Friday, April 10, 2009

"Ulster - The Founding Fathers"

I owe a lot of people a lot of thanks for their help and goodwill over the years. For example, halfway through 2006 most of the Hamilton & Montgomery project was complete.

In the autumn of that year, Cllr Billy Montgomery from Ards phoned me, to get my address so he could send me a document. When it arrived I was amazed. It was a 28 page A4 educational booklet from the early 1980s, written by E.M Griffith BA LLB, entitled "Ulster - the Founding Fathers". The booklet contained seven chapters which highlighted the lives of three men - James Hamilton, Hugh Montgomery and Randall MacDonnell. The cover of the booklet says:

The Ulster-Scots: By the middle of the 17th century there were three distinctive strains of Ulster-Scots in the Province which are traceable to the present day. These families and their ventures have been the dominant factor in shaping the history of Ulster and the character of its people.

It was a big encouragement that year to discover that 20 odd years before, a "proper" historian like Griffith was presenting Hamilton & Montgomery as the Founding Fathers - just as I was doing myself.

• In 1972 (the year I was born), from Thursday 19th - Saturday 21st October to be precise, Griffith helped put together a historical exhibition in the Church of Ireland's McVeigh Hall at the end of our road!

• The full set of Hamilton & Montgomery articles are about to be published in a special edition newspaper (as are the Robert the Bruce articles from 2007, and the Covenanters in Ulster articles from 2008).

• Rev George Hill's epic The MacDonnells of Antrim will be published this summer as a text searchable CDRom, by the Ulster-Scots Agency