This talk was give 10 years prior to the discovery by Ginger August of our Killough Connection

Remarks from speech
given by
at 1980 Reunion

Hector McKechnie, the Scots genealogist, said, “To rescue from oblivion one’s forebears, to revive their memories, cannot but give satisfaction.  Even to catch something of the leisured spirit of bygone days and the conception of a life more lasting, and more worth while than that of an individual, is in itself, no slight achievement.”

About the beginning of the 10th century, it is told in the briefest terms that Constantine the King and Kellock the bishop swore or made oath to preserve the laws and discipline of the faith and rights of the church along with the Scots, on a mount near Scone.  He was the first mentioned bishop in Scotland.  This was also the first of our ancestors (Kell meaning dweller near a spring and one who came from the Kells which is church in Scottish).

About 1600, James VI of Scotland became James I of England.  No English king for centuries had been able to subdue Ireland though many had tried.  In 1595, his predecessor, Elizabeth’s troops gained a victory over the leading Irish rebel families and their followers, the Oneils, Tyreconnells and OCahanes.  The lands were desolated and the natives of the six northern counties which composed their holdings, driven out to starve.  The ONeil of County Down sold his holdings to the Scottish Earls of Montgomery and Hamilton while Tyreconnell fled to Europe.  James invited English and Scottish undertakers (land lords and merchants) to settle the new areas since these people would establish roots and secure Ireland for the United Kingdom.  Few who got these grants went themselves but induced their tenants and others to go instead.  The undertakers mostly lowland Scots, received parcels of 1,000, 1,500 or 2,000 acres.  Their job was to fill them.  “Among those whom divine providence did send to Ireland, the most part were such as either poverty or scandalous lives had forced hither.”  The later careers of Cromwell and William of Orange would induce many more to migrate there... gentry, merchants, artisans and farmers all came.  The stage was set for an infusion of new blood caused by government, economy and religion.  England sent settlers to Londonderry and vicinity while grants to the land barons from the Scottish lowlands and border brought numerous settlers from those areas.  James knew his Scots, their adventurous nature, their poverty, and above all, their love of a good bargain.  The earliest migrants from 1600-1610 were of the very meanest classes due to a bad economy at home and the violence of Scottish life.  All retained their Presbyterian faith which could be practiced freely in Ulster, while at home attempts to Anglicize it had crept in.  People of the same name and from the same place were settled in Ulster.

Scotland, about 1600, was a land of poverty and insecurity.  Only James was able to bring a modicum of peace to all its regions while religious fervor was at fever pitch.  Scotland had converted to Christianity early but had missed all the religious reforms which had swept Europe.  Neither saints nor scholars existed there, the area remaining on the edge of the Christian world. By James ascension, Christianity was in the worst shape of any European country.  In 1559, John Knox returned from exile and in one fantastic year began a reformation which swept away the Roman faith, replacing it with the Presbyterian kirk of Scotland.

In 1707 Ulster emigration stopped with the creation of the UK by William of Orange.  But there, the very prosperity of Ulster, led to later migration to America.  Not considering the areas lush harvests, the new arrivals began the weaving of wool and linen.  This proved so successful that it competed with British merchants who complained to Parliament bringing reprisals against these trades.  In addition, the 31 year leases expired and the rents were raised or sold to the highest bidder beginning in 1717.  Little rainfall caused drought, while the cloth industry continued to suffer.  There was also the test act, a legal religious restriction used to turn out ministers and evict Presbyterian public servants from their jobs.  This silenced the ministers, many of whom led their flocks to America.

Kelloch and his two sons, David and Finley, came from the northern part of Ireland in the year 1735 and landed at Philadelphia from where they went to Portsmouth, N.H.  The father and David returned to Philadelphia.

I suspect that they had heard of the Loncolnshire grants before leaving Europe.  Waldo distributed handbills throughout Ulster from 1733-36 advertising 300 acres, a minister and a blockhouse.  In 1737 he also ran an ad in the Belfast newsletter.  If this wasn’t the case how did he hear of it in Philadelphia?  He would, as most did, rush down the great valleys into the interior.  He probably stayed in Philadelphia long enough to recoup the price of the passage.  There is in fact, only a 50/50 chance that he was Scottish—Irish in the first place as in 1735 there was no direct passenger connection between Scotland and America.  Many Scottish-Irish were native Scots who took the advantage of an organized means of immigration which existed only in Ulster.  Scots immigration was caused by 1. the Union of 1707 2. the Uprising of 1715 (1,000 Jacobites were transported from 1715-46) and 3. the dislocation or switch from cattle to sheep.

After 1725, ungranted New England land was very scarce.  There was little need for indentured servants there as elsewhere (even professional people immigrated in that capacity).  Early settlers who did go, didn’t write glowing reports back, since few went to New England.  They were frequently sued, prosecuted or even threatened with military force to dislodge them.  For those offered land grants, there was religious oppression.  By the 1730’s, masters must give a bond for every Irish immigrant landed in New England.  Most of the early settlers came to Pennsylvania due to lack of discrimination there and it being the best place to load return cargo.  New England was considered dangerous, while few ships sailed to Virginia or New York due to the entrenched agriculturalists there and their narrow religious views.  In 1730 anyone leaving Ireland after a 7 year residence must have a license showing debt free status.  From 1730-40 potato prices collapsed, and there was land hunger (one could have hundreds of acres for the same rent as a small field in Ulster)

The sailing ports were Belfast, Newry, Lorne, Portrush and Londonderry (99% of them to Pennsylvania).

The term Scotch Irish is unknown in Ulster being purely American.  Overseas, they called themselves Ulster Irish or North Irish, but always Irish.  Thus, Scotch Irish were a separate breed from Scots, becoming daring frontiersmen in the interior while Scots stayed in the cities.

In researching the family in Europe, I suspect we should split -- one person taking Scotch research, the other Irish. It’s too much for a single individual.  I checked the court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh with regard to the traditional arms trying to pick up a lead. Arms belonged to an individual and were passed on in his line.  So arms are for a person, not a family.  I tried to find the person to whom the arms were granted.  In 1672, all previous arms were called in and all subsequent arms registered.  This can not be located now.  Burke lists a Kellock Family with our arms but doesn’t state where he found it or the individual involved.  Since our arms have a border, this means a cadet difference or a younger son.  I am checking in England as well on this.

James Tarbett, a servant of the Earl of Dunfermline, was included in the third list of undertakers in 1633 when the greatest flow began.  He was in Inneskilling County Fermagaugh, the most remote county from Scotland and hence Scots Justice.

Sources for Ireland are: Public Record office of Northern Ireland law courts building, May Street, Belfast.  They have plantation records.

Seamus Pender, a census of Ireland 1659 (All these at that time).

The Presbyterian Historical Society has three pamphlets 1950-54 listing settlers in the reign of James 1st.

National Surname Index, 4503 Shenadale, San Antonio, TX 70230.  Once we have a name, Ulster Historical Society in Belfast is the place to put it all together, but they need a lot of information.

Scottish sources are 424 Parochial Register of Dunfermline Fifeshire 1561-1747 (Mormons have on microfilm.)

Scottish record office, Edinburgh, has commisariet records (Commissary Courts and Wills) also Sassine on land records.

Finally, in researching Scots families the eldest son was named for the paternal grand-father, 2nd son mother’s father;3rd son for father; eldest daughter for maternal grand-mother, 2nd daughter for paternal grandmother and 3rd daughter for mother.

Sandburg quote: “When great civilizations perish, it is because they forgot where they came from”.


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