Ireland is made up of four provinces Ulster, Munster , Leinster and Connacht.
Ulster is divided into nine counties three of which are in the Republic of Ireland and six make up the entirety of Northern Ireland.
So Ulster is a complex little spot.
Originally like the rest of Ireland it was ruled by the Gaelic Chieftans notably the O’Neils and Maguires who resisted the English protestant claim to Ireland. This resulted in war and eventually the « Earls » as they were known were forced to flee their homeland.
To stabilize the province the English monarchy sent Protestant from Scotland to Ulster. They provided these migrants with incentives to move. This was known as the Plantation of Ireland and many of us from Ulster have ancestors who came from Scotland.
These same people eventually became victims of their religion. Many were Presbyterian. Following the example of John Knox They resisted the hierarchy and pomp of the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church that derived from it. Eventually they were forced to move again. This time to American the new land of opportunity.
These Ulster Scots had a very significant impact on the future of the new land. They fought for freedom and no less than seventeen of the Presidents of the nation can claim Ulster Scots heritage.
The Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh in County Tyrone chronicles the stories of many of these Presidential families and is well worth a visit. It’s a place that we love to go to and there is always something new to learn.
The ancestry of the Presidents is well covered and many of you may already know all of the above but have you heard of Charles Thompson? He was born in Ulster near the city of Londonderry. As a ten year he took the boat to the new land. On the way his father died.
Can you imagine the trauma of that? Well the same Charles went on to great things including being the person in whose hand the original Declaration of Independence was written!
He would have been busy then this time 243 years ago!
Blessing # 384 – Roots