The Waugh Family
An historical and photographic perspective
The Scotch-Irish or Ulster Scots
Dr. John Hall
From The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania, Wayland F. Dunaway
Our Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and Ancestry.com DNA results identify many matches from the Lanacaster and Chester County areas of Pennsylvania and into Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. These matches are most likely from the descendants of our ancestors from the "Borders" of Scotland and England who were part of the Plantation of Ulster. Some may also be descendants of our Orr, Montgomery and Hamilton families from Lanarkshire.
The Reiver Families of the Borders c. 1500 - 1700
The origins of the Scotch-Irish lie
primarily in the Lowlands of Scotland and in northern England,
particularly in the Border Country on either side of the
Anglo-Scottish border, a region that had seen centuries of
conflict. In the near constant state of war between England and
Scotland during the Middle Ages, the livelihood of the people on
the borders was devastated by the contending armies. Even when
the countries were not at war, tension remained high, and royal
authority in one or the other kingdom was often weak. The
uncertainty of existence led the people of the borders to seek
security through a system of family ties, similar to the clan
system in the Scottish Highlands. Known as the Border Reivers,
these families relied on their own strength and cunning to
survive, and a culture of cattle raiding and thievery developed.
Scotland and England became unified under a
single monarch with the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when James
VI, King of Scots, succeeded Elizabeth I as ruler of England. In
addition to the unstable border region, James also inherited
Elizabeth's conflicts in Ireland. Following the end of the Irish
Nine Years' War in 1603, and the Flight of the Earls in 1607,
James embarked in 1609 on a systematic plantation of English and
Scottish Protestant settlers to Ireland's northern province of
Ulster. The Plantation of Ulster was seen as a way to relocate
the Border Reiver families to Ireland to bring peace to the
Anglo-Scottish border country, and also to provide fighting men
who could suppress the native Irish in Ireland.
Scotland and England became unified under a single monarch with the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when James VI, King of Scots, succeeded Elizabeth I as ruler of England. In addition to the unstable border region, James also inherited Elizabeth's conflicts in Ireland. Following the end of the Irish Nine Years' War in 1603, and the Flight of the Earls in 1607, James embarked in 1609 on a systematic plantation of English and Scottish Protestant settlers to Ireland's northern province of Ulster. The Plantation of Ulster was seen as a way to relocate the Border Reiver families to Ireland to bring peace to the Anglo-Scottish border country, and also to provide fighting men who could suppress the native Irish in Ireland.- from Wikipedia
The Border Reivers rode during a period of extreme chaos in the history of the Anglo-Scottish Border. Many young mothers were widowed, and many children were orphaned. The social customs of the Reivers, affected by a need for self-reliance and the shifting circumstances of the era, favored trial marriages, and allowed even married women to keep their surnames. The larger Border Reiver clans themselves were like tribes or military units as much as families, and many born with different surnames joined these clans for protection, eventually assuming the clan surname as their own. As a consequence of all these factors, Border Reiver descendants are to this day closely interrelated. Many with different surnames share the same ancestors, and many with the same surname are descended from genetically distinct paternal lines.
- from James V. Elliott, Border Reivers DNA Project
The Ulster Scots People
Ulster was the last province in Ireland to be brought under the control of the English Crown. This was finally accomplished following the end of the Nine Years’ War in 1603. With the accession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne as James I in that year the course of Irish history changed forever. Following the departure from Ireland of the two most important Gaelic chieftains and a large number of their followers in 1607 the government embarked upon a scheme of plantation whereby lands were confiscated and parcelled out, for the most part, to new landowners of English and Scottish origin known as undertakers. Six counties were to be affected in the official plantation: Armagh, Cavan, Coleraine (renamed Londonderry), Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone (collectively known as the ‘escheated counties’). These grantees were expected to colonise, being required to plant ten families or 24 men for every 1000 acres they were granted.
The official plantation scheme did not extend to counties Antrim, Down and Monaghan. In Antrim and Down private plantations in the early seventeenth century resulted in the large-scale migration of English and Scottish settlers to these counties. In north-east County Down, two Scots, James Hamilton and Hugh Montgomery, acquired large estates from lands formerly owned by Con O’Neill. The British – overwhelmingly Scottish – settlement on the Hamilton and Montgomery estates was heavier than in any other part of Ulster. The largest land grant made in Ulster in the early seventeenth century was the grant of the greater part of the four northern baronies in county Antrim – an area of well over 300,000 acres – to Randal MacDonnell, a Scottish Catholic, in 1603. In order to develop his massive estate, MacDonnell invited lowland Scots to settle on his lands. In 1611 it was noted that adjoining his castle at Dunluce he had founded a village, containing ‘many tenements after the fashion of the Pale, peopled for the most part with Scottishmen’. To encourage Protestant Scots to settle on a Catholic-owned estate, MacDonnell contributed to the building and repair of churches.
- From The Scots in Ireland, ancestryireland.com
The Ulster Plantation
The majority of Scots who migrated to the north of Ireland came as part of this organized settlement scheme of 1605-1697. Plantation settlements were confined to the Province of Ulster, in the counties of Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Fermanagh and Derry. As many as 200,000 Lowland Scots crossed the North Channel to settle in Ulster in this approximately 90 year period. The Plantation of Ulster took place in two stages. The first stage was confined to the eastern counties of Antrim and Down. The initiative was taken by Scottish fortune seekers. Although the British Crown encouraged and co-operated with those responsible, it was fully a private venture. The second stage of settlement was far broader in scope. It was a project of state, conceived, planned, and closely supervised by the British governments of England and Ireland. The plantations included settlers from England and Scotland, although Scots outnumbered those from England by a ratio of 20 to 1. The primary purpose of the plantation scheme was to populate the northern counties of Ireland with loyal British subjects, to counterbalance the native Irish. Scotland was only too willing to participate. It was seen as a way to eradicate Scotland of the hordes of Lowland and Border Scots, many of whom in their desperate poverty felt compelled to turn to a life of marauding and horse thievery, which had become an occupation in itself in the Scottish countryside. Many were hardscrabble, subsistence farmers barely able to support their families. Hence in the early years of the Plantation, the majority of the settlers were Lowland and Border Scots seeking a better life. - from the Ulster-Scots Society of America
See also The Settlement Story
By 1630 British settlement was well established in large parts of Ulster and there were clear areas of demarcation between areas in which English and Scottish settlers predominated. Scottish settlement was heaviest in north Antrim, north-east Down, east Donegal and north-west Tyrone, while English settlers were in the majority in County Londonderry, south Antrim and north Armagh. Much of the province remained virtually unsettled, including most of north, south and west County Donegal, south County Armagh, mid County Tyrone and mid County Londonderry. The more mountainous areas, far from the main British settlements, remained almost exclusively Irish. - From The Scots in Ireland, ancestryireland.com
The Ulster Diaspora 1680-1750
From The Scots in Ireland, ancestryireland.com
Boston, Massachusetts In August of 1718, five shiploads of Ulster
Presbyterians arrived in Boston. They were the first shiploads of
what was soon to be a major exodus. They came, unlike later
immigrants during the Famine, in families -- closely allied
families. Families who had known one another and intermarried in
Ireland and who would continue to do so in America. The center of
their lives and their communities was their church and its
In August of 1718, five shiploads of Ulster Presbyterians arrived in Boston. They were the first shiploads of what was soon to be a major exodus. They came, unlike later immigrants during the Famine, in families -- closely allied families. Families who had known one another and intermarried in Ireland and who would continue to do so in America. The center of their lives and their communities was their church and its ministers.Many of these New England Scotch-Irish came from the Bann Valley, many from the same estate. They are credited with introducing the Irish potato to the American colonies. Apparently a family surnamed Young, in Worcester, Massachusetts, first grew the potato for food. - from UlsterHeritage.com
1720 to 1730: Many Scotch-Irish settled in southeastern Pennsylvania near the Maryland border in Cecil County, Maryland, and in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the townships of East and West Nottingham. In New Castle County, Delaware, hundreds settled in the towns of Mill Creek and White Clay. Other settlements wee made in Chester County, Lancaster County and part of present-day Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. - from Scottish Emigration from Ulster (The Scots-Irish) by Janet Cook
Scots-Irish started coming in large numbers after 1718. They settled first in the western Chester County area (later Lancaster county) and moved west over the Susquehanna River valley and Cumberland Valley area and later pushed into the western Pennsylvania counties of Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington, Greene, and Allegheny. Many Scotch-Irish eventually moved into southern states such as Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Kentucky.- from Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration, FamilySearch.org
The Great Wagon Road
The heavily traveled Great Wagon Road was the primary route for the early settlement of the Southern United States, particularly the "backcountry". Although a wide variety of settlers traveled southward on the road, two dominant cultures emerged. The German Palatines and Scotch-Irish American immigrants arrived in huge numbers because of unendurable conditions in Europe. The Germans (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch) tended to find rich farmland and work it zealously to become stable and prosperous. The other group (known also as Presbyterian or Ulster Scots) tended to be restless, clannish, and fiercely independent; they formed what became known as the Appalachian Culture. Partly because of the language difference, the two groups tended to keep to themselves.Beginning at the port of Philadelphia, where many immigrants entered the colonies, the Great Wagon Road passed through the towns of Lancaster and York in southeastern Pennsylvania. Turning southwest, the road crossed the Potomac River and entered the Shenandoah Valley at Martinsburg, West Virginia, continuing south in the valley via the Great Warriors' Trail (also called the Indian Road, as on this map), which was established by centuries of Indian travel. The Shenandoah portion of the road is also known as the Valley Pike. The Treaty of Lancaster in 1744 had established colonists' rights to settle along the Indian Road. Although traffic on the road increased dramatically after 1744, it was reduced to a trickle during the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) from 1756 to 1763. But after the war ended, it became the most heavily traveled road in America. - Wikipedia
The Scotch-Irish, moving down the Wagon Road from the north, were joined by countrymen arriving from Ulster. They moved southward and settled the inland Great Valley of Virginia first, then moved to the hilly Carolina Piedmont area to the south. In the 1750's and later, the Scotch-Irish were still arriving via Philadelphia and then traveling by land up to 700 miles southwest to the Carolinas. However, they also entered through Charleston though almost none are known to have entered ports in North Carolina. The South Carolina colony had developed a plan in 1731 to increase immigration by offering poor Protestants land. It gave 100 acres were given to the head of the family and 50 to each additional family member. The grantees had to pay quit rent two years after receiving the grant. Then, he was entitled to another grant on the same terms. The grantee had to clear and cultivate the land at a rate of 3 acres out of every 100 acres per year. In 1752, grantees were provided with tools and provisions. In 1761, the colony offered to pay passage for these poor Protestants but required a certificate from their church testifying that they were of good character. These terms expired in 1768 though the Council ruled that poor Protestants would still be given land free of charge but still were charged various fees. They, also, had to travel to the land and to appear in person before the Governor in Council to request land. - from UlsterHeritage.com
See also Mapping the Great Wagon Road
The Ulster Diaspora 1750-1820
Pennsylvania and Virginia
Most Scotch-Irish headed for Pennsylvania, with its good lands, moderate climate, and liberal laws.By 1750, the Scotch-Irish were about a fourth of the population, rising to about a third by the 1770s. Without much cash, they moved to free lands on the frontier, becoming the typical western "squatters", the frontier guard of the colony, and what the historian Frederick Jackson Turner described as "the cutting-edge of the frontier."
The Scotch-Irish moved up the Delaware River to Bucks County, and then up the Susquehanna and Cumberland valleys, finding flat lands along the rivers and creeks to set up their log cabins, their grist mills, and their Presbyterian churches. Chester, Lancaster, and Dauphin counties became their strongholds, and they built towns such as Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Carlisle, and York; the next generation moved into western Pennsylvania.With large numbers of children who needed their own inexpensive farms, the Scotch-Irish avoided areas already settled by Germans and Quakers and moved south, down the Shenandoah Valley, and through the Blue Ridge Mountains into Virginia. These migrants followed the Great Wagon Road from Lancaster, through Gettysburg, and down through Staunton, Virginia, to Big Lick (now Roanoke), Virginia. Here the pathway split, with the Wilderness Road taking settlers west into Tennessee and Kentucky, while the main road continued south into the Carolinas.
All the Presbyterian congregations organized in Pennsylvania before 1760 were either in the valley of the Delaware or in the arc formed by the junction of the Cumberland valley with the valley of the Susquehanna. From 1766 onward Scotch-Irish emigration pressed further up the valley of the Susquehanna, the familiar place names now making their appearance in the records. The congregations of Tyrone and Toboyne in Perry County were organized in 1766; Derry, Mifflin County, in 1766. Juniata County has a Fermanagh township with a congregation organized in 1766. The Scotch-Irish settlement of western Pennsylvania did not take place until after the stream of Ulster emigration had reached the southwest. The oldest trans-Alleghany congregations date from 1771. The greater number of the first settlers of the southwestern counties of Pennsylvania came from Maryland and Virginia, over what was then known as Braddock's Trail. This trail extended from Cumberland, Maryland, to the valley of the Youghiogheny, crossing the country now included in Somerset and Fayette counties. At Uniontown, Fayette County, where there was a settlement as early as 1767, there was a trail westward to the valley of the Monongahela, along which settlers moved into Greene and Washington Counties. There was another trail, farther north, from Fort Bedford in what is now Bedford County to Fort Ligonier, and thence northwesterly to Fort Pitt. This was known as General Forbes's Route. This trail traversed Westmoreland County, and many Scotch-Irish families settled in this region. Emigration was so heavy that the organization of counties made rapid progress, the most remote of all, Greene County, dating from February 9, 1796, at which time some of the present counties in the eastern section of the State were as yet unorganized. It is a general rule that outside of the original counties the oldest counties lie along the track of Scotch-Irish emigration.- from The Scotch-Irish in America, Henry Jones Ford, 1915
The American Revolution
"Call it not an American rebellion,
"The Scotch-Irish, as they were called, were emigrants from the northern part of the sister kingdom, descendants of the Scotch colonies planted there by Cromwell. They were a hardy, brave, hot headed race, excitable in temper, unrestrainable in passion, invincible in prejudice. Their hand open as impetuously to a friend, as it clenched against an enemy. They loathed the pope, as sincerely as they venerated Calvin and Knox. If often rude and, lawless it was the fault of their position. .. Impatient of restraint, rebellious of any thing that in their eyes bore the resemblance of injustice, we find these men readiest among the ready on the battle fields of the Revolution. If they had faults, a lack of patriotism or of courage was not among them."- Taken from "The Scotch-Irish in America: Proceedings and Addresses of the Second Congress at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 29 to June 1, 1890".