Rev. John Hart

Today was brilliant. It rained all day, but I did not care. After a traditional Irish breakfast of eggs, tomatoes, bacon, sausage, and potatoe bread I headed over to Monreagh. I expected to spend maybe an hour looking about the church and visiting the Heritage Center. I eventually left after nearly 8 hours.
I went to Monreagh because it was home to my ancestor, the Rev. John Hart. A couple of years ago on trip to Scotland I had visited St Andrews where he went to University as well as Crail and Dunkeld where he ministered.
As soon as I walked through the door of the heritage center I spotted a reference to John Hart on the wall display that greets you upon entering. It discussed his tenure and how he had spent six years in jail for holding a day of fasting and prayer. Seconds later I met Margaret and Colm. They took immediate interest in me and my family history and gave me a personal tour of the center. Colm took me across the street to see the inside of the Monreagh church, which is the oldest Presbyterian congregation in the Republic of Ireland. Inside was a plaque commemorating all the ministers including John Hart who ministered from 1655 – 1685.
Kieran, the manager of center soon arrived and took me under his wing. He basked if he could interview me for a YouTube video which we did. We then found a church history that indicated that Hart was buried down the road at Taughboyne Church and that his headstone had been cracked when the church bell fell during a violent storm. Off we went in search of the grave. Sure enough there behind the church under the bell tower was his gravestone. Kieren proceeded to drive me about the area showing me several historical sites. Somewhere in the mix they also fed me lunch. I remain overwhelmed by their hospitality and enthusiasm.




Filed under Ireland