The Foundations

THE FOUNDATIONS

During the Ulster Plantation (1630) many English and Scottish settled in the fertile land in the areas of Burt, Inch, Fahan and Muff.  This resulted in the number of Irish decreasing dramatically.  The main reason the people settled in these areas was due to being close to the London finances, the prospering Port of Derry and the heavily Scottish precinct of Portlough near Raphoe.  Many lowland Scottish/Presbyterians migrated short distances from Portlough and so penetrated into the Peninsula.   

The earliest record of an established Presbyterian meeting house in Inishowen was Burt where a minister was ordained in 1673.  The first minister of Carndonagh was appointed in 1695, Moville in 1715, Malin in 1717, Fahan in 1719 and Knowhead (Muff) in 1749.   

The congregation of Fahan was originally connected with Burt and Inch.  At a meeting of the Laggan Presbytery on the March 18, 1691 there is the following record-: 

"This day John Surgeone and James Creswell appeared from the Parish of Faan, commissioners presenting a supplication to the meeting, and a call to Mr. Andrew Ferguson, that they partake of a share of his labours.  The meeting refers the consideration of this to the next meeting.  At their meeting on June 17, 1691 Commissioners from Faan having this day appeared before the meeting to present their call to Mr. Andrew Ferguson to take the pastoral care of them.  This meeting unanimously agreeth that Mr. Andrew Ferguson shall take the pastoral inspection of that people for the interim, so far as he conveniently can, without impairing his health and they do agree to build an Isle to the meeting house in Burt for their own convenience: but if Mr. Ferguson shall find the work to be insupportable, he is at liberty to quit them when that doth appear, and if that people shall find themselves capable to maintenance of a minister of their own, they shall then be at liberty to choose a minister for themselves and while they continue with Mr. Ferguson they promise  him £10.00 per annum." 

Andrew Ferguson MA was born in Scotland and was educated in Edinburgh in 1671.  He was licensed by the Church of Scotland and was ordained and installed in Burt in 1690.   He had a son Andrew Ferguson born 1700 who was educated at Glasgow in 1717 and licensed to the Derry Presbytery in 1723.  He was ordained to Burt on 16th February 1725 and was Moderator of General Synod in 1758.  There was another son Victor Ferguson who was educated in Glasgow in 1708 and licensed to the Derry Presbytery on the 16th December 1712.  He was ordained at Strabane 24 April 1717 and was Moderator of General Synod 1757.  Andrew Ferguson died on 18th July 1725. 

The arrangement that Fahan had with Burt seems to have been maintained until the year 1719.

On R238 from Derry to Buncrana at Tooban, Burnfoot 

Fahan 

Co. Donegal 

Republic of Ireland F93 XY65