Sunday, 17 April 2016
The Scottish settlers in Fermanagh
Terwinney Methodist Church was erected in 1870 and closed in 2005. I can remember preaching in it many years ago when it was part of the Irvinestown Circuit.
Unlike Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches, whoich often have cemeteries attached to them, Methodist graveyards are rare. Terwinney is one of only twenty-four Methodist churches in Ireland to have a graveyard attached to it.
Families associated with Terwinney include Moffitt, Simpson, Armstrong, Dalton, Barton, Chittick, Walker, Knox, Johnson, Johnston, Colvil, Acheson and Marshall.
It is worth noting that quite a number of these names are of Scottish origin, alongside those of English origin. The Moffitt, Simpson, Armstrong, Knox, Johnston, Colvil and Acheson families will almost certainly have been of Scottish origin and the Armstrong name is particularly associated with the reiver family of that name from the Scottish Borders.
The Irvine family, which gave its name to the town of Irvinestown and the Methodist circuit, was also of Scottish origin.
Many folk may not think of Fermanagh as a place of Scottish settlement but evidence such as this and the story of the deportation of reiver families from the Scottish Border in the early 17th century helps us to appreciate that more Scots settled in Fermanagh than is often reckoned.