Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2010-03 > 1267986272

Subject: Re: [S-I] Mitchell, Scotch/Irish New York to Michigan
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2010 18:24:32 +0000 (UTC)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Richard,

Are you sure you are on the right list? You say your ancestor was from Scotland. This list is about people from Ireland -- generally the north of Ireland. "Scotch-Irish" doesn't mean 'maybe Scots or maybe Irish" (as we sometimes get here). It's the name of an American ethnic group. In the homeland (Ulster), they're called "Ulster Scots".

You might then say, well, if they were originally from Scotland why not? Well, because what we're interested in here is tracing them back to Ireland. Ireland is a very different country from Scotland. It's records are different as well as its history and you do genealogy rather differently. I know, I research in both countries.

So looking for people from Scotland here is a little like the man who was looking around under the streetlamp one night. A passerby stopped and asked if he'd lost something. "Yes," said the man, "my keys". They looked for a while and didn't find them. "Are you sure you lost them here?" asked the good Samaritan. "Why, no," was the reply, "I lost them over there, but the light is better here." "Here' is this list. Scottish people are looking on various Scottish lists that you can find here:

Our page: See

I have Mitchells in Scotland, but a hundred years before you. Unless they're in eastern Stirlingshire, I can't help. Many, many Mitchells just in that one place.

I may also say that if you picked the "Scotland" up off a census, it could be wrong. Let me also add that I do this 'kind of work' (tracing people back to the homelands) professionally and I can tell you how I succeeded.

First of all you look in Scotland. That's easy because of IGI and the index of Scottish church records. If your ancestor was NOT standard Presbyterian, you need to know that. If they are associated with Seceders or Covenantors (Reformed) -- you need to know. If you don't, find out. This kind of genealogy is circular, and
this is one time you'll have circle back. Why? Well -- if they were orthodox Presbyterians, then you may be able to find them in the Scottish OPR index at IGI. (If these are strange abreviations, you need to do a little reading
up and learn to use these two resources).

You may need to return to the US census to find a sibling born in Scotland -- or other events in Scotland so you can triangulate in the case of a common name like Mitchell.

In any case you 'should' be able to find some trace of them in Scotland. If you cannot, my experience is that they were probably in Ireland. You see this in the post Famine era where people tried to distinguish themselves
from the "Famine Irish", who were Catholic. They would give an ethnicity in the census, claiming to be

Then you circle back, collecting as many new facts as you can, and attempt to find them in Ireland. The strategy differs with the era in which you are looking.

In one case like this (9 kids born in 'Scotland' in the 1860s and 70s but not a one even in the Scottish Civil Registration or a census and no marriage) .. I .found the proof in the USA the death record of the mother. The client already HAD a nice certificate. I drove to the county and looked at the ***ACTUAL ***
death register in the 1890s. This included additional information that was not copied into the nice, expensive
death certificate form because it didn't have any fields.

The additional information included: her maiden name, the name of both parents, and the name of the
county she was born in in Ireland. The maiden name and the name of the mother let me return to
Scotland and there I found in ***1***** Scottish census (1851) that she was living with her mother,
unmarried. No sign of future husband. Did find the father in County Down. Married in Ireland (or not married
at all). You can do a search of some Irish marriage records now on line but we didn't (client ran out of money).
The Tithe Applotment index gave me the location in Co could have done a church by church
search as well if you had won the lottery recently.

This was another common surname -- Brown (the husband, not her maiden name). Her father had died
since dad was in the Tithe Applotments in the 1830s but not in Griffiths. The family knew (and the US Census
confirmed) that the mother of the migrating mother was born on a Channel Island (I forget which). The Scottish
census in 1851 confirmed the widowed mother was born on this island. In the whole county in Scotland,
only one other person was born on this island -- so -- it was very good evidence that this was the right person.

So, as you can see the critical information was found by dotting i's in the USA -- NOT settling for a
certificate obtained from the county, and several circular movements back and forth, collecting information
and returning to give it another try. This worked -- and except for the trip to the county -- I did it sitting here
at my desk.

To effectively do genealogy in Scotland, you can upload a free guide at You can
do the same with Irish genealogy. You cannot make much progress, except the limping sort, in either
place, without learning how to do it, even if you can do American genealogy really well.

If you find pre-famine info claiming they are Scots, I would expect that they actually were though. I know we have
others here researching Scottish Mitchells....maybe they can help. I try to hide from Mitchells unless they
are in my home county because I can't even sort out all the Mitchells there let alone help anyone one else's.
You have DNA, at least on your side to help when you do get to Scotland or Ireland or ... both....

Another useless info: Mitchells on the eastern coast of Antrim, north of Belfast, are a little more likely to be
from east Stirlingshire because a number of landowners obtained Irish estates there. Many of the surnames
are the same and I'm sure a few Mitchells made the journey from eastern Stirling.

Good luck in any case.

Linda Merle

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Mitchell" <>
Sent: Sunday, March 7, 2010 12:35:17 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [S-I] Mitchell, Scotch/Irish New York to Michigan

If anyone has any information or questions about my Mitchell family I would appreciate hearing from you:

My great grandfather James D Mitchell: click on or go to>

James D Mitchell's father is to believed to be George Mitchell born 1821 in New York;
George's father, Jas Mitchell born in Scotland...

James D Mitchell's siblings:
Lucinda, born abt. 1843
George Perry, born abt. 1847
Charles, born abt. 1854

Thank You,
Richard Mitchell
(DNA R1b1b2)

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