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Brigh Presbyterian Church

Brigh Presbyterian Church, Stewartstown, County Tyrone Civil Parish of Ballyclog. Address: 11 Brigh Rd, Brigh, Stewartstown Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, U.K. BT71 5JR

The first minister of Brigh or Donaghendry (also Ballyclug) was Mr, Archibald HAMILTON, who was settled here in 1630 and ejected in 1661. He died in 1674. His tombstone is in the churchyard there. He was succeeded by Mr. John ABERNETHY, the ejected minister of Aghaloo or Minterburn, who continued here about 10 years and removed to Moneymore. He was succeeded by Mr. Alexander OSBORNE, who held this charge till Jan 1688, when he was removed to Dublin. He was succeeded by Mr. Robert HAMILTON in the end of the same year. In 1691 we find their commissioner, Mr. Richard SPIER, supplicating the Synod that Mr. HAMILTON may be permitted to remain with them, though they cannot give him above £20 per annum. It would appear that shortly afterwards he resigned the charge and removed to Bangor. The next minister was Mr. Thomas KENNEDY, son of the minister of Carlan, who was ordained here on the 6 Nov. 1700. In 1708 the people complained that they would be injured by a new erection at Coagh but the Synod deemed them still sufficient to support a minister. Mr. KENNEDY died in this charge on the 3 July 1746. He was succeeded by Mr. John WHITE, who was ordained here on the 23 Jul. 1747. He died on the 20 Oct. 1787. The next minister was Mr. Thomas M’KAY, who was ordained here on the 1st Aug 1788. He died in this charge on the 19 Dec. 1821, aged 66. After much disputing, Mr. James DENHAM, afterwards D.D., was ordained here by a Synodical Committee on the 11 Jul 1826. Receiving a call to Derry, he resigned this charge on the 20 April 1837 and was succeeded by Mr. Samuel H. ELDER, who was ordained here on the 1st Aug. 1837. Mr. ELDER died on the 11 Oct. 1844 and was succeeded by Mr. John MAXWELL, who was ordained here on the 30 Jun 1847. Mr. MAXWELL died on the 29 June 1883 and was succeeded by Mr. John Huey MORTON, who was ordained here on the 15 Jan. 1884.

Records at the General Synod 3rd session of the meeting held at Lurgan on the 24th June 1788.

Stewartstown- A Petition signed by more than one hundred persons (Twenty-three of whom formerly belonged to the congregation of Brigh) was presented to this synod, stating ‘That they were building a meeting house in Stewartstown & supplicating this synod to authorise & desire the Presbytery of Tyrone, in due time to ordain a minister among them, to whom they were willing to pay fifty pounds per annum and in the meantime to grant them supplies from the first Sab. of August next.’

Brigh – A supplication from the Congregation of Brigh was also presented to this Synod, in which they set forth That by granting the above petition, the peace & harmony of the cong. of Brigh, were in danger of being disturbed, & Interrupted; That it would be a bad precedent and that it was not inconvenient for the inhabitants of the town & neighbourhood of Stewartstown to attend at their usual place of worship.”

After hearing the commissioners on both sides at considerable length & reasoning on the subject, the Question was put, “Grant the petition or not? ” The Roll was called & it carried “Not.”

Records of the 2nd session of General Synod Meeting held at Lurgan 30 June 1789

Tyrone Presby. report That they Ordained Mr Thos. M’KAY in Brigh, Ordained 1st Aug. 1788. He subscribed to the W. Conf. of Faith & is a contributor to the widows fund. Also report that they have entered on Tryals Mr John KENNEDY. Have on the fund Mrs. PEEBLES, Mrs DUFFIN, Mrs CALDWELL & family of Mrs WHITE. And that Mrs ORR died since last Gen. synod, time not known.

And at the 6th session (Thursday) of the same synod meeting Brigh reports-
A petition signed John GRIER, in the name of the congregation of Brigh and a petition & remonstrance signed by thirty-six persons, members of the same cong., were also presented to this synod, by David DUFF & Robert MOFFAT, Comms (commissioners) stating, That the cong. of Brigh would receive essential Injury from the establishment of a new cong.

The Commrs. from both parties having been heard at considerable length & removed;

And the synod having reasoned on the subject; The question was put, “Grant the supplication of the inhabitants of Stewartstown or not? The roll was called and it carried “Grant.”

(an elder during the ministry of Mr. M’KAY was Robert ROBSON)

29 Jul 1784 Congregation of Brigh

The Committee appointed the Presbyterian Congregation of Brigh to inspect the building of their Meeting-house, near Mountjoy and Stewartstown, having received a benefaction of 20£ from the Hon. John FORBES, by the hands of George BOYD, Esq; and Mr. Jn. HUNTER and also a benefaction of ten Guineas from Colonel James STEWART of Killymoon, think it incumbent on them to express the sense they have of their obligations to these gentlemen, who have so very kindly and liberally assisted them, having this printed 3 times. Signed by order, John WHITE, minister. Dublin Evening Post

15 Sept 1848 Mark of Esteem

Monday the 4th instant, the superintendents and teachers of the Sabbath school in connection with the Brigh Presbyterian Church, met together, with other friends in the neighbourhood, for the purpose of presenting a gold watch and address to Mr. ANDERSON (Charles) in testimony of their affectionate regard and the value they place on his efficient and gratuitous labours among them. The chair was occupied by the Rev. Samuel M’CURDY who called upon the Rev. David MACKAY to conduct devotional exercises. The Rev. John MAXWELL, pastor of the congregation, read the address on behalf of the Sabbath school, at the close of which, a very beautiful gold watch was handed to Mr. ANDERSON. Mr. ROBINSON then read an appropriate reply and after prayer and praise by the chairman, the meeting separated, greatly gratified with the proceedings of the evening. Londonderry Standard

17 Jun. 1836 Antiquarian Sketch

We present to our readers Mr. M’KAY’S antiquarian sketch of his descent in his own words.

I was born at Brigh, near Stewartstown in the county of Tyrone, A.D. 1802, on the 4th of November. Having finished my collegiate course of education at Glasgow, I was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of Tyrone, in 1824, and ordained to the charge of the Presbyterian congregation of Portglenone in June, 1826, by the Presbytery of Ballymena. By my father, the late Rev. Thomas M’KAY, I possess Celtic origins his grandfather, Alexander M’KAY, of Convoy, was grand-nephew of the famous General M’KAY, who fought under King William 3rd and whom God employed to execute his vengeance upon Claver house, the bloody persecutor of the Scottish Presbyterians. This Alexander M’KAY was son to Hugh M’KAY of Rea, in the northern highlands of Scotland and being persecuted in Scotland for his attachment to Presbyterianism and suffering from the troubles in which he, in common with the other branches of that brave Highland clan, had been involved, by its opposition to the Cromwellian usurpation, he fled to Ireland in 1683 and settled at Convoy, in Donegal. But, by my mother, I possess Scottish and Irish descent conjoined, which associates itself with the BALLIES of Donaghendry, a branch of the house of LAMINGTON in Scotland; with the RICHARDSON’S of Augher, the LINDSAY’S of Loughren, the SAUNDERSON’S of Cavan, and the JACKSON’S of Coleraine; together with the family of DOBBS, MOORE and STUART of Stuarthall. These were conspicuous in the plantation of Ulster and zealous advocates of Presbyterianism in former days, save the family of LINDSAY, which always adhered to the Church of England.

I esteem it, however, useful for the illustration of my ministerial Mission. In the province of Ulster, to demonstrate my descent maternally through the line of the KENNEDY’S, as the mission and ordination of the Presbytery of Tyrone, by which I was licensed to preach the Gospel, is handed down through them.

Therefore I here state that my grandfather the Rev. William KENNEDY, 46 years minister of Carland, was son to the Rev. John KENNEDY, minister of Benburb congregation for 50 years. John KENNEDY, together with his brother, Thomas KENNEDY, minister of Brigh until 1742 who baptized the late Lord Castlestuart in the Brigh meeting-house, were sons to the late Thomas KENNEDY, 1st minister of Carland. With respect to him, I here state, that being empowered to preach by the Presbytery of Ayr, he came to Ireland by the appointment of the extraordinary commission of the Kirk in the summer of 1643; and being a nephew to John, the 5th Earl at’ Cassills and cousin-german to John, the 6th commissioner to the Westminster Assembly, whose family was by matrimonial alliance connected with that of the Earl of Stirling; he was appointed as chaplain under General Monroe and being ordained by the Presbytery with the army, was inducted by Archbishop Usher into the parish of Donaghmore in Tyrone, in 1646, and ejected in 1660; thence forward, he continued to preach as a nonconformist minister at Carland Bridge, enduring persecution and imprisonment for righteousness’ sake.

At the approach of Lord Galmoy with the advanced guard of King James’s army to Dungannon, he was forced to retire to the house of his brother, the Rev. G. KENNEDY, the elected and persecuted minister of Dundonald and Girvan,- and there having remained some time, he went to Glasgow in 1688, was received by the Presbytery,- and installed by it in the College Kirk, because of his singular gifts and eloquence, by the universal choice of the people; and in 1693 he returned to Ireland, and at the earnest desire of his Irish congregation, resumed his charge of them. The people of Glasgow parted with him with deep regret; but as he came to Ireland, at first with the design of propagating the Gospel, he felt bound to return to embrace the opening in God’s providence of doing more good in Ireland. He died in 1714, having preached the Gospel in Glasgow, Donoughmore and Carland 70 years.

I have now only to make two other remarks connected with this Thomas KENNEDY, the ejected minister of Donoughmore. The 1st refers to the family from which he was sprung and the 2nd to that of his wife. With regard to the first, I observe, that he was eldest son of Sir Alexander KENNEDY of Craigaoch, legal nephew to John the 5th Earl of Cassillis and great grand nephew of the celebrated William or Quintin KENNEDY, Abbot of Crossraguel, who opposed John KNOX at a controversial discussion on the sacrifice of the mass, at Maybole, which lasted 3 days. But though Quintin KENNEDY was the best disputar in Scotland, he was overcome by the reformer. This clrcumstance induced him and his brother Gilbert, the 3rd Earl of Cassillis, to forsake Popery and he, thenceforward, defended and patronised the Reformation. The Cassillis family are sprung from James KENNEDY, of Donure; his ancestors were Crusaders and derived their origin from Brian KENNEDY, king of Ireland, having retired from that kingdom, to Carrick, in Scotland, about 1160 .

Now, with regard to his wife, he was married to a Miss Mary O’BRIEN, only child and daughter to Captain O’BRIEN, of the Bawn, near Pomeroy, in Tyrone. This Captain O’BRIEN was of the same family with the Marquis of Thomond and traced back his descent to Cormac CUSH / CASK? and Oliol Olum, the former a king of Munster in 360, who professed Christianity 90 years before the mission of Patrick, according to its 1st Presbyterian establishment in Ireland and the latter was also king of Munster and a celebrated poet, and professed the Christianity of the same stamp in the year 200 after Christ, 244 years before Patrick.

From this account, it will appear that I derive my descent from a Gaulish, Scottish, and Irish-Milesian origin and that I have a right to the exercise of freedom to preach the Gospel among the simple or Milisian Irish, if God should call me to it, without being taxed by the lrish priesthood as an alien stranger, invading the privileges of the Irish and possessing no sympathy for them, as not of their kindred origin. I believe God sometimes casts the solitary in families, while rebels inhabit a dry and parched land and I rejoice that I am able to show, that the celebrated Beg-Mac-De also sprung from Connel and Cormac Cass, maintained the same principles in religion as I do, from 500 to 551 and that as an old Culdee, well skilled in the prophecy of scripture, imbued with attachment to past forms of Christianity, he foresaw the judgments of God coming upon Ireland in consequence of the apostacy from the pure principles of the Gospel and the Introduction of corruption that followed the change of government in the Irish Church concomitant to the Patrician mission. A relative of his descended from the Eachar Baldearg, went along with current in apostacy and became, by the name of BRENNAN or O’BRIEN, the 1st diocesan bishop of Clonfert; but his views were nearly the name as those of the Church of England. William Kennedy M’KAY (Belfast Newsletter)

William Kennedy McKAY’S death is recorded in the Historical and Literary Memorials of Presbyterianism in Ireland 1880, as 19 Dec. 1822

Some Births recorded at Brigh Presbyterian Church 1834-1840

Child’s NameBirth DateParents
Letitia STEWART11 Jul 1834John STEWART
Margaret WICKLOW15 Aug 1834William WICKLOW
Rebecca HAMILTONNov 1834William HAMILTON
Nancy IRWIN11 Dec 1834Thomas IRWIN
Ann SLOAN5 Apr 1835John SLOAN
Joseph MITCHELL23 Apr 1835John MITCHELL
William McKIBBIN? May 1835William McKIBBIN/ Sarah REYNOLDS
David McKEOWN7 July 1836Robert McKEOWN
Ann Jane IRWIN5 Oct 1836Thomas IRWIN
Ellen CONN4 Nov 1836John CONN
Eliza Sarah MITCHELL25 Jan 1837John MITCHELL
Robert Tees DUNN13 Feb 1837Andrew DUNN
William McNEELY18 Feb 1837James McNEELY
Isaac BELL30 Jan 1837Robert BELL
Barbara IRWIN20 Feb 1837Adam IRWIN
Joseph WOODS19 Mar 1837Joseph WOODS
Margaret Jane SLOAN4 Apr 1837John SLOAN
Nancy WICKLOW7 Apr 1837William WICKLOW
Eleanor FERGUSON13 Apr 1837William FERGUSON
Samuel Hamilton KIRKPATRICK14 Apr 1837Thomas KIRKPATRICK
Isabella WHITE21 Apr 1837John WHITE
John NORRIS23 Apr 1837William NORRIS
Margaret Jane FERGUSON8 May 1837John FERGUSON
George McCULLOGH9 May 1837George McCULLOGH
Sam’l ? HAMILTON12 May 1837James HAMILTON
Thomas McKAY18 May 1837Henry McKAY
James PORTER31 May 1837William PORTER
Margaret Jane ROWE1 Jun 1837Thomas ROWE
Eleanor WALLACE18 Jun 1837James WALLACE
James FAULKNER28 Jun 1837William FAULKNER
John IRVINE8 Jul 1837John IRVINE
John WHAM10 Jul 1837Samuel WHAM
William John GRAHAM1 Aug 1837George GRAHAM
James ALLEN3 Aug 1837William ALLEN
Matthew GREER8 Aug 1837John GREER
John CARSON8 Aug 1837John CARSON
John McKIBBIN? Aug 1837William McKIBBIN / Sarah REYNOLDS
Nancy HENDERSON24 Aug 1837Thomas HENDERSON
Alexander LINDSAY22 Dec 1837Joseph LINDSAY
John JOHNSTONday & month? 1838Joseph JOHNSTON
Samuel LORIMER15 Jan 1838Robert LORIMER
Martha HENDERSON21 Jan 1838Thomas HENDERSON
Susanna McVEY12 Feb 1838Thomas McVEY
James NICHOL20 Feb 1838Gilbert NICHOL
James WALKER1 Mar 1838Joseph WALKER
Ellen GRAHAM13 Mar 1838William GRAHAM
Martha MEGAGHY18 Apr 1838Stewart MEGAGHY
Thomas Rollins FERGUSON6 May 1838Fergus FERGUSON
Margaret MEGAW10 May 1838William MEGAW
Rachel IRWIN12 May 1838Thomas IRWIN
Agnes Spear MEGAW30 May 1838William MEGAW
Margaret McKEOWN12 Jun 1838Robert McKEOWN
James MOORHEAD13 Jun 1838James MOORHEAD
John BELL28 Jun 1838Ross BELL
Margaret CONN3 Jul 1838John CONN
Jane HAMILTON15 Aug 1838Thomas HAMILTON
Robert MEGAW25 Aug 1838John MEGAW
Robert TROUSEL27 Aug 1838John TROUSEL
Eliza PARK10 Sept 1838David PARK
Mary Jane DUNN18 Sept 1838Andrew DUNN
William WRIGHT13 Oct 1838James WRIGHT
Thomas HARRIS19 Oct 1838Samuel HARRIS
Joseph GRAHAM25 Oct 1838Joseph GRAHAM
Palmer McCONNELL11 Nov 1838Hugh McCONNELL
Alexander LAYS11 Nov 1838Alexander LAYS
Sarah HARRIS23 Nov 1838John HARRIS
Mary Ann DONNELLY14 Dec 1838Thomas DONNELLY
Samuel John SLOAN1 Jan 1839John SLOAN
Mary Jane HAMILTON14 Feb 1839John HAMILTON
Eliza IRVINE22 Feb 1839John IRVINE
Ann Eliza Jane RAINEY1 Mar 1839Joseph RAINEY
Samuel ELDER11 Mar 1839John ELDER
Nancy RAY17 Mar 1839James RAY
Robert Thomas WHITE1 Apr 1839John WHITE
Esther VINCENT4 Apr 1839William VINCENT
Matilda SLOAN13 Apr 1839William SLOAN
James MARSHALL14 Apr 1839William MARSHALL
Robert DALLAS24 Apr 1839James DALLAS
Mary Ann MITCHELL25 Apr 1839John MITCHELL
Nancy MITCHELL25 Apr 1839John MITCHELL
Arabella Sophia SLOAN18 May 1839John SLOAN
Thomas DEVLIN25 May 1839Patrick DEVLIN
Robert FAULKNER6 Jun 1839William FAULKNER
Robert CRAWFORD8 Jun 1839Samuel CRAWFORD
Martha Anne RODDY11 Jun 1839Joseph RODDY
Samuel STEWART6 Jul 1839John STEWART
Charles WALLACE18 Jul 1839James WALLACE
Ann Jane BELL27 Jul 1839Robert BELL
Anne BARKLEY22 Aug 1839William BARKLEY
Elizabeth MACKAY7 Sept 1839Henry MACKAY
Andy Thomas BODEN25 Sept 1839Andrew BODEN
Robert James BROWN27 Sept 1839William BROWN
Margaret McCULLOGH16 Oct 1839George McCULLOGH
John Henry ROWE31 Oct 1839Thomas ROWE
Eliza Ann FERGUSON15 Nov 1839John FERGUSON
Jane PORTER22 Nov 1839William PORTER
John Stewart NORRIS25 Nov 1839John S. NORRIS
Mary McCORD27 Nov 1839Thomas McCORD
James WRIGHT18 Dec 1839James WRIGHT
Margaret BEATTIE28 Dec 1839Hugh BEATTIE
Jane McKIBBENDay Month? 1839William McKIBBEN / Sarah REYNOLDS
Eliza Sarah MEGAW6 Mar 1840William MEGAW
John HARRIS8 Mar 1840Thomas HARRIS
Elizabeth Eleanor WATTERS14 Mar 1840William John WATTERS
James FERGUSON26 Apr 1840Fergus FERGUSON
John NICHOLL22 May 1840Gilbert NICHOLL
Margaret IRWIN1840Thomas IRWIN
Martha MOORHEAD13 Jul 1840James MOORHEAD
William John LEMON22 Jul 1840John LEMON
Elizabeth WHAN27 Jul 1840Samuel WHAN
Agnes GRAHAM16 Aug 1840George GRAHAM
William James CARSON22 Aug 1840John CARSON
Eliza ELDER22 Aug 1840David ELDER
Ellen HENDERSON18 Sept 1840Thomas HENDERSON
Margaret RODDY20 Sept 1840Joseph RODDY
Elizabeth HARRIS24 Sept 1840Samuel HARRIS
Robert HAMILL21 Oct 1840Robert HAMILL
William White HARRIS16 Nov 1840John HARRIS
Eliza DEVLIN15 Dec 1840Patrick DEVLIN

Marriages at Brigh Presbyterian Church

1 Oct 1828 Rev. James DENHAM, Brigh to Eliza HANNA eldest dau. of Rev. Dr. HANNA.

30 Dec 1846. by Rev. John Maxwell, Mr John TAYLOR of Carlan to Eliza McVEY of Eavy, near Stewartstown.

30 Jan 1851 – On the 21st inst. in the Brigh Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. Stewart Fullerton, brother of the bridegroom, Mr James Johnston FULLERTON to Jane Olivia STEWART, dau. of the late Samuel STEWART Esq. of Gortnaskea.

3 Sept. 1852 – At Brigh Presbyterian Church on the 27th ult. by the Rev. T. W. Junk. brother to the bride, Mr. William MEGAW of Stewartstown to Jane eldest daughter of Robert Junk of Gortigal near the same place.

8 Jan. 1853 – Dec. 30, in Brigh Presbyterian Church Mr. Samuel MAY, Lower Back, near Stewardstown, to Mary eldest daughter of Mr. Isaac MEGAW, Linneyglass near Stewardstown.

18 Mar. 1861 – March 14, in Brigh Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. R. Holmes, Mr Thomas HAMILTON merchant, Coagh to Eliza daughter of late Mr John GEORGE, Mullagharory, near Coagh.

23 Jan. 1864 – January 12th in Brigh Presbyterian Church by the Rev. John Maxwell, assisted the Rev. Isaac Vance, brother to the bride, Mr. Thomas WHITESIDE, Killycolpy to Miss VANCE, Innevale.

3 Sept. 1864 – August 29, at Brigh Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. John Maxwell, Mr. James BRYARS, merchant, Dungannon, to Margaret, youngest daughter of the late Andrew KELLS Esq. (Londonderry Standard)

12 Jan. 1877 – January 6, in the Brigh Presbyterian Church, Stewartstown by the Rev. John Maxwell, John, third son of Mr. Ross BELL, Sherrygroom, to Mary Jane, youngest daughter of Mr. Ross BELL Gortigal, Stewartstown.

31 Aug. 1878 – At the Brigh Presbyterian church on the 27th inst., by the father of the bride, assisted by the Rev. Robert Wallace, W. J. BROWN Esq. M.A., Inspector of National schools, Longford, to Anna, elder daughter of the Rev. John MAXWELL Brigh Manse, Stewartstown, Co. Tyrone.

15 Aug. 1908 Co. Tyrone Estate

The tenants on the estate of Mrs. QUINN of Stewartstown, have agreed to purchase their holdings under the Land Act of 1903. ‘The estate consists of the townlands Brigh and Gortnaskea, situate within 2 miles of the town. The terms agreed upon are nonjudicial 21 years’ purchase; judicial, 24 years’ purchase and fee-farm rents 24 1/2 years purchase. Mr. John P. HARRIS, solicitor, Stewartstown, negotiated between landlord and tenant. (Weekly Irish Times)

29 Jul. 1908 Sad Occurrence in Co. Tyrone

On the 26th inst. an old and respected citizen of Stewartstown named Mr. Andrew JOHNSTON, who resided with his nephew at Curglasson, died suddenly while on his way to the morning service in Brigh Presbyterian Church. When nearing the church he took suddenly ill in the trap and was carried to Mr. MONTGOMERY’S, where restoratives were applied, but he died in a few minutes. The deceased had for some time been suffering from heart disease. He was agent for a number of estates and held many other important appointments. His death is generally regretted.

Gortnaskea Townland

26 Mar. 1909 Memorial Stone laying at Brigh, Co. Tyrone.

On 16th inst., the ceremony of laying the memorial-stone of the new Presbyterian Church Brigh took place in the presence of a large number of clergy and laity. During the proceedings some heavy showers of snow fell.

During the last quarter a century the church, which has a long and chequered history, has had 5 ministers, all of whom are still living. They are

Rev. John H. MORTON now of Eglinton St., Belfast

Rev. James B. M’FEETERS. B.A., T.C.D., at present Principal of the Endowed School, Bangor

Rev. David H. MACONACHIE B.A., B.D., at present in Strean Church, Newtownards

Rev. David GRAHAM B.A., now Coagh

Rev. William M’lLHATTON B.A., the present much respected and highly energetic minister, who shortly after his settlement about a year and half ago, launched the project of building a new church. In order to complete the erection of the church it will be necessary to raise somewhere between 1700 and 1800£. An offer £500 from an anonymous donor has been made provided the remainder is raised within 12 months. The congregation subscribed over £700 in about a fortnight. The late Mr. Matthew John MEGAW has made a bequest of £500 to be invested on behalf of the congregation, also towards the building fund. The greater part of the outside subscriptions came from friends or people hailing from the neighbourhood, with the result that £100 will be required to complete the building and leave it clear of debt.

The new church takes the place of the original edifice, which was erected in the 18th century, and occupies a commanding site on a conspicuous hill, well elevated above the surrounding country.

The clergy present at the ceremony were –

The Rev. Dr. M’lLVEEN (moderator of the General Assembly) (In the chair)

Rev. Isaac VANCE B.A.
Rev. J. B. SLOAN B.A.
Rev. William REID B.A.
Rev. J. W. SHARPE B.A.
Rev. R. ADAMS B.A.
Rev. T. GLASS B.A.
Rev. E. SIMS B.A.

Rev. William M’lLHATTON (pastor loci) reviewed the history of the church and referred at length to the generous donor who had subscribed £500 on the condition that the remainder of the amount to raise an edifice worthy of the Brigh congregation would be realised within 12 months. He thanked the congregation for the spirited and prompt manner in which they assisted him to carry out this condition. He was pleased to  inform them that the new church would be opened free of debt.

The Moderator of the General Assembly, in the course of his remarks, said this was an interesting occasion, taking them back over the history of the past 300 years. He understood this was the 5th place a church was erected for this congregation. He had seen the complete plans of the building now in course of erection and must heartily congratulate the congregation of Brigh in having such a beautiful church. The anonymous friend who had subscribed £500, which led them to the foundation of the whole scheme deserved every credit for the generous offer. The members of the congregation who subscribed the remainder, in such a short time, also deserved every praise. It gave him great pleasure in asking Mrs. MEGAW to lay the memorial stone.

Mrs. John MEGAW, Belfast, was then presented with a silver trowel and mallet (manufactured by Messrs. GIBSON and Co., Belfast), the former Messrs. YOUNG and MACKENZIE, architects, and the latter by Mr. William DOWLING, contractor, and declared the memorial-stone well and truly laid.

Mr. Thomas MEEK J.P. Moneymore, formerly a member the Brigh Church, proposed a vote of thanks Mr. and Mrs. John MEGAW for coming so far to lend their valued assistance on this occasion. Mr. John C. CHAMBERS, on behalf of the Committee. seconded the vote of thanks, which was put by the Moderator and carried with applause.

Rev. John ENTRICAN B.A., moved a vote thanks to the Moderator for adding dignity to the ceremony by his attendance. The Rev. J, W. SHARPE B.A., seconded and the proceedings, terminated with the doxology. The clergy, Committee, and friends were afterwards hospitably entertained by the ladies of the congregation.

5 Aug. 1909 Funeral of Mrs Joseph VANCE, Inevale House, Stewartstown

Great regret was manifested in the district at the announcement of the death of Mrs. Joseph VANCE, who died suddenly on Monday week at her husband’s residence, Inevale House, Stewartstown. The funeral took place on Wednesday, when the remains were removed for interment in the family burying ground at Brigh Presbyterian Church. Funeral services were conducted at the house and at the graveside by the Rev. Dr. M’ELHATTON, Brigh, assisted the Rev. R. DAVIDSON Derry. The coffin which was of polished oak suitably mounted bore the following inscription-

Annie Vance
Aged 67 years
Died 26th July, 1909,

The deceased was very highly respected and the funeral was attended by a large number of friends and neighbours. The chief mourners were –

Joseph VANCE (husband)
James W. and William J. VANCE (sons)
Samuel RUSSELL (brother)
Thomas R. KELLY, Samuel KELLY, Robert O. TURKINGTON (nephews)
Robert John RUSSELL and James REID (cousins)
Ezekiel DILWORTH, Nelson DILWORTH, John H. DILWORTH, Thomas E. HALL, Andrew DAVISON and James M’KENZIE (relatives).

The funeral arrangements were satisfactorily carried out by Messrs. E. M. ALLEN & Son, Cookstown.

page transcribed, extracted & compiled by Teena from Armagh Guardian, Ballymena Observer, Belfast Newsletter Londonderry Standard, Tyrone Constitution. (unless otherwise noted), along with-

History of Congregations of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland

Records of the General Synod of Ulster 1691 – 1820

Family Search Batch # C700191 LDS C700191 /0083 & /0165 FHL microfilm 0823750

Burials of Brigh Presbyterian Church are recorded in The Kabristan books of County Tyrone Graveyards (Index of names see Part V)