Those Troublesome Presbyterians

“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, that cannot save.” Psalm 146: 3

Knowing I have ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War  has changed my perspective on history.  English: The Battle of Kings Mountain depicts ...These ancestors took a big risk with their personal  and families’ security… my family.

For many, liberty was more than financial and political freedom.  Many were fighting for continued religious freedom as well. While we learned as history students about the Puritans and Quakers quest for religious freedom in coming to the shores of America, the plight of the Presbyterians from Northern Ireland and Scotland was not so familiar to me.

The Scots-Irish were Scottish Presbyterians that were forced to leave their homeland in the 17th & 18th centuries because they refused to agree that the King  was the head of the church and didn’t accept his interference in their religious practices.  They felt strongly that only Christ could be the spiritual head of the church and their true King.

Known as “Covenanters”, they immigrated, some forcibly, to Northern Ireland.  Generations later, they moved on to America to escape war  and expensive leases on land.  You can find out more the Scots-Irish story at http://www.ulsterancestry.com/ulster-scots.html  and  at http://www.covenanter.org.uk/ from the Scottish Covenanter Memorial Association.

Many of these Scots-Irish ended up in Appalachia and are our ancestors.  In fact, Billy Kennedy in  Scots-Irish in the Hills of Tennessee states 1 in 5 Southerners have Scots-Irish ancestry.

The Scots-Irish were eager to escape the tyranny of the Crown in the New World that stifled their personal and spiritual pursuits. They rejected any thought that the British might follow them into their new lives in America.  Many Presbyterian preachers also encouraged their congregants from the pulpit to support the cause for freedom on religious grounds.

The Scots-Irish whole-heartedly joined the fight as militiamen and were known for their toughness and fearsome fighting.  According to Ulster Ancestry.com  ’ Serving in the British Army, Captain Johann Henricks, one of the much despised ‘Hessians’, wrote in frustration ‘Call it not an American rebellion, it is nothing more than an Irish-Scotch Presbyterian Rebellion.’ 

For many of them, the freedom to live and worship as they wanted was worth the fight.  May we be willing to preserve that right for future generations.

Happy Independence Day!

Advertisements
Categories: Geneaology, History, Revolutionary War, Scots Irish, Southern heritage, Tennessee | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “Those Troublesome Presbyterians

  1. Pingback: The Plantation of Ulster | Exodus: Movement of the People

  2. Pingback: Gallowglass and the Black Oath: Ulster Scots | Exodus: Movement of the People

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: