Southeastern Colorado Genealogical Society

Who Were the Scotch-Irish?

A large majority of the settlers that came to the United States in the late 1700's and early 1800's were of Scotch-Irish descent. Most came from Northern Ireland but their ancestors were from Scotland.

The story of the Scotch-Irish begins in 1588 when Spain attacked the British fleet and many Spanish survivors made their way to Northern Ireland, a Catholic nation just like Spain. To prevent the same thing from happening again, England's leader took land from Northern Ireland and encouraged families from Scotland to move to that area. The Scotch, who moved to Northern Ireland, became known as Scotch-Irish. When they moved to Northern Ireland, the Scotch had been promised that they could live tax-free for 100 years. By 1700, not only had the tax-free time period expired, but the Scotch had endured long years of oppression and harassment by England's rulers and wealthy landowners. Thus, in the early 1700's there was a mass migration of Scotch-Irish out of Northern Ireland into this haven of freedom known as the American Colonies.

The Scotch-Irish were intelligent and steadfast people. They have been described as sturdy, aggressive, determined, independent people; intelligent, diligent and reliable men of family; high tempered, impulsive, quick to act and resentful of authority. Although they resented authority, they were the ones that ended up withstanding the brunt of the Indian attacks because many settled on Indian and Government land without permission. They often dealt with the Indians brutally and without mercy. They could pray, fight or work as the occasion demanded. The Scotch-Irish immigrants wanted land, caring little whether it came from the Indians or the government; whether it destroyed the Indians' hunting grounds or encroached on the rights of others as they became squatters on others' land. When these resilient people obtained title to their land, woe be unto the one who interfered with their possessions.

According to many sources, a more qualified group of people to endure the hardships and tame a wilderness probably has never existed.

Contact Us

Southeastern Colorado Genealogical Society, Inc.

P.O. Box 1407

Pueblo, CO 81002

Monthly Meetings

Our monthly meetings are held on the first Saturday of the month with a Genealogical Studies class at 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm and our Program from 2:00 pm - 3:00 PM

You do not have to be a member to attend - Everyone is welcome.

Call 719-250-5782 for more information or to schedule a ride.