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McFarlands and Septs in Ireland
By Mary Helen Haines, ©2014
Part 6
Immigration to America

Starting in the 1600s, Scotsmen who lived in Ireland began thinking that life in America might offer more economic opportunity as well as full freedom to practice their Presbyterian religion. A classic history of this migration and its many causes can be found in James G. Leyburn’s 1962 book The Scotch-Irish- A Social History. There was minimal immigration before 1700 from Ulster, but the years 1718-1719 opened the floodgates bringing an estimated quarter million Ulstermen to America by the time of the American Revolution. (p. 157) For many Americans of Scots-Irish descent, tracing back to a particular locale in northern Ireland can be difficult. My purpose in this article was to gather as many McFarland names that had dates of passage and places of origin attached. This might prove helpful to some of you searching for that connection. Due to the length of the list, I have limited it to the McFarland surname in the early immigration years; however the sources listed might be useful to Wilsons, Williams, Robbs, Blacks, and the many more MacFarlane septs.

Ship Records:
In most of the ship records I have found for McFarland families, the port of departure is Londonderry. This is logical and goes along with the scant records available that show McFarlands mostly living in Donegal and Tyrone, rather than the eastern part of Ulster.
From the research done by Charles Knowles Bolton we know that several McFarland families were part of the big migration that took place in 1718 and 1719. In these earliest years, ships did not keep records of their passengers; however we know by the earliest tax records and church records in Scots-Irish settlements in America who arrived on these early ships. Among the earliest settlers in Massachusetts were Daniel McFarland from County Tyrone, and his sons Andrew McFarland, John McFarland, and James McFarland, who seems to have arrived first. (Bolton, p. 183) James ended up in the area of Brunswick, Maine near the Canadian border. In Chester County Pennsylvania, Robert McFarland and his sons Robert and James McFarland came to an area named by the settlers in 1722 Donegal township that today is Lancaster County. (p. 271)

However a few are listed by name in odd scattered records, such as these McFarlands who were sent to America to get them out of Ireland:
1738: Neall McFarland from Co. Antrim, a felon (McDonnell, p. 66)
1739: Joseph McFarland from Co. Donegal, grand larceny (McDonnell, p. 75)
1741: James McEnorland from Londonderry City, grand larceny (McDonnell, p. 76))
This was compiled from a report made to the House of Commons of the Kingdom of Ireland in 1799 as they were investigating possibilities of abuse to gain indentured servants.

Below are abstracts found from a variety of sources that records actual ship records that started being kept after the United States became a nation independent of Britain.

First from 1803 through 1806 in Irish Passenger Lists, 1803-1806, complied by Brian Mitchell, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1995 from the Hardwicke Papers in the British Library

1803: from Londonderry to N.Y., ship American, James McFarland, 32, farmer from Co. Tyrone (Mitchell, p. 32)
1804: from Newry to N.Y., Ship Ceres, John McFarlin, 38, from Rathfriland (Mitchell,p. 78)
1806: from Londonderry to Baltimore, Ship Eliza, carried:
Robert McFarland, 22, farmer from Ballykilly (Co. Londonderry)
John McFarland 24, labourer from Moy, with Elizabeth McF. 20 spinster; Sarah McF., 3, child; Jane McF., 1, child; James Irvine, 7, laborer---all from Moy (Co. Tyrone). (p. 119)
1806: from Belfast to N.Y., ship American. Carried:
Robert McFarnan, 21, farmer from Dungannon.
Elizabeth McFarland, James McFarland, Jane McFarland, John McFarland, Robert McFarland, Sarah McFarland (p. 119)

From Londonderry to New York: John MacFarland with wife and family, on ship Ann
From Londonderry to Philadelphia: William MacFarland, on ship Harmony
From Londonderry to New London: William MacFarland and family, on ship Mariner (p. 16)

From Londonderry to Philadelphia: John MacFarlane, from Maherafelt (Co. Tyrone), on ship Jane
From Londonderry to New York: Robert MacFarland, on ship Foster
Source: Passenger Lists From Ireland, compiled by Hackett and Early, 1973, excerpted from the Journal of the American Irish Historical Society, Vol. 28, 29. Originally published there in 1929, 1931.

From Belfast to New York: Owen McFarland, 35, weaver, and Mary McFarland, 24, spinster on ship Courier (from

Then the next lists come from: Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Londonderry to America on Ships of the J. & J. Cooke Line and the McCorkell Line. Compiled under direction of Brian Mitchell. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, 1988.

1847-1871: All the following ships left from Londonderry
From Dungiven townland, Co. Tyrone:
1847: ship Londonderry to St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
McFarland, Alexander and Margaret (p. 34)
1857: ship Argentinus to Quebec
McFarland, James (p. 135)
From Strabane townland, Co. Tyrone:
1847: ship Collinwood to Quebec
McFarland, Eliza Jane, age 9 (p. 13)
McFarland, James, Mary, Susanna, age 2 (p. 12)
1858: ship Elizabeth to New Orleans
McFarland, George 38, Margaret 38, Elizabeth 10, Margaret 6, John 3 (p. 140)
From Donemana townland, Co. Tyrone:
1847: ship Portland to St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
McFarland, Alexander and Elleanor (p. 24)
1849: ship Garland to Philadelphia
McFarland, Samuel (p. 58)
1853: ship Superior to Philadelphia
McFarland, John and Robert (p. 100)
From Omagh townland, Co. Tyrone:
1847: ship Montpellier to Philadelphia
McFarland, Andrew (p. 21)
1847: ship Hartford to Philadelphia
McFarland, John and Margaret (p. 13)
1849: ship Superior to New Orleans
McFarland, Samuel (p. 59)
1853: ship Superior to Philadelphia
McFarland, William (p. 101)
1858: ship Elizabeth to Philadelphia
McFarland, Lucinda 21 (p. 139)
1860: ship Elizabeth to Philadelphia
McFarland, John 50, Isabella 40, Joseph 18, Eliza Jane 16, Margaret 9 (p. 146)
From Beragh townland, Co. Tyrone:
1849: ship Superior to Philadelphia
McFarland, Joseph (p. 54)
1850: ship Superior to Philadelphia
McFarland, John, Elizabeth, James, Catherine, Jane, Eliza 11, Bill 9, William 6 (p. 68)
1864: ship Lady Emily Peel
McFarland, Robert
From Six Mile Cross townland, Co. Tyrone:
1849: ship Envoy to Philadelphia
McFarland, Isabella and Anne 13 (p. 49)
1851: ship Superior to Philadelphia
McFarland, John (p. 81)
1851: ship Competitor to Philadelphia
McFarland, John and Mary (p. 79)
From Fintona townland, Co. Tyrone:
1847: ship John Clarke to St. John
McFarland, John and Robert (p. 20)
From Faughanvale, Co. Londonderry:
1847: ship Barbara to Philadelphia
McFarland, John (p. 30)
From Letterbrat townland, Co. Tyrone, near Plumridge:
1847: ship Portland to St. John
McFarland, Sarah (p. 26)
From Oaks
1851: ship Londonderry to St. John
McFarland, Ellen (p. 79)
From Limavady, Co. Londonderry
1851: ship Competitor to Philadelphia
McFarland, Elizabeth (p. 78)
From Eglington, Co. Londonderry
1860: ship Elizabeth to Philadelphia
McFarland, Catherine 21, Joseph 16 (p. 145)
From Derry, Co. Londonderry
1855: ship Superior to Quebec
McFarland, Ann (p. 125)
McFarland, Jane (p. 126)
1863: ship Elizabeth to St. John
McFarlane, William 48, Sarah 48, Alexander 20, William 16, Eliza 22, Martha 20 (p. 152)
From Plumridge townland, Co. Tyrone
1853: ship MaryAnn to St. John
McFarland, Joseph 20 (p. 110)
From Iskaheen (near Muff and Burt), Co. Donegal
1852: ship Anne to Philadelphia
McFarland, Ian, Robert, Eliza Ann, Isabella (p. 87)
From Pettigo townland, Co. Donegal, near border with Co. Fermanagh:
1853: ship Helen Thompson to Philadelphia
McFarland, John, Jane, and Jane (p. 104)
McFarland, Mary, George, William, John 13, Rebecca 11, Robert 7, Daniel 3 (p. 104)
From Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal:
1854: ship Aldolph Werner to Quebec
McFarland, Jane 40, Susan 14, Henry 12, Margaret 10, Jane 7, Mary 5 (p. 121)
From Belfast:
1863: ship Nubia to Quebec
McFarlane, Mary 19 and Joseph 21 (p. 154)
From Glasgow:
1866: ship Doctor Kane to St. John
McFarlane, Alexander 20 (p. 167)

Other ship lines:
1838: Ship Prudence from Londonderry to St. John
McFarland, Jane, spinster from Co. Tyrone
1853: Ship Hannah Crooker From Londonderry to Philadelphia:
McParland, Eliza 50, James 14, Eliza 13, Richard 12.
Robb, John 40.
1843: Ship Greenlaw, carrying Co. Tyrone convicts to Tasmania: Jane McFarland


Bolton, Charles. Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America. Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Co. 1967.
Hackett and Early. Passenger Lists From Ireland, excerpted from the Journal of the American Irish Historical Society, Vo. 28, 29. 1973. Originally published there in 1929, 1931
Leyburn, James G. The Scotch-Irish, A Social History, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1962.
McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743. 1992
Mitchell, Brian. Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Londonderry to America on Ships of the J. & J. Cooke Line and the McCorkell Line. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, 1988.

County Tyrone

McFarlands & Septs in Ireland Pt. 5 Presbyterian Congregations in Ireland

McFarlands & Septs in Ireland
By Mary Helen Haines, ©2013, updated 2016
Part 5
Presbyterian Congregations in Ireland

The presence of Presbyterian ministers in Ireland meeting with congregations goes back to the earliest years of the Plantation in 1611; however the first Presbytery was not established until June 1642 at Carrickfergus with five ministers and four ruling elders from Scotland. They accompanied the troops sent from Scotland to defend the Ulster Scots during the uprising that was occurring. In the meantime back in England and Scotland, the Civil War resulted in King Charles I execution. The Ulster Presbytery met in 1649 in Belfast and condemned the King’s execution, which meant they could not be trusted by Parliament. Lord Protector Cromwell made it clear that all Presbyterian ministers would be arrested if they did not take an Engagement Oath (Loyalty Oath), which led many to flee to Scotland. More persecution followed with the Act of Uniformity in 1662 which stated that all ministers must be ordained in the Episcopal manner; therefore the Irish Presbyterian Synod, which last met in Balleymena in 1661, did not meet again until 1690. Everyone had to pay tithes to the Established Church (Church of Ireland), consequently Presbyterian ministers who were willing to financially scrape by with whatever support they could muster locally, conducted services in private homes and occasionally built “meeting houses” outside city walls. (Kirkpatrick, pp. 24, 29, 30, 31)

Nevertheless, the Presbyterians continued to meet and build places of worship. In the area west of the River Foyle, the Laggan Presbytery was established, consisting of today’s County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. There are nine congregations here that trace back to the 17th Century.

The oldest congregation in the Laggan district is Monreagh, where Robert Cunningham was the first minister from 1644 to 1655.


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McFarlands & Septs in Ireland: Part 4-The Glorious Revolution, Siege of Londonderry, Battle of Boyne

McFarlands and Septs in Ireland

By Mary Helen Haines, ©2013, revised 2015


Part 4

The “Glorious Revolution,” the Siege of Londonderry, and the Battle of Boyne

In 1685, King Charles II of England died and was followed by James II, his openly Catholic brother. Catholics of Ireland (both English and Irish) were delighted with the change, and enjoyed the new ascendancy in local politics. When a son was born to James in 1688, opponents in England plotted an overthrow. The Whigs in England invited William Prince of Orange, the Protestant son-in-law of James, to come to England and take the throne in what came to be called in England the Glorious Revolution.

James, however, did not go away quietly; he asked for help from King Louis XIV of France, who sent troops to Ireland where they joined with James and his Irish Catholic supporters. While the Irish Catholic troops were gathering arms and mustering, so too were the Ulster Protestants. One of the most important leaders of the Ulster Protestants was Sir William Stewart, grandson of the first Baron, and now Lord Mountjoy since 1683. This title came from Mountjoy Castle that his family had leased from the monarchy. Lord Mountjoy was also Governor of Derry. Always a loyal supporter of the Stuart kings, Sir William had no good options. Trying to forestall another war in Ireland, William went to Paris to see King James. Upon arrival, he was locked up and then spent the war years in the Bastille. He was finally repatriated in 1692; however, he died in battle a year later fighting for King William. (Gebbie, pp. 41-42)

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