Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: News From Ballymoney Museum

Ulster Heritage Magazine: News From Ballymoney Museum: Dear Family Historian, It’s less than two weeks to ROUTE BACK HOME 2014 and the staff at Ballymoney Museum are getting everything re...

Monday, September 1, 2014

McCain's Corner: DNA Genetic Genealogy Sale

McCain's Corner: DNA Genetic Genealogy Sale: All the DNA projects I administer and assist with, use Family Tree DNA labs in Houston, Texas.  Why?  Well, they are the best, they have the...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Scots-Irish DNA Project Update 13 August 2014

442 families are now participating in the Scots-Irish DNA project and the project is growing at a rapid pace.  We have enough DNA results to begin analysis of the group.  As expected, the Celtic haplogroups dominate, with R-M222 and R-L21 the largest two elements in the R1b Celtic group.  I haplogroups are running around 11% of total, which is also expected for men with origins in the Lowlands of Scotland and west Highlands.  One family of note, descendants of David Crockett are participating in the project and appear to be Norse in paternal ancestry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Great Wagon Road

The Great Wagon Road followed paths used by Indians and was the main roads by which the Scots-Irish moved south and west and peopled the backcountry and Southern Uplands.  In the 1700s and early 1800s The Fall Line Road and Upper Road became the most used segments of the road system and many Scots-Irish settlements were established along these routes from Pennsylvania to Georgia.
(Map from the book 'Map guide to American migration routes, 1735-1815'  by William Dollarhide.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Openning in Forest by David Wright

The Frontiersman by David Wright

David Wright's splendid illustration of a typical Scots-Irish frontiersman. 

The Scotch-Irish... 1816

"Ireland is divided into four provinces, viz. Munster, Connaught, Leinster and Ulster. Leinster is chiefly inhabited by what are called the English Irish, and Ulster the Scotch Irish - From the latter province at least three quarters of the emigrants to America, have come for many years past.  The Scotch-Irish, both by education and religion are inclined to Republicanism, or a free government.”


Junot’s Library
Saturday, September 14, 1816, Enquirer, Richmond, Virginia. pages 2,3

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Scots-Irish Art Work of David Wright

Before the Long Hunt by David Wright

Tennessean David Wright is a gifted and brilliant artist. Fortunately for us he often select Scots-Irish themed works.  His specialty is historical art. Link to purchase prints:  David Wright 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Scots-Irish DNA Project Update 18 June 2014

Of this morning, the project has 384 families participating.  The results page is current and most kits have been grouped by haplogroup designation.  As many know, Family Tree recently expanded and revamped their haplogroup nomenclature and added many new designations.  On the results page the kits are listed under both the shorthand and full haplogroup name.  For those members that have tested various SNPs this has the potential for providing a lot of new data for your family history.

The geneticists are identifying more haplogroups downstream from the major groups. This will allow us to classify kits with more precision.  The end result is your kit will be in a haplogroup from a more recent genetic event.  In layman's terms, it will allow you to locate your family's geographic point of origin and identify your kinship group in historical times.  For Scottish origin families this is particularly useful information. (that clan and blood thing)

Many of the kits in the major haplogroups such as R-M269 or R-L21 would benefit from testing for downstream SNPs.

Some analysis of the Scots-Irish: 

The majority of the participants are as expected of Atlantic Zone Celtic origin. This will be a combination of Cumbric and Gaelic Celts native to Scotland.  The participants are running about 65% of Lowland Scottish origin and 35% Highland Scottish origin,.  There is a stereotype of all Scots-Irish being from 'the Lowlands' but many were from Argyll and Lennox in the southwest Highlands. This is showing up in the DNA results.

One interesting aspect, we have more I haplotypes than expected.  Some of these I subgroups are Scottish Norse/Norman in origin and others are indigenous to ancient Scotland.  It is a very complex group and I have not had time to read the latest research on the I subgroup origins.  We are dealing with a lot of very new material.

I highly recommend the books 'Britain Begins' and 'Celtic from the West 2' by Dr Barry Cunliffe for those who would like to read the latest research and thinking about the people who became the 'Scots-Irish.'   

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ulster Heritage Magazine: DNA Testing Transfer to Family Tree

Ulster Heritage Magazine: DNA Testing Transfer to Family Tree: Note... if you have done DNA testing with another company here is your opportunity to transfer your results to Family Tree DNA.  Our projec...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Historical illustrator: Well i decided to head to Monea Castle in County F...

Historical illustrator: Well i decided to head to Monea Castle in County F...: Well i decided to head to Monea Castle in County Fermanagh, to see Claiomh today. They are doing a show today as part of the 4-5 week dig pr...

(great post by Seán Ó Brógáin, you have seen his work in the Osprey books series.)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

New Haplogroup Designations

Family Tree has released their new haplogroup designations.  However, there has been some issues with this release that are still being sorted out.  Participants in the Scots-Irish DNA project are asked to be patient while Family Tree corrects the issues.  You might see your kit in the results move around as these corrections are made. 

Ultimately, the new haplogroups will contribute to our ability to fix a point of origin of families in the project.  The geneticists are uncovering more SNPs which in time will have a geographic link.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ballymoney Genealogical Gathering

If you have ancestors in North Antrim, then the Route Back Home 2014 is the place to find out more about your family history!
The exciting conference gives genealogists from across the world the opportunity to enjoy a unique series of lectures & research trips focusing on Ballymoney and district.
The Route Back Home will run from 24-27 September and will be based in Ballymoney Town Hall.  It has been developed to assist people who are specifically researching their ancestry in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim.  The conference is an opportunity to meet other people who share an interest in North Antrim, a region traditionally known as "the Route”.
The Route Back Home is run by Ballymoney Museum.  It is supported by the Coleraine Branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society (www. and their members will be available to help delegates and provide advice throughout the conference.
Delegates must pay the full booking fee of £180 to be allocated a place at the conference.  Only 20 places are available and bookings cannot be confirmed until receipt of a completed booking form and full payment.  The conference fee includes:
  • Lectures on how to research your ancestry in North Antrim
  • Daily lunch and regular refreshments
  • Conference dinner and drinks reception
  • Research trips to Belfast and Ballymena
Please contact me at this email address if you require further information and I look forward to hopefully seeing you in September.
Keith Beattie
Museum Manager

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DNA Testing For Scots-Irish

The basics:  The Scots-Irish DNA project recommends the 111 marker Y chromosome DNA test.  If this is not within your budget, the 67 will do and the 37 is an acceptable start.  We use the Family Tree DNA lab in Houston, Texas.

Who are the 'Scots-Irish?'  Or Scotch-Irish?  Generally speaking the Scots-Irish are the descendants of settlers to Colonial and early Republic America from the nine counties of the province of Ulster, in Ireland.  As a group the Scots-Irish were majority Presbyterian, though not all were and most descended from Scots families that had migrated to Ireland.  Also of note, some 'Scots-Irish' migrated to the Colonies from other parts of Ireland outside of Ulster.

The main migration of Scots to Ireland came during the Ulster Plantation (circa 1609 to early 1700s).  These Scots came primarily from the Scottish Lowlands. There is also a substantial number of Highland Scots that became Scots-Irish.  Most of these Highland Scots descend from families from Argyll, Lennox, and the Hebrides, that migrated to Ulster in the 1500s. 

There are other components of the Scots-Irish which include French Huguenot, Manx, and Border English, who settled in Ulster and migrated to the New World in the Ulster Migration.  They married into and became part of the people and society we now call Scots-Irish.

There was also a large migration of Presbyterian Irish into Canada in the nineteenth century. They went mainly to New Brunswick and Ontario.  Many of these families were of 'Ulster Scots' ancestry from both Lowland Scottish and Highland Scottish ancestry.  In the past the term Scots-Irish has not been applied to this group, but increasingly the term has expanded to include the descendants of the Canadian migration. Nomenclature has been problematic in regards to the Scots-Irish for a long time.  The term today reflects a better awareness of the descendants of Ulster Scots in the Diaspora.

Most families 'know' or self-identify as Scots-Irish.  These are the families that are participating in the Scots-Irish DNA project.