In this much longer sequel to his earlier collection of Scots-Irish Links, Parts One & Two, David Dobson sheds more light on a segment of the 100,000 Scotsmen who were re-settled by the British government in the Irish Plantation of Ulster during the 17th century. Drawing upon primary source material in the British Museum in London, the Public Record Office and Trinity College in Dublin, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast, as well as Scottish sources not consulted for the earlier volume, Mr. Dobson has come up with an additional 2,500 mostly Lowland Scots who re-settled in Ulster–in most instances prior to 1700. Of the many important sources consulted for Scots-Irish Links, Part Three are the Irish Patent Rolls, which contain “proof” of a Scot’s denization in Ireland, a requirement for buying and eventually bequeathing land in Ireland. Most of the Scots who came to Ulster before 1640, it should be pointed out, were Episcopalians, while those that followed were overwhelmingly Presbyterian. 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.
As with Parts One & Two, the goal of Scots-Irish Links, 1575-1725, Part Three, is to help persons of Scotch-Irish descent make the linkage first to Ulster and then back to Scotland. Once again, university students predominate among the persons listed, followed by apprentices, ministers, merchants, weavers, teachers, or persons in flight. While most of the students are described merely by name, university, and date of attendance, in a number of cases Mr. Dobson is able to provide information on the individual’s spouse, children, parents, 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. This volume and its predecessors now bring those Scotch-Irish pioneers within the grasp of the researcher.