Scotch-Irish & Black Irish

Sep 2013
1,447
Ulster
#81
The term Scots-Irish definitely was around prior to 1980. I was born in the Appalachians in the 1950s. I've lived amongst Scots-Irish people most of my life & have often been wrongly called that myself. This label is often erroneously applied too the many people of Gaelic Irish or Scottish decent. Most people think it applies to anyone whose ancestors were from Scotland or Ireland.
I hate the spell correct on my kindle. It just changed Gaelic into Garlic ))).
That's right the Scots-Irish name has been around for many years. I quote from the book Ulster Sails West...'' Moreover, it is interesting to note that they did not regard themselves as Irish. In fact, nothing infuriated them more than to be classed as Irish. '' It made my blood boil '' said William Smith, '' to hear ourselves called a parcel of Irish.'' They protested violently when American people and American officials described them in this way. I reckon this would have been in the early 1700's
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#82
In Australia ,the ultimate ancestry snobbery is to have a transported convict in the family tree
coming close second is to have a highway robber

t'was not always thus.

When I was growing up, having a convict ancestor or two was a source of shame.

In my family it was source of pride that there are no convicts in OUR family. The claim was made because my forebears settled in South Australia, the only free colony, founded in 1836.. Plus we have traced the first family arrivals to the passenger manifest of the ship in which they arrived, in 1870. Of course, the ridiculous thing is , we have little information about the family in Ireland, apart from the fact that one relative was a bishop in the 1830's. That is certainly not a thing about which I boast today.

My paternal grandmother was a Kelly, a redolent Irish name in Australia.

A word about Irish names: Before my last visit to Ireland in 2000, I was able to trace family back 300 years, to country Clare. There remains the ruins of a hamlet/village "Bally-----"

Irish family names can be area specific. Whilst back packing around Ireland, I spent a lot of time in pubs, good source of local info, After introducing myself, the response would be "Ah yes-----" followed by the accurate placing of family and the fact that the family village was now a ruin. As it turned out ,I saw very few read headed people, from down south to as far north as Belfast. Perhaps I was just in the wrong place.
 
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M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,382
appalacian Mtns
#83
That's right the Scots-Irish name has been around for many years. I quote from the book Ulster Sails West...'' Moreover, it is interesting to note that they did not regard themselves as Irish. In fact, nothing infuriated them more than to be classed as Irish. '' It made my blood boil '' said William Smith, '' to hear ourselves called a parcel of Irish.'' They protested violently when American people and American officials described them in this way. I reckon this would have been in the early 1700's
Yes Sasenachs don't like to be called Gaels & Gaels don't like being called Sasenachs. Back then Gaels were considered Vermin especially in NI.
 
Apr 2010
1,006
evergreen state, USA
#84
I made a research tree, among several other research trees, of the Virginia Taylors. But I haven't looked at it for a while. This is at Ancestry, where you can have several trees. Anyway, as has been said already, Prez Zachary Taylor's direct paternal line goes back to England. He is also a first cousin of James Madison. Furthermore, actor Elizabeth Taylor is also in his branch of the Taylors of Virginia. I am connected in one way via the Virginia Lee clan (Robert E. Lee). And I'm probably connected from another angle, but I can't find records or other peoples' trees that I can connect to the Virginia Taylors. (Not all Taylors in Virginia are/were connected to this, what I call the Virginia Taylors). Abraham Lincoln is also connected, via his mother, to the Virginia Lee clan and is a distant cousin of Robert E. Lee. I am closer to Abe Lincoln than to R.E. Lee.
 
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Jan 2014
2,382
Westmorland
#85
Elizabeth, and also one of the James's, used the term 'reiver' once, now you see people on genealogy forums who think they are descended from the so called 'Border Reivers'.

People latch into words and blow them up out of all proportion
Yes indeed. Just as 'Gael' sounds far more romantic than 'American with distant Scottish or Irish ancestors', so 'border reiver' sounds far more romantic than 'someone in the family came from Kelso '.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the reivers were subject to the same industrial processes of Victorian whimsification which befell the Irish and the Scottish highlanders. The man largely responsible was none other than Sir Walter Scott, who is also the chap who kick-started the whole shortbread-tin pastiche of noble tribesmen skirling around their glens and a chap to whom every tat-seller on the Royal Mile should raise a glass at the end of another successful day of knocking out kilts and gonks to people from the other side of the world who seem to think that such rubbish is a real representation of Scottish culture or Scotland's interesting (but frequently troubled) history.

Scott was heavily inspired by the old Border Ballads and set about re imagining a non-existent past in which the tough borderers laughed in the face of authority, lived by their own noble code and engaged in all sorts of stirring high jinks. Great stuff, but not real (not that Scott ever claimed it was). The realities of the life which led to the reiving culture - economic stagnation, wild levels of organised crime, extensive corruption, increasing depopulation, Jeddart justice, chronic poverty and the cynical manipulation of the whole system by governments in London and Edinburgh for their political advantage - is a world apart from jolly stories about Kinmont Willie. A world where elderly women could be burned out of their houses in the dead of night and robbed of everything they had by a bunch of hoodlums, a world where a nine-year old boy could be hung summarily for stealing a pair of spurs at a warden meet at which the heads of the worst families would walk away from multiple murders, a world where it was simply not worth building a decent house or planting a field of crops; in short, a world where the rule of law meant virtually nothing and where power resided in the hands of local hard men with their private little armies of thugs is not a world I would have cared to live in.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,085
Sydney
#86
The invention of Tartans specific to particular clan was one of the consequence of the Scottish mania
prevalent in Britain during the mid 1800 .
It was all fake, and the public lapped it up
 
Sep 2013
1,447
Ulster
#87
Yes indeed. Just as 'Gael' sounds far more romantic than 'American with distant Scottish or Irish ancestors', so 'border reiver' sounds far more romantic than 'someone in the family came from Kelso '.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the reivers were subject to the same industrial processes of Victorian whimsification which befell the Irish and the Scottish highlanders. The man largely responsible was none other than Sir Walter Scott, who is also the chap who kick-started the whole shortbread-tin pastiche of noble tribesmen skirling around their glens and a chap to whom every tat-seller on the Royal Mile should raise a glass at the end of another successful day of knocking out kilts and gonks to people from the other side of the world who seem to think that such rubbish is a real representation of Scottish culture or Scotland's interesting (but frequently troubled) history.

Scott was heavily inspired by the old Border Ballads and set about re imagining a non-existent past in which the tough borderers laughed in the face of authority, lived by their own noble code and engaged in all sorts of stirring high jinks. Great stuff, but not real (not that Scott ever claimed it was). The realities of the life which led to the reiving culture - economic stagnation, wild levels of organised crime, extensive corruption, increasing depopulation, Jeddart justice, chronic poverty and the cynical manipulation of the whole system by governments in London and Edinburgh for their political advantage - is a world apart from jolly stories about Kinmont Willie. A world where elderly women could be burned out of their houses in the dead of night and robbed of everything they had by a bunch of hoodlums, a world where a nine-year old boy could be hung summarily for stealing a pair of spurs at a warden meet at which the heads of the worst families would walk away from multiple murders, a world where it was simply not worth building a decent house or planting a field of crops; in short, a world where the rule of law meant virtually nothing and where power resided in the hands of local hard men with their private little armies of thugs is not a world I would have cared to live in.
I don't think everyone was taken in by the so-called romantics of the border reivers. It was a hard and rough existence and life became the survival of the fittest. The reivers by their actions were said to have introduced the word 'blackmail' into the English language. Was Johnny Armstrong and others not hanged for their actions.
 
Jan 2014
2,382
Westmorland
#88
Was Johnny Armstrong and others not hanged for their actions.
If the Johnny Armstrong you are referring to was the same man also known as Black Jock Armstrong, then yes. Armstrong made the serious error of attempting to treat King James as his equal. James was on one of the occasional forays that the Scottish government mounted to restore order in the borders. Basically, this involved James descending on the borders with a huge armed band who would burn and destroy indiscriminately as they hunted for people with the right surnames to hang off trees as a warning to others. Such supposed 'judicial expeditions' were usually as bad as the worst reiving forays and stand as a stark reminder as to how little effective control Edinburgh had over its border counties.

Some reivers were summarily strung up during raids, but as a general rule, the leaders didn't have much too fear from the supposed judicial forum for dealing with their crimes, which were the warden courts.

Geordie Burn is a good example. He was a horrible little hoodlum who acted as the enforcer for the Kerrs, a Scottish family who, despite being active raiders, also periodically held the wardenship of one of the Scottish marches (and were therefore supposedly responsible for upholding law and order). Because he had the protection of the Kerrs, he thought no-one could touch him. Unfortunately, he got picked up whilst out on some night-time foray by Robert Carey, a new English deputy warden who was out to make a name for himself. Carey's decision to hang Burn amazed everyone and led to a massive feud with Robert Kerr. The night before his execution, Burn was in a reflective mood and basically 'fessed up to what he had done. Carey recorded the confession in his memoirs (which is one of the best little books you can get if you are interested in border history). A remarkable litany of crimes which Burn genuinely never thought he'd have to answer for.
 
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Likes: Fred Crawford
#89
Incidentally, the Irish immigrants to the American colonies in the 1600s and 1700s were mostly Scots-Irish Protestants from Ulster. They were seeking farmland, which wasn't available in overcrowded Ulster. They were Presbyterian yeomen farmers with little attachment to the Anglican Irish ascendancy. Once in America, they supported Cromwell's Puritan government, which had overthrown the royal government. Later, they mostly supported the American Revolution. And their descendants were in the vanguard of the wave of American settlers who moved westward across the North American continent throughout the 1800s.

The Catholic Celtic Irish immigration to America didn't start until the Potato-Famine of the mid-1800s. If it hadn't been for the large Protestant Scots-Irish emigration out of Ulster in the 1600s & 1700s, they'd probably now constitute about half the population of modern Ireland.
 
Sep 2013
1,447
Ulster
#90
If the Johnny Armstrong you are referring to was the same man also known as Black Jock Armstrong, then yes. Armstrong made the serious error of attempting to treat King James as his equal. James was on one of the occasional forays that the Scottish government mounted to restore order in the borders. Basically, this involved James descending on the borders with a huge armed band who would burn and destroy indiscriminately as they hunted for people with the right surnames to hang off trees as a warning to others. Such supposed 'judicial expeditions' were usually as bad as the worst reiving forays and stand as a stark reminder as to how little effective control Edinburgh had over its border counties.

Some reivers were summarily strung up during raids, but as a general rule, the leaders didn't have much too fear from the supposed judicial forum for dealing with their crimes, which were the warden courts.

Geordie Burn is a good example. He was a horrible little hoodlum who acted as the enforcer for the Kerrs, a Scottish family who, despite being active raiders, also periodically held the wardenship of one of the Scottish marches (and were therefore supposedly responsible for upholding law and order). Because he had the protection of the Kerrs, he thought no-one could touch him. Unfortunately, he got picked up whilst out on some night-time foray by Robert Carey, a new English deputy warden who was out to make a name for himself. Carey's decision to hang Burn amazed everyone and led to a massive feud with Robert Kerr. The night before his execution, Burn was in a reflective mood and basically 'fessed up to what he had done. Carey recorded the confession in his memoirs (which is one of the best little books you can get if you are interested in border history). A remarkable litany of crimes which Burn genuinely never thought he'd have to answer for.
Thanks for that detailed information. I had only a rough outline of events at that time. The Ulster Scots have a centre in Belfast with a lot of info there.
 

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