Scots-Irish Characteristics–

4) Fierce Land Hunger. Land was the source of wealth; the basis for political power and voting rights; the anchor for family stability and growth. Your Scots-Irish ancestors earned or bought military land warrants from soldiers as a commercial investment–they speculated in Western lands. They bought up military warrants from soldiers who offered them for sale and advertised the “best prices” for those warrants. And your shrewd Scots-Irish forebears carefully marked and protected their boundary lines– they processioned these lines every 2-3 years by actually walking the boundary lines with their neighbors from the age of 16 years on. Every male resident in each military district knew his neighbors’ boundaries as well as his own and could so testify in a court of inquiry to prevent boundary disputes.

Here is your checklist of sources to search:

  • property records including pre-emptions, land entries, surveys, bounty awards for iron forges, mills, and stockades
  • deeds, including mortgages if recorded separately. In Georgia, deeds often include the exact travel itinerary your ancestors took to arrive on their lands:

Jones County GA M-246
James McBryde
age 22–born in Luch parish
Gallowayshire, Scotland
sailed 24 Oct 1820 from Belfast
arrived 24 Dec 1820 at Savannah
to Clinton GA 1 Feb 1821

  • land warrants and assignments are especially valuable because these will be the earliest records for the Scots-Irish
  • court minutes covering local boundary squabbles as well as the formal process of walking the boundaries, including which local men were assigned to each district
  • bounty-land claims—almost as soon as they arrived, they claimed their lands or bought lands from someone else.

Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS I am 3/4 Welsh. I have been told that I am likely part Irish because of it. I hope so! Stay tuned.

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