Monday, 9 September 2013

President Obama talks about Ulster's contribution to America.

US President Barrack Obama (himself, partly of Irish Protestant ancestry) talks about the men and women of Ulster who emigrated to America and helped found the United States...


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

An Ulsterman was the first to carry the American flag into battle.

On 3rd September 1777 the American flag (stars & stripes), which was approved by Congress on June 14th of that year, was carried into battle for the first time by a force under an Ulster-Scots commander, General William Maxwell. 

Karen McCarthy interview on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Karen McCarthy, author of  'The Other Irish, The Scots-Irish Rascals Who Made America', is interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio about the Scots-Irish and the researching of her book in the southern states of the USA.

Listen at link below:
(copyright Wisconsin Public Radio)

Karen McCarthy's book is available at Amazon. Click book cover below....

Friday, 17 May 2013

Ulster Tartan

Ulster tartan is basically the only Irish tartan with any historic pedigree. Before Victorian times different tartans didn't represent clans or families  they represented regions. Even this was more by accident than design, it was due to differing styles of local weavers and the limitations of locally sourced natural dyes available. 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

American generals of Ulster origin during the Revolutionary war.

Quite apart from the fact that one third to one half of the American colonial army were Ulstermen or the sons of Ulstermen, nothing brings more conviction of the great part played by our people in the Revolution than to consider the number of American officers of high distinction who were of Ulster origin or descent. Over 25 of Washington’s generals were of Ulster heritage, here are some of those men… 

General Richard Montgomery was from County Donegal. He fell while gallantly leading his men in an attack on Quebec. By a strange co-incidence, the British commander on that occasion, and the man who saved Canada for the British Empire, was General Sir Guy Carleton, who was born near Strabane, only a few miles from Montgomery's home.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Tim Murphy - Rifleman

Timothy Murphy, was an American Revolutionary War hero and was the most famous marksman of his day. He served with distinction on the frontier, and then with famed General Daniel Morgan as a rifleman. Murphy was said to be responsible for one of the turning points of the Revolutionary War.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

'God's Frontiersmen - The Scots-Irish Epic'

In 1988 Channel 4 (UK) in co-operation with Ulster Television produced a four episode mini-series and accompanying book entitled 'God's Frontiersmen - The Scots-Irish Epic' by Rory Fitzpatrick.  The TV production was part drama, part documentary exploring the Ulster-Scot journey from Scotland to Ulster and then for many, onto America. The series containing around 3.5 hours of video was released on VHS in 1989 and possibly on DVD a little later. Both the book and the video are worth trying to track down for anyone interested in Scots-Irish / Ulster-Scot history.

the hardback book

Presented below are a series of clips from TV series plotting part of that journey.... Thanks to YouTube user BickyBox for uploading these clips!

Clip 1
The introduction to 'God's Frontiersmen'. This opening clip looks at an infamous section of the Anglo-Scots border communities who comprised part of the plantation settlers in Ulster; The riding families or Border Reivers.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Ulster roots of Sir Ian McKellen

McKellen as Gandalf

Film and theatre legend Sir Ian McKellen has compared his great-great grandfather to Ian Paisley.

The multi award-winning star of the stage aswell as movies such as Lord Of The Rings, Richard III,  X-Men & the Hobbit revealed his family tree can be traced back to the Ulster town of Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Monday, 28 January 2013

The Ulster-Scots & The Fiddle.

Fiddle music is of course very popular in Ireland... but few know that the fiddle (or more technically, the violin) along with traditional reels were introduced into Ireland mainly by Ulster-Scots. And within a few generations the Ulstermen took their fiddle music with them to the frontiers of America where in their areas of settlement around the Appalachia it evolved over time into Old-Time and Bluegrass styles....


The Fidula (medieval fiddle) had been known in Ireland at least since the 1500's but the style of music played on them was much different than the traditional Irish music heard today. The fiddle we know today (the Violin) arrived through Ulster probably early in the 17th century, and with the great movement of people from Scotland to Ulster at that time the popularity of the instrument (and the now traditional reels and strathspeys) spread quickly around the country in areas where the planters settled and beyond.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Playlist of over 70 videos relating to Scots-Irish / Ulster-Scots on YouTube...

watch videos above or click below...

Forged in Ulster video playlist.... click here.

Forged In Ulster's YouTube playlist of over 70 videos relating to Scots-Irish / Ulster-Scots on . History, music & culture from Ulster, America & beyond.