Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 12, 1719 ~ The First Sermon at Nutfield

Illustration of the first sermon in Nutfield from Willey’s Book of Nutfield

In 1718 Reverend James MacGregor left his church in Aghadowey, Northern Ireland with a large number of his parishioners.  They came to Boston, and eventually to Maine and then to Haverhill, Massachusetts.  In April 1719 a group of these Scots Irish men came to investigate an area north of Haverhill that was “abound with nut trees”.  They brought Rev. MacGregor and their families back with them to this land, which they called Nutfield.  On 12 April 1719, since there were no buildings, Rev. MacGregor gave his first sermon under a large oak tree on the banks of Beaver Lake in what is now East Derry, New Hampshire. This is considered the founding of Londonderry, New Hampshire, and the founding of the first Presbyterian church in New England.

Reverend MacGregor’s first sermon was based on the bible passage from Isaiah XXII 2 “And a man shalt be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

Happy 299th Birthday, to Londonderry and Derry!

"This cairn marks the place where the first sermon in Nut-
field was delivered by Rev. James MacGregor, April 12,
1719.  Near by, Hannah Dustin spent her first night in cap-
tivity, March 15, 1697."
[This cairn no longer exists on the banks of Beaver Lake]

Click here for a list of the original sixteen families in Nutfield:

Click this link for news about the big 300th anniversary celebration in 2019: 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “April 12, 1719 ~ The First Sermon at Nutfield”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 12, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

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