Cos. Tyrone, Donegal, Londonderry & Fermanagh Ireland Genealogy Research

Official Website of the Mailing List

Rev. Alexander Craighead, born Donegal, Co. Donegal, Ireland 1700

Courtesy of Monreagh Heritage Centre
Formatted by
Jim McKane, Ontario, Canada

Alexander Craighead
b. March 1707
In Donegal, IE
d. March 1766
in Mecklenburg [North Carolina]
Ulster Scot-Immigrated 1715
Son of Rev. Thomas Craighead
Firey new side
Revivalist Presbyterian
Preached in NJ, DE, PA, VA NC
Ben Franklin published his 
Religious pamphlets
Rode with George Whitefield
Minister at Sugar Creek and
Rocky River 1758-1766
Spiritual Father of the 
Mecklenburg Declaration
of Independence

Alexander Craighead was born in Donegal town around 1700. His father was the minister of 1st Donegal Presbyterian Church (Rathneeny). The family immigrated to America and arrived in Boston in October 1714. Alexander was ordained and installed as the first regular minister of the Middle Octorara Church in Pennsylvania in 1735. After being stationed to a couple of different churches he moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. This county was largely made up from Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. In January 1742 Rev. Craighead led his congregation in a renewal of the old Scottish covenants and the following year preached a sermon that was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence which led to him being charged with treason. He became a fiery spokesman for the people of Mecklenburg County and their protests. He is counted as the spiritual father of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence which was written 9 years after his death. He was a prolific writer and leader and published numerous works. He died in 1766 and is buried in the oldest burial ground at Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, North Carolina. Huntersville in North Carolina was first known as Craighead until the name was changed around 1873.