I want to know how they became Scot-Irish and how and where they migrated to in the U.S.

8 Responses to “The Scot-Irish, what is the history of this? Did they live in Scotland first (100 yrs) and then to Ireland)?”

  • Robin G:

    The term “Scotch-Irish” is used to denote people who emmigrated to America in the early 1900s, and began to flood the eastern states with a mixture of cultures and genetics. Due to social intermixing of the Scottish and Irish populations, and the difficulty in discerning the two, the term Scotch-Irish was born.

  • hihi:

    I know only at around 6th century scots drove away the celts, and they lived on scotland then.
    There are two main irish emigrants. The first was before the great famine in 1845-1848, when they young Irish had some money and they went to New England to make a fortune. Most of them led a successful life.
    The second was during the great famine. They were starved and they need to go to other countries for survivance

  • World Citizen:

    Who were the scot irish?

    They were protestant Presbyterian, Lowland Scots. The Scot-Irish were not Irish and were not Catholics. The term Scot-Irish is strictly an American nomenclature. In England and Ireland the same people are called Ulster Scots, which is much less confusing.

    For greater and in – depth details visit the following links :



  • Charles K:

    http://www.barlowgenealogy.com/Resources/scots-irish.html Tracing the Scots-Irish They’ve been called a people without a name. Their roots go back to Scotland, but don’t think tartans and bagpipes. 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.

    They were different from their Highland cousins. They didn’t wear kilts, didn’t belong to clans, or speak Gaelic. But they weren’t English either. They didn’t support the Anglican Church. They held onto the memory of bloody massacres that their ancestors suffered at the hands of English conquerors centuries earlier.

    Their history in Scotland was not pleasant. These people were caught, both geographically and politically, between the English to the south and the Highlanders to the north.

    In the seventeenth century, when Scottish and English land-grant owners sought tenants to populate the northern region of Ireland and drive out the Catholics, the Lowland Scots fit the bill. They were not Catholic and they spoke English. To the English monarchy, the Lowland Scots were preferable to the Irish Catholics. The downtrodden Lowlanders had suffered endless cattle raids, had themselves resorted to such raids because of their poverty, and had lived on infertile, over-farmed land for centuries. The prospect of large, bountiful tenant farms in Ireland, a short jaunt across the Irish Sea, was more than appealing.

    But as the decades passed, the transplanted Scots became known as dissenters. They did not vow allegiance to the Church of England, detesting tithing to a church they didn’t support, and were governed by the Penal Laws. Those laws prevented dissenters from voting, bearing arms or serving in the military. Dissenters could not be married, baptized or buried with the assistance of any minister who was not ordained by the church of the state.

    The answer seems obvious, but by the eighteenth century some of the restrictive laws had loosened. Despite that, the dissenters were bitter. To further aggravate the situation, when rents came due on many of the farms they lived on, the cost rose double — or more. This practice was called rack-renting. Those who worked in the linen industry also suffered at this time because England had begun preventing the Irish from exporting their product beyond the mother country.

    Family members who had already ventured to America sent back glowing reports about the fruitful land. Ship owners sent men to the countryside to extol the benefits of emigration to the peasants. While some departed seeking adventure, most Ulster residents didn’t want to leave Ireland, but their backs were against the wall. Ireland held no opportunities.

    There were five time periods when the Scots-Irish emigrated in large numbers: 1717-18, when a destructive drought killed crops, the linen industry was crippled and rack-renting prevailed; 1725-29, when continued rack-renting and poverty prompted such a massive departure that even the English Parliament became concerned (it feared losing Protestant majority in the area); 1740-41, when a famine struck and letters from relatives living in America were persuasive; 1754-55, a time of a disastrous drought; and 1771-1775, when leases on the large estate of the marquis of Donegal in County Antrim expired and the tenants couldn’t afford to renew them. Years when economic pressures in Ireland were the greatest were when large exoduses occurred. The numbers dropped during the years of the French and Indian Wars (1754-63) and came to a crashing halt during the American Revolution.

    Today, the people living in Ulster still remember their relatives who sailed for America. Located in County Tyrone, the Ulster American Folk Park boasts an early eighteenth century stone house that once stood in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It was built by Samuel Fulton, an emigrant from Northern Ireland.

    The Scots-Irish, like other groups of American immigrants, came to the New World to escape economic and religious hardships. Wealthy people and people of influence rarely braved the harsh Atlantic voyage. The Scots-Irish had plenty of reason to come, and come they did. It’s estimated that between 1717 and 1775, a quarter-million people emigrated from Ulster to America. At the time of the American Revolution, at least one out of every 15 Americans was Scots-Irish.

    Ocean travel was not inexpensive, and most often the people willing to make the trip were the ones who could least afford it. Most came as indentured servants. Someone in America would pay for the passage, and the traveler would labor in return for a period of time, usually between one and seven years. At the term’s end, the person usually had acquired a trade. In addit

  • thewayofthegunn:

    Irish people lived in Ireland first. Population expansion and conflict forced one clan, the Ui Neill to migrate east across the Irish Sea to the west coast of Scotland. This took place thousands of years ago. Irish Gaelic and Scots Gaelic are very similar languages.

    Since the shared many cultural and language similarities. It was/is quite common for intermarriage. In my own case, my parents are from England, but my maternal grandparents are from Ireland and my paternal grandparents are from Scotland. This makes me of Ire-Scot ancestory.

    Migration to North America (and other colonies) took place after the establishment of the industrial revolution. In case of Scotland a combination of economic conditions, The Clearances, and the promise of free land and new life motivated many Scots to emigrate.

    In the case of Ireland, The Potato Famine in the mid-19th century, forced a mass migration of Irish to other parts of the world.

  • Rubym:

    I’m not sure but from what I understand they were from Northern Ireland and/or Irish Protestants (of course all of Ireland was British until about 1920 or so)

    In America there was a lot of prejudice against Catholics and anybody with an Irish name was assumed to be Catholic. So the term was a way to avoid anti-Catholic thinking against the Irish.

    I’ve also heard that Elizabeth I or even Henry VIII moved Protestants from Scotland into Ulster to try and outnumber the Irish. That would have been a couple of hundred years before they were coming to America. Some of the Scotch-Irish may have actually been a mixture.

  • Moriarty:

    The majority of Irish with Scots heritage usually come from what is now Northern Ireland or Ulster.

    This came about due to the planting of protestant and calvinist Scots in Ulster in the 17th century by James I. This was extended to a larger and harsher degree by the puritan Oliver Cromwell during the Commonwealth (1649-1660) after the English Civil War. His hatred of catholics led to hundreds of catholic Irish being forced from their homes or murdered to make way for the Scottish settlers.

    Over the years these settlers became considered as Irish as those they had displaced and many took the same action during the great famine of the mid-19th century as others – they emmigrated to the US, the majority settling on the east coast cities such as New York, Boston and Baltimore.

  • guanotwozero:

    Nope, they are a people that lived (and still live) in both Scotland and Ireland.

    They are more commonly known as the Ulster-Scots. Their ancestry is mostly a mixture of Gaelic-language speakers who straddled the northern Irish Sea (modern Northern Ireland and western Scotland) and Saxon-descended people living in the border region between Scotland and England.

    Before they acquired a common identity, these peoples were part of the patchwork of identities that made up the British Isles as tribes migrated and local nation states were forming. The Scots were an Irish people who migrated to and effectively created Scotland, spreading their Gaelic language through much of the country. The Saxon-speakers of the south, immigrants after the collapse of the Roman Empire, came under their political domination.

    After the reformation in Europe, there were devastating wars as Catholics and Protestants vied for power. This wave spread to the British Isles where a large part of the population became Protestant, notably much of Scotland.

    At more or less the same time, The local feudal O’Neill dynasty in Ulster (northern Ireland) had revolted against their then English overlords and were eventually defeated in a savage drawn-out war. There was a large migration of Protestant Scots (Gaels and Saxons) back to Ireland, particularly the north. Many English migrated as well. This ‘encouraged’ migration (Plantation of Ulster) was partly a deliberate attempt to plant a loyal population against future revolts, partly a result of impoverished people seeking better opportunities in a now depopulated land. They lived alongside the predominantly Catholic Irish Gaels, and led to a split society that partly remains to this day.

    The subsequent tides of politics brought a see-saw of religious persecutions. Catholics were oppressed, then Presbyterians (a type of Protestant common in Scotland and Ireland) as different rulers took power and imposed their religious views. This see-sawing continued until the Glorious Revolution which engendered the Enlightenment.

    At the same time, the European colonies in the Americas were attracting migrants because of the perceived opportunities. After Puritans from southern England had migrated for religious freedom, many Presbyterians from Ulster and Scotland made the same journey for similar reasons. Many just migrated because America was seen as a land of opportunity. Changes in the agricultural and economic systems made many people landless and homeless in feudal areas, so the Americas were seen as a bright light.

    As this was the time of early westwards migration in North America, often these people moved to the frontier and were instrumental in pushing it further west. Many aspects of “Western” culture (square-dances, songs, religiosity) have their origin with these people.

    It was later on, when Catholics (often Irish) again faced political oppression and sometimes just economic impoverishment, that waves of Irish immigrants made the Atlantic journey to become one of America’s prominent communities. However, these are normally referred to as Irish-Americans, as distinct from Ulster-Scots or Scots-Irish.

    In a modern context, the term “Ulster Scots” refers to a dialect of the Scots language spoken in parts of Ulster. This can arguably be described as a dialect of modern English.

    Well, that’s the simple version of the origin of the Ulster-Scots in the Americas.

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