I Collect Family Stories

Much of the information in this blog will have been written by others and duly acknowledged so I can pass on what I have found and what I am learning.  I started as genealogists do, with first hand knowledge, then go on to wider materials. Occasionally, I have found that, in their enthusiasm to enlarge the number of ancestors, writers have listed fathers that would have been nine years old (hardly likely), or some born 90 years after their offspring(???).

My brother, John Lawrence Graham,  worked tirelessly in his retirement years to assure that his records were accurate. Many family members dropped out after trips to sites like abandoned cemeteries deep in briar patches, or dusty courthouse records.  I admired his commitment to accuracy, and trust the information he gave me.

John and I travelled to Columbia, South Carolina to the 200th Anniversary Celebration of the church our first Cork ancestor in this country helped build.  We found surnames of many of our current neighbors in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.

Strong bonds between families have existed since the voyage from Ireland’s  County Antrium in 1772 and subsequent movement to Alabama in the early years of statehood. Later generations had groups move on to Acherman, Mississippi. and even later descendents helped settle Texas.

Graveyards in all places shelter the same names although many Presbyterians became Methodist or Baptists on the frontier areas where ministers were less likely to be educated because they could be ordained with little formal training in the Baptist churches that followed the westward movement.

Most of these descendants define themselves by the well known characteristics of Scotch Irish. A strong independence of spirit, as distrust of authority, a loyalty to clan and church, a strong commitment to family, and loyalty to church and clan.

The Ulster Irish from Northern Ireland were scorned by the earlier settled Scottish Irish immigrants and were resented by many established towns as rough and “red necks” although this was before the term was used. The term Scotch Irish in never unsed in the United Kingdom.

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