Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886480950

From: linda Merle <>
Subject: Re: Fw: The Irish in America
Date: Mon, 02 Feb 1998 20:42:30 -0800

Hi Raymond,

The reason the Ulster Scots are not called "Irish" except by the
ignorant is that they are different from the Irish. One can argue
that at the most basic level they are of the same racial stock as
all the other folk on the British Isles (by the way, do you mind
being called "British"???), but as time passed they felt themselves,
the British felt them to be, and the indiginous Irish themselves
felt them to be different.

They were generally different by religion, origin, and culture.

When they first arrived in America in 1718, they did not feel
they were Irish, nor have they ever felt that they were. Since
the vast majority of us came in three waves of emigration -- all
three completed BEFORE 1800, the times of emigation are different
as well.

The famine struck the potato, not folk of a particular ethnic group,
so grouping people who were struck by the impact of the famine as
anything but fellow famine sufferers is kinda overly simplistic,
don't ya think?

My family has been in the USA for 300 years now -- does that make
us Cherokee? With all due respect to both the Irish and the Cherokee --

I might add that my 1/4th Irish side (which came over long before the
famine too) finds "potato people" offensive too. It would like to
proclaim (though this is an Ulster Scots/Scotch Irish list) that
there were plenty of Irish in the Americans before the 1840's and
to add that we are Irish, not potato people.

There are various books on the subject of who and what the Ulster
Scot/Scotch-Irish person is. We have talked about this a lot and are
perhaps tired of the topic. I can refer you to some web pages if you

As someone who is both Irish and Ulster Scots, I can personally assure
you - they are very different. I myself like both.

Linda Merle

This thread: