Killead Presbyterian Church

Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland

The following are extracts from The Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland Parishes of County Antrim XIII 1833, 1835, 1838 Templepatrick and District.Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.

Parish of Killead
Presbyterian Meeting House.

The Presbyterian Meeting house is situated in the town land of Tully, near the north centre of the parish. It is a clumsy old structure, consisting of a main aisle measuring 23 by 15 feet 6 inches stands at right angles to the north centre of the former. It is well fitted up internally and contains, including the gallery, 80 pews, capable of accommodating 640 persons. The ascent to the gallery is from the outside by a flight of clumsy stone steps. In front of the gallery, opposite the pulpit, is an 8 day clock, the gift of the Revd Andrew Hume, a former minister of the congregation.

This meeting house was erected about the year 1750. In 1829 it underwent a thorough repair, having been newly roofed and newly fitted up with pews. Its repairs cost 430 pounds, which was raised by local subscriptions from the inhabitants of this and some of the neighbouring districts. It is at present in excellent order.

In the burial ground (which is in a very neglected state) a handsome monument consisting of (a) square column of cut stone, surmounted by something resembling a grenade, was erected by his friends, at a cost of 100 pounds, to the memory of Mr. Samuel Cunningham, (see photos below) formerly of this parish, who died abroad in 1796. Its 4 sides are covered with the records of his unusually numerous virtues and amiable qualities, among which in particular is mentioned the bequest to the poor of this parish and the reasons they have for praising his memory. This part of the epitaph might perhaps have been better omitted, as it is universally asserted that the sum bequeathed to the poor was partly expended by his executors in erecting the aforesaid monument, for, so far, the poor have but little cause for rejoicing and there is as little chance of their having more.


The congregation of the Presbyterian meeting house is in connection with the Synod of Ulster and amounts to 292 families who pay stipend and 50 who do not. They live chiefly in this parish, but several come from the parish of Templepatrick and grange of Muckamore. The Revd Joseph McKee is the present minister (and) receives 100 pounds late Irish currency regium donum and 71 pounds 12s per annum stipend from his congregation, besides a free house and 6 acres of land.

Sunday Schools.

Held in the day schoolroom (the session house of the Presbyterian meeting house) in the town land of Tully, established in 1831; 3 male teachers, total 3, superintended and managed by the Revd Joseph McKee, Presbyterian minister; number of scholars: 4 Established Church, 34 Presbyterians, 2 Roman Catholics, 24 males, 16 females, total 40, 20 exclusively Sunday school scholars; hours of attendance: from 9 until 11 am; instruction: spelling and reading, the books of the Sunday School Society of Ireland; commences with singing and prayer.

The Killead meeting house Sunday school is held in the day schoolhouse at the meeting house, established in 1831, superintended by the minister, the Revd Joseph McKee; 3 teachers, all males; average attendance 40, viz. 24 males and 16 females, Established church 4, Presbyterians 34 and 2 Roman Catholics; exclusively Sunday school scholars 20. The Sunday School Society for Ireland give books free and bibles at a reduced price; hours of attendance from 9 till 11am; commences with singing and prayer and concludes with the same. 9th August 1838.

Public Buildings.

A Presbyterian meeting house, town land of Tully, was built about 86 years ago, exact date of erection and original cost could not be ascertained from it being so old. Was formerly in very bad repair, but in the year 1829 the parishioners subscribed 430 pounds for a gallery and new pews, which have made it capable of containing 650 persons commodiously. Style: an oblong square, with a porch facing east.

Presbyterian Meeting House.

The Presbyterian meeting house is in the town land of Tully and of this shape (ground plan, "T-shape") and measures interiorly from "a" to "b" 62 by 23 feet, with a door on each end. The aisle or additional part, from "c" to "d" measures 15 and a half by 23 feet wide, with a door on the end, the entrance to the gallery by stone steps outside. Total pews 80, viz. 46 in the lower part and 34 in the gallery, all single, each 9 feet by 3 and would contain about 8 persons. The aisle between the pews is 5 and a half feet wide. There are 10 oblong windows with 2 arched, much larger than the oblong. A good 8 day clock is placed in the front of the gallery, opposite the pulpit, which was the gift of the late revd Andrew Hume, a minister of the congregation.

The meeting house is in very good repair, the repairs of which during the ministry of the present clergyman amounted to 430 pounds, at 3 different times collected from the members of the congregation, except the following subscriptions: General Pakenham 10 pounds; Revd William George Macartney, rector, 5 pounds; Messrs James Macauley and sons, Glenoak, 2 pounds 2s; James Cunningham Esq, Belmont, 5 pounds 5s; James Murray Esquire, Tully, 3 pounds; James Moore Esquire, Clover Hill, 1 pound 1 s; Richard Dunn Esquire 5 pounds; Revd Robert Young 2 pounds; Edward McDonnell (McDonald) Esquire Glenarm Castle 5 pounds; Revd James McMullan, parish priest, 2 pounds; General O’Neill 5 pounds; Lord Belfast 5 pounds; James Owens Esq, high sherriff, 3 pounds; John Owens Esquire, J.P., Ballyvoy, 1 pound; James Gibson Esquire, Belfast, 1 pound 1s; William (Gibson?) Esquire 1 pound; total 56 pounds 9s, with a few other smaller contributions which are not worth notice.

None of the above are members of the congregation. From the Revd Joseph McKee, minister.


The Revd Joseph McKee resides in the Glebe House of the congregation (a few yards from the meeting house), which is a good 1-storey house, slated, to which is attached 6 acres of good glebe land, on which the meeting house, session house, which is the national schoolhouse, a Masonic lodge room and sexton’s house all stand.

Original Clergy

The house is a gift of Arthur Henry Esquire and the land was a grant of a Mr McMullan, who was then proprietor to the Revd Freeland, who was then minister of the congregation. Mr McMullan said as his name was Freeland, he should have the land free, which still continues free. Second Revd Worland; third Rev John McConnell, who was 34 years a minister of the congregation; he died 1770 aged 63. Fourth Revd Andrew Hume, fifth Revd Robert Orr, who continued 47 years a minister and died 1833 aged 74 years. Fourth (sixth?) the present, the Revd Joseph McKee, who succeeded him on the 5th September 1826.


The congregation consists of 292 families, average each family, at 5 persons, amounts to 1460, with upwards of 50 families who claim connection but pay no stipend. Congregation comes from the parishes of Killead, Templepatrick and a few from the grange of Muckamore.

Income of Minister

The income of the minister is 100 pounds regium donum and 71 pounds 12s stipend, which is the produce of the 80 pews in the meeting house, with a good house and 6 acres of good land. The meeting house collection on each Sunday amounts to 8s per.

Meeting House Records.

Baptisms in 1833 were 63, 64 in 1834, 77 in 1835, 62 in 1836, 47 in 1837, total 313.
Marriages: 24 in 1833, 17 in 1834, 20 in 1835, 11 in 1836, 12 in 1837, total 84.
Communicants at may 1833 sacrament 297, in October 269; in May 1834, 290, at October 276; at May 1835, 300 at October 273; at May 1836, 284; at October 225; at May 1837, 272, at October 275.
The above are for the 2 sacraments in each year; a choice may be taken.

The following names can be found today on the headstones in the grounds of this church:

Rev W.J. Baird, B.A.
Bell, Cochranestown
Bell, Tully
Cunningham, Crookedstone
Cunningham, Killealy
Curry, Ballynadrentagh
Erskine, Ballyquillan
Erskine, Seacash
Gilchrest, Ballyfernott
Rev. Samuel Hamilton, B.A.
Harkness, Seacash
Harper, Ballygonnell
Heaney, Tully Cottage, Killead
Johnston, Crookedstone
Killen, Kells & Killead
Macartney, Dundesart Cottage
Mackay of Killealy
McCann, Belfast
McClelland, Tobernaveen
McCourt, Cairnyhill
McElrath, Mill farm
Rev. Joseph McKee
McMillan, Dungonnell
Rev. H.R. Mecredy
Millar, Ballyrobin
Milliken, Ballytweedy
Molyneaux, Dungonnell
Morrison, Crookedstone
Neill, Ballyrobin House
Nicholl, Ballymacilhoyle
Nicholl, Tully
Nickles, Ballynageragh
Robb, Straidhavern
Robb, Tully
Robertson, Ballygomartin
Scott, British
Shannon, Straidhavern
Whiteside, Ballyginniff
Whiteside, Diamond Road, Crumlin
Wilson, Seacash

Parishioners’ mark of respect for Rev Henry R Mecredy

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated Friday 5th July 1861 and is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Mark of Respect.

A few days ago the parishioners of the Rev. Henry R Mecredy, Killead completed the horse-work labour on the manse farm for this season, according to their annual custom. Some months previously the committee of the congregation presented him with a valuable horse and set of silver-mounted harness as a testimony of their appreciation of his pulpit services and general usefulness, not only among his own parishioners, but in surrounding districts. The ladies of the congregation, in addition to hanging the pulpit, also presented Mrs. Mecredy with a valuable piece of plate, consisting of cruet-stand and tea-pot.

Photographs of Killead Presbyterian Church

Killead Presbyterian Church, November 2008

Killead Presbyterian Church, November 2008

Killead Presbyterian Church, November 2008

Killead Presbyterian Church, November 2008

Killead Presbyterian Church Hall, November 2008

Killead Presbyterian Church Hall, November 2008

Headstone – Alexander Erskine

Tablet mounted on wall at Killead Presbyterian Church to the memory of Alexander Erskine. It reads:

“Sacred to the memory of Alexander Erskine, Merchant, Belfast who was unhappily drowned while bathing in the River Lagan 16th June 1837 aged 26 years. This tablet is erected by a few of his intimate friends in testimony of respect for his living worth and in sorrow for his premature removal.”

to the memory of Alexander Erskine

To the memory of Alexander Erskine

Cunningham Memorial

Headstone – Bell Family

"Erected to the memory of Alexander Bell of Tully who departed this life 2nd March 1837 aged 74 years. Also his daughter Eliza Jane who died the 2nd October 1827 aged 19 years. Also his son Samuel who died 25th Nov 1828 aged 21 years. Also his wife Olivia Bell who died 14th February 1871 aged 95 years. Their son Robert Bell died 14th February 1873 aged 70 years. Their son Alexander Bell, died 7th July 1888, aged 86 years. And his wife Mary Bell died 16th April 1890 aged 85 years."
The Bell Headstone at Killead Presbyterian Church

The Bell Headstone at Killead Presbyterian Church

Headstone – K Posgate

The war grave of K Posgate

The war grave of
K Posgate 565653
Pilot, Royal Air Force
30th September 1940
Age 24

The following details are from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is reproduced with their permission:

Kenneth Posgate, Sergeant, 565653
Grave 24A Killead Presbyterian Churchyard.
224 Sqdn.
Son of Edward James Ellerton Posgate and Julie Becker Posgate, stepson of Annie M. Posgate of Denton Burn, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Headstone – Sergeant R H Sproge

The war grave of Sergeant R.H. Sproge

The war grave of
Sergeant R.H. Sproge
Royal Australian Air Force
27th March 1944
Age 22

The following details are from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is reproduced with their permission:

Sergeant Richard Henry Sproge.
Royal Australian Air Force.
Grave 32A Killead Presbyterian Churchyard.
Son of Richard Peter and Claudia Sproge, of Manjimup, Western Australia.

Headstone – Flight Sergeant T A Kemp

The war grave of Flight Sergeant T.A. Kemp

The war grave of
Flight Sergeant T.A. Kemp
Pilot, Royal NZ Air Force
24th November 1943
Age 32

The following details are from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is reproduced with their permission:

Flight Sergeant Trevor Arthur Kemp 422412.
Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Grave 32 Killead Presbyterian Churchyard.
Son of Arthur and Kate Kemp, of Howick, Auckland, New Zealand; husband of Joyce Margaret Kemp, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Headstone – Sergeant K Horton

The war grave of  Sergeant K. Horton

The war grave of

Sergeant K. Horton

Wireless operator/ Air gunner,Royal Air Force

1st February 1942
Age 25

The following details are from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is reproduced with their permission:

Sergeant Kenneth Horton 1260890.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 220 Sqdn.
Grave 24 Killead Presbyterian Churchyard.
Son of Arthur George and Annie Horton, husband of Kathleen Horton, of Isleworth, Middlesex.

McElrath Grave

Grave of William McElrath, Mill Farm

Grave of William McElrath, Mill Farm

Containing an inscription to:

Robert Harper McElrath Royal Dublin Fusiliers killed in action 21st October, 1918 aged 32 years, youngest son of the late James McElrath buried in Dadizeele Cemetery, France.
"His duty nobly done."

The following details are from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is reproduced with their permission:

Robert Harper McElrath, Private 25459.
1st Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
Grave/Memorial reference I.B.30 Dadizeele New British cemetery.
Son of the late James and Mary McElrath, of "Mill Farm", County Antrim

Memorials at rear of Church

Two memorials mounted on the wall of Killead Presbyterian church to the rear

Two memorials mounted on the wall of Killead Presbyterian church to the rear

These memorials read:

In memory of William Swan who departed this life the (?) th Feby 1795, aged 76 years also in memory of John Swan who departed this life the 5th April 1795 aged 80 years.
(?) Swan died 12th Jan 1812 aged (?)6 years. James Orr Atty. Died December 1819 aged 72 years.
A sorrowing wife and family in affectionate memory of the Rev. Robert Orr, Presbyterian Pastor of Killead who died on the 13th October, 1833 in the 74th year of his age and 47th of him ministry.

Gardner Family Grave

Gardner – In loving memory of James Gardner born in Stirling Scotland who died in Belfast 9th June 1912 aged 44 years. Jane Alexander Gardner his daughter who died 18th May 1916 aged 12 years. Also William Alexander Gardner who die 4th November 1928 aged 33 years. Laurence Gardner his son who dies 23rd July 1944 aged 35 years. Buried at Dundonald.
Annie Gardner wife of James Gardner who died 8th March, 1946 aged 75 years.

Their sons Frederick Gardner died 3rd December 1970 aged 68 years interred in Carnmoney.
James L. Gardner died 23rd of December 1970 aged 78 years. Interred in Dundonald

His son Joseph buried at Dundonald died 11th May 1956 aged 56 years.
His daughter Annie McCracken died 16th March 1960 aged 65 years also their son Albert Gardner died 30th November, 1962 aged 62 years.

The Gardner family grave at Killead Presbyterian Church

The Gardner family grave at Killead Presbyterian Church

Headstone of William McCartney

In memory of William J.S. Macartney died at Dundesart Cottage Tuesday 8th November, 1892 aged 25 years. Also Mary Heaney died 29th April 1950, also her husband Robert Heaney died 5th Feb. 1963.
Headstone of William Macartney at Killead Presbyterian Church

Burglary in Presbyterian Meetinghouse

The following is an extract from the Irish News and Belfast Morning News dated 13th March 1912 and appears with permission of the Irish News.

Burglary at Killead
Money boxes Plundered in Presbyterian Meetinghouse.

At a Special Court held in Crumlin on 11th inst. – Colonel McClintock, J.P. presiding – District – Inspector Heatley, Antrim charged William Reid, Belfast, with having on the night of the 19th ult., entered the Presbyterian Church at Killead, and stolen about 30s therefrom.

Rev. J.A.H. Irwin deposed that he resided within fifty yards of the church, and on the afternoon of Sunday, 18th ult., he saw it securely locked up. In consequence of a report made to him by Mrs. Cummins, sextoness, he went to the church on the following Tuesday, and found that a strong wooden box in which was kept a number of missionary boxes was missing. Eight boxes were left and three taken. He noticed that a tin box was also broken open, and its contents – cash-box, documents and money – were gone. On Wednesday he paid another visit to the church, and found under the stairs two missionary boxes, and a third in another part of the church. Seventeen shillings were extracted from one, and from 2s to 3s from the others. He found a broken hammer, poker and harrow pin, the two former instruments being the property of the church. Some of the windows were pulled down and he picked up a pair of boots and socks beside a tombstone.

Margaret Cummins gave corroborative evidence.

John Henderson, schoolmaster, proved the contents of the mission boxes.

William McQuillan deposed that at about 7.30 on Tuesday evening, 20th ult., he was driving towards the church, when he saw the prisoner coming from the direction of it.

Robert Heaney, Straidhavern stated that on the Tuesday night he saw the prisoner coming along the road from the direction of the church; he was barefooted.

James Harkness, Nutt’s Corner, said that between 8 and 9 o’clock that Tuesday evening prisoner came to him barefooted and asked for an old pair of boots, stating that he had walked from Glenavy, and had slept in a cowshed all night. Witness gave him the boots, also some tea and bread.

Mr John Herdman, Dundrod, having been examined. Prisoner was returned for trial to the assizes.

The following is an extract from the Irish News and Belfast Morning News dated 18th March 1912 and appears with permission of the Irish News.

Church ransacked

William Reid was charged with breaking and entering the Presbyterian Church at Killead on the 19th February and stealing 30s. Prisoner was not professionally represented.

Mrs. Cummings, wife of the sexton of the church gave evidence as to finding a number of the missionary boxes broken and the church disarranged. There was a pair of boots found, and it was proved that the accused was seen barefooted in the district on the day of the occurrence. When arrested in Belfast by Detective – Constable Packenham, he had in his possession a sum of money and a key, which was identified as that belonging to a wardrobe in the vestry of the church.

Prisoner was found guilty.

Death Notice — Agnes White

The following is an extract from a newspaper, source unknown.

White – November 9, 1950, Agnes, dearly loved wife of James White. Funeral from her residence, The Bungalow, Tully, Muckamore, today (Saturday) at 2 pm to Killead Presbyterian Burying-ground. House private. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Husband and Family.

White – November 9,1950, Agnes dearly loved wife of James White, The Bungalow, Muckamore. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Brothers and Sisters-in-law.
White – November 9, 1950, Agnes, dearly-loved wife of James White, The Bungalow, Tully, Muckamore, sister and brother-in-law, Rachel and James Robb, Ballysculty, Nutt’s Corner.

Killead Presbyterian Church website

Killead Presbyterian Church

Killead Presbyterian Church

The new website for Killead Presbyterian Church can be found at:

Killead Presbyterian Church Sale

Killead Presbyterian Church Sale

From a newspaper cutting – source and date unknown.

Possibly 1955.

Killead Presbyterian Church Sale of Work –

Lady Wakehurst (centre), who performed the opening ceremony, with Mr. S. Know Cunningham, M.P. (who presided); Lady Massereene, Rev. G. Millar, M.A; Mrs. Millar, Miss Maureen campbell, Miss Betty Boyd, who presented a souvenir gift, and members of Session and church officials.

Call to Rev W W Porter

The following is an extract from the Ulster Star on 5th January 1963 and is used with permission of the paper.

Killead Presbyterian Church has made out a unanimous call to Rev. W.W. Porter, minister of Bailieborough Presbyterian Church, County Cavan, in succession to Rev.C.E. Brennan, now of Whitehead. Mr. Porter has been in charge of the present assignment for the past two years. The call will be presented to him early in January.

Comments are closed.