Religion in Family History
Quite a few years ago I wrote a posts titled Irish Heritage and Irish Heritage II. Tonight I have been thinking about these posts while watching a Genealogy show. This is mainly a slight rewrite of the 2nd post.
The show looks at the ancestry of two Irish Americans. The two are both descendants of later waves of Irish Catholics. Their story is much different from my Irish ancestors.
Usually when people think of Irish-Americans they think of the large waves of Irish Catholics who emigrated to the US in the 19th century. More than 4 million immigrants came to the US from Ireland in the 19th century.
However, there were also Irish Catholics who came to the colonies before the Revolutionary War. The numbers are not as large, and estimates vary as to how many. There were probably 75-100 thousand immigrants in the 1600’s and about 100 thousand in the 1700’s.
My ancestors however were from North Ireland and were later known as Scotch-Irish to differentiate them from the Irish Catholics. There were about 250 thousand immigrants from North Ireland and Scotland that came to America in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Another branch of my family were Scottish Covenanters and came to Pennsylvania later in the 18th century.
The picture above is of my 4th Great Grandfather Absalom Leeper who was born in 1790 in Pennsylvania. He became a minister in the Christian Church in Ohio and later moved to Iowa.
I am often reminded of my Irish heritage as the office that I work in is in Dublin, California and we are surrounded by Irish names and images. Many of the street names are Irish and there are shamrocks all over the place.
Here is a picture of the Dublin Boulevard bridge crossing over the Alamo canal.
Even though my Irish ancestors were from an earlier protestant migration, I can still be a little Irish for St. Patrick’s Day.
Do you have Irish or Scotch-Irish ancestry?
To read more entries in my Religion in Family History series click on the following link: Religion in Family History