the loving voice that is stilled for ever. The bereaved father and mother, brothers and sisters, in the loss of their youngest son and brother, have the sympathy of all who had the pleasure of knowing the deceased, whose life was innocent and blameless, and worthy to be copied by all young men whose aim and object is uprightness of conduct and a hatred of everything evil. The funeral on Monday morning was largely attended. His remains were interred in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church burying ground amid every manifestation of sorrow.

The chief mourners were;
Thomas COCHRANE, father
Samuel COCHRANE and Robert W. COCHRANE, brothers
Thomas SIMPSON, uncle
John M’DOWELL and William J. ROSS, brothers-in-law
David FORGRAVE (Ballykelly), cousin
David BOYCE (Carrichue), uncle
James Thomas M’DOWELL, nephew

Amongst the general public we noticed;
J. R. ROSS, M.D.
J. C. LYND, M.D.
J. D. BOYD, J.P.
Hugh THORPE jun.
Janice LOANE
Robert M’CLOY
William CONN
Joseph ROSS
Thomas TOWLEY <sic>
Thomas M’CREA
James O’KANE
Janice REID

Rev. W. C. ROBINSON M.A., officiated. The coffin, which was of polished oak with massive brass furnishings, was supplied by Mr. Robert ROGERS, Limavady and the hearse by Mr. John OLIVER.

20 Apr. 1901 – Death of Mr. Wm. MILLER
Another of our readers, after a life of 84 years, has been called upon to answer the summons of death. On Wednesday evening last Mr. William MILLER passed away to the unseen at his residence, Farloe. He had attained to a ripe old age; a prosperous farmer and a kindly neighbour, with a valuable knowledge on the most of agricultural questions, he will be missed by his immediate neighbours. Although for some time past he was not able to interest himself to any extent in the cultivation of his large farm, his advice was always useful. He wielded an influence for good amongst those he associated with and was a pillar of strength and encouragement to young men following farming pursuits. His funeral on Friday afternoon was largely attended. His remains were interred in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church burying ground. Rev. N. M. BROWN LL.D. and Rev. W. H. BOYLE were the officiating clergymen. The chief mourners were;

Mr. Robert MILLER (son), Mr. Robert THOMPSON (son-in-law), William LYND, Robert MILLAR <sic>, James COCHRANE, James LOUGHERY and John LOUGHERY

The polished oak coffin was mounted with brass furnishing, and was supplied and the arrangements carried out by Mr. Robert ROGERS undertaker, &c., Limavady.

10 Dec. 1903
December 9, at her husband’s residence, Culmore, Limavady, Margaret Jane, dearly beloved wife of John SMYTH, aged 78 years. Her remains will be removed for interment in Ballykelly Presbyterian church burying-ground tomorrow (Friday), 11th inst., at twelve o’clock noon. Friends will please accept this the only intimation.

16 Jul. 1910 The late Mrs. THOMPSON, Ballyspallon

The announcement of the death of Mrs. Rebecca THOMPSON, of Ballyspallon, Limavady, which took place at Portrush on sabbath last was received with the deepest regret by a large circle of friends, as well as by the public generally. Mrs. THOMPSON was the widow of the late Mr. James THOMPSON, who, besides being an extensive merchant in Limavady, carried on successfully the large farm at Ballyspallon. She was predeceased by her husband about 15 years and had reached the age of 63. She was a member of Ballykelly Presbyterian Church. The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon, the internment being in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church burying-ground. Prior to the removal of the remains an impressive service was conducted by Rev. J. G. PATON M.A., B.D., and Rev. Moses Andrew THOMPSON. nephew of the deceased. The cortege was large, and representative of the gentry of the neighbourhood. the merchants of Limavady, and the farming community.

The chief mourners were;
James Andrew THOMPSON, Alexander THOMPSON, and Ralph Dunn THOMPSON (sons)
John M’Cully Irwin and Robert J. IRWIN (brothers)
Alfred IRWIN
Ben IRWIN (Ballyspallon)
Ben IRWIN (Shanreagh Cottage)
James IRWIN and Rev. Moses Andrew THOMPSON (nephews)
Robert THOMPSON (Killenan)
Thomas M’CULLY J.P.
Wiliam GILFILLAN and John GILFILLAN (cousins)
Robert KING (Belfast) and Samuel CRAIG (relatives).
The service at the graveside was concluded by Revs. PATON and THOMPSON.


3 Sept, 1894 Tender to Builders

Committee of Ballykelly Presbyterian Church invite Tenders for the following works 1. Erection of a lecture hall. 2, Re-Pewing and Renovation of the Church. Plans and specifications may be seen here. Tenders, sealed and endorsed, to be delivered to Mr. James A. BOYD, Ballykelly, secretary of committee, before 6 o’clock on Wed. 3th Sept. next. The lowest or any Tender not necessarily accepted. Wm. BARKER, Architect 25 Orchard street Londonderry

1 Dec. 1898 – Soiree at Ballykelly

On Friday evening last a successful soiree in connection with Ballykelly Presbyterian Church was held in the Lecture Hall, Ballykelly. There was huge and appreciative attendance. After tea, excellently served by ladies and gentlemen of the congregation, Rev. W. C. ROBINSON M.A., took the chair, and submitted a very interesting programme, which embraced addresses, readings, recitals, songs, dialogues, pianoforte solos, and duets. Rev. S. KENNEDY, B.A., Limavady, opened the programme with a suitable address The other contributors were – The children’s choir, Miss Lily FORSYTHE, Masters J. and A. ROBINSON, Miss CONNOR, Mr. M’CRACKEN, Master J. GUTHRIE, Mr. HENDERSON, Master D. COLLINS, L HAMILL, Miss C. HAMILTON, Miss BRACKEN, Mr. ANDERSON. Miss DAVIE, Mr. B. TOWNLEY, Miss COCHRANE, and Miss FORGRAVE. Miss HAMILTON, Miss FORSYTHE and Miss CONNOR played the accompaniments in a very efficient manner.

17 Nov. 1900 Ballykelly Sabbath school

A large percentage of the pupils attending Ballykelly Presbyterian church sabbath school presented themselves for their annual examination in the Lecture hall, Ballykelly, on Thursday last. The questions were set by the Rev. H. A. MACKENZIE B. A., of Balteagh and the examiners were Rev. W. G. ROBINSON, Rev. Mr. BOYD, Miss L. RITCHIE, Miss HAMILTON and Mr. D. FORGRAVE. The answering was very creditable and the examiners expressed themselves well pleased with the knowledge the children possessed on the various subjects.

On Friday evening the annual tea treat was held in the lecture hall, when the children, with their parents and friends, were allowed to participate in the enjoyment of the evening. At an early hour, tea was served by Mrs. ROBINSON, Mrs. CONN, Mrs. CRESWELL, Mrs. HENDERSON, Mrs. PHILLIPS, Mrs. MORROW, Mrs. COLLINS, Mrs. IRWIN, Mrs. THOMPSON, Miss R. PHILLIPS, Miss DAVIS, Miss M. ROBINSON, Miss A. HENDERSON, Miss M. RITCHIE, Miss M. LIMERICK, Miss M. MORROW, and Miss R. CONN.

The following programme was rendered in an appropriate and acceptable manner, the performers acquitting themselves creditably;
Violin solo – Miss Kathleen HAMILTON
Recitation – “Roselea Bay” – Mr. J. H. M’ALISTER
song – “Only a sweet little letter” – Miss B. MOORE
recitation – Mr. TYNAN
address – Rev. Mr. GREGG
song – “The old plaid shawl” – Miss BRACKED
recitation – “Bring the men up to the colours” – Rev. Mr. BOYD
banjo solo – “To the front” – Mr. Douglas BOYD
song – “The valley by the sea” – Miss L. FORSYTHE
song – “The ship’s fiddler” – Mr. T. BOYD
recitation – ” Irish philosopher” – Mr. J. H. M’ALISTER
song – “Soldiers of the Queen” – Mr. T. DAVISON

The accompaniments were played to the satisfaction of all by Miss BRYAN, Roebank school, Limavady, Miss Rose BOYD, Elmfield, Limavady and Miss HAMILTON, Ballykelly. The congregation of Ballykelly have a well organised and systematic method of carrying out their work from year to year and the examination and social meeting on this occasion do them increased credit. Rev. W. C. Robinson M.A., the respected and highly esteemed minister, has been reluctantly compelled to relinquish part of his ministerial duties. Rev. Mr. BOYD, his newly appointed assistant, will make a very capable helper amongst a large and widely scattered congregation.

26 Nov. 1913 – Farewells at Ballykelly

An interesting meeting took place in the lecture hall adjoining Ballykelly Presbyterian Church when the members of the congregation met in a social capacity, for the purpose of bidding goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. W. T. FULTON, who, with their family, are about to sail for New Zealand. Mr. FULTON for many years has played a leading part in the church life of Ballykelly and his wise counsel has often been sought in matters pertaining to the welfare of the congregation. After an excellent tea, dispensed by Mrs. FULTON, the chair was taken by Arthur PARKE B.A., minister of the congregation, who paid a high tribute to Mr. FULTON’S many good qualities, and the active part he took in church work. Messrs. David FOXGRAVE (?), John MORRISON, James DUNN J.P., and Robert GUTHRIE J.P., followed with brief addresses. Mr. FULTON, on his own and his wife’s behalf, thanked the members of the congregation for their good wishes. An enjoyable musical programme, in which Miss FULTON took part, followed.

13 Mar. 1928 Ballykelly Presbyterian Church Moderator at Centenary Service

The Moderator, Right Rev. Dr. James THOMPSON, conducted the services in Ballykelly Presbyterian Church on Sunday. It was the centenary of the present church building, and the services, both morning and evening, were largely attended. The present pastor is Rev. William M’ADAM M A. The moderator said it was a great pleasure for him to be there on that interesting and important occasion. The congregation Ballykelly had a long and honourable history, going back, as it did, to a time prior to the Siege of Derry.

In 1655, there was the first mention of a Presbyterian minister in the district, Rev. William CROOKS, who was one of the 63 ministers ejected at the Restoration in 1661. He remained, however, in the district and ministered privately to his people. He was in Derry during the siege, and preached in the cathedral at that time. He died in 1698, and was interred in Ballykelly. The second minister was Rev. John STIRLING, whose ministry extended from 1701-1752. He was Moderator Synod in 1725-1726. The third minister was Rev. John HASLETT. He was ordained in Ballykelly in 1752, and resigned in 1757, when he went to Bandon, and afterwards emigrated to America. There he became a medical doctor, and fell at the battle of Princeton in 1776. The fourth minister was Rev. John NEILSON. who succeeded Mr. HASLETT in 1762. He appeared to have been a Unitarian, and the congregation complained to the synod about his teaching. At length, they took matters into their own hands and locked the minister out of the church. He was forced to resign in 1765. Afterwards he published a pamphlet in which he appeared in his true colours. The fifth minister was Rev. Benjamin M’DOWELL, 1766-1778. In 1778 he went to St. Mary’s Abbey, Dublin. Mr. M’DOWELL was a most distinguished minister. He was moderator of Synod, 1786-87, and received the degree of D.D. from Edinburgh in 1789. He assisted the synod in its efforts to increase the regium donum. The sixth minister was Rev. Robert RENTOUL, formerly minister of Lurgan. He was installed in Ballykelly in 1779, and became infirm, and retired in 1822. The seventh minister was Rev. Richard DILL, formerly of Drumachose. He was minister from 1823 to 1854. The present church was built during his ministry at the expense of the Fishmongers Company, an act commemorated in an inscription on a marble tablet behind the pulpit. The eighth minister was Rev. T. Y. KILLEN, nephew of the late president, W. D. KILLEN D.D. Mr. KILLEN was installed in 1857 and in 1862, became minister of Duncairn congregation, Belfast. He was moderator of the General Assembly in 1882-83. His son is Rev. T. S. KILLEN of Baillieboro’. The ninth minister was Rev. William Charles ROBINSON, who was called from First Ramelton in 1862. His ministry was a very notable one, extending from 1862 to 1905. He was still affectionately remembered by many of the people, and a tablet is erected in the church to his memory. The tenth minister was Rev. J. G. PATON B.D.,M.C., who was ordained in 1907 and in 1910 was called to Downshire road, Newry, and is now minister of Malone Presbyterian church. The eleventh minister was Rev. Arthur PARKE, who was ordained  in 1911, but died after a motor accident in September 1919. There is also a tablet erected in the church to his memory. The present minister is Rev. William M’ADAM, who was ordained in 1920 and is most efficiently carrying on the work in Ballykelly. He is a worthy successor of the able and faithful men who preceded him. The former church was situated Tullyboe, an Irish mile from Ballykelly. In 1828, the present church was built by the Fishmongers Company and presented to the congregation. In 1892 a scheme for the erection of a Lecture hall was begun, and at the same time the church building was renovated. In 1927, in view of the centenary of the present church building, a new low-pressure heating system was installed and the church painted. The congregation, the moderator mentioned, had started a centenary fund and had already subscribed, or had promised to subscribe, almost £300. The renovations cost almost £400, and it was hoped that the special services would provide the balance needed. The moderator congratulated the congregation on their excellent church property and on their present position and hoped that the gifts that day would be very liberal. It is understood that there was a splendid response to the moderator’s appeal. There were special collectors from other congregations at both the morning and evening services. Rev. Mr. M’ADAM thanked the moderator for his great kindness in coming to take the services and also warmly thanked the special collectors.


Erected by Hannah Kerr of Ballykelly

In Loving Memory of her Parents James Kerr who died 31st Oct. 1881 (or 1884?) aged 83 years. Also his wife Margaret who died 12th Nov. 1878 aged 62 years. Hannah Kerr who died 15th Jan. 1925 aged 75 years “The Lord is my Shepherd” And her brother Matthew Kerr who died 25th Feb. 1925 aged 84 years.

Erected In Memory of George SELFRIDGE, Ballykelly, who departed this life, 17th Jany. 1886, aged 80 years. Also of his wife, Mary Ann, who departed this life, 21st June 1906, aged 85 years. Also of their children, Ross SELFRIDGE who died 4th May 1915, aged 75 years and Eliza Jane SELFRIDGE, who died 25th January 1916, aged 68 years.
Ballykelly Presbyterian Church & Graveyard Photograph by David McKamey
Ballykelly Presbyterian Graveyard by David McKamey
Photograph by David McKamey “In Memory of David M’ELHATTON, Glasvey, died 21st Feb. 1909, aged 69 years, Also his wife, Sarah, died 16th Sept. 1890”
Photograph by David McKamey “Erected In Loving Memory of James MILLER, Drumballydonaghy, who died 14th Dec. 1898 aged 79 years, Also his wife, Jane, died 16th Apr. 1904 aged 78 years, And her sister, Rachel SHERRARD, Drumreighland, died 8th jan. 1922, aged 87 years.”
Photograph by David McKamey “In Loving Memory of my Dear Husband David TWEED, died 10th March 1942, aged 75 years, Also his Daughter Rachel, died 9th Jan. 1910, aged 2 years, 8 months.”
Photograph by David McKamey “Erected by Hannah KERR, of Ballykelly. In Loving Memory of Her Parents, James KERR who died 31st Oct. 1881 aged 83 years. Also his wife Margaret, who died 12th Nov. 1878, aged 62 years. Hannah KERR who died 15th Jan. 1925 aged 75 years, and Her Brother Matthew KERR who died 25th Feb. 1925, aged 84 years”
Ballykelly Presbyterian Graveyard by David McKamey “Headtone of he PATCHELL’S”
Ballykelly Presbyterian Graveyard by David McKamey “Headstone of MURRAY & CRAWFORD”
Ballykelly Presbyterian Graveyard by David McKamey “Headstone of Lavinia, Robert Sr. & Robert Jr. ROBINSON”
Ballykelly Presbyterian Graveyard by David McKamey “Headstone of BROWN, FULTON & LYNCH”

The following records for Ballykelly Presbyterian Church are available on microfilm at the PRONI, (Public Records Office Northern Ireland). There may also be films available to view at your local LDS library. (Latter Day Saints, which is also Family Search)

register of baptisms 1699-1709, 1805-1819 and marriages 1699-1740, 1805-1811 (both indexed). Marriages 1699-1740, 1805-1811, 1845-1920.

Page compiled & transcribed by Teena from the resources herein mentioned, along with the following –

History of Congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland edited by W. D. Killen

Books mentioned may be found at