updated 2.20.07



The Scots who migrated to Northern Ireland beginning about 1605 are generally referred to as 'Ulster-Scots', although sometimes in North America they are referred to as 'Scotch-Irish'. Both terms most commonly refer to those Scots who settled the northern counties of Ireland during the Plantation scheme. However, there were Scots in Ireland as early as the 1400s, such as the McDonalds of County Antrim. There was also a steady stream of Scots migrating to Northern Ireland in the early 1800s as a result of the highland clearances in Scotland. It can therefore be considered that anyone whose ancestors migrated from Scotland to Northern Ireland from 1400 onward, is of Ulster Scottish descent, although the term Ulster-Scot was born with the Plantation scheme.

The majority of Scots who migrated to Northern Ireland came as part of this organized settlement scheme of 1605-1697. Plantation settlements were confined to the Province of Old Ulster, in the Counties of Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Fermanagh, and Londonderry. As many as 200,000 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 two eastern counties of Antrim and Down. The initiative was taken by Scotish fortune seekers. Although the British Crown encouraged and co-operated with those responsible, it was fully a private venture. In County Down, the two leaders of the Scottish settlement were Hugh Montgomery, a Scottish laird from Braidstone in Ayreshire, and James Hamilton, who had begun his career in Ireland as a school teacher in Dublin in 1587. The terms of the crown's grant to these two Scots were specified in 1605, and included an obligation to inhabit the lands with Scots and Englishmen. The planning and settlement was left entirely in the hands of Montgomery and Hamilton. How did they accomplish this?

The Migration and Settlement, circa 1606. The blue dots represent the locations the settlers came from. These locations are reproduced from Professor David Hackett Fischer's "Albion's Seed, Four British Folkways in America."  Note that both Dunlop and Beith were major providers of resettlers.

From " www.HamiltonMontgomery1606.com"


In 1602, Con McNeale McBryan Feartagh O'Neill lived two -three miles distant from what is now Belfast. He was entertaining friends in the castle of Castlereagh, when his wine gave out. He sent his retainers to liberate some of his wine that was being held by an English taxman, who unfortunately in the process killed an English soldier. O'Neill was detained, and was to be made an example of. His wife sent a message to Hugh Montgomery, who was the Lord of Braidstone in Ayrshire, Scotland, who sent his relative Thomas Montgomery to assist in the escape of O'Neill. O'Neill did escape, but wanted to return. He entered into an agreement with Montgomery,to intercede with the King to get a pardon, at the cost of a third of his lands. Montgomery did not have enough influence with the King, but brought in James Hamilton, who had been the King's political agent in Dublin, and was an Ayrshire neighbor, living in Dunlop. Hamilton arranged a full pardon for O'Neill, but O'Neill also had to cede another third of his land to Hamilton. Hamilton and Montgomery officially gained the land on April 16, 1605. These lands were described as the Upper Clannaboye and the Great Ards.


Both Scots returned to Ayrshire, and called upon their whole kith and kin to help them "plant" their newly acquired land with Scots and Englishmen. They founded the towns of Bangor and Killyleagh, in County Down, and planted them with men from the Scottish counties of Ayr, Renfrew, Wigtown, Dumfries, and Kirkcudbright. The first Scottish settlers arrived in 1605-1606. The names of some of those who held farms from the Hamilton estates in 1681 and 1688 appear on rent-rolls in the Hamilton Manuscripts, the majority residing near Bangor and Killyleagh. Many Ayrshire names are prominent, including John Dunlap, James Dunlap, John Delop, Tom Aiken, many Hamiltons, Robert Cunningham and over a hundred others

Their first task was to build cottages and booths out of sods and saplings, then the soil was tilled. By 1630, there were about 2,700 Scottish males on these two estates in County Down, of which about 80% were names commonly found in the south-western counties of Scotland. When females and children are added to the total, there would have been about 5,000 Scots settled in Down in 1630.

 From " www.HamiltonMontgomery1606.com"

The following is a list of Scottish surnames, contained on Muster Rolls and Estate Maps of the eight Plantation Counties of Ulster for the period 1607 - 1633, which was the initial phase of the plantation scheme. Surnames which occurred more than once in a County are indicated as x2, x3, x4, etc. here are only two Counties that list Dunlops of any spelling:


Adair, Agnew, Barr, Black, Blair x2, Boyd x4, Bozwell x2, Brown, Brisbane, Burns, Buthill, Colville, Cunningham, Dewar, Dickie, Dobbin, Dunbar, Dunlop x4, Edmonston x2, Ellis x2, Fenton, Fullerton, Futhie, Haldane, Hamill x2, Hamilton, Hutchins, Johnston, Kennedy x2, Kinnear, Kirkpatrick, Kyd, Laderdeill, Logan, Luke, Lutfoot, Maxwell, Melvin, Millar, Montgomery, Moneypenny, Moore, Macauley, Macawley, Mcgoogan, Mackay, McNaughton, McNeill, McPherdirish, McRobert, Niven, O'Greeve, Ritchie, Ross, Shaw x4, Stewart x13, Thompson, Todd, Trane, Tullis, Wallace


Abercrombie, Adair x3, Adams, Agnew x2, Aicken, Allen, Anderson x2, Andrews, Bailie x2, Barkley, Barkie x3, Bayly, Beatty, Blackwood, Blair x5, Boyd x3, Brackley, Brown, Carlile, Carmichael, Carr, Carson, Cathcart x2, Catherwood, Chambers, Chermsides, Cooper, Cowper, Craig, Crawford x3, Crear, Cummings, Cunningham x13, Danielston, Davidson, Dick, Dickson, Dodds, Douglas, Drennan, Drummond, Dufferin, Dunbar, Dunleath, Dunlop x3, Echlin x4, Edmonston, Forsith, Frazer, Galloway, Galt, Galway, Gelston, Gemmil, Glen, Greenshields, Hamilton x14, Hare, Haper x2, Harvey x2, Hilton, Hogg, Howie, Howson, Hunter, Innes, Julius, Keevet, Kelly, Kelson, Kennedy x7, Kerr, Kilpatrick, Kirkpatrick, Kyle, Kylr, Leckey, Leslie, Lindsay, Lloyd, Logan x2, Magee, Martin, Mathyson, Maxwell x5, Millar, Monett, Moneypenny x3, Montgomery x18, Moon, Moore x7, Mowlane, Murray x2, McBurney, McBride, McCappin, McCartney, McCashin x2, McClelland, McCleery, McComb, McCrae, McCreedy, McCullen, McCurry, McDonnell, McDougall x3, McDowell x2, McEwen, McGarry, McGee, McGifford, McIllevrath, McIlveyne, McKay, McKee, McLarnan, McLellan x4, McLean, McMakene, McMaster, McMillan, McMullen, McNabb, Nesbitt, Nevin, Nugent, Orr, Patrick, Patterson, Peacock, Peebles, Pollock x2, Read, Reid x2, Reynolds, Robb, Ross x5, Rudd x2, Rutherford, Scott, Semple, Seton, Shaw x3, Spier, Stanehouse, Stanhouse, Stevenson, Stewart x2, Tate, Thomson x2, Trail, Waddell, Walker, Wallace, Wanchop, Wardlaw, Watson, Welsh, Williamson, Wilson x4, Wylie, Wyms, Young

The second stage of settlement was far broader in scope, including six counties in Ulster. It was a project of the 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 Protestant subjects, to counterbalance and dominate the Irish Roman Catholics. Scotland was only too willing to participate. It was seen as a way to eradicate Scotland of the hordes of lowland Scots who in poverty had turned to a life of marauding and horse thievery, which had become an occupation in itself in the Scottish countryside. Hence in the early years of the Plantation, the majority of the settlers were mainly Lowlanders. Indeed, receiving landords in Ireland encouraged the arriving Scots to bring as many horses and cattle as possible to the new colony, obtained by whatever means. Scotland found this a small price to pay to eliminate the larger problem.

After 1630, Scottish migration to Ireland waned for a decade. Indeed, in the 1630s, many Scots went home after King Charles forced the Prayer Book of the Church of England on the Church of Ireland, thus denying the Scots their form of worship. In 1638, an oath was imposed on the Scots in Ulster, 'The Black Oath', binding them on no account to take up arms against the King. Insulted twice, many returned to Scotland. Even worse, in October 1641, the native Irish broke out in armed rebellion, slaughtering defenceless men, women and children. The survivors rushed to the seaports and many went back to Scotland. In the summer of 1642, Ten thousand Scottish soldiers, many Highlanders, arrived to quell the Irish rebellion. Thousands stayed on in Ireland, replacing those who had departed thus expanding the Ulster gene pool to encompass families from all over Scotland.

Now do you know why your family told you that you were Irish, when the Name is Scot?

Conditions over the next two hundred years continually worsened due to religious, political and economic problems in both Scotland and Ireland, The Clearances, the Jacobite revolution, the creation of the Church of Scotland, and the Potato Famines.

Sources: The Ulster Scot

America and Canada


Many of our ancestors then looked to the New World. In 1717, more than 5000 Ulstermen left for America. There followed five great waves of migration to the thirteen original American Colonies, in 1717-18; 1725-29; 1740-41; 1754-55; and 1771-75. In the period 1714-1720 alone, some 55 shiploads of immigrants sailed from Ireland to ports in New England.
Historians estimate that more than 200,000 Scots-Irish landed at the American ports of Boston, Delaware (Philadelphia/Chester/New Castle); New York, Annapolis, Charleston, and the Virginia ports in the 18th century. R.J. Dickson estimated that the vast majority landed in Philadelphia, and New York, followed closely by Charleston. In the first census of the United States, in 1790, the Scots-Irish were the second largest nationality group, with the English being first and the Germans third.
The greatest number of Scots-Irish arrived in the Delaware river ports of Philadelphia/Chester/New Castle. From there they headed west. The path they followed was determined by geography and circumstances. The coastal low- lands were already settled; the vacant land laid to the West. The great Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania led west for a hundred miles. Then, blocked by the Allegheny mountains, they turned south into the Shenandoah Valley or the Valley of Virginia. From there the path led to the Piedmont regions of the Carolinas.
The land lying along the "Great Wagon Road" that stretched from Philadelphia to the upper reaches of the Savannah River near Augusta, Georgia became the new home of the Scots-Irish in 18th century America. Along the Great Wagon Road are many unmarked graves of the great Scotch-Irish migration. Somehow this strange hybrid people-- part English, Irish and Teutonic as well as Scottish made it to Dixie. In the early 1900s, descendants of the Scotch-Irish left the depressed logging areas of North Carolina and Kentucky and moved to the North Cascades mountain area of Washington State.
The Scot-Irish, Their Character and Patterns of Migration

The Dunlaps/Dunlops emigrated to many English-speaking lands in the America's such as Nova Scotia, Pictou, the Ottawa Valley, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas. The First recorded Dunlop in America was Alexander Dunlop in 1683. Dunlop emigrated to South Carolina, where the Lords Proprietor appointed him Sheriff of Port Royal County in 1685. Another of the first recorded Dunlops in America was Alexander Dunlop , who purchased lands in New Hampshire in 1718. In 1776, John Dunlap, a Philadelphia printer, made the first printed copy of the Declaration of Independence for the Continental Congress."Dunlap Broadside" Library of Congress The Family spred throughout America.



As early as 1718, the British Government established the Transportation Act, which provided for the transportation of convicted criminals to lands away from Great Britain. Only a relative few convicts were transported at first. However, by 1770 (the year Captain Cook claimed Australia for the British Empire), over a thousand convicts a year were being transported mostly to plantations in Virginia and Maryland in North America. In 1782, Britain’s defeat in the American War of Independence meant it no longer could send its convicts to these colonies. In 1783 James Matra, who had been a midshipman with Captain Cook when he visited Australia was now living in North America. He had remained loyal to the British during the War of Independence and he now proposed that a new British Colony be established in “New South Wales”. In 1784, the British Government was empowered to select “some place beyond the seas” to send convicted criminals. Several places were proposed including Honduras, West Africa, and the Cape of Good Hope. All were rejected for different political reasons. In 1786 the British Government, then headed by Prime Minister Pitt, decided to establish a convict settlement in Australia. The First Fleet arrived in January 1788 with the first Europeans to settle in Australia, heralding the start of Australia’s Convict Era. The transportation of convicts to Australia lasted 80 years until 1868 during which time 158,829 convicts were transported. Convict settlements were established in what is modern day New South Wales, Norfolk Island, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. There was no convict transportation to what is modern day South Australia or the Northern Territory. Free settlers and government administrators arrived in that period.

The gold rush era began with the discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851. In the ensuing decade 33 new towns were established in Victoria alone. Later, other gold rushes would occur in Western Australia and Queensland. Many other minerals were also discovered including silver, lead, zinc, copper, and coal. Concurrently with the mining boom, the colonial governments of the day were opening up vast tracts of country for agricultural purposes. Large properties were established to run sheep and cattle while wheat was a major crop. Sheep were grown for their wool as well as meat, and the wool industry became a major pillar of the Australian economy. From the middle to the late 19th Century thousands of people migrated from the United Kingdom (which then included all of Ireland) and Europe to take advantage of these new opportunities to make money and to establish a new life in Australia.

There was a move from the free settlers to discontinue convict transportation and a push for new free settlers to economically develop the new colonies. However Australia is a very long way from Britain and Europe and the cost of passage and transport to Australia was expensive. The British and Colonial Governments realised that to achieve the levels of immigration to Australia that they wanted, they would have to subsidise the cost of getting there. It was in 1831, that the government introduced the first assisted free immigration scheme. Although the source of funding and the eligibility criteria changed over the years, assisted passenger migration to Australia continued until the end of the 1970’s.

In 1822 a Scottish Company was formed in Leith to exploit opportunities in the new colonies. In the 1820’s over 3,000 Scots immigrated to Australia. By 1830, one third of all landowners in New South Wales and Tasmania were born in Scotland. In the 1880’s the majority of immigrants were from Britain and Ireland, but many came too, from northern Europe, especially Germany and Scandinavia. Prior to World War I there was another major wave of mostly British immigrants. Following World War I many people immigrated to Australia under what was called the Empire Assistance Scheme. Most of these were English and Scots immigrants. In 1939 Australia offered assisted passage to European Jewish refugees. After the Second World War, Australia had a shortage of labour, and launched an assisted immigrant passage scheme that aimed to increase the population of Australia by one per cent per year. This led to a huge wave of immigration, about half of who were British and Irish, and about half of whom were Europeans dispossessed by the war. In 1946 Britain and Australia signed an agreement whereby any British ex-servicemen and women who wished to immigrate to Australia, would have their passage paid by the British government. By the time the scheme ended in 1955, over one million Britons had left for Australia. (contributed by Chris Dunlop, Cairns Australia)


One directory of "Dunlap's" lists over 50,000 families in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.


From a "muddy fort" in Ayrshire to the World, from Dalriada and Eire to America and Australia, from Antiquity to the Third Millennium, our proud Celtic Heritage lives on: