The Scottish and Irish Backgrounds of a ‘Scotch-Irish’ Family: The Mellons of Castletown, Tyrone and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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"Within and beyond Northern Ireland, there has been a considerable growth of interest in Ulster-Scots heritage, history, and culture since the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and the establishment of the Ulster Scots Agency in 2001. One important aspect of this growth has been in tracing the Scottish roots of the Ulster-Scots, known mainly in North America as the Scotch-Irish or Scots-Irish, back to Scotland.

Ulster-Scots families, both in Ulster and in diaspora (where they are more often referred to as ‘Scotch-Irish’ or ‘Scots-Irish’), are characteristically Presbyterian and Scottish in origin, as indicated particularly by their surnames. However, while it is clear that the large majority of Presbyterian families in Ulster were descended from migrants who arrived from Scotland in the seventeenth century, not all were."

This article looks at the Mellons of Castletown, Tyrone and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and how their migration story has been taken as offering a window on the migration stories of others of the group with which they identified so closely.

Brian Lambkin

Brian Lambkin is the founding Director of the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster-American Folk Park, Omagh, County Tyrone and joint-author with Patrick Fitzgerald of Migration in Irish History, 1607-2007 (2008, Palgrave Macmillan). He is a former Principal of Lagan College, Belfast, and Chairman of the Association of European Migration Institutions (2001-2010).

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