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Help Finding Irish Ancestors
County Antrim, Ireland
Who were the Celts? The earliest record of the Celts is in the 7th or 8th century B. C. when the Roman Empire ruled much of southern Europe and referred to them as “Galli”, or barbarians. It is believed that the Celts began to be tribal ca 1200 B.C. when they migrated across western Europe, dwelling in Britain, Ireland, France, and Spain.
The first place to search for your Irish ancestors is in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. Anciently, Antrim was inhabited by a Celtic population, called Darini. During the Middle Ages, however, the southern portion of the county became part of the Kingdom of Ulidia, a people who were not Celtic but probably related to the Picts of Britain. Later, during the 12th century Antrim was part of the Earldom of Ulster.
Between the 8th and 11th centuries part of Ulster and Antrim was conquered by Anglo-Norman invaders. It was not until the 16th century that adventurers from Britain attempted to colonize the region. It was at this time that the Scots settled in Antrim, people who would be referred to as the Scotch-Irish.
During the Jesuit period, many Scots escaped religious and political tyranny by settling among the Presbyterians in Antrim.
Research issues revolve around the fact that documents did not survive the many Rebellions between the Catholics and Protestants in the region. I would suggest the following website as a starter.
The Irish Rebellion of 1641 was a massacre of Protestants, by the Catholic gentry who attempted to seize control of the Irish government. In 1689, Antrim was the center of Protestant resistance against the rule of James II (Catholic). After the advance of the Irish Army under Richard Hamilton, all of County Antrim was brought under Jacobite control. Later in the year, a major expedition from England landed in Belfast Lough and successfully laid siege to Carrickfergus. Having captured most of the largest towns of the area, they then marched south towards Dundalk.
The Irish port city used most frequently to come to the United States was Belfast. So where did the Irish land in America? The answer is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As they prepared to settle America’s frontiers, these migrants settled temporarily in Bucks and Berk Counties, Pennsylvania. This is where to search!
During the mid-seventeen-hundreds, the Scotch-Irish population drove the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania, through the Shenandoah Valley, down to North Carolina and South Carolina. They came in droves, settling in Laurens and Chester Counties in South Carolina, and throughout Georgia. This is where to search!
South Carolina Genealogy Online - Wills, Estates, Genealogies
GENEALOGY TIP --- > FIND YOUR ANCESTORS BACK TO ca 1600 BY SEARCHING COUNTY RECORDS The fastest method of finding…southcarolinapioneers.net