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Scots Irish in Pennsylvania & Kentucky Billy Kennedy AmbassadorEmerald International


31st January 2012 History Books 4 Comments

Billy Kennedy, a native of County Armagh, Northern Ireland, has been a leading journalist for the past thirty years, occupying the roles of news editor, assistant editor, and leader writer for the Belfast News Letter, the primary morning newspaper in Northern Ireland. He is now a freelance journalist, author, and public relations consultant, combining news, features, business, and sports coverage in Northern Ireland for the national press and media outlets in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. On his regular visits to the United States, he lectures on the subject of the Scots-Irish diaspora at universities, colleges, historical and genealogical societies and public authorities in cities and towns of the southeastern American states.

Pennsylvania and Kentucky are two American states settled primarily at opposite ends of the 18th century by Ulster-Scots Presbyterians. In this fourth of the popular chronicles on this hardy, pioneering breed of people, Billy Kennedy vividly details the stories behind the early settlements and the enduring personalities who came to the fore during a fascinating period of history.

William Penn and his Quaker community encouraged the European settlers to move in large numbers to the colonial lands in Pennsylvania from the beginning of the 18th century and the Scots-Irish were among the earliest families to set up homes in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Elizabethtown, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh.

President James Buchanan was a Scots-Irish son of Pennsylvania, one of thirteen Presidents with Ulster family links, and many other illustrious citizens of the Keystone State trace their roots to immigrants who crossed the Atlantic from the North of Ireland.

Kentucky, established as a state in 1792, was pioneered two decades earlier by renowned frontiersmen Daniel Boone and a few Ulster-Scots families, such as the WArnocks, the McAfees, the Logans, and the McGarys. Those were dark and dangerous days west of the Appalachian Mountains and through the Cumberland Gap and the bloody conflict between the settlers and the Indian tribes terribly stained the landscape of the Bluegrass State.

Gradually, civilized society emerged in Kentucky by the beginning of the 19th century and it was Scots-Irish soldiers, hunters, politicians, lawyers, and plain ordinary farmers who were in the vanguard of bringing this about.

This book records for posterity the outstanding contribution of the Scots-Irish in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, and, as with the immigrant settlers in Tennessee, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Carolinas, it is a story well worth telling.

Scots Irish in Pennsylvania & Kentucky (Scots-Irish Chronicles)

The Scotch-Irish in the Carolinas

Billy Kennedy, a native of County Armagh, Northern Ireland, has been a leading journalist for the past thirty years, occupying the roles of news editor, assistant editor, and leader writer for the Belfast News Letter, the primary morning newspaper in Northern Ireland. He is now a freelance journalist, author, and public relations consultant, combining news, features, business, and sports coverage in Northern Ireland for the national press and media outlets in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. On his regular visits to the United States, he lectures on the subject of the Scots-Irish diaspora at universities, colleges, historical and genealogical societies and public authorities in cities and towns of the southeastern American states.

The Carolina regions of the United States of America were settled in large numbers during the 18th century by tens of thousands of Ulster-Scots Presbyterians, who left their native shores for reasons of religious persecution and economic deprivation.

In this third volume of the series on the hardy Scots-Irish communities who tamed the wilderness of the American frontier, journalist-author Billy Kennedy heads on a journey from the north of Ireland to the port of Charleston, South Carolina and the Carolina Piedmont, along the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania, through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, into the western highlands of North Carolina and down to the historic Waxhaws, where President Andrew Jackson spent his childhood and early youth.

On this trail of the Scots-Irish in the Carolinas, five American Presidents emerge as direct descendants of the first frontier Carolina settlers. Also, John C. Calhoun, American Vice President for two terms, was the son of an Ulsterman who settled in the Carolina upcountry and literally hauled himself up by his bootlaces from a log cabin to a position as one of the nation’s most influential policy makers.

The culture, political heritage, and legacy of the Scots-Irish so richly adorn the historical fabric of American life. Through this series on the Scots-Irish, people on both sides of the Atlantic may develop an awareness of our illustrious past which will assist them in facing the future with renewed insight and wisdom. The contributions of the Scots-Irish to the building of the great American nation were profound and deserve our full recognition.

The Scotch-Irish in the Carolinas (Scots-Irish Chronicles)










  • 4 responses to "Scots Irish in Pennsylvania & Kentucky Billy Kennedy AmbassadorEmerald International"

  • Anna Poelo
    13:43 on January 31st, 2012
    Reply to comment

    I found this book at a Scottish Festival in February and picked it up because my ancestors were Scots-Irish who lived in PA before the Civil War. I thought the book would help me to understand the reasons the Scots-Irish came to America, their migration, and their life. Little did I realize that it would give me genealogical support for 3 of my ancestors, Galbraiths who were founders of a Presbytery in Donegal County, PA.

    This book is an interesting read for anyone with connections to either Scotland or Ireland. It gives a better picture of the strength and fortitude of these people, who were driven from Scotland to Ulster Province, and ultimately from Ulster to America. Based on my own genalogical findings, Mr. Kennedy appears to have done his homework with his research. This book is fourth in a series (the previous books are the Scots-Irish in Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas). It is interesting to note that the Scots-Irish, in spite of the derrogatory terms used to describe them, were often gentry who had been driven from Scotland to find a new home in Northern Ireland.

    I recommend this for anyone who is interested in learning more about the contribution of the Scots-Irish in building our country. Also, if you are researching your family history, Mr. Kennedy’s books will give you a better understanding of the contributions your ancestors made to the growth of our nation.

  • cloneranger
    6:49 on February 2nd, 2012
    Reply to comment

    I found this book to be very informative. It provides some information genealogically and describes the historical perspective of the region. I bought both the Carolinas and the Tennessee book and found that there was repetition. Therefore, I recommend buying one book on the Scotch-Irish written by Mr. Kennedy.

  • Are you dumb?
    16:21 on February 4th, 2012
    Reply to comment

    If your ancestors came to Pennsylvania from Scotland by way of Northern Ireland, you might find them mentioned by Bill Kennedy. He provides many short biographies and general information for genealogists and history enthusiasts.

  • Satish KC
    21:01 on February 4th, 2012
    Reply to comment

    Billy Kennedy is one of the first writers of Ulster Scot or Scot-irish history to truly understand and document his findings.
    First to recognise the tremendous contibution to history by this group.This backbone of America establish a Culture says James T Webb in his “Born Fighting”, a culture of the American Military, Police and Firemen and many others we can always count on. Few groups have been reciepents recieve treament by the elitist and history abounds with words like Red Necks, Hill Billy, White Trash, few recognise their contibution starting with Blue Grass, US Constitution and Declaration of Indepedence and the Patriots to make it happen. They are the mainstream that disturbs those who are not. Insults have never detered their commitments.
    Billy throughout his series documents the many incidenteds and contributions while in Ulster is part of a team to expand Ulsters part in todays world. Along with Billy’s books, Born Fighting by James T Webb is equally recommended.
    A Silent Knight sends, thank you

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