Cos. Tyrone, Donegal, Londonderry & Fermanagh Ireland Genealogy Research

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The Reverend William Boyd, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland 1718 Migration

Courtesy of Monreagh Heritage Centre
Submitted by
Jim McKane, Ontario, Canada

In 1725, the Reverend William Boyd from Macosquin, Coleraine was appointed minister of Monreagh Presbyterian Church. Seven years earlier, on 25th July 1718, the Reverend Boyd had landed in Boston, Massachussetts on board the “William and Mary”. Acting as their agent, he presented a petition signed by 319 people, including nine other Presbyterian ministers, from the Bann Valley area of Ulster, to Governor Shute of Massachussetts, requesting his support for a mass emigration to New England. These Ulster Scots were keen to leave their homes because of the high rents charged by the local landowner, the collapse of the linen trade and increasing persecution by the Anglican Church. On 4th August 1718, 800 Scotch-Irish arrived in Boston aboard the famous “Five Ships”, led by the Reverend James McGregor of Aghadowey. This was the first of four massive waves of emigration from Ulster to America during the 18th century, which has resulted in one in every seven Americans being able to trace her or his ancestry to the Scotch-Irish of Ulster. The Reverend Boyd returned to Ulster and served for 47 years as the minister of Monreagh, dying in service on 2nd May 1772. He is interred at nearby Taughboyne Parish Church, where his gravestone may be seen at the rear of the building.


Transcription of his gravestone and another photo

More info about The 1718 Migration