Maine Genealogy Archives

Baptisms and Marriages Performed by Rev. John Morehead, 1732-1764

Source: The Bangor Historical Magazine, vol. 3 (Bangor, Me.: J. W. Porter, 1888).

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Prior to the end of the Revolutionary war, a large proportion of the people in Maine were Presbyterian. To write its history, the records of Boston Presbytery, which included Maine, and the Records of the First Presbyterian Church in Boston must be consulted.

In 1728, a colony of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, from Derry, Ireland, came to this country, and settled in Boston, overflowing and joining other emigrants in Rhode Island, the interior of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and the Province of Maine. This colony established a church in Boston in 1729-30, and called it "The Church of the Presbyterian Strangers." Their minister who came with them was Rev. John Morehead. They began worship in a building on Long Lane, and in 1744 erected a new meeting house, where Mr. Morehead preached until his death, in 1775. He was succeeded by Rev. Robert Annan, a Scotch Presbyterian, who preached until 1786, when the Society, having somewhat changed its views relating to church order, called the

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Rev. Jeremy Belknap, D. D., to be its minister, and he was "ordained Pastor of the Congregational Church in Long Lane," in 1787. He died June 20, 1798. Long Lane had now become Federal Street, other ministers were Rev. John S. Popkin, D. D.; Rev. William E. Channing, D. D.; Rev. Ezra L. Sannett, D. D.; Rev. J. F. W. Ware, and others, and now this "Church of Presbyterian Strangers" is said to be the Arlington Street, (Unitarian) Church.

Rev. John Morehead was born near Belfast, Ireland, and educated in one of the Scotch Universities. He was a man of ability, a vigorous preacher, a stiff Calvinist, and much given to controversy. From 1730 to 1776, he was not only a minister, but a Bishop as well over his own flock and those who had gone out from it. He preached and baptized in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine. As I read his records, when he could not come to Maine, the people of Kennebec and Sheepscot, went to him at Boston, carrying their babies for baptism; and also went to be married. The Campbells, Dunnings, Dunlaps, Nickels and others, whose descendants are in every Eastern County, were among them. I copy from the Records of Baptisms and Marriages, the names of parties who either came to Maine, or their children did. Mr. Morehead begins his record as follows:

"A list of Baptisms of Children and adults in town and Country since my settlement, March 31, 1730.

"1735, Dec. 11, William Dunlap, son of Robert.

1742, June 22, John North, a married man.*

1746, April 27, Alexander, son of Margaret Campbell.

1748, Nov. 20, Hannah, daughter of Alexander Nicols.

1749, Aug. 3, Mary Knox, wife to Capt. Wm. Knox, had a son baptised called Henry.†

1758, John, son of James Nicols.

1760, April 13, Frances, daughter of James Nichols.

1732, April 11, John Boyd and Margaret Long.

1736, Feb. 17, William Knox and Mary Campbell.

1736, Mar. 10, James Boyd and Jean Christy.

*This was in all probability Capt. John North (Jr.), of Pemaquid, who died there Mar. 26,1763.

†Gen. Henry Knox, of Thomaston.

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1737-8, Nov. 2, James Nichols and Margaret Knox.

1749, Sept. 19. Robert Campbell, Mary Ross."

Next appears four marriages which appear to have been recorded at the same time:

"1764, Jan. 26, Joseph Swan and Jennet McLeod.

[1764,] Feb. 28. Wm. Reach and Florence McDonald.

[1764,] April 23, Samuel Cuthbertson and Mary McIntire.

[1764,] Aug. 20, Wm. Campbell and Martha Griffan.

New Castle and Georgetown, 4 Couple."