Sunday, August 3, 2014

Searching for the Scotch-Irish

Delaware River
Just about everyone has Scotch-Irish ancestors, so it is helpful to be aware of their migratory trails in America.  The Scotch-Irish had their origins in Pennsylvania where at least 1/4th of the population resided by the mid-17th century. The draw was the free frontier lands where they became known as "squatters".   Even so, they were not lazy people, but worked hard to establish proper settlements and fluid economies.  The traditional trail was along the Delaware River into Bucks County and from there into the valleys of Susquehanna and Cumberland. They were an industrious people of the Presbyterian faith and were responsible for building the communities and economies in Chester, Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. Ultimately, the settlements spread into western Pennsylvania before it turned South into the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  There was a wagon road from Lancaster through Gettysburg and down to Staunton, Virginia into Roanoke. Thus, Roanoke, Shenandoah and Augusta Counties are typical Virginia places for genealogists to research.  Those old Wills and Testaments are available online to members of Virginia Pioneers.   In those days Roanoke was known as "Big Lick".  The main road led the Scotch-Irish South into the Carolinas.  In South Carolina, the counties to research are Chester, Laurens and Spartanburg and the old Wills are available on South Carolina Pioneers  Another trail was through Wilderness Road which took them West into Tennessee and Kentucky. 

Need more time to sort things out? A good deal for genealogists needing to read old Virginia Wills and other helpful family data. 6 months subscription to Virginia Pioneers for $54.00. Subscribe to Virginia and view wills and other documents online

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