The Scotch-Irish Killoughs

It is of special interest to Killoughs and their descendants to see how their ancestors fit in to the big picture in the formation of the United States.  The following information is quoted from the Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 27, and p. 332, and is copied here from

"Another equally important non-English element introduced into the colonial population was that of the Scotch-Irish, or better, the Scotch Presbyterians from Ulster, Ireland.  Their ancestors had made their homes in Ireland for 2 or 3 generations (having come there from Scotland), but driven by the religious bigotry of the Established Church, the commercial jealousy of England, and the oppression of the landlords, they now sought a refuge across the sea.

The emigration began about the middle of the 17th century but did not assume considerable proportion until around 1718.  It is estimated that between 1725 and 1768 the number of Scotch-Irish emigrants rose from 3000 to 6000 annually. Between 1771 and 1773, some 30,000 departed.

As a result of this emigration about ½ of the Presbyterian population of Ulster came to America.  Some of these went to New England, several thousand sailed directly to Virginia and the Carolinas, but by far the great majority landed first on the shores of Delaware and took up their settlements on the frontiers of Pennsylvania and spread from there southward.  This colony has been rightly called ‘the seed plot of frontier emigration’, for beginning about 1732 a constant stream of emigrants, composed of Germans and Scotch Irish folk, flowed to the South and Southwest along the great valleys into the western portions of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Eventually the Scotch-Irish penetrated even farther into South Carolina and Georgia.  This sturdy and God-fearing people formed the chief element in the population of the frontier counties from Pennsylvania to Georgia, overflowing into what later became Kentucky and Tennessee. It is estimated that the Scotch-Irish comprised about 1/6th of the colonists at the time of the Revolution."


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