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RE: [Bann Valley] Re: Washington Smith and Washington Smith Pollock
Robert Pollock and Isabella Smith are my husband's GG Grandfather. They had
8 children, including a son who was called Smyth (b1828 Tamlaght O'Crilly
d1927). He married Nancy Campbell in and they had 13 children, one of whom
was Washington Smyth Pollock. Washington emigrated to New Zealand where he
married Margaret Alice Pettigrew and became a successful dairy farmer.
They had three sons and one daughter.
Washington Pollock died in New Zealand in 1943.
The name Smyth or Smith seems to follow through several generations often
as a second name. Another of Robert and Isabella's sons. Robert, (my
husband's ancestor) migrated to Australia and had a son Smith.One of Smyth
Pollock's sons, David, had a son William Smyth, Washington had a son William
Smyth, Smyth's daughter Jeannie married William Agnew and they had a son
William Smyth and another of Smyth's sons Frederick Smyth had a son
Some years ago I was sent an email from one of my contacts which said:
Wm McMillan wrote an article about the role of Presbyterian ministers in the
1798 rebellion. 'Presbyterian ministers and the Ulster rising'. On p.105
John Smith succeeded the rev. Arthur McMahon and was ordained 17 March 1794.
A man of talents and celebrity he has been described as being of independent
mind, great imprudence great misfortunes and somewhat secular in his
pursuits. and in his day was regarded as a dangerous character.
Charged with seditious practices, he suffered severe imprisonment in
Londonderry Carrickfergus Belfast and Fort George.He was released
unconditionally but meanwhile his farm had been taken from him and he
was left homeless and beggared on his return to his congregation. Later he
was again arrested as a rioter and again sentenced to some months
Throughout his troubled life his congregation still adhered to him and he
died in his charge in 1821.
If any members of the congregation called their sons Smith, in honour of
this unusual minister, it may say something about their political views, or
at the very least about their loyalty to one of their own.
The political climate that characterized the Kilrea congregation in the late
18th c. seems even more radical and less orthodox, when we find out that the
rev. Arthur McMahon, Smith's predecessor, was one of the
most famous of the United Irishmen, and arguably the most important
Presbyterian minister in the rebellion. McMillan covers his eventful and
eventually tragic career in several pages. The gist of it is that Arthur
McMahon was deeply implicated in the rising, but later turned informer. He
was licensed by presbytery of Antrim, which was where the more unorthodox
congregations were corralled after the subscription crisis of the mid 18th
c, and he later joined the presbytery of Killinchy, one of the most
heterodox in the General synod. He was in Kilrea 1789-1794; was a member of
the United Irish National Executive in 1797. With a former priest called
Quigly, McMahon formed societies after the plan of the United Irishmen in
London; govt spies estimated their numbers at 40, 000. He joined the French
army, was a POW, and died in France, perhaps in battle against Britain. His
family in Ireland never saw him after 1794
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