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Welcome to Scotch-Irish and Ulster Scots Research

The purpose of this website is to help researchers research their Scotch Irish and Ulster Scots ancestors. It is intended as support for the Scotch-irish email list. It should eventually cover all the "frequently asked" questions as well as serve as a method to publish members' research.


Articles and New Links

What is in the published PA Archives? See our Info and topics at free on line PA Archives here. (View them at www.footnote.com. The links here are defunct)

UlsterHeritage.com - the main website of several sites with information and help for Ulster researchers.
Ulster Genealogy - a blog by Linda Merle to publish resources relevant to genealogical research in Ulster.
Ulster Heritage Forum - a forum for discussions on Ulster, Ulster Surnames and Ulster DNA.
Oldest New World use of "Scotch Irish"? by SI List member John Polk
Scotch Irish in New England by Linda Merle
Researching the Scotch Irish by Kyle Betit.
Visit Scotch-Irish Central. Click here.
Butler County Irish and Scotch Irish.
Article on Ships from Ulster to Carolina.
To subscribe to the Scotch Irish list click here. There is more info on the FAQ page about this list and its rules, no-nos and yes-yeses.


Who are these people? "Scotch-Irish" are people who emigrated from the province of Ulster in Ireland to what was to become the United States of America. Here they were one of four groups who defined "American". "Ulster Scots" are people of presumed Scottish origins living in Ulster, Canada, Australia, England and elsewhere. Generally they were Presbyterian in religion though you find Methodists, Quakers, and Baptists among them as well. It has been said of them that they were

Brewed in Scotland
Bottled in Ireland
Uncorked in America

Ethnicity versus genes. These are not the same. Ethnicity is learned while genes are inherited. We tend to adopt the myths and past of our ethnic group. This means that some Scotch-Irish will trace their genes back to England, Wales, and Catholic Ireland. This site is concerned with cognitive, objective, scientific research into family origins. Genealogy often doesn't support our deeply held sentiments about our ancestors' ethnicity. In both America and in Ulster various other groups assimilated INTO the ethnic groups called Ulster Scot and Scotch-Irish. This just means that you can't always assume that they came from Scotland originally -- or in America, Ireland. You need some proof.

So what is special about this group? What is special is it requires a unique combination of research skills:

  • New world colonial research skills
  • Colonial migration research skills
  • Pre 1820's Irish research skills
  • Protestant Irish research skills
  • Other research skills to trace them from where ever they came from before Ireland (most hope --- Scotland)

Wish to argue about the term Scotch-Irish? Read this and be aware that I am not arguing with you. I'm really just interested in genealogy.

Organization of this website

In order to avoid going crazy due to 'incoming' e-mail alerting me to dead links, I'm consolidating all links onto the links page. It's organized alphabetically. The other pages will, largely, except when I am inconsistent, be text. Maybe this will help. I donno.....we'll see...

Updated March,2008.

Click to e-mail Linda Merle at

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© 2008 Linda Merle. Do not duplicate without the written consent of the author.