Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scots Migrated to Northern Ireland

Estimated that 200,000 Scots migrated to N. Ireland,  They were Lowlanders, mostly coming from the border regions of Galloway, Dumfries, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Argyllshire and Lanarkshire in the west and Edinburgh, the Lothians and Berwichshire in the east.  They spoke English and were Protestant, specifically Presbyterian.   In turn, some TWO MILLION of their descendants migrated to America during the 18th -- 19th -- and during the early part of the 20th centuries.   I have to remember that translates to the 1700's -- 1800's and early 1910-1920's.  From ULSTER: IRELAND< < the primary ports of US entry were Boston, MA  into New York, into Philadelphia PA and into Charleston NC. 

By 1776 -- the year of America's Independence -- almost half of Ulster had crossed the Atlantic Ocean.  About one -out-of-every-seven colonists was Scots-Irish.

How should we describe these immigrants?  In Boston, they tended to be intolerant, rough, unruly and poverty stricken... via not a welcomed group.   Thus, they moved South to Philly.  In about 1760 -- Ben Franklin estimated that 1/3 of Philly was ENGLISH -- 1/3 was GERMAN -- and 1/3 was Scots-Irish.

Next,  they moved West through the Cumberland gap -- thru Virginia -- thereby heading west towards Missouri, and southward thru Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina.
Initial migration to Missouri was made by Scotch-Irish who came through the Ohio Valley, and most of these earliest settlers claimed to come from Kentucky and Tennessee.  One such settler, Daniel Boone, is thought to have started the stream of migration from eastern Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap (KY) sometime in the years 1769 through 1771 (Rafferty, p.54). 

The gap, named for the Cumberland County in northern England, made way for two hundred and fifty thousand people, most of whom were Scotch-Irish.  Groups that traveled along the Ohio River from Pittsburgh were mostly comprised of Ulstermen, as well (Gerlach, p.16).  Other groups came from the Old Southwest, traveled up the Mississippi River valley, and entered both Arkansas and Missouri river systems that led them into the Ozarks.

They settled in the Southwestern frontier .. bearing the brunt of Indian hostilities, they were clannish, fierce, wore coonskin caps, carried Kentucky rifles and were really fond of whiskey!  The were hot tempered, fighters, great boasters, and compulsive storytellers.   They had a keen ear for a striking phrase.   Some of the Scots-Irish moved south into Texas -- the most notorious being Davy Crockett at the Alamo. 

The Scotch-Irish Hillbillies made stills and brewed "moonshine." They used words like a-huntin, a=fishin, afeared, hex, plum right, plum crazy, and coined the expression of you-all.  (Information cited: McCrum, Robert ~ The Story of English, Penguin books, 1986)

There is an old Appalachian saying: When English settlers arrived they built a house, the Germans built a barn, and the Scotch-Irish built a distillery

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