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The Donegal Society is dedicated to promoting the collection and preservation of the history of the Scots-Irish who founded the Donegal Presbyterian Church; to maintain, beautify, and preserve the grounds, trees, spring, ceme- tery, and buildings; and to be a focal point for all descendants and others interested in the objectives of the Society; to preserve the living history and heritage through membership and reunions. Donegal Society The 18th Century 1786 The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania grants the Charter for the Church. Keeping history alive for generations to come. The Donegal Society An important resource for the heritage and genealogy of the Scots-Irish in America. 1714 Emigration of Scots-Irish to the Susquehanna Valley begins. 1721 The Donegal Church is organized and pastoral supplies are requested. 1732 The Presbytery of Donegal is organized. 1740 Two hundred acres of land are deeded by William Penn. A new church is built of stone, replacing the earlier log meeting house. 1777 During services an express rider brings news that General Howe is prepar- ing to invade Pennsylvania and engages Col. Lowery, who was attending services, to organize his men to defend the front. The congregation gathers around the Witness Tree to pledge allegiance to the cause of Independence. 18th Century 19th Century 19th Century 20th Century 20th Century 1810 The study house is built above the Donegal Spring. 1899 The Witness Tree Chapter of the D.A.R. presents a monument to the church listing the names of those who served in the Indian Wars and the Revolutionary War. The tradition of The Planting of Trees is born. 1912 The remains of Rev. Colin McFarquhar, pastor of the church during the Revolutionary War, are exhumed from a cemetery in Hagerstown, MD, and interred in the cemetery at Donegal Presbyterian Church. 1914 A constitution and bylaws are submitted, and adopted, during the Annual Reunion in June. 1851 The church is remodeled. The old horse used to drag the stones from the quarry site to the church dies, and following an ancient Irish custom, the head of the horse is buried beneath the pulpit during the remodeling. According to folklore, the buried head of the horse will aid in the projection of the voice of anyone speaking at the pulpit. Keeping history alive for generations to come. Donegal Society The Membership Membership is open to anyone interested in the preservation of the historical and cultural significance of the Donegal Presbyterian Church, and the Scots-Irish settlement in Lancaster County, regardless of their genealogical heritage. Members meet for annual reunions held on the Donegal Presbyterian Church grounds, the third week of June. Anyone interested in membership should call (717) 653-1943, or write to the Society at the address below. Directions to the Donegal Presbyterian Church From Route 230 in Mount Joy, turn left on N. Angle Street, then right onto Donegal Springs Road, then left on Colebrook Road for one block, then right again onto Donegal Springs Road to the church. From Route 283 travelling West, take the Elizabethtown- Rheems exit, turning left at the end of the exit and continuing straight. Turn right onto Colebrook Road, stay on Colebrook Road for several miles, then turn right onto Donegal Springs Road to the church. From Route 441 travelling North from Marietta, turn right on Route 743 to go to Maytown, then turn right on Donegal Springs Road to the church. 1988 A bronze medallion is cast to commemorate the 75th reunion of the Donegal Society. 1891 Donegal Springs Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552 (717) 653-1943 1917 The first of the many com- memorative markers, listing historical events, is unveiled. 1921 The Witness Tree is inducted into the Trees Hall of Fame by the American Forestry Association. The Society agrees to seek to obtain a charter of incorporation. 1925 The memorial entrance wall and gateway are completed and dedicated. 1947 The Donegal Sunday School plants a tree in memory of those who fought in World War II. 1911 The Donegal Society was officially formed. 1909 The first annual reunion of Donegal Presbyterian Church was held.

18th Century Donegal The · 2018. 3. 30. · By the mid 18th Century 12,000 Scots-Irish were coming to America each year. M ost of the early settlers were Scots who had been relocated

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Text of 18th Century Donegal The · 2018. 3. 30. · By the mid 18th Century 12,000 Scots-Irish were coming...

  • The Donegal Society is dedicated to promotingthe collection and preservation of the history ofthe Scots-Irish who founded the DonegalPresbyterian Church; to maintain, beautify,and preserve the grounds, trees, spring, ceme-tery, and buildings; and to be a focal point forall descendants and others interested in theobjectives of the Society; to preserve the livinghistory and heritage through membership andreunions.

    DonegalSociety

    The18th Century

    1786 The Commonwealth ofPennsylvania grants the Charter for theChurch.

    Keeping history alivefor generations to come.

    The Donegal SocietyAn important resource for

    the heritage and genealogy ofthe Scots-Irish in America.

    1714 Emigration of Scots-Irish tothe Susquehanna Valley begins. 1721 The Donegal Church is organized

    and pastoral supplies are requested.1732 The Presbytery of Donegal isorganized. 1740 Two hundred acres of land

    are deeded by William Penn. A newchurch is built of stone, replacing theearlier log meeting house.

    1777 During services an express riderbrings news that General Howe is prepar-ing to invade Pennsylvania and engagesCol. Lowery, who was attending services, to organize his men to defendthe front.

    The congregation gathers around theWitness Tree to pledge allegiance to thecause of Independence.

    18th Century

    19th Century19th Century

    20th Century20th Century

    1810 The study house is built abovethe Donegal Spring.

    1899 The Witness Tree Chapter ofthe D.A.R. presents a monument to thechurch listing the names of those whoserved in the Indian Wars and theRevolutionary War. The tradition of ThePlanting of Trees is born.

    1912 The remains of Rev. ColinMcFarquhar, pastor of the church duringthe Revolutionary War, are exhumedfrom a cemetery in Hagerstown, MD,and interred in the cemetery at DonegalPresbyterian Church.

    1914 A constitution and bylaws aresubmitted, and adopted, during theAnnual Reunion in June.

    1851 The church is remodeled. Theold horse used to drag the stones fromthe quarry site to the church dies, andfollowing an ancient Irish custom, thehead of the horse is buried beneath thepulpit during the remodeling. Accordingto folklore, the buried head of the horsewill aid in the projection of the voice ofanyone speaking at the pulpit.

    Keeping history alivefor generations to come.

    DonegalSociety

    The

    MembershipMembership is open to anyone interested in the preservationof the historical and cultural significance of the DonegalPresbyterian Church, and the Scots-Irish settlement inLancaster County, regardless of their genealogical heritage.Members meet for annual reunions held on the DonegalPresbyterian Church grounds, the third week of June.

    Anyone interested in membership should call (717) 653-1943,or write to the Society at the address below.

    Directions to theDonegal Presbyterian Church

    From Route 230 in Mount Joy, turn left on N. Angle Street,then right onto Donegal Springs Road, then left on ColebrookRoad for one block, then right again onto Donegal SpringsRoad to the church.

    From Route 283 travelling West, take the Elizabethtown-Rheems exit, turning left at the end of the exit and continuingstraight. Turn right onto Colebrook Road, stay on ColebrookRoad for several miles, then turn right onto Donegal SpringsRoad to the church.

    From Route 441 travelling North from Marietta, turn righton Route 743 to go to Maytown, then turn right on DonegalSprings Road to the church.

    1988 A bronze medallion iscast to commemorate the 75threunion of the Donegal Society.

    1891 Donegal Springs Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552(717) 653-1943

    1917 The first of the many com-memorative markers, listing historicalevents, is unveiled.

    1921 The Witness Tree is inducted intothe Trees Hall of Fame by the AmericanForestry Association. The Society agrees toseek to obtain a charter of incorporation.

    1925 The memorialentrance wall and gateway arecompleted and dedicated. 1947 The Donegal Sunday

    School plants a tree in memory ofthose who fought in World War II.

    1911 The Donegal Society wasofficially formed.

    1909 The first annual reunion ofDonegal Presbyterian Church was held.

  • By the mid 18th Century 12,000 Scots-Irishwere coming to America each year.

    By the mid 18th Century 12,000 Scots-Irishwere coming to America each year.

    Most of the early settlers were Scots whohad been relocated to Ulster, Ireland,around Donegal and Derry, fromwhere they emigrated to America.By 1722 those arriving in theSusquehanna River area chose theirland for settlement and named thearea Donegal.

    The Donegal Presbyterian Church haschanged little since its remodeling in1851. At that time the stone walls were plas-tered, the windows were squared, and newentrances were made at the gable end of thebuilding.

    The spring at the foot of the hill was essen-tial for members who made long journeys toattend services. The spring water providedrefreshment for the horses, as well as the con-

    gregation who would enjoy a midday meal between themorning and afternoon services prior to returning home.

    Preservation of the grounds and grove arean important part of the charter of theDonegal Society. Many of the trees in thispeaceful setting have been dedicated to thememory of early pastors and influentialmembers of the Society. In the 1930’s, workwas started to develop a trust fund for thetrees. Miss Mary Cameron, a descendant ofSimon Cameron who was Secretary of Warunder Abraham Lincoln, was the first chair-person to oversee the preservation of the treesand grounds.

    Headstones in the cemetery provide an amazingly well-preservedgenealogical resource about the settlement and development of theDonegal area from the 18th Century through today. Burial plots continue tobe available to members of the Donegal Presbyterian Church. Special fundsand donations are used to cover maintenance of the grave markers and keepthe cemetery well-preserved and in good condition through the years.

    The study house was built in 1810-1811 and over the years has been used formany purposes. At one time it was the caretaker’s dwelling. It was remodeledin 1976, with careful attention given to preserving all the historic aspects of thebuilding and architecture, and dedicated as the William Kerr Study House in honorof Reverend William Kerr, pastor from 1807-1821. Today it houses the records ofthe Church and Society, the pastor’s office, and meeting rooms.

    Enter the grounds throughthe memorial gateway,framed by two stone pillars,erected in 1925. Each pillar con-tains tablets that honor all whoserved in World War I, and theDonegal Society members whogave their lives in World War I.The dedicatory address wasgiven by General Robert E.Davis, Adjutant General of theU.S. Army.

    The original Witness Tree was a stately white oakthat grew and flourished for nearly three cen-turies, but sadly had to be replaced. The currentWitness Tree was grown from the original tree, andstands in the same spot as a proud testimonial to thepreservation of the Donegal Society and the DonegalPresbyterian Church.

    It was around the original Witness Tree that con-gregants gathered in 1777 to pledge their support ofthe fight for independence from British rule.

    The Gateway

    The Grove

    The Church

    The Donegal Cemetery

    Kerr Study House

    Donegal Spring

    The Witness Tree