Scotch-Irish and Ulster Scots Family Research


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FAQ for the List
Heritage Groups
 In United States
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 Colonial United States

--Who came on the South Carolina Five Ships?

--Who came on the New England Five Ships?

-- From Donegal to Butler, PA circa 1790.

Post Colonial US
 British North  America
Getting Started
In Ireland
McAmis Obits
Join the List
Linda's Personal Research
Links! Most external links here
Safe Travel to Northern Ireland
Websites of the Scotch-Irish/Ulster Scots (email me to add YOURS)


List FAQ

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and their answers about genealogy or Family History. It should be read by anyone who wishes to post to the mailing list Scotch-Irish-L. It's real purpose is to "catch up" newcomers with the ongoing discussion. This list has been going on for years. The Old Timers feel like they are stuck in "Hotel California". It contains the most commonly asked questions including some that you DON'T want to ask, again.

If you have any comments or additions, or would like to suggest further topics to be included, then please contact Linda Merle .

If you are new to Internet lists, you NEED to read these:

All about mailing lists from Rootsweb.

Short piece on expected behavior on this list. (PS we all break the rules. The list admin. has had to kick her self off the list several times.)

You are responsible for knowing good etiquette. Read about it here: Netiquette Learn it or risk perishing in "flames".

Copyright law on the Internet . Rootsweb usage policy.

E-mail lists rules of conduct.

Using the Internet effectively to do family research.

Canadian Ulster Scots

Good FAQ on things generally Irish. It is the FAQ associated with soc.culture.Irish .

Why "Scotch" Irish?

The list and this website refer to the Presbyterians who came to the United States from Ulster between the years of 1718 and 1820 as the "Scotch-Irish" because the Scotch Irish Society has indicated that this is the proper name WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. Outside of the United States, these people are known as Ulster Scots. Americans who correspond with or visit other countries should take note of the difference and adjust their terminology to avoid possible offense….though the objection to the term "Scotch" is a modern affectation. Queen Elizabeth I used the term "Scotch-Irish" and "Scotch" is found through Scottish literature. We refuse to fight about it. If you don't like the term, don't use it.. If you still want to argue, contact the Scotch Irish Society of America.

For any of the questions below, you can find a lot more information on the Internet.

I need to learn more about the Scotch Irish who came to the American colonies. Rd The Scotch Irish Immigration of the 1700's to America

Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish in Virginia

I don't know much about Scotland. History of Scotland

!!!!!!What does the term "Black Irish" mean !!!! For all who have wondered about this….(Please don't ask us….We're tired of it)

Post your queries HERE. Lots of cousins in Ulster will find your queries.

Run out of places to look for your ancestors? Look here.

Cyndi's list of genealogy site Check here A LOT.

I'm new to research in the UK. Where do I learn more? for more info click here.

I don't know where there's a LDS Family History Center . See this website. It also has the catalog and IGI on line.

Global Gateway to Northern Ireland's genealogy pages

Where do I find shiplists for 1720?

The short answer is…comprehensive ship lists have never existed before 1820. That's the year the US government passed a law requiring them. The British government did not have a law requiring the documentation of emigrants -- though various lists DO EXIST and you should check them. But they are not comprehensive. The early lists are almost always published. Cyndi's List is always the first place to look for links to on line ship lists on the Internet. After that you search Filby and so on. Filby is the first place to go. See this link for more help.


Does the Mac mean anything? Not much that is genealogically helpful. It is a patronymic -- meaning it indicates the name of the father. The name following the Mac or Mc is the father's name. Since until 1700 Scots Gaelic and Ulster Gaelic were the same tongue -- then they were different enough to be called separate dialects -- Gaelic is a shared heritage. Both Scots and Irish surnames originated as patronymic. Only the Irish use the O' which originated as Ui.

Here is good article on the topic of Scots and Irish surnames.

Questions Related to Researching in the British Isles

How do I get started? More detailed instructions and links. is THE MOST IMPORTANT spot.

How do I find a place in the UK?

Do you have an address for a British maritime museum?

Does anyone know why Dutch families emigrated to Ireland, and when? Yes, William, Prince of Orange, was offered the throne of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland in 1688 . He was married to the daughter of King James. This was essentially a coup that displaced King James, who was a Roman Catholic. They fought in Ireland. King William won at the Boyne and then Augrim. His army included many Dutch (Orange) soldiers and many of his subjects settled in Ireland. Though some settled before that in the early 1600's including a Belfast merchant family surnamed THOMSON.

What are Covenantors? For more info see the article on Covenantors. Here are some links: Brian Orr's Website. His older articles are here. The Reformed Presbyterian Church has a history here. This website has a list of early ministers and some on line biographies.. This is the homepage:

How do I find my ancestor who came from Scotland? Many early Scottish emigrants have been published. You find a library that has these books and look up your ancestor in them. Its important to note where the author extracted the names so you don't waste your time looking there. He may have reviewed government records to identify indentured servants or displaced highlanders. If you must buy them, you can later donate them to a library, possibly for a tax deduction. This website has many listed. It has Dobson's directories of Scottish Settlers.

Some early Irish emigrants have also been documented: EMIGRANTS FROM IRELAND TO AMERICA, 1735-1743:Transcription of the Report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced Emigration to America. By Frances McDonnell. 142p. 1992. $18.50 This could be the key to your stymied Irish research! Includes newly-discovered lists of 2,000 vagabonds and felons transported 1735-1743.

Mail Lists

Scotch Irish Mail List  -- This one. Know of others? Let us know.

Understanding LDS

Researching Ancestors from the United Kingdom Using the LDS Family History Center's Resources

; Confused about Northern Ireland?

So are most people. If you are trying to understand the point of view of Ulster Scots in Ulster today or your ancestors here are some websites. If you are planning a visit, then you had best pay some attention. No, you probably won't be killed for being offensive or just plain idiotic, but you will get a lot less cooperation from people if you are not somewhat attuned to Northern Ireland. NOTE: inclusion of a website here does not imply agreement with the views purported. Only "Unionist" links occur below. The Scotch Irish or Ulster Scots are historically Protestant and British in orientation. (Many individuals are not). Search the internet for the keyword "Irish" for opposing views.

What's the Orange Order? From the Orangemen themselves. Note: since the Orange Order was founded in 1795, by which time most of the Scotch Irish had already come to America, most of our ancestors were not Orangemen. However they may well have been involved in various secret agrarian (and sectarian) societies in Ireland in the 18th century like the Hearts of Oak. Oh and the United Irishmen.

Interesting stories about Ulster Scots in Ireland.

This website has good history, maps, and books.


Planning a trip over? Here's some links that might help.

This website has schedules for local ferries.

E-mail List Rules of Conduct

The following rules of conduct have been established as guidelines for all subscribers.

DISCUSSION LIST ETIQUETTE. Remember that this list was set up to discuss issues surrounding Scotch -Irish genealogy, culture and history only. This list has it own character, just like any real grouping of people (such as a meeting or party). Discussions function best when people respect the differences among list members.

GUIDELINES FOR ACCEPTABLE TONE AND CONTENT FOR POSTINGS. Please keep the content of your message civil, constructive, and relevant to the topics being discussed, and while legitimate disagreements can and will occur, flames are not allowed. A flame is an emotionally charged posting, and is often directed at someone. Members of this list are are expected to conduct themselves as professionals or at least adults. Those subscribers who violate these guidelines will be issued a warning, and temporarily suspended from the list. Multiple violations will result in permanent removal from the list.

Think before you post. Do you really want to send a message to all the members of the list, or is it more appropriate to send a personal reply?

Be careful when using the reply function of your e-mail system, as many e-mail systems will send your reply to the entire list if you use a reply command. Reread what you write before you send it. Once a message is sent, it can't be retrieved. Messages are not reviewed by a moderator before they go to the list. And once they are sent they go into the archives forever.

ALWAYS SIGN YOUR MESSAGES, COMMENTS, AND REMARKS WITH YOUR NAME. This is important -- so we know who to blame! (Scotch-Irish sense of humor at its worse. Just preparing you for the list).

INCLUDE A TOPIC IN THE SUBJECT LINE. This will help other subscribers identify the topics being raised and will increase the likeliness of receiving a relevant reply to your message.

HOW TO REPLY TO A POSTED MESSAGE. When replying to another message, please refrain from quoting entire messages. Paraphrasing or quoting selectively is the most efficient methods of communicating with other list members. Also, do not attach the message you are replying to at the end of your message. While it is sometimes helpful for people to follow the subject in this way, the length of the message creates havoc with e-mail systems and digest users.

ATTACHMENTS. Members of this list service subscribe using disparate e-mail systems. Many of these e-mail systems can't handle large files. Attachments should be sent individually to the requester. Rootsweb software will not permit attachments to be sent.

AVOID SENDING BLATANT SALES AND MARKETING MESSAGES. These types of messages should be avoided, but information on new products or major new versions is welcome.

PROBLEMS: If you have ANY problems related to the List, *please* do not post them to the list. Instead, direct your inquiry to the list manager: Linda Merle [email protected] .

For general problems with lists, please review the FAQs posted at the Rootsweb helpdesk.

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