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History of the Early American Presbyterian Church

Why am I doing this project?

I have been looking in vain for information on the internet about the early Presbyterian Church. I come from several lines of Scotch-Irish or Puritan/Presbyterian colonialists. I was finding all of the names of congregations confusing because they don't always correspond with a geographical name you can look up on a map, like "Tinkling Spring" and "Fagg's Manor." I also found that I kept running into the same minister's names, although my research was taking me to many different states -- Pennsylvania, Virginia, North/South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio and New Jersey. So I decided to try to track them down and put what I learned on the web.

The information is coming (right now) from the Enclyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America: Including the Northern and Southern Assemblies, Alfred Nevin, D.D., LL.D., Editor, Philadelphia (Presbyterian Encyclopedia Publishing Co., 1884).

Most of the information is verbatim, but not all the information in the given article is necessarily reproduced. The work's copyright has expired, so it is now in the public domain. I have not transcribed all the information in each article, particularly in the biographies. I only deleted flowery language about the subject's dedication to God and his uprightness which, after reading several of the articles, seemed repetitive. I have eliminated none of the biographical detail.

Please also note that the Nevin's version of Presbyterian History is a highly sanitized one. He barely refers to disputes which led to church schisms and none of the ministers he writes of ever deserved being removed from a congregation. All of the good and barely a hint of the bad seemed to be his byword. I intend to eventually annotate these biographies with facts which Nevin has left out.

Also, please note that references to "negroes" and "Indians" in Nevin's work reflect a 19th century (Scotch-Irish, white) worldview and not my own attitudes.

If you have any additions, questions, corrections, please e-mail me at

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