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Scot-Irish and /Irish Emigrant

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    Biography Karenhappuck FitzPatrick was born circa 1715. Her parents were William FitzPatrick, I and Sarah Jane Fitzpatrick . Beloved daughter, sister, and aunt to her brother's children. Never marrie...
  • Jane Elizabeth Proulx (1937 - 1994)
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  • Hannah (Fisher) Horton (1758 - 1848)

Please add Scot-Irish and Irish ancestors so we can track their migration and work together and research their migration through America, Canada, and Novia Scotia. You’re welcome to add and edit our page as well.

Scot-Irish is the American term referring to settlers who were born in or resided in Ireland, they have also been called "," "Ulster-Scots," and "Irish Presbyterians. We hear Scot-Irish more than we hear Irish, not to be confused with the Highlanders and Lowlanders of Scotland. Their ancestors may have originated in Scotland and migrated to Ireland. Scot-Irish surname list and information. []


From 1710 to 1775, over 200,000 people emigrated from Ulster to the original thirteen American colonies. The largest number went to Pennsylvania. From that base, some went south into Virginia, the Carolinas, and across the South, with a large concentration in the Appalachian region. Others headed west to western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and the Midwest.[35]

Transatlantic flows were halted by the American Revolution, but resumed after 1783, with a total of 100,000 arriving in America between 1783 and 1812. By that point, few were young servants, and more were mature craftsmen, and they settled in industrial centers, including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York, where many became skilled workers, foremen, and entrepreneurs as the Industrial Revolution took off in the U.S.[citation needed] Another half million came to America from 1815 to 1845; another 900,000 came in 1851–99 That migration decisively shaped Scotch-Irish culture.[35]

According to the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, there were 400,000 U.S. residents of Irish birth or ancestry in 1790, and half of this group was descended from Ulster and half from the other three provinces of Ireland.[36] A separate migration brought many to Canada, where they are most numerous in rural Ontario and Nova Scotia.

The term Scot-Irish is used primarily in the United States,[10] with people in Great Britain or Ireland who are of a similar ancestry identifying as Ulster-Scots people. These included 200,000 Scottish Presbyterians who settled in Ireland between 1608 and 1697. Many English-born settlers of this period were also Presbyterians, although the denomination is today most strongly identified with Scotland. When King Charles I attempted to force these Presbyterians into the Church of England in the 1630s, many chose to re-emigrate to North America where religious liberty was greater. Later attempts to force the Church of England's control over dissident Protestants in Ireland led to further waves of emigration to the trans-Atlantic colonies.[11]

Upon arrival in North America, these migrants at first usually identified simply as Irish, without the qualifier Scotch. It was not until a century later, following the surge in Irish immigration after the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s, that the descendants of the earlier arrivals began to commonly call themselves Scotch-Irish to distinguish themselves from the newer, poor, Catholic immigrants

At first, the two groups had little interaction in America, as the Scots-Irish had become settled many decades earlier, primarily in the backcountry of the Appalachian region. The new wave of Catholic Irish settled primarily in port cities such as Boston, New York, Charleston, Chicago, Memphis, and New Orleans, where large immigrant communities formed and there was an increasing number of jobs. Many of the new Irish migrants also went to the interior in the 19th century, attracted to jobs on large-scale infrastructure projects such as canals and railroads.[23]

Scot-Irish Migration to South Carolina [] A Study of The Scot-Irish Migration in Ireland to America, by R J Dickson, Ulster Emigration from 1718-1775. The problems for Presbyterians because of their religion and the depressed trade for woolen cloth, taxes, and rents soaring so high people couldn't see a future in Ireland, Scotland, or England, chose to migrate to the American Colonies to the offer to the Land Grants in South Carolina. Although, when they arrived the land grants were not as they were promised or proposed. The land grants were many times split up in pieces and were not even adjoining one another. The reason many Irish, Scot-Irish moved on from South Carolina to other states offering land grants for settlers. An interesting, in-depth read.]

• The earliest is a report in June 1695, by Sir Thomas Laurence, Secretary of Maryland, that "In the two counties of Dorchester and Somerset, where the Scotch-Irish are numerous, they clothe themselves by their linen and woolen manufactures." • In September 1723, Rev. George Ross, Rector of Immanuel Church in New Castle, Delaware, wrote in reference to their anti-Church of England stance that, "They call themselves Scotch-Irish ... and the bitterest raiders against the church that ever trod upon American ground." • Another Church of England clergyman from Lewes, Delaware, commented in 1723 that "great numbers of Irish (who usually call themselves Scotch-Irish) have transplanted themselves and their families from the north of Ireland". The Oxford English Dictionary says the first use of the term Scot-Irish came in Pennsylvania in 1744: • 1744 W. MARCHE Jrnl. 21 June in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. (1801) 1st Ser. VII. 177: "The inhabitants [of Lancaster, Pennsylvania] are chiefly High-Dutch, Scotch-Irish, some few English families, and unbelieving Israelites." Its citations include examples after that into the late 19th century. In Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, historian David Hackett Fischer asserts:

Some historians describe these immigrants as "Ulster Irish" or "Northern Irish". It is true that many sailed from the province of Ulster ... part of a much larger flow which drew from the lowlands of Scotland, the north of England, and every side of the Irish Sea. Many scholars call these people Scot-Irish. That expression is an Americanism, rarely used in Britain and much resented by the people to whom it was attached. "We're no Irish but Scot," one of them was heard to say in Pennsylvania.[30]

Fischer prefers to speak of "borderers" (referring to the historically war-torn England-Scotland border) as the population ancestral to the "backcountry" "cultural stream" (one of the four major and persistent cultural streams from Ireland and Britain which he identifies in American history). He notes the borderers had substantial English and Scandinavian roots. He describes them as being quite different from Gaelic-speaking groups such as the Scottish Highlanders or Irish (that is, Gaelic-speaking and Roman Catholic).]

Irish-Catholic Immigration to America

Irish-Catholic immigrants came to America during colonial times, too. For example, Charles Carroll immigrated to America in 1706. His grandson, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signed his name to the Declaration of Independence.

Ireland’s 1845 Potato Blight is often credited with launching the second wave of Irish immigration to America. The fungus which decimated potato crops created a devastating famine. Starvation plagued Ireland and within five years, a million Irish were dead while half a million had arrived in America to start a new life. Living conditions in many parts of Ireland were very difficult long before the Potato Blight of 1845, however, and a large number of Irish left their homeland as early as the 1820s.

1880: Irish in America In fact, Ireland’s population decreased dramatically throughout the nineteenth century. Census figures show an Irish population of 8.2 million in 1841, 6.6 million a decade later, and only 4.7 million in 1891. It is estimated that as many as 4.5 million Irish arrived in America between 1820 and 1930.

Between 1820 and 1860, the Irish constituted over one-third of all immigrants to the United States. In the 1840s, they comprised half of all immigrants to this nation. Interestingly, pre-famine immigrants from Ireland were male, while in the famine years and their aftermath, entire families left the country. In later years, many Irish immigrants were women. What can these statistics tell us about life in Ireland during this period?[]

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