Boyd Withers

Boyd Withers, born 13 July 1902, Ballyhay, Donaghadee, Norther Ireland, was the son of Hugh Boyd Withers and Margaret McDowell. He died in Vancouver, BC, 10th of January 1984.

Boyd married (1) Florence Nightingale Neill, 12th of September 1929, Toronto, ON, Canada. She was born the 17th of June, 1905, Belfast, Northern Ireland. She died in Hamilton, ON, 21st of June 1948. They had a son - Hugh Neill Withers (born 9th April 1931, Toronto, ON - died 10 May 1986, Vancouver, BC.)

Boyd married (2) Marjorie Elizabeth Barber, daughter of Gordon Barber and Alice Annie Green, born 6th of April, Guelph, ON.

Notes about the parish of Dognahadee, Ireland.

Donaghdee Donaghadee 15:60/80 a town & a parish on the Irish Sea

A church was founded here by St. Patrick in 5th century AD. In 1603, James Hamilton came into possession of Donaghadee, but it was granted to Hugh Montgomery in 1606. He was anxious to improve the Donaghadee Port so brought masons, carpenters and smiths with him from Scotland to begin the building of dwellings and work on the port in 1626. He controlled Portpatrick, Scotland and wanted to dominate travel between Scotland and Ireland.

The Scottish settlers came from Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Stirlingshire, Argyllshire, Bute, Arran, the Borders, Kirkardbrightshire and Dumfries and brought their cattle with them. People with the following surnames appear to have settled the first dozen years: Adair, Agnew, Aicken, Allen, Anderson, Barkley, Bracklie, Boyle, Cathcart, Catherwood, Cowper, Craig, Crawford, Cunningham, Fraser, Harvey, Harper, Hunter, Kelso, Kennedy, Logan, Martin, Maxwell, McDougall, McIlveen, McMackene, Moore, Mowlen, Neil, Orr, Peacock, Sempill, Shaw, Spiere, Thompson, Williamson, Wilson, Wylie and Wymis. In 1659 there were 83 English/Scots & 63 Catholic families and the proprietors of the village were Roger Crymble, Robert Brearely,Henry Cresans, Archibald Mullen & William Brown.

In the 19th century, Donaghadee passed to the Delacherois family.

The Religious Returns of 1764 show that there were 100 Church of Ireland families in the parish with 1848 Presbyterian and no Catholics. The harbour was rebuilt in 1821 when the town consisted of 2 long curving streets, one running along the shore & the other inland. The houses on the shore were stone, plastered & whitewashed with slate roofs & neat. The population of the town was 3,000 and the people were described in 1824 as peaceable and industrious. The whole town in 1837 was described as neat & tidy. There were 650 houses, mostly of one-storey, with some two & three-storey, mostly stone but some of mud, 160 were thatched roofed. There was a large fish pond near the town, a lighthouse on the southern pier & a coastguard station which had seven men & an officer in 1836. There was also three policemen ,and a newsroom for the middle classes. Most men at that time had maritime occupations, whilst the women were employed in ornamental needlework.

Donaghadee Church of Ireland is just to the W of Main Street in Church Lane

A Catholic congregation was flourishing on this site in 1306 along with churches of Haytona (Ballyhay), Ralfetona ( Ballyrolly), Templepatrick & a chapel of St. Colman (Grangee). This Church of Ireland parish church was built in 1626 by Hugh, Viscount Montgomery . A stone uncovered behind the pulpit says it was repaired in 1641. The Congregation of Scots and English settlers had an interesting disregard of the doctrinal details. In Donaghadee and Bangor Parishes at that time, Presbyterian clerics served as rectors. It was rebuilt 1833 and again in 1880. It was described as a very old building in 1837 and still undergoing repairs then. It is in the form of a cross, measures 166 feet by 85 feet and is capable of holding 350 people. The rector in 1824 was Rev William Boyd & in 1830, 1843 & 1846 was , Rev. John Hill In 1910 it was Rev. R.H. Coote.

1st Presbyterian Church - in the centre of Donaghadee town in High Street next to the Town Hall. First Presbyterian, Donaghadee, traces its post-Reformation origins back to 1642. After the religious disruptions in 1661 a new 'Meeting House' was built at Killaughy (just outside the town), followed in the early 18th Century by a move by the congregation to another new building in what is still called Meeting House Street, in the town centre. The Congregation of Scots and English settlers had an interesting disregard of the doctrinal details. In Donaghadee and Bangor Parishes at that time, Presbyterian clerics served as rectors.When this confusing practice ended , the non-conformists built their own church at the south end of Meetinghouse Street. After a split with other Presbyterian ( who built in Shore Street) , the meeting house (above) , in High Street, was built in 1824 at a cost of £815 which was defrayed by subscription. The old meeting house was desbribed in 1824 as being in a ruinous condition. It's of the usual ornamental construction. It is capable of holding 500 people.The minister in 1846 was Rev. James McAuley. There was a National School adjacent in 1863. The minister 1883- 1899 was Rev. Dr. Megaw then in 1910 was Rev. S. Walker.

2nd Presbyterian Church - at the northern extremity of Donaghadee town in Warren Road/ Shore Street, on the sea shore. This Meeting House was built in 1822 after a split with the other Presbyterian churches in town . It cost £600 which was paid by subscription. It measured 60 feet by 50 feet and held 450 people in 1837. A Sabbath School was held here in 1826. The minister in 1824, 1846 & 1852 was Rev William Skelly & 1876-1893, Rev. William Weir Hamilton. In 1899 & 1910 it was Rev. Robert Andrews. There was a National School & sexton's house adjacent in 1866. (Article from Newtownards Independent newspaper; a short history of Donaghadee Presbyterians 4 Jan 1873)

Millisle Seceeders Presbyterian Church in the village in Ballycopeland townland. The congregation was organised in 1773 in the Anti-Burgher Secession Synod & reunited in 1906. The minister 1823-1832 was Rev. Isaiah Steen. It was described in 1836 as a small building of insignificant appearance , measuring 50 feet by 27 feet and holding 100 people

Carrowdore Presbyterian Church - on a small road near the castle in Ballyrawer townland. This meeting house was built in 1843 by Lord John George Beresford, uncle of Mrs. George Dunbar of Woburn, on land given by Nicholas Crommelan of Carrowdore Castle. There was an earlier church here since 1828.


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