The Scots-Irish were for the most part, tenant farmers who were planted on cleared Irish Gaelic lands by the Crown. The idea was to plant the area with small farmers from Scotland who were 1) Protestants, and 2) loyal to the Crown. Most came from the Scottish Lowlands of Galloway, Ayrshire and the Scottish Border Country. The planting process began 1609 when the colonists were transported to the Ulster Plantation mainly in what is today Northern Ireland. Migration continued with a major one in the 1690s, this time because of famine in Scotland. It was from that period forward, the Scots-Irish began to be a majority in Ulster.
The Test Act of 1703 caused widespread discrimination for those who didn’t conform to the Anglican tradition. This included the Scots-Irish Presbyterians.
Due to discrimination, economic conditions, and the raising of rents; by 1718, the Scots-Irish began leaving. The first wave went to New England, where they founded Londonderry, New Hampshire. Between then and 1775 it is estimated that some 200,000 came to the colonies. This gave them a powerful presence. They became the builders of the new United States at every turn as pioneers and statesmen. Both Americans and Canadians owe much to these early ancestors.
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