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Archibald McRobert, 1790s, Presbyterian minister

Replies: 25

Re: Archibald McRobert, 1790s, Presbyterian minister

Posted: 1238197818000
Classification: Query
I am a descendant of Rev. Archibald McRobert (he is my 5th-great-grandfather). You can learn more about him by researching Rev. Daniel S. Baker (not to be confused with his son Rev. Daniel Sumner Baker). The book about Rev. Daniel S. Baker, "Making Many Glad: The Life and Labours of Daniel S. Baker" is a compilation of Daniel's diary with comments by his son, William Munford Baker. The two Daniel Baker's are my third and second great-grandfathers.

Here is a little bit of what I have on Rev. Archibald McRobert:
Archibald McRobert was born (probably) in Scotland, ordained by Bishop of London and came to minister to his congregation in Virginia in March 1761. He was born about 1730 to 32 and died Oct. 1807 in Virginia. Prince Edward County was his home most of his life in Virginia. He married in 1762 to ELIZABETH BLAND MUNFORD, dau. of ROBERT MUNFORD and wife ANNE BLAND. His service to his adopted country is shown in an address given before the DAR Chapter in Farmville, Va. in 1928 entitled, "Prince Edward County Virginia, Archibald McRobert, Patriot, Scholar, and Man of God." See Gerald Fothergil, "Emigrant Ministers to Virginia" and also American Archives, Series 4, vol. 1, pg. 538 concerning drawing up of Resolutions in support of sister colonies, where Archibald McRobert was chosen to serve as moderator in Chesterfield County, Virginia of date July 14, 1774. Also Chairman, Committee of Safety for Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Children are as given in will of Archibald McRobert Oct. 16, 1807:
m. 12-20-1794 MARY FOSTER
m. 2nd 1804 MARY (or HENRIETTA) FIELD
m. 1-1-1798 SAMUEL CARTER

And here is a newspaper article which mentions Rev. Archibald McRobert.

Complete text from newspaper article.
MARTIN FISHER/Altavista Journal Staff Writer Wednesday, August 29, 2007 4:17 PM EDT

HAT CREEK - There are some churches boasting of their Antebellum South beginnings, some of the county's oldest, but as they were just getting started, one church near Brookneal already had more than 100 years of pre-Civil War history behind it. That is why Campbell County Supervisors recognized Hat Creek Presbyterian Church's rich history and important contributions to faith, religious freedom and local spiritual development in a resolution Monday, Aug. 20. The county honors are to be formally presented to Hat Creek Presbyterian leaders and members at a future meeting of the board of supervisors. Pastor Lee HŠhnlen said Hat Creek is an active and involved congregation near Brookneal today, it even has some modern-day struggles that older congregations face in reaching out to its community. This concern comes nearly 200 years after Hat Creek's establishment of its first daughter church - in Concord, 1820, which was followed by Diamond Hill in 1846, Rustburg, 1878 and in Brookneal, 1892. Hat Creek has done a lot of adjusting and growing, and a whole lot of ministering, over its 265-year history.

HŠhnlen said a part of Hat Creek's contribution to the community is in keeping the heritage of faith alive for generations to come. "The church has a fascinating history, particularly in its early days," he said. "It was the original settlement of Europeans in this part of Virginia and had some very prominent figures among its supply pastors and installed ministers." HŠhnlen added a tragedy impacting the ability to trace an exact history occurred about 150 years ago. "There were records kept in store which were unfortunately burned in a fire during the 1850s," he said. "From what we do have, Patrick Henry worshipped here any number of times, and it was our Pastor, Archibald McRobert, who in 1799 conducted the services for Henry's burial at Red Hill," he added. "The thing that most people are proud of here is the fact that this land was pioneer territory, Hat Creek is pioneer land dating back to the arrival of John Irvin in 1738." Irvin, HŠhnlen said, claimed a great deal of land under the gubernatorial administration of Sir William Gooch. "He claimed the land by what used to be called Cabin Rights," he said. "That meant if you settled with a cabin in empty territory, the governor recognized, I think, at least 400 acres - Irvin claimed a lot of territory and his claim was recognized by then governor Gooch." HŠhnlen said much legend sits on the margins of actual history, for instance is the assertion that Gooch eagerly settled Scottish immigrants between Indian tribal areas and English settlements eastward. "It has often been claimed that he used them as a buffer, but I'm not sure I agree with that," he said. HŠhnlen was able to point the direction toward where a Monocan Indian settlement used to be just several miles from the church, and a different direction toward the fort area only one mile away. "Another legend of the church is, and I'm not sure this is settled history, but legend had it that you could not qualify as an elder of this church unless you had a working musket," HŠhnlen said. "Most people even around here don't know the original settlement is about a mile away, the remains of the old fort are still there - the original Campbell County settlement from 1738." People call the location he pointed toward Irvindale, with a road leading back called Irvindale Road. "Most roads around here, the old ones, follow the old trails and routes," he said. Hat Creek went up, the settlement then the church, at the hands of Scott-Irish settlers who had been filtering into America in the 1720s in search of economic opportunity and religious freedom. Their travels led through Pennsylvania. John Irvin took his wife, seven children and two Negro slaves to his claim - in that day the quiet, wooded wilderness. Their first structure was called a meeting house because only the officially recognized "Established Church" could use the term church. It was Gilbert Tennent of Log College fame who answered an invitation to pray over and consecrate the meeting house as a church. He stayed for a year to help establish the new church's independent stability. "Tennent was one of the original preachers of the Great Awakening," HŠhnlen said. "His father, William Tennent, founded "the Log College" which later became Princeton Theological Seminary." Numerous itinerant preachers served at Hat Creek after Tennent left. Their first minister came in 1761, the Rev. James Waddell was a renown blind preacher and orator. The church remembers its five constructed sanctuary structures, adding a 1785, 1810 and 1846 building on the lot on top of the 1742 log meeting house. In 1960, the present brick sanctuary went up. "They were very careful to preserve as much of the former construction as possible, to use it at Camp Hat Creek nearby," HŠhnlen said. A church statement of dedication in 1966 notes the congregation's due humility and thankfulness to God for their fifth church structure. "Certainly through no acts of its own has Hat Creek experienced the blessings of age and opportunity," the statement said. "[It is] Because God in his Marcy has so readily endowed it and given to its members the privilege of service - the power of service being in Him, not the members." The prayer concluding the statement was seconded by an "amen" by pastor HŠhnlen as he spoke of the church's present needs and challenges: "May Hat Creek ever guard that precious heritage, and may generations yet unborn know this church as a place where the Lord is worshipped," he said.

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