The people who moved from Scotland to Ireland in the 17th century overwhelmingly originated in south-west Scotland. This region includes Ayrshire, from whose ports originated some of the earliest trading voyages to the New World. The opportunities in Ulster and Ayrshire’s close proximity to Ireland, however, discouraged transatlantic emigration. While many moved for good economic reasons, others fled from religious persecution. Those who settled in Ulster were the forefathers of the Scotch-Irish.