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Thread: what exactly is Scotch/Irish?

  1. #1
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    what exactly is Scotch/Irish?

    forgive me if this has been covered, I didn't find it in any title search here.

    my maternal grandma always said they were Scotch/Irish which would make me about 1/4 of the same. I took a recent ethnicity test from a new company Ethnogenes (some say they are scammers)… Irish was a very low showing of 3%, Scottish did show up as 11% from the east coast regions of Scotland, I got some unexpected 5.6% Scandinavian as well, but this makes sense considering the locations represented in Scotland. I imagine the balance would be English.


    so, leaving the results from this new company aside, what is the definition of Scotch/Irish from the learned folks here? Thanks.
    Last edited by JerryS.; 01-01-2019 at 12:30 AM.

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    The Scots-Irish are also often referred to as Ulster-Scots or Scots in Ulster. They aren't "Irish", in the sense of indigenous Gaelic Irish, they arrived sometime during the Plantation Era where many Scots and Northern English people, usually Protestants, settled in the north of Ireland. Many Ulster-Scots families emigrated to the the Americas due to various reasons in Ireland.

    EDIT: Please note, I know that a lot of these terms, opinions, etc can be very divisive for certain groups in Ireland to this day and I in no way intend to offend or cause a forum war.
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    It really depends on context. It typically means immigrants to the US who were Protestant Irish or Ulster Scots or just from Ulster, often broadly grouping pre Famine Irish immigrants. Typically called just Irish until significant immigration of Catholic Irish occurred in the mid 1800s. My first exposure to the term was Gone With The Wind, where it's used negatively, though, and they were a group that tended to settle in the frontier areas in America in the 1700s/early 1800s.

    My mom is on paper about 25% Scots Irish (Protestant Irish who came here in the 1700s and in a couple of cases the 1800s, and to the extent I've managed to trace it back it does seem to be from Ulster). Despite that, it often doesn't show up -- I get no Irish or Scottish at LivingDNA, and unclear results at 23andMe, but 25% at Ancestry (about half of that is likely Welsh), and my mom gets 50% Irish, etc. at MyHeritage and no English.

    The names of my Irish immigrant families seem to be basically Scots or English or specifically Ulster. That will vary quite a bit depending on your family surnames. My dad has just one such family and in that case I don't really count it since it came in the 1600s and we can trace it to Yorkshire before, so likely no real Irish connections.
    Last edited by msmarjoribanks; 01-01-2019 at 01:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    The Scots-Irish are also often referred to as Ulster-Scots or Scots in Ulster. They aren't Irish, in the sense of indigenous Gaelic Irish, they arrived sometime during the Plantation Era where many Scots and Northern English people, usually Protestants, settled in the north of Ireland. Many Ulster-Scots families emigrated to the the Americas due to various reasons in Ireland.
    Thanks. I was able to trace my earliest Scottish ancestor to 1862 when he came to The States. The rest with Scottish/Irish surnames just show up on American census documents as coming from Canada. surnames were Andrews, Alexander, O'Day, O'Neal, and McKinney.

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    Names like Alexander and Andrews would likely be Scottish or English while O'Day and O'Neal would be Irish. McKinney could be either.

    There are a lot of areas in North America where Ulster-Scots (Scots-Irish, Ulster Protestants, Irish Protestants, etc whichever term one prefers) settled. Quite a few locations in Nova Scotia, Ontario, early colonial days of the Appalachian states, etc.

    Were your Alexanders from PEI?
    Y-DNA: I-A14097(Scotland),
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    Maternal: Netherlands

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    Names like Alexander and Andrews would likely be Scottish or English while O'Day and O'Neal would be Irish. McKinney could be either.

    There are a lot of areas in North America where Ulster-Scots (Scots-Irish, Ulster Protestants, Irish Protestants, etc whichever term one prefers) settled. Quite a few locations in Nova Scotia, Ontario, early colonial days of the Appalachian states, etc.

    Were your Alexanders from PEI?
    Andrews first landed in PEI then came to Maine. Alexander shows up in New York then Indiana and Illinois. O'Day was Ontario Canada then to Cleveland Ohio. all were mid to late 1800s. McKinney and O'Neal I haven't been able to trace beyond the late 1800s already in The States.

    *** edit. I figure the Irish name stayed around but was diluted with Scottish.
    Last edited by JerryS.; 01-01-2019 at 01:20 AM.

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    My Scots-Irish are Glass (Scottish name in this case). Also names Craney, Allen, Morewood, Givens. Kirk but can trace it back to Church.
    Last edited by msmarjoribanks; 01-01-2019 at 04:07 PM.

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    People from Northern Ireland who are ethnically Scottish.

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    From what I’ve read, the term “Scots-Irish” was popularized in the US in the latter part of the 1800s by the descendants of Irish immigrants from the 1700s and very early 1800s who were for the most part Ulster Scots. They were differentiating themselves from the waves of Irish immigrants after the Great Famine who were on average Catholic (and often poorer). Since it was the age of “Irish need not apply” signs, the families of earlier Irish immigrants wanted to draw a distinction.

    Like the others I’m not trying to make judgements here, just repeating the social analysis I’ve come across.

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    Yeah, in the US it is broader than Ulster Scots. It's also has been used negatively historically even though it probably was originally coined to distinguish between them and (at the time) more disfavored Irish immigrants.

    There are lots of books about them. I've read this one: https://www.uncpress.org/book/978080...-scotch-irish/

    Jim Webb wrote one called Born Fighting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_Fighting
    Last edited by msmarjoribanks; 01-04-2019 at 07:16 PM. Reason: correct typo

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