Saturday, May 25, 2013

Some Thoughts About the Scots-Irish in Mill Creek Hundred

This is really less a full-blown post than just a few thoughts, but I wanted to put them out there while they were still rattling around in my head. I've seen several programs recently that dealt in various ways with the Scots-Irish, and it got me thinking about something. I'll get to it in a moment, but first a quick refresher on the Scots-Irish (sometimes Scotch-Irish) and their importance to MCH and to the country.

The Scots-Irish were Scottish Protestants (primarily Presbyterians) who were forced by King James I (himself a Scotsman) to settle in the newly-conquered Catholic lands of Northern Ireland, in the region of Ulster, in the early 1600's. Over the next century, these Presbyterian Scots endured numerous hardships and persecutions, many caused by the fluctuating leanings of the English crown regarding their preferred religious strain. By the early 18th Century, many of these Scots-Irish families had decided they'd had enough, and set off west in the hope of finding greater freedom in the English colonies of America. As it happened, many of these immigrants entered the New World in our region, coming through Philadelphia and New Castle. And while their treatment in the Old World explains why they emigrated, it's the treatment the Scots-Irish received in the New World that I'm particularly concerned with now.