Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1997-11 > 0880230346
From: linda Merle <>
Subject: Re: Irish Immigrant Literacy
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 12:25:46 -0800
Thanks for the info. I just joined a Scots ballad group and I
was finding that a lot of the tunes from Ulster are also used in
Scotland. I will have to see if they can be localized to
highland or lowland origins now due to your email!
One of the things which I am working on (slowly) is the origin
of the Scots in Northern Antrim. As we know from reading stuff
in Hanna -- primary documents, like Sir Henry Bagnal's report,
which is corroberated by original research done by an acquaintance
in PRO, the history of Northern Antrim is different from Southern
Antrim and Down. Ie the McDonnells had been waging a war of 50
years in Northern Antrim (roughly 1550 to end of the century) with
the local Irish, a fella named MacQuillan, descended several
centuries before from a Norman Welsh family, the Bissets. It had
started over a fight between two Scotsmen: a mercenary of MacQuillans
and a highlander. I'll repost the tale if there are a lot of new
comers.....it deserves a movie.
Anyhow, McQuillan was losing and a lot of Northern Antrim was
depopulated and in ruins when Sir Henry went through in the 1580's
checking up for Queen Elizabeth I. Consequently when James VI/I
"settled" the dispute between the MacDonnells and MacQuillan,
and gave Northern Antrim to the MacDonnells (hey, he WAS Scots,
after all), what happened?
We don't know a lot -- we have records of Ballymoney being burnt
by the MacDonnells during the war. We know it was there. I suspect
there were some highlanders living there. I suspect after the war
ended, lots of highlanders settled in. They were there already,
fighting. Maybe they married any local girls still left alive.
Maybe the girls were Scots and/or Irish. Maybe it wasn't even
clear, then. I suspect the Northern part of Antrim had earlier
Scots settlement and of a differnt stock. My own North Antrim
ancestors, appeared to have been in Antrim long before the great
plantation, if you beleive the oral history. They are Blacks.
I've not myself traced them too far, but have found references
in books which claim to have traced the Blacks of Ahoghill and
claims they are Lamonts. Lamont is one of those attainted clans,
like the MacGregors. It is interesting to note the surnames in
the Ahoghill religious census in 1766. You'll see lots of highlander
surnames or surnames that could be names adopted by Lamonts and
Furthermore, why were there Lamonts and MacGregors along on a
MacDonnell campaign? Well, because unlike ourselves, the
ancestors were flexible. There were Campbells along too! My friend
who did the research, is a Campbell, and his ancestor was in
Antrim on the first campaign of the war. Lots of folk other than
MacDonnells went over to join in the fricas. All of them highlanders,
though, not lowlanders.
If that's so, you might find Northern Antrim more "Gaelic" than
Southern Antrim and Down. Haven't done enough research yet to
be sure. But that is what I suspect.
Anyone know when Ballymena, Cullybackey, and Ahoghill were first
founded???? I think Ballymoney was much much older.... Many of
the Glens folk are descendents of them Scots MacDonnells.
Being highlanders they didn't take readily to the Reformation,
like the lowlanders. Due to the artificial polarization of
ethnicity in NI -- they think themselves Irish in orign. Well,
they might still be right -- anyone know if that group of
MacDonnells originated in Ireland? Some of the Scottish clans
Edward, what are some common surnames in Cullybackey??
|Re: Irish Immigrant Literacy by linda Merle <>|