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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2007-10 > 1191884538

Subject: Re: [S-I] Were my ancestors Scotch-Irish?
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2007 23:02:18 +0000

Hi Barbara, well sure! Once you hit the mountains in Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia, most everything on top of them were either Indians or "Scotch-Irish". The mountains served as a barrier.
It was easier to hoof it down from the Middle Atlantic colonies such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland. Plus more ships went there. It wasn't like you booked a passage end to end. You went where the ships went. They were transporting goods. No passenger ships till the 1850s. So most
ships went to the Middle Atlantic colonies. Most Ulster Scots walked or road down the wagon roads to their immediate destination. Of course they moved after a generation. Or maybe a year or two.

If you google on the Internet you'll find lots of maps that show the migration trails. When they arrived, those folk were "Irish" to the people frowning at them (more Irish! Just what we NEED!!). We really do not know what they called themselves. Maybe Scotch Irish. We know the terms was used by Queen Elizabeth I, but she was cursing Catholic Highlanders who were occupying Antrim in the 1500s, not lowland Protestants, occupying in the 1600s and later.

However what is clear is before long they were calling themselves Scotch Irish, the name of an American ethnic group. So if your ancestors were in the huge area (larger than Europe) where the settlers from Ulster predominated and laid down their cultural mark, they were Scotch Irish.
A few English, many Irish, Scots, Germans, French, etc, were also there, but they assimilated in "Scotch Irish" since 90% or more of their neighbors were such.

So yes your ancestors were Scotch Irish. Were they from Ulster? I donno. Probably. The odds are in your favor.

R1b1c is common in Ireland and common in Scotland. What kinda R1b1c? You gotta star afterwards? Have you been tested to determine if its R1b1c7? That makes an Ulster origin extremely likely, statistically speaking.

It's impossible to explain how you research these folk in an's a lot of work. You can do a preliminary Irish study and determine locations where the Lawsons there were. Do the old once over to see if any groups seem to match in terms of first name preferences, etc. These days you can practically do one of these on the Internet and with CDs.

Then in your case you'd see if the DNA matches closely. If you join the Ulster DNA Project at, Barra or Barry McCain can help you identify close relations, even if the surname has changed. He may be able to suggest exactly where they were in Ulster. If you upload the results to, you can find close matches elsewhere. Or join the Scottish projects if you think that'll help. You can view the DNA yourself via the projects.

I can also tell you that there is a lot of info on these early families. I don't know if you've explored it all. Might find the homeland is already identified in an old family history like "Southern Families". You can prove that it is correct with DNA. But it takes more than swabbing a cheek and sending in money and waiting. I've been working on one of these for 3 years. We've had to scare up a couple people in Northern Ireland and pay to test their DNA. We currently have a kit lost at sea from Australia. Several people helped us located Aussie descendents of a late 18th century man in Tyrone. I also did research to find a living descendent of another brother (the usual brothers....)....took about 4 hours,
what with on line censuses and message boards. Not hard to do once you learn how. I had figured
out how to do this try ing to process 150 obits we found in the obit index of the Chattannooga library. I can't afford to order 150 obits. After about 40 (and several very long nights), it got a lot easier.

So don't give up on the DNA. Unfortunately the DNA gurus say (and I do believe they are right) that DNA will not sort out the guys on the east bank of the Irish sea from the ones on the west. They're...the same! Not surprising. Who wouldn't get in a boat and go over? Only someone with seriously impaired curiosity.

We had to get into 67 markers to be able to distinguish the variants among the Irish clans. Because....a lot of the Scotch Irish were Irish in origin. So you can sometimes really id where the family came from because many Irish are still there in the parish with the same DNA as ourselves.
You can go back and possibly get a free long as you are among the first 500 or so to manifest in that pub claiming to be a local <grin>.

However most of the R1b1c7 is in NW Ireland -- some is in Scotland, esp. as some Scots clans were founded by Ulstermen. Apparently the distribution in Scotland is fairly random, suggesting a very early 'sprinkling', to the DNA lads.

So a closer inspection of the DNA might tell us more, as well as Barra's opinion and comparisons with known groupings of Lawsons in Ulster.

Best of luck!

Linda Merle
-------------- Original message --------------
From: <>

> Hi,
> After reading about the Scotch-Irish immigrants to the colonies before the
> Revolutionary War, I have began to wonder if my ancestors were among this group.
> Isaac Lawson, my gggg grandfather came to Rockbridge Co., VA with his wife and
> children in 1782, according to the personal property and tax lists of the
> county. He was married to Agnes [surname unknown]. All of their children were
> married in Rockbridge, the earliest in 1799 and the last known in 1817.
> According to the migration of Scotch-Irish from PA ports, Rockbridge Co., VA in
> the Kerr's Creek area is thought to have been a destination.
> Isaac Lawson and Robert Lawson are listed among the names of persons taking
> seats in the of the Old Monmouth Meeting House on 05 Sept 1790, which became the
> New Monmouth Presbyterian Church.
> I am seeking information about the parents and siblings of Isaac Lawson and what
> his relationship, if any, is to Robert Lawson, who came to Rockbridge in 1784.
> Is my Isaac Lawson a Scotch-Irish immigrant or the descendent of Scotch-Irish
> immigrants?
> My cousin has participated in the Lawson DNA Project and has a haplo group of
> R1b1c. Is this place of origin considered to be among the Scotch-Irish
> descendents?
> Thank you for your assistance,
> Barbara [Lawson] Shackelford
> TN
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