PROUDFIT FAMILY ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER

Sprint 2003

Reunion July 25 and 26 Reprints of Compton 1911 Book Still Available History of Scottish Dissenting Presbyterianism
Association News Other Proudfit Reunions We Need You!
Restoration News Our Proudfit Heritage Association Officers


Photo of Proudfoot Homestead circa 1911

The Proudfit Family Association meets for an annual reunion in York County, Pennsylvania the fourth weekend in July each year. The next reunion will be July 25 and 26, 2003.

Proudfit Family Association Officers

Bill Walters, President
Robert Shaub, Vice President
Judi McGarvey, Secretary
Jeannie ten Haaf, Treasurer
William Proudfit, Chaplain
Gaye David, Web Master


The Third Annual Proudfit Family Reunion to be held in York County, Pennsylvania July 25 and 26, 2003

The Proudfit Family Association invites all those interested in the Proudfit/Proudfoot surname to the third annual Proudfit Family Reunion in York, Pennsylvania in July.

The reunion headquarters this year will be the Country Inn by Carlson, 245 St. Charles Way, York, at Exit 16A (Queen Street) from Interstate 83; telephone 717-747-5833. The association has reserved a block of rooms and suites at special Proudfit Reunion rates. Please make your reservation before June 25th.

The Country Inn offers many amenities including a complimentary continental breakfast, indoor pool and fitness center, and an outdoor picnic area with a grill for the use of the guests. The suites have microwaves and refrigerators. The Inn is close to many restaurants and convenient to area attractions such as the York Historic District, the Harley Davidson Plant which offers tours, and the York Barbell Museum & Weightlifting Hall of Fame. The Lancaster Amish Country is just 35 miles to the northeast and historic Gettysburg is only 20 miles west.

The reunion will begin with our annual Friday evening social from 4 to 8 p.m. in the meeting room at the Country Inn. Each year this get-together gives us an opportunity to see old friends and relatives and meet new ones. Many people bring genealogical charts, old letters, pictures and other family mementos to share with the group. There’s always something new to learn about our family. Light refreshments will be served.

Saturday reunion - genealogical exchange, business meeting, tours of family sites, catered lunch – 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Hershaull Park near Cross Roads, Pennsylvania. Coffee will be available first thing in the morning this year! The cost of the catered lunch will be $7.00 per person. (Directions to the park will be provided Friday evening or contact the secretary for a map.)

There are no other "formal" reunion plans, but there are lots of things to see and do in the area. Some people may want to travel to Gettysburg Saturday night for dinner at historic Dobbin’s House, a restaurant which was once a school attended by our ancestors. For those who want to attend church on Sunday morning, services are held at a variety of locations, including old Guinston Presbyterian Church, where Andrew Proudfoot worshipped from the 1750s until 1781, when he and the Guinston session went their separate ways over a discussion of the doctrine of the all-sufficiency of grace. The old stone building was built by a Wallace family member.

President Bill Walters and his wife Sandra will be parking their RV somewhere in York County during the week of July 20th to 26th, perhaps on private property or perhaps at the Indian Rock Campground, Highway 182, about three miles west of the Interstate 83. Call 717-741-1764 for camping and RV information. Several association members will be arriving a few days before the reunion to join Bill and Sandra to work on small projects at the Proudfoot homestead. Contact Bill for more information. (E-mail will work best; see last page of newsletter.)

Please let us know if you will be joining us this year!

Please drop us a line or give us a call to let us know you are coming to the reunion. You can contact the association secretary Judi McGarvey at 32 W. Glendale Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301; 703-683-3463; e-mail judimcg@comcast.net. Thank you!

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Association News

Good news! The Proudfit Family Association has been incorporated as a nonprofit entity, as approved by the group present at last year’s annual meeting. Donations to our group are tax deductible.

Annual dues of $10.00 per household and payable in January of each year to cover the cost of our newsletter and other incidental expenses were approved at the meeting last summer. If you haven’t had the chance to send us your dues, please forward your check in the amount of $10.00 to the secretary who maintains the mailing list: Judith T. McGarvey, 32 W. Glendale Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301.

We regret that due to a family illness, Jeannie ten Haaf has resigned as treasurer. David McGarvey will be acting treasurer for the next three months until a new treasurer can be elected at our July meeting.

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Restoration News

Artist's rendition of restored Proudfoot Homestead

The drawing above is an artist’s rendition of what the restored Proudfoot homestead may look like in the future. The circa 1760s log house was discovered by Bill and Sandra Walters of Meridian, Texas in the fall of 2000, near Cross Roads in York County, Pennsylvania. Since that time, Bill and Sandra have worked tirelessly to save and restore this old structure.

 Last spring, members of the Proudfit Family Association met with the Hyson family, owners of the property, to discuss how to save this important historical structure. Just last month, the Hyson family granted a deed of easement to the Proudfit Family Association for the purposes of preservation and education. Now we will have legal access to enable the association to restore and maintain the log house.

Further, Eric Hyson, one of the property owners, has "mothballed" the site to prevent further deterioration. The old house has been stabilized with all openings covered and secured to prevent vandalism and damage by weather. The site has been cleaned up and much of the debris carted away.

Members of the Hyson family who own this property rent the farm out and do not live in York County at this time, but they have a deep connection to the land which has been owned by the Hysons through several generations. The Proudfits and the Hysons have been linked by family ties through the years and this connection and cooperation continues to this day. Our thanks to the Hyson family for all they have done to preserve this historic site.

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You Can Have Your Own Copy of Historical Sketch of the Proudfit Family of York County, Pennsylvania

Copies of the reprint of Historical Sketch of the Proudfit Family of York County, Pennsylvania compiled by Margaret Compton, published in 1911, are available for purchase through the Proudfit Family Association. The book includes a wealth of information about the immigrant Proudfoot brothers – Andrew, James, Robert and David – and gives a detailed record of the descendants of Alexander Proudfit (son of Andrew Proudfoot and Sarah Wallace) and his wife Martha McCleary.

The book is 100 pages, soft cover, perfect bound with a full-name index, the 21 photographs from the original publication and a large appendix of interesting genealogical material. The cover of the reprint repeats that of the original volume — red with gold lettering.

Historical Sketch of the Proudfit Family is available for purchase for $20.00. Books may be purchased at the reunion in York County, Pennsylvania in July or you may order by mail from Judi McGarvey, 32 W. Glendale Ave., Alexandria, Virginia 22301; telephone 703-683-3463; e-mail - judimcg@comcast.net. Please include $2.00 for shipping and handling for up to two books. Contact Judi for shipping costs for quantities of more than two.

image54.gif (815444 bytes)

This picture which faces page 36 in Compton’s Historical Sketch of the Proudfit Family of York County, Pennsylvania bears the caption, "Children of Andrew Proudfit, (July 1906)." A slip of paper in Zella Proudfit Eaton’s copy of this Sketch identifies them as "Standing: Rev. Leonard, Mrs. Culbertson, Andrew Jameson, Francis Trimmer; Seated: Mrs. Billings, Alexander, Wm. Smith, John."

Click the picture for a larger view.

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Other Proudfit Reunions

Proudfit family members meet for a reunion each year in eastern Kansas on Memorial Day weekend. For more information, contact Jewel Spiker, 1915 Mound View, Topeka, KS 66604; 785-272-5120.

The northwest contingent of the Proudfit family has been meeting for many years in the Portland/Vancouver area, usually the first Sunday in August. For more information, contact Delbert & Lois Proudfit, 20418 N. 139th St., Brush Prairie, WA 98606; 360-892-1177.

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Our Proudfit Heritage

Our branch of the Proudfit family established itself in the "New World" when James Proudfoot was sent to the colony of Pennsylvania in 1754, as an itinerate missionary for the Anti-Burgher Secession Church.

What is an Anti-Burgher Secessionist?

Let’s start with the Reformation. The Scottish Reformation began in 1557, when Scottish barons, inspired by John Knox, bound themselves to a covenant which opposed the Roman Catholic church and promoted the cause of Reformation. On 24 August 1570, parliament passed acts abolishing the papal jurisdiction and the Mass in Scotland and the Scottish Kirk became the official church of Scotland organized under John Knox’s Liturgy or The First Book of Discipline. The so-called "second Scottish Reformation" occurred in 1638, when the king signed the National Covenant which reiterated the crown’s promises to uphold Presbyterianism and defend the state against Romanism.

The new system naturally took time to establish itself, but from the early days of the church, controversies arose not out of matters of faith, but from practical questions of church government and of the relation of church and state.

The Original Secession from the Church of Scotland occurred in 1733, as a result of a dispute over patronage. The patronage system gave the control over the choice of the church minister to the head of the family (and his heirs) that had financed the construction of the church. This right could be sold and eventually a third of the rights of patronage were held by the crown. Over time, naturally enough, patrons did not exercise their rights and appointment of ministers reverted to the presbyteries. In 1712, however, the Patronage Act restored the right of the local landowner to choose the minister for his church.

Patronage became a major issue in the church in 1726, when the congregation at Kinross wished to call Ebenezer Erskine to be their minister. The patron did not agree, but the presbytery did not want to insist that the congregation call another minister. The problem was brought before the General Assembly of 1732, but although Erskine had the support of a majority of the Assembly, the members followed the 1712 Patronage Act, stating that Protestant heritors had the right "to elect and call" a minister and if the congregation disagreed, then the final decision would fall to the presbytery.

 The next Assembly reprimanded Erskine and three of his supporters for publicly disagreeing with their decision which disturbed the "peace and good order" of the Church. But the dissenters formally protested and claimed the right of freedom of opinion. The Assembly demanded that the protests be withdrawn under penalty of suspension from their ministerial duties. Erskine and his supporters declined to withdraw their protests. The Assembly of 1737 tried to achieve a compromise, but the four seceders were joined by four others and in 1740, they formed the Original Secession Church (Associate Synod).

In 1743, some members of the Associate Synod who wanted to more closely follow the ideals of the 1638 National Covenant withdrew and formed the Reformed Synod.

Unfortunately, another controversy further split the Original Secession Church in 1747. A dispute arose over an oath that some city leaders (burghers) were required to take. The oath acknowledged the "true religion . . . authorized by the laws." Ebenezer Erskine deemed the oath acceptable for members of the Original Secession Church, but others thought that the words "true religion" referred to the Church of Scotland and that those who took the oath should be excommunicated from the Secession Church. Thus, the Burgher and the Anti-Burgher branches of the Original Secession Church were formed. James Proudfoot became a member of the Anti-Burgher movement.

Two prominent Presbyterian organizations established in the colonies were the Reformed Presbyterians (Covenanters) and the Associate Presbyterians (Seceders). As an Anti-Burgher, James Proudfoot was a missionary for the Seceders. The two denominations began formal talks in 1777, and merged on 13 June 1782, forming the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. After the merger, James Proudfoot joined the newly formed ARP and was called by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of Salem, New York the following year.

Source information: This article was compiled from information from the Encyclopedia Britannica and from various web searches, especially the website for Dumbarton West Kirk (http://freespace.virgin.net/joe.porter/patronage.htm) and ARP Church Home Page (http://www.arpsynod.org/who.html), as well as information from the Reverend Dr. Reid Stewart who is researching Scottish Dissenting Presbyterianism in Pennsylvania.

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The History of Scottish Dissenting Presbyterianism in Fulton County, PA

by Rev. Reid W. Stewart, Ph.D.

Dr. Stewart’s publication is over 200 pages long with 20 pictures and maps. It includes many sketches of area churches along with genealogical information about the families of the Dissenting Presbyterians of Fulton County. Proudfit family members descended from the Rev. David Proudfit and his wife Sarah Patterson will find the information about the Patterson and Morrow/Murray families of great interest. Copies of Dr. Stewart’s book may be ordered from him at 2942 Leechburg Rd, Lower Burrell, PA 15068-3244, $13.00 postpaid. Dr. Stewart has published a similar volume about Franklin County and will soon finish one on York County.

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We Need You!

We welcome suggestions, updates and any corrections you may have to the information in this newsletter.

But most of all, we need your help to restore Andrew Proudfoot’s homestead! We need a willing individual with fundraising experience to help us plan our strategy for raising money and getting grants so we can restore and save this valuable property! A group of people will gather before and after this summer’s reunion to work together on restoration tasks under the direction of Gary Geiselman of Olde York Homes. There are a lot of things we can do that do not involve skilled labor – just sweat of the brow! We also need help to clean up and restore the McAlister Family Cemetery.

If you know someone whom you believe is not on our mailing list and would like to receive a newsletter, please send us their name and address. Thank you.

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Proudfit Family Association Officers

Bill Walters, President
726 C. R. 4100, Meridian, TX 76665-2840
254-597-0060; e-mail - bwalters@htcomp.net

Robert Shaub, Vice President
350 W. Railroad Ave., Shrewsbury, PA 17361
717-235-6615; e-mail - farmersdaughter@cyberia.com

Judi McGarvey, Secretary, Newsletter Editor
32 W. Glendale Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301
703-683-3463; e-mail - judimcg@comcast.net

David McGarvey, Acting Treasurer
32 W. Glendale Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301
e-mail - dcmcgarvey@yahoo.com

William H. Proudfit, Chaplain
1410 S. Goliad St., #1605, Rockwall, TX 75087
972-722-6575

Gaye David, Web site management
614 Branch Hollow Cir., Garland, TX 75043
e-mail - Proudfit_Family@hotmail.com

Proudfit Point Restoration web site: http://users.htcomp.net/proudfit/

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