Who are we? How did we get here? What is Presbyterianism? We all want to know something of our past and where we have come from. Who were our forbearers and what were they like? So if you would like to learn more of where Presbyterians come from and how they came to Ireland the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland can help.
Founded in 1907 the Society seeks to explore and promote an understanding of the history of Presbyterianism in Ireland. This is achieved by various means, including the collection and preservation of printed material, archives and artefacts, the production of publications and an annual programme of talks and outings.
There has been a Presbyterian presence in Ireland since the early 17th century, mainly in the north of Ireland, due to successive waves of immigration from Scotland. Restrictions on Presbyterian worship and a series of bad harvests coupled with rising rents, resulted in Presbyterians emigrating in large numbers in the 18th century to colonial America where they were largely responsible for the establishment and development of American Presbyterianism. For over 400 years Presbyterians have played a major role in the political, economic and social life of Ireland, especially in the historic province of Ulster, as well as in the United States of America.
Ask for a free copy of ‘The Story of Presbyterians in Ulster: A pocket History and Heritage Trail’ obtainable either from the Presbyterian Historical Society or from the Ulster Historical Foundation, 31 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG. Postage is extra.
If you would like to find out more about the history of Presbyterianism in its various branches or about the history of a congregation or details of the career of a Presbyterian minister or you want to write a history of your congregation or you are exploring family and local history or maybe you are a student needing information for a dissertation on some aspect of Presbyterianism in Ireland, either go to our website (www.presbyterianhistoryireland.com) or contact us personally. The Society can also offer to give talks to church groups.
If you are producing a congregational history or you have already produced a history and if your congregation has compiled an index to your records the Presbyterian Historical Society would be very grateful to have a copy for our library.
You would also be very welcome to visit us at 26 College Green, Belfast BT7 1LN. Our opening hours are:
Tuesday and Wednesday : 9.30am - 1.00pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Thursday: 9.30am - 1.00pm
Directions to get to 26 College Green which is off Botanic Avenue and runs alongside Union Theological College
By car: There are limited parking facilities in the vicinity but parking is free in any of the adjoining streets.
By rail: Botanic station is on Botanic Avenue and is a quarter of a mile from College Green.
By bus: From the city centre take Metro 7A or 7B service and alight at College Green stop on University Avenue.
Tele: 028 9072 7330