Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Laggan Redshanks

Mongavlin, the Castle of Iníon Dubh

 In the sixteenth century Scottish Highlanders settled in the Laggan district of east Donegal. They were called Redshanks.  The history of the Laggan Redshanks has many fascinating elements which include Clann Chaimbeul and their dynamic leader the fifth Earl of Argyll, Gaelic sexual intrigues, English Machiavellian manoeuvres, and the Redshanks themselves.  This book not only tells the fascinating story of how a Highland Scottish community became established in the Laggan, but also includes the surnames of the Redshanks and notes of their origins in Scotland, which will be of interest to family historians and genealogists.
This book has the complete Portlough Muster roll taken in 1630 and includes notes on each of the surnames.  It is available from Amazon as a paperback and Kindle version.

Link to Amazon:  The Laggan Redshanks

I have been asked many times about Highland Scottish surnames among the Scots-Irish.  Over the years as I worked with primary sources I did indeed notice within early Scots-Irish settlements there was a considerable Highland Scot presence.  One part of the story concerns the migration of Highlanders from mid-Argyll and Lennox to east Donegal circa 1569 to 1600.  This migration was sponsored by Clann Chaimbeul.  After the Plantation began in 1609 these Highlanders remained on their lands in the Laggan district.  Their experiences with the New Order in Ulster was different than other Redshank (Highland Scots) communities living in Ireland.  One reason was these particular Redshanks were of the Reformed faith.  Clann Chaimbeul, under the fifth Earl of Argyll were early converts to the Reformed faith.  While they retained their Gaelic language and culture they did in time become part of the general Ulster Scots community in the Laggan. When the Ulster Migration began in 1718 they were on the first ships that left for the Colonies and throughout the eighteenth century they continued to migrate in great numbers.  In the New World they were part of the people that became what we call today, the Scots-Irish.    

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