IX. The Scots in Ulster
- Category: Turnbull Trails
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Turnbull Clan High Shenachie
After the Battle of Culloden the way of life was never the same for the border clans. Ever since the 1600 centuries, hangings and persecutions on the border people had been rife. Many name changes had taken place to avoid persecution. For example; Turnbull became, Trimble, Trammel, Trummel, Trimell, Trumble and so on.
Many young men formed what we know as the Border Reivers. This was a way of life and survival for them. Some tried to make a living from farming. Border land is made up of hills and rocky ground and not suitable for arable farming, so livestock was the only type of possible means of a livelihood.
The dawn of the Ulster Scots and before the Plantation of Ulster, before the flight of the Earl’s, two Ayrshire Scots, James Hamilton and Hugh Montgomery pioneered the first large-scale settlement from the Lowlands of Scotland to County Antrim and County Down. Starting in May 1606, over 10,000 Lowland Scots made the three-hour voyage across the North Channel, transforming east Ulster into an industrial powerhouse.
Their success inspired King James’ (VI of Scotland and I of England) Virginia Plantation of 1607, his Ulster Plantation of 1610 and his Nova Scotia Plantation of 1621.
Armed with what little knowledge I had about Ulster, I thought, the best way to get a better insight was to go over there and find things out for myself.
I travelled down to Stranraer by car, to board the Ferry for Belfast. I could not help thinking what it must have been like for the border people to make this trip away from their birth land not knowing what kind of life they would have in a strange land. Here was I, travelling in relative comfort, but it was a different story for our ancestors. Many made the journey in small rowing boats.
Although I was travelling from Stranraer to Belfast, the narrowest passage is from Portpatrick to Bangor, and this was the most frequently used route by the emigrants.
I arrived in Belfast at eight in the evening, too late to explore, and I still had to get from the port to my hotel. Having never been in Belfast before, I had not a clue were to go, however, I had a Satnav in the car so I put my faith in that. All the streets in Belfast are all one-way so if you miss your street, you just drive round the block.
After a good meal it was off to bed and a good sleep and early rise. It had been a long journey and a long day for me, but I am sure it must have been a lot longer for our ancestors, so what had I to complain about.
Next morning, I was up early, washed, breakfast had, and eager to get started.
My first port of call was to the Tourist Information Office. The chap there was most helpful. He armed me with reference maps and sent me on my way.
My starting point was at Bangor were the emigrant’s landed, about half an hour’s drive from Belfast.
It appears that the Scots settlement at Bangor grew quickly and many Scots moved on to other parts of Ulster, for example, Ballygally (in County Antrim) built by James Shaw, Hugh Montgomery’s brother-in-law. Montgomery eventually bought Portpatrick from the Adair family of Kilhilt and Stranraer, who in turn bought the area around Ballymena. The Adairs built a castle there and renamed the area as Kinhiltstown for a while.
Hugh’s brother George was made Bishop of Derry, Raphoe and Clogher and during 1607 he brought Scottish settlers into Co. Londonderry, Co. Tyrone and Co. Donegal, around Raphoe and Donegal Town.
The Co. Londonderry villages of Eglinton and Greysteel are named after the Earl of Eglinton in Ayrshire, head of the Montgomery clan and a prominent Covenanter. The Montgomery’s also founded settlements near Clones in Co. Monaghan.
Those settlers that I am talking about were later to be named as Ulster-Scots. Ulster-Scots are an ethnic group in Ireland, descended from Lowland Scots and English from the border of those two counties, many from the “Border Reivers” culture. These people first began to occupy Ireland in large numbers with the Plantation of Ulster, a planned process of colonization which took place under the auspices of James VI of Scotland and I of England on land confiscated from the Irish Nobility, most extensively in the Provence of Ulster.
There had been many wars in Ireland between the Irish people and the English. The last one “the Nine Years War,” 1594-1603, took place during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st and ended with the defeat of the Gaelic Chieftains.
Now the whole of Ireland was under English control. But the very same year, Queen Elizabeth died. She had no children. What would happen to Ireland now?
Elizabeth was replaced by her Scottish relative, King James of Scotland and that made him King of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. This meant that the Scots would play an important part in the plans for the plantation. King James hoped that the people, who came over to Ulster during the time of the plantation, would help him to change the province. He hoped that settlers from England and Scotland would be obedient to him and his government. In the King’s mind, Ulster needed to be “civilised” and made to be more like England and parts of Lowland Scotland. Most of the Irish people living in Ulster did not see things this way and resented the King interfering in their land.
The plantation brought many changes to Ulster. The population grew rapidly as thousands of settlers arrived, many with their wives and children. New towns and villages were created and schools and industries were established. The new people brought new names and customs to Ireland and the Protestant faith was introduced. But some people say that many of Ulster’s problems began with the Plantation.
Ulster was not the only place to be “planted.” Other parts of Ireland had been “planted” with English people. A quarter of a century before the Plantation of Ulster, a Plantation in the Southern Irish Provence of Munster had been started.
At the same time that the Plantation of Ulster was taking place some English people were sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to establish settlements in Virginia in America. In 1607, Jamestown, named in honour of the King, was founded in Virginia.
King James had also tried to “plant” the islands of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides with Lowland Scots.
Counties Antrim and Down were not included in the Plantation of Ulster, because these counties are very close to Scotland; Scottish people had been coming to them for centuries. On a clear day it is easy to see Scotland from the coast of Antrim and Down.
James Hamilton and Hugh Montgomery received large land grants of thousands of acres in County Down. So in May 1606 the “Hamilton and Montgomery Settlement” began, and hundreds of Scottish families began to arrive in east Ulster. In Antrim, a Scottish family, the MacDonnell’s, were already firmly in control of the north of the county. The MacDonnell’s were a Highland family and were Catholics. King James officially “granted” the MacDonnell’s large parts of Co. Antrim. The MacDonnell’s also began bringing families from Scotland to live on their lands. By the time the Plantation of Ulster began, there were already many Scottish people living in Counties Antrim and Doon.
Just as Counties Antrim and Doon were not part of the Plantation, neither was County Monaghan. In this county most of the land remained in Irish ownership in the early 17th century. Some Englishmen acquired large estates in the county and a number of English families settled there. However, the number of Scots in County Monaghan at this time was very small – fewer than in any other Ulster counties.
After being defeated by the English in the “Nine Years War,” two of the most powerful Irish Chieftains, the Earl of Tyrone and the Earl of Tyronnell, left Ireland with many of their supporters in an event known as “The Flight of the Earls.” They boarded a ship in Rathmullan, in County Donegal, on 4th September 1607 and hoped to sail to Spain where they would ask for help from the Spanish King to drive the English out of Ireland. However, because of storms, the Earls never reached Spain. Instead they landed in France and ended up in Rome. They never returned to Ireland.
Ulster was the last province in Ireland to be brought under English control. King James hoped that the “planting” of loyal subjects would stop the threat of rebellion.
Keeping law and order in Ulster was expensive and the King was also worried that if a Spanish Army invaded Ireland they would find support among the Irish.
The flight of the Earls meant that he was now in possession of vast territories in six counties and could choose who should receive them.
To the King, a Plantation in Ulster seemed like the perfect answer. By encouraging settlers from Scotland and England to move to Ulster, he hoped that the province would become richer. And a richer Ulster meant a richer King, because of the extra tax that would be paid.
There were many reasons why many Scots moved to Ulster. For most, it was with a hope that they would find a new and better life for themselves and their families. The younger sons of landowners saw the opportunity to acquire their own estates. Farmers hoped to receive larger and better farms. Landless labourers hoped they would have their own farms rather than having to work for farmers.
It is likely that many people had heard about the success of the Hamilton and Montgomery settlement in east Ulster, and this encouraged many more people to come across to make a new start.
For Scottish settlers, Ulster was also easy to get to, just a three hour boat trip from Portpatrick in Scotland to Donaghadee. So if things did not work out, it was easier to get the boat back home again, a lot easier than sailing back from Virginia.
The confiscation of Irish-owned territories in the six Plantation counties meant that the King now had hundreds of thousands of acres to grant out to whom he pleased. After so much planning, it was agreed that the land should be divided as follows.
Servitors - 55,000 acres: Servitors were men who had served the King in Ireland as soldiers or government officials. Most of them were given estates of 1,000 to 2,000 acres. Some received as little as 200 acres. The servitors were allowed to have both Irish and Scottish tenants.
Undertakers - 160,000 acres: The Undertakers received their name because they agreed to undertake the “planting” of British settlers on the estates they were given. There were 59 Scottish undertakers and 51 English undertakers, but the average size of the Scottish-owned estates was smaller than the English ones. The Undertakers were expected to introduce British settlers to their estates. For every 1,000 acres he received, an undertaker was expected to employ 24 men or at least 10 families from Scotland or England.
London Companies - 40,000 acres: The King and his officials hoped to find support from the wealthy merchants of London for the Plantation.
These merchants belonged to what were known as companies. Eventually it was agreed that the London companies would receive land in what is now County Londonderry.
Irish - 94,000 acres: A total of 280 Irish men received grants of land in the six Plantation counties – in all over 94000 acres – but only 26 of the more important Gaelic lords were given estates of 1000 acres or more. The largest grant to an Irish man was 9,900 acres, South Armagh, given to Sir Turlough McHenrey Mc Neill.
The Church of Ireland - 75,000 acres: Lands that had belonged to the pre-reformation Irish Church were transferred to the new Protestant Church that in time became known as The Church of Ireland. This included lands owned by Bishops as well as lands possessed by monasteries and abbeys that had been closed by the English. In addition, lands were set aside in each parish for the support of the Church of Ireland minister. This land was known as “ glebe.” Today there are many townlands with the name Glebe because they were once owned by the Church of Ireland.
The English and Scottish settlers tended to live in areas with their fellow countrymen. Most of the Scots lived on estates owned by Scottish undertakers and similarly most of the English lived on English owned estates. The areas with the highest number of settlers were usually those closest to the ports. People were able to sail directly from England and Scotland to Londonderry and Coleraine.
There was also good farmland around these ports and so many people settled in these areas. Fewer people settled in areas far from ports or where the land was poor and mountainous.
One of the big changes brought about by the Plantation was the establishment of towns. Some of those towns were more successful than others. The largest towns in Plantation Ulster were, in order of size, Londonderry, Coleraine, and Strabane. The London Companies were in change of helping the towns of Coleraine and Londonderry to grow.
In County Tyrone, James Hamilton, who was the Earl of Abercorn, established a town at Strabane. Many of the landlords were not wealthy enough to establish a town and so founded a village on their lands instead. In County Armagh, the Acheson family founded a village that was later to become Markethill.
The government wanted the settlers to live together in villages on each estate and not scattered here and there. However, in reality most ofthe settlers did not live like this. This shows that most of the time the settlers felt safe and did not fear an attack from the Irish living near them.
The settlers brought with them new ideas about farming. Better ploughs pulled by stronger breeds of horses meant that much more land could be used for growing crops. Some of the grain grown in Ulster was shipped to Scotland to be sold there.
Beef cattle now began to be kept in large numbers as well as dairy cattle. Farmers now produced extra food to sell at the markets and fairs rather thanjust enough to feed their families. Many of the settlers, especially the English, planted orchards. In some areas, fields were enclosed with hedges rather than the countryside lying open.
The Plantation was more successful in some areas than in others. Many of the men from England and Scotland who received grants of land in the six Plantation Counties sold out quickly and returned to their homelands. Some of them found it almost impossible to encourage British families to settle on their estates, especially if the land they owned was remote and mountainous. Others were successful in bringing over settlers and introducing new farming practices and industries.
The Plantation brought big changes to Ulster. If we look around today we find evidence of the settlement everywhere. Not only in the buildings and towns, but in the very people who live here. Surnames such as Hamilton, Stewart, Montgomery and Forsythe are Scottish in origin. Other names such as Babington, Poots and Parke are English. Because many settlers and Irish married each other there are people today who regard themselves as Irish when they have British surnames and British when they have Irish surnames.
Differences in speech were also introduced as a result of the Plantation with the most important change being the spread of the English language. The Scottish settlers spoke Scots (also called Lallans) which continued to develop into what we now call Ulster-Scots. New words arrived in Ulster, like sheugh, oxter, scunner, thole and thran. New words developed, too, through the close influence of the Irish language of the settlers.
The' Plantation brought a new religion to much of Ulster, Protestantism. However, there were different ideas about religion among the settlers. The King and most of the English settlers favoured a system known as "episcopalianism." In the system the Church was ruled by bishops and archbishops. However, many of the Scots preferred a different system, one that was called "Presbyterianism" in which the ordinary people had more of a say in the running of the church.
The differences between the two systems caused a great deal of trouble and eventually, in the second half of the 17th century, the Presbyterian Church was established as a separate denomination from the Church of Ireland.
While most of the settlers were Protestant, a few of the Scottish settlers were Catholic. In the Strabane area, several of the Hamilton landlords and some of their tenants were Catholics.
Sir George Hamilton of Greenlaw was a younger son of Lord Claud Hamilton of Paisley, near Glasgow, a prominent supporter of Mary Queen of Scots.
In 1610 he and two of his older brothers, James Hamilton, first Earl of Abercorn, and Sir Claud Hamilton of Shawfield, received grants of land in Strabane barony in north-west Tyrone. Right from the start Sir George proved to be an energetic planter. The name of the original proportion granted to him was Cloghogall. Soon afterwards he bought the proportion of Derrywoon.
Sir George built a bawn near the village of Ballymagorry on his proportion of Cloghogall. At Derrywoon he built a strong castle. This was described in a report of 1622 as being four storeys high and almost finished. At this time there were lots of workmen helping to build it. This castle was going to be Sir Georges' home. The building was destroyed in the 1640s. It was described in 1655 as a ruinous castle burned by the rebels (and) not yet re-edified. There is no evidence that it had been rebuilt.
Sir George Hamilton of Greenlaw was different from most of the settlers who came to Ulster from Scotland in the early 17th century in that he was a Roman Catholic.
In 1614, the government, due to Sir George's religious beliefs, ordered him to either become a Protestant or leave Ulster. He refused to do either and no further action was taken. The Church of Ireland's Bishop of Derry did not agree with Sir George's views on religion, but could still describe him as a "Courteous and civil gentleman."
Sir George married Lady Mary Butler, daughter of the Earl of Ormond one of the most powerful men in Ireland. After this Sir George lived in Roscrea Castle in County Tipperary and it may have been here that he died around 1654.
Sir Robert McClelland was born about 1592 in Kirkcudbright in South-West Scotland. As a young man he had a reputation for a fiery temper; among the many disputes he was involved in was an assault on the minister at Kirkcudbright! He had also played a major role in a family feud with the Gordon's of Lochinvar; several times he ended up in prison for the trouble he had caused. As he grew older he settled down and in 1621 he was elected Member of Parliament for Wigtownshire. In 1633 he received the title of Lord Kirkcudbright.
He was still a teenager when he was appointed the chief "undertaker" or planter in the Barony of Boylagh and Banagh in the west of County Donegal. His own lands were known as the Rosses. These lands were far from Scotland and mountainous. It was hard to persuade settlers to move here and Sir Robert showed little interest in carrying out the rules of the Plantation as he was meant to do. In 1616 he sold the Rosses to John Murray who was later to be made Earl of Annandale.
By this time Sir Robert had married Sir Hugh Montgomery's eldest daughter. Through this marriage he came into possession of several town lands in County Down. In the same year that he sold his estate in County Donegal the Haberdasher's Company of London was hoping to lease its proportion in northern County Londonderry.
Sir Robert showed much more enthusiasm for developing his lands in County Londonderry. By 1619 there were eighty British men on the estate, most of whom, are likely to have been Scots. Shortly after concluding the agreement with the Haberdasher's, McClelland turned his attention to the neighbouring lands belonging to the Cloth Working Companies. A lease for this estate was also acquired.
McClelland now controlled a large area in the north of County Londonderry. By 1622 there were 120 settlers on the Haberdasher's proportion and another 86 on that owned by the Clothworkers. He had his own boat that sailed directly between his home in Kirkcudbright and Coleraine. Sir Robert died in 1638 and his property was inherited by his nephew, William McClelland.
It is thought that Sir William Stewart was born in Whithorn in Wigtonshire and as a young man left Scotland to fight in the army of the King of Sweden. In 1608 he led 200 Scots to Ulster during the rebellion of Sir Cahir O'Dogherty.
He showed an interest in acquiring property in Ulster and even received a personal letter from the King recommending that he be given land in the Plantation scheme. In 1610 he was granted a proportion in Counties Donegal. Over the next thirty years he bought.other proportions in Counties Donegal and Tyrone. By 1641 SIr William had built up an estate totalling 7,000 Plantation acres. He was one of the largest landowners in the Ulster Plantation.
Sir William did not just buy land; he also brought over settlers from Scotland and built a number of fortifications. At Ramelton in County Donegal he built a castle. In 1622 this castle was described as being 48 feet long, 23 feet broad and 34 feet high. It was three and a half storeys and had a slated roof. Close to the castle there was a small town of 40 thatched houses and cabins inhabited by settlers from Scotland. There was also a paved street leading from the town to the foundations of a church.
A mill was built close to the town. Of all the buildings built by Stewart at Ramelton only the church survives. This is now in ruins, but it is possible to get a good idea of what it once looked like. At the east end of the church there are some carved stones taken from an old church on an island in Lough Swilly near Ramelton which can be seen.
Sir William owned two castles in County Tyrone. Only a fragment of the castle of Aghaintain in Clogher barony survives. At Newtownstewart he completed the castle that was started by his father-in-law, Sir Robert Newcomen. This castle is in ruins, but it dominates one end of the main street. In 1622 it was described as being “of good strength.” Beside the castle was a garden where the early settlers practised their shooting skills. Newtownstewart castle was burnt in 1641-2. Sir William Stewart died in 1647. The castle was again burnt in 1689 and does not seem to have been repaired after this.
John Hamilton was the son of Rev. Hans Hamilton, minister of Dunlop in Ayrshire, Scotland. John’s eldest brother was Sir James Hamilton who later became Viscount Clandeboye and Earl of Clanbrassil. (It was Sir James Hamilton and Sir Hugh Montgomery who led the Hamilton and Montgomery settlement of County Down in May 1606). Sir James had a very large estate in County Down and built Killyleagh Castle. After completing his education in Scotland, John was invited to come to Ireland by Sir James to help manage his property.
John also acquired lands for himself. In 1613 he bought a proportion of 1,000 acres in County Down from John Ralston. By 1619 he had built a square bawn and had started to build a stone house which had reached the first storey and was intended to be four storeys high when complete. A short distance away was a village of eight houses. There was also a water mill with five houses beside it. Altogether there were fifteen settler families including 40 men capable of bearing arms. This village founded by John Hamilton was known as Hansborough, probably named after his father. Here, there was a weekly market and two annual fairs. John Hamilton also owned land in County Armagh. By 1619 he had been successful in taking control of three proportions. In 1622 there were bawns, a “little old thatched house” inhabited by a “poor Scottish man.” Inside the other, a house built of stone and clay had been started, but had been so badly built “that it is fit for nothing but to be pulled down” and started all over again. The village of Hamiltonsbawn in County Armagh takes its name from one of the bawns on John’s lands.
John Hamilton died in 1639 at his brother’s castle in Killyleagh. He was buried at Mullabrack Church of Ireland church near Markethill in County Armagh, were his wife Sarah had been buried in 1633. In 1641 the Hamilton monument was damaged by bullets fired by the Irish who had risen in rebellion.
Michael and James Balfour were brothers. Their family came from Kinross, north of Edinburgh, Michael served King James on a number of missions to France and Italy. In 1607 he was rewarded for his loyalty by being made Lord Balfour of Burley. In 1610 Michael was appointed the Chief Undertaker in the Barony of Knockninny in County Fermanagh. Altogether he was granted 3000 acres. To begin with Michael Balfour showed a lot of interest in his Fermanagh lands. He brought many cows over from Scotland and built a timber house with 14 rooms at Lisnaskea, also known as Ballybalfour. He also had a boat on Loch Erne to transport people and goods. However, he fell out with the King and also with one of his neighbouring land owners in Fermanagh, Conor Roe Maguire.
It may have been because of his different problems that he transferred his estate in Fermanagh to his younger brother, Sir James Balfour of Pitcullo, later created Lord Balfour. James began work on a castle at Lisnaskea. This was described in 1619 as “both strong and beautiful.” At this time there were “great numbers of men at work” and it was hoped that the castle would quickly be finished. However, work was delayed because James spent most of his time in Dublin.
The castle was eventually finished and its ruins can still be seen and visited today. Beside the castle in Lisnaskea was a village. In 1622 there were over 40 houses, built of mud and timber in the village. James also built a church and a school in Lisnaskea. Because of quarrels with the bishop of Clogher, James ended up heavily in debt. He died in 1634 and his land eventually passed to his nephew, Sir William
Balfour, Lieutenant of the Tower of London.
Many Scots came to Ulster in the early 17th century to serve as Bishops and Ministers in the Church of Ireland. Some were here for only a few years before returning to Scotland, while others spent most of their lives in Ireland.
Among the Scottish Bishops was George Montgomery, brother of Sir Hugh Montgomery, who was bishop of the dioceses of Clogher, Derry and Raphoe, all at the same time. Montgomery worked hard to improve the finances of the church and also the amount of land it owned.
The next Bishop of Raphoe after Montgomery was Andrew Knox. He was educated at Glasgow University. He was minister in a number parishes in Scotland before becoming Bishop of the Isles. Knox converted a former monastery in Rathmullan, County Donegal, to his own private house. He also brought over many Scottish ministers to Raphoe. He died in 1633.
His successor was John Leslie who lived to be 100 years old. Leslie built a large castle in Raphoe, the ruins of which can still be seen today.
In 1621 James Spottiswood became Bishop of Clogher. He rebuilt the cathedral and tried to establish a town at Clogher.
Dozens of Scottish ministers served in Ulster in the early 17th century. Archibald Adair was Dean of Raphoe. In 1622 he was described as “an eloquent scholar and a good preacher of God’s word.” He was married to Jeneta Houston. She gave birth to two sets of twins, but died in 1618, aged 20. A memorial to her can still be seen inside Raphoe Cathedral.
James Heygate was Archdeacon of Clogher. He lived at Clones in County Monaghan and was responsible for rebuilding the church there. He later became Bishop of Kilfenora in the south of Ireland, but continued to live in Clones. He also owned a large estate in County Fermanagh.
Humphrey Galbraith was a minister in County Fermanagh. In 1626 he was involved in a fight at Lisnaskea in which the High Sheriff of County Fermanagh and was killed. He was later pardoned.
Although the Plantation of Ulster began nearly 400 years ago, there are still some reminders of it that survive today. Some of these you will be able to visit, but others will be hidden away and not easy to get to. In 1613 the town of Derry was renamed Londonderry because the London companies now became responsible for it. In the same year the building of new walls around the town began. The walls were completed in 1618.
Today the walls survive almost intact and it is possible to walk along their full length of just over one mile. The walls are the most important surviving 17th century fortifications in the British Isles and well worth a visit. The remains of other town walls built at this time can be seen at Carrickfergus, County Antrim, and Jamestown, County Leitrim.
Those granted land were required to build a fortification on their land. The simplest type of fortress was known as “A bawn." The word bawn comes from the Irish for "cow fort." A bawn was a courtyard surrounded by strong walls and was usually square or rectangular. The most important of the new English and Scottish landlords were expected to build a strong castle as well as a bawn.
The ruins of some of the castles built by the undertakers and servitors in the Plantation Counties have survived. In County Fermanagh, it is possible to visit Monea Castle, probably the finest surviving Plantation Castle. It was built by Malcolm Hamilton, one of the Scottish undertakers. Comparisons have been made with Claypotts Castle near Dundee.
The English and Scottish Settlers needed places to gather for public worship. Sometimes they repaired an existing church and on other occasions they built a completely new church. A handful of these churches are still in use. The largest church built in the Plantation Counties is St. Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry. It is still used every day and is very popular with the tourists.
Other churches include Clonfeacle church of Ireland in Ben¬burb, County Tyrone. This church was built around 1620 by Sir Richard Wingfield, an English servitor.
Most of the churches that survived from the Plantation Counties are in ruins. In the old graveyards surrounding these churches, it is sometimes possible to find a tomb¬stone to one of the original settlers. During my week long visiting those old graveyards in the Plantation Counties, I did observe tombstones with names of people that had gone from the Scottish Borders and other parts of Scotland.
Many of the reiving families from the borders, moved on from the Plantation Counties, to America, Canada and Australia.
They were the ones that had settled in the most northern Provence of Ireland. They stayed, one, two or several generations and then moved on.
From the first decades of the 18th century, the Scots-Irish started to emigrate to the Americas in ever increasing numbers.
The migrant flow became stronger as settlers from Ulster took advantage of the opportunities in the colonies.
Having moved once already, and broken the link with their ancestral home in Scotland, it was quite practical to move again, where a better future could be had.
The term Ulster-Scots, although also used in colonial America, is more commonly applied in the British Isles to refer to the people who moved from Scotland to Ulster, and many, sometime later, moved again to America.
The large numbers of Ulster-Scots people moving from Ulster to the New World in the colonial period, lends weight to the viewpoint that people of "Scottish" ancestry, in many instances, will have a strongly Irish, or more specifically Ulster dimension to their ancestry. It may be the case that for many Americans today, their ancestral line, is not so much purely Scottish, as Ulster-Scots.
Although migration directly from Scotland to America continued through the period of the 18th and 19th centuries, the keen genealogist should, perhaps, look to Ulster for their emigrant ancestors, and from there back to Scotland.