Monday, 13 January 2014

The Legend Of Stumpy's Brea - video

Stumpy's Brae is an 1844 Ulster-Scots poem by Cecil Frances Alexander. In October 2013 it was adopted into a spooky 30 minute dramatised ghost story by the BBC. The drama's dialogue is in Ulster-Scots. 

Cecil Frances Alexander, the author of the poem, was the wife of the Anglican Bishop of Derry. She also wrote the famous hymns "All Things Bright and Beautiful", "There is a Green Hill Far Away" and the Christmas carol "Once in Royal David's City".

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Indentured Servitude in colonial America.

A great many Ulster-Scots (Scotch-Irish) went to America during the colonial period as Indentured Servants. This was in lieu of payment of passage which could sometimes be the equivalent of three years earnings for a farm labourer. It's estimated almost half of European emigrants to America in the colonial period were indentured. These contracts lasted on average three to seven years in which the unpaid servant (or rather his labour) was owned by whomever buys it on arrival at port. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

The ancient connection between Scotland, Ulster & Appalachia.

"Scotland and Northern Ireland have many ancient bonds that have endured throughout the aeons of both recorded history and back into the dark shadows of the misty primaeval. The oldest and least known is that they are closely related geologically, both being made up of tertiary basalt, a type of black igneous rock, and carboniferous limestone, a sedimentary rock with marine origins. 

Moreover, Ulster, Ireland's northern-most province, and western Scotland are actually part of the same prehistoric mountain chain, a chain that is millions of years old and that once included the Appalachian Mountains of North America. This geologic connection is quite ironic when one considers that the same stock of people came to live in all three locales in the historic era: the Scots in Scotland, the Ulster Scots in Ulster, and the Scots-Irish, as they came to be known, in America."

E. Estyn Evans, The Personality of Ireland.

UPDATE: There is now an International Appalachian Trail for walkers that stretches across eastern USA, Canada, Ulster, Scotland & western Europe. See the website for the Ulster stretch here...