Origins of Ulster-Scots
Ulster is separated from Scotland by the narrow North Channel, which at one point is only 12 miles (19 kilometres) wide. Historically, this channel has been a link rather than a barrier, and from the earliest times to the present it has witnessed and carried a constant stream of traffic of people and ideas between the two coasts. Geography and history have combined to produce a strong Ulster-Scots community in Ulster.
The most significant migration to have occurred between these areas was the successful Plantation of Ulster in the first half of the seventeenth century. Its consequences have been enduring.
These hardy and determined Scots settlers brought many innovations to Ulster including urbanisation, new agricultural practices and livestock, new building styles and techniques, language and culture. Their arrival also brought new surnames, a new religion and, of course, a change in politico-historical allegiance. As a result, Ulster would go on to have a radically different blend of peoples and traditions than the rest of Ireland.
We have produced many resources for you to learn more about the origins and history of Ulster-Scots. To read these, check out our Publications page.
Genealogy & Family History
If you’re interested in researching your family history but are not sure where to start or are at a dead end, we can help. We have a genealogist in our organisation who has much experience helping individuals with ancestry queries.
If this is something that would interest you, feel free to check out our Genealogy page for more information.
Below are three Ulster-Scots who made important contributions during their lifetimes