Professor Dean Mayhew’s talk continues:
As early as 1706, Cotton Mather conceived a scheme to secure the Maine and New Hampshire frontiers from Indian trouble. Captain Robert Holmes heard of this plan while on a voyage to Boston and contacted Mather to learn the details. Upon his return to Ulster, he briefed his father, the Reverend Holmes, and his colleague, the Reverend Thomas Craighead. The two clergymen journeyed to Boston to meet with Mather. Returning to Ireland on the same ship, they carried the news to the 1717 Presbyterian Synod. Why should the Synod be interested? The Test Act had cost the Ulster Scot everything he valued: his marriage was invalid; his church was illegal; he must even be buried by Episcopal prelates in order to satisfy the law; his pastor could not hold office. The Act turned ministers out of their pulpits and, even more important, silenced them.
By 1718, the call for exodus was heard throughout the land. Ministers urged their flocks to leave as the latter could no longer afford to support them. To add to their woes, a severe drought raised food prices and a smallpox epidemic swept the land. Several clergy from the reasonably prosperous Bann Valley became interested in the project, including the Reverend William Boyd of Aucusquid [?], thirteen miles from Coleraine. By July, 1718, the ministers had struck their bargain and the ships were loaded.
The Massachusetts leaders wanted to attract a good class of tradesmen who would leave good occupations and come prepared. Most of the Bann colonists were of this sort. Many of substance had embarked on the assurance that they would get free land for securing the Indian frontier. Most had paid passage in sterling with the idea of settling unimproved New England land. Instead, whatsoever land they would receive--and this was uncertain--must be purchased at twelve pence and more with time payments.
Robert and his wife and children, with at least one of his brothers (John), arrived in Boston in August of 1718 aboard the William, Captain Archibald Hunter, from Coleraine. Since land had not been determined for them and since the city fathers would not accept descending Presbyterians, they were forced to move on.
The early records speak of Worcester on the then frontier of Massachusetts and far enough away so as not to offend the sensibilities of Boston Calvinists. Research shows that there was never such a settlement in Worcester but instead in Freetown, now Assonet, several miles away. A study of the Freetown records, dating from 1689, makes no mention of the [Robert Killough] family. Since one of the children was born here, this seems to prove that they were here by 1721. The next stage finds the family at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he became involved in the oil and sturgeon trade. It should be recalled that the Bann River had been the center of the sturgeon business in Ireland.
Meanwhile, the John Young family had arrived in Marymeeting Bay, now Bodenham. Here they probably practiced the sturgeon fishery until burned out by Father Rosell’s Indians in 1722. Having fled to Boston aboard Thomas Sander’s vessel, the Youngs were warned out by the town fathers to keep them from becoming public charges. Spanish ships unloaded prime fish at Portsmouth for their return run to Europe. John Young and his family may have supported Killough’s fishery business as Marymeeting was the prime producer of these fish. The two families may also have known one another in Europe.
Suddenly disaster struck. Robert’s business burned. Where to go next? Two alternatives presented themselves. The lack of land in Massachusetts, together with the attitude of people in government, made this choice unattractive. Since the provincial legislature controlled all land grants, if you were Presbyterian, you were out of luck. Between 1720 and ‘30, agents offered 120 acres, a paid minister, a school, a sawmill and sea borne communication if settlers would come to the Georgias. However, there weren’t enough settlers at this time. Robert, however, had gotten wind of the soon-to-be-opened central valley of Pennsylvania. The only drawback here was the fact that a treaty with the Indians was not as yet signed. Both families traveled to Philadelphia where they awaited developments. Apparently both families would go to the best chance, whichever might open up. Young was known to have been there to draw lots for the Warren [Maine] land. Finley [Killough] and Mary [Young] had married by this time and were still in Philadelphia when Matthew was born in 1734. At this time, he changed his name back to Kelloch, the Scottish version of Killough. The Warren [ME] lots were drawn at Tremequid in April of 1735. Kelloch had lot 23; Young, lot 11, across the river. The settlers arrived in July.
The Indian treaty now settled, the Killough contingent established themselves near a series of springs in what is now Cumberland County, Penn. Big Springs, now the town of Newville, was the center of this community. The first houses were erected along the banks of the Conodoguinet, a two and a half mile section of the river bank, centered on the spring.
Since nearly all were [Scottish] Presbyterians, a congregation was organized in 1738. A log church was built in 1737 and ‘38, near the spring, in anticipation of a minister. The earliest burials clustered around an old oak tree in the southeast portion of the yard near the log church. In one of these graves lies Robert, the immigrant. There is apparently no stone. Few of the first generation had one. The Reverend Thomas Craighead, the same who had organized the Bann migration, became the minister.
There were problems here as well. In the eighteenth century, a hundred-acre quitrent to the Pennsylvania heirs was assessed. Indian troubles filled the 1750s and ‘60s. David died in 1767, by now, in Lancaster County, PA. Allen, John and the rest pushed on to the Appalachians and history.
Finley, by the 1740s, had gone to war. The French had constructed a giant fortress at Louisbourg [Canada] in Cape Breton Island. Finished in 1743 at a cost of six million dollars and probably the most powerful fortress on earth, it would be captured by three regiments of New England farmers. Finley was in this group. After the miraculous victory, Finley and the rest were retained in mutinous and involuntary servitude till 1748 when they returned to Warren, Maine. Kallochs have considered Maine their ancestral home ever since. Later generations of this family spelled the name Kalloch instead of Kelloch.