According to some estimates as many as 100,000 Scotsmen were re-settled by the British government in the Irish Plantation of Ulster during the 17th century. After the turn of the next century, the descendants of many of these Ulster Scots, better known as the Scotch-Irish, would play a major role in diversifying the population of the British colonies and, in particular, in opening up the American frontier to European settlement.
The purpose of this diminutive bipartite book is to help persons of Scotch-Irish descent make the linkage first to Ulster and then back to Scotland. The work identifies some 1,200 Scotsmen (in two alphabetically arranged lists) who resided in Ulster between the early 1600s and the early 1700s. Many of the persons so identified were young men from Ireland–many bearing Scottish surnames–attending universities in Scotland. Still other Scots-Irish links were apprentices, ministers, merchants, weavers, teachers, or persons in flight. In a number of cases Mr. Dobson is able to provide information on the man or woman’s spouse, children, local origins, landholding, and, of course, the source of the information. While there is no certainty that each of the persons identified in Scots-Irish Links or their descendants ultimately emigrated to America, undoubtedly many did or possessed kinsmen who did. It is their descendants today who will be forever indebted to Mr. Dobson for making their ancestors’ origins accessible.