Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Free E-Book: Donald McElroy Scotch Irishman, a novel by W.W.Caldwell, 1918

A short excerpt from this novel by Willie Walker Cadwell...


The life story of most men, who have lived earnest and active lives, would doubtless be worth the hearing, if the various influences and the many vicissitudes which compose it could be separated and skillfully rearranged into some well wrought design. As I look back upon my own life, it seems to me full of interest and instruction, yet I suppose not more so than that of many another; wherefore, were personal experiences and conclusions the sum of it, I should hesitate to write them down, lest those events and struggles which to me have seemed notable and significant, should prove in the telling of them to have been but commonplace incidents to which all are liable. Because of the accident of my birth in the year 1754, however, I have lived through a period which will be ever memorable in the history of the world—a period so crowded with worthy deeds and great men, especially on this continent, that there is small danger its interest will be soon exhausted. Do not conclude that I intend to venture upon a tale of the American Revolution; only a master's hand can fill in with due skill and proportion so wide a canvas, and that story waits. Where my own life's story has been entangled with some of the events of that struggle I must touch upon them, and the real purpose of my narrative—which is to chronicle for future generations the noble part played in the great drama of the nation's making by a certain worthy people—will require me to review briefly a few of the battles and campaigns of our war against autocracy.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Scotch-Irish - A poem from 1890

A poem by Mrs. Kate Brownlee Sherwood, of Canton, O.  First published in The Scotch Irish In America 1891.

The Scotch-Irish

From Scot and Celt and Pict and Dane, 
And Norman, Jute, and Frisian,
Our brave Scotch-Irish come; 
With tongues of silver, hearts of gold, 
And hands to smite when wrongs are bold,
At call of pipe or drum.

"We're nothing like THOSE Kennedys!" - Book review of 'The Other Irish'

From the Huffington Post...

Book review of 'The Other Irish' by Karen McCarthey.
by: Court Stroud

Click to buy at Amazon

"We're nothing like those Kennedys. They're Catholic!" my petite, schoolmarm grandmother chided through pursed lips. Her terse reply startled me since Kennedy was her maiden name. I never mentioned the matter again, but often wondered why my query upset her so much.

Stephen Colbert: The Scots-Irish are not Irish!

In an interview with author Nell Irving Painter, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert puts his opinion across albeit with tongue planted firmly in cheek:

“Scots-Irish are not Irish. There’s no Irish blood in Scots-Irish people.  They are Scots Presbyterians who were given land in Ireland. They took our land, and drove my people across the River Shannon, where we were forced to farm rocks by Oliver Cromwell, and I will see him rot in hell before you call Scots-Irish people Irish!”

Stephen Tyrone Colbert is of Irish Catholic heritage. He grew up in South Carolina, his wife is of Scots-Irish heritage. He once quipped; "I am in a mixed-race marriage. I’m Irish, and my wife is Scots-Irish. Somehow we make it work.”

So was Stephen's tongue in cheek statment correct?... I guess it all depends on your point of view. Certainly the early Scots-Irish families that settled in colonial America had only lived in Ireland for a couple of generations before moving on, and still today in Northern Ireland many Ulster-Scots don't regard themselves as Irish.... But, Scots have been migrating to-and-fro between Ulster and south western Scotland for thousands of years. In fact the first human settlers in Ulster were from the land now known as Scotland so these people of northern Britain were indigenous to Ulster. The inhabitants of both lands shared the same ancestors. The Y-DNA gene pattern called M222, the so called 'Niall of the Nine Hostages' marker is most common in Northern Ireland and Lowland Scotland. It can be found in many Ulster-Scots and is proof of the close genetic similarities of the people of  Ulster and the Lowlands of Scotland.

Many of the early Scots-Irish / Ulster-Scots settlers in America did indeed regard themselves as Irish. Having been born in Ireland their nationality was certainly Irish even though they were ethnically & culturally Scottish. These Scots-Irish even created the tradition of St. Patrick's day parades in America. This was in a time before the emergence of Irish Nationalism deemed  that one had to be a Catholic and a Gael to be considered Irish.

So were the Scots-Irish actually Irish? Well, what do you mean by Irish? Are you talking nationality? ethnicity? culture? citizenship? In my opinion it's all down to interpretation. Of the many ethnic groups, tribes or cultures which have existed on the island of Ireland over the millennia, not one has exclusivity on the term 'Irish'.