Ulster Scots and Blandford [Massachusetts] Scouts


A famous historian once said, "I should rather meet coming against me a whole regiment with drawn swords that one Calvinist convinced that he is doing the will of God." If you have ancestors with Scotch-Presbyterian blood, perhaps you are already familiar with the qualities of character that could evoke such a reaction. You may also be interested in this fascinating history of the Scottish pioneers who played such an important role in the establishment of many New England towns. The book begins with several chapters describing how English persecution prompted a migration of impoverished Scotch-Presbyterians in the early 17th century. This hardy breed left their highland homes for the counties of Northern Ireland, where they became known as the Ulster Scots. They served the English as a sort of buffer against the wrath of the Irish Catholics, who were being persecuted and oppressed. The hardships faced by the Ulster Scots in Ireland prepared them to become bulwarks in the even harsher environment of the New World's frontier. In 1718 the continued longing for economic prosperity and religious freedom instigated another great wave of Scotch-Presbyterian migration--this time from Ulster to the colonies of New England. In the next sixty years, Scotch-Presbyterians established nearly one hundred new settlements.

This book touches on the origins of all these colonial towns and on Blandford, Massachusetts, in particular. The distinguished service of the Scottish descendants in Blandford who served as scouts in the French and Indian wars is also recounted. The author's style is eloquent and thorough but never tedious. He includes elaborate genealogical tables down to the time of the Revolution as well as indices of names, places and subjects. There are also many illustrations and a bibliography.

Sumner Gilbert Wood

(1928, 1997), 2010, 5½x8½, paper, indices, 464 pp.

ISBN: 9780788406324