Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I startled everyone at Mom's house Christmas Eve with a "Whoop!" when I was checking out my brother's new Dell. I intended to show my brother Richard a map of Killaloo and it's environs I had been building in Google Maps, using Kenneth Allen's photo's from Geograph that I have previously mentioned and featured here in a blog back in June of last year. The map is in anticipation of our trip next year to celebrate my 50th birthday.

Then I noticed this E-mail:

to: obeedude@gmail.com

date: Dec 24, 2007 5:55 PM

subject: Glebe House

mailed-by: mac.com

I was fascinated to find your website Glebe Homie. This is because I bought the house previously known as the Glebe House which your site is dedicated to in 1999 and live here in Killaloo with my family.

The Church of Ireland had amalgamated several smaller congregations at the retirement of one of their rectors, and no longer needed the property.

Your home page shows a picture of the house roof in the foreground, taken from the roadside above. I have pasted on a picture of what it looks like from a bit closer up. Happy to send you some more if they are of interest.

It'll take me some time to read all of your blogs etc, but am working on it over the Christmas holiday period.

Best wishes

Alan McKinney

You can only imagine the look of glee on my face (and the dumbfounded looks on my family's faces) as I danced around my mother's living room after opening this E-mail!

The E-mail came with this photo attached:

Glebe House, Killaloo. © Photo by Alan McKinney

If you look at my blog header you will see a gray smudge on the left-hand side under the "G" and "L" in Glebe just beyond the tree-line. Little did I know that right there, in front of my eye's, hidden in plain sight was: the Glebe House!

Thank-You Alan!

"Merry Christmas! Pleased to meet you!"


Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Watts"-up obeedúid~ ??? (episode 1)

Friends have asked: "Whats up?" "No new posts... everything O.K.?"

I think to myself, New Job... Managing my kids lives... Second job and the long hours... well actually three if you count counseling and praying for friends and family... Christmas Rush season... only 1/3 of my gifts gathered so far... Life in general I guess.

Then I think, Life has always been full and you always managed to write before. Maybe I'm not up to it now. Maybe I'm not interested just now. Maybe, I need a break. But, this used to be my break....

Actually, I have been busy writing, more busy researching actually.

I had planned to do a transcription of the letters as a Christmas Gift Chapbook for friends and family. Then I found myself sidetracking and tangenting.

Right from the get-go.

Here's what happened:
The first transcription (not including the documents from my Great Great Great Grandfather Robert Gilmour's certificates in the Order of the Orangeman) is the hand written marriage certificate dated "Nov'r. 24th 1859."

Here is a transcription:





Robt. Gilmour


Mary Pollock

Nov'r. 24th 1859

This will certify that Robert Gilmour

and Mary Pollock were by me joined

in wedlock, Nov. 24th 1859, according

to the usage of the Presbyterian Church

and in conformity with the laws

of the State of Pennsylvainia


Robt. Watts,


Westminster Church,


Given at Philad"a

Nov. 24th 1859

My Great Great Great Grand parents and their siblings lived much of their earlier lives in Manhattan before moving to 174 Claussen Place in Brooklyn. Robert and his family were Coopers in the busiest port city in America at the time. They started out life and business in "Americae" on Pearl Street just South of the infamous Five Points a few hundred yards south of the Five Points Mission that later replaced the Old Brewery Tenement.

You can click on this image to enlarge for better viewing;
the location is approx where the "t" is in "Pearl Street"
Map legend: B-3 upper right hand corner.
This map is a little newer than the time period and lacks some of my reference points, but I just love its look and style. The Brewery/Mission of "Gangs of New York" fame was located where the "r" is in "Park Street"

They were married in Philadelphia Pa. by Reverend Robert Watts, an Ulster Presbyterian transplant who came to this country from Moneylane, County Down during the famine/diaspora. Mary (Pollack) Gilmour was from Port Rush and arrived in this country with her parents at about the same time. Robert Gilmour was from Killaloo. What made them go to Philadelphia to get married ?

I suspect that Mary's father James Pollock was a member of Westminster and so they traveled there by train to be wed.

NOW FOR THE SIDETRACK TANGENT: As Robert Watts will be a character in "A Wasterly Gale" I have been researching him as well. Guess what, no surprise to me he was quite the character!

...this is what I have gleaned so far:

*WATTS, Robert, author, born in Moneylane, County Down, Ireland, 10 July, 1820. He removed to this country and was graduated at Washington college, Lexington, Virginia, in 1849, and at Princeton theological seminary in 1852. He entered the ministry of the Presbyterian church, established the Westminster church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1852, and became its pastor in 1853.

After the attack on Fort Sumpter in the spring of 1861, at the General Assembly of the Presbetyerian Churh in America, "The Irish-born Rev. Robert Watts of Westminster Church in Philadelphia reminded the Assembly that they “were indirectly called upon by venerable men to divide the Church.” Watts was convinced that the church might yet succeed. “There had been nothing yet to prove that the Old School Presbyterian Church has not in her ranks a conservative power, which might blend together in one Union the entire States of this Confederacy.” Further, Watts argued that scripture called the church to honor the civil magistrate, but it never required the church to pass resolutions of support. It is interesting to note that the only person to question the constitutionality of the Spring resolutions [contenting that they were unconstatutional and called for the Presbetyerian Church in America to indirectly devide into separate entities Union/Confedrate] was an Ulster Presbyterian (who would return to Northern Ireland to teach theology in the Assembly’s College in Belfast from 1866-1895).

In other words, as I interperate the transcrirptions of these proceedings, Reverand Watts wanted the General Assembly to take no action or not take sides, which would thereby force the Southern Presbeterates to take the side of the States that they were located in. I believe that he wanted them to remain nutral and above the conflict, hoping that the Church and the Country would yet avoide Civil War.

This is the title page of a pamphlet he published in 1861

…When conflict became unavoidable and war insued Reverand Watts:

...returned to Ireland, and he was installed as pastor in Dublin in 1863, and in 1866 was appointed professor of systematic theology in the Assembly's college at Belfast.

He later published "Calvin and Calvinism" (Edinburgh, 1866) ; "Utilitarianism " (Belfast, 1868); "What is Presbyterianism? "(1870) : " Prelatic Departures from Reformation Principles" (Edinburgh, 1871) ; "Arminian Departures from Reformation Principles" (1871) ; "Atomism" (Belfast, 1874); " Herbert Spencer's Biological Hypothesis " (1875) ; " The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment" (1877);" The New Apologetic" (Edinburgh, 1879) ; " The Newer Criticism" (1881) ; and "The Rule of Faith and the Doctrine of Inspiration" (London, 1885). (1)

Robert Watts made a name for himself in 1874 by replying to John Tyndalls famous address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Tyndall used his address to argue for the superior authority of science over religious or non-rationalist explanations.

Obviously conflict followed him...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

G. Chambers of Drumahoe where are you?

G. Chambers of Drumahoe left this comment on my post about Geographing the other day:

"Came across your website by accident and believe it or not i live about 2 miles down the road from Claudy in a place called Drumahoe.
G Chambers"

...but neglected to leave me a way to get in contact. I would really love to converse via E-mail about some questions I have regarding some local points of interest. I plan on visiting Killaloo this coming year to celebrate my 50th Birthday. My brother Richard and I will be following the path of our ancestors back in time and there are some places and things we would very much like to see and do. I was wondering if Services are ever held in the Presbyterian Meeting house or the Lower Cumber Church of Ireland. I am a United Methodist Lay Minister and worshiping where my forefathers worshiped would be an experience I would very much like to have.

The Lower Cumber (Holy Trinity) Church of Ireland.

My Ancestor's, the Gilmour's lived and worked at the Lower Cumber Church Glebe as Coopers. Do any of the Glebe buildings still exist? It is hard to tell from modern day maps and the limited information available on the web.

Also, we think that our Great Great Great Grand Uncle by the name of James Glenn (by way of our family letters) apparently owned a Public House:

"you might call + see my Uncle Jam[e]s Glenn of the scribetree, it is of but little emportance but when you are there it will pafs the time."

We believe that "The Scribetree" was a Pub somewhere in the vicinity of Killaloo; perhaps at Brackfield, maybe in Killaloo itself, or even in the vicinity of Bonds Glenn.

I understand that the Pub in Bonds Glenn operated by "Robert Knobb's" has been in operation for 200 years or so. I am now drafting a letter to see if perhaps this Pub may have been owned by my Ancestor in the 1850's-60's.

Robert Knobb's Pub in Bonds Glenn.

If you are still out there and somehow read this post please contact me at obeedude@gmail.com. Any information, or direction that you could give me towards someone or some organization in and around Killaloo that might help us in our quest would be much appreciated!


As stated previously these pictures were taken by: Kenneth Allen © Copyrighted and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.