Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Some Ulster-Scots emigrants from Mid-Ulster

When folk talk about or write about Ulster-Scots emigration, the focus is often on the place they go to rather than the place the leave.

I was struck by that thought when I came across an article by Anna Adams Dickie in The Wisconsin Magazine of History (March 1948).  It was entitled 'Scotch-Irish Presbyterian Settlers in Southern Wisconsin' and this is the opening sentence:

The majority of the Scotch-Irish people who settled in the townships of Lima and Koshkonong were from the freehold townland of Ballymacombs, Parish of Ballyscullion, County of Londonderry.'

The author was born in Ballymacombs and had emigrated from Ulster to America in 1892 to her maternal great-uncle John MacMillin,  Anna was a daughter of John Adams and his wife Mary Anne Seawright.  She graduated from the Whitewater State Normal School (Teachers College) and married a fellow-student Robert Bruce Dickie.

North Lima Presbyterian Church
The article was based on a talk she had given to a group at the North Lima Presbyterian Church, a small rural church near Whitewater, in August 1947. 

That was seventy years ago and it helps to confirm that in the middle of the 20th century there was a strong awareness of the Scotch-Irish story within Scotch-Irish communities in many part of America.

The townland of Ballymacombs is in county Londonderry and lies mid-way between Bellaghy and Portglenone, on the Londonderry side of the River Bann.  It is within the Mid-Ulster Council area and is another piece in the Ulster-Scots story of that area.


  1. http://www.libraryireland.com/topog/B/Ballyscullion-Loughinsholin-Londonderry.php this is worth a read from Library Ireland

    1. I read that and it is interesting. The reference to a Synod of Ulster congregation and a Seceder congregation in Bellaghy shows that the Presbyterian community was sufficiently numerous to support two congregations at that time. I will also check out the congregational histories and the Ordnance Survey Memoirs.

  2. You’d like a documentary called God’s Frontiersmen, right up your alley. It’s on YouTube.

  3. The book was even better than the documentary.


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