"Ulster-Scots" is a term mainly used in Ireland and Britain ("Scotch-Irish" or "Scots-Irish"is commonly used in North America) primarily to refer to Presbyterian Scots, or their descendents, who migrated from the Scottish Lowlands to Ulster (the northern province of Ireland), largely across the 17th century. The term is considered by some to refer to any protestant migrant to nowaday Northern Ireland or his/her descendants.
Considerable numbers of Ulster Scots later settled in the North American colonies through the 18th century. Disdaining the heavily English regions on the Atlantic coast because of past hostilities, most groups of Ulster-Scotttish settlers crossed into the "western mountains", where their descendants populated the southern Appalachian regions and the Ohio Valley, before spreading west across the entire nation.
Today, over an estimated 20 million Americans can trace the roots of at least one family member to these settlers with at least one-third of the Presidents of the United States having had ancestral links.
the term Scotch-Irish
"Scotch-Irish" is a North American term that has been used since settlement to describe descendents of Scottish Presbyterians who first migrated to Ulster and later settled in North America through the 18th century. Other names, including "Northern Irish" and "Irish Presbyterians", were also originally used to describe these people.
It is believed that these already century-settled immigrants, now well established in American society, increasingly referred to themselves as "Scotch-Irish" in order to distinguish themselves as having Scottish origins against the later indigenous Irish arrivals of mainly Catholic origin that arrived in more substantial numbers in America after the Irish potato famine of the 1840's. The term "Scotch" at that time in history was the favoured adjective as a designation - it literally means "...of Scotland".
As people from Scotland nowadays refer to themselves as "Scots" or "Scottish", the term "Scotch" may even be considered an ethnic slur as it nowadays outside of an American context refers only to whisky. Consequently, the term "Scots-Irish" has recently become more frequently used in North America, as in the popular American historical book "Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America".
Confusingly, the term "Scotch-Irish" or "Scots-Irish" does not refer either to simply Scottish or Irish or a combination of the two and is therefore considered by many to be less accurate and more confusing than the term "Ulster-Scots". Even though the term "Scotch-Irish" has been in use for several centuries in that context in North America, it is uncommon in the United Kingdom, where people may not understand to what the term is meant to refer.
The linguist R. J. Gregg also used the term "Scotch-Irish" to refer to the contact variety of the Scots language spoken in Ulster, what European linguists refer to as Ulster Scots.
- A People Set Apart: The Scotch-Irish in Eastern Ohio (1999; ISBN 1887932755)
- Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America (2004; ISBN 0767916883)
- The People with No Name: Ireland's Ulster Scots, America's Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World: 1689-1764 (2001; ISBN 0691074623)
- Faith & Freedom: The Scots-Irish in America (1999; ISBN 1840300612)
- Movers: A Saga of the Scotch-Irish (The Heartland Chronicles) (1986; ISBN 0961736712)
- Scotch-Irish: A Social History (1999; ISBN 0807842591)
- Scotch-Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America (1995; ISBN 1898787468)
- Scots-Irish in Pennsylvania & Kentucky (1998; ISBN 1840300329)
- Scots and Scotch-Irish in America (1985, ISBN 0822510227)
- The Scotch-Irish: From the North of Ireland to the Making of America (ISBN 0786406143)
- The Scotch-Irish in Northern Ireland and in the American Colonies (1998; ISBN 078840945X)
- The Scots-Irish in the Carolinas (1997; ISBN 1840300116)
- The Scots-Irish in the Shenandoah Valley (1996; ISBN 1898787794)
- The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (1997; ISBN 0806308508)
- Ulster and North America: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Scotch-Irish (1997; ISBN 0817308237)
- West From Shenandoah: A Scotch-Irish Family Fights for America, 1729-1781, A Journal of Discovery (2003; ISBN 0471315788)