Monday, May 04, 2009

1690 and the Scotch Irish

This isn't quite what you might expect! (this probably is though!)

I was digging through some files this morning, for a reader in Alabama who had emailed me some questions, so I thought I should post the information here for benefit of any other researchers out there.

The first use of the term "Scotch Irish" in America was in Somerset County, Maryland, in an affadavit recorded on 15 March 1689/1690 in a hearing to bring charges against a Matthew Scarborough:

"I William Pattent was at worke at James Minders and one night as I was at worke Mr Matt: Scarbrough came into the house of sd Minders and sett down by me as I was at work, the sd Minder askt him if he came afoot, he made answer again and sd he did, saying that man, meaning me, calling me Rogue makes me goe afoot, also makes it his business to goe from house to house to ruinate me, my Wife and Children for ever. I made answer is it I Mr.Scarbrough(?) and he replyed and said ay you, you Rogue, for which doing ile whip you and make my Wife whipp to whipp you, and I answered if ever I have abused (you) at any time, or to any bodies hearing, I will give you full satisfaction to your own Content. (At which Scarbrough said) You Scotch Irish dogg it was you, with that he gave me a blow on the face saying it was no more sin to kill me then to kill a dogg, or any Scotch Irish dogg, giving me another blow in the face. now saying goe to yr god that Rogue and have a warrant for me and I will answer it. Wm. Patent"

I suspect Mr Scarborough was English, and Mr Patent was an Ulsterman!

Significantly, (not the first) but an important early Ulster-Scots migration was led by Rev Francis Makemie from Donegal soemtime between 1682 and 1684, and they landed at this very location - Somerest County in Maryland. Makemie had graduated from Glasgow University, where he was enrolled as "Scoto-Hybernus".

• this information is from the Scotch-Irish Rootsweb list
• Info on Makemie from the American Presbyterian Church website is available here