Rev Samuel Butler first Minister of Magilligan Presbyterian Church

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Magilligan Presbyterian Church in Margymonaghan townland

The Rev Samuel Butler, the first minister of Magilligan Presbyterian Church from 1814 through to 1862 seemed to have an interest in family history as some of the entries for baptisms and marriages are unusually detailed. An example of two marriages are given below and give the names of those present at the weddings:

Marriage No 103
John Fleming son of William Fleming of Liverpool unto Sarah Ross youngest daughter of William Ross farmer of Ballymulholland, Magilligan. The bride groom lives with his uncle Conolly Fleming of Drumavally. The marriage of the above pair John Fleming & Sarah Ross took place in the house of the bride's father William Ross on the evening of Wednesday the 21st August 1839 with consent of friends. Some of the company present were Mr & Mrs Thomas Ross of Ballymulholland - Abraham James Moody of Gortmore and his brothers John and Henry Bruce Moody & sister Margaret Ann Moody. Of Mr William Ross & Mrs Ross and son Richard Ross and the four daughters of William at home - Dolly, Elizabeth, Anne, and Margaret Ross -- also John Coyle of Craig and Richard Dougherty of Ballymulholland.

Marriage No 105
Alexander McLaughlin son of Robert McLaughlin, Ballyscullion and grandson of George McLaughlin of the same townland was married on the 13th day of December 1839 in my own house in Margymonaghan to Eliza Begley daughter of the late Charles Begley now of Margymonaghan or New Holland. Paul Dougherty of Ballymultimber certified under his hand that she had the consent of her guardian & grandfather Charles Begley and Thomas Cooke his stepfather & guardian gave his approval by his presence & under his hand also that his natural father was agreed.
Of those present on the occasion I notice the Rev Doctor James Irvine of Largy Congregation, Thomas Cooke, William Somers the first of Ballyscullion (the cotter) of Ballymultimber, Paul Dougherty - as above and sister - John Snell now of Margymonaghan, Eliza McClelland of the same formerly of Drumagosker, Balteagh. George Eakin of Margymonaghan whose father is of Ballyleighery; Mrs Butler of Margymonaghan was also present at the celebrations of the marriage & numbers of young people around the house to make merry on account of the union of this couple.

The Rev Samuel Butler was originally from Craigmore, Randalstown.

The Rev Butler's headstone in Magilligan Presbyterian graveyard gives the following details of this remarkable minister:

In memory of the Rev Samuel Butler/ordained 6th Sept 1814 the first Minister/of this Presbyterian Church in Magilligan/where he walked uprightly laboured faithfully and died peacefully 9th January 1862 aged 85 years/ he being dead yet speaketh/also his wife Elizabeth who died 23rd November 1850 aged 67 years.


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